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TherazhundhUr Divya Desam : Part 2

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Tue Mar 02 1999 - 05:27:03 PST

Day of start of this article , 
Prabhava Samvatharam , VaikAsi 9
Sarva EkAdasi Dinam , UthirattAthi Nakshathram 
May 23 , 1987

KshEthram's  Location 
ThErazhundhUr is one of the 40 divya desams of
ChOzha Naadu . Thirumangai was born at the village of
ThirkkurayalUr , which is not too far away. Thirumangai 
was very fond of the divya desams near his birth
place and in that tradition has sung movingly of
the ArchA murthy of Therazhandhur . This sthalam 
is between Mayavaram ( MyaalAduthurai ) and KumbakONam
on the main railway line to Madras .One must alight 
at Kuttaalam rail halt and reach the temple , which 
is one mile away ( One of our dear members , Sri Srini Kuttalam 
currently at Dallas , TX is originally from Kuttalam ). 
We can also approach this divya desam via a town bus 
from Mylaaduthurai/Mayavaram .

KshEthra VisEshams

The PerumAL's name here is Aamuruviyappan ; the ThAyAr's name
is Sengamalavalli ; the vimanam is Garuda VimAnam . Garuda BhagavAn
stands to the left of the Lord in the garbhagraham instead of in
his usual sthAnam in front of the Lord . The sthalam's river is 
Cauvery . PerumAL faces east and is giving us His darsanam
in the standing posture . He is prathyaksham to King Uparisravasu ,
Cauvery MaathA , Dharma Devathai , Sage Agasthiyar and 
Periya Thiruvadi ( Garudan ) .The river Cauvery turns northward 
in this divya desam and is known as Uttara Vaahini here 
for that reason . Few miles from here , Cauvery reaches
sangamam with the Ocean .

Thirumangai AzhwAr's mangaLAsAsanam 

Thirumangai was overtaken by the fertility of the divya
desam (nila VaLam ) nourished by the rich waters of Cauvery river 
( neer VaLam ) and most of all by the sanctity of this divya desam , 
where Aamuruviappan has taken his permanent residence . AzhwAr
could not forget this divya desam and thus celebrated the glory 
of this divua desam in four of his six prabhandhams :
Periya Thirumozhi ( 41 Paasurams) ,ThirunedunthANdakam 
( Paasurams 15 & 26) , SiRiya Thirumadal( 39) and 
PeRiya Thirumadal ( 61) . All in  all, there are 45 
paasurams relating to this divya desam . AzhwAr celebrates 
with joy the dhana , dhAnya samruddhi and Vaidhika Sri of
this divya desam . 

Sthala PurANam 

ThiruvazhundhUr is another name for this divya desam derived from
the original name of ThErazhundhUr or the place where the chariot
got stuck . Before the time of KrishNAvathAram , there was a VishNu
BhakthA , who was born in the Kshathriya Vamsam and he performed 
AarAdhanam for Sriman NaarAyanan in the special way prescribed 
by PaancharAthra Aagamam . He attained Moksha Siddhi and resided
in Sri Vaikuntam as a Vasu . Because of his spiritual glory , he had 
the power to travel by the celestial route ( upari sravan ) in
whichever celestial route he chose without interruption . Thus ,
this Vishnu Bhakthan came to be known as Uparisravasu . 

Uparisravasu  was adept in Dharma sAsthrAs . He was asked 
once to adjudicate a dispute on the intrepretation of 
Dharma SaasthrAs by the Sages , who did not agree with 
the position taken by the DevAs about a ritual in a famous 
Yaj~nam .The dispute was about the type of havis to be offered 
in that Yaj~nam. DevAs felt that the Cow's flesh had to be
offered . The Sages were repulsed over that thought and pointed
out that flesh free Pishta pasu ( a replica of the cow made
out of flour ) has to be offered . The disputants approached 
Uparisravasu and asked him to listen to their arguments 
and serve as a judge settle the dispute by pointing
the correct Saasthraic method to adopt .They selected him 
because of his erudition and impartiality .

Uparisravasu heard the arguments from both sides . 
He recognized that the position of the sages
was the correct one and yet he sympathized with the DevAs .
He had dharma sankatam . Much against his wish to rule
in favor of the Sages , he chose to support the position
of the DevAs . Thus he lost his sense of impartiality .
The sages were angered by the slip from dharmam 
by Uparisravasu and cursed him to end up in 
the nether world (PaathALam ). His chariot which
until then could move uninterrupedly in the sky 
descended rapidly with Uparisravasu and got stuck 
in front of Aamuruviappan Sannadhi . The KshEthram 
took the name of ThEr-azhundhina-Oor or ThErazhundhUr .

Dharmam and Vedam coming together at TherazhundhUr
There may be another reason for the aerial chariot to be 
stuck in front of Aamuruviappan . "Aamuruvi " means 
KaNNan , who is very fond of Cows . It appears 
as though the Lord of this divya desam out of His vaathsalyam 
for the Cows and calves decided to punish the king , who
erred in judgement in a matter dealing with His dear Cows .
After all He is Gosakan or the friend of the Cows . 
He grounded the aerial chariot of the king at the boundary 
of His divya desam . He wanted to illustrate the Sreyas
of the Vedic Sages and became Prathyaksham to Sage
AgasthyA ; Lord also wanted to illustrate the importance
of Dharamam and made himself visible ( prathyaksham )
to Dharma devathai and Veda savrUpi , Garudan . He also
placed Garudan on His side to illustrate the importance 
of Vedic sacrifices ( Yaagams and Yaj~nams ) and the need
for the practise of the correct way prescribed by 
the Vedams and SaasthrAs . (Additional information on
the tight connection between Vedam and Dharmam are 
covered in an article of mine entitled Rtham in 
the Bhakthi archives of September 17 , 1998 ).

Garudan's Importance at TherazhundhUr 
The Lord decided to give a special place of honor
( sama peetam ) for Garudan here . Normally , Garudan
stands in front of his Lord with folded hands and
awaits his Yajamaanan's orders . The thre divya desams , 
where Garudan stands next to the Lord or at a special sannidhi 
not in front of the Lord are : ThirunaRayUr ( kall Garudan ),
Sri VilliputthUr and ThErazhundhUr . Garudan
has a special distinction at these three sthalams.

Here at ThErazhundhUr , Our Lord wants to remind us
that Garudan is Dharma Garbha Vedha svarUpan by
asking him to stand next to Him inside the garbhagraham .
Garudan has a special relationship to Rtham or Dharmam . 
All the Dharmams are housed inside the Vedhams . That
is our Oupanishadhic SiddhAntham ( darsanam based
on Upanishads ).

The Vedha SvarUpam of Garudan has  been celebrated by
Swami Desikan in Garuda PanchAsath as " yath PakshasthA 
ThrivEdhi -- thridhAmana Vaahana Indra: " . In His wings
( paksham ) , the three VedhAs ( thri vEdhi ) are residing .
In garuda DaNdakam again , Swami Desikan saluted Garudan
(VainathEyan ) as Vedha Purushan : GaruDam akhila vEdha
needa athirUDam --eedE ", Here , Swami Desikan described
Garudan as the Vedha Purushan sititng inside the cage made of
all the VedhAs . Swami Desikan recognized Garudan 
as the essence of Dharmams deriving their roots 
and authenticity from the Vedams . Garudan serves
symbolically as the essence of Vedic dahrams from
which Uparisravasu slipped . 

Aamuruviappan seems to be having another message
to us .He wants us to understand the sacredness of
the Sages rooted in Vedhic Observances . Illustating 
the ancient adage , " DharmO visvasya Jagadha: prathishtA  .
VedhO akila Dharma moolam ", Aamuruviappan honored Garudan
in an exceptional manner at His divya desam .Garudan has also
been saluted as " ThridhAmna Vaahana Indra : " . This 
salutation has special meaning at ThErazhundUr . The three 
sthAnams of Sriman NaarAyaNA are : The Milky Ocean , 
Sri Vaikuntam and the HEARTS OF THE SAGES (JN~AANIS).
Hence the Lord has been hailed as ThridhAmnan . The Lord's Indra
Vaahanan ( VisEsha Vaahanam ) is Garudan . The Lord of 
Garudan is seated as garuda Vaahanan at the heart lotuses of 
the Sages with joy .Hence to let the world know about the greatness of 
the Sages , whose life is rooted in Dharmams and anushtAnams
based on them , Aamuruviappan elevated Pakshi Raajan , the Veda
Svarupi to an elevated position just next to Him at ThErazhundhUr .
This is the VisEsha MariyAdhai for Garudan at this divya desam .

AzhundhUr aNNal ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan