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The Thiruvaheendrapuram Sthala Puranam & an appeal

From: Venkatesan N R (venkat_at_unison.com)
Date: Sat May 11 1996 - 15:01:14 PDT

Dear Prapatti Members,
  
   Srimathe Tharanga Mugha Nandini Hemambja Nayaki Samedha 
            Sri Devanatha Parabrahmane Namaha.

            Sri Nigamantha Mahadesikaya Namaha.


Thiruvaheendrapuram, situate 5 kms west of Cuddalore, the historical 
coastal city, is one among the two "Nadunattu Thirupathigal" among the 
108 Divya Desams sanctified by the visit of Alwars.  The temple of 
Lord Devanatha is flanked by the inspring Oushadagiri, a herbal drop 
on the Lap of Time from the hands of speeding Anjaneya to the 
battlefield of Lanka and the serpentine holy river Garudanadhi.  The
importance of this sthala has found place in many Puranas.

Thirumangai Alwar has hailed the Presiding Deity of this temple as the
Godhead of Trinity viz. Siva Brahma and Vishnu ( Moovarahiya Oruvan).
True to the appellation of "Adiyavarku Meiyan" Lord Devanatha's charm
and sakthi attract thousands of pilgrims day in and day out from
all over the country.

The structure and inscriptions found in the temple bear testimony to
the association of later Pallavas, Chola and Pandya dynasty rules.

Since the place was constructed by Aheendran ( Adhisesha), it is called
Aheendrapuram.   The waterbody brought up by Garuda flows as Garudanadhi 
whereas the one brought by Adisesha is available as Sesha Theertham.  
Legend has it that when Lord Devanatha was feeling thirsty he asked for 
water.  Garuda made Garudanadhi by ploughing the earth with his beak 
and Adisesha did so by carving the earth.  Adisesha was first to come 
back with water and the Lord quenched his thirst with that.  On seeing 
this Garuda was sad and to cheer him up, the Lord chose water from 
Garudanadhi from Thirumanjanam and from Sesha theertham for nivedhanam.
People offer pepper,salt, milk, honey, turmeric and others into this 
Sesha Theertham as part of their prayers and still it is indeed a divine 
wonder that the water is used for preparing the daily nivedhanam to the Lord.


To the Vaishnavites, the very mention of thei Sthala conjured up the
diving figure of Vedantha Desikar (1268-1370 AD) who spent eventful
years here.  Born in Thoopul near Kanjeepuram with the blessings of
Lord Venkatesa, he blossomed into a peerless sage in this sacred
divyadesam.

Lord Devanatha gravitated him to this Sthala where he performed Tapas
on Oushadagiri and invoked Garuda who initiated him to Hayagriva
Mantra.  Uniquely peculiar to this place is a separate shrine for Lord
Hayagriva, the God of learning - an Avatar of Lord Vishnu with Horse
Face.  Blessed with the effulgent vision of Lord Hayagriva, Sri
Desikar composed monumental works in Sanskrit, Tamil and Manipravala
in praise of Lord Hayagriva, Lord Devanatha, Lord Rama and Lord Rajagopala 
in this temple elucidating the Vishitadvaidic philosophy and making it
invincible.  Some of the works of this great Acharya include Hayagriva 
Sthothram,Garuda Panchasath, Devanatha Panchasat,Achchutha 
Sathakam( Prakrutham), Raghu Veera Gadhyam ( also known as 
Mahaveera Vaibhavam), Gopala Vimsathi,Mummani Kovai (Tamil), and
Navarathna Malai (Tamil).

The place where Swami Desikan lived here in Thiruvaheendrapuram is
preserved as Desikan Thiru Maaligai.   The vigraham of Swami Desikan that
graces the public was made by Swami Desikan himself and a well
constructe4 by Swami Desikan to show that he is indeed "Saravatantra
Swathanthrar" ( a title conferred upon him by Sri Ranganachchiyar) is 
still there in the Thiru Maaligai.


Some details on the temple.

(P.S.  I have tried to transliterate the names and it may be prone to
errors.  Please forgive me for errors)

Moolavar:   Devanthan - Deivanayakan - Facing East - Standing Posture.

Uthsavar:  Achchuthan, Sthirajyothis Aneka Jyothis,Mevu Jyothi,Vevinai
           Marundhu, Moovarahiya Oruvan, Moovarahiya Moorthi,
	   Adiyavarku Meiyan, Devanathan, Vibhuthanathan, Dasasathyan, 
	   Deivanayakan,  Dvishannathan, Vaikundanathan, Vasudevan.

	   Swami Desikan exclaims that "Nin Vadivazhagai Maravaadaar
	   Piravaadhare"  (Those who don't forget your divine beauty
	   are indeed birthless).  Considered as elder to Lord Venkatesa at
	   Thirupathi and offerings to Lord Venkatesa can also be done
	   here.


Thaayaar:  Hemabujavalli, Ambhuruvasini, Hemabjanayika, Bhargavi,
           Tharanga mugha Nandini, Sengamala valli, Vaikunda Nayaki,
	   Mahavara Prasadhini.


Prathyaksham:  Chandran performed Pooja here.  Garuda, Brahma, Shiva,
           Indra, Bhoomadevi, Brughu, Markandeya Maharishi,Thatheesi
	   worshipped the Lord here.  To show that He himself is the
	   the Trinity to a Chola King who was going on a demolition
	   spree of Vaishnavite temples, the Lord has the Padhmam,
	   Jadai,Third eye in the forehead,and Panchayutham.
	   Thirumangai Alwar Mangalasasanam. (1148-57).


Other Sannidhis:  Chakravarthi Thirumagahan Sri Raman (Raghuveera
           gadhyam mangala sasan by Swami Desikan), Sri Venugoplan
	   (Gopala Vimsathi), Chakrathalwar,Pallikonda Perumal,
	   Sri Rajagoplan, Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan, Aheendrapuranathan,
           Aandal, Garudan (Garuda Panchasat) Vishwaksenar,
	   Alwars, Acharyars,Swami Desikan.  The Hayagriva vigraham
	   worshipped by Swami Desika graces the devotees in the
	   Devanatha Sannidhi.  At the foothills, Sri Anjaneya 
	   Sanndidhi is there facing North.  Atop the hill,
	   Lakshmi Hayagrivar, Yoga Hayagrivar,Yoga Narasimhar, 
	   Venugoplan, Garudan are all present in the Hayagrivar 
	   Sannidhi.


Vimanam:   Sudhdha Saiva Vimanam,  Chandra Vimanam.

Theerthas: Garuda Theertham and Sesha theertham at the foot of 
           the hill and Brahma Theertham, Bhoomi Theertham and Thayar
	   Thirukularm atop the hill.


Pooja    : Performed according to the Vaikanasa Agama.  All the six
           kala poojas are performed.  Vedaparayana-Adhyavaka goshtis
	   are performed.


The Brahmatsavam for Lord Devanatha is held every year during the month 
of Chithra and for Swami Desikan during the month of Purattasi.  But
there will be some form of Utsavam going round the year in this
historic temple.  The other important ones being Vaikunda Ekadashi
festival during the Margazhi-Thai months extending for 30 days, Masi-
Makam (sea bath) at Devanam Pattinam and Adi Pooram festival.


                           AN APPEAL.

The  last Samprokshanam to the temple was performed on 17-May-1972.
Now, a committee has been formed to perform renovation of all Vimanas, 
Gopurams, Mantapams, renewal of flooring, provision of drinking water
and pilgrim shelter and other amenities at a cost of Rs. 10.5 lakhs.
The committe  appeals for donation from the public for this noble
cause.  

The committee is confident that Lord Devanatha, Lord Hayagriva and Swami 
Desikan will spur the devotees and the philonthropists of our hoaryland
to contribute liberally for the abovesaid work and bless them
copiously.

The contributions may be sent to the Executive Officer/Secretary and
Treasurer, A/M Devanthaswamy Tiruppani Committee, Thiruvaheendrapuram,
Cuddalore 607 401, India.


AdiYen,


Venkatesan N R