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divya dEsam - thanjai mAmaNik kOvil
Date: Thu Nov 09 2000 - 22:24:49 PST

srImathE saTakOpAya namaha
srImathE rAmAnujAya namaha
srImathE anantArya mahA guravE namaha
srIman vara vara munayE namaha

November 9,2000

dear bhAgavathAs,

this write-up is on thanjai mAmaNik kOvil. This divya dEsam has
already been adopted by the bahrain srIvaishNava satsangham members.

{background posting on the divya dEsam support project can be located
on . Another
recent update on the divya dEsam support project is on }

{Note: Most of the details are from the book "108 vaiNava divya dEsa
varalaaRU published bu srI vaiNava sidhdhAntha nUl padhipu kazhagam".
Any pAsuram paraphrasing/rough translation is adiyEn English rendering
of srI. prativAdi bayankaram aNNangarAchAriAr svAmi's divyArtha 
dIpikai - mostly the padavurais - Needless to say, any mistake in this
posting is adiyEn's and adiyEn's alone}

There are three temples(perumALs) in this divya dEsam.
1st  temple - thanjai mAmaNik kOvil
mUlavar - nIlamEgap perumaL, east facing, sitting posture
thAyAr - senkamalavallith thAyAr
thIrtham - kannikA pushkaraNi, veNNARu
vimAnam - soundharya vimAnam

2nd temple - maNikkunRam
mUlavar - maNik kunRap perumAL, east facing, sitting posture
thAyAr - ambujavallith thAyAr
thIrtham - srIrAma thIrtham
vimAnam - maNikkooda vimAnam

3rd tempe - thanjaiyALi nagar
mUlavar - narasimhan, east facing, sitting posture
thAyAr - thanjai nAyaki
thIrtham - sUrya pushkaraNi
vimAnam - vEdasundara vimAnam

sthala purANam:
mention of this sthalam is made in brahmANda purANam.

in krEthAyuga, in the lineage of a king known as madhu, three 
asurAs were born as brothers. They were thanjakan, thanDakan
and gajamukhan. The three of them performed severe penance
towards sivA. sivA appeared in front of them and asked for 
their desire. They replied that they wanted immortality. sivA 
answered that only vishNu has the power to give that boon;
however he (sivA) will grant that the death for the three 
brothers will not be through him (sivA)

After recieving that boon from sivA, the three brothers, with
a lot of arrogance, started to dominate all the worlds including
indralOka and created havoc. They disturbed all the rishis that
were performing penances and caused untold harm to them. At this
time there was a rishi called parAsura who was performing 
worship/penance to vishNu. There was drought in the land at that
time and there was no water anywhere except for a small pond near
where sage parAsara was performing penance/worship. The three
borthers, after they had searched a long time for water, came to
the place where sage parAsara was, and drank water from the pond.

On seeing the sage performing penance, they started disturbing
him and started causing harm to him. the sage called out 
"Hari Hari Hari" to seek the Lord's help in removing the
obstacles presented by the three brothers. Lord vishNu sent 
garuda to help the sage. garudA destroyed all of the asurAs that
were part of the three brothers' army. However, he could not
kill the three brothers. 

On seeing this, perumAL Himself came in person and with his discus,
cut the head off the first brother - thanjakan. Realising his
mistake, thanjakan regretted his deeds and asked perumAL that the
place where he died be named after him. So, the place became to
be known as thanjakanUr - that became thanjakUr and currently
thanjAvUr. This perumAL is nIlamEgap perumAL (thanjai mAmaNik kOvil)

On seeing the death of his brother, the next asurA, gajamukhA
came in the form of an elephant and started to attempt to fight 
perumAL. He took the form of narasimha and killed gajamukhA. Just
before he died, gajamukhA realised his mistakes and surrendered to
perumAL and asked for mOksha. Since he surrendered, perumAL granted
him that wish. This perumAL is called thanjaiyALi.

On seeing his two brothers die, the third brother, thandakAsuran,
went deep into bAthALam to hide. perumAL took the form of varAha,
chased the asura into bAthALam and killed him.  the asurA, realising
his misdeeds just before his death, surrendered to perumAL and 
requested that the place be known after him. perumAL granted that wish
and the land directly above where the asura was killed became to be
known as dhandakAraNyam. perumAL came up into the earth directly 
above where  He killed thandakAsura. that place is called thirumuttam
 - srImushNam, where to this day, perumAL graces all devotees with 
His kindness in the form of varAha as bhUvarAhap perumAL.

There are three temples in this divya dEsam currently. Even though
there are three perumALs, AzhvArs, while performing maNgaLAsAsanams 
have taken all three perumALs to be one perumAL.

key points about the divya dEsam:

1. after perumAL came to this place, it is said that kubEra asked
viswakarma, the architect for the dEvAs, to build a city here. 
viswakarma built a city in the form of a garudA that is flying. It
is said that in this city, since it is in the shape of a flying
garudA, garudA protects everyone.

2. It is also considered by learned people that the three perumALs,
srI nIlamEgan, srI maNikkunRan and srI vIrasinghap perumAl are with
srIdEvi, bhUdEvi and nILadEvi in this divya dEsam.

3. the river here is supposed to be the same as virajA nadhi that
flows in paramapadam. In tamizh, that river is called veNNARu -
a derivative of viN+aaRu.

4. At one time, the three temples were in different locations around
thanjAvUr. (nIlamEgap perumAL near maNimuththAru, maNikkunRap perumAL
in the part known as kaLimEdu, narasinghap perumAL near a pond
called singap perumAL kuLam). During the rule of the nAyakkars, all
the three perumALs were moved to their current location.

5. Since all the three perumALs are facing thanjAvUr, the perumAL is
called as thanjai mAmaNi - the treasure on thanjai that is protecting

AzhvAr pAsurams:
thirumangai AzhvAR, periya thirumozhi 1-1-6, 2-5-3, 7-3-9
bUthathAzhvAr - iraNdaam thiruvandhAdhi 70.

periya thirumozhi 1-1-6
empirAn endhai ennudaich chuRRam enakkarasu enudai vANAL *
ambinAL arakkar verukkoLa nerukki avaruyir seguththa em aNNaL *
vambulAm sOlai mAmadhiL thanjai mAmaNik kOyilE vaNangi *
nambikAL uyya nAn kaNdukondEn nArAyaNA ennum nAmAm.

Oh bhAgavathAs! I found the name nArAyaNa for my wellbeing,
when I worshipped the perumAL in thanjai mAmaNik kOvil -
the kOvil that is in the place that belongs to the one who
is my svAmi, my father, the one who is all relatives to me,
the one who is my master, my prANa bUtha, and the one who killed
the rAkshasAs with his divine arrows.

other pAsurams:

periya thirumozhi 2-5-3:
thadam parugu karumikalaith thanjaik kOvil thava neRikku

periya thirumozhi 7-3-9:
thanjai yaaLiyaip ponpeyarOn nenjam anRu idandhavanaip
pon sey mAlvaraiyai maNikkunRinai

iraNdaam thiruvandhAdhi 70:
thamar uLLam thanjai thalai arangam thaNkaal

AzhvAr emperumAnAr jIyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam,
adiyEn madhurakavi dAsan,
thirumalai anandAnpiLLai varadhan

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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