027. Thiru Chithrakoodam – Sri Govindaraja Perumal Temple, Chidambaram
About the Temple & Location:
This temple is in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. Drop in at Chidamabaram Railway station in the Chennai to Trichy main line. Ample bus facilities are there. Staying arrangements are well furnished.
As Lord Narayana poses as Nila Thingal Thundan perumal having inside the Ekambareswar temple premises in Kanchipuram, here at Chidambaram one of the very big Shiva temple he poses as Govindarajan near Lord Natarajar Sannadhi.
The Mountain “Chitra Kooda Malai” was in North India near the Prayagai. In this very place only Lord Rama Stayed while he was sent to the forest and left his pregnent wife Sitadevi.
While he came searching for his wife who was taken away by Ravana, Lord Rama found this place in South India and compared it’s beauty to Chitra Kooda in North India. Thus it got its name.
As this place largely represents Sri Rama, Kulashekara Alwar considers Govinda rajan as Sri Kalyana Rama and composed all his 11 Paasurams posing Govindarajan as Sri Rama only.
Thirumangai alwar found Govindarajan to be still like a portrait or picture enchanting himself in the stunning dance of Lord Nataraja here at Ponnambalam – Chidambaram. So among the 32 Paasurams he composed, the first 10 are of the (“Shankarabaranam Ragam”) “Raga: Shankarabaranam” the favourite raga of Lord Shiva.
It’s been said that the 3000 Brahmins of Thinai, Paanini, Padanjali and Vyakrapadha Maharishi had the vision of Lord Shiva’s dance along with Lord Govindaraja and got both the lords blessings.
As Parashakti (wife of Lord Shiva) danced with Lord Shiva transforming her as Thillai kaali, this place is known as Thillai Nagar.
Pundarekatchan means Vishnu, so his wife is called Pundaregavalli and the Pushkarani pundarega Pushkarani.
As the perumal Govindarajan lays still and soft releishing the dance the Vimaanam is called “Sathivega Vimaanam” where Sathvigam literally means soft nature. Moolavar has Sangu and Chakaram in his hands. He’s attended by his wives Periya Piratti, Bhoomi piratti and Neela devi at his feet. The celestial persons ie devas surround him. And he is in the sleeping posture.
It’s been said that while reparing the Nataraja temple, Aanapaya chozan also known as Second Kulothunga ordered his men to remove Govindaraja’s idol and throw it into the sea.
Late the great social reformer Aacharya Ramanuja took great effort in finding Govindaraja under the sea and found him and replaced him in his original place.
During the life time of Alwars, Govindaraja’s Poojas was done by the thillai Brahmains ie Shaivities only. But during 1539 A.D, king Krishnadevaraya’s brother Aachudharayar employed Bhatacharyas (Priests following Vaishnavam) and made them to render pooja’s under the Vyganasa Aagamam (One type of rites and rituals).
Though there are lots of difference of Opinions between the Shaivities and Vaishnavities dating back from the period of Alwars, atleast let us unite together to stop these meaningless fights and accept the unity between the lords.
1. The main speciality of this temple is that this Perumal has his sannathi in the premises of the Lord Shiva’s temple itself. That too near the Natarajar sannathi itself.
The Moolavar of this Divyadesam is Sri Govindarajan. He is giving his seva Kindantha (Sleeping) Thirukkolam in Bhoga Sayanam facing his thirumugham towards eest direction. Prathyaksham for Thillai Moovayiravar, Paanini, Padhanjali and Vyakpathra Maharishi.
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Pundaregavalli. She has a separate sannadhi in this temple.
1. Devadhidevan. Also known as Parthasarathy. He is in the sitting posture.
2. Chitira Koodhathullan with two wives.
3. Sri Rama in his Vanavasa Kolam (ie poses as in his forest surroundings).
Thirumangaialwar – 32 Paasurams
Kulasekara Alwar – 11 Paasurams. Total – 43 Paasurams.
Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.