010. Thirukkudanthai – Sri SaarngapaaNi Perumal Temple, Kumbakonam
About the Temple & Location:
This temple lies in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. It’s about 1 1/2 miles away from Kumbakkonam railway station. Which is on the chennai – Thanjore main line. Bus facility and staying facilities are ample.
When it was time for the destruction of this world a huge pralaya came up. In order to save the vedha’s Amirtham and tools necessary to create lives on earth, lord Bhrama collected all these things and put them in a mud pot and kept the pot safety on the top of the Mountain Meru.
Pralaya kalam (ie) the period of non stop heavy rain came and the pot of bhrama was washed away by the flood. In due course moving in the south direction it came to halt at a particular place. Then for the wish of all devar’s (ie) heavenly people Lord Shiva broke the pot with an arrow. Immediately Amudham (ie) the liquit given eternity flowed from the pot and formed two tanks. One is known as Maha maga kulam and the othr Potramarai kulam. The remains of the pot and Amudham joined together to form “Lord Kumbeswarar”. In the name of the broken pot (ie) Kumbam that place was clled Kumbakkonam or simply Kudanthai.
Lord Narayana’s Marriage: Once there was a dispute between the rishis as to whom to submit the “Avirbagam” (ie) to whom they should give more importance among the trinity “Sivan, Bhrama and Vishnu”.
As they couldn’t resolve the matter they sent “Brighu Maharishi” to test the Trinities and finally to select the best member. So, Brighu Maharishi went to Siva logam (ie) the place of Shiva and Bhramalogam (ie) place of Bhrama and was dishonoured by them. So angrily he went at last to Vishuloga (ie) the the place of Maha Vishnu.
There too he wasn’t honoured properly. So he got very angry and kicked Maha Vishnu’s heart where Godess Mahalakshmi lives. But in turn Mahavishnu took the feet which kicked him and said “Oh! rishi you have kicked me, but I do not bother about that but your feet may ache due to this so let me soothe it.” Saying so he tactfully took away the third eye of Brighu Maharishi which was conceled under his toe.
Due to this Brighu Maharishi regained his temper and also lost his eye of Pride.
As soon as he lost his pride he became very humble and pleaded Mahavishnu to forgive him. From this the Lord God has showed us that unless we lose our pride and become humble. What ever position we may hold, that would never fetch God towards us.
Meanwhile, as Bhrigu Maharishi gave a kick where she lived, Mahalakshmi gave a kick where she lived, Mahalakshmi got annoyed and left the scene. She came to the earth and started to live at Kollapuram.
Without Mahalakshmi the Godess of Money Lord Narayana was worried a lot and came to earth in search of his beloved wife. But as he couldn’t find he, he transformed himself into Lord Srinivasa and married Godess Padmavathi. As Mahalakshmi left him he was not having enough money for marriage so he borrowed some money from Lord Khubera. Once again he was left alone for Padmavathidevi had a dispute with Lord Srinivasa and left Thirupati. By now, Mahalakshmi who was staying at Kollapuri came to know the news of Lord Srinivasa’s marriage from Naradha. She became very angry and started to search Lord Srinivasa who had fled to Abyss (ie) paathala loga in Kumbakkonam, to escape from Mahalakshmi’s angry.
Goddess Mahalakshmi searched Lord Srinivasa every where but her effort gave her no fruits. So she became a small child and crawled as BalaKomalavalli in the Potramarai Kulam.
Brighu Maharishi who kicked Mahalakshmi felt very much for his action and hence took rebirth as Hema Maharishi. He saw Balukomalavalli and started to bring her up as his own daughter. When it was time for Komalavalli’s marriage, Hema Maharishi performed a very hard penance and pleaded Mahavishnu to accept Mahalakshmi. Lord Mahavishnu granted his wish. On a Mahashankaranthi day Lord Mahavishnu emerged out from Vaideha Vimanam contained in the pranava vimana of Sri Rangam and came in a huge chariot and married Komalavalli Thaayar.
As the Thayaar Komalavalli was angry with Lord Srinivasa who has a standing posture to soothe her anger Lord Mahavishnu now adapted the sleeping posture of Ranganatha of Sri Rangam and became SaarngapaaNi in Kumbakonam.
Actually Shargam is the name of the bow of Sri Rama, one of the ten Avathar’s of Sri Mahavishnu. Sri Rama is very famous for his one man – one wife format of life. So on order to give assurence of Security for his wife Komalavalli Lord Mahavishnu has adapted the shargam in the name of Sri Ramam and the posture of Ranganatha so as to be called as “SaarngapaaNi”.
There is a “Paadhala Srinivasar” in this temple which remainds as the above tale.
Goddess Mahalakshmi repented for her mistake and from then onwards she took a vow that she would never leave her dear husband. Hence even today she never leaves out of her chamber. So only she is called as “Padhi Thanda Patni”.
This place is treated equivalent with Thirupati, SriRangam, Kaattu Mannar Kovil, Alwar Thirunagari, Thruvellarai, Thiruvekka, Thiru Kandiyur, ThiruKarambanoor, Thiruputkuzhi and Thirupullamboothamkudi. This place is treated as the place which explains the meaning of Paramathma Thathuvam.
The following three incidents:
The magical pot of Bhrama – Lord shiva who broke the neck of the pot – Lord Ranganatha who as Aaraamudhan also named SaarngapaaNi’s marriage with Komalavalli represents the power of the trinity Bhrama, Vishnu and Sivan at a single place like the I which happend at Karambanoor and Kandiyur. Even then, this place is called as Bhaskara Shetram only.
The combination of some hamsam’s (ie) parts of Lord Shivan and Lord Vishnu is named as Lord Bhaskara. He has two heads and four hands. Two hands are used by him to pray Lord Shiva whereas the other two hands contain the lotus which represents Godess Mahalakshmi. Her body is of red colour, the colour of Lord Shivan and his ornaments are all of blue colour replresenting Mahavishnu.
As the powers of lord Shiva and Vishnu has combined here this place is called as Bhaskara shethram. This place paves a way to the unison of Shaiveties and Vaishnaveties.
Naadamunigal and Divya Prabantham: During 9th, A.D, divya prabatham was not compiled. It was scattered here and there. On that time in Kaatumannar kovil also called Veera Narayanapuram near Chidambaram there lived a man called Naadhamunigal.
He worked in the temple and one day he came to hear II paasurams which had “Aara Amudhey” as its beginning. The verse was so pure, gentle and devotional that Naadamunigal was completely take aback by it. He asked the two men about the verse and enquired them regarding the last line which hinted that these II paasurams or verses were among the other 1000 verses. But the men who sand said they were Unaware about the matter.
Somehow Naadamunigal wanted to find the rest of 1000 Paasurams. But he couldnt get any clues from the men and so he was very much worried. Suddenly he remembered the first line which began with the word “Aara Amudhe” so quickly he went to the SaarngapaaNi temple in Kudanthai and started to pray hardly. Immediately a flash ran in his mind the last line of the II Paasurams said that it was written by Sadagopan of Thirukurukur (ie, “Kurukur Sadagopan Kuralin Maliya sonna OOrayirathul”).
He thanked God for having revealed to him the means to get the other pAsurams from AzhwAr tirunagari and headed straightly to Thirunagari. There he came to know about the history of Nammalwar and his excellent diciple “Madhurakavi alwar” who treated Nammalwar as his God. Then he met Pharangusasadhasar who came in the way Madhurakavialwar who gave him II Paasurams (Starting with Kanninum Siruthambu…) sung by his guru. The verse was written by Madhurakavialwar in praise of his beloved guru Nammalwar.
Naadhamunigal was very happy and he went to the temple in Alwar Thirunagari (Thirukurukur) and sat in front of the Tamarind tree under which Nammalwar was sitting in his time.
He started to chant the II Paasurams of Madhurakavialwar without stopping for 12,000 times. Nammalwar appeared before Naadhamunigal and started to teach him all the 4000 paasurams and with a written copy of Dhivya prabantham. Naadhamunigal returned to Kaatu Mannar kovil Secessfully. Srimadh Naadhamunigal then divided the prabantha paasurams into 4 group each containing almost 1000 paasurams.
Henceforth Aaraamudha perumal of this Thirukkudanthai – Naatha munigal from Kaattu mannar kovil Nammalwar of Alwar Thirunagari all worked together to the rebirth of prabantham. Also the way in which Aaramudhan came to this place, bears a relation to Thirupathi and Sri Rangam. This temple Karbagraham (or) Moolavar sannathi has two entries one named Uthrayana vaasal and the other Dakshinayana Vaasal, both the terms deputing the Sun’s orbit. Hence this place is also treated incoherence with Thiruvellarai.
As Aaraamudhans appearence has a relation to the myths of the trinity Bhrama, vishnu Sivan this place can be treated inaccordance to Kadhambanoor and Kandiyur.
Once upon a time Thirumazhisai Alwar came to have a dharsan of Aaraavamudha perumal. He was very much impressed by his beauty and wanted to have a chat with him. So he prayed the Lord and after some times, the Lord Wanted to answer his prayer and hence he lifted his head from the sleeping posture and started to get up. But, Alwar didnt wanted to disturb his sleep and hence he requested perumal not to get up and to remain in the same posture so as to bless each devotee visiting him and to treat each one of them as Thirumazhisaialwar. The post of Aara Amudhan is called as Uthra Sayanam and he is thus called as Uthanasai.
As the Lord God accepted his devotees wish as he did in Kanchipuram, this place is coherent to Thiruvekka of Kanchipuram.
Once there lived a man named Narayaswamy in Thirukudanthai. He was very rich but had no children. So at one stage he devoted all his money and wealth to the Aara Amudhan’s temple. When his neghbours asked him to adopt a son to render rites and rituals after his death,
Narayanaswamy said them that, he did not cared that and also said them that after his death, Lord Aaraavamudhan would come in person to perform his rites. So happened after his death, a young man came from nowhere and performed his last rites.
Till now on certain day of the year, all the things necessary for doing rites and rituals are kept in the Aaraamudhans sannadhi and the temple is closed, so that Aaraamudha perumal would performing the rituals for Narayanaswamy’s death.
This coherates to the incident of Sri Rama performing the rites of the dead Jadayu at Thiruputkuzhi and Thirupullam boothamkudi where he took rest after finishing the rites.
At a distance of 3 miles south from this place there is Nadnipura Vinnagara divya desa temple, then to the east are Thirunageswaram, Uppliappan kovil then at 6 miles south there is Naachiyar Kovil in Thirunarayur from there at 3 miles distance there is Thirucherai and after that is Thiruvellainkudi. So totally there are six divya desams to be visited.
The Moolavar of this temple is Sri SaarngapaaNi. Aara Amudhan, Abayaryaapthamiruthan and Utthanasayi are the other names of Moolavar. Prathyaksham for Hema Maharishi. Moolavar is in Udhyoga sayana posture (ie) he appears as though is getting up from sleeping position.
Komalavalli. Also called as “Padi Thanda Pathini” ie thayaar would never (leave out) or leave away from her chamber. She has her own seperate sannadhi in this temple.
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.