Wednesday, 18 October 2017

First Ever Temple Raised For The Lord Lakshmi Hayagriva - Sri Devanatha Perumal Temple - Thiruvahindrapuram, Cuddalore

This temple is held in high esteem and veneration by devotees because of the special association of the great Vaishnavite Acharya Sri Maha Desika born in 13th century. Sri Desika chose to stay here for about 40 years magnetized by the divine beauty of the Presiding Deity of this ancient temple and the place. It was here in OUSHADAGIRI (HILLOCK) Sri Desika performed penance to invoke GARUDA for initiation into HAYAGRIVA MANTRA when the scholar flourished to full divinity to become the peerless NIGAMANTHA MAHA DESIKA. It is the glory of this place that there is a temple to Lord Lakshmi Hayagriva (Mahavishnu with horse face) in the Hill which is not found anywhere else in the country. The Hayagriver temple in this mountain is the oldest one.

Aerial View Of Sri Devanatha Perumal Temple
Aerial View Of Sri Devanatha Perumal Temple
The Sanskrit ‘Ahindram’ refers to Adi Seshan, the Serpent-bed of Lord Vishnu. The belief is that Adiseshan is the architect of this city and hence the name Thiru Aheendrapuram, ‘the holy city of Adisesha’. Following ever his Lord and Master, Lord Narayana Who decided to stay there, after a war between the devas and dhanavas (angels and demons), Adisesha built this city for Him. The deity came to be known as ‘Devanathan’, meaning ‘the Leader of the Devas’. So goes the legend : Once the proud devas were defeated by the asuras and surrendered to Lord Narayana Who promised them to lend his support. The asuras were helped by Lord Shiva, at the behest of Lord Brahma. With this support, the mighty asuras routed the devas. The Lord, in turn, directed His invincible ‘Sudarshana Chakram’ (Wheel) against the dhanavas and brought victory to the devas. By drawing the Lords Shiva and Brahma unto His form, the Lord decided to remain there. The idol of the prime deity ‘Deivanayakan’, is in the standing posture facing east. He is also hailed in different names such as ‘Dwishannathan’, ‘Vibhuthanathan’, ‘Daasasathyan’ and ‘Atiyavarkku Meiyyan’.

Steps Leading To Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple
Steps Leading To Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple
‘Sesha or Bhu’ Thirtham is another significant aspect of this temple, associated with the Great Serpent. The legend says that once the Lord, to quench His thirst, sent Garuda to fetch water for Him. Garuda was late and Adiseshan with his heavy tail slashed the earth and made the spring flow – that is ‘Sesha Thirtham’ and because it flowed from the earth, is also called ‘Bhu Thirtham’. This well is situated within the southern paved way (praakaram) of the temple, and is considered to be a sacred place for special worship. To immerse salt, pepper and jaggery in this water brings cure to skin diseases is the staunch belief. The water of this well is also offered as ‘naivedyam’ (ritualistic offering of food, fruits etc. to the Deity) to the presiding Lord. The Garuda River – the water brought by Garuda – runs south to north and the water is used for the ‘Tirumanjanam’ (Sacred Bath) of the Lord. To take a dip in this water is akin to taking bath in the River Ganges. During the rainy season, the water flows in reddish colour.

Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple Corridor
Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple Corridor
The most significant aspect of the temple is the shrine dedicated to Lord Hayagreevar, in the nearby hillock, ‘Aushadagiri or Aushadaachalam’. Once again, another legend links this place with therapeutic value. It dates back to the Ramayana period, when Hanuman carried the Sanjivi hill to Lanka to retrieve Lakshmana who fell unconscious during the Rama-Ravana battle. As he was flying in a hurry, a small portion of the Sanjivi hill got dropped on this hillock which proudly retained the name ‘Aushadaachalam’ meaning ‘Medicinal Mountain’. We can see that this hillock is full of rich medicinal herbs and plants.

Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple Vimanam & Prakaram
Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple Vimanam & Prakaram
‘Aushadagiri’ has another noteworthy association. Sri Vedanta Desikan, the great Vaishnava Acharya after Sri Ramanuja, conducted his ‘tapasya’ (contemplation) on Lord Hayagreevar and Garuda in this hillock and received their grace. Swami Desikan, a prolific writer in both Sanskrit and Tamil, has composed ‘Sri Hayagreeva Stotram’, ‘Garuda Dandakam’ and ‘Garuda Panchashath’ in Sanskrit celebrating both the deities. The vaishnavites believe that Swami Desikan received the ‘Hayagreeva mantra upadesam’ (the teaching of Hayagreeva mantra) straight from Garuda himself. ‘Sri Hayagreeva Stotram’, Desikan’s first composition in 33 slokas, is a celebration of the Lord as ‘Wisdom Supreme’. (‘Hayagreevar’ means ‘horse –necked’. This is one other incarnation of Lord Vishnu to kill the asuras, Mathu and Kaitabha and is considered to be the Lord of Wisdom.) Sri Vedanta Desikan lived in this city for more than 40 years. We can see even today the place where he lived ‘Sri Desikan Tirumaligai’ and also the well he himself had constructed. By carving his own image, he won a competition and this idol is installed within the temple premises. The famous ‘malai festival’ and ‘thirthavaari’, the festivals celebrating both the Lord and Sri Desikan, are celebrated in the month of Purattasi (October-November).

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 07:00 AM To 12:00 PM
Evening Timings : 04:30 PM To 07:30 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Temple Location:

The place Thiruvheendara puram is about 5kms from Cuddlore towards Panrutti. It is about 25 Kms from Chidambaram. The Temple in this place is one of 108 Divya Desam temples. The temple is situated about 5 Kms away from Cuddalore in South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu. This temple is located underneath a small mountain (Malai Adivaram). 3 miles away from Tirupathirippuliyoor railway station which is in between Chennai – Trichy railway lane. Adequate bus services are also available.


Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple Main Deity
Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva Temple Main Deity

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Devanathaswamy Temple,
Thiruvahindrapuram,
Cuddalore,
Postal Code : 607 401,
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 04142 287515

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