Just 1km West off the Marina Sea Coast in Madras is the over 5000 years old Parthasarathy Koil in Thiruvellikeni, referred to in centuries gone by, as the Brindaranya Kshetram, a temple that has been praised by Pey Azhvaar, Thirumazhisai and Thirumangai Azhvaar and whose legend dates back to the Mahabaratha.
Five Moorthies of Thiruvellikeni Divya Desam
The five moorthies – Venkatakrishnan, Varadarajan, Ranganatha, Rama and Yoga Narasimha of the Parthasarathy koil were worshipped by Saptha Rishis – Brigu, Marichi, Athri, Markandeya, Sumathi, Saptharoma and Jabali.
The story goes that Veda Vyasa handed over, to his disciple Athreya, a vigraham of Lord Krishna and directed him to Brindharanya Kshetram as the ideal place for penance.
At the same time, a King by name Sumathi was undertaking penance at Tirumalai seeking darshan of the ‘Charioteer Lord’, the one who piloted Arjuna through the Mahabharata battle. He was directed to go to the Brindharanya Kshetram and offer his prayers to the ‘Lord of Brindharanyam’ with the promise that his prayers would be answered there.
Sumathi and Athreya met here and undertook penance and shared their reasons for being here at Brindaranya Kshetram. Pleased with their prayers, the Lord of Thiruvellikeni is said to have provided darshan to them.
Significance of the position of Krishna with his family inside the sanctum
This is the only Divya Desam where one finds Lord Krishna with his family. To his right is Rukmini, while to his left is his younger brother Satyaki. Elder brother Balarama is seen to the right of Rukmini facing North. Son Pradyumna and Grandson Anirudha are in the North of the Sanctum facing South.
The Story goes that Krishna carried away Rukmini as she was returning from the temple on the eve of her proposed marriage to Sisupala. During this trip, Krishna’s younger brother Satyaki drove the chariot, while his elder brother stood behind to protect him from a possible attack by an angered Sisupala. This is exactly the way we find them inside the Sanctum. Krishna in the centre, Rukmini is between Krishna and Balarama as was the case in that chariot, while Satyaki is in a position ever ready to drive Parthasarathy.
Interestingly, Son Pradyumna and Grandson Anirudha at a distance in the North showcasing the respect that youngsters should have for elders.
Bheeshma’s arrow marks on the face of the Utsava moorthy
A scar is seen on the face of Arjuna’s Charioteer Parthasarathy, the utsava moorthy, signifying the strikes he received from Bheeshma’s arrows that were directed at Arjuna.
Sri Ranganatha Sannidhi
It is believed that Goddess Mahalakshmi came here as a young child to Brindaranya Kshetram after a misunderstanding with the Lord at Srivaikuntam. Veda Valli who grew under the guidance of Brigu Rishi married Lord Ranganatha, who had come here in the guise of a handsome young prince.
Lord Ranganatha is seen in a Ksheerabdhi Sayana Posture facing East sleeping atop the Serpant king Adhi Sesha. The Avathara Utsavam of Veda Valli Thaayar and the wedding celebrations with Lord Ranganatha takes place at this temple in Maasi.
Sri Yoga Narasimha facing West
Narasimha provided darshan as Yoga Narasimha to Athri Rishi who undertook penance here in the Brindaranya Kshetram.
South Facing Sri Rama seen with his brothers
Lord Rama is also seen with his wife Sita and his three brothers. It is believed that he provided darshan to Maduman Rishi answering the rishi’s prayers here at Brindaranya Kshetram.
பரதனும் தம்பி சத்ருக்னனும்
இரவும் நன் பகலும் துதி செய்ய நின்ற
குரவமே கமழும் குளிர் போழிலூட
குயிலோடு மயில்கள் நின்ற ஆழ
இரவியின் கதிர்கள் நுழைதல் செய்தரியாத்
Thirumangai is happy to have found the handsome Lord Rama flanked by his three brothers Bharatha, Satrugana and Lakshmana and Sita by his side here at Thiruvallikeni.
Interestingly, Thirumangai also adds that the huge trees here make it difficult for the Sun to pierce into this place.
Moolavar Varadaraja Perumal is seen seated atop Garuda and is seen with discus and conch. He is referred to here as Gajendra Varadar.
Thirumangai Azhvaar finds the Charioteer Lord here at Triplicane
Thirumangai in his Periya Thirumozhi verse talks about his delight at finding the Lord, who had gone as a messenger on behalf of the Pandavas seeking peace, here at Thiruvellikeni
இன் துணைப் பதுமத்து அலர்மகள் தனக்கும் இன்பன்
நல புவி தனக்கு இறைவன் தன் துணை
ஆயர் பாவை நப்பின்னை தனக்கு இறை,
மற்றையோற்க்கு எல்லாம் வன் துணை, பஞ்ச பாண்டவர்க்கு ஆகி
வாய் உரை தூது சென்று இயங்கும் என் துணை
எந்தை தந்தை தம்மானை, திருவல்லிகேனிக் கண்டேனே
As seen in the story relating to Thiruninravur Divya Desam (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2008/03/thiru-ninravur-bhaktavatsala-perumal.html), Thirumangai Azhvaar came here to Thiruvallikeni from Thiru Evvalur, after bypassing Thiru Ninravur. And he is believed to have moved on to Thiruvidanthai and Kadal Mallai (Maamallapuram) from Thiruvallikeni.
The front Gopuram is believed to have been built by King Thondaman. The Prabhandham Mandapa in front of the sanctum is said to date back to pre-pallava period. Kalyana Mandapa is believed to have been built during the Vijanayagara rule. To the East of the temple is a huge sacred tank inside which is also a sannidhi for Hanuman. Float Festival is celebrated in a grand manner here at this Divya Desam.
There are several inscriptions that date back over a 1000years providing details of the construction of the mandapas and the renovations at this Divya Desam.
Mylapore and Triplicane in a single verse
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar in his praise of Lord Parthasarathy in the Naalayira Divya Prabhandham refers to Thiruvallikeni as being part of Mylai (Mylapore).
தாளால் உலகம் அளந்த அசைவேய்கோல்
வாள கிடந்தருளும் வாய்ந்திறவான் நீள் ஓதம்
வந்து அலைக்கும் மா மயிலை மா அல்லிக்கேணி யான்
ஆஇய்ந்தலை வாய் நாகத்து ஆணை
10 day Brahmotsvam in Chitrai for Sri Parthasarathy
PeyAzhvaar of Mylapore makes an annual trip to the temple
Sri Parthasarathy goes to Ekkatuthangal every year in Thai
Grand Sri Rama Navami Utsavam with procession every evening
10 day Brahmotsavam for Sri Narasimha Perumal in Aani
Moolavar : Venkatakrishnan East Facing standing posture with his family
Goddess : Vedavalli Thaayar (separate sannidhi)
Utsavar : Parthasarathy with a scar on his face
Azhvaar : Thirumangai-10, Pey Azhvaar –1, Thirumazhisai-1
Time : 6am-12noon and 4pm-930pm
Courtesy: Sri Prabhu