On Tirukachi Nambi Street as we proceed from Varadarajaswami temple on the right side is situated Yathokthakari temple. It is on the opposite side of Ashtabhujakaram temple and can be reached by share-auto from Tiruvadi-koil or any bus going to Kanchipuram bus stand. It is about 2km from Varadaraja Perumal temple.
The temple is huge and covers an area of 4 acres. As we offer prostrations at the dwajasthambam one swami asks us to do it facing Perumal sannidhi and not sideways as to our left is Poigaiazhwar sannidhi. After doing anjali to Garudazhwar we went to Perumal sannidhi and saw Perumal lying with His Head resting on His left hand in a left to right position. At His Feet is Saraswathi devi worshipping Him. This is the Moolavar in Bhujana sayanam in reverse order and is Yathokthakari or Sonna vannam Seydha Perumal.
Sriman Narayana declares clearly “Aham bhakthaparadeenam” (listen to devotees). As if to prove this He lies in this temple with the name Yathokthakari or Sonna vannam seydha Perumal. What did He do as commanded/requested? To begin with He listened to Brahma who wanted to complete his ashvamedha yaagam in Kanchi which was being disrupted by his angry wife Saraswathi who was rushing furiously as Vegavathi to wash off the yaaga site. What did The Protector do? Well He protected His devotee by just lying down and stopped the gushing waters from entering the yagaasala. So He is known as Vegasethu or the dam on Vega. Brahma completed his yagyam and paved the way for the emergence of Varadaraja.
As if to reinforce His name in the era of Pallavaraya there was one Kanikannan a disciple of Tirumazhisaiazhwar who got banished from the kingdom for refusing to sing praises of the king. The guru followed his shishya and asked Perumal to roll up His serpent-bed and follow them. With their departure the kingdom was doomed and the king rushed to Orikkai(one night stay) and apologised and begged them to return. They returned and Perumal proved again that He was sonna vannam seydhavan. The utsavar goes by the name Vegasethu. After worshipping Perumal we worshipped Komallavalli Thayar at Her sannidhi and came out to take permission from the authorities for taking photos.
A group of ISCKON devotees were singing and dancing at Andal sannidhi so we had a look at Poigaiazhwar sannidhi which had details of azhwar’s avatharam as also relevant pasurams offfered by Poigai, Pey,Tirumazhisai and Tirumangaiazhwar and upadesarathanamalai and Yathokthakari Suprabatham covering the walls. As we proceeded in pradakshinam we worshipped the Vedasaravimanam and stopped by a mandapam with several vahanams. This was the Bhakthisara Premika Pavithrotsava mandapam offered by Krishnapremi swami. It houses Kalvar sannidhi and Nilathungathundan sannidhi and has a yagyavarahamurthi in between. The huge vahanams were beautiful to behold and an employee of the temple removed the cover from Hanumanthavahanam so that we could take a photo. After completing pradakshinam we worshipped at Andal sannidhi. Andal is captivating and imposing. As we stepped out an employee invited us to have a look at Srikrishna somewhere behind and when we went there we saw a faded painting of Manavalamamuni rendering kalakshepams to shisyas and learnt that swami stayed at this temple and taught Sribashyam. As we stepped out of the temple we saw a board saying ‘Poigai Pushkarni’ and followed the arrow to reach a pond in which Poigaiazhwar took avatharam. The place around was littered and this hallowed spot deserves better maintenance.
Incidentally Poigaiazhwar is the first azhwar who took avatharam at this pushkarni and composed the first anthathi (Mudal Tiruvanthathi). He was the manifestation of Panchajanyam, Perumal’s Conch. Known as Bhakthisaara his sambandam with the poigai is better known and this hallowed spot should be worshipped .
To conclude This Perumal who is called ‘Kanchi bhaaghyam’ is addressed as ‘Vishnu sethu’, ‘jagadhaiyaka sethu’, ‘shathamakhamani sethu’ (sapphire hued dam) and ‘Vegasethu’ by swami Desikan in ‘Vegasethu stotram ‘ He who reclines on Adisesha on the river Vegavati does whatever those who surrender at His Feet ask Him to do.
Photos & Video: Sri Sundararajan, Write – up: Smt Vyjayanthi Rajan