Thirucherai Sri SaranathaPerumal Temple

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27 November 2021, Plava varusha, Karthikai -11, Saturday ;

Sri Saranatha Perumal temple is in Tirucherai, in Tanjore district, about 7 miles from Kumbakonam and 3 miles from Nachiyar temple. As the soil is very fertile, this place is known as Thirucharam, later changed as Thirucherai.

Moolavar: The Moolavar of this kshetram is Sri Saranathan Perumal. The Moolavar is giving his seva in standing posture with facing the East direction. Perumal gave darshan-Prathyaksham for River Cauvery and Markandeya Maharishi.

Thayaar: Thayaar in this sthalam is Sri Saranayaki (Sara Naachiyaar).

The Rajagopuram is 120 feet tall and adjoining to the gopuram, is the first praharam and then is the Middle Gopuram,besides that, is the Thirukalyana Mandapam. Sri Rajagopalaswami Sannidhi, Srinivasa Perumal sannidhi, Sri Ramar Sannidhi, Sri Narashimar Sannidhi and Sri Manavala Maamunigal sannidhis are inside the temple premises.

Inside the Moolaver’s Garbagraham, Sri Saranathar along with his Consorts: Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Neela devi, Mahalakshmi and Sara Naayaki blesses the devotees. Markanteya Maharishi and River Cauvery are also found inside the Garbagraham. Santhana Gopalan and Selvar are too found in this sannidhi.

Lord Sri Rama gives a very special darshan here. Along with Devi Sita and Lakshmana, Sri Rama poses, as he was found in forest for 14 years. Lord Hanuman (or) Anjaneyar blesses from the west end of the pushkarani. Mudikondan river flows from the west and Kudamuruti river in the south. Sara Pushkarani is the pushkarani and Vimanam is Sara Vimanam.

Mangalasasanam: Thirumangai Azhwar has sung 13 pasurams in this divya desam on Sri SaranathaPerumal.

Utsavam: On every Thaipoosam day, Lord Saranatha with his consorts blesses  in a beautifully decorated chariot.

Sthala Puranam:

1. After Vijayanagarempire, Azhagiya Manavala Naicker planned to renovate the temple for Sri Rajagopalaswami in Mannargudi. He appointed his minister Narasa Boopalan to collect Blackstones from all possible places. As the minister was a great devotee of Sri Saranatha Perumal of Thirucherai, he wanted to construct a temple for Saranatha Perumal. So, he ordered his men to unload one stone, while each cart crosses Thirucherai. A spy of the king caught hold of this and informed the king. When the angered king came for an inspection, Narasa Boopalan constructed this temple. When the devotee prayed Saranatha Perumal, Perumal gave darshan to the king as Sri Rajagopalaswami. After that, king ordered to complete the temple with his own money.

2. According to the scriptures, during Pralayam, the devastating floods, Brahma was worried a lot and pleaded Lord Vishnu to guide him to keep the tools necessary for Srishti and all Vedas safely. Lord ordered him to put all these things in a strong mud pot and after trying mud from all places, Brahma finally made a pot out of the sand taken from Thirucherai and saved all Vedas and all necessary aids for Srishti. Hence as this placed gave the magical mud which held a lead role, this place became the reason for all living things to live even after the Maha Pralayam. So, this place is called “Sara Kshetram”.

And also as the place, Lord, Thayar, Pushkarani and Vimana all five together gave the support this place is called “Pancha Sara Kshetram”.

3. Brahma declared Ganga superior when Ganga and Kaveri had a dispute. River Kaveri wanted her status to be equal to river Ganges and performed a hard penance praying for Lord Vishnu. She laid 3 wishes before the god.

i) Lord should stay in this place for ever

ii) All the Jeevathmas in this place should attain His lotus feet

iii) River Kaveri should be treated as pious as River Ganges.

Lord Vishnu granted all her wishes and her status further would be greatest among all the other river. So, he accepted her as his mother and crawled as a child in her hands. Hence, Kaveri  became more powerful than Ganga.

This Kshetram is one of 108 Divya Desam and most prominent among Vishnu temples.

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