Saravana Kumar Nadanasabapathy ( Member - The Verandah Club ) had recently been to the Vedanarayana Perumal Temple at Thottiyam ( Vedapuri ) in Trichy District ( Tamilnadu - India ). " Oh, it is such a lovely setting, and the visitor would definitely fall in love with the Temple. We were super thrilled to seek the grace of Vedanarayana Perumal. My son Sriman Jayapathy, daughter Misheeta and wife Dr.Kanchana Nachimuthu had accompanied me to this ancient shrine. We were told that people settled their disputes in front of the ' Kambathadi Anjaneyar,' who is ever present in front of the Temple, " stated Saravana Kumar. This devout nationalist is ever keen to take our culture and tradition forward.
Long ago, Lord Brahma, the Creator, had lost his position due to his arrogance. He regained his position due to the grace of Lord Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord acceded to the request of the Creator and taught him the four Vedas at the sacred Thirunarayanapuram. He decided to be ever present in the same spot by reclining himself on his couch Adisesha. Hence, the place came to be known as Vedapuri, and the deity got to be known as Vedanarayana Perumal. While his consort is Vedanayagi, the Sthalavruksham ( Temple tree ) is Vilvam, and the Tirtham ( holy water associated with the Temple ) is Cauvery!
The sacred feet of Lord Vedanayana can be seen under the Vilvam tree present within the Temple. The ancient Temple faced the ravages of time, and the deity got covered with sand. It was left to a ruler Vanavarayar to uncover the deity. He had once stayed in this village, and Lord Vedanarayana Perumal requested the ruler to uncover the icon. This message was received through a dream, and Vanavarayar uncovered the icon of Lord Vedanarayana. He built a Temple in the same location and gave the name ' Thirunarayanapuram ' to the holy village.
A number of stories are connected to this ancient Temple. They have exposed the miracles connected with the grace of Lord Vedanarayana. Once upon a time, an Ariyar by the name of Pillai Thirunayur had come over along with his wife and six kids in order to have a darshan of Lord Vedanarayana. The palm leaf pandal in front of the deity caught fire. In order to save the deity and also his family, the Araiyar made them lie down and placed himself above. Thus he saved everyone, and this pleased the deity. Lord Vedanarayana Perumal appeared in person and communicated that it was just a test. A pleased Lord Vedanarayana gave Moksha to Araiyar and his family. The icon of Pillai Thirunaraiyur Araiyar is placed in this Temple in order to celebrate this divine event.
Bhashyakarar Ramanujacharya had once visited Lord Vedanarayana Perumal. The Lord ordered him to wear saffron robes after having a bath in the river Cauvery. Udayavar Ramanujacharya acceded to the request. This incident is remembered through a celebration. The icon of Udayavar would be donned with saffron clothes, and he would be carried in a procession on his birthday ( Chithirai - Arudra ) within Thirunarayanapuram. He would be seen wearing white robes on the other days. The vimana ( the tower over the sanctum ) is known as Vedavimanam. There are shrines for Ramanuja, Andal, Nammalwar, and Pillai Lokacharyar within the same premises.
Devotees visit this Temple in order to do well in their pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. Was it not the place where Lord Brahma had acquired the supreme knowledge? Lord Vedanarayana had placed the four Vedas as his pillows while imparting wisdom to Lord Brahma. Lord Narayana had taken the Ugra Narasimha form while slaying the demon Hiranyakashipu. The great Bhagavata Prahlada had wanted to see the calmer form of the Lord. Therefore he was advised to visit Thirunarayanapuram and fulfill his wish.
Thiruvonam and Ekadasi are important days in this Temple. Lord Vedanarayana visits the shrine of his consort Vedavalli Thayar ( Vedanayagi ) on Panguni Uthiram. The Vaikasi car festival and Vaikunta Ekadasi celebrations in this Temple are known for their grandeur.
The divine Adisesha and his spouse function together as the couch for Lord Vedanarayana. One can therefore get to see their ten heads in the sanctum sanctorum. This is very rare. Lord Vedanarayana saves people from dangerous situations. Eligible brides and grooms to seek his benediction and get out of the hassles connected with Nagadosham and Kalathradosham. Devotees who do not have ' Gurupalan ' need the grace of Lord Vedanarayana Perumal in order to get a suitable life partner. They are advised to adorn Lord Vedanarayana Perumal with a Thulasi garland and also light 27 lamps with ghee-dipped wicks in the shrine. This has to be done on the birth star or on a Thursday.
Setty S.N.Padmanabha Chetty ( 1893 - 1973 ), the Founder of the iconic textile outlet Gopala Padma Vilas ( estd - 1916 ) at Salem, would often visit Thirunarayanapuram and offer his prayers to Lord Vedanarayana Perumal. He would do so while visiting Sri Rangam. His daughter K.Lalitha Bai would often recall her visit Thirunarayanapuram along with her devout father.
People who cheat or lie are made to swear ( promise ) in front of the Kambathadi Anjaneyar at the Vedanarayana Perumal Temple! Lord Hanuman takes care of the affected party.
Thus Lord Vedanarayana Perumal has acted as the knowledge giver and protector of the people. This legend is part of our ancient culture and faith.
Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of The Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.
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