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Thirukadalmallai Divya Desam - Sthalasayana Perumal

Sri VishnuMeditation: I meditate on Sri Bhoovaraha Perumal at Thirukadalmallai who appeared before a king of Mahabalipuram for his great devotion. I meditate on Sri Sthalasayana Perumal at Thirukadalmallai who appeared before sage Pundareeka when he wished to worship the Lord of the milky ocean with lotus flowers.

Thirukadalmallai Divya Kshetra: Thirukadalmallai is a Divya Desam whose glory was sung by Bhootath Alvar and Thirumangai Alvar. Thirukadalmallai is the modern Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram. In this place the Lord appeared before a king of Mahabalipuram in the form of Sri Bhoovaraha Perumal. The king used to go to Thiruvidanthai daily, worship Lord Varaha there, and subsequently feed around 4000 brahmins. In this place, the Lord also appeared in the form of Sri Sthalasayana Perumal (in reclining posture on the ground) to sage Pundareeka who wished to worship the Lord of the milky ocean with fresh lotus flowers.

Lord appearing as Bhoovaraha Perumal to a king: A king of Mahabalipuram who was devoted to Sri Varaha Swamy, used to daily visit Thiruvidanthai and worship Lord Bhoovaraha Perumal there. After that he used to come back to Mahabalipuram and feed around 4000 brahmins. The Lord and his consort was pleased with his devotion and one day came in the form of an old brahmin and a young girl. The brahmin requested the king to give them food. The king insisted that he first visit Thiruvidanthai and worship Lord Bhoovaraha Swamy before serving them food. The brahmin said that they are not able to bear the hunger any more and the girl may faint in the mean time. The king meditated on Sri Bhoovaraha Swamy and contemplated that the Lord has come in the form of this old brahmin and his consort has come in the form of this young girl. He served them food with devotion. When the Lord in the form of the old brahmin partook the food, the hunger of all the brahmins waiting there for food got satisfied. When they entered the place to inform the king of this miracle, they saw the Lord himself in the form of Sri Bhoovaraha Swamy in the palace with his divine consort.

Image: The image of Sri Bhoovaraha Swamy in Thiruvidanthai is having the divine consort on his left, so it is known as Thiru (Divine) and Ida Yenthai (Left Side), or Thiruvidanthai. On the other hand the image of Sri Bhoovaraha Swamy in Thirukadalmallai is having the divine consort on the right, so it is known as Thiru (Divine) and Vala Yenthai (Right Side), or Thiruvalanthai.

Lord appearing as Sthalasayana Perumal to sage Pundareeka: A pious brahmin by name Pundareeka used to visit the various temples of the Lord and worship him with lotus flowers. Once, after worshipping the Lord of Thiruvidanthai he continued his travel towards Mahabalipuram. He came across a place with beautiful gardens and ponds. One of the pond was filled with beautiful large lotus flowers with 1000 petals. Struck by the beauty of the flowers, he decided that those should be offered to the Lord. At that time a divine voice told him that he should worship the Lord with those flowers; the Lord who is resting in a reclining posture on the ocean of milk. Getting the divine command, Pundareeka started collecting the flowers for the Lord. In the mean time a crocodile came near him. Pundareeka looked at the crocodile with an attitude of mercy. The crocodile turned in to a man and said that he was a previous king of Mahabalipuram by named Haripriya. He was cursed by a poor brahmin for slighting him, when the brahmin asked for some rice. When he repented the brahmin said that he would be relieved of his curse only when a devotee of the Lord glances at him with mercy. Having relieved of his curse, Haripriya recounted to Pundareeka the tale of Bhoovaraha Swamy in Thirukadalmallai. After hearing this tale from Haripriya, Pundareeka proceeded towards Mahabalipuram with the lotus flowers. Seeing the sea on the way, he thought that the only way to go to the milky ocean is through the sea. He built an embankment on the sea shore and started baling out the sea water with his hands. He continued to do this for a year, meditating on the Lord and having full faith on the Lord that he will show him a way. Finally, the Lord came in the form of an old man to Pundareeka. Hearing of his mission, the old man initially tried to test him by discouraging his mission. But Pundareeka was not moved and showed his strong resolve to even given up his life for his mission. The old man then told him to get him some food, and that in the meantime he would continue to perform his task of baling out the sea water. Pundareeka went to Mahabalipuram and brought some food for the old man. But when he came to the sea shore, instead of the old man he saw the Lord in his reclining posture, reclining on the bare ground, and wearing the garland of lotus flowers (collected by him). With the appearance of the Lord, the celestials sang and danced from heaven. The place was filled with divine bliss.

Image: The image of the Lord is called Sthala Sayana Perumal since the Lord appeared reclining (Sayana) on the bare ground (Sthala). The Lord was relining on his right arm. His left hand was stretched pointing towards his feet for the devotees to surrender.

• Thirukadalmallai is located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.


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Last updated on Sep-2021

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