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Thiruvallur Divya Desam - Veeraraghava Perumal Temple


Sri VishnuMeditation: I meditate on Sri Veeraraghava Perumal and Sri Kanakavalli (or Vasumathi Thayar) in Thiruvallur Divya Desam.

Greatness: Thiruvallur is a Divya Desam. It is the 59th Divya Desam and is located in Thondai Nadu. The name Thiruvallur is from Thiru-Evvullur, which is derived from Thiru (divine) and Evvul (which place); which is connected with the story of Lord Vishnu in the guise of an old brahmin asking sage Salihotra for a place resting place. This place is also known as Punyavrata Kshetram since good deeds (Punya) done here gets multiplied many times. This place is also known as Veeksharanyam Kshetram. In ancient times this holy place was a Tapovanam, a forest suitable for performing penance and yagna. It abounded in fruit bearing trees, flower creepers and medicinal plants, as well as trees producing wood for yagna. It is said that sages like Vashistha, Vamadeva and Vyasa performed penance here. The Pushkarini (Temple Tank) of this place is known as Hrith-Tapa-Nashini Teertham. Hrith means Heart, Tapa means Heat or Anguish, and Nashini means one which Destroys. So this holy Teertham destroys the anguish of the heart (born due to worldly attachments). The Pushkarini (Temple Tank) of this place is also known as Hrith-Papa-Nashini Teertham. Hrith means Heart, Papa means Sins, and Nashini means one which Destroys. So this holy Teertham destroys the sins of the heart (born due to worldly attachments). The Vimana of this Temple is known as Vijayakoti Vimana since the Lord attained victory here by killing demons Madhu and Kaitabha with his Sudarshan Chakra. This place is specially associated with the penance of sage Salihotra. The name of the sage is Salihotra since he was born after his parents (Purupunyar and Sati) did one thousand Sali Homams (a type of paddy) at Badrikashrama for full one year.
- Perumal is in Bhujanga Sayana posture facing East.
- Pratyaksham: Salihotra Muni
- Mangalasasanam: Thirumangai Alvar (12 Pasurams)
- Vimanam: Vijayakoti Vimanam
- Pushkarini: Hrith-Tapa-Nashini or Hrith-Papa-Nashini Teertham

Puranic Events:

1. Lord Vishnu & Madhu-Kaitabha: Lord Vishnu killed demons Madhu and Kaitabha in this place.
- Brief story: To kill the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, Lord Vishnu released his Sudarshana Chakra. The demons tried to escape and finally came to the Viksharanya Kshetram. The chakra killed them in this place. Hence the Vimana here is known as Vijayakoti Vimana, signifying the victory.

2. Lord Vishnu & Veerabhadra: Veerabhadra was relieved of his sins of killing Daksha after taking holy bath in this kshetra.
- Brief story: After Veerabhadra killed Daksha and destroyed his yagna, he wanted to atone his sins. A divine voice told him to take bath in the Hrith-Papa-Nashini Teertham (of Veeksharanyam Kshetram). Veerabhadra took bath in this Teertham and became absolved of his sins.
- Note: There is a small shrine of Veerabhadra on the north-eastern side of the temple tank.

3. Lord Vishnu & king Pradyumna: King Pradyumna performed penance here and got the boon of a son:
- Brief story: King Pradyumna did not have any sons as his heir. So he performed penance on the bank of the Hrith-Papa-Nashini Teertham (or Hrith-Tapa-Nashini Teertham) for nearly hundred years standing on the toe of his left feet. Lord Vishnu appeared before the king on the Thai Amavasai day and gave him the boon of a son.
- Note: The significance of holy bath on the Thai Amavasai day in the Hrith-Papa-Nashini Teertham is related to the penance of king Pradyumna.

4. Lord Vishnu & brahmin Kaushika: Brahmin Kaushika took holy bath in this place and was relieved of his sins.
- Brief story: A brahmin named Kaushika once decided to take bath in the river Ganges. He started from home and passing through many places came to Dandakaranyam. He was very tired and lied down in that place. A Panchama passing through that place saw him and carried him to his house. He asked his daughter to look after the brahmin. In due course the brahmin fell in love with the daughter and married her. He incurred the sin of marrying outside the community. However, during one of his pilgrimage, he took bath in the Hrith-Papa-Nashini Teertham on the Thai Amavasai day by mere accident. Therefore, after his death, Yamadharmaraja told his assistants to take him to heaven instead of hell.

5. Lord Vishnu & sage Salihotra: Sage Salihotra performed penance here and got the darshan of the Lord.
- Brief story: Sage Salihotra was born after his parents (Purupunyar and Sati) did one thousand Sali Homams (a type of paddy) at Badrikashrama for one full year (hence his name Salihotra). Sage Salihotra performed severe penance in the Veeksharanyam Kshetram and got the darshan of Lord Vishnu. During the penance he did not take any food for one whole year and on the Thai Amavasai day collected grains of paddy, converted them to rice and cooked food with that rice. He divided the food into four parts setting aside one part for the guest. Lord Vishnu came in the form of an old hungry brahmin and ate the entire food prepared by him. Sage Salihotra was happy to satisfy the brahmin and continued the penance for another year. As before, on the Thai Amavasai day he cooked food and divided into four parts, setting aside one part for the guest. As in the previous year, Lord Vishnu came in the form of an old brahmin and ate the entire food. He then asked Salihotra - "Where can I sleep?". Evvul in Tamil means "which place" and Thiru is the divine prefix. Hence the place came to be known as Thiru-Evvullur, which later became Thiruvallur. Sage Salihotra showed him his own hermitage for the brahmin to sleep. The Lord became pleased and gave darshan to the sage in his true form.
- Note: The Image of Lord Vishnu here is in reclining posture on the Adisesha with his head towards the south and feet towards the north. From his Nabhi has emerged Lord Brahma. One hand of the Lord is stretched out towards Lord Brahma. The other hand is placed on the head of sage Salihotra.

6. Devi Lakshmi & king Dharmasena: Devi Lakshmi incarnates as Vasumathi, the daughter of king Dharmasena.
- Brief story: Devi Lakshmi was born as the daughter of king Dharmasena in a place known as Dharmasenapuram near the Veeksharanyam Kshetram. She was known as Vasumathi. When she grew up, Lord Veeraraghava came in the disguise of a prince and proposed the king to marry his daughter to him. The king was impressed by the appearance and manner of the prince and consented for the marriage. After the marriage the Lord and his consort came to the Veeksharanyam Kshetram and merged with the idol of Lord Veeraraghava before the full view of others. The king then realised that the bridegroom was none other than the Lord himself and his daughter Vasumathi was none other than Devi Mahalakshmi herself.

7. Lord Vishnu & Devi Lakshmi: Lord Vishnu married Devi Lakshmi near this place.
- Brief story: Devi Lakshmi was born as the daughter of king Dharmasena in a place known as Dharmasenapuram near the Veeksharanyam Kshetram. She was known as Vasumathi. When she grew up, Lord Veeraraghava came in the disguise of a prince and proposed the king to marry his daughter to him. The king was impressed by the appearance and manner of the prince and consented for the marriage. After the marriage the Lord and his consort came to the Veeksharanyam Kshetram and merged with the idol of Lord Veeraraghava before the full view of others. The king then realised that the bridegroom was none other than the Lord himself and his daughter Vasumathi was none other than Devi Mahalakshmi herself.


Deities:
- Veeraraghava Perumal: The Image of Sri Veeraraghava Perumal in Bhujanga Sayana posture facing East.
- Kanakavalli Thayar: The Image of Sri Kanakavalli Thayar or Sri Vasumathi.
- Sage Salihotra: The Image of sage Salihotra within the garbhagriha of the temple.
- Veerabhadra: The Image of Sri Veerabhadra on the north-eastern side of the temple tank.

Sacred Geography:
- Veeksharanya Forest: Ancient forest which was a Tapovana of the sages.
- Hrith-Papa-Nashini or Hrith-Tapa-Nashini Teertham: Pushkarini of the temple.

Location: Thiruvallur is located in Thiruvallur (in the outskirts of Chennai) in the Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. This is in Thondai Nadu. The temple can be visited from Chennai.


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Last updated on Apr-2022

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