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Thiruvehka Divya Desam - Yathokthakari Perumal Temple

Sri VishnuMeditation: I meditate on Sri Yathokthakari (or Bhujagasayana or Sonnavannam Seida Perumal) and Sri Komalavalli Nachiyar Thayar in Thiruvehka Divya Desam.

Greatness: Thiruvehka is a Divya Desam. It is the 51st Divya Desam and is located in Thondai Nadu. It is one of the oldest temples in Kanchipuram. The name Thiruvehka is probably a corrupted form of Thiruvegavanai, because Lord Vishnu here laid on the path of river Vegavati to protect the yagna of Lord Brahma. Lord Vishnu here is also known as Bhujagasayana because he laid on the path of river Vegavati in his reclining form lying (Sayana) on a bed of Serpents (Bhujaga). Again, Lord Vishnu here is also known as Yathokthakari which is derived from Yatha-Uktha-Kari which means doing (Kari) as requested (Yatha-Uktha) by his devotee. This signifies to the event that as requested by his devotee Bhakthisarar (Thirumazhisai Alvar), he followed him to leave Kanchipuram (and later coming back). It is said that Poigai Alvar was born within a Lotus in the temple tank of this temple.
- Perumal is in Bhujanga Sayanam posture facing West.
- Pratyaksham: Brahma, Poigai Alvar, Bhoothath Alvar, Kanikannan
- Mangalasasanam: Poigai Alvar, Peyalvar, Thirumazhisai Alvar, Thirumangai Alvar, Nammalvar (15 Pasurams)
- Vimanam: Vedasara Vimanam
- Pushkarini: Poigai Pushkarini

Puranic Events:

1. Lord Vishnu & Brahma: Lord Brahma performed an yagna here worshipping Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu protected his yagna from the waters of river Vegavati.
- Brief story: Once there was a controversy between Lord Brahma and goddess Saraswati due to which the goddess started creating impediments when Lord Brahma started a yagna worshipping Lord Vishnu. The goddess took the form of river Vegavati and wanted to wash away the yagna site. To protect the yagna of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu took the form of Bhujagasayana (reclining form on a bed of serpents) resting his head on his right hand, and lay on the path of river Vegavati. The goddess withdrew her river form and went underground.
- Note: The Image of the Lord is in Bhujanga Sayana posture facing West and resting his head on his left hand. The change of posture from right hand to left hand is attributed to another incident related to devotee Bhakthisarar (Thirumazhisai Alvar) due to which the Lord is also known as Yathokthakari.

2. Lord Vishnu & Thirumazhisai Alvar: Lord followed devotee Bhakthisarar and left Kanchipuram when the king humiliated a devotee of the Lord. Hence the Lord became known as Yathokthakari.
- Brief story: Sage Bhargava and celestial dancer Kanakangi had a son, but since the child was born deformed, the celestial dancer abandoned him and left for heaven. The child was actually an incarnation of Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu and would become the future Thirumazhisai Alvar. The Lord blessed the child and cured his deformation. A villager found the child and brought him up. He named him as Sivavakkiar. Sivavakkiar took to Vaishnavism when he met Peyalvar and stayed in Kanchipuram meditating on Lord Bhujagasayana. He was also known as Bhakthisarar. He had a disciple known as Kanikannan. Once Bhakthisarar through his divine powers transformed an old crippled lady into a beautiful woman by being pleased with her temple service to the Lord. Pallavacharya, the ruler of Kanchi fell in love with this beautiful lady and married her. But as time passed the king became old but the youth of the lady remained intact. The king requested Kanikannan to bring Bhakthisarar to him for blessing him with eternal youth. But Kanikannan told that the king that he should visit Bhakthisarar (as a solicitor) instead of Bhakthisarar coming to him. This annoyed the king. The king then asked Kanikannan (who was a good poet) to compose a few lines praising him. But Kanikannan declined saying that his poetry was meant for praising the glory of the Lord and not for praising the mortals. The king out of anger banished Kanikannan from Kanchipuram. Due to this injustice to a devotee, Bhakthisarar also decided to leave Kanchipuram and requested Lord Bhujagasayana to follow him. The Lord acted as requested by his devotee. Hence he became known as Yathokthakari (Who did as requested). When they left Kanchipuram the city was enveloped in darkness. The king understood his great mistake and brought them back. They returned after a day, but now the Lord changed posture and reclined resting his head on his left hand (instead of right hand) to signify that he actually left with the devotee and later came back.

- Sonnavannam Seida Perumal or Yathokthakari Perumal: The Image of Sri Sonnavannam Seida Perumal or Sri Yathokthakari Perumal in Bhujanga Sayanam posture facing West.
- Komalavalli Nachiyar: The Image of Sri Komalavalli Nachiyar.

Sacred Geography:
- River Vegavati: Associated with the legend of the temple.
- Poigai Pushkarini: Pushkarini of the temple.

Location: Thiruvehka is located in Kanchipuram in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. This is in Thondai Nadu. The temple can be visited from Kanchipuram (within Kanchipuram city).

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Last updated on Apr-2022

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