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Thiruvidanthai Divya Desam - Lakshmi Varaha Perumal

Sri VarahaMeditation: I meditate on Sri Lakshmi Adi Varaha Perumal at Thiruvidanthai who gave darshan to king Bali who performed penance near the Varaha Teertham; Who also, taking the form of a brahmachari, married the 360 daughters of sage Kalva (who were parts of the Divine Mother) and finally merged them all in the form of the Divine Mother.

Thiruvidanthai Divya Kshetra: Thiruvidanthai is a Divya Desam whose glory was sung by Thirumangai Alvar. Thiruvidanthai is located around 40 km from Chennai on the way to Mahabalipuram. This ancient Varaha Kshetram was a beautiful place with lovely groves, freely roaming animals and where the sages performed yagnas. The place filled the mind with mental peace. The name Thiruvidanthai is derived from Thiru (Divine) and Ida Yenthai (Left Side) because the Lord is having the divine consort on the left side. (In contrast in Mahabalipuram there is a Varaha Murthy known as Thiru Vala Yenthai where the Lord is having the divine consort on the right side). According to legend, the Lord gave darshan to king Bali in the form of Varaha when he performed penance near the Varaha Teertham in this place. Also the Lord took the form of a brahmachari and married the 360 daughters of sage Kalva here, almost one on each day of the year. Hence the Lord is also known as Nitya Kalyana Perumal (Nitya means daily and Kalyana means Marriage). After marriage the Lord merged all the daughters (who were parts of the Divine Mother) in the single form of the Divine Mother and appeared in the form of Varaha with the Divine Mother on the left side.

Penance of king Bali: Bali was the son of king Meganatha and ruled his kingdom abiding in the path of dharma. However, once to assist three asuras (Mali, Maliavan and Sumali) he had to fight against the devas. To atone this sinful act he performed severe penance at Thiruvidanthai near the Varaha Teertham. Finally, the Lord emerged out of the Varaha Teertham and gave darshan to the king in the form of the Varaha avatar. The Lord gave salvation to Bali and said that whoever takes bath in the Varaha Teertham in the Tamil month of Masi will attain Moksha.

Marrying 360 daughters of sage Kalva: On the bank of river Saraswati there lived a sage named Kuni. A celestial damsel attended to his needs. When Kuni attained salvation, the damsel decided to perform penance to attain heaven. Sage Narada told her that without marriage she cannot enter the heaven. The damsel went to the various sages living in that place requesting them to marry here. Finally, only sage Kalva consented for the marriage. After marriage, by the blessings of the Divine Mother, the damsel gave birth to 360 girl children in one year (who were parts of the Divine Mother). Then the damsel left for heaven. Sage Kalva found it difficult to raise the 360 children and asked the brahmins for their suggestion. They told him to go to Thiruvidanthai and live there. When sage Kalva entered that Kshetram, his mind was filled with peace seeing the natural beauty of the place with groves and freely roaming animals. He lived there with the girl children and worshipped Lord Varaha daily. In the mean time, the children grew up and attained the age of marriage. Kalva rishi started looking for suitable bridegrooms. One day the Lord came in the form of a brahmachari pilgrim saying that he was visiting all the Divya Desams and was of Kashyapa gotra. He consented to marry all the daughters of sage Kalva. The marriage took place in a single year almost every day of the year. Hence the Lord is known as Nitya Kalyana Perumal (Nitya meaning daily and Kalyana meaning Marriage) since the Lord performed marriage daily for a year. The place is thus also known as Nitya Kalyanapuri. After marriage the Lord merged all the daughters (who were parts of the Divine Mother) in the single form of the Divine Mother. Hence the place is also known as Sripuri, since all the 360 daughters (who were parts of the Divine Mother) grew up in that place. After the Lord merged all the daughters in the form of the Divine Mother, he took the form of Sri Varaha and appeared with his consort on the left lap. Since the Lord appeared in the form of Sri Varaha, this place is also known as Varahapuri. The Lord gave Gnana Upadesam in that form, so he is also known as Gnanapiran. The first of the 360 daughters is known as Komalavalli who is the Thayar of this temple. Since the 360 daughters merged into one form, the Divine Mother here is also known as Akhilavalli Nachiar (Akhila meaning many).

Image: The Moolavar of the temple is the Varaha Moorthy form of the Lord in standing posture. His right leg is on the ground while his left leg is raised and resting on the head of Adisesha. On the lap of the left leg is seated Bhoodevi, the consort of the Lord. The Utasavar of the temple is the Nitya Kalyana form of the Lord who is dressed in the form of a bridegroom. There is a dot on the left cheek of the Lord like that of a bridegroom.

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


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Last updated on Sep-2021

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