Where sage Brighu did penance
It is festival time at the madhava Perumal temple, Mylapore. T. A. SRINIVASAN traces the history behind the temple in the heart of the city.
Lord Madhava Perumal with His consorts.
TWO ANCIENT temples dedicated to Lord Narayana with the two sacred names Madhava and Kesava are lying in the heart of Chennai in Mylapore.
According to Mayurapuri Mahadhmiyam in the Brahmandapuranam, when Sage Vyasa requested the Lord to show him the holiest of places where he could do penance, He pointed out to Madhavapuram (Mylapore) where Sage Bhrigu had earlier set up a hermitage and did penance.
It was very near the holy water source known as Santhana Pushkarani where all holy rivers merged on the Masi Makam day. Those who bathed in it on that day would get all their wishes fulfilled, the Lord said. To add to the holiness of the place was the fact that Peyazhwar, the last of the three saintly men hailed as "Mudhalazhwargal," was born in a 60-feet deep well known as Manikairavam, to the south-east of the temple, which exists to this day in Arundale Street, though in a neglected condition.
The author of the work known as Moondram Thiruvanthathi, which forms part of the Nalayira Divyaprabandham, is hailed as "Thamizh Thalaivan" by Thiruvarangathamudhanar in his Ramanuja Nootrandadhi, extolling the greatness of Saint Ramanuja.
While the other two Azhwars lit the lamps with the help of earth, sea and sun (Poigaiyar) with love, eagerness and thought (Bhuthathar), Peyazhwar was able to see with the help of the lights lit by the other two, "Thiru" (Mahalakshmi) first and the Lord next. The temple of Madhava Perumal is said to be very ancient, though its history is traced back to only 800 years from now, according to available records. The temple faces east with a five-tier Rajagopuram at its entrance, which was renovated and consecrated 40 years ago. Two more Samprokshanams were performed in the last 40 years, once in 1977 and again in 1992. The presiding deity in the sanctum sanctorum is in a sitting posture along with Sridevi and Bhoodevi. The Lord is hailed as Kalyana Madhavan as He married Goddess Amritavalli, who was born as Sage Bhrigu's daughter here.
The temple, according to legend, is situated in the place where the sage set up his ashram.
Though the Lord in similar posture in other places and is called "Paramapadanathan" holding the Sudarsana, Panchajanya and Gadhayutha in His three hands with the fourth one in "Abhaya Hastha" pose, the Lord's idol here has no Gadhayutha. The Utsavar (processional idol) is also called "Kalyana Madhavar" and He is in standing posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi on either side. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Amritavalli to the right of the sanctum sanctorum and Her "Thirukkalyanam" with the Lord is celebrated on the Panguni Uthiram day.
The shrine of Peyazhwar is situated very near the sanctum sanctorum. Other Azhwars are also worshipped in separate shrines along with saints Ramanuja and Manavala Mamunigal.
The Idol of Peyazlwar in the temple.
There is a separate shrine for Andal, but Her Utsava idol is kept in the Lord's sanctum sanctorum. Her Thiruppavai songs have been inscribed on the walls of the shrine. Very near the Paramapada Vasal is the Kodanda Ramar shrine where along with Him Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya are worshipped. The idol of Lord Bhuvaraha, with His consort sitting on His left lap in a separate shrine on the banks of the Pushkarani, is a thing of beauty to watch and worship forever.
The devotees consider Mundagakkanni (Lotus-eyed Goddess) Amman worshipped in a separate temple very near the Madhava Perumal temple as "Yoga Maya" who was born as the sister of the Lord during His incarnation as Krishna.
The Vimanam in the temple, like the one in Tirumala (Tirupati), is known as "Ananda Nilaya Vimanam." Rituals are performed according to the Vaikhanasa Agama. With the Kalyana Mandapam, Alankara Mandapam and "Palliyarai" the temple is an imposing structure in this part of the city.
Under the control of the HR and CE Department, it is well maintained. Festivals are held in almost every Tamil month, except Ani and Purattasi, with the Brahmotsavam being celebrated in Chithirai and Peyazhwar Avatara Utsavam in Aippasi.
Sri Madhava Perumal Peyazhwar temple, Mylapore is celebrating Chithirai festival (Tiruvona Brahmotsavam) from May 10 to 20. On the inaugural day, there will be ankurarpanam followed by Dwajarohanam, yagam (May 11), Surya Prabhai and Chandra Prabhai (May 12), Garuda Sevai, Peyazhwar Edhir sevai (May 13), Yazhi and Sesha vahanam (May 14), Hanumantha vahanam (May 15), Choornabhishekam and Yanai vahanam (May 16), Thiruther (May 17) and Vennaithazhi Kannan, Kudhirai vahanam (May 18), Pooppallakku, Dwaja avarohanam (May 19) and Thirumanjanam and Punniya Kodi vimanam (May 20).
Send this article to Friends by