In the pasuram 'ennappan..', Nammalwar says that the Lord is without equals. Such a Lord, Alwar happily says, has given shelter under His feet to him. By doing so he is protected from the heat of samsaram. Shastras proclaim that He has no equals. 'Ekameva advideeyam' says Upanishad – there ir no second like Him. Sri Oppiliappan is also called Sri Uppiliappan. From pushkarini as we enter the temple we first come across Garudazhwar sannidhi. We further proceed inside. We are at the maha mandapam entrance. There was a sage Mrigandu. Markandeya was his son. Markandeya meditated here for long time. He desired to have the Lord as his son-in-law. Sri Thulasi Nachiyar was also praying the Lord to be with Him for ever like Sri Sridevi, seated permanently on His chest. The Lord appeared before Her and asked Her to go to this Kshetram and remain as a forest of Thulasi plants. Sri Sridevi, one day appeared as a small child amidst the Thulasi plant with the name Sri Bhoomi devi. Sage Markandeya found this two year old female child. He brought Her up as his daughter. The Lord wanted to marry Her and He enacted a drama. He came in the guise of an old man and demanded marriage of Sri Bhoomi devi. Markandeya was puzzled as to how to get his very young daughter married to an old person. After praying to the Lord, with his yoga power he discovered the old Person was the Lord Himself. But still hesitating, the sage told the Old man that his daughter was too young and did not know even to add salt [Tamil uppu] in the food. The Lord immediately agreed that He would not mind that and He would henceforth take food without salt. From that time He was known as Sri Uppiliappan [uppili = without salt]. Then the marriage of Sri Bhoomidevi, incarnation of Sri Sridevi and the Lord was celebrated. The Lord appeared in Tamil month Panguni, star Shravan and after a lot of arguments the marriage was done in Tamil month Aippasi star Shravan [nearly Eight months]. But in the marriage the Lord took His usual Youth form and married Sri Bhoomidevi. Markandeyar prayed the Lord to grace with single Wife and the Lord agreed. Both in Moolavar and in Utsavar, the Lord is with Sri Bhoomidevi alone. Here the Lord appeared to Alwar in Five forms. Sri Ennappan, Sri Ponnappan, Sri Maniappan, Sri Muthappan and Sri Thiruvinnagarappan. Sri Thiruvinnagarappan is the Moolavar. He graces as a large Icon in the standing pose with right arm in Dhana hastham or receiving the bride in marriage. Upper arms are holding discus and conch. Utsavar is Sri Ponnappan. He also graces with Dhana hastham. In every procession the Lord is always accompanied by Sri Nachiyar. Moolavar has golden armour. Now, there is a proposal to offer Golden armour to Sri Bhoomidevi also. To His left, sage Markandeya is also gracing. Sri Bhoomidevi is seen with folded hands. An important work of covering the Suddha Ananda vimanam with gold, has been undertaken. All are requested to participate in all these noble works. Since this is Akash nagar, the sloka 6 of Chapter 9 also is with Akash [sky] as the analogy:
SUDDHA ANANDA VIMANAM
vayuh sarvatra-go mahan
tatha sarvani bhutani
"Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me."
Yata = how, nithyam = always, akasam = space. We have seen earlier that in the evolution of the Universe first space is created and then Vayu [air]. Then Fire, water and finally Earth. Akash or space is infinitely large. But what is supporting this Akash? There is nothing seen as supporting space. But it is supported as many worlds are in it and move about. If space is not there we can neither imagine nor answer many questions. Earlier the Lord told that He is invisible yet supports all, by His will power [sankalpa shakti]. When Arjuna wanted clarification, Sri Krishna cites the analogy of space. Maha vayu = the great air, sarva pradha = is breezing all over. Air is breezing inside the space. Sri Krishna asks whether the space is supporting air to flow all over? So, Arjuna [ and also we] should understand that space, air and all are supported by the Lord. A bird flying is not supported by the air or the space, but by its atman, controlled by Him. Just because air is there does not make the bird to fly but its atman. If atman were not there the bird would just fall down. Therefore, every thing in this Universe is supported by the Lord as atman residing inside. Tata = similarly, sarvani = all, bhutani = living beings, mat sthani = depend on Me [Sri Krishna] for support. It yupa dharaya = believe so or have faith so. People doubt the Lord supporting all, as He is invisible. But they should look at the air flow in an apparent supportless space. Many occurences in Nature can not be answered. Why and how lightning? How waves of oceans raise so much, yet are contained within the shores? Why earthquakes? How seeds germinate? Many and many are without answers, yet occuring daily. We have to have faith that all are supported by the Lord for such happenings. Being festival time near the Lord and Sri Thayar, Swami Vedantha Desika also is gracing the devotees.