In Thiruvaimozhi 5.9.1, Nammalwar asks when as Parankusa Nayaki, 'she' would be joining 'her' Leader, the Lord! Nammalwar performed saranagati at the Divine feet of Sri Aravamuda of Thirukkudanthai [Kumbakonam] in the decade 5.8. But the Lord did not accept there. So, Alawar came to Thiruvallavazh! Where is Kumbakonam in Chola region? And, where is Thiruvallavazh in Kerala? But the Alwar travelled that great distance [mentally] and prayed at this Kshetram! In all these Ten pasurams, Alwar performed saranagati. Today's [6th May 2009] lecture is from the sannidhi of Sri Vallabha!
We can see elephants here as in all temples in Kerala. Earlier we saw that a woman was following Ekadasi fasting and the Lord killed the demon Tholakasura. To commemmorate that incident a Ten day festival is organized here. Ninth [Palli vettai பள்ளி வேட்டை] and Tenth [Aarattu ஆராட்டு] day festivals are important. They are similar to Paarivettai [பாரிவேட்டை or ambu podudhal அம்பு போடுதல்] and Theerthavaari [தீர்த்தவாரி] in Tamilnadu temples! The Lord Sri Utsavar is taken on procession, riding an elephant and visits a nearby place. After a ceremonial hunting and other celebrations, the Lord returns to the temple. Next day, the Lord visits the nearby Pushkarini. In the previous day it is believed that the Lord washed Sudarsana discus, in this pushkarini. On Aarattu day, the Lord graces Thirumanjanam, to the accompaniment of various musical instruments. Then He returns back to the temple riding an elephant. This place is famous for Chendai melam [செண்டை மேளம்] also called Pancha vadyam [பஞ்ச வாத்தியம்], when special drums are beaten. This beating will automatically induce in us sympathetic vibration! The beating starts with a slow pace and picks up speed with time! All these celebrations are done to remember Mangalatthamma, who followed Ekadasi fasting. We can see a beautiful picture of the Lord! In deep blue hue, the Lord captivates all! In upper arms the Lord is holding discus and conch, while the lower right arm is holding a lotus flower and left lower arm is in kati mudra - arm placed on His waist. The garbha gruha is designed specially. If we see His head with crown, then we might not be able to see His Divine feet; and, if Divine feet are to be seen, then His head might might not be visible! While viewing Thirumanjanam or Mangala harathi, we could feel a layer of smole between us and the Lord! The pushkarini in the temple is called Ghanta karna pushkarini [घंटा कर्ण] or Chakkara Theertham. Ghanta karna prayed the Lord and got Mukti here. Ghanta karna was an ardent devotee of lord Shiva. When he prayed lord Shiva to grant him Mukti, lord Shiva told that only the Lord, the Consort of Sri, could grant and so directed him to pray Sri Vallabha! Ghanta karna did accordingly and reached Moksham. He was called Ghanta karna, because he held bells [ghanta] near his ears [karna], and would shake the bells so that he did not hear names other than what he desired! Sage Durvasa is closely associated with the Lord here. Even now it is believed that Durvasa comes every midnight to the temple and performs pooja. People also believe that one could hear the sounds of conch and drums, in the midnight. Another incident is that the Queen of King Kulasekara Varma, found out the idol and got reinstalled in this temple. Lord Sri Krishna gave this idol to His chariot driver Satyaki, at the end of Dwapara yug. Then it was handed over to Garuda, whom we saw on the top, to look after. He hid the idol in the river bed of the river Netravati, flowing nearby. It is now about 5000 years after the start of Kali yug. It appears the Lord remained hidden for nearly 3000 years. Then one day the Lord appeared in the dreams of the Queen and indicated His presence in the river bed! Thus about 2000 years back, this idol was installed again and the temple was reconsecrated! We should remember that no new idol was installed, but as in other places where Pandavas, reconsecrated, here also the old idol was brought out and temple was reconsecrated. Alwar is reported to have lived 5000 years back and he had worshiped the Lord. So, this temple after absence of poojas for a long time was reconsecrated.
We will now see the glory of Chapter 15. We saw that Chapter 15, described Purushottama Vidya. Different from and much superior to Bhaddha jeevatman and Mukta jeevatman, the Lord is Purushottama. In the First few slokas, samsaram was described as Aswatta tree and was to be cut off by vairagya axe, which could be obtained by performing saranagati at the Divine feet of the Lord. Next the Lord said that atman was pure or parisuddha, and was bonded inside a body. Everyone was finding difficult to view the atman separated from the body. Only Gyana eyes and not the physical eyes, could reveal the real atman. Finally, the Lord told about His emeinence and glory! He said that Sun, Moon, Fire, Earth, etc., were all His body and proof of that was found in Vedas. In sloka 15, the Lord told that He was inside heart of every living being and all Vedas described His glory only. He granted all the results of various Vedic Karma! This is the most important sloka. Finally, He revealed that He was Purushottama, superior to Bhaddha, Mukta and Nitya atman. Parvati desired to hear the greatness of Chapter 15, from lord Shiva. In Gauda country there lived a King, Gauda Narasimha. One of his ministers was scheming against the King, who was a good person. The minister died and was reborn as a horse. That horse was sold to the same King. The horse repented for its past and mentally decided that never to tread evil path. Once the King went for hunting, riding on the horse. The King came under a tree and got down from the horse. At that time one leaf fell on the horse. The King noticed some writings on the leaf and read out, and the horse died instantly! Its atman went up glowing! Seeing a sage, the King enquired about the incident. The sage replied that he used to study Chapter 15 of Gita and preached the same to his disciples. One of the disciples used to write the slokas on the leaves. One such a leaf had fallen on the horse and due to the glory of each sloka of Chapter 15, the soul of the horse was liberated! Realizing the greatness of Chapter 15, the King handed over the Kingdom to his son and went to the forests to meditate on Chapter 15!