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  • STORY OF SRIRANGAM-Temple Part 1


    As told by Mahaperiava.

    Dheyvaththin Kural-----Volume 7.

    PART 1.


    On the banks of river Kaveri, there are not as many Vishnu temples as there are Shiva temples; however, Lord Ganesha has given Kaveri an unique fame involving Vaishnava connection. What is that?

    Saivaites place the temple of Chithambaram (Lord Nataraja) first among all Shiva temples; that is not on the banks of Kaveri. Similarly, Vaishnavites place Srirangam temple first among all Vishnu temples and it is situated in the lively midst of Kaveri river. The temple is surrounded on either side by Kaveri ( called உபய காவேரி.) and Lord Vishnu is famously called ‘KAVERI RANGAN’ here.

    How did that Rangaraja come there? Lord Vigneshwara was instrumental to this. It is because of His ‘Leela Vinotham’.

    Sri Ramachandramurthy, gave away Sri Ranganatha’s Vigraha, the ancestral pooja vigraha of Ikshvaku dynasty , to Vibeeshana. That gift was ample proof to Lord Rama’s two great qualities of ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Gratitude’. All the monkeys and rakshasas were about to return to their places after attending the Coronation of Sri Rama in Ayodhya. At that time, Sri Rama gave away plenty of gold and other articles of value to every one of them as a way of showing His gratitude for their valuable help. As a matter of fact it was their ‘Bagyam’ and a big gift, to have served Him in His noble cause; Because of Him only, Vibeeshana and Sugreeva could become kings; but Sri Rama felt obliged towards them ( for all their help in the war against Ravana) and gave them plenty of gifts in the form of gold and gems.

    But, that gift was not enough for Vibeeshana, Sri Rama felt. He wanted to give him something bigger and more valuable than mere gold and gems; because, Vibeeshana sacrificed his family ( meaning his brother Ravana), and totally surrendered to Sri Rama. Vibeeshana’s surrender is cited as the best example of ‘Total Surrender’. A big difference exists between Vibeeshana and Sugreeva. While Sugreeva surrendered to Sri Rama with the whole purpose of getting back his kingdom and wife, Vibeeshana surrendered to Him without expecting anything in return from Sri Rama. Sri Rama pronounced His Promise as savior of all those who surrender to Him, only due to Vibeeshana. Although Vibeeshana came to Sri Rama for total surrender, all including Angathan and Sugreeva, except Hanuman raised doubts about his true intention. Sri Rama became emotional as He felt their doubts were misplaced, and due this, He declared, “ If any one comes to me saying ‘I belong to you’, I shall protect him from any fear or evil; This be my life’s promise”

    “ஸக்ருதேவ ப்ரபந்நாய தவாஸ்மீதி ச யாசதே!
    அபயம் சர்வபூதேப்யோ ததாம்யேதத்---வ்ரதம் மம!!

    (valmiki Ramayanam----Yudhdha kaandam 18.33—4)

    Therefore, Sri Rama, after Coronation, decided to give him something really big and invaluable. As only a true ‘THYAGI’ would do, He gifted the Sri Rangaraja Vigraham along with the Vimanam, which has been in the Ikshvaaku dynasty for ages, and which has been considered the ‘Family Deity’ and daily poojas performed upon, by all the kings till then. With that he sent him away to Lanka.

    Taking the Sri Rangaraja Vigraham with him, Vibeeshana started towards South and reached the ‘Ubaya Kaveri’, almost near the southern tip.

    Seeing all these events without interfering, Lord Vigneshwara decided to interevene. “ How can I allow this Perumal (Vigraha) to leave this Kaveri region, this Tamil Dhaesam and Bharatham?”-----He thought. He then played a game of mystery (MAAYAA) and ensured that the Rangaraja Vigraham was permanently installed there itself. How did He do it?

    Sri Rama had warned Vibeeshana that the Vigrahas and Vimanas should not be placed on the ground lest they will permanently be installed there and therefore they should be taken to SriLanka directly and kept.

    What Vigneshwara did was: He induced a desire in Vibeeshana to have a bath in river Kaveri, which was so looking so beautiful with its waves and plenty of water. He took the form of a Brahmachari boy and went and stood there. He gave an impression of an innocent and well-behaved boy!

    Vibeeshana requested the ‘boy’ “My dear child! Will you hold these for me, without putting them down on the earth, till I come back after having my bath?”

    Vigneshwara replied, “ I will do it, but suppose, I feel it is too heavy after some time, what should I do? I shall call you three times; if you do not return by then, I will put them down!”

    Vibeeshana readily agreed for this condition.

    When Vibeeshana went into the river very far from the bank, attracted by its beauty, Vigneshwara called him three times repeatedly. He could not return to the bank by then!

    “ I called you three times as agreed by us, but you have not come back; this has become too heavy for me; so I am putting them down” saying thus, Vigneshwara put the Vigraha and the Vimana on the elevated ground, in the centre of Ubaya Kaveri!

    The Vigraham got permanently installed there!