Dear All,

Greetings and Namaste. Sri Kurma Jayanthi falls on this Friday (15-Jun-2012) and in this connection I am attaching a rare Vishnu Ashtottaram from Nrusimha Puranam, Chapter 40. which may perhaps be used for Archana for Lord.

While there are innumerable stutis on Lord Vishnu, the stotras on certain Avatars like Matsayavatara, Kurmavatara, Parashurama Avatara, Balarama Avatara, etc. are too few and rare. I had shared about 4 Kurma Stutis last year but so far have not come across any further stutis specific to Kurma Avatar. And hence the Vishnu Ashtottaram!

The same goes for temples specific to Kurma Avatar - so far I have heard of only two temples - the first and most famous Kurma Avatar Temple is in Sri Kurmam (near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh) which is said to have been installed by Sage Narada (or Lord Parashurama as per some accounts). There apparently is another temple near Thirunelveli in Tamil Nadu (not very well known).

In fact, the 3 concomitant Avatars viz. Kurma, Mohini and Dhanvantari - also have very few stutis attributed to them although they are quite important. Dhanvantari has one Ashtottaram, one Sahasranama (I have got this only in Namavali form in Tamil and contains lot of mistakes) and a Kavacha. Mohini Avatar has a kavacha (available in Jayamangala Stotram by Sri Sengkalipuram Anantarama Dikshitar).

The Bangkok Airport (Suvarnaboomi Airport) contains an exquisite sculpture of Kurma Avatara and churning of milk ocean which spreads several hundred feet. I am giving a link which contains a photograph of this.

Though Thailand is a currently Buddhist State, Hindu traditions are very deep even today. Even Indonesia, though an Islamic state today, still treasures the heritage and Bali is an example. (It is unfortunate that we in India seem to be going in the opposite direction trying to disown our own traditions and values). Sri. Gurumurthy, a famous columnist and economist, is currently writing a series of articles in Tuglak magazine about this, exploitation by British to divide India on religious lines, etc. - very very interesting indeed.

May I request erudite scholars to share any further information on Lord Kurma Avatar - for example, are there specific mantras for Kurma Avatar (apart from Kurma Gayatri), is Kurma Avatar also considered an Upasana murthy, are there any further stutis/Sahasranamas/Kavachas on this form, etc? I find it difficult to digest that there only a handful of Stutis on such an important avatar - there ought to be more.

May Lord Kurma bless us all!

Thanks & Regards,
K. Muralidharan (Murali)


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