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Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram

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  • Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram

    Dear members,
    Now about the most famous Temple of Kerala, The Temple of Lord PadmanabhaSwamy.
    The only temple in Kerala with a big broad stone Gopuram like in Tamil Nadu.
    You have to observe the Lord in three parts from three doorways!!!
    Hope you like this.

    Thiruvananthapuram Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple - The seat of acute devotion and compassion

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    Lord Padmanabha
    Sree Padmanabha Perumal

    “Shanthakaaram Bhujaga Shayanam Padmanabham Suresam
    Viswadharam Gagana Sadrisham Meghavarnam Shubhangam
    Lekshmikaantham Kamalanayanam Yogibhir dhyana gamyam
    Vande Vishnum Bhava bhayaharam Sarva Lokaika Nadham”

    For which there are no words to describe,
    No eyes for the vision to behold,
    No ears for the Nada to absorb,
    Yet that is Sree Padmanabha
    (from His Highness Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma Maharaja's poem "That")

    The absolute authority of all the flora and fauna of entire cosmos, the Lord lounging in the ocean of milk, has now made known his yet another conjecture to the man kind. For the last one week, Thiruvananthapuram, the abode of Lord Sree Padmanabha and the capital city of Kerala is witnessing the veiled fortune around Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple same as a kid wondering when he sees the night sky crammed with stars for the first time. Nearly 1Lakh crores of wealth has been revealed form the undisclosed “aras” (secret vaults) of the temple.

    The divine concept of the then ruled Thiruvithancore Maharajas, as they were none but descendents of the lord is shown in this context. The mammoth wealth that is accumulated by the Kings has been given to the temple. It is considered that the wealth was stored as a backup system, at the times of dearth. The ruler, at the period of scarcity will take the required wealth form the stored treasure and will use it for the sake of the country, just as a borrower to the lord Sree Padmanabha and must return it after the situation become normal. This significant concept reveals the relation between the Thiruvithamcoor(Travancore) Kings and Lord Sree Padmanabha. Every thing were dedicated to lord and each kings adorned the name as “Sree Padmanabha Dasa”. Where else in the Universe can see such a dedication.

    In pasurams, Nammalvar refers Sree Padmanabhaswamy as "Thamarai Manaalan" and Thaayar (Mahalakshmi) of this temple as Sree Hari Lakshmi Thaayar.

    This temple is located inside the Fort in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram is also called Syanandoorapuram. The main deity, Padmanabhaswamy is a form of Vishnu in Anananthasayanam posture (in eternal sleep of yognidra). This is an ancient temple and the city of Thiruvananthapuram(The Revered Endless City) derives its name from the name of the presiding deity enshrined in the temple. Texts including the Puranas like Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, Vayu Purana, Varaha Purana and Brahmanda Purana have references for this shrine. In Padma Purana there is reference to the temple of Anantasayanam, where the Lord Vishnu is having his yoganidra. It is also mentioned with Mathura, Venkatadri etc., as one of the well-known Vishnu Temples. In the Skandapurana, Sethu Mahatmya, Brahmakhanda Chapter-52, verses 102 to 105, some of the most important places of pilgrimages are indicated, which includes Padmanabha. There is also mention in the Bhagavata purana (canto 10 chapter 79) that Balarama visited "Syanandoorapuram" in the course of his pilgrimage. An entire chapter named Anantapura Mahatmyam in Brahmanda Purana, is dedicated to this temple. It is also mentioned in the Mahabharata. It has been identified as one of seven 'Mukti Sthalas' in the 'Syanandoora Purana Samuchayam' and as one of the six seats of Narayana by Chaitanya Maha Prabhu of modern times. Tradition states that in this place, Lord Vishnu gave darshan to sages like Divakarmuni and Vilwamangalam Swamiyar.

    According to the legends, the temple was set up by a Tulu Brahmin ascetic named Divakara Muni on the 950th day of the Kali Yuga. Divakara Muni, a great devotee of Vishnu, was doing penance and Tapas in 'Aatharta' desa. One day Maha Vishnu appeared before him in the form of a beautiful child. The Sanyasi was taken up with the charms of the divine child and requested him to stay with him. The child agreed but on one condition that the sage would never get upset with him. The Muni agreed and tolerated all the childish pranks of the little boy. But one day, while Divakara Muni was in meditation the child took the 'salagram', which he was worshipping and put it into his mouth and made such a nuisance of himself, that the Muni chastised him. The child immediately ran away and disappeared saying, "if you wish to see me again You will find me in Anantankadu, the forest of Ananta". The sage was inconsolable and followed the child. Finally, he reached a wooded area near the sea coast and saw the child vanishing into a hug ilippa(bassia longifolia) tree. Immediately, the tree fell the ground assuming the shape of a recumbent Maha Vishnu. The divine form was nearly 13-km. long, having his head at Thiruvallam and its feet at Trippapur. Overawed by the majesty and the size of the divine form which manifested itself before him, the Sanyasi prayed that the Lord condense himself in size so that it would be possible for him to see Him within his limited field vision and offer puja. Accordingly, Lord Vishnu shrank in size and Divakara Muni offered pujas. The King constructed a temple there. Anachronisms exist as the temple is known to be of earlier origin. Hence it is concluded that it was a reconsecration that was carried out then by the King.

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    Devotees must visit Trippapur, Thiruvananthapuram and Thiruvallam temples in a single day to get the full blessings of Padmanbha. Devotees can see the foot image of Padmanabha at Trippapur temple. In Trippapur and Thiruvananthapuram it is in the month of Meena that utsavam(festival) takes place. Same day kodiyeetam(flag hoisting) happens. The festival is for 10 days. Thruppapur Mahadeva and Padmanabhaswami have their aarattu (festive bathing) together at Sanghumugham beach. It is a beautiful site.

    Maharaja of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore, did the last major renovation of the temple. The work on the temple was started in 1731 A.D. Raja Marthanda Varma, following his annexation of several small kingdoms into the Venad to enlarge it as the kingdom of Travancore dedicated his kingdom to the deity in 1750 A.D, and pledged that he and his descendants would serve the kingdom as Padmanabha Dasa, meaning 'servants of the Lord Padmanabha'. With this, Sri Padmanabha became the nominal head of the state of Travancore, assuming the title Perumal, the Emperor. The British Government saluted the Lord with 21-gun salute, a military tradition of colonial days, which was continued by the Indian Army until the abolition of the privy purses by Government of India with Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister. The royal insignia of the Lord, The Valampiri Shankhu or sinistral conch-shell, served as the State emblem of Travancore and even continued so for some time after the re-organisation of the States. Sri Padmanabha is still regarded as regional deity of Travancore.