Lord Krishna declares in Bhagavad Gita
” paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge.
(In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re establish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.)
The Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared at various times to protect the good and eradicate the evil. Out of the prominent Dasa-avatarams, Vamana avataram has a special significance .
Bhakta Prahalad’s grandson Mahabali Chakravarthy had conquered all the worlds including Deva lokam as a result of which the devas headed by Indra had to leave Devalokam and sought their mother, Aditi’s intervention. Kashyapa rishi and Aditi prayed to Lord SrimanNarayanan for protecting the devas. The All compassionate Lord appeared to them as their own child during the month of Sravanam when the star Sravanam was ascendant which is celebrated as Vamana Jayanti. This place is presently in Buxar, Bihar . The revered parents in the presence of rishis,devas and demi-gods performed yagnopaveetham (thread ceremony) to the divine child . The demi gods attended in large numbers and presented deer skin, stalk, kamandalam, umbrella etc to the divine child who immediately left for the place where Bali Chakravarthy was performing a yaaga.
Though Bali Chakravarthy was born as an asura, he was dharmic and a great devotee of Lord MahaVishnu. Out of pride , he conquered the Devalokam and occupied Indra simhasanam which could be attained only after performing 100 aswamedha yagas. As the Lord had promised Prahalad earlier that HE would not kill any one his descendants and as Bali himself was a great devotee, Lord resorted to approach Bali Chakravarthy asking for alms. As per the sastras only a brahmachari and a sanyasi can go for alms. The all-compassionate Lord arrived in the form of brahmachari for seeking alms. This divine scene makes Andal glorifiy the Lord in Thiruppavai as “ONGI ULAGALANDHA UTTHAMAN PERE PAADI…..” She addresses Perumal as “UTHTHAMAN” because the all opulent Perumal resorted for seeking alms for the sake of saranagathaars (who took refuge in HIS LOTUS FEET )
Looking at the divine aura of Vamana murthi who was approaching Bali’s yaagam, Bali Chakravarthy went forward to welcome him. Bali Chakravarthy with reverence offered athithi sathkaaram and pleaded the boy to ask for anything. The boy replied that HE needed only 3 measures of land measured by HIS holy feet to which Bali immediately consented. Bali’s guru, Sukracharyar guessed who the guest was and warned his disciple to refrain from fulfilling the grant. Bali didn’t listen to his guru and went ahead to make the offering. The guru cursed him that he would loose all his wealth. His guru, in order to protect his disciple, assumed the form of a bee and obstructed water from passing through the kamandalam with which Bali was offering. Lord Vamana poked the hole with a dharbai which resulted in Sukracharyar losing an eye. Bali was an exalted devotee who was prepared to forego everything for pleasing the Lord who was their kula dhanam. The moment Bali Chakravarthy finished oblations, Lord grew gigantically and with HIS first foot measuring the earth, with HIS second foot measured the above worlds . When the holy FEET reached Satyalokam, Brahma immediatly did paada puja(washed the Lord’s Lotus Feet). The water which washed the holy feet became the holiest river, Ganges which Parama Shiva adorns on his head.
Annamacharyar says “Brahma Kadigina Paadhamu…….” Lord who had taken the Viswaroopam showed HIS two fingers saying that HE had conquered the entire Universe and asked as to where HE should place HIS third foot. Bali Chakravarthy with reverence offered his head to the Lord for him to place HIS LOTUS FEET. Prahalada appeared before Lord and praised him for the mercy HE showered on his grandfather. Lord pleased with his bhakti ordered him to rule the Patala loka and granted Bali’s prayer to have HIS darshan always by remaining as a guard in Patala loka!!!!! such was the Lord’s compassion
This Viswaroopam of Lord is glorified as Trivikraman . One can have darshan of this Divya Roopam at 3 Srivaishnava divya desams in Tamil nadu- namely,
- Kaazhiseerama vinnagaram(Sirkazhi ).,
2) Ulagalandha Perumal kovil at Thirukovalur and
3) Ulagalandha Perumal kovil at Kanchipuram.
As per elders version, in Sirkazhi, Lord Trivikraman measured the first step. Vamana murthi grew in size and taking the Viswaroopam measured the world with HIS left foot here which is on the air.
WE can have darsanam of right thiruvadi ( divine foot) along with Vamana murthi at this place only once in a year on Vaikunta Ekadasi when the kavacham from Thirumaal’s thiruvadi is removed. Here in garbagriham, Lord gives darshan all alone. Compared to the other divya desams mentioned above, the Lord ‘s thirumeni ( roopam ) is smaller in size . The main deity in this temple is glorified as ‘Kaazhicheerama Vinnagaram‘, and ‘Thavitu Paane Thadalan‘, the King of World.
The Thirivikarama Perumal Temple is located near Seerkazhi of Tanjore district in Tamil Nadu. It’s about half mile away from the Seerkazhi Railway station. . Lord Thiru Vikrama is otherwise called “Thadalan”. As Lord scaled the world with his foot He is called “Thadalanperumal”. Andal in her verses praise the glory of LORD THIRUVIKRAMANARAYANA calling him ‘THAADALAN’. As LORD scaled the world and sky with his FOOT so he is called ‘THAADALA PERUMAL’.THAAL in tamil means‘THIRUVADEE’ (foot) and AALAN means MEASURING or SCALING.
Thirumangai Azhwar glorifies the LORD here with the below pasuram :
Oru kuralai irunilam moovadi mannvendi
Oolagamanathium Eeradiyal odukki onrum
Tharaga ena maavaliya sirayil vaitha
Thaadalan thaalanaiveer thakka keerthi
Arumaraiyin thiral naagum velvi ayinthum
Angamgal avaiyarum esaigal yezhum
Theruvil malivizha valamum sirukkum kazhi
Srirama vinnagare sermin neere
The next Divya desam is Thirukovilur located 75 kms from Cuddalore, 36km from Villupuram, 36 km from Thiruvannamalai, and 40 from Kallakurichi . This holy place is celebrated as one of the 108 Divyadesam and more significant in the Nadunadu region. Lord in Thirukovilur adorns shankhu and chakaram as abharanam whereas in Thiru uragam of kanchipuram he is unarmed and raises his left and right lies up in order to scale the whole world by his foot, a majestic darisanam . But at Seerkazhi, Lord Narayana gives darshan as Thirivikrama with all his five weapons with his left hand extending upto the left foot, which is folded upwards.
The Thirukovalur darsanam of the Lord measuring the nether worlds with HIS second foot is majestic . This place is very important because this is
(1) one of the Pancha Krishna kshetrams with the temple tower is 192 feet tall , third biggest in Tamilnadu.
(2) the place where Poigai Azhwar from Kanchi, Bhoodath Azhwar from Mahabalipuram and Pey azhwar from Mylapore met for the first time on a rainy night. Perumal appeared to them and was glorified by each of these azhwars in 100 stanzas. This is the place where Naalayira Divya Prabhandham began.
(3) Another interesting feature is Thiurmangai Azhwar has glorified Vishnu Durga, a demigoddess here. Sukra, the teacher of the demon king has a temple here.
(4) Lord gives darsanam as Trivikraman. with HIS right thiruvadi raised , Lord is seen measuring heaven. On the right side top, Brahma from heaven is seen offering water to Lord’s thiruvadi which turned to be the sacred Ganges. Here, near the left Thiruvadi of Lord , Bali’s son is seen doing puja. As this is the place where Mudal Azhwars met, we can have darsanam of Mudal Azhwars on the left side of Perumal and Mruganda rishi in whose hamlet Lord appeared to the Mudal Azhwars is seen on the right side. The Moolavar is seen in Pachai varnam. (Like in Tirukurungudi, they have now adorned Moolavar’s thirumeni with different colours using herbs. )
Finally, the darsanam of the Lord placing the third foot on Mahabali’s head can be had at Kanchipuram in Ulagalandha Perumal temple. Ulagalandha Perumal (Trivikraman) is about 35 feet high with HIS left foot raised and right foot on Bali’s head.Lord’s 2 fingers on HIS left hand pointed upwards symbolising measuring of the entire Universe with HIS two feet and pointing out one finger of HIS right hand downwards towards Bali as to where HE has to place HIS third foot. Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is glorified in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the Vaishnava canon, with hymns sung by the great saint Thirumazhisai Azhwar
The Lord’s form is so captivating that it remains fresh in the minds of devotees. The beautiful floral design on Perumal’s vastram can be clearly seen on Perumal’s thirumeni. Perumal is under Srikara vimanam, the Pushkarini is known as Vamana Pushkarini, thirumanjanam is performed in Ekantham, the priest lights a lamp attached to a stick to enable us to have HIS gigantic darshan. As Bali Chakravarthy who was under the Lord’s feet (as nammazhwar says “adikeezh pugundu….. in 6-10) wanted to have darshan of Perumal, the Lord appeared in a very small form of adisesha and fulfilled his wish. This form of the LOrd is known as Ooragathan and is one of the divya desams. The priest clad in wet clothes with complete fasting performs abhishekam to the Lord and offer milk payasam to this Lord here on Fridays and Sundays.
Pictures credits : Google images
Video credits : HG Balagovindadasa for Brahmakadigina padamu
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan