His Holiness gave a speech on the concluding day 17/7/2019 (Avani Avittam 2019) of Athi Varada Vaibhavam from residence of Sri Jaychandran, Venus Colony, near Asthika Samajam. It was recorded by a TV channel and broadcasted.
Kanchipuram is a city of temples. Gopura Darshanam Koti Punyam. With hundreds of Gopurams, Kanchi is a historic city and finds mention as one & only Mokshapuri in South India. The meaning of word Kanchi denotes the place where Odyanam is adorned. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethams. Odyana Peetha Nilaya is one of the names of Goddess denoting the Nabhi Peetha. In Kanchi City, Shiva Temples, Shakti Temple in form of Kamakshi Temple with Sri Chakram drawn by Adi Sankara & Vishnu Temples with Varadaraja Temple as the main temple are seen. Kanchipuram is known as Shiva Kanchi & Vishnu Kanchi.
The Varadaraja Temple where Athi Varadar Vaibhavam is going on is a historic & famous temple. Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has visited Varadaraja Swamy Temple in 1950’s and was attracted by its ‘Shilpa Kala’ sculptural beauty. A beautiful sculputure of Maharshi Veda Vyasa along with Adi Sankara in a respectful pose is seen near Thayar Sannidhi. There is an inscription in the Narasaimhar Sannidhi which records the name of a village called “Suruttil Enkira Sankaracharyapuram”. The Dhanvantari Sannidhi is a special shrine in the temple. As the Lord of Athigiri, Devaraja Swamy is seen.
Brahma, the god of creation went to Prayaga Kshetra in the confluence of Ganga- Yamuna & Saraswathi with a desire to perform 100 Yagnyas. On the commencement of the Yagnya an “Ashariri Vaak” was heard which said that one Yaga performed in Kanchi Kshetra is equal to a hundred Yagnyas performed in Prayag. Brahma then came to Kanchi, worshiped Brahmapurishwara and commenced the Yagnyas. The Lord who emerged from the Yaga Kunda of Brahma with a smiling face is Varadaraja Swamy.
मुखं वरदराजस्य मन्दस्मितमुपास्महे॥ Mandasmitam means smile.
Just as Krishna Paramatma gave the message of Bhagavadgita to all people through Arjuna, Lord Varadaraja appeared from Brahma’s Yagnya Kunda to bestow Varams - boons to one & all. वरं ददाति इति वरदः। Normally the devout seek boons from the Lord but Varadaraja Swamy is called as आहूय वरदः meaning one who invites the devout and grants boons. In that manner, starting in Uttarayana Kalam, from 1st July, 2019 concluding today, on the auspicious Avani Avittam, in one Mandala Kalam, Varadaraja Swamy has given darshan and blessed more than a crore of devotees. The Mandalam counting (45 days) is followed in the Hinduism to observe Vratams, Anushthanams & festivals.
Shilamurtam is worshipped by invoking the divine power of Lord through Mantras & Yagashala Pujas in it with a prayer to bless people till the existence of Sun & Moon. Second type in Chitra Partishtha in which the the images of Gods are drawn and worshipped. There are three to four temples of Chitra Pratishtha in Kanchipuram. Third is making Murthis with Pancha Loham and performing Pujas. Another type is worshipping divine power through Murthis made in Wood.
In Eastern India, the famous temple at Jagannath Puri of Lord Vishnu is a wooden Murthy. Jagadguru Adi Sankaracharya has extolled the greatness of Jagannatha & the Ratha Yatra in Jagannathashtakam. Similarly the Athi Varadar at Kanchi is very special. Athi tree (Fig) is a divine and pure tree which is very conducive for worship. Athi Varada Utsavam is held every forty years as per traditions.
The connection between Sri Varadaraja Swamy temple and Kanchi Acharyas is very intimate. Kanchi Mahaswami, in very senior age, before embarking the 5000 Km Padayatra, while staying in Tenambakkam used to perform Pradakshinam to Varadaraja Swamy temple daily by going around the Mada Veethis with chanting of Vishnu Sahasranamam Parayanams. The famous Prativadi Bhayangaram Annangaracharya Swami who was a scholar and instrumental in propagating devotional Tamil Basurams was closely associated and exchanged several thoughts about spirituality & Bhakti with Kanchi Mahaswami. Sudarshana Iyengar with blessings of Mahaswami conducted Veda Parayanams in Mada Veethis. The Guru Vara Sabha was initiated at Perumal Koil to propagate Sastras & spiritual knowledge. Sankatahara Chaturthi Pujas initiated by Kanchi Mahaswami is being done at Valampuri Vinayagar Sannidhi.
Our Acharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal involved philanthropists and arranged Kumbhbhishekam for Punya Koti Vimanam. In Kanchi there are three Vimanas namely, Rudrakoti, Kamakoti & Punyakoti denotes Varadaraja Swamy’s Vimanam. As the name goes the word Punyakoti denotes blessing Punyam to Koti People and Koti Punyam to people. The Ratham for Varadaraja Swamy which is being used now was renovated by our Periyava. Even the shed was done. Such is the deep connection of our Acharyas and the temple.
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