Thirukannangudi - 1
September 24, 2015
Thirukannangudi, one of the 108 Divya Desams in Vaishnavite tradition, is situated between Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur.
The presiding deity is Damodara Narayanan Thayar Lokanayaki. There is a mention of Thirukannangudi temple in Narada and Garuda puranams.
This holy place is also called Krishnaranyakshetra. Let us read about the sthala puranam of Thirukannangudi.
Sage Vasishta, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, made an idol of Krishna in butter and used to worship this butter Krishna. His devotion to the Lord was so intense that the butter remained solid.
Krishna one day decided to test the devotion of Vasishta. He thus took the form of a child Gopala and entered Vasishtas house and swallowed the butter Krishna.
The child started moving away from that place swiftly. The sage, perplexed at the turn of events, started chasing the child who came to this hallowed spot and settled here permanently. Why did he choose this place? There is an interesting story behind this also.
There were many rishis who were meditating on the Lord beneath the magizha tree in Thirukannangudi. During a trance, they had a vision of the Lord running towards the tree. The Lord was overwhelmed by their devotion and affection towards him and was ready to grant them boons.
The rishis grabbed the opportunity and asked the God to reside at this place permanently to bless the devotees as he had blessed the rishis. Thus, in order to please the rishis, the Lord took his abode where the temple now stands.
Vasishta at once knew that it was the Lord who had visited him as Gopala and surrendered himself to the Almighty. The temple complex was then constructed with the gopuram and vimana. Lord Brahma and the Devas used to perform Brahmotsavam to the Lord here.
Since Krishna (Kannan) was tied by the devotion of the rishis, this place is called Thirukannangudi. He is in archa form and this sacred place is also called Krishnakshetra.
We shall read about the special features of the temple in the next article.
(To be continued)