A half mile away in the South Easterly direction of Thuppul (the birth place of Swami Desikan), lies the Divya Desam of ThiruveLLukkai, where Kama Aasikaa Narasimhan is the presiding deity. He is also known as Mukunda Nayakan.
Swami Desikan composed a beautiful Ashtakam in honor of this Narasimhan, who is sitting in a Yogic posture on the southern side of Vegavathi River. This Archa Murthy has been the object of earlier Mangalasaasanam by Pey Azhwaar through three pasurams of the Third Thiruvanthadhi and one pasuram line of Thirumangai in his Periya Thirumadal.
At ThiruveLLUkkai, the Moolavr sits in the middle of the temple tank known as Kanaka Pushkarini .He is not easily approachable for worship. The Uthsavar and His Piratti (ThiruveLLUkkai Valli ) are standing under the Kanaka Vimanam. The Moolavar (Kamaasikhaa Narasimhan ) is seated in the Yoga Pose known as Paryanga Bhandham . The Lord of this Divya Desam got his name Kamaasikaa Narasimhan because he chose the banks of Vegavathi out of his own desire/sankalpam (Kama ) to be seated (Aasikaa) on the banks of the Vegavathi river.The Tamil name of ThiruVelLLukkai follows this Sanskritic nomenclature.The shorter name of VeLLukkai stands for VeL Veeru Irukkai. The word VeL relates to the Kama or svat Sankalpam aspect of the Lord's own desire to sit (Veeru Irukkai ) at this Divya Desam. Swami Desikan says that Narasimhan left Sri Vaikuntam out of His own will and chose to sit on the sandy banks of Vegavathi at ThiruveLLUkkai Kshetram.
Swami Desikan"s eight slokams (Ashtakam )and the pala sruthi slokam are marvels of poetry. For these nine slokas, Swami Desikan chose six different meters to celebrate the movement of Narasimha Bhagavan as he went about HIs Avathara Kaaryam.The six meters and the number of slokas associated with them are shown in Parenthesis:
1. Anushtub (Slokas
2. Aryaa ( Slokas 3&4 )
3. Sardhoola Vikriditham (Sloka 5 )
4. Prithvee (Slokas 6& 7 )
5. Oupachandasikham (Sloka 8)
6. Vasantha Tilakaa (Pala Sruthi Slokam 9) .
The essence of these Ashtakam is that Kamaasikha Narasimhan has the following celebrated attributes:
1. He is the embodiment of the principles saluted by Narasimha Taapaneeya Upanishad.
2.He has three Eyes representing Suryan, Chandran and Agni.
3.He prefers this site over his original residence, Sri Vaikuntam.
4.He is seated in the Yogic posture of Paryanga Peetam.
5.His hands are equally eager to protect devotees and to destroy their enemies.
6.His eyes simultaneously have the attributes of being ferocious to Hiranyan and cool to His devotee, Prahlada.
7. He is the Sarva
Rakshakan and there is nothing to fear as long as He protects us.
Shrii Shriimate raamaanujaaya namaha Shriimate nigamaanta mahaa desikaaya namaha kaamaasikaaShTakam.h. shriimaan.h veN^kaTa naathaaryaH kavitaarkika kesarii | vedaantaa chaarya varyome sannidhattaaM sadaahR^idi || shrutiinaam.h uttaraM bhaagaM vegavatyaashcha daxiNam.h kaamaad.h adhivasan.h jiiyaat.h kashchid.h adbhuta kesarii..1 tapanendvagni nayanaH taapaan.h apachinotu naH. taapaniiya rahasyaanaaM saaraH kaamaasikaa hariH..2 aakaNThaM aadipuruShaM kaNThiiravam.h upari kuNThi taaraatiim.h. vegopakaNTha sa~Ngaat.h vimukta vaikuNTha bahumatim.h upaase..3 bandhum.h akhilasya jantoH bandhura parya~Nka bandha ramaNiiyam.h. viShama vilochana miiDe vegavatii pulina keli narasiMham.h..4 sva sthaaneShu marudgaNaan.h niyamayan.h svaadhiina sarvendriyaH parya~Nka sthira dhaaraNaa prakaTita pratya~Nmukhaa vasthitiH. praayeNa praNipeduShaH prabhurasau yogaM nijaM shixayan.h. kaamaan.h aatanutaad.h asheSha jagataaM kaamaasikaa kesarii..5 vikasvara nakha svaru xata hiraNya vaxaH sthalii nirargala vinirgalad.h R^idhira sindhu sandhyaayitaaH. avantu madanaasikaa manuja pa~ncha vaktrasya maam.h aham.h prathamikaa mithaH prakaTitaahavaa baahavaH..6 saTaa paTala bhiiShaNe sarabha saaTTaa haasodbhaTe sphurat.h kR^idhi parisphuTad.h bhR^ikuTike.api vaktre kR^ite. kR^ipaa kapaTa kesarin.h danuja Dimbha datta stanaa saroja sadR^ishaa dR^ishaa vyativiShajya te vyajyate..7 tvayi raxati raxakaiH kimanyaiH tvayi chaaraxati raxakaiH kimanyaiH. iti nishchita dhiiH shrayaami nityaM nR^ihare vegavatii taTaashrayaM tvaam.h..8 itthaM stutaH sakR^idi haaShTabhireSha padhyaiH shrii ve~NkaTesha rachitaistridashendra vandhyaH. durdaanta ghora durita dviradendra bhedii kaamaasikaa naraharir.h vitanotu kaamaan.h..9 kavitaarkika siMhaaya kalyaaNaguNashaaline . shriimate veN^kaTeshaaya vedaantagurave namaH ..
VERSE 1: PLACE OF
RESIDENCE OF THE WONDROUS NARASIMHAN
SRUTEENAAM UTTARAM BHAGAM
VEGAVATHYAASCCHA DAKSHINAM I
KAAMAATH ADHIVASAN JEEYAATH
KASCCHITH ADHBHUTA kESAREE II
Here Swami Desikan describes the Bhagavaan as "Kascchit Adhbhuta Kesari" . This incomparable form of the Lord with a Lion's face and human body is indeed awesome and full of wonders. Hence it is a Adbhuta Kesari(Lion). It is neither Lion nor man. This Adhbhuta Kesari is celebrated in the last section of the Vedas (ie) in the Upanishads as suggested by Swami Desikan through the Choice of Words , "Srutheenaam Uttaram Bhagam ".He chose out of his own volition the site of ThiruveLLukkai and resides there on the southern bank of Vegavathi river as indicated by the stotra Vaakyams( Kaamaath Vegavathyaa: Dakshinam cha Adhivasan ).Swami offers his Mangalaasaasanam to this Adbhuta Kesari and hails him to thrive there(Jeeyaath) in His supreme glory . May this Kamaasika Narasimhan known for his infallibility in protecting his devotees thrive at ThiruveLLukkai is the prayer of the Acharya.
VERSE 2: PRAYER FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE THREE KINDS OF AFFLICTIONS
TAPANA INDU AGNI NAYANA:
TAAPAAN APACHINOTHU NA: I
SAARA: KAMAASIKHAA HARI: II
Swami Desikan reveals to us that Kamaasilkhaa Narasimhan has three eyes , which are in the form of the Sun, Moon and Agni. He says that the Lord of this Divya Desam is the essence of the secrets revealed by Nrusimha Taapaneeya Upanishad. Swami prays for the Lord to banish the three kinds of Taapas (afflictions) of all of us with His three eyes.The three afflictions are Aadhyaatmikam (physical ills,fear, anger, dsire et al), Aadhi Bhowdikham ( Ills caused by animals and humans) and Aadhi Daivikam (Cold , heat ,storms, rains et al ).
VERSE 3 : SALUTATIONS TO KANTIRAVAN
AAKUNTAM AADHI PURUSHAM
UPARI KUNTITHA AARAADHITAM I
VEGAA UPAKANTA SANGHATH
VIMUKTHA VAIKUNTA BAHUMATHIM UPAASEH II
The Lord of ThiruveLLukkai has the face of the Lion above his neck and the form of the ancient Purusha below the neck. I salute that extraordinary form of Kamasikhaa Narasimhan, who destroyed Hiranyan and chose the region on the banks of Vegavathi for his permanent residence and in that process skipped over the established glories of Sri Vaikuntam.
VERSE 4: EULOGY TO NARASIMHAN
BHANTHUM AKILASYA JANTHOH:
BHANDHURA PARYANKA BHANDHA RAMANEEYAM I
VISHAMA VILOCHANAM EEDEH
VEGAVATHEE PULINA KELI NARASIMHAM II
Swami Desikan praises Narasimhan of this Kshethram,who loves to play on the sand banks of the river Vegavathi.He recognizes the Lord as the kith and kin of all living beings.He visualizes the Lord as sitting firmly in the Yoga Posture known as Parynaga Bhandham.He also pays his tribute to the Vishama Vilochanam of the Lord . Vishama Vilochanam can mean both odd numbered eyes (Three here ) and the eyes , which are distinctly different in their attributes ( Hot Sun , Cool Moon and resplendent Agni ).
VERSE 5: PRAYER FOR BLESSINGS TO THE WORLD
PARYANGA STIRA DHARANAA PRAKATITHA
PRATYANGH MUKHAAVASTHITHI : I
PRAAYENA PRANIPETHUSHAAM PRABHURASAOU
YOGAM NIJAM SIKSHAYAN
KAAMAA NATHANUTAAT ASESHAA JAGATHAAM
KAMAASIKHAA KESARI: II
In this verse set in the majestic Sarthoola Vikriditham meter to remind one of the powerful movements of the fast lion chasing Hiranya, Swami Desikan prays to Kaamaasikhaa Narasimhan to bless the people of the world and grant them all their desired boons(Asaou. Kaamaasikhaa Kesari: Asesha Jagathaam kaaman aatanuthaath ).Swami describes the Lord facing west. He sits in Paryangaasanam at ThiruveLLukkai and appears in his Yogic posture giving the impression that He is ready to teach His devotees the secrets of Yoga that require knowledge about the firm control of the five vayus(Praanan, Apaanam, Samaanam, Udhaanam and Vyaanam ).He also appears to indicate to them the firm way to control the five Karmendriyaas and the five Jnanendriyaas as the prerequisite to meditate on Him. One of the names for Lord Narasimhan is Hrishikesan or the one who has full control over his Indriyaas. Kamasikaa Narasimhan"s Paryangaasanam (Yoga Pattai with a belt over his crossed legs and knees) reminds of His Yogaacharya role in teaching his disciples such as Prahlaada the secrets of Yoga to attain His blessings.
VERSE 6: PRAYER TO THE LORD'S HANDS FOR PROTECTION
SVARUKSHATHA HIRANYA VAKSHASTHALEE--
NIRARGALA VINIRGALATH RUDIRA SINDHU SANDHYAAYITAA : I
AVANTHU MADA NAASIKAA MANUJA PANCHA VAKTHRASYA MAAM
AHAMPRATAMIKAA MITA: PRATITAAHAVAA BAAHAVA: II
May the Kaamasikhaa Narasimhan"s hands having the red lustre of the dusk protect me . Those hands compete with one another to protect the devotee and to destoy the enemies of the devotee. The shining finger nails of those hands tore apart the chest of Hiranyan like the ferocious Vajra weapon. At that time, the blood from the heart of Hiranyan gushed forth and covered the hands of the Lord and gave them the red hue of the sun at dusk. Those hands were competing with one another to destroy Hiranyan as well as to comfort the child Bhagavatha Prahlada.May those powerful hands protect me always!
VERSE 7: MERCY OF THE LORD EVEN DURING HIS FEROCIOUS STATE
SATAA PATALA BHEESHANEH
SPURATH KRUTHI PARISPUTATH BRUGUTIKEPI VAKTREH KRTEH I
KRUPAA KAPATA kESARIN DHANUJA DIMBHA DHATTA STHANAA
SAROJA SADHRUSAA DRUSAA VYATHIBISHAJYA TEH VYAJYATEH II
O Kapata Narasimha! o Lord, who did not swerve away from the boons given to Hiranya and yet hoodwinked him through your avatara features ! When You appeared out of the Pillar in his palace with the frightening swirl of your manes and ear-shattering roars ,your brows were twittering with your mighty anger at Hiranya for the injustices that he did to your devotee. Even in that state of fury, your lotus eyes fell with mercy on Prahlaada . Those merciful glances were like the feedings of divine and invigorating milk to the child Prahlaada. Your limitless compassion to your devotees became evident then.
VERSE 8: SARANAGATHI AT THE FEET OF NARASIMHAN
TVAYI RAKSHATHI RAKSHAKAI:
KIM ANYAI :
TVAYI CHA ARAKSHATI RAKSHAKAI: KIM ANYAI: I
ITHI NISCHITA DHEE: SRAYAAMI NITYAM
NRUHAREH: VEGAVATHEE TATAASRAYAM TVAAM II
O kamaasikhaa Narasimhaa! you are sarva sakthan. When You are resolved to protect some one, where is the need to seek the protection of other Gods? When You are resolved NOT to protect some one , which other God is capable of protecting us?. Thereis no one. Knowing this fundamental truth, I have resolved to offer my saranaagathi at your lotus feet alone that rest at the banks of Vegavathi river.
VERSE 9: PALA: SRUTHI OF THIS ASHTAKAM
SAKRUTHIHAASHTABHIRESHA PADHYAI :
SRI VENKATESA RACHITHAI: TRIDHASENDRA VANDHYA: I
DHURDHAANTA GORA DHURITA DVIRADHENDRA BHEDEE
KAMAASIKHAA NARAHARI: VITANOTHU KAAMAAN II
May Kamaasikhaa Narasimhan , who is worshipped by the Devaas and who tears apart the gigantic heap of sins ,as if they are oppsing elephants, grant all the desired boons to devotees , who recite these eight slokas on Him composed by Venkatesa Kavi !
In this concluding section, I will focus on the tributes of Peyaazhwaar and Thirumangai Azhwaar to the Kamaasikhaa Narasimhan of Thiru VeLLukkai Divya Desam.
Pey Azhwaar, who poured out his Joyous experiences of the Darsanam of the Lord and Sri Devi at Thirukkovalur through the many verses of the third Thiruvandhaathi. The 26 th,34th and the sixty second verses of this illustrious AruLiccheyal of the Azhwaar offer Mangalaasasanam to the Adbhuta Kesari worshipped as Kamaasikhaa Narasimhan at Thiru VeLLUkkai .
TWENTY SIXTH VERSE OF PEY AZHWAAR
NIRAINDHA SEER NEEL KACCHIYULLUM--URAINDHATHUVUM
VENKATAMUM VEHAAVUM VELUKKAIPAATIYUMEH
Here Pey Azhwaar continues to describe his supremely delectable experience of Paripurna Saakshatkaram of the divine couple, which blossomed forth from his supreme Para Jnanam and focuses on his anubhavam of the Archa Murthys.
He identifies the three divya desams -- Attigiri (Kanchi ), Thiruvenkatam and Thiru VeLulkkai-- as the sacred places , which the Lord wearing the cool Tulasi garlands blesses by His presence. The Azhwaar says that the Archa Murthys of these three divya desams have not moved away from his mind or from the proximity of the red eyed Adiseshan even for a moment. The azhwaar says my mind like the bed of Adisesha is an eternal place of residence for the Lord of ThiruveLukkai Paadi .The word Paadi that we see at the end of ThirukkavaLampaadi and Thiruvelukkai Paadi as in this pasuram refers to a town .
THIRTY FOURTH VERSE OF PEY AZHWAAR
ANRRU IVVULAGAM ALANDHA
NINRU IRUNDHU VELUKKAI NEENAGARVAAI
KIDANTHAANAI KEDIL SEERANAI MUN KANJAI
KADANTHAANAI NENJAMEH KAAN
Here Pey Azhwaar engages in a dialog with his mind. He appeals to it to meditate on the lord of eternal auspicious qualities and bring him forth in the mind"s eye (Saakshathkaaram ). He says: " O My mind! The Lord, who destroyed Kamsan during the time of Incarnation as Krishna and who measured the universes with His feet during the time of incarnation as Vamana seems to be resting from these tiring efforts through sitting at Vegavathi bank as Kamaasikhaa Narasimhan and lying down on Adisesha at Thiru Vehhaa. O my Mind! Please meditate on Him and bring Him before you like we saw him at Thirukkovalur on a rainy night.
SIXTY SECOND VERSE OF PEY AZHWAAR
VINNAGARAM VEHHAA VIRI
TIRAI NEER VENKATAM
MANNAGARAM MAAMAADA VELUKKAI--MANNAHATTHA
TENKUDANTHAI TENAAR THIRUVARANGAM TENKOTTI
TAN KUDANGAI NEER YERRAN THAAZHVU
Here, Pey Azhwaar pays
tribute to the sowlabhyam and Sowseelyam, two of the Lord's Anantha
Kalyana Gunas.The Azhwaar reveals that the Lord of infinite accessibility
to the lowliest and the highest (Sowlabhyam) and limitless virtuous qualities ( Sowseelyam ) is resident in the Archa form at Thiru Vinnagar, Thiru Vehhaa , Thiru Venkatam known for its beautiful waterfalls and springs, Thiru VeLukkai famous for its tall spires , beautiful Thirukkudanthai , Srirangam with its honey-laden flowers abundant in the groves and Thirukkotiyur.The key words in this pasuram are " Tan Kudangai Neererran Thazhvu " . The Lord is the owner of everything because of His Paratvam. Inspite of it, He begged for three steps of Land from Maha Bali and received the Daanam water on His hands to seal the transaction.Such is His Sowseelyam and Sowlabhyam says the Azhwaar here.
THIRUMNAGAI AZHWAAR'S MANGALAASAASANAM OF THIRUVELUKKAI
In his Periya Thirumadal, Parakaala Nayaki in her ardent love of the Lord threatens to shame Him into submission through the invocation of the act of Madal as a route to gain Him back .Overtaken by passion and being unable to stand the thought of separation from her object of love,Parakala Nayaki appeals indirectly to the Lord's Rakshatva and Sowlabhya .She appeals to Him frantically " to come down from His transcendental kingdom and Height to accept the purest flower of love -offering (Kama Pushpa)even though the love is coming from a being unfitted in every sense to receive such a grace ". Parakala Nayaki offers the Kama Pushpa to Kamaasikhaa Narasimhan and calls Him as Velukkai AaL Lion . She threatens to mount the Madal, if He does not pay attention to her frantic appeal.The performance of Madal has been compard to one of the limbs of Saranagathi known as Kaarpanyam or prostration at the feet of the Lord in astate of utter helplessness and seeking union with Him.
MAHAA PRABHAAVA SRI NARAYANA NARASIMHA, NARAYANA VIRA SIMHA, NARAYANA KRURA SIMHA,NARAYANA DIVYA SIMHA, NARAYANA VYAAGRA SIMHA, NARAYAN PUCCHA SIMHA, NARAYANA POORNA SIMHA,-- ABHAYANKARA RUPA SIMHA, -- PRAHLAADA VARADA SIMHA,BHAKTHAABHISHTA DHAAYEE SIMHA, LAKSHMI NARASIMHA SIMHA, ADHYATBHUTA RUPA SIMHA, --- PAAHI MAAM
-- EXCERPTS FROM NRSIMHA GADHYAM
SARVA VEDAANTHA VEDHYAAYA
SARVALOKA SARANYAYA SRI NRSIMHAAYA MANGALAM
SAMARCHITAAYA NITYAAYA SRI NRSIMHAAYA MANGALAM
---EXCERPTS FROM THE SRI
NRUSIMHA MANGALM BY THE
TWENY FIFTH JEEYAR OF AHOBILA MUTT: SRI VAN SATAKOPA
SRINIVASA YATINDRA MAHAA DESIKAN.
SRI NRUSIMHA PARABRHMANEH NAMA: