Lord Oppiliappan and Goddess Bhoomidevi at the Puzhuthivakkam temple ... an awesome presence.
SEVERAL SHRINES for Lords Ranganatha, Srinivasa and other deities exist in different places but the "Lord Incomparable" (Thannopparil Appan) is enshrined only in Tiruvinnagar or Oppiliappankoil (Tirunageswaram), near Kumbakonam.
A temple has been built for Him at Puzhuthivakkam (Madipakkam) in Chennai, where since 1987, His Utsavar idol is being worshipped along with the Moolavar idol of Sri Pattabisheka Ramar.
Puzhuthivakkam means that it has been hallowed by the dust particles of numerous devotees. The temple, measuring 3,000 sq. ft, situated in Ram Nagar North on a four-ground site has grown in stature over the one and a half decades of its existence because of the commitment shown by the devotees as well as its organisers.
The Oppiliappan-Pattabisheka Ramar temple ... reverberating with divinity.
As one goes through the main entrance, one can see Lord Rama, in a sitting posture, with Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna, as well as Sugriva and Anjaneya at the Lord's feet. There is no Utsavar idol for Rama and other deities in the temple only a small Nithyotsavar idol is offered worship.
But now the organisers have got ready the Utsavar idols for Rama, Sita and others as well as Hayagriva and Nithyotsavar for Lord Oppiliappan, which are to be installed along with the Moolavar idol of Lord Oppiliappan, Sri Bhoomidevi Thayar and Sage Markandeya at the time of the Samprokshanam.
The newly made Moolavar idol of the Lord measures about seven and a half feet.
There is a shrine for Sri Sudarsana in shadgona (hexagonal) shape where the Lord's Holy Discus holds all the 16 weapons as described in scriptures and as enshrined in the Kalamega Perumal Temple at Thirumohur, near Madurai.
It is in the fitness of things that Sri Sudarsana, who is ever alert in the Lord's right hand and accompanies Him during His incarnations (He was the Lord's tusk during the Varahavatar, His nail during the Narasimhavatar, Kusa grass during the Vamanavatar, the axe in the Parasuramavatar, Kothandam or bow during the Ramavatar and hoe when He came into the world as Balarama) is offered worship in a separate shrine. Sri Narasimha's small idol is on the other side of the Sudarsana image so that He can be removed and offered Thirumanjanam (holy bath) separately.
There is a shrine for Anjaneya at the northeast corner of the temple, which is to be relocated before the Samprokshanam. The great scholar, Sri Mukkur Lakshminarasimhachariar, was instrumental in encouraging the organisers to build the temple, the construction of which is estimated to cost Rs. 30 lakhs. A novel way of raising funds by asking each devotee to contribute Rs. 2,500 in one instalment or Rs. 250 in 10 instalments, which will go towards their adoption of one "Nama" of the "Vishnu Sahasranamam", was introduced at the time of the consecration of the shrine of Sri Sudarsanazhwar.
Contributions may be sent to the Oppiliappan (Moolavar) Pratishta Committee, 12-A, K.K.K. Street, Madipakkam, Chennai-600091.
T. A. SRINIVASAN
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