Saint Poets Azhvaars (there were 12 of them including Andaal) were ardent devotees of Vishnu. These saint poets composed verses in Tamil and revitalized the religious spirit sparking off a renewal of devotional worship, referred to as the Bhakti movement. The Azhvaars visited Vishnu temples and sung praises in the name of the Lord. Such temples have come to be known as Divya Desams. The compilation of the verses (known as Paasurams) is the revered Naalayira Divya Prabandam(4000 verses)
There are 108 Divya Desams in all, out of which over 80 are in Tamil Nadu. 40 of these temples are in the Chola region (Trichy-Thanjavur-Kumbakonam belt), 22 are in the Kanchipuram-Chennai region, 2 in Nadu Naadu(Cuddalore….) and 18 in Pandya Kingdom – Madurai/Tirunelveli belt.There are 13 in Kerala and 11 in North India.(2 are out of the world)
In these temples, Vishnu is represented usually in one of three postures – reclining(Sayanam), seated(Amarntha) or standing(Ninra) posture.
Thiru Mangai Azhvaar has sung praise of the lord in 86 Divya Desams followed by Nammazhvaar in 37 Divya Desams.Among the temples where maximum number of Azhvaars have sung praises, Srirangam leads with 11 Azhvaars having sung praise , followed by Tirupathi, where 10 Azhvaars have sung praise of the Lord and Kumbakonam Sarangapani( 7 Azhvaars).
1. Pulla Boothangkudi – Liberation from Parental Curse -Jataayu Moksham
Situated about 10kms from Kumbakonam, this Divya Desam’s legendary tale dates back to the time of Ramayana.In search of Sita, Raama reaches this place to the cries of the Eagle King Jataayu, which was breathing its last.
The Eagle King, an old friend of King Dasharatha (father of Raama) had fought a valiant battle trying to rescue Sita from Raavana, before the Lankan king finally cut off both its wings. Lying in pain and unable to fly any further, the bird breathed its last uttering the words “ Raama Raama” and informing him that Sita had been taken away by Raavana.
Legend has it that Raama, who had not been able to perform the last rites for his father as he was away in the forest, derived some consolation by performing his obsequies and giving moksham to the Bird. In the Raamayana, this episode is referred to as the death of the 2nd father.It is believed that those who failed to perform last rites for their father(parents) will get liberation from their ‘parental curse’ (Pithru Saabham Nivarthi) if they visit this temple.
While performing the last rites, Raama felt the absence of Sita. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi came out of the Golden Lotus temple tank to stand by his side while he performed the last rites for the bird. Hence, Thaayar here is called Potraamaraiyaal.
The story also goes that Thirumangai Alwar who passed that way did not take notice of a tired Raama, who was relaxing in a sleeping posture under the tree after performing the last rites, and ignored the Lord mistaking him for a Kshatriya.Realising this, Raama gave darshan to Thirumangai Alwar in ‘Full Divine Form’- with Conch- Disc and four hands.
Thirumangai Alwar starts his 10 Pasurams here with the verse that reads “ I have passed the Lord without realizing who HE is…” – ‘Arivathariyaan Anaithu Ulagum Udayaan Ennai Aal Udayaan……………Pulla Bhoothang Kudi thaane.”
This is the only temple where Raama is in the reclining posture with all his ornaments and 4 hands. Sita is not seen with the moolavar, as this temple relates to the time when Raama is separated from her.
Many devotees have got employment after visiting Yoga Narasimhar (a separate sannadhi within the temple), so much so that the devotees have named it the Udyoga Narasimhar.
This temple is administered by Ahobila Matam.
Located about 10kms from Kumbakonam and 4kms from Swami Malai on the Thiru Vaikaavoor Road between Cauvery and Coloroon rivers
Main Deity- Valvil RamarGoddess- Potraamaraiyaal
Thirumangai Alwar – 10 Paasurams (1348-1357)
Local Bus Nos. 12 and 30 ply from Kumbakonam to Pulla bhoothangkudi (via Swami Malai) on way to Thiruvaikaavoor
Temple Timing – 730am-1230pm and 4pm-730pm
Priest- Gopal Bhattachar, Tel No. 94435 25365