Srirangam in Tamil Nadu near Trichy is first among the one hundred and eight Divya Desam. Out of the twelve Azhwars eleven Azhwars had song in praise of the presiding deity Sri Ranganathar of this kshetra. For worshippers of Sri Hari ‘koyil’ means only this kshetram. The temple complex is as big as a city itself, and the architecture of the complex is so, that the main deity is enclosed in seven ‘chutru’. The revered temple was the epicenter of dwita philosophy and has a long history.
Sriranga Mahathmiyam brings out in detail the origin of the great temple in Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. Brahma meditated upon Sri Vishnu and in His supreme trance received the gift of the Vishnu's deity, "Ranga Vimana". The deity was in worship at Ayodhya after being passed on by Brahma to Viraja, Vaiswatha, Manu, Ishwaku and finally to Sri Rama. Since the deity “Ranga Vimana” was in worship by the dynasty of Ishwaku He is known as “Kula Dhanam”. Sri Rama worshipped the deity for a long time at Ayodhya, and gifts the same to King of Lanka Sri Vibhishana. When Vibhishana was going via Trichy en route to Sri Lanka, the deity wanted to stay in Srirangam. Ranganathan, captivated by the devotion of a King called Dharma Varma, who was doing penance to have Lord Ranganathan to permanently stay Srirangam, stayed put, promising to cast his benign glance eternally on Lanka. Hence it is that the deity (in a reclining posture) faces south towards Lanka.
Many great saint followers of dwita philosophy had lived in this great kshetram, and Sri Raghottama Teertha was one among them. He was a great devotee of Sri Anjaneya and Sri Moola Rama. We will a take a look in his devotion to Sri Anjaneya in this article.
Sri Subba Batha and Gangabai were followers Sri Madvacharya’s Dwita philosophy and were not blessed with any child. They prayed to Sri Hari and they were blessed by the Sri Hari with a son who was to become the 13th Pontiff in lineage of Sri Uttaradhi Mutt. A brief Biography of the saint is given in our ‘Sri Hanumath Devotees’. Reading this brief Biography will give the readers an idea how Sri Hari had blessed this divine child to become one of the great saints.
He had written Tippanis to bring out the nature and hidden meanings of the works of Sri Madvacharya and Sri Jayateertha. These Tippanis are called “Bhavabodha”. Brihadaranya Bhavabhoda, Nyaya Vivarana Bhavabhoda, Gitabhashya Bhavabhoda (Prameya Dipika Bhavabhoda), Vishnutatvanirnaya Bhavabhoda, Tattvaprakashika Bhavabhoda are the five Bhavabodhas written by him. This gave him the name Bhavabodhakararu.
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Biography of Sri Raghottama Teertha
Sri Raghuttama Teertha had stayed in Srirangam for writing these Bhavabodhas in East Uttari Vidhi from where he had dharshan of ‘Ranga Vimanam’. Even today this place is kept with the same sanctity, held in reverence and houses a Sri Anjaneya Swamy temple. A visit to this place which gave Sri Raghuttama Teertha the name Bhavabodhakararu will calm our mind and give us immense peace.
Sri Bhavabodha Anjaneya Swamy Temple which is in the administrative control of Sri Uttradhi Mutt is located in 194, East Uttara Street, Srirangam. The temple which came into existence during 16th Centaury is void of any big gopuram etc. If one sees from the outside it will be seen as a simple house. Let us see the history of this simple and great temple.
Sri Raghuttama Teertha [1537-1595] wrote five grandhas known as Bhava Bhodha residing in this place in Srirangam. He wrote these scripts looking at the great Srirangam temple's Pranavakara vimanam. Sri Anjaneya Swamy stood beside him and whenever Sri Raghuttama Teertha use to look to Sri Anjaneya Swamy for approval of what he had written, Sri Anjaneya use to nod His head in approval. After the approval of the script from Sri Anjaneya, Sri Teertharu use to proceed further.
Sri Raghuttama Teertha had installed here a shipla of Sri Anjaneya Swamy as seen by his during his writing of Sri Bhavabhodha and He is known as "Sri Bhavabhodha Anjaneya". As He was a witness to the commentaries written by Sri Raghuttama Sri Anjaneya is also known as "Gradha Shakshi Anjaneya".
Deity Sri Anjaneya Swamy is about eight feet in hight. He is seen with well curved ‘thruvachi’ in the background. All made in a single stone. The shilpa is facing west while Sri Anjaneya is seen facing south. His left foot is seen slightly strached forward than that of the right foot. Nupuram and Thandai adores the lotus feet. Kacham worned by him is held in the strong tighs. The kacham is held tightly in the hip by the belts known as ‘kati suthram’ made of dharpam. His hips are slightly bent which makes is standing posture graceful. His left hand is seen resting in the clavicle and holding the steam of the ‘sowganthika’ flower. The flower itself is seen raised along with His left arm. His strached right hand is seen in ‘abhaya mudra’. He is seen ‘mowji yagopaveetham’ adoring bosom. He is wearing two malas and in one of the mala resting on His bosom there is a doller with Sri Rama parivar embosed. His both arms are adorned with ‘angatham’ in the fore arm, ‘kankanam’ in wrist. ‘Bhuja valayam’ is seen falling from the soulders to fore arms. His long ears are seen wearing ‘kuntalam’ and ‘karna pushpam’. His curly hair is seen neatly held by a decorative ‘kesa bhadha’, and falling through the shoulder, over His right fore arm. Lords tail is rised and seen over His head with a small bent at the end with a bell. His golden hue eyes are showering karunyam and His kataksham is mesmarising.
If one looks from the East Uttara Vedhi the temple is seen as an old house with large rooms. If one enters and go past the rooms, a well maintained garden with a Tulsi Madam in the middle is seen. In the end of the garden there is stares which leads to the first floor of the building. There is a room in which Sri Anjaneya Swamy installed by Sri Raghuttama Teertha is present. This is the room in which Sri Teertha had written the five Bhava Bhodhas. A painting in the wall depicting this event is present in the room.
If one comes out of the temple and look for stares that can take to the terrace. Few steps above, from the terrace one can have a clear view of the 'Pranavakara Vimanam' and 'Vallai Gopuram’.
Have dharshan of ‘Pranavakara Vimanam’ and Bhavabodha Anjaneya Swamy. Sit and meditate in this holy place to secure correct thinking towards our life.
Ed [December 2013]
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