"Life without marriage is load
and time stands still." Everyone yearns for a soulmate. The all-compassionate
Almighty is ever ready to help you find a suitable match and start
"living" on earth… Beseech Lord Adi Varaha at Thiruvidanthai
to bless you with marital bliss! You will definitely find your love
within no time.
Amidst tall trees and lush groves, 40kms from Chennai (Tamil Nadu),
lies the small, scenic village of Thiruvidanthai, which is one of
the 108 Divya Desams (holy pilgrim centres) of Vaishnavites. This
punya kshetra is in the Kanchipuram district, about 2 km from Kovalam,
en route Mahabalipuram.
Among the ten incarnations of Lord Mahavishnu, the third incarnation
was in the form of Varaha, the Boar. The temple at Thiruvidanthai
is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the aspect of this incarnation. The
Lord with the wild boar face is hailed as the embodiment of all
wisdom and knowledge.
deity Lord Adi Varaha
The 9-foot high Lord's idol (immovable) has His consort Akhilavalli
Ammal seated on His left thigh, His left hand encircling Her waist,
Her feet resting on the Lord's lower palm. ("Ida" in the name "Thiruvidanathai"
refers to the Lord holding His consort on His left side. "Ida" means
"left side"). Lord is holding a conch in His upraised right hand
and discus in His left. His right foot, raised knee-high, is resting
on the many-hooded serpent Adi Sesha.
The Utsavamurthy (procession deity) is Nithya Kalyana Perumal, invariably
dressed as a bridegroom, with a black spot (to ward off evil eye
for the groom) on His left cheek. Marriage ceremony is conducted
everyday and so the Lord is fondly called as "Nithya Kalyana Perumal"
("Nithya" means daily and "Kalyana" the marriage).
Mythology associated with Thiruvidanthai
The temple is rich is puranic lore. Once upon a time, there lived
a sage, Kalava by name, who had 360 daughters. In those days, this
temple town was so huge that it had 360 agraharams (main streets).
Out of respect for the sage, residents in each street took up the
task of bringing up each of the 360 daughters of the sage. When
they grew up, the sage thought that it would be a Herculean task
to get them all married suitably; praying fervently, he took refuge
at the feet of Lord Adi Varaha. The most compassionate Lord Maha
Vishnu assumed the form of a Brahmachari (bachelor), appeared in
the first agraharam, proposed marriage with the first daughter and
then married her. When the newly-weds visited the temple of Lord
Adi Varaha, they vanished mysteriously in the sanctum sanctorum.
This was repeated to the rest of sage Kalava's daughters, day after
day. The bewildered Maharshi wanted to know from God Himself the
whereabouts of his daughters and sons-in-law. When he entered the
sanctum sanctorum, Lord Varaha appeared before him, holding all
the 360 daughters on His lap. The Lord merged all the 360 souls
into the single soul of Goddess Lakshmi, making Her sit on His raised
left thigh. The sage was greatly elated to be the father of Goddess
Lakshmi Herself. As the marriage ceremony continued day after day
for 360 days, the place came to be known as "Nithya Kalyana Puri"
and the lord as "Nirthya Kalyana Perumal". Vaishnavite philosophy
speaks of the whole mankind as female and Lord Maha Vishnu as the
only male "Purushothama". Eternal union of the souls with the God
brings salvation (Jeevatma merging with Paramatma). A great truth
is driven home symbolically as the merger of the brides and the
bridegroom. On the earthly level, it is believed that worship of
this Lord confers bliss of marriage faster.
Mythology says that Lord Sri Adi Varaha helped Lord Srinivasa in
Tirupathi, by giving the land. As to explain this, we can find a
big white bindhi(big dot) in the chin of Lord Nithya Kalyana Perumal
and the Goddess, as seen in the deities of Tirupathi.
Noted Vaishnavite saint of yore, Thirumangai Azhwar, has sung in
praise of the Lord at Thiruvidanthai. The Lord here is said to have
appeared before Markandeyar, the immortal sage.
Epigraphical evidences found in the temple speak of Kings belonging
to different dynasties like Chola, Udaiyar, Pandya, and others.
Patronizing the temple from the 10th to the 16th
centuries A.D. On festive occasions, the deity is decorated with
a garland of 108 Saligrams, which was presented to the Lord by a
staunch devotee Hariseka Maharaj, the ruling chief of Mahabalipuram.
The sacred shrine faces the sea on the East. Surrounding the sanctum
sanctorum, there are small separate shrines for Komalavalli Thayar
(the first daughter of sage Kalava), Sri Andal, Lord Ranganatha,
Goddess Ranganayaki and others. The holy water-front are Kalyana
Theertham and Varaha Theertham. Holy dips in these sacred tanks
during the solar months of Aries (April-May) and Aquarius (February-March)
respectively would ensure wish-fulfilment and salvation. There is
also another sacred water-front called "Ranganathar Theertham".
Special days of worship
Large crowds throng the temple for worship on the days of Vaikunta
Ekadasi. The annual festival is celebrated with much pomp and splendour
on the day of star Pushya in the solar month of Capricorn (January-February).
The deity is taken on a procession in a palanquin, exquisitely carved
with ivory images, depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Maha Vishnu.
During the solar month of Pisces (March-April), a 9-day festival
"Panguni Uththiram" is celebrated. The day of the star "Uttara Phalguni"
Special worship for speedy wedlock
At the temple, special poojas are conducted for those aspiring marriage.
The aspirant is to perform archana and offer two garlands to the
Lord Adi Varaha and the Goddess. The aspirant is asked to wear a
garland then and circumambulate the temple precincts nine times,
devoutly praying to the Lord for happy, speedy wedlock. Garlands
of the deities are then distributed to the aspirant, asking him
/ her to safeguard them in the pooja room, till the marriage materializes.
After the marriage, dried garlands are to be returned to the temple
by the happy newly-wed couple. There stands a huge tree as testimony,
holding thousands of dried garlands, after fulfilling the wishes
of speedy wedlock to many a devotee. For Rahu-Ketu afflictions in
the horoscope, special worship is offered here to the many-hooded
serpent Adi Sesh Nag, which holds the divine feet of the Lord of