Glories of Lord Varadaraja - Part 2

Glories of Lord Varadaraja - Part 2

Date
Author
Sudarshana devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled "Glories of Lord Varadaraja" wherein we saw how Lord Varadaraja appeared from the sacrificial fire during the Ashwamedha yajna conducted by Lord Brahmaji in Kanchipuram. 

Brahmaji was very pleased to see the beautiful form of Lord, His four arms decorated with shanka, cakra, gada and padma. In Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 11 verse 46 we find that even Arjuna, after seeing the Universal form of the Lord longed to see the transcendental form of Lord with four hands. 

kiritinam gadinam cakra hastam / icchaami tvaam drashtum aham tathaiva
tenaiva rupena catur bhujena / sahasro baaho bhava vishva murte

"O universal form, O thousand-armed Lord, I wish to see You in Your four-armed form, with helmeted head and with club, wheel, conch and lotus flower in Your hands. I long to see You in that form."

 And the Lord after showing His universal form as well as His caturbhuja form and two handed form tells Arjuna that all these darshans are (su-durdarsham) very very rare and difficult to behold. He says that even the demigods are ever seeking the opportunity to see this form, which is so dear. Krishna also clarifies that neither by studying the Vedas, nor by performing sacrifices, nor by charity, nor by pious activities, nor by severe penances can one see Him. But when He is pleased with the devotees, Lord reveals Himself to them. 

The pastime of Brahmaji performing Ashwamedha yajna in Kanchipuram took place in Satyuga. Brahmaji - out of compassion for all living entities in the material world, wished that everyone in the forthcoming yugas also be blessed with His beautiful darshan and Lord Varadaraja in Kanchipuram. So Brahmaji instructed the celestial architect Vishwakarma to carve Deity of Lord using Fig tree (known as Athi maram) And since then Lord Athivaradar was worshiped as presiding Deity in Kanchipuram until 16th century. During the Mughal attacks, the invaders plundered and destroyed so many temples and monuments in India. With a sincere desire to protect the Deity the chief priests of the Kanchipuram temple decided to secretly immerse Him under the waters in the sacred pushkarani (temple pond) called as Ananda Sarovar. Only the priest's family knew the exact place. For nearly 40 long years, the temple had no murthies in the grabhagraha and no pooja was being performed in the temple. The chief priests under whose authority the hiding of Deity took place, passed away. Their two sons, after more than 40 years, tried vigorously to bring the Deities back to the temple, to start the pooja again. 

Unable to find the Athi Varadha, the authorities decided bring another Deity called Devaraja Swami from a nearby temple. Since He resembled Athi Varadharajar He was installed as presiding Deity and the regular pooja started. In 1709 - by divine arrangement Lord revealed His presence, when for some reason the water in the Ananta Sarovar was completely taken out. The temple authorities decided to worship the Lord for 48 days and then again keep Him immersed in Ananda Sarovar. Though these are some of the external reasons which we hear about Lord's appearance - by grace of Sri Guru, Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna we can realise that Lord appears and disappears from our vision by His sweet will. He reveals Himself to His pure devotees and by the mercy of pure devotees, Lord mercifully shows His darshan to all conditioned souls - just to please His devotees. So whenever we take darshan of Lord, we must always be grateful and thankful to mercy and compassion of our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada and Lord Brahmaji.

Krishna willing we shall continue to hear more nectar from Maharaj in the subsequent offering.

Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi