Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chengannur Narasimhaswamy Temple

We  know that the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Narasimha is very powerful and the half human and half lion form itself creates a fearful respect and devotion in our minds.Actually Narasimhaswamy is very kind towards his devotees.Lord Maha Vishnu took this form to safeguard his firm devotee 'Prahlad ' and at the same time
to save the earth from the cruel King Hiranyaka Sipu.
Narasimha Swamy is worshiped in several forms and one is 'Lakshmi Sametha Narasimha Swamy' which is in a very calm and pleasant mood.Another form is 'Abhaya Narasimha Moorthy'.At Kuravilangadu Kozha temple the deity is in this form.
At Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple premises there is a Narasimha Swamy temple also which is very famous.
Ancestors were experienced of the roar of the 'Lion' from the temple in earlier days.When Swathy Thirunal Maharajah was  the ruler of Travancore, on an Aarattu Festival day one of the Elephants became violent and ran towards the King.The panic crowd ran away in all directions to save their lives while the Maharajah stood where he was as if nothing happened.The fierce Elephant came near him and bowed to him and obeyed to the orders.It is said that at that time Maharajah's face was resembling that of a lion and he made the Elephant calm by praying 'Narasimha Mantra'.Swathi Thirunal was a firm devotee of Narasimha Swamy.
Chengannur, which is the Cultural Center of Central Travancore is blessed by an ancient Narasimha Swamy
Temple which is known as 'Sastham Kulangara Temple'.It is very near to the Pampa River and half kilometres
from Chengannur Mahadeva Temple.Out of the most important 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu in India only 11 temples are in Kerala now which includes Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trivandrum,Thrikkakara Vamana Temple,Sree Vallabha Swamy temple,Thiruvalla etc.All the five Pancha Pandava Maha Vishnu temples are among these 11 temples out of which 'Thrichittattu Temple,Thrippuliyoor temple and Thiruvanvandoor Temple are in Chengannur itself and Thiru Aranmula Temple near to Chengannur.The fifth one 'Thrikkodithanam' is at Changanacherry.One of the very important Subramanya swamy temple established by Cheraman Perumal Maharaja is Bala Subramanya Swamy Temple at Cheriyanadu in Chengannur.
From these facts itself  it is clear that Chengannur was an important pilgrimage center from olden times.Sastham Kulangara Narasimha Temple is also a Vaishnava temple.It is believed that Sastham Kulangara Narasimha Swamy Temple is older than Chengannur Mahadeva Temple.

In this temple women were not allowed to enter the 'Nalambalam' as a custom.But  some years back during a 'Deva Prasnam(Astrologcal method to determine God's will) it was made clear that God does not have any
objection to allow women devotees inside the temple.But then also some women are still afraid to enter inside the temple.
This temple deity was installed by a Sage known as 'Muchira Swamiyar'.During the past olden days there were many eminent scholars and holy men who traveled all over the State and visited the temples to perform worship.They could understand the presence of different forms of God's energy prevailing in some places and
established   temples in those places  by consecrating the respective deities.

 One such famous Sage was 'Vilwamangalam Swamiyar' who established and sanctified several Deities throughout Kerala.Muchira
Swamiyar was also in this category who traveled with a group of disciples.Swamiyar and his disciples were
firm Brahmacharis and did not allow women even to come near them.When Muchira Swamy stayed at
Chengannur he used to perform pooja rituals to the deity  of Narasimha Swamy and meanwhile women were not allowed inside
the temple.
Thus it became a custom in this temple  but God has no dislike to women.The Deity of this temple is in a plesant
calm mood which is 'Lakshmi Narasimha Moorthy'(Narasimha Swamy with Goddess Lakshmi Devi).
Outside the sanctum Sanctorum there are so many ancient paintings on wooden planks which are scenes from Ramayanam,Bhagavatham etc which dates back to several centuries  but still very beautiful.Because of these ancient paintings and sculptures the Archaeological Department of India has taken over the protection of this Temple.
Another special mention needs to say is about the 'Ganapathy' of this temple.It is 'Lakshmi Sametha Ganapathy' which is 'Ganapathy' in the childhood form sitting on the lap of Goddess Lakshmi Devi which is very auspicious and rare.Everybody reading this article should visit  Chengannur Mahadeva Temple,All the five Pancha Pandava Maha Vishnu Temples which are among the 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu in India(All these temples are in and around Chengannur) and Chengannur Narasimha Swamy Temple.If possible also visit 'Bala Subramanya Swamy temple of 'Cherianadu'  in Chengannur which was built by 'Cheraman Perumal'.

Narasimha Swamy has to be worshiped to get rid off our all kinds of fears and to gain vigour,strength, energy and stamina and obviously Lakshmi Sametha Narasimha Swamy will bless us with Prosperity too.
Important Narasimha Swamy temples are there at Mavelikkara Mattom,Sooranad North,Aanayadi Pazhayidom,Manganam in Kottayam District,Moovattupuzha,Puthur,Pattambi,Kaithali Kannambra Rishi Narada Mangalam etc.
                                                "Ugram Veeram Maha Vishnum
                                                  Jwalantham Sarvatomukham
                                                  Nrisimham Bheeshanam Bhadram
                                                   Mrithyu Mrithyum Namamyaham"
This is an important and sacred Narasimha Mantra which can be chanted 18 times every day after taking bath sitting or standing in front of the lamp,  if possible or other wise..Increase the number of chanting after consulting a 'Guru' or the priest of a Narasimha Swamy Temple Only.
It is believed that 'Panakam' is the most loved offering to Narasimha Swamy which can be done by the devotees  in the Narasimha Swamy Temples.
Thrichittattu Temple
Thiruvanvandoor Temple
Thiru Aranmula Temple