|Athivaradhar, Kanchipuram tnpds.co.in|
|Moolavar idol Varadaraja perumal temple, Kanchi. picswe.com|
|Varadaraja perumal temple, Kanchipuram ripadvisor.com.au|
It is an once-in-forty-years temple ritual in which the deity is retrieved from the waters of temple tank Ananadasaras. It was on July 2, 1979, he came out last to give darshan and earlier on 12th July, 1939. This time, in a span of three weeks, lakhs of people have visited this temple to have darshan. It is reported in the media that in 18 days roughly 20 lakhs (two million) devotees from Tamil Nadu and across India came to this temple to be blessed by the lord. The temple authorities never expected that a huge crowd of this magnitude would descend on this temple and they thought 20000 to 30000 devotees a day would visit till the end of this rare event. The lord will be kept in Ananthasayanam (reclining) posture for the first 24 days and for the rest of the period he will be in a standing posture. Each day the deity has impressive alangaram - decoration with flowers, clothing, etc. Simple ''Deepa Aradhani'' will be shown to the lord every now and then for the benefits of devotees. The reasons for this huge crowd sometimes reaching 100000 plus a day are Athivaradar will emerge from the Ananadasaras only after 40 years from now and, as he has emerged from the water tank after 4 decades, it is strongly believed that he brings with him positive energy and prosperity, dispelling negative thoughts and darkness - within and without. His emergence from his water abode is an assurance that bad elements in the society will be driven out for good. Peace and faith will be restored. After darshan, it is said, the devotees will have good things going in their lives; it is a sort of rejuvenation for them. Here, trust matters much.
|temple tank, Varadaraja Perumal temple, Kanchipuram. en.wikipedia.org|
|Varadaraja perumal temple, Kanchiesamskriti.com|
Those people who have no interest in our culture and age-old tradition, the wooden idol of Athivardhar may not cause any excitement. Nor does it induce reverence because they only look at the face value of the simple-looking wooden idol. That his emergence from Anandasaras after 4 decades has caused wide spread sensation not only in Tamil Nadu but also across India will bear testimony to his mystical power that drives away the negative elements in our society and his divinity that has an aura about him. This is because he was worshipped by innumerable pious people and by some great Vaishnava Acharyas - Ramanujacharya, Vedanta Desikan, Manavala Mamunigal, et al in the past eras. For countless devotees who witness this event for the second time, they are fortunate to have been blessed twice and the present event may get them to go nostalgic. This particular wooden idol is more than 1000 years old as confirmed by the worship of Sri Ramanujar.
This idol was once the ''Moolar'' centuries ago, because it had minor damages for unknown reasons, as per Agama sastras, it was unfit for worship. Hence, the idol was immersed in the temple tank.