Experiencing the Parthasarathy Temple
Third Party Video
The Parthasarathy temple"....... is the simple and popular way this old and beautiful temple is referred to.
The temple is a must visit place for those in the city and those who come to enjoy the city.
The temple has a long and complicated history dating back to the Brahmanda Puranam.
There are many detailed writings about the temple. The history has been detailed by many people more qualified than me.
To many of us who visit the temple often it is not the history that moves the heart........ it is the experience of being in the temple.
As we enter the temple, we always have the feeling that we are walking into a place of powerful spirituality. Entering from the eastern direction, we pass by many old and traditional shops. Here, you can buy puja items, often, not found anywhere else. Let us keep this for the time when we leave the temple.
Every time I get close to the temple, an unexplainable longing takes over my mind and body. I move quickly past the mantapam on the outside and cross over to a rectangular area where the flag pole is installed. Here I first pay my respects to Garudar. A large shrine houses an imposing idol of the Garudar..... with folded hands.
The spiritual engines in my heart have now changed gears........ my eyes now rest on a large idol of Sri Venkatakrishna Swami, the presiding deity of the temple. Being a charioteer he has a large and flowing mustache. Walking the winding path set by the temple, we reach the presence of the lord. Our eyes are filled with the beauty of the image. I make an effort to empty my mind of the issues outside and try to live for the next few minutes opening my heart to the energy flowing from the image into my soul. What joy I feel..... I could stand here all day and still want more.
In front of the large idol of Sri Venkatakrishna Swami, we see a small wooden idol. This the actual Parthasarathy idol. The smiling face of Parthasarathy is covered by small marks. At first we wonder why the temple has such an idol for the Lord. Then we learn the story behind the marks. During the Mahabharath war Krishna or Parthasarathy was the charioteer of Arjuna. In that position, he absorbed many arrows shot by Bheeshma. The marks we see today on his face are the arrow marks .
Sri Venkatakrishna Swami also referred to as "GEETHACHARYA". It is in this role Lord Krishna recited the holy Bhagavad Gita. If you have not read this beautiful writing you are missing out on the essence of the universal knowledge. Go outside and buy a copy...... find a quiet corner and read this book. Read not from your mind but from your heart....... it will change your life.
In the area of the Parthasarathy shrine, we can see the oldest of the shrines in the temple of Sri Mannadha Swamy or refered to as Sri Ranganathar. This is Lord Vishnu reclining on the snake Sheshanag.
The other shrine in this area is Sri Chakravarthi Thirumagan or Sri Rama with his brothers Bharatha, Shatrughna, Lakshmana and his consort Seetha. Opposite is a small idol of Hanuman.
As I leave the Parthasarathy shrine, I drop some offerings into the Hundi or a vessel kept to collect offering given by the devotees.
As I walk to the right side of the Parthasarathy shrine I start chanting slokas for Godess Lakshmi or Sri Vedavalli Thayar as she is known in this temple. The idol is beautiful, decorated in flowers and bedecked in diamonds. My eyes once again fill with the experience of spiritual delight.
To her right is Lord Gajendra Varadar Swamy. Here, Lord Vishnu is seen sitting on Garudar, his vehicle, as he rescues the elephant from the mouth of a crocodile. This signifies that even at the point of death, Lord Vishnu will come to your aid if you pray to him sincerely.
Walking around this shrine I now reach Sri Thellia-Singa-Perumal or Sri Narasimha Swamy. He is seated in the Yogic pose facing west. The shrine is located right behind Sri Parthasarathy swamy shrine.
Lord Narasimha is the point of destination for me. I perform a personal pilgrimage to him on a periodic basis. Lord Narasimha represents to me a form of Lord Vishnu the ultimate in spiritual knowledge. I sit outside his shrine and meditate....... slowly I feel the pressures of the outside world melt away. I seem to travel into a journey inside my mind. The longer I am able to hold this experience the stronger I feel.
After completing my prayers here, I now visit the shrine dedicated to Andal or the Godess of Earth.
Now my visit for the day is done. I walk out of the temple happy and calm. In a few hours I will once again look forward to visiting the temple the next day.
If you want to know the history of the temple and the various deities I suggest you visit the temple web page. For me, the temple is a place where my Atma or soul grows on every visit. I feel the words of the Bhagavad Gita. As Arjuna became composed to do his Dharma or duty I hope everyone who visits the Parthasarathy Temple will open their soul to be able to feel the Lord.