Monday, April 6, 2015

Varaha Jayanti (08-Apr-2015 - Sri Yajnavarahashtakam from Skanda Purana

Courtesy:Sri.K.Muralidharan Iyengar

Dear All,

Greetings and Namaste. As Sri Varaha Jayanti falls on 09-Apr-2015 (as per some other tradition, it falls on 16-Sep-2015), I am happy to share a short and sweet Ashtakam on Lord Yajnavaraha by Goddess Earth taken from Skanda Purana, Vaishnava Khanda and Chapter 1. This appears as part of Venkatachala Mahatmya (Tirupati) which is known as Varaha Kshetra.
Chapter 2 gives the rare Varaha Mantra - OM namaH shrIvarAhAya dharaNyuddhAraNaya (I had the good fortune of performing Sri Varaha Homa with this mantra once).
Comparatively, temples dedicated to Lord Varaha form are fewer with the most important being the small Varaha temple adjoining Tirupati Venkateshwara Temple, Srimushnam Bhuvaraha Swami Temple and Sri Nitya Kalyana Perumal Sannadhi in Thiruvidanthai near Chennai (en route Mahabalipuram). Of these, the Srimushnam temple is the most important and famous one since it is where Lord Varaha is believed to have emerged from ocean after retrieving Earth. Skanda Purana is said to have an elaborate account of this kshetra with dedicated Ashtottaram, Sahasranama and Kavacham (I had the shared the last two before). Varaha Stutis are still few in puranas but perhaps a bit more numerous than Kurma/Matsya avatars.

As an aside, I had been to Sri Lanka last week and had darshan at several shrines including Ramayana-related sites/shrines. I was pleasantly surprised to have darshan in a few temples which I did not know of and plan to visit viz. Sri Lakshmi Narayana Temple in Trincomalee (en route Nilaveli beach) and Gayatri Temple in Nuwara Eliya (not far away from Seetha Temple in Ashok Vatika). The Lakshmi Narayana Temple seems to have been recently built - but it is a very beautiful and big temple with many separate sannadhis for different avatars. Gayatri Temple is smaller by scale but built on the same lines as the one in Yeshwantpur in Bangalore. This is just info for people intending to visit Sri Lanka in future.

Another temple on the west coast is the Shiva Temple in Manavari 10km south of Chilaw town (80kms north of Colombo) - the unique history of this temple seems to be that Lord Rama installed and prayed Linga using sand here (Manal vari became Manavari) first before Rameshwaram (Rajarajeshwari Sametha Ramalingaswamy Temple). People normally go to the famous Munneswaram Temple in Chilaw (where Lord Rama is said to have prayed after Manavari) but even locals don't know much about Manavari as it is in a small village.

May We Pray to Lord Varaha on This Varaha Jayanti Day!