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History and Significance of Sri Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram 

Lord Brahmma felt sad that He was not respected with idol worship on earth as to other Lords and organized a great yajna to realize His wish. He left Mother Saraswathi. Mother Saraswathi sent some powerful demons to stop the yajna. Brahmma too prayed to Lord Vishnu to protect Him from the enemies. Lord Vishnu appeared there with 8 hands-Ashtabhuja Perumal-drove away the demons and the Kaali following and helped Brahmma complete His yajna successfully. This is the 44th Divya desa with the Mangalasasanam of Saints Peyazhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar. This is the only Vishnu temple with a Mangalasasanam dedicated exclusively for Mother Alarmel Mangai. According to scriptures, Lord Vishnu was in this place as Adi Kesava Perumal even before His fame as Ashtabhuja Perumal after Azhwars’ Mangalasasanams. Perumal is holding discus, sword, flower and an arrow in His right 4 hands, conch, bow, armour and club in the left four hands. The entrance and Sorgavasal in Perumal temples are generally in different directions. Both are facing north in this temple, a special feature. Perumal saved Mother Bhoomadevi from the demons at this place. Hence, those buying Bhoomi – land either to build a house or for farming or facing difficulties in houses built already pray to Perumal to make their Bhoomi-sites a prosperous place.

History of Sri Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

Yogi Mahasandan decided to renounce his life in this earthly world and to reach the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. He plunged into penance for the purpose. Mahasandhan had such powers equal to Indira the king of Devas. Indira was shocked by the penance of Mahasandan and sent alluring beautiful women of his world to entice Mahasandhan to spoil his penance. They could not move the yogi. Finally, Indira came in the guise of male elephant and succeeded in his design. The yogi enticed by the beauty of the elephant, took the form of an elephant himself and wandered in the forest till he reached Salagramam for a bath. The yogi elephant was able to recollect his penance and the defeat he suffered then. It began visiting the Divya Desas, worshipped Perumal and sought a remedy for the folly it committed. Sage Mrikandu advised the elephant to go to Kanchi and worship Lord Varadaraja Perumal to realize its wish. It so happened that the elephant came to Lord Ashtabhuja Perumal temple and began worshipping Him 14,000 flowers each day. As it could not get sufficient flowers one day, it began plucking flowers from a nearby tank and was caught by a crocodile. As Gajendra did in the past, this elephant cried ‘Aadhi Moolame’ for protection. Lord, as He saved Gajendra in the past, appeared before the yogi elephant on His Garuda, cut the crocodile with His discus and granted salvation to the yogi elephant.

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