Among the 106 Divya Desams on Earth, the other two being the Celestial Ocean – Parkadal and the Lord’s eternal abode, Sri Vaikuntam, Sri Parthasarathy Temple at Triplicane (Chennai) has a few unique features, which I would like to mention here.
The main deity is Lord Sri Parthasarathy facing the sea in the East. Lord Krishna, in his 9thAvatar came to the Earth to protect Dharma (righteousness).
When it was decided that the Kauravas will wage war against the Pandavas who were denied their rightful share of running the country, Kaurava King Duryodhana (son of Drithirashtra) went to Lord Krishna to seek his support. Around the same time, Pandava King Dharmaraja (Yudhishtra) also came to visit the Lord. Duryodhana admonished Dharma and said he was the elder brother between the two and also the ruling king so he would first ask what he wants from Lord Krishna. Also, he sat near the head of Lord Krishna as He was sleeping. When Krishna woke up, he first saw Dharma and enquired about him, which further irked Duryodhana and told Krishna that he came before Dharma and he must be allowed first to ask what he wanted for the War, which Krishna smilingly obliged. Duryodhana asked Krishna all the ammunition that ever existed, horses, elephants, swords et al which Krishna agreed to give away to him. Duryodhana laughed wickedly at Dharma and left the place.
Krishna asked Dharma that he had nothing to part anymore to which Dharma said that he just needed the Lord to be with them in the War. The Utsavar Idol at Sri Parthasarathy Temple which has been around for centuries depict the arrow marks and injuries on the Lord’s face which can be seen till date at the temple. And thus, we know who won the war & how. This conversation has a larger life meaning. Even though we may have everything in life, money, material wealth, houses, cars, clothes and what not, ultimately, we all need His Grace and that’s what matters at the end of the day.
At this temple, Sri Parthasarathy is in standing form and within the main prakaram (Sannidhi), one can also see Lord Rama and Sri Ranganatha in reclining form. Just outside this sannidhi, is another deity in the form of Sri Varadaraja Swamy, atop his celestial vahana, the Garuda (the celestial Eagle). The Lord here is also known as “Nitya Garuda Perumal” – always on Garuda Vahana ready for his ardent devotees. Adjoining this Sannidhi is Lord Sri Narasimha in Yoga form known as “Yoga Narasimha”.
Also, this is one of the very few temples where Lord Sri Rama is with all his three brothers Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrugna and Goddess Sita Devi by his side. Lord Hanuman who is usually by His side, is facing the Lord about 15 feet away, another rarity across Sri Rama Temples or Divya Desams. One can also find the Dashavatara forms of Sriman Narayana on the Pillars behind the main Sannidhi. Needless, this is what we see and observe when we visit the temple. Perhaps there are many other gems that could be unearthed every time we visit.
Lord Narasimha is from the Krita Yuga, Lord Rama is from Tretha Yuga and Lord Parthasarathy is from Dwapara Yuga as Krishna Avatara. Sri Ranganatha in the reclining form is the way the Lord Resides at Sri Vaikuntam and Lord Varadaraja is the way the Lord comes to his devotee’s rescue. Fascinating indeed – this is perhaps the only Divya Desam where the Lord can be seen on all forms in which He has appeared across Yugas and at his celestial abode.