Once sage Bhargava perfomed penance in Thirumazhisai
known as Maheesarakshethra. This sacred place is near Madras on the Madras-
Kanchipuram Trunk road and is near Poovirundavalli. He got a male child through
Kanakangi, a celestial damsel. The child ,was not fully developed when it was
born and so Kanakangi left the child in a cane bush and went back to her abode.
The child, incarnate of 'Sri Sudarsanachakra, the celestial wheel of Lord
Vishnu was lying in the cane bush when Lord Jagannatha and his consort Lakshmi
sanctifying the temple in Tirumazhisai, appeared and showered. Their Grace on
the child. At the merciful glance of the Lord, the deformed body became whole
and the child endowed with a captivating personality began to cry.
Thiruvalaan, a resident of a nearby village who chanced
to pass by the bush, saw the crying child, and brought it home. Considering it
as a boon granted by the Lord to them, he and his wife brought up the child
with all affection naming it as 'Sivavakyar'. The foster-parents and the
neighbours were astonished to notice that the child was devoid of the symptoms
of hunger and thirst. It did not show any interest whotsoever even the breast
feeding. Yet the child was having its normal growth. At that time, there lived
another couple in the neighbouring village who were also longing for progeny.
Receiving reports about the divine child, they came to see the child. According
to tradition, one should not go with empty hands while visiting children,
temples, divine personalities and gurus. Accordingly they brought a jar full of
cow's milk in a spirit of devotion. To the surprise of all, the divine child
accepted the offering and drank a portion of the milk. The couple considered
themselves very much fortunate and consumed the remnants of the offering. The
woman became pregnant and gave birth to a male child. They named the child as
Kanikannan, who later became the disciple of Sivavakyar.
As Sivavakyar, the son of Bhargava grew in age, he
undertook an intensive study of a number of religions but could not decide on
the choice of the religion to be adapted by him. At that stage, Sivavakyar
chanced to meet Sri Peyazhwar and a debate on religion ensued between them.
Sivavakyar tasted defeat at the hands of Peyazhwar and thus became his disciple
embracing Vaishnavism and became a devout vaishnavite. Lord Siva appeared
before Sivavakyar and put him to test. In apprecition of his meditation on Lord
Vishnu in a yogic posture Lord Parameswar conferred the title of Bakthisarar on
Sivavakyar, who also came to be known as Thurmazhisai Alwar later.
Bhakthisarar paid a visit to Mayurapuri, known as
Mylapore now, which was the birth place of his spiritual mentor Peyazhwar. He
stayed at Mylapore for some time and returned to Thirumazhisai. But he was very
much depressed, as he could not find the casket containing the sacred
è©²uman' in its usual place to adorn his forehead. That night, Sri
Venkateswara, that Lord of Seven Hills appeared in his dream and suggested to
him to search for his Thiruman Casket in the tank of temple of Sri
Bhujagasayanar in Kancheepuram.
Bakthisarar praised Lord Srinivasa for the abundance of
his kindness, and came to Kancheepuram. His joy knew no bounds when he located
his thiruman casket in the sacred tank, in the precincts of the temple of Lord
Bhujagasayana, which also happened to be the birth place of Poiga Azhwar.
Bakthisarar stayed at Kanchi and began to spend his time in doing service to
Having come to know the glory of Bhakthisarar,
Kanikannan came to Kanchipuram, became his disciple and assisted him in the
worship of Lord Bhujagasayana. At that time, an old crippled lady used to clean
the temple premises every day.
Bakthisarar was pleased with her services to the Lord
and made her an exquisitely beautiful lady with his divine powers.
Pallavaraya, who ruled Kanchi at that time, married the
lady having been captivated by her beauty. As time passed, the king grew old
while the beauty of the lady did not diminish, by the grace of Bakthisara. The
old king met Kanikannan during one of his daily visits to the palace for
collecting food grains as Biksha. The king requested Kanikannan to bring his
spriritual teacher, Bakthisarar to his palace since he also desired to regain
his youth by the grace of Bakthisara.
Kanikannan expressed his inability to comply with the
request of the king to bring his teacher to the place since Bakthisara never
stirred out of his abode to visit anybody. The disappointed king then exhorted
Kanikannan, a balled composer of rare merit, to sing in Praise of him.
Kanikannan did not yield even to this request of the king. He not only refused
to comply with the request of the king but also stated that he would not extoll
mortals. However, he sang in praise of the deities sanctifying the city of
Kanchi to show his mettle. Bubbling with anger, the king banished Kanikannan
from the city of Kanchipuram as a punishment.
Kanikannan returned to the temple and reported the
matter to his teacher Bakthisara and prayed for his blessings, before leaving
Kancheepuram to carry out the King's orders. Bakthisara was very much
distressed at the harsh treatment meted out to a devotee by the king and felt
that he should not also stay at a place where the devotees could not get proper
treatment. So he himself decided to leave Kanchi along with Kanikannan. Fully
aware of the Truth that God forgives readily those offending Him but not those
affending His true devotees, Bakthisara appealed to the Lord Bhujagasayana in a
soul stirring verse to follow them and the Lord did so.
After the departure of the true devotees from Kanchi,
and at the disappearance of the Lord Bhujagasayana from the temple, the whole
city of Kanchi was enveloped by dense darkness. It was then that the king
realised his utter folly and rushed with his subjects to pray to Bakthisara and
Kanikannan to return to Kanchi, forgiving his mistake. The anger of great
people is always short-lived and out of his natural quality of compassion,
Bakthisara accepted the prayers of the king and agreed to return to Kanchi with
Kanikannan and in turn prayed again to the Lord Bhujagasayana to return to
Kanchi with them and sanctify the Thiruvekka in Kanchi as before. Again the
However, on return, Lord Bhujagasayana lay down on His
serpent couch reposing His head this time on His left hand instead of His
original posture of reposing His head on the right hand. He did so only to make
the world know by this difference in His posture how faithfully. He carried out
the wishes of Bakthisara, the sincere devotee. Thenceforth, Lord Bhujagasayana
of Tiruvekka in Kanchi came to be called as "Lord Yadokthakari" or 'Sonnavannam
Seida perumal' meaning the Lord who acted according to the wishes of His
devotee. The sacred spot where the Lord spent one night in their company is
called "Orirukkai". Poigaiazhwar, Peyazhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar and
Nammazhwar have sung in praise of this Lord 'Sri Yadokthakari". It is in the
lotus tank of this temple that the first of the Alwars, the Poigai Azhwar was
born in a Lotus of the poigai or the tank in the asterism "Sravana" in the
month of Asvija. Aippasi Thiruvonam day is celebrated as the Saturumurai day of
Poigai Azhwar in this temple on a grand scale.
Lord Sonnavannam Seidaperumal or the Lord Yadokthakari
dwells here as Seshasayi beneath Vedasara Vimana facing the west. The consort
of Sri Yadokthakari is worshippped in the name of Sri Komalavalli. The
brahmotsavam of this Lord is celebrated in asterism Revathi in the month of
Panguni. Devotees come here every day in large numbers to have darshan and get
their desire fulfilled by the grace of Lord Yadokthakari and Mother Goddess Sri
OM NAMO NARAYANAYA