Srirangam Vimanam Mythology and History

Srirangam Vimanam Mythology and History

The temple is the shape and size it is today because different kings have added on to it and made it better over the years. Many additions and repairs have been made to the temple, from Tirumangai Alvar to the Ahobila Mutt Jeer. The end result is a beautiful building with seven prakaras and twenty-one towers that cover a large area.

Srirangam Vimanam Mythology and History

It is interesting to learn about the temple’s history. In the Brahmanda Purana, Lord Siva told Narada Mahamuni how great Sri Ranga Vimana was. People say that the first archa vigraham, or appearance of Lord Narayana as an idol, is the image of Lord Ranganatha that came from within itself. A few million years ago, this figure is thought to have come out of the milky ocean (Thirupparkadal) with the Ranga Vimana as a reward for Lord Brahma’s hard penance that lasted about 1000 years.

The Lord showed up in front of Brahma because he was sure of his deep dedication. Garuda came out of Thirupparkadal carrying the brilliant, gleaming, and revered Vimana (tower). Tumburu and Narada played the beautiful music. People saw Lord Indra and other gods inside the Vimana. They also saw the Gunas and Nityasuris, who are seen with the Lord in Vaikun-tam. The Lord was seen lying down, and Adisesha had his hood spread out over his head like an umbrella. The “senathipathi” of the Lord, Visvaksena, was also there. Along with the Lord, Lord Chandra and Lord Surya were in the “Vimana” and were gently fanning the Lord. Everyone from the “saptharishis” to the “navagrahas” was there. Brahma was very happy to see this holy being. He asked the Lord to stay in this place and let him worship Him in the same way and form that He had shown Himself to him. The Lord agreed, and he told Brahma in great detail how to worship. It is said that Brahma carefully followed these directions and worshiped the Lord in Satyaloka. On the banks of the Viraja river in Satyaloka, he found this Vimana. He used to bathe in the water every day and then pray to the Lord. At some point, Lord Brahma taught Dakshaprajapathi, Manu, Lord Surya, and other people how to serve the Lord properly. Also, they truly did what Brahma told them to do.
Then Ikshvaku, Manu’s son, showed a lot of humility and asked Brahma to let him bring the Sri-ranga Vimana to Bhooloka. In some ways, Brahma was scared that his favorite savior would leave Satyaloka. But Lord Ranganatha is said to have told Brahma that he could still worship Him every day in Bhooloka in the early hours of the morning (ushas).

Brahma was also told by Lord Ranganatha that he would first go to Ayodhya and then move to the banks of the Kaveri River, close to the Chandra Pushkarani Tank. He also told Lord Brahma that He would visit him every day in the middle of the afternoon, so Brahma would never have to feel the pain of being apart from his Lord. So, Brahma gave permission for the Sri Ranga Vimana to be brought to Ayodhya. He sat on his Hamsa vahana and walked with Sri Ranga Vimanam to Ayodhya along the Sarayu river. Sri Ranganatha had come to Bhooloka because of Ikshvaku Raja’s prayers. This made him very happy. After a long time, Dasaratha Chakravarthi, who was descended from Ikshvaku and had no problems, led a mahayagna. He asked a lot of kings to attend that event. Prince Dharma Varma, who was a Chola king, was one of the guests. When this Chola King saw the idol of Sri Ranganatha in the Sri Ranga Vimana, he was filled with a strong desire to bring the Lord and the Vimana to his country so that his people could worship the Lord. He began a deep penance on the sides of a tank (“pushkarani”) when he got back to his country. Many rishis told him that the Ikshvaku kuladanam (the heir loom), which is Sri Ranga Vimana with the Ishvaku Maharaja, would reach the banks of the Kaveri in due course and that the Chola King’s true prayers would be answered. The wise men told him that after Sri Rama killed Ravana, he would give this Vimana and the idol of Lord Ranganatha to Vibhisana, who would then bring them to the banks of the Kaveri River. People already know the story of the Ramayana, so there’s no need to tell it again. Lord Rama, the son of Dasaratha Maharaja, went back to Ayodhya after killing Ravana. After he was crowned king, Lord Rama gave gifts to all of his disciples, such as Jambhavan, Sugreeva, Angatha, Anjaneya, and others. When it was Vibhishana’s turn, the Lord gave him the Ishkvaku kuladhanam, or Sriranga Vimana, along with the “swayam vyaktha” idol of Lord Ranganatha that his family had worshiped for many generations. The story of Rama giving Ishkvaku kuladhanam to Vibnhisana is told in the Valmiki Ramyana, Yuddha Kandam, 128th sargam, 87th sloka.

Srirangam Vimanam History

A story about this event can be found in the 108th sargam of the Valmiki RaMayanam Uthara Kandam, the Padma Puranam, and the tenth adhyayam of the Parameswara Samhita.
Vibhisana took the Vimana and set out on his way to Lanka. He got to the banks of the Chandra Pushkarani tank around noon. He set the Vimana down by the Kaveri River. He bathed in the Pushkarani and did the uchi kala pooja to the Namperumal in the middle of the day. Dharma Varma heard at the same time that Sriranga Vimana had arrived at the Kaveri River. The rishis in and around the area, along with him and his people, rushed to the spot to see the Lord. All of them asked Vibhisana to stay put for a little longer so that more people could have a “dharshan” of the Lord.
Vibhisana was on the fence because he wanted to bring the Lord and the Vimana to Sri Lanka and hold Brahmotsavam in his own country. At that point, Dharma Varma offered to help with everything needed to hold the Brahmotsavam in the same spot, by the Kaveri River.

Because of this, the utsavam was held. Ibhisana was shocked when he tried to lift the Ranga vimana to continue his trip to Sri Lanka and found that he couldn’t! The vimana had become stuck on the banks of the river Kaveri! Then Lord Ranganatha told Vibhisana that a long time ago. He had told the Chola King Dharmavarma that he would live on the banks of the river Kaveri, so he had to keep his word and stay there. He told Vibhisana to go back to where he was. That being said, He promised Vibhisana that He would lie down so that He would always have His eyes on Lanka. He also told Vibhisana that he would reach Moksha at the end of Swetavarahakalpa. Vibhisana was very sad that he couldn’t put the image that Rama gave him in his kingdom after all. But he had to accept what was going to happen. In short, this is Sri Ranga Vimana’s story.

Near by places to visit

  1. Samayapuram Mariamman Temple
  2. Rockfort Temple