Friday, October 30, 2015

Sri Rangam –the greatest Vaishnavite temple and prayers addressed to Lord Ranganatha

Sri Rangam –the greatest Vaishnavite temple  and prayers  addressed  to  Lord Ranganatha

Compiled  by

Sri Rangam  is the most holy  temple for all  devotees   especially Vaishnavites . When the word  “Kovil( temple) “ is mentioned by   the Vaishnavites of Tamil Nadu  , it would indicate   Sri Rangam temple only . It is believed  Sri Ranga Nadhar  (Lord of the  divine stage ) who is  the presiding deity of   this temple was  worshipped  by the Solar dynasty   (Dynasty of Sri Rama)  which existed  during Ramayana  times .In Kamba Ramayanan,  it is mentioned that  when Kausalya the  mother of Rama , heard that Rama is going to be crowned  as the Yuva Raja , she   rushed to this temple .(No mention of this temple  is made in Valmiki Ramayana) . It is believed that  Rama gave this  God   whom he worshipped    to King Vibheeshana   as a parting gift   when he left Ayodhya   after his coronation so that  his country Lanka  would  prosper .However  when King Vibheeshana kept the idol on the floor in  the land  in between  the two branches of Cauvery  , the lord preferred to stay there and later  King Vibheeshana was not able to move the idol. However the God promised him that  he would be facing south and view  Lanka always so that  the country of Vibheeshana would prosper . This temple is mentioned in Silappadikaram  , one of the five  great  Tamil epics of the  early Sangham period.. Later this idol  with its  Vimana was covered and hidden by   growth of forest around it  and was found by a Chola king  who was chasing a parrot in the forest. He then and there  decided and built possibly the largest  temple   in the world..It is believed that  Rajamahendra chola presented the God there  with a golden couch. It is also believed   that the idol  was taken to Delhi by Malik Kafur during his invasion of the south India  and presented to the Sultan. It is believed that the daughter of Sultan called Surthani    developed great love to that God and brought it back   to the temple  and while prostrating before the Lord in Sri Rangam merged with that God. There is a temple  for her near the Arjuna Mandapam of Sri Rangam    and she is called   as  THulukka Nachiyar   and daily chapathis   are made  and offered to her  as Naivedhyam. The sultan under the impression that  the deity had killed his daughter  and   made several invasions to the temple   .A  group lead by a great Vaishnavite saint  Pillai Lokacharyar took    the   idol to Thirunelveli   and another group took away   the Idol of Ranga Nayaki. It is believed that in the war that  ensued more than 13000 devotees were killed  by the  army of the sulthan.  Since they were  not able to find the idol, the Sulthan’s troops   went back   ,. By that  time the groups carrying the idol  reached  Thirupathi,. And it was again consecrated after  another six decades .
       The temple is enclosed by   seven  concentric walls  (Called Prakarams)  with a total length of 32592 feet. It has 21 towers(gopurams) , 39 pavilions  and fifty shrines .It also has a thousand pillared hall . Here  the  Vimana (roof covering the sanctum sanctorum   is plated with Gold .The God Ranganatha   is seen in a form in which he reclines  on the serpent Adhi Sesha,. The images of Lord Vibheeshana  , Brahma, Hanumam , Garuda , the conch and Holy wheel of Vishnu   are  all there  inside  the sanctum, The  Consort of Ranganatha called Ranga Nayaki  has a separate shrine out side the main Sanctum sanctorum. It Seems the Goddess  comes out of her temple only once in a year. There are  several shrines other than this and one among them is dedicated to Saint Ramanuja who systematized the procedure of worship   in this great temple .
Temple Timings[30]
Type of Darshan
Ranganthar Shrine
Ranganayaki Shrine
Viswaroopa seva
Pooja (closed for devotees)
Pooja (closed for devotees)
Pooja (closed for devotees)

         Though  Vaishnavism  (the devotees of Lord Vishnu)  as a special branch of Hinduism   was in existence  ,  in Tamil Nadu  from very ancient times , it was the 12  Azhvars( Ones who have  drowned themselves in devotion)  who  by  the  their poetic outpourings of devotion (pasurams)    put Vaishnavism   in a separate pedestal  . Most of the works  of these great devotees   were  in Tamil   and  the entire work is collected    and preserved  in a book called Nalayira Dhivya Prabandham .  These outpourings  have given the shape to the  Vaishnavite Philosophy   ,But   it was  the  great Acharya  Ramanuja  who   gave   separate interpretations   to the existing philosophy at  that time  and established  the philosophical doctrine of Visishtadvaitha.  This great saint  chose this great temple   as the   head quarters  of the Vaishnavite group . It was he who systematized   the daily  Worship and rituals of this temple .One of the  important one  is caller Arayar Sevai  , where a member  of a particular family recites   Tamil verses of Azhavars    with dance like poses. He also laid down that  Pancharathra Agama  should be used   for worship  in this great temple .
Contact particulars
Sri Ranganathar Swamy Temple
Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli – 620 006.
Tamil Nadu, India.
Phone              : +91 431 -2432246
Fax                  : +91 431 -2436666
Email               :
Woraiyur         : +91 431 -2762446
Yatri Nivas    : 9486482246
Thiruvellarai    : +91 431 -2562246

   It is  but natural   that  there   are  very  great  stotras  eulogizing Lord Ranganatha   at SriRangam. I am giving below   the translation    of three  of them :-
(Octet on Ranganatha)
Adhi Shankara
Translated by
(with assistance in editing the translation by Dr.Saroja Ramanujam)

(Sri Rangam for a Vaishnavite is the holy of the holies to all Vaishnavites (worshippers of Lord Vishnu) and is similar to Benares for a shaivite.” 2 km from Tiruchirapalli, Srirangam is the most important temple in Sri Vaisnavism. The Deity here is Lord Ranganatha reclining on Ananta Sesha. It is also the biggest temple in India covering 155 acres and is surrounded by the Rivers Kaveri and Kolladam. The dome (vimana) over the Deity is covered in gold and is known as the Paravasudeva Ranga-Vimana. The Deity of Ranganatha was first worshipped by Lord Brahma, then later given to Maharaja Iksvaku of the Raghu Dynasty, who brought the Deity to his capital of Ayodhya. Later, the Deity was worshipped by Lord Ramachandra. When Vibhishana visited Ayodhya he requested Ramachandra to give him the Deity so that he could worship Him at his capital in Lanka. Ramachandra agreed provided Vibhishana did not place the Deity on the ground on his return to Lanka – if he did so, the Deity would stay in that spot. Somehow or other, Vibhishana placed Lord Ranganatha down at Srirangam and that is where he has stayed ever since. However, unlike most Deities which face east, Ranganatha faces south towards Lanka to bless Vibhishana and his kingdom. It is said that Vibhishana returns every 12 years to perform worship of Lord Ranganatha”*
All the Vaishnavite saints called Azhwars, Saint Ramanuja and his followers especially Sri Vedantha desikan, have sung about this temple and the Lord who rules in it. It is believed that Adhi Sankara who visited this temple composed this very pretty octet. It is the will and grace of the Lord that, we both should translate this great stotra together.)
* quoted from

Aanandarupe nijabodha rupe,
Brahma swaroope sruthi moorthi rupe,
Sasanka rupe ramaneeya rupe,
Sri ranga rupe ramatham mano mey. 1`

Let my mind revel in the form of Ranga
Whose form is the epitome of happiness,
Whose form is the true knowledge,
Whose form is as told in the Vedas,
And who is of the form of the comforting moon and beautiful

Kaveri theree karuna vilole,
Mandhara moole drutha charu khele,
Daithyanha kale akhila loka leele,
Sri Ranga leele ramatham mano mey. 2

Let my mind revel in the form of Ranga
Who is on the banks of river Kaveri,
And playfully dispenses mercy,
Who is below the Mandhara tree,
Where he speedily and prettily plays,
And who destroys all asuras,
By his play spread over the whole world.

Lakshmi nivase jagatham nivase,
Hrud padma vase ravi bimbha vase,
Krupa nivase Guna brunda vase,
Sri Ranga vase ramatham mano mey. 3

Let my mind revel in Ranga,
As the one who lives in Sri Ranga,
In whom goddess Lakshmi lives,
Who is the abode of the universe
Who lives in the lotus of our heart,
Who lives in the face of the Sun.
Who is the abode of mercy,
And who lives where good conduct lives.

Brahmadi vandye Jagadeka vandhye,
Mukunda vandhye, sura natha vandhye,
Vyasadhi vandhye, Sanakadhi vandhye,
Sri ranga vandhye ramatham mano mey. 4

In Him let my mind revel
As the one who is saluted in Sri Ranga,
Who is venerated by gods like Brahma,
Who is venerated by the entire universe,
Who is venerated as Mukunda,
Who is venerated by lord of devas,
Who is worshipped by sages like Vyasa,
And who is venerated by sages like Sanaka.

Brahmadhi raje, garudadhi raje,
Vaikunta raje sura raja raje,
Trilokya raje , akhila loka raje,
Sri Ranga raje ramatham mano mey. 5

Let my mind revel in Him
Who is the king of Sri Ranga,
Who is the king of gods like Brahma,
Who is the king of the holy bird , Garuda,
Who is the king of Vaikunta,
Who is the king of the king of devas,
Who is the king of the three worlds,
And who is the king of the entire universe.

Amogha mudhre Paripoorna nidhre,
Sri Yoga nidhre , sasamudhra nidhre,
Srithaika bhadre, jagathaika nidhre,
Sri ranga bhadre ramatham mano mey. 6

Let my mind revel in Him
As one who protects the city of Sri Ranga,
Who has , whose sign is never failing
Who is in perfect sleep,
Who is in the Yogic sleep,
Who sleeps on the ocean,
Who takes care of goddess Lakshmi,
And in whom the whole world sleeps

Sa chithra sayi, bhujagendra sayi,
Nandanga sayi , kamalanka sayi,
Ksheerabdhi sayi , vata pathra sayi,
Sri Ranga sayi , ramatham mano mey. 7

Let my mind revel in Him
As the one who sleeps in the city of Sri Ranga,
Who sleeps pretty as a picture,
Who sleeps on the king of serpents,
Who sleeps on the lap of Nanda,
Who sleeps on the lap of Lakshmi,
Who sleeps on the ocean of milk,
And who sleeps on the banyan leaf.

Idham hi rangam thyajathamihangam,
Punarnachangam yadhi changamethi,
Panou rathangam charanembhu gangam,
Yane vihangam sayane bhujangam. 8

He who sheds his body in this ranga (ground)
Never gets embodiment again
As Ranga has chakra in His hand,
The Garuda is His vehicle,
The serpent is His bed
And his feet is wetted by river Ganga,

Ranganathashtakam punyam prathruthaya ya padeth,
Sarvaan kamanavapnothirangi sayujyamapnuyath. 9

Any one reading this octet on the lord of Ranga,
As soon as he gets up in the morning,
Will get his wishes fulfilled,
And in the end attain salvation.
2.Sri Ranga natha stotram
Sri Parasara Bhattar
Translated by

(Sri Parasara Bhattar was the son of Koorathazhvar and was the chief priest of the great Sri Rangam temple. This great stotra is said to have been composed, when Bhattar had to leave the city of Srirangam, when he angered the Chola king and stayed at Thirukkhoshtiyur. The great love he had for Sri Ranganatha and the anguish he had because he was forced to stay away from the great god are amply reflected here)

Saptha prakara madhye sarasijamuklothbhasamane vimane,
Kaveri Madhya dese phanipathi sayane, sesha paryanga bhage,
Nidhramudhrabhiramam katinikatasira parswavinyastha hastham,
Padmadhathree karabhyam parichithacharanam rangarajam Bhajeham. 1

I salute that Lord of Ranga,
Who sleeps in the yogic pose,
On the bed of Adhisesha,
Below the tall dome**,
Which resembles a lotus bud ,
And is surrounded by seven ramparts,
And which is in between two Kaveri rivers,
With his right hand near his crown,
And his lotus like merciful left hand,
Pointing towards his feet which take care of us all.
** Vimana

Kasthuri kalith oordhwa pundra thilakam, karnantha lolekshanam,
Mugdha smera manohara daradalam, mukthaa kiretojjwalam,
Pasyan manasa pasyatho hararucha, paryaya pangeruham,
Sri Rangadhipathe kadanuvadanam, seveya bhooyamyaham. 2

When will I be able to see and salute that Lord Ranganatha,
Wearing long pundarika* of musk, having mischievous eyes extending to the ears,
Wearing a pretty smile , having beautiful lips, wearing gem studded crown,
And having a lotus like face which bewitches all those who see him?
* Holy mark on the forehead

Kadaham kaveri thata parisare ranga nagare,
Sayanam bhogeendre sathamakamani syamala ruchim,
Upaaseena krosan Madhu Soodana, Narayana , hare,
Murare, Govindethya manasim apekshyami, divasan. 3

When will I be able to spend my days in the city of Ranga,
On the shores of Kaveri meditating on my Lord,
Who is sleeping on the king of serpents ,
And who has a very pretty form of the colour of Indra’s sapphire,
And muttering his names, Oh slayer of Madhu,
Oh Narayana, Oh Hari and Oh Govinda

Kadaham Kaveri vimala salile veethakalupo,
Bhaveyam thath theere sramamushi vaseyam sanavane,
Kadha vaa punyam mahathi puline mangalagunam,
Bhajeyam rangesam kamalanayanam sesha sayanam. 4

When will I able to take bath in the clear waters of Kaveri?
When will I able to live in the dense gardens which are there,
In the shores of that river which are panacea for tiredness?
And when I will be able to sit on the sands in the shore of Kaveri,
Which leads to all that is good and chant the names like,
Oh Lord of Ranga, Oh Lotus eyed one, Oh Lord who sleeps on sesha.

Poogi kanda dwaysa sarama snighdha neeropakandam,
Aavirmodhasthimitha sakunaa noodhitha brahma gosham,
Marge marge pathikanivahairucha maanapavarga,
Pasyeyam thaam punarapi pureem srimathim rangadamna. 5

When I will be able to see again that holy and pretty city of Srirangam,
Which has waters which are as deep as half the arecanut tree,
Which has happy, perplexed birds who chatter the words of Vedas,
And which has wayfarers requesting for salvation everywhere?

Na jathu peethamrutha moorchithanaam,
Naakaukasam nanda vana vaathikaasu,
Rangeswara thwat pura maasrithaanam,
Rathya suna manya thamo bhaveyam. 6

I do not want to drink the nectar and sleep ,
On the pretty gardens of even the abode of devas,
But would prefer to be a dog in the street,
Which serve your city, Oh Lord of Ranga.

Asannikrushtasya nikrushta jantho,
Mithyapavaadena karoshi saanthim,
Thatho nikrushte mayi sannikashte kaam,
Nishkruthim rangapathe karoshi. 7

You get done worships to pacify the ills,
Of your temple being touched by a lowly dog,
Which is a charge ,which is patently false,
And Oh Lord of Ranga, what are you going to do,
When I, a much lowlier being, enter your temple.

Sri Rangam , kari shailam , anchana girim, Tharkshyardhri simhachalai,
Sri koormam purushothamam cha Bhadari narayanam naimisam,
Srimath dhwaravathi, Prayaga Mathura ayodhya gaya pushkaram,
Salagrama girim nishevya ramathe ramanujam muni. 8

The saint Ramanuja gets pleased due to his devotion to,
Sri Ranga, Vishnu Kanchi, Thiruppathi, Tharkshyagiri,
Simhachala, Sri Koorma, Jagannatha, Bhadrinath, Naimisarnya,
Dwaraka , Prayaga , Mathura, Ayodhya, Gaya , Pushkara,
And mountain Salagrama which are all the divine temples.
   3.Sri Ranga  Stotram

Translated  by

(Here is a pretty prayer addressed  to Lord Ranga Natha of Sri Rangam. Many of the lines bear some similarity to the  famous Ranganathashtakam written by Adhi Sankara. I  do not know who wrote it and have taken it from the collection of prayers  published in Tamil by Giri Traders , Madras. There is a similar stotra in the web site There are differences between this stotra and the one given in the web site.)

1.Padmadhiraje , Garudadhiraje  Virincharaje  Suraraja Raje  ,
Trilokya Raje, Akhila Raja Raje , Sri Rangaraje Namatha namami

1,I bend and salute that king of Sri Ranga, who is the king of Goddess Lakshmi,
Who is the king of Garuda  , Who is the  king  of Lord Brahma ,
Who is the Lord of Devendra, who is the king of three  worlds, who is the king of  all kings.

2,Sri chitha sayi , bujagendra sai  , nadharka sayi  , phani boga sayi,
Ambhodhi sayi ,Vada pathra Sayi , Sri Ranga raje namatha namami.

2.I bend  and salute the king of Sri Ranga, Who sleeps on the mind of Goddess Lakshmi,
Who sleeps on the king of snakes, Who sleeps to the music of Sun ,who sleeps on the wealth of the a serpent,
Who sleeps on the ocean and who sleeps on a banyan leaf.

3,Lakshmi nivase , Jagadham nivase , hrud Padma vase , Ravi bimba vase ,
Seshadri vase  cha Jagan nivase, Sri Ranga raje namatha namami.

3.I bend  and salute the king of Sri Ranga,Who lives with Lakshmi , Who lives in the worlds ,
Who lives on the planet Sun,  Who  in the lotus of the mind ,
Who lives on Sesha mountain  and who lives on this earth.

4.Neelabja varne , buja poorna karne , Karnantha nethre, Kamala Kalathre,
Sri malla  Range, jitha mallarange , Sringarange , Sri Ranga raje namatha namami.

4.I bend  and salute the king of Sri Ranga, who is of the colour of blue lotus ,
Who keeps his arm fully on his ears , Who has eyes  touching  the ears ,
Who has Goddess Lakshmi as wife , Who is the wrestler Ranga ,
Who won over  wresters on the stage  and who has lovely limbs.

5.Brahmadhi vandhye,Jagadeka vandhye, Range Mukunde, mudhitharavindhe,
Govinda deve Akhila  deva deve, Sri Ranga raje namatha namami.

5.I bend  and salute the king of Sri Ranga, who is saluted  by Brahma and others,
Who is saluted by the universe, who grants salvation on the stage,
Who is like  the delightful lotus , Who is the  lord Govinda,
And who   is the God   of   all devas .

6.Ananda roope, nija biodha  rope, Bhakthi swaroope, Kshithi moorthi roope,
Sri Kanthi roope , Ramaneeya roope Sri Ranga raje namatha namami.

6.I bend  and salute the king of Sri Ranga,who has a joyful form ,
Who has a form of realization , Who has the form of devotion ,
Who has the form of earth , who has  the form of luster of Lakshmi and who has a pretty form.

7.Kamsa pramadhe , naraka pramadhe , dushtapramadhe,Jagadaam nidhane,
Anadha Nadhe , Jagadeka kanthe Sri Ranga raje namatha namami.

7.I bend  and salute the king of Sri Ranga, who is the tormenter of Kamsa,
Who is the tormenter of Narakasura, who is the tormenter of evil people,
Who is  resting place of the world , Who is lord of orphans and the only lord of the world.

8.Amogha nidhre., Jagadekanidhre , Videhyanidhre,  cha samudhra nidhre,
Sri Yoga nidhre , Sukha  yoga Nidhre Sri Ranga raje namatha namami.

8.I bend  and salute the king of Sri Ranga, who sleeps unfailingly ,
Who sleeps one with the world , Who sleeps  without  the body,
Who sleeps on the ocean  , Who sleeps with Goddess Lakshmi and Who has a yogic sleep.

9.Ranga stotramidham punyam, pratha  kale Paden Nara,
Koti janmarjitham papam , smaranena vinasyathi 

9.A person reading this holy prayer  to Lord Ranga,
Just by a thought  can destroy sins committed in crores of births.

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