In this series, we will go on a pradakshina of Bharata desha as we present, each month, a kirtan composed by His Holiness Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji on a particular kshetra, starting from south India and then going north and back.
This month we will be visiting the holy town of Kanchipuram. One cannot explain the holiness of this town in words. It is one of the seven mokshapuris (towns that bestow liberation) and the only mokshapuri in South India.
Lord Vishnu appears famously in Kanchipuram as Varadaraja Perumal, which is a divya desam kshetra. The Varadaraja Perumal shrine itself is situated on a small hillock known as Hastagiri and devotees have to climb 24 steps to have darshan of the Lord.
Another specialty of this temple and deity is the famous Garuda sevai (vahanam) during the annual brahmotsav celebrations, which is special among all Garuda sevais and is also mentioned by Sri Swamiji in his kirtan below.
Kanchi kshetra and Sri Varadaraja Perumal were also the home of Sri Ramanujacharya, who spent his formative years in this holy town, worshipping and serving Varadaraja Perumal. In this article, we will see a beautiful kirtan of Sri Swamiji, on Varadaraja Perumal in Kaanada raga.
Ragam: kAnada Talam: Adi
varadarAjam bhaje devAdi rAjam bhaje
kAnchi kshetra vAsinam vAnchita phalapradam
ranjita bhakta jana manohara rUpam
vegavati tIrastitham veda paripAlakam
prapanna rakshakam dAnava shikshakam
garuDArUDam karuNA svarUpam
muralIdhara puNya tharu phalitam
Sing of Varadaraja, sing of the King of gods!
He resides in the holy town of Kanchi, He bestows all boons one wishes for
His beautiful form captivates the hearts of his charmed devotees
He lives on the banks of River Vegavati, He is One who nurtures the Vedas
He protects the one who surrenders and castigates the demons
He is mounted on Garuda, He is the embodiment of compassion
He is One who yields fruits from the tree of Muralidhara’s merits!
Sowmya Balasubramanian, Fremont CA