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.
About 70 kilometers south of Chennai, very close to Mahabalipuram is the town of Vittalapuram. This town is known for the temple of Sri Premika Vittala, which was constructed in the 16th century during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya, by one his chieftains, Kondaya Deva Chola Maharaja. Sri Premika Vittala is found standing with both his hands on his hips. An interesting feature of this temple is, the Lord here is accompanied by both his consorts, Satyabhama and Rukmini. Usually, in Vittala temples, only Goddess Rukmini is seen standing next to the Lord.
Panduranga or Vittala loves to hear nama sankirtan (singing the names of the Lord). So, as part of everyday worship at the temple, the Lord’s names are chanted continuously. Similarly, Ashada Ekadasi (the ekadasi that falls in the month of Ashada) is considered very special for Lord Panduranga and is therefore, celebrated in a grand manner here.
The temple is now being maintained by the Archaeological Department of Tamil Nadu. Sri Muralidhara Swamiji visits Vittalapuram regularly and especially, on Ashada and Kartika Ekadasis. On one such occasion, Sri Swamiji composed a beautiful song on Lord Premika Vittala set in Karaharapriya raga. The song and its meaning are presented here for you to read and enjoy!
bhAgyodayam mama devadeva
pAlita charAchara pANduranga
tava darshanam nayanAnandam
tava bhAshaNam shravaNAnandam
tava sparshaNam paramAnandam
tava Alinganam premAnandam
tvameva mama janaka:
tvameva mama jananI
tvameva mama sadguru:
tvameva mama swAmi
samudrarAja sevita charaNa
sarasa muralIdhara mohana rUpa
What a good fortune has come about, my Lord of the Lords
Oh! Pandarunga! The one who sustains the world.
Your sight is a feast to the eyes
Your words are a feast to the ears
Your touch is eternal bliss
(And) your embrace bestows bliss filled with divine love
You are my father
You are my mother
You are my spiritual teacher
You are my Lord
(Your) feet was worshipped by the king of ocean
(You are) the enchanting One for the longing Muralidhara
Sowmya Balasubramanian, Fremont CA