Srimad Bhagavatam reveals that ParamaShiva is the foremost of all the Vaishnavas. (SB – 12.13.16) Vaishnavanam yatha sambhuh purananam idam tatha……
Lord Sriman Narayana (Lord Vishnu)- the Supreme Personality of Godhead is glorified as Parabhrahmam as everything has emanated from HIM .
All the ancient scriptures like Puranas, Vedas, divya prabhandham clearly mention that Sriman Narayana (Vishnu) alone is the Supreme Lord. The invocatory verse (thanian) of Naanmugan Thiruvandhadhi starts with “Narayanan padaithaan naanmuganai, naan muganaku eraar sivan pirandhaan…..” ..
meaning that Lord Sriman Narayanan created four faced Brahma who in turn created Siva implying that everything emanates from Mahavishnu. Lord Krishna says “Vaishnavanam yatha samubhuh:’ meaning ParamaShiva is the best of all Vaishnavas and is very dear to the Lord. Parama Shiva adorns Ganges-the holy water from Lord Vishnu’s feet in his matted locks on the head and is known as Gangadhara. He shares with Parvathi devi that he always contemplates on Lord Vishnu while meditating. He declares to Parvathi devi that uttering Rama naama thrice is equal to recitation of 1000 names of Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva tells Parvathi “Aaradhananaam sarvesaam vishnor aaraadhanam param” meaning that the most exalted system of worship is the worship of Vishnu. It is believed that in Varanasi (Kashi), ParamaShiva whispers Lord Rama naamam in the ear of a person who leaves his body
A true Vaishnava doesn’t seek any material benefit from Lord but always prays for more services and bhaagavatha sambandham. Azhwars have clearly expressed in their pasurams that we should not waste time worshipping demigods and do offence who worship them.
(Nammazhwar in one pasuram reveals :”matrore dheivam padi adi panindhu…..-instead of worshipping demigods, come to Thirukurugoor and fall at the feet of our Adhipiraan( Lord Narayana ) thus wasting our limited time and should resort to the lotus feet of Lord Narayana
Andal says “Narayananey namakke parai tharuvan..
”At the same time, Azhwar has emphasised that we must cling to the feet of the devotees to attain the Supreme Lord thus avoiding any sort of offences to any devotees .
There are few Vaishnava divyadesams and Abhimana sthalams with shrines for ParamaShiva with an some incident related in the respective sthala puranam.
Few temples are briefed below
Badrikasramam (Badrinath), Thirupiridhi, Thirusaalagraamam ( Muktinath), Thirukandiyur, Nilathingalthundathan (Ekambareswara temple in Kanchi), Thirukannapuram, Thirukovalur, Thiruchitrakoodam, Thirukoodal, Thirumeyyam, Vrindavan, MUkti Dwaraka near Somnath, Nageshwar near Dwaraka, Thiruvananthapuram, Mammiyur in Guruvayoor and many many more
- BAdrikasramam (Badrinath):- is one of the 11 vada naadu divyadesams (divyadesams in the north). The entire range of Garhwal Himalayas popularly known a “Chaar dhaam-4 imp. Temples) is considered as ParamaShiva kshetram. It is believed that ParamaShiva was meditating at Badrinath before Lord Narayana manifested here . Lord Narayana appeared in answer to the prayers of Nara and Narayan parvatham and continued to stay here in between the two mountains on Urvashi peetam. So, it is believed ParamaShiva moved from this place to Kedarnath. The Lord blessed that pilgrimage to Badrinath would be deemed to be complete only after visiting Kedarnath. As it may not be possible for everyone to visit Kedarnath which is comparatively on a higher altitude and considering the strenuous journey one has to undertake.
- Adisankaracharya installed a Shiva lingam right in front of Badrinarayanan temple. This lingam is known as “Adi Kedareshwar Mahadev” . This shrine is located towards our left while going inside the Sri Badrinarayana temple. Devotees have darshan of Adi Kedareshwar temple before having Badrinarayanan’s darshan.
- Thirupiridhi(Jyotirmutt):- One of the 11 vada nadu divya desams located enroute to Badrinath. The presiding Perumal is Lord Narasimhar. The Lord’s right wrist is waning and it is believed that when the hand falls down, the way to Badrinath would become inaccessible. Adisankaracharyar established four mutts in the four corners of our country- in the north at Joshirmutt, in the east at Puri, In the west at Dwaraka and in the south Rameshwaram. He installed a lingam in the prakaram of Lord Narasimhar temple. Shiva is worshipped here as “Kalpeshwar Mahadev”
- Thirusaalagramam(Muktinath): Only divya desam which is located outside India in Nepal. MUktinath is situated on the Annapurna ranges in Nepal. Lord Pashupathinath (ParamaShiva) is the guardian diety for this kshetram. This famous temple is located in Kathmandu . It is believed that one must have prior darshan of Pashupathinath before going to Muktinath. Many skip this as they take alternative route from Gorakhpur to Pokhra or fly from Kathmandu to Muktinath/Jomsom.
- Thiruchitrakoodam(Chidambaram): Thillai Thiruchitrakootam, . one of the 40 chola nadu divya desams located about 150 kms south of Chennai . The temple comprises of Vaishnava divyadesam Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple and also Nataraja temple. The divya desa Perumal is known as Govindaraja Perumal lying in bhujana sayanam facing east. In Mount Kailash-the abode of Lord Shiva, Shiva out of ecstasy for Lord Vishnu’s qualities started performing Anandha thaandavam Nataraja remained close to Govindaraja Perumal.
- Thirukandiyur: One of the 40 chola nadu divya desams located about 4 miles north of Tanjavur. This place is famous as there are temples for Trinity-Vishnu,Shiva and Brahma. After pralayam, when Mahavishnu started creation, Brahma emerged from the lotus navel of Vishnu. He had five faces at that time signifying pancha bhoothas and was seated on a 14 petalled lotus signifying creation of 14 worlds. Lord is glorified as “Hara saapa vimochana Perumal”.
- Thirukarambanur (Uttamar Kovil):- The chola nadu divya desam is about 3 kms from Srirangam. The Lord Purushotaman in bhujanga sayanam pose facing east is praised by Thirumangai Azhwar as “Karambanur Uttaman”. Uttamar means one who is blemishless and has matchless good qualities. Here ParamaShiva is glorified as “Bhikshender” . ParamaShiva is along with Perumal Also, there are separate shrines for Brahma, Shiva, Saraswati in the temple precincts.
- Nilathingal thundathan temple:– One of the 22 divya desams in Thonda Naadu and is one of the thirteen divyadesams in Kanchipuram. This is part of the Ekambareswarar temple in Shivakanchi. Perumal is known as “Nilathingal thundathaan/ Chandrachooda Perumal. Elders reveal the divine wedding of Ekambareswar(Shiva) with Kamakshi(Parvathi) took place here.
- Thirukannapuram:- This chola nadu divya desam located in Tanjavur district between Nagapatinam and Nannilam is an important divya desam. It is one of the Pancha Krishna kshetrams. Lord is considered as the personification of Ashtakshaari. Nammazhwar has glorified this Perumal as “Maranamadaindhaal vaikuntham kodukkum piraan” meaning the one who bestows Vaikuntam when leaving the physical body.. Perumal is acharyar for Thirumangai Azhwar. On the seventh day during Vaikasi Brahmotsavam, the utsava murthi Lord Sourirajan is dressed in white clothes, wears rudraksha maala and vibhuthi is applied all over the thirumeni(body) of the Lord . Perumal sports this on one day for a muhurtham.(48 minutes). As per the sthalapurana, Perumal has given a place on HIS chest to Shiva. As he is the Lord of the Universe including Shiva , he dresses like Shiva. Another reason is during Mughal invasion, to prevent massacre, this Lord was transported to Thiruvaanaikaaval (siva temple) and was kept in safe custody. As a token of remembrance of this incident, at the behest of the devotees, Lord agreed to give darshan as Shiva for a muhurtham. .
- Thirumeyyam:- This Pandya nadu divya desam famously known as Satya kshetram is close to Pudukottai. Two identical temples for Lord Satyagirinathan (Vishnu) and Lord Satyagiriswaran( Shiva) are carved out from a single rock within a distance of 50 feet. Both the dieties are facing east. Earlier, both the shrines could be seen together from a distance until a wall was constructed to curtail disputes . There is no sthala puranam for the existence of Shiva temple, may be the Pallava kings built these two identical temples . The entire cave is an archeological site.
- Thirukoodal (Madurai):- This Pandya nadu divya desam is situated in Madurai. As the trinities assembled here to discuss annihilation of demons in Kritya yuga, it is known as “koodal”. Everything about this place is sundaram (beautiful). The Lord is Sundararajan, Shiva is known as Sundareswaran. Lord Sundararaja Perumal along with Maduravalli Thayar is residing in this sacred town since the first yuga. Meenakshi-Sundareswara swamy temple is nearby. Every year, Azhagar perumal from Thirumaliruncholai visits this place and performs Meenakshi-Sundareswara kalyanam grandly.
- THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:- Trivandrum:- In this famous Malai nadu divya desam located in the capital city of Kerala, the Lord Ananta Padmanabha swamy is in reclining posture and THIS huge form can be had darshan through 3 dwarams. Through the first dwaram, Lord’s thirumukham, through the centre –Lord’s middle part-nabhi kamalam etc, and through the last dwaram. Lords’ thiruvadi(holy feet) can be seen. Lord Shiva is seen near Perumal’s thriumudi (head).
- THIRUVAATARU :- This malai nadu divya desam situated between Nagercoil and Trivandrum is the temple of Adikesava Perumal. Lord is worshipped as the elder brother of Lord Anantapadmanabha Swamy who is in bhujanga sayanam. ParamaShiva is at the lotus feet of Perumal.
- MUKTI DWARAKA (PRABHASA THEERTHAM):- Located in Veravel near Sourashtra , Mukti Dwaraka is the place from where Lord Krishna ascended to Srivaikuntam. Somnath kshetra, one of the jyotir lingam is close by .
All glories to Spiritual Masters
Pics : Courtesy Google images uploaded by several devotees
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan