The Story of Doddacharyas

Accoding to legend, Lord Narayana not only took several incarnations in this world to reform the people, but also sent His messengers as preceptors to perform this function. One such preceptor was Doddacharya of Chozhasimhapuram, now known as Sholingur, who lived nearly 470 years ago performing service to Lord Yoga Narasimhar.

Doddacharya was a descendant of Sri Mudaliandan, also known as Dasarathi, who was a nephew of Saint Ramanuja (1200 AD). Dasarathi used to accompany his uncle Saint Ramanuja to the bathing ghat on the Cauvery river, at Sreerangam. He learnt several of the preachings of Saint Ramanuja during these morning walks.

Like Ramanuja, Doddacharya took all steps to propagate Visishtadwaitha and maintain the temples, sanctified by the Alwars' hymns. His descendants are even now looking after the temples on the hills at Sholingur and also Bhaktochita Swami temple at the foot of the hills where the Utsava idols of the hill temple are enshrined.

Sri Mudaliandan and his successor, who was the first Doddacharya, performed several miracles as recorded in holy paces like Kancheepuram, Azhagarkoil near Madurai, Thiruchithrakoodam (Chidambaram), Tirumala and at Sholingur itself. One of the miracles is commemorated even today during the third day of the Vaikasi Brahmotsavam at Kancheepuram when Lord Varadaraja is taken out of the temple, mounted on Garuda. As soon as the Lord approaches the main entrance of the tower, the Lord's image is hidden from public view with two massive umbrellas and "Harathi'' is performed. This is known as "Doddacharyar Swami Sevai''.

Reportedly the Doddacharya who was residing at Sholingur could not make it to the Kancheepuram festival on one occasion. He expressed his inability to the Lord, while standing on the banks of the Brahma Theertham (holy water sources also known as Thakkan Kulam). The Lord, in all His enchanting beauty, sitting on Garuda ( the mystical broad winged bird who flies the Lord) appeared before the Doddacharya, and blessed him. To commemorate this great event, a temple was built on the banks of Thakkan Kulam where the stone idol of Lord Varadaraja mounted on Garuda, is enshrined. Another place where a similar Moolavar idol is found is at the Parthasarathi Temple at Thiruvallikeni (Triplicane). The Lord here has been hailed by Thirumangai Alwar as the one who rushed to rescue the elephant king, Gajendra.


Thirumalai   I   Kattiyam   I   Katigachalam   I   Town Temple   I   Poojas & Festivals   I   Blessings   I   FAQ's   I   Directions  I   Home