Sri Yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam, T.N - deity in sitting posture without bow and arrow!!

Yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam, TN.

Located in a small village of Nedungunam (Tiruvannamalai district) 25 km from Vanthavasi town and 100 plus km from Chennai  is a unique and old Hindu temple dedicated to Sri Vishnu. The presiding deity is Yoga Rama.  Sudarsana Azhwar was a great devotee of this temple.

Yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam, TN

.Yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam, TN

The distinctive features of this temple are:

01. This is a big Ramar  temple and there is no other Sri Rama temple in Tamil Nadu bigger
 than this one. 

02. It is  also a rare Sri Rama temple where the lord in the garbagriha  is enshrined in a sitting posture.  In most temples Sri Rama is seen in a standing posture  with his bow and arrow.

03. Not bearing bow and arrow, the lord looks calm and composed as if  He  is teaching Vedas. His right hand  is on the chest.

04. This form of Sri Rama in the sanctum is rare across India.

06. Unlike Sri Rama, his brother, Sri Lakshmana bears the weapons - bow and arrow. 

07. The idol of Sri Hanuman is also in the sanctum reverentially  sitting before the lord,  chanting the Vedas from the palm-leaf scriptures;  The lord and others listen to the recital  with rapt attention. In most  Sri Rama temples, Sri Hanuman  is found outside the sanctum. In some temples there is a  separate shrine for Sri Hanuman within the temple complex. 

08. The sitting form of Sri Rama in a meditative state creates a positive energy in the temple and devotees throng the temple to have peace of mind  and success in their endeavors. 

09. Lord Rama's idol was consecrated by sage (Rishi) Sri Krishna Premi.

 yoga Rama temple, Nedungunam,

Main towerYoga Rama temple, Nedungunam,TN

Yoga Rama temple,

Above image: Entrance to the sanctum /garbagriham of Yoga Rama temple, Nudungunam. The sentinels - dwarabalas are  on either side. All Hindu temples  Sri Vishnu, Sri Shiva temples, etc have sentinels  at the entrance of sanctum; they are supposed to guard the God's chamber.

Nedungunam, T.V. malai didt.

Roughly 1200 years old, this temple  was built by the great Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishnadeva Raya. The  moolava idols in the sanctum are Sri Rama, Sri Sita  and sri Lakshmana. The processional deity (Utchavar) is Vijayarajan. The goddess's name is Sengamalavalli. In the sanctum goddess  Sita's  right hand  holds the lotus implying prosperity and wisdom,  and the left hand  pointing to Sri Rama's feet assuring the devotees that the lord will safeguard their destiny and protect them.  

The reason for the absence of bow and arrow in the Rama's image is the lord was on his return from Lanka after having won the war against demon king Ravenna and releasing Sita who was a hostage there. The lord  was at peace  with himself as goddess rejoined him and his 14 year long exile  from Ayodhya was nearing.  

What made Rama read the Vedas here?  Here the lord met Sukabrahamma Rishi who was in penance on the near-by hill. Pleased with the visit of Rama, the sage gave him the scriptures on Veda. Soon Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and also Hanuman (in padmasana posture) began to read the Vedas.  The sthala purana says that Sri Hanuman learnt Muktikopanishad from the learned sage. 

Among the major temple festivals, the most important ones are:  10 day Panguni ( March- April-) Brahostsavam, Sri Rama Navami (7th day chariot / car festival; Indiravimana festival 10th day is a great event). This temple is about 40 km from Thiruvannamalai town