Divine Connection

Sri Rama and Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam

Two of the seven Mokshapuris of Bharata

अयोध्या मथरुा माया काशी काञ्ची अवन्ति का । परुी द्वारावती चवै सप्ततै ेमोक्षदायकाः ॥

Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Mayapuri or Haridwar), Kashi (Varanasi), Kanchi (Kanchipuram), Avantika (Ujjain) and Dwaravati (Dwaraka). These seven cities are givers of Moksha.

Ayodhya and Kanchipuram

Lalitopakhyanam of the Brahmanda Purana

The connection between Kanchipuram & Ayodhya is mentioned in two chapters, 39th& 40th of Lalitopakhyanam of the Brahmanda Purana - a scripture which describes the greatness of Kamakshi Devi.

Dasharatha, Pankti Ratha, of the Surya Vamsha, had a darshan of Amba Kamakshi in his dreams. He had been performing homams and pujas as a penance for many many years in order to be blessed with progeny but was childless. In his dream, he got the divine message that his desire for progeny would materialise if he went to Kānchipuram and performed Pujas and homams.

Kanchipuram in the south is the nabhi sthalam of the 51 Shakti Peethas. The goddess of Kanchipuram is Kamakshi, one who fulfills all desires until there are none left.

Dasharatha narrated the dream to queen Kausalya Devi and left Ayodhya for Kanchipuram to perform the famous Purtakameshti (Putra-Kama-Ishti) Yagam. This yagam, when done with sincerety, helps the performer beget children. It is after this yaga that Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi drank the prasad kheer, payasam and begat Sri Rama, Sri Lakshmana, Sri Bharata and Sri Shatrugna.

He spent a week – seven nights in Kanchipuram and performed all the Pujas and homas to perfection. He made offerings of silks vastram, and honoured scholars and men of wisdom. He fulfilled all vows and observed strict penance for seven days and nights. He sang stotras in praise of Goddess Kamakshi.

Goddess Kamakshi who was pleased with the exemplary devotion of the King blessed him by uttering the following auspicious words -

Thus Maharaja Dasharatha received the blessings of the Goddess and Kanchipuram shines as the place where prayers were done for the birth of Sri Rama.

Such Ishti Yagas are still conducted in Kanchipuram and other places in South India under the guidance of the Shankaracharyas of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

Adi Shankara and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam

Adi Shankara received 5 crystal lingas as a blessing from Lord Shiva at Kailash. He carried four of these to different kshetras and arranged for their poojas. He set up four Mathas in the four corners of Bharat, and placed one of His shishyas as the peetadhipathi in each of those mathas.

He came to Mokshapuri Kanchi at the age of 27 after travelling the length and breadth of Bharata. He established the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in 482 B.C.E and was its first Peethathipathi. With the Yoga linga called Sri Chandramouleeshwara given by Shiva, He performed pooja thrice a day at the mutt.

The Peetam has an unbroken guru-sishya parampara of 70 Acharyas who have performed tri-kala pooja to the Yoga linga.

Kamakshi Devi and Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam

Prithvi Kshetram

Among the Pancha Bhuta Sthalams of Shiva, Kanchipuram is Prithvi Kshetram. The concept prevails in Shakti worship too and in this, Ayodhya is the Prithivi Kshetram.

At Kanchi, He found Kamakshi in an ugra or fierce form. He calmed her by installing and performing pooja to a Sri Chakra Yantram in front of the goddess. He spent His last days at Kanchi. His Adhistanam is in the temple.

The Peethathipathis of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam are the Parampara Dharma Kartas of Kamakshi Devi Temple

Adi Shankara and Kamakshi Devi Temple