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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -10



Every temple has more than one murti of the Divine. Some have two or three four or five murtis. The temple of Srinivasa on the Tirumalai has five forms. The number of forms varies with the importance of the temple or the Agama which it follows. The five forms of the Lord on the Hills are, according to the Vaikhanasa Agama which is followed, Mulavar (dhruva), the Ugra (snapana), Utsava (malayappan), the Bali (koluvu) and the Kautuka (bhogar). These five forms are stated to be analogically the part of the Brahmavriksa, the root, is the Mulavar, the stem is the Bali, the Utsava and Ugra are the leaves and the Kautuka is the flower. These five forms have different uses (functions) in the temple worship. The Mulavar is the most important. All worship really is of Him through the worship of the other murtis. The Kautuka is intended for all abhisekas including the sahasrakalasabhisekam and also for the sayana (Night). The Mulavar on the Hills has abhisekas on Fridays only. The Utsava murti is for all festivals and all adornments. Excepting on one occasion when the Ugra murti is taken out of the temple, on every other occasion the Utsava murti is taken out into the streets of Tirumalai so that He could be worshipped by all. The Ugra murti is taken out on the early morning before sunrise on the Kaisika Dvadasi day. He is also worshipped inside the temple specially dvadasaradhana on the Sri Jayanti day (Sri Krishna’s Birthday) The Bali murti is daily to hold Court in front of the Main Grha Mantapam and hear the recitation of the daily stellar time-table and accounts.

In the Pancharatra worship followed at other places, there are recognized usually the Vishnu, Purusa, Satya, Acyuta and Aniruddha corresponding to the Mulavar, Kautaka, Utsava, Ugra and Bali forms of the Lord. The philosophy of Pancaratra upholds the theory of Vyuhas of the Lord to be four, namely, Vasudeva, Samkarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, the last three forms having the pairs of auspicious qualities of Satya-jnana, Virya-tejas, and Sakti and bala, respectively.

The Lord as avatara has five forms such as the para, vyuha, vibhava, arca and harda. The representation of these five forms in the icons in the temples is much more important than the four vyuha forms. The Mulavar corresponds to the Para, the transcendent, the Immutable. The Ugra corresponds to the Vyuha, or the Aniruddha, the cosmic creator-sustainer-destroyer who has all the six auspicious qualities, the Utsavar corresponds to the Vibhava or the avatars, and the Kautuka corresponds to the Arca form. The Bali form corresponds to the Antaryami or the Harda. The aim of the ancient teachers of the path of worship both of the Vaikhanasa and Pancaratra systems seems to be to represent correspondentially at first the various levels of the Divine Nature and Form both within the world and beyond. To provide for their worship in the five times (Kalas) is the aim of proper worship. On the Tirumalai the worship is conducted in the five times reckoned as the five bells of the day.

Sri Ramanuja emphasized the fact that Vaikhanasa and the Pancaratra are in fact one sastra or one agama in so far as they conformed to the worship of the five forms in the five times. Sri Venkatanatha expounded this occult correspondence between the five times and the five forms in his famous Pancaratra raksa. This is a matter for contemplation and meditation of the corresponding form of the Lord in the respective forms. All the forms of the Lord are emanations of the One Transcendent Form, out of Grace to the devotees and creation. According to the Agamas to see difference between these five forms is not only wrong but also delusive. Every man must worship each form as the Supreme who has condescended to appear to the devotee suitable for the preservation of cosmic destiny and purpose, individual enjoyment and service, social welfare and dharma, individual enjoyment and service, social welfare and dharma, and for the grating of knowledge and liberation. To one who has awakened to a sense of the Supreme in His heart and has realized the Antaryami, is open the experience of the five forms in undivided and indivisible glory and puissance.