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sha~gkacakralasatpANi SaraNAgata rakShaka||
We pray to Lord Varadraja who has been adorned with a beautiful garland of wild flowers, one who wields conch, lotus, mace and sudarshan chakra in His four hands and who excels in protecting His devotees who take refuge in him.
Sri Varadaraja at our temple is a form of Lord Vishnu as in Kanchipuram, Chennai. Legend has it that after He created the universe, Brahma wanted Lord Vishnu to come down to the earth. Brahma began to perform the Aswameda Yagam and when the Yagam was drawing to a close, Sri Varadaraja and His Consort, Sri Lakshmi appeared out of the flames of the Yagam, granting Brahma’s wishes to stay on the earth. The Lord is self-manifest (Svayam-vyakta) and not installed by any being, divine or human.
Our temple is the first in North America to consecrate Sri Varadaraja. Sri Varadaraja has a unique form. His lower right hand, representing the Abhaya Mudra signifies Protection, Peace, Benevolence and Dispelling of fear. His lower left hand rests on the Gada (Mace), named “Kaumodaki” and symbolizes Lord Varadaraja’s divine power which is the source of all spiritual, mental and physical strength. His mace is the power of the Divine within us to spiritually purify and uplift us from our materialistic bonds. His upper right hand holds the Discus (Chakra) named “Sudarshana”. The name Sudarshana is derived from two words - Su, which means good, superior, and Darshan, which means vision or Sight; together, it is "Superior Vision". The chakra represents destruction of one's ego, burning away of spiritual ignorance and illusion, and developing the higher spiritual vision and insight to realize God. The upper left hand holds the Shanka (Conch) named "Panchajanya", which represents Lord Varadaraja’s power to create and maintain the universe. The Panchajanya represents the five elements or Panchabhoota - water, fire, air, earth and sky or space. It also represents the five breaths or Pranas that are within the body and mind. He is known as giver of Varas or boons.
Lord Varadaraja in His magnificent glory stands at a majestic height of 8 feet 7 inches. This height is slightly less than Sri Varadaraja in Kanchipuram temple. In April 2006, our temple was vandalized and many of the murthis were destroyed and disfigured. Lord Varadaraja is one of the few murthis which did not have the slightest disfiguring mark. May Lord Varadaraja continue to protect us and our community!