Relationship Between Temple Architecture and Cosmology

Mani Varadarajan mani at SHASTA.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Nov 4 17:54:17 UTC 1998

Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:
> Yes. The Srirangam Ranganatha temple is said to represent Vishnu's abode
> in Vaikuntha ...

At least for Srirangam, this equivalence is more symbolic
and metaphorical than actual.  Vishnu in Srirangam is reclining
on the serpent AdiSesha (tiru-anantAzvAn), which corresponds
to his pose in kshIrAbdhi (tirup-pArkaDal), not in Vaikuntha.
Vishnu in Vaikuntha is said to be in a sitting pose, with one leg
folded, one leg on the ground, with Lakshmi at his side.
Typically, Vishnu is known in this form as parama-pada-nAtha.
There is a shrine dedicated to the parama-pada-nAtha form in
many large Vishnu temples.

It is true, however, that Srirangam is known as bhUloka-vaikuNTha.


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