Varadaraja, the king among boon bestowers, is a minor incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Lord is said to have saved Gajendra from the grips of a crocodile and conferred upon him a boon. The word 'Varad' in Sanskrit language means one who bestows boons and the 'raja' means the king. Thus, the word Varadaraja means 'the prime or the king amongst of all the boon givers'.
The deity of Varadaraja is represented by a four hand Vaikuntha deity. The lower right hand's palm is the boon giving hand of the deity.
Legend of Varadaraja
According to a legendary fable from the Bhagavata Purana, in the garden of Ritumat at Mt Trikuta, Lord Ganesha, the Lord of elephant once went to quench his thirst. As the elephant god entered the waters of the lake, a crocodile caught hold of one of his legs. Gajendra struggled hard to release himself from the clutches of the crocodile but in vain. At last, with a lotus stalk in his trunk, he prayed to Lord Vishnu to come to his rescue. The lord appeared riding on a Garuda and killed the crocodile with his Chakra.
A Vishnu temple at Kanchipuram in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu is dedicated to the Varadaraja installed its sanctum sanctorum.
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(Last Updated on : 19-02-2013)
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