Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Lord Guruvayurappan (a four-armed form of the Lord Vishnu), located in the town of Guruvayur in Kerala. It is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus all over the world and is often referred to as Bhuloka Vaikunta (Holy Abode of Vishnu on Earth). Some of the miraculous events and stories associated with the Guruvayur Temple are discussed here.
Mammiyoor (Mahimaiyoor) Sivan
Previously Lord Shiva was meditating upon the place where Lord Guruvayurappan is installed. When Guru (Brihaspathi or DevaGuru ) and Vayu wanted to install the statue, they requested Lord Shiva’s permission to install it there. Lord Shiva also agreed and moved to another place across the pond where he was meditating. Pleased by Shiva’s gesture, Lord Guruvayurappan mentioned that “Your greatness (Mahimai) has only increased by your gesture. Hence, the place that you are sitting now will be called Mahimaiyoor (which was later pronounced as Mammiyoor). Any trip to my temple will not be complete without visiting you (Lord Shiva) in Mammiyoor”. Even today many devotees visit this Shiva temple after visiting Guruvayur.
Sri Adisankaracharya and Guruvayur
Once Sri Adisankararacharya was going by aerial route over the sky of Guruvayur temple (being a siddha purusha he had the capacity to move in air). He enjoyed the beauty of the temple but was still trying to fly across it. The power of Lord Guruvayurappa brought him down and he fell in one sector of the temple. Realizing the power of Lord Guruvayurappa, Adisankaracharya prayed to him and established the prayer rituals for that temple, which is being followed even today. Even now we can see a small opening near the Bhagavathy Shrine within the temple.
God in the form of a buffalo
Once there was an innocent devotee who never visited the Guruvayur temple. He heard some learned scholars talking about Guruvayurappan’s beauty. He enquired them how Lord Guruvayurappa looked like. They looked-down upon this simple person and mentioned that Lord looked like a buffalo (pointing to a nearby buffalo with long horns). This devotee then started meditating upon the Lord in the form of buffalo. During one of the temple festivals when the priest tried to bring the idol of Guruvayurappan out of the temple, he was not able to bring it beyond the sanctum.
No matter how many people tried, they couldn’t move the idol an inch. There was a heavenly voice which instructed them to bring that innocent devotee before the Lord. It also mentioned that only he (the innocent devotee) knows how to bring it out. When the devotee entered the shrine for the first time, he saw the Lord in the form of the buffalo he was meditating on. He said the horns are blocked by the shrine’s walls and asked them to tilt the idol to bring it out. To everyone’s surprise the idol came out when they did that. Everyone realized the definition of true devotion through this event.
Melpattur Narayana Bhattadri, Narayaneeyam and Guruvayur
Narayana Bhattadri’s guru got paralysis attack. With his powers, Sri Bhattadri took that disease upon himself. He sat in Guruvayur temple and composed 100 chapters (of ~ 10 slokas each), summarizing Srimad Bhagavatam (this composition is called Narayaneeyam and chanting this with devotion is beloved to cure any disease).
While describing Narasimha Avatar, Bhattadri was not able to define the form of Sri Narasimha properly. So, Lord Guruvayurappan showed the original Narasimha form in front of Bhattadri. After explaining some of the features, Bhattadri exclaims in Narayaneeyam that “I am not able to describe your form any further”.
Similarly, while describing Kaliya Nardhanam (when Krishna danced on the hoods of Kaliya the poisonous Naga living in the Yamuna river), Bhattadri heard sound of something going inside and coming out of water. Bhattadri composed the entire chapter to that rhythm he heard.
These are some of the miraculous events that happened in Guruvayur temple.
About the Deity
The form of Deity of Guruvayoor temple is the form that Lord Krishna appeared before His parents at the time of His birth, viz. the form of Mahavishnu.
This dhyana-sloka contains a description of the form of the deity of Guruvayoorappan:
Peetambaram Karavirajita chakra-shankha-
koumudaki-sarasijam Karuna samudram,
Raadha sahaayam, Atisundara mandahaasam
Vathaalayesham anisham hridi bhaavayami
meaning: I ceaselessly meditate on the Lord of Guruvayur,
Who wears yellow silk and holds in his hands,
Wheel , conch , the mace called Koumodhaki,
And lotus flower and is an ocean of mercy,
Helper of Radha and has a very pretty soft smile.