Sri Mathsya Jayanthi

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi
Dasha Avathar

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi is ascribed to day of origination of Mathsya Avathar. Mathsya Avathar is the first and primary Avathar of Sri Maha Vishnu.

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi occurs on the Shukla Paksha Trithiya of the Chaitra Month. For the year 2021, it occurs on Thursday, 15th April 2021. The exact duration of the Trithiya Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective Regional Calendar.

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi
Sri Mathsya Avathar

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi – Legend

The origination of Sri Mathsya Avathar is described in both Agni Purana and Mathsya Purana.

Vaivaswatha Manu

Vaivaswatha Manu was the descendent of the Manu Kings. Manu Kings are believed to be originated from / created by Sri Brahma.

Vaivaswatha Manu was a good King. As his interest in spirituality increased, he had handed over his Kingdom to his son and went to the forest for doing penance. His other name was Satyavrada. He did severe penance on Sri Brahma for long.

Sri Brahma’s boon

Sri Brahma was pleased with his penance and asked Manu the purpose of the Tapas. Manu said “I want only one boon from you. Whether in near or far future, the whole world may get destroyed. When it happens, I want to be the one who survives and rescues the other living beings”. Sri Brahma had granted the boon.

Manu’s hermitage

Manu had set up an ashram for himself near the banks of Krithamala River. One day, he went to the pond near the Ashram for taking bath and other morning rituals. When he cupped the water, he saw a small Fish in his hands.  Seeing the fish, he tried to leave it again in the pond. The Fish spoke.

Fish’s request

The Fish said “Please don’t leave me in the water again. I will be eaten by the bigger fish. Please save me”. So, Manu put the Fish in his Kamandal (the water pot used for rituals).

Fish’s growth

The Fish immediately became too big for the Kamandal. He then shifted the Fish to the water tank in the Ashram. The Fish grew bigger than the tank.

Then he let the Fish in the pond itself. The pond became too small for the Fish. He then took the Fish to the river.

The river dried up and became too small to hold the Fish. He then let the Fish in the ocean. The Fish became bigger than the ocean.

Manu’s realization

Manu asked “Hey Fish! I know you are doing Maya. Only one person in the Universe can do this. Now I realize that you are Sri Maha Vishnu. Please tell me the reason for all these illusions”.

Vishnu’s dictate

Sri Maha Vishnu spoke in the form of the Fish “Yes. I am Maha Vishnu. I have come now to protect the Dharma and destroy Adharma. As you have saved my life as Fish, I am granting you an opportunity to save the living beings on the earth.

Within seven days from now, the whole world shall come under deluge. A huge boat will come near you. The boat was originally built by Devas. You get in the boat.

Along with you, you bring the Vedas, Brahma Gnana and the Saptha Rishis. Further, bring a pair of every living being and seeds of all the plants & plantation with you. I will also come there.

I will be in the form of a big fish sporting a horn. You tie the boat to my Horn using the snake Vasuki as the rope. I will take your boat with all the inmates and contents to a safer place”.

Manu’s actions

Everything has happened as prophesized by Sri Maha Vishnu. The deluge appeared and the whole world was getting immersed in water. Manu had taken the Vedas and Brahma Gnana.

He had brought the Saptha Rishis with him. He also had collected the other living beings in pairs and the seeds as directed by Sri Mathsya.

Damanaka

Meanwhile, an asura named Damanaka had stolen the Vedas from the boat. The asura had taken shelter in a conch shell under the ocean. The asura was also known as Somaka.

Sri Mathsya scouted for the asura and killed him. He retrieved the Vedas and brought them back to Manu.

Sri Mathsya Puran

After the retrieval of Vedas, Manu had duly tied the boat to the horn of the Fish. The Fish took the boat to various places.

Whenever the boat halted, Manu had asked questioned the Fish on multi various aspects of life and spirituality. The answers given by Sri Mathsya is considered in total as Sri Mathsya Puran.

Journey’s end

Sri Mathsya took the boat to the Himalayas. After the draining of water, the process of re-creation of the whole world with the living beings commenced.

Sri Mathsya Puran

Sri Mathsya Puran mainly describes the following:

-Origin of the universe
-Origin of the living beings
-Lord Shiva and Sri Shakthi
-Rules for making the idols of Lord Shiva
-Architecture
-Sasthra for sculpture
-Sasthra for house construction; and
-Construction of Mandapas with pillars.

Apart from the above, there are several sub-stories on the celestial marriages and events.

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi – Rituals

It is customary for some Vishnu-Bhakts to observe Vrat on this day. The Vrat starts from the previous night and ends on the morning after the Vrat. Some observe complete fasting without drinking even a sip of water.

Mathsya Puran and Vishnu Sahasra Namam are read, recited and chanted during the Vrat day. It is considered auspicious to make donations to the poor and the needy on this day.

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi – Beliefs

-Feeding fish or other water living beings on this day is said to bring auspiciousness.
-Cleaning of water bodies is said to bring good fortunes.

Sri Mathsya Narayana Temple, Nagalapuram

This temple is situated at Nagalapuram at Andhra Pradesh. This temple lies between Thirupathi and Kalahasthi. The temple is dedicated to the Mathsya Avathar. It is also called as Sri Veda Narayana Swamy Temple.

Sri Mathsya Jayanthi
Sri Veda Narayana Perumal Temple

The temple is built as per Vijayanagara architecture. The mandapams and the precincts have sculptured pillars.

Veda Narayana Perumal
Entrance – Dasha Avathar Depiction

Sanctum

In the main Sanctum, Sri Vishnu appears in the form of Sri Mathsya Murthy. He has four arms. The upper arms hold Sudarshan Chakra and Conch. The Chakra is called as Prayoga Chakra as it is in striking order. Sri Mathsya Murthy is flanked by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side.

The Consort of Sri Veda Narayana Perumal is Sri Vedavalli Thayar. She has a separate sanctum. There are dedicated shrines for Sri Kothanda Rama, Sri Lakshmi Varaha, Sri Venugopala and Sri Hayagreeva.

Veda Narayana Perumal
Rajagopuram

Surya Puja

It is said that rising Sun rays fall on Sri Mathsya Murthy for three days in a year (March). The occasion is celebrated as Surya Puja. On the first day, the rays which come through the Raja Gopuram fall at the feet of Sri Perumal; On the second day, the rays reach His chest; On the third day, the rays touch His forehead.

Procession

On Sri Mathsya Jayanthi day, the processional Deity of Sri Perumal is taken round the town in the morning. In the evening, the procession is done with Garuda Vahan.

Sri Mathsya Temple, Uthandi

Chinmaya Mission had established Sri Mathsya Narayana Temple at Uthandi, Chennai. The temple is open to air. Sri Maha Vishnu appears in the form of Viswaroop of Sri Mathsya Avathar. The temple is at the shore of Bay of Bengal. The pillars built up here have the inscriptions of Vishnu Sahasra Namam.

There are dedicated small shrines for Sri Vinayak, Sri Ram and Sri Sita, Sri Shiv and Sri Anjaneya. Even Navagrahas are depicted in a small hillock.

At evenings, Arti is taken for Sri Mathsya Narayana Perumal. Sagar Arti is done for the Bay of Bengal.

Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha!!!

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