Astrologer’s India: Venus and SriRangam Temple

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, also known as SriRangam, is notable for many reasons. It is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world, covering an area on 156 acres. It is first and foremost among the 108 temples known as “Divya Desams”, temples visited and glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It also boasts the largest gopuram (temple tower) at 237 feet.

It also happens that SriRangam has special astrological significance, and is known as “Sukrasthalam.” Prayers to Lord Ranganathar on Fridays can alleviate problems with one’s natal Venus, also known as “Venus Dosha.”

From the Sri Vaishavam Practices site:

Sukran is the planet which denotes all decorative items known as Alangara such as cosmetics, dresses, ornaments, sandals used in our life. Srirangam is the only temple where one could see the sandals (padhukas) of lord Sri Ranganathar in a storage place known as Kottaram nearby Dhanyalakshmi sannathi inside the temple. It is believed that Lord Sri Ranganatha regularly uses these sandals made by a cobbler, who makes it with due prayers for 48 days penance while observing strict viradam in the banks of river Kaveri, after the Lord himself gives them the measurement in the sands on the river bed. One could notice that those sandals undergoes wear and tear after some time, to prove that Sri Ranganather wear and use these sandals (divine padukas), walking inside the temple. These sandals are replaced every year by devotees. It is noteworthy to mention that Sri Desikan rendered versues known as slokams of ‘Sri Ranganathar sahasram’ in 1000 versues in praise the divinity of sacred sandals (divine padhukas) of Sri Ranganathar.

Here are some other ways in which SriRangam corresponds to Venus or Sukran, as per Kundandaiamudhan:

  • SriRangam is also associated with Revati Nakshatra. Lord Ranganathar’s birth star is Revathi in Meena rasi (Moon sign as Pisces) in which Sukran is exalted.
  • Srirangam is also known as “boga mandapam.” Venus is known ss the “boga karakan,” or cause of enjoyment.
  • Srirangam has the biggest and tallest Garudan, and the bird Garudan represents Sukra. While Sukran’s bird is given as Garuda, his animal is given as crocodile(makara.
  • The main idol, known as Moolavar, Sri Ranganathar put his feets on a lotus flower while reclining on the spiraling coils of Adisesha. The Lotus flower is the identified with and is a favorite of Venus.

    Below is a recording of the Sri Ranganathar Stotram sung by P.B Srinivas:

    You can find the text to this stotram here and with english translation here.

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