Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar, the great composer, had traveled to many temples and composed songs on the deities there. Vadivudaiamman Temple (also known as Sri Thyagaraja Swami Temple) in Tiruvotriyur, at the outskirts of Chennai, in one of them. Dikshitar composed the song “AdipurIshvaram sadA bhajEham” in the rAgam Arabhi at this temple. Needless to say, I was very thrilled when I got an opportunity to visit this temple today morning. The trip was made all the more special by the Veenavadini group (led by vainikAs Sri Jeyaraaj Krishnan and Smt. Jayasri Jeyaraaj) rendering select compositions of Dikshitar, including “AdipurIshvaram sadA bhajEham” in front of the sannadhi of AdipurIswarar. I must thank the vainika couple for their hospitality and for the great time we all had there.
Details of the temple and directions are available here [link]
Lyrics of Dikshitar’s song in Arabhi are as follows:
AdipurIshvaram sadA bhajEham – Arabhi – Adi – muthusvAmi dIkSitar
AdipurIshvaram sadA bhajEham tripura sundarI samEta vara guruguha janakam vandita muni samUham
vidhi hari pUjita tyAga rAjAngam Aditya kOTi prakAsha lingam
nandi pUjita svayambU lingam nAgakavacadharasaikatalingam
The mUlavar is a svayambhu lingam (one of the forms of Lord Shiva in the temple). This lingam is covered by a “nAga kavacam” that is removed only during full moon day in the month of Karthigai. The kavacam covered svayambhu lingam is described in the caraNam of Dikshitar’s kriti