must be curious now to know about the origin of the shrine at Guruvayur.
The "Narada Purana" in the chapter Gurupavanapura Mahatmya alludes to this
story: King Janamejaya, in order to avenge the death of his father
Pareekshit, brought about by the Naga chief Takshaka, performed the "Sarpayajna"
(snake sacrifice) in which thousands of innocent reptiles perished. As a
result of their curse that befell him, he was afflicted with
leprosy, which left him in utter despair. Sensing this, sage Dattatreya
appeared before him with a remedy - Propitiation of Lord Krishna at
The sage recounted, how the
holy idol was blessed because Narayana Himself was the first to worship
it. At the beginning of the Padma Kalpa, he gave the deity to Brahma (the
Lord of Creation) who could execute his task of Creation only by its
At the beginning of the Varaha Kalpa,
the childless couple, Sutepa & Prisna prayed in earnest to Brahma for the
gift of a son. Brahma gave them this deity assuring them of their wish if
they worshipped the deity with sincere devotion. This they did with
excellence, so much so that the Lord Mahavishnu himself appeared before
them. As a boon, they prayed Him three times, for a son. He pacified them
that he himself would be born to them as their son in three successive
births. Moreover, they would also have the good fortune of worshipping the
divine image in all the three janmas (births) and so.. as the Lord wished,
in the 1st janma, to Sutepa and Prisna was born as their son, Prisigarbha.
In their 2nd janma, as Kasyapa & Adita, the couple worshipped the same
image and got their son Vamana. In their 3rd and most auspicious janma
as Vasudeva and Devaki, Sri Krishna was born to them.
After slaying Kamsa , Krishna moved to
Dwaraka where he built a temple, installed that image the supreme himself
and worshipped it after the death of his parents. When the time come of
his 'Swargarohana'( ascent to Vaikundha), Lord Krishna entrusted his
devoted disciple Uddhava, to take good care of the idol. When the
latter intimated him, his fears regarding the fate that would befall
mankind in Kaliyuga during His absence. Krishna pacified Udhava that he
would manifest Himself in and infuse His glory into the idol; He would
also shield His devotees from the ill-effects of Kaliyuga and bless the
mankind. He appraised Udhava that a subsequence of Dwaraka was impending
and that he should install the image in an equally holy spot in
consultation with Brihaspati (Guru), the preceptor of the Gods .
Accordingly Guru along with Vayu (the God of Winds) set forth to
Dwaraka where they in tensed the image being tossed about in the sea by
the surging waves. The God of winds (Vayu) carried the image of his lead
and both set part in search of a sacred place for its installation. In
their quest, they came upon a lake of lotuses., none other than the
Rudratheertha where Lord Siva &
Parvathi were waiting to receive them. Siva told them that that spot
was etched out for Narayana long ago; hence he and Parvathi would move to
Mammiyur, the opposite bank. It is for this reason that a visit to
Guruvayur is considered incomplete without visiting mammiyoor temple. Guru
and Vayu installed the image in the temple built by Viswakarma, the
architect of the God. As Guru and Vayu together founded the temple, the
place came to be known as Guruvayurpura in accordance with Shiva's wish.
The name was later shortened to Guruvayur.
Moved by this story, Janamejaya proceeded
to Guruvayur temple where he observed austere devotion for four months. In
the night he would go to Mammiyur and bow before Shiva. One night while
asleep he felt the lord's healing touch over his body and his pain was no
more! He returned to his kingdom elated singing praises for the Lord. Yes,
you too could prouder up on the story and arrive at your conclusions.