1. Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple
Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Thiruvananthapuram, India. The shrine is currently run by a trust headed by the royal family of Travancore. The Maharajahs of Travancore are Cheras and descendants of the great saint Kulashekhara Alwar.
The Temple is a replica of the famous Sri Adikesavaperumal Temple at Thiruvattar. Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple gave its name to Kerala’s state capital Thiruvananthapuram. Among other things, the temple is famous for having a secret vault that no human can ever open easily. Let us now revisit the history of the temple and learn more about the mysterious door.
3. Sleeping posture
The Principal Deity, Padmanabhaswamy, is enshrined in the “Anantha-sayanam” posture (in the eternal sleep of Yoga-nidra on the serpent Anantha). The Maharajah of Travancore bears the title, “Sree Padmanabhadasa’ (Servant of Lord Padmanabha).
4. Dress code
It is said that only those who profess the Hindu faith are permitted entry to the temple. Devotees have to strictly follow the dress code.
5. Holy abode
The temple is one of 108 Divya Desams (Holy Abodes of Vishnu) – principal centres of worship of the deity in Vaishnavism. The temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Tamil Alvar saints (6th–9th centuries CE), with structural additions to it made throughout the 16th century CE, when its ornate Gopuram was constructed.
6. Serpent position
In the sanctum sanctorum, Sri Padmanabha reclines on the serpent Anantha or Adi Sesha. The serpent has five hoods facing inwards, signifying contemplation. The Lord’s right hand is placed over a Shiva lingam.
7. Goddess of prosperity
Sridevi, the Goddess of Prosperity and Bhudevi the Goddess of Earth, two consorts of Vishnu are by his side. Brahma emerges on a lotus, which emanates from the navel of the Lord. The deity is made from 12,000 saligramams.
8. These saligrams
These saligrams are from the banks of the Gandaki River in Nepal, and to commemorate this certain rituals used to be performed at the Pashupatinath Temple. The deity of Sri Padmanabha is covered with, “Katusarkara yogam”, a special ayurvedic mix, which forms a plaster that keeps the deity clean. The daily worship is with flowers and for the abhishekam, special deities are used.
The platforms in front of the vimanam and where the deity rests, are both carved out of a single massive stone. The Deity is visible through three doors – the visage of the reclining Lord and Siva Linga underneath the hand is seen through the first door; Sridevi and Divakara Muni in Katusarkara,
10. The name
The temple derives his name from the position of Brahma seated on a lotus emanating from the Lord’s navel.
11. Secret chamber
Among the six kallaras or chambers in the Temple, Bharatakkon Kallara (Chamber B) is very closely associated with Sri Padmanabhaswamy. It is not a part of the Temple Treasury. The holy Chamber houses a Srichakram, an idol of Sri Padmanabha and many valuables meant to enhance the potency of the Principal Deity.
2. Opening the vault
In 2011, the Supreme Court of India sent a seven member committee to the temple. In the presence of the Head Trustee of Travencore Trust of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy, the temple’s six secret vaults were opened..
13. Hidden treasure
When opened, the vault contained diamond jewellery, golden utensils, weapons, golden idols, golden elephants idols and diamond necklaces having 500 kilograms weight and 18 feet length and bags full of golden coins of different nations.
14. Vault names
For documentation purposes, these vaults have been designated as vaults A, B, C, D, E and F. While the rest of the vaults are at least opened eight times in a year, the main vault is Vault B. This chamber is being considered by the Trust members and other learned astrologers of India, as a highly mysterious, sacred and risky and dangerous to unveil it.
15. Secret chamber
The chamber B is considered to be fixed to the secret chamber with the ‘naga bandham’ or ‘naga paasam’ ‘mantras’ by the then ‘sidda purashas’ who lived during the reign of king marthandavarma in the 16th century.
16. Who can open it?
It is said that a door of such a secret vault can be opened by a highly erudite ‘sadhu’ or ‘mantrikas’ who are familiar with the knowledge of extricating ‘naga bandham’ or ‘naga pasam’ by chanting a ‘garuda mantra’; so except in this way, the door can’t be opened by any means by anyone.
17. Human attempt
If any human attempts are made with man-made technology to open the mysterious Chamber-B other than by chanting highly sacred and powerful ‘GARUDA MANTRAS’ by a highly sacred ‘SADHUS’ or ‘MANTRIKAS’, catastrophes are likely to occur in and around the Temple premises or through out India.
18. How does it open?
It is said that chanting the Garuda Mantra by a powerful ‘SADHU’ or ‘YOGI’ proceeds to automatically open the door and no human effort is needed to open it in any other way.
19. Attempt to open it
It is said that Vedic Astrologers of India tried to open the door, once but they were unable to do so.
20. Chanting properly
It is said that If this mantra is chanted properly by some Sadhu, only then will the door open. Else, mighty serpents guarding the door will wreak havoc on those who try to open the door.