Tiruppukoliyur (Avinasi) – Sri Avinasiappar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Avinasiappar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 Years

Name of deity

Moolavar:  Avinasiappar, Avinasi Lingeswarar, perunkediliyappar

Ambal: Karunambikai and Perunkarunai Nayaki

Sthala Theertham: Kasi Kinaru-well, Naga Kannikai and Iravadha Theertham

Sthala Virksham: Magilam

Devaram: Sundaramoorthy Nayanar

Sthalapuranam:

The Tamil saying goes – Kasiyil Vasi Avinashi meaning that what the devotee derives by worshipping in Kasi-Varanasi, he/she derives half of the benefits by worshipping Avinashilingeswara in Avinashi.  Lord Avinashi Appar, Lord Bhairava and the holy water-theertham- are brought from Kasi.  Bathing in the Kasi well in the temple on new moon day-Amavasya brings manifold benefits to the devotee.  There will be no interval closing of the temple on new moon days. Vinasam in Sanskrit or Tamil means perishable.  Avinashi means imperishable. According to scriptures, it is said Sage Vasishta worshipped in this temple for relief from adverse Saturn aspects.  He has installed Sani Bhagwan in this temple.  He is praised as Anugraha Murthy – blessing His devotees.  He appears with right leg on a peeta, left on his crow vehicle, arrow in the upper right hand and bow on the left, trident in lower right hand and the assuring sign-Abhayamudra- by the left hand lower.
There are two Ambikas in the temple, one in penance and the other with Lord in the sanctum sanctorum.  She occupies the right side here against the traditional left as the ruling authority.  There are separate Rajagopurams and flag posts for Lord and Mother.  Lord Vishnu having His place behind Shiva shrine in temples as a tradition, is near the flag post facing Shiva.  The temple is sung by Saint Manicka Vasagar in his celebrated  Tiruvasagam hymns.
In the shrine between that of Lord Shiva and Mother Ambica, Lord Muruga has His shrine in a six triangular shape in Somaskanda design.  Those not familiar with rules of meditation and pujas derive the best benefits in the temple if they simply pray sincerely.  Lord and Mother offer what they wish.   It is noteworthy that even a thief was forgiven and granted salvation by the Lord.  There is a shrine for Vyadavedar .  There are 32 Vinayakas in the temple.  Lord Dakshinamurthy graces in a dancing posture from a shrine south of the Rajagopuram.  Shiva Surya has his shrine.  Lion vahan is before Nardana Ganapathy.  Those native to Scorpio sign worship the scorpion behind Mother Karunambica shrine.  Those affected by poisonous bite worship here and receive prasads.  Before worshipping the Scorpion, the devotee should offer his/her prayers to Lord Selva Ganapathi facing north (the direction belonging to Kubera) at the entrance of the temple. Lord Bhairava in this temple is one among the 64 Bhairava forms.  He is believed to be elder to Kasi Bhairava known as Akasha Kasikapura Pruradhanadha Bhairava in a shrine in the prakara.  He enjoys the next place to Lord and Ambica. Sage Siva Yogi is above Lord Dakshinamurthy in the shrine.  He learnt all the arts from His Guru and excelled Him then.  As he has attained the status of Guru’s Guru , he is seen in higher place and grace the devotees.

Saint Sundarar was passing through a street in Avinahsi.  He hears joyous sounds celebrations in a house where the holy thread ceremony – Upanayanm – from a house and saw also the sad faces of a couple in the opposite house.  He came to know that the boys of the two houses were close friends.  While playing near a tank around the temple, one boy was dragged by the crocodile in the tank and died.  If alive, his upanayanam was also due to be conducted together. Sage Sundarar immediately went to the temple and demanded the Lord to direct the crocodile to give back the boy it swallowed three years ago when he was four.  He prayed to Lord with a Pathigam (10 verses).  As he sang the fourth stanza begging the Lord to direct the crocodile to return the boy, to the joy of all around him, the crocodile brought back the boy with the growth he would have at the age of seven.  Sundarar took the boy to the parents and arranged his upanayanam too.  This is a great event related with this temple.  During the Panguni Uthiram festival in March-April, Mudalai Vai Pillai – boy in the grip of the crocodile – utswav is celebrated for three days.

A “Deepasthambam” is seen in front of the temple which is carved of single stone. The lower part of this 70 feet post bears the carvings of lord Ganapathi, Sundaramoorthi Nayanar and the rebirth of a boy from the mouth of a crocodile. This “Dheepasthumbam” is a unique feature in all the ancient temples of Kongunadu. A 30 pillar hall is located in front of the “Dheepasthumbam”.

The Shiva temple at Avinasi is spread over an area of 1.5 acres and is located on the banks of Nallar river. The main rajagopuram is on the east side with 7 tiers. It is nearly 100 feet height and one of the biggest towers in the Kongunadu. The first idol that one worships on entering the temple through the Rajagopuram is the Selva Vinayagar. On the ceiling above the carved image of Uchi pillayar can be seen. Anointment of this deity is believed to bring rains even during drought conditions. Inside the gopuram, the idols of idols of saints Sundarar and Manickavasagar are seen on the left side. Inside there are two corridors. Once we enter , there is a mandapam and magnificant sculptures of Gods and Goddesses like the Veerabadhirar, Oorthava Thandavamurthy, Kali can be seen on the pillars of the mandapam. From the mandapam, one can enter the sanctum sanctorum of Avinasiappar shrine. The Lord Avinashi Lingeswarar enshrined here is looked upon as the offshoot of the one in Kashi (Banaras). Thus Avinashi is called the Kashi of Kongunadu. The inner corridor on the four sides of the sanctum sancotrum is decorated with the images of Nayanmars, Murugan Sannadhi in the northwest and Karaiakal Ammaiar Sannadhi on the northeast. The shrine of Goddess Karunambikai (consort of Avinashi Lingeswarar) is seen separately and is located on the right side of the presiding deity. It is located in the southern side of the temple corridor. The front mandapam of Goddess Karunambikai shrine has carvings of figures like the elegant and beautiful Kurathi or her more rugged male counterpart Kuravan, which arrest the attention of everybody entering this shrine. At the back of the shrine is carved a figure of scorpion, which is said to have the efficacy to cure a person, from even the bite of a venomous snake and sting of scorpions. The Kala Bairavar shrine of this temple has a special status.

Route:

This Shivasthalam is situated 40 km from Coimbatore and about 14 km from Tirupur.

Temple Timings:

5.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

0 4296 – 273 113, 94431 39503

Temple Address:

Sri Avinasiappar Temple

Avinashi Post

Avinashi Taluk

Tiruppur District

PIN 641654

 

Tirunavukkarasar

Appar is one of the four Tamil Samaya Acharyas. He was a contemporary of Sambandhar. He was a Vellala or Tiru Amur in the district of Cuddalore, Tamilnadu. He was born of Pugalenar and Mathiniar. The parents gave the name Marulneekiar (dispeller of darkness or ignorance) to Appar. Appar means father. Sambandhar gave Marulneekiar this name. The name Appar was first used by Sambandhar in addressing him in one of the several meetings between them. Appar’s soul-stirring and sublime odes earned the title Tirunavukkarasar or the Lord of speech. He was a God-inspired soul. He sang devotional odes or Padigams during his pilgrimage to various shrines. He flourished in the middle of the seventh century A.D. He was a mystic and poet.

Tilakavadhiar was the elder sister of Appar. She was betrothed to Kalippahaiyar, a military commander under the Pallava king. Kalippahaiyar had to fight against some invader from the North. He died in the battle-field. Tilakavadhiar’s parents also died. The news of the death of Kalippahaiyar reached the ears of Tilakavadhiar. She made up her mind to enter the funeral pyre. Marulneekiar came to know of the intention of his sister. He ran to his sister, prostrated before her and said: “I am keeping my life on account of your support only, after the death of our parents. If you want to give up your life, I will give up my life before you do so”. The heart of Tilakavadhiar melted. She changed her determination and resolved to lead the ascetic life and bring up her helpless younger brother.

Appar became a convert to Jainism. He studied all the Jain scriptures. He went to Pataliputra itself and became one of the spiritual heads there, as he was an erudite scholar in the Jain scriptures.Appar’s sister was very much afflicted at heart when she came to know that her brother became a convert to Jainism. She left her native village and went to Tiru Atikai, a neighbouring town. She spent her time in meditation and prayer at the Siva’s temple. She prayed to the Lord for his return. Appar fell a victim to a severe colic which could not be cured. He threw off the garb of a Jain, his bowl and went to his sister. She smeared the holy ashes on the forehead of Appar and took him to the temple of Siva and asked him to prostrate before the Lord and worship Him. Appar acted accordingly. The severe colic vanished at once. He praised Lord Siva.

The spiritual head of the Jains at Pataliputra reported to Kadava, the Jain king, about the absconding of Appar. The district of Cuddalore was under the sway of the Pallava king Kadava. The spiritual head induced the king to persecute Appar. Appar proceeded to the Pallava capital and appeared before the king. Appar was persecuted in various ways. He was thrown into a burning lime-kiln. He was compelled to drink poisoned milk. An elephant was sent to kill him. A heavy stone was tied to him and he was thrown into the sea. Lord saved him. He floated alive and reached the shore at Tiruppatirupuliyur. The Pallava king recognised the greatness of Appar and prostrated at his feet. He gave up Jainism and embraced Saivism. He built a magnificent temple of Siva called Gunathara Vicharam at Tirunadhikai. Thereupon, Appar proceeded on a pilgrimage to various sacred places. He visited Chidambaram, Sirkali and other places and sang Tevaram or odes in praise of Lord Siva. Appar met the saint Appudi Adigal at Tingalur. Appar brought to life Appudi’s son, who was bitten by a cobra. Thereupon, Appar visited holy places such as Tiruvanainallur, Tiruvamathur, Tirukoilur and Tirupennakatam and worshipped Lord Siva. He finally reached Tirutunganaimadam and prayed to Lord Siva: “O Siva Sankara! O Ardhanarisvara! O source and end of all beings! I do not wish to keep the body which was in touch with the Jains. Let me have the stamp of Your trident and Nandi on my body”. He sang a Padigam. At once a Sivagana approached Appar through the grace of Lord Siva, and put the stamp of trident and Nandi on the shoulder of Appar. Then Appar proceeded to Sirkali to meet Sambandhar. He fell at the feet of Sambandhar. Sambandhar addressed the Vellala saint: “O my beloved Appar”.

Once, Sambandhar went in a palanquin to Tiruppuntiruti in the district of Tanjore to meet Appar. Appar went in advance and carried the palanquin. Sambandhar asked: “Where is Appar?” Appar replied: “Here am I, carrying the palanquin”. Sambandhar at once got down from the palanquin, embraced Appar and shed tears of love. Appar went to Tiruchattimutram. He sang a Padigam and said: “O Lord, place Thy lotus-feet on my head before I leave this physical body”. He heard an Akasavani or voice in the sky: “Come to Tirunallure”. Appar acted accordingly and went to Tirunallure. Lord Siva placed His feet on the head of Appar. Appar prostrated on the ground. His heart was filled with indescribable delight. Then Appar went to Tiruvambhar, Tirukadavur and Milalai. There was great famine in Milalai. Appar and Sambandhar were very much grieved at heart as the devotees of Lord Siva were starving. Lord Siva appeared in the dream of both and said: “Do not be afflicted, I shall give you gold-pieces”. They found gold-pieces daily in the temple and fed the people sumptuously.

Appar and Sambandhar visited the temple at Vedaranyam in the district of Tanjore. Here, an old temple of Lord Siva had long remained with doors shut. The Vedas themselves had come and worshipped Siva in the temple and they now did not offer their worship, because people neglected the study of Vedas on account of the influence of Jainism. Sambandhar said to Appar: “Come, and sing that these doors may be opened”. Appar sang and the doors opened. Sambandhar sang and the doors shut. On one occasion, Appar was very hungry during his pilgrimage tour. Lord Siva created a tank and garden on, the way and gave him food also.

Appar started on a journey to visit Mount Kailas. He had a tiresome journey. He had severe bruises on his feet. He heard a voice in the sky. It was the voice of Lord Siva. The voice said: “O Appar, wake up. Take a dip in this tank. You will see Me and Mt. Kailas in Tiruvayar”. Appar took a dip in the tank and appeared in a temple in Tiruvayar on the banks of Kaveri. He came outside the tank and saw Siva and Sakti everywhere. He entered the temple and saw Mt. Kailas and the Lord Siva of Mt. Kailas. Appar rejoiced heartily at the marvellous sight and sang Padigams. Finally Appar stayed at Pumpukalar near Tiruvalur and spent here the last years of his life. He was tested here by the Lord, in order to show his greatness to the people. When he was serving in the temple, gold and diamond appeared under his feet. Appar regarded them as stones and threw them away. On another occasion, celestial damsels appeared before him and tempted him in a variety of ways; but Appar remained undisturbed in his meditation. He merged himself in the Light of lights, Lord Siva, when he was much advanced in age. Appar laid the foundation of Saiva Siddhanta school of philosophy, by means of his poems. Appar’s poems are full of imagination, spiritual insight, religious emotion and high spiritual realisation.

Appar was more learned than Sambandhar. He had a very powerful personality. He led an exemplary life as a Siva Bhakta. He put an end to the influence of Jainism. He always praised the five letters, the Panchakshara. He says: “The rare jewel of the Brahmins is the Veda with six Angas; the rare jewel for the Saivites is the Panchakshara”. His exemplary life, mellifluous poetry, vast erudition and profound religious fervour attracted countless people. He had countless admirers and disciples. He had great influence. Appar’s works consist of three hundred poems which form three books out of twelve in the Tamil collection of Saivite poetry known as Tirumurai.

Appar says: “Everything is the manifestation of Lord Siva. Siva is Narayana, Brahma, the four Vedas, the holiest, the oldest, the perfect. Though Siva is all these, He is none of these. He is without name, without birth, death or disease. He is at once the transcendent and immanent. “Love of Lord Siva must be felt and manifested. Sing. Pray. Worship. Weep. Dance. Lord Siva is the music or melody in the song, the sweetness in the fruit, the thought in the mind, the lustre in the eyes. He is neither male nor female. He is without dimensions. “Subdue the senses. Practise regular meditation. Practise Chariyai, Kriyai, Yoga and Jnana. Practise regular meditation. Develop dispassion (Vairagya). Transcend the three bodies. Unite the individual soul with the Supreme Soul or Lord Siva. You will attain eternal bliss and immortality. You can behold Lord Siva if you look for Him with the light of wisdom issuing forth from the wick of life, fed with the ghee of meditation, in the lamp of the mind, within the house of your body.

“Plough with truth. Plant the seed of desire for knowledge. Weed out falsehood. Irrigate the mind with the water of patience. Supervise your work by looking within or introspection and self-analysis. Build the fence of Yama and Niyama or right conduct and right rules. You will soon attain Sivanandam or eternal bliss of Siva. “Regard your body as the temple of Lord Siva, your mind as the worshipper, truth as purity which is necessary for worship, the jewel of the mind as the Linga, love as the ghee, milk, etc. Perform Puja to Lord Siva thus. Lord Siva cannot be obtained without making the mind one-pointed and meditation on the Panchakshara.” May you all follow the precepts and teachings of Appar and attain the Siva-Pada, the immortal abode of eternal bliss!

 

Gnanasambandar

Sambandhar took his birth in a Brahmin family in Sirkali in the district of Tanjore which is also known by the name Brahmapuri. He was born of Bhagavati and Sivapadahridayar. Bhagavati and Sivapadahridayar went to the tank to take their bath. The child also accompanied his parents. They left the child on the bank and proceeded to take bath. The child cried aloud: “O father!” as he did not see his parents. The parents did not hear the cry of the child, but Lord Siva and Parvati heard his cry. They both appeared before the child. Parvati gave milk to the child. The child drank the milk of divine knowledge along with the milk. From that moment he began to sing the praises of Lord Siva in various temples. He sang soul-stirring, sublime Tevarams or odes. This incident occurred when the child was three years old. The parents finished their bath and came near the child. Milk was flowing from his mouth and there were tears in his eyes. The parents asked: “My beloved child, who gave you milk?” The child sang a hymn and narrated everything to his parents. The parents rejoiced heartily and gave to the child the name Tiru-Jnana Sambandhar as he attained divine wisdom through the grace of Lord Siva and Parvati. He was also known by the name Pillayar. Thereupon Sambandhar proceeded to Tirukkolakka. He sang a hymn or ode in the temple. Lord Siva presented him with a gold cymbal.

There was a devotee of Lord Siva in Tiruyerukkattampuliyur. He could play well on the musical instrument Yal. His name was Tirunilakantha Yalpanar. He went to Sirkali to pay his respects to Sambandhar. Sambandhar took him to the temple of Lord Siva and heard his music. Yalpanar prayed to Sambandhar and said: “Let me always live with you playing thy hymns on Yal. Grant me my prayer”. Sambandhar agreed. Thereupon, Sambandhar and his parents and Yalpanar proceeded to Chidambaram and worshipped Nataraja. One day, Sambandhar saw the three thousand Brahmins of Chidambaram as the three thousand Siva Ganas.

Sambandhar wanted to worship the Lord at Aratturai. He walked on foot. He got tired and so he rested on the way in Maranpadi during the night. As he was a small boy, his tender feet were much affected by the long walk. The Lord of Aratturai appeared in the dream of the priests and told them: “Sambandhar is coming to Me. Take the pearl umbrella and the pearl palanquin which are now in the temple and hand them over to him”. The priests woke up and went to the temple. They saw the articles which they saw in their dream there. They took them, went to Maranpadi and gave them to Sambandhar. They informed Sambandhar about the command of the Lord. Sambandhar also knew this already as the Lord informed him also about this, in his dream.

Thereupon, the thread ceremony of Sambandhar was performed by the priests. Sambandhar did not study the Vedas and the Vedangas, but he repeated them and explained them to the priests. The priests were struck with wonder.Appar heard all about the glory of Sambandhar. He came from Chidambaram to Sirkali to pay his respects to Sambandhar. Sambandhar came forward to receive Appar. They both spoke words of affection and love. Appar remained in the house of Sambandhar for some days.

The daughter of the king of Malaya country was suffering from an incurable disease. The king tried all sorts of medicines. Finally, he took her to the temple at Tiruppaccil Acciramam and left her there before the Lord. Sambandhar visited the temple and saw the princess in an unconscious state. His heart melted. He sang a Padigam and worshipped Lord Siva. The last line in every stanza ends: “Is it right for the Lord to cause suffering to this girl?” At once, the princess became all right. She got up and prostrated at the lotus-feet of Sambandhar.

Then Sambandhar proceeded to Tiruppattisvaram temple. It was a very hot day. Lord Siva of Tiruppattisvaram temple sent a pearl palanquin through His Ganas to ward off the heat of the sun. Sambandhar sang a Padigam and received one thousand gold coins from the Lord of Avadutturai. In the Padigam, he asks in every stanza: “Is this the way of Your looking after my interests? If You do not give me anything, is that Your grace?” He gave the gold coins to his father. Sambandhar proceeded to Tirumarugal. There a traveller was bitten by a snake. His wife was bemoaning the death of her husband. Sambandhar sang a Padigam. The traveller was brought back to life. There was severe famine at Tiruvilimilalai. Sambandhar received one measure of gold every day from the Lord at Tiruvilimilala. He purchased provisions for this money and fed all Siva Bhaktas.

Kulaccirai, minister of the Pandian king invited Sambandhar to his place. He was a devotee of Lord Siva. Mangayarkkarasi, the queen was also a devotee of Lord Siva. Sambandhar visited Madurai and worshipped the Lord there. The Jains set fire to the camp of Sambandhar. Sambandhar sang a Padigam. The fire was extinguished, but the Pandian king got severe fever. The doctors and the Jains were not able to cure him. The king requested Sambandhar to cure him. Sambandhar sang a Padigam in praise of the holy ashes and applied them to the king’s body. At once, the king became all right. There upon it was decided that both Sambandhar and the Jains were to put their writings into the fire and that if Sambandhar’s religion was the better one, the palm leaves which he put into the fire should not be burnt. Sambandhar came out successful in the test. Afterwards, there was another test. The Jains said that the palm leaf which contained the writings of a true religion should go against the current of the Vaigai river. The minister said: “What is the punishment for those who are defeated in the test?” The Jains replied: “Those who are defeated will be hanged”. The Jains put a palm leaf in the river. It went along the current of the river. Sambandhar wrote one of his poems and threw it into the Vaigai. It went against the current and reached the place known as Tiruvedangam. Sambandhar sang a Padigam to stop the palm leaf. It stopped. The minister ran, took the leaf and showed it to the king. Then some of the Jains were hanged. The rest embraced Saivism. Sambandhar went with the king and queen to the temple at Madurai and praised the Lord there. Sambandhar wanted to go to Tirukkollampudur to have Darsana of the Lord there, but there was flood in the river. The boatmen gave up the idea of crossing it. They tied the boat somewhere and left the bank. Sambandhar took the boat, sang a Padigam and went over to the other side along with his party.

The devotees of Sambandhar were blowing the trumpet of victory when they were travelling. The Buddhists became very jealous of this. They informed their spiritual head, Buddhanandi. Buddhanandi called Sambandhar for discussion.Sambandhararanalayar, a disciple of Sambandhar who was recording all the songs of his master, sang a Padigam sung by Sambandhar and said: “A thunder will fall on the head of this Buddhanandi”. At once, a thunder fell on the head of Buddhanandi. He died immediately. Some Buddhists ran away. Some others embraced Saivism and applied the holy ashes on their forehead. Thereupon Sambandhar visited Tiruvottur. One man came to Sambandhar and said: “O Swami, all the palmyra seeds have become male palmyras. People are mocking at me. Kindly bless me”. Sambandhar sang a Padigam. The male palmyras were converted into female palmyras.

In Mylapore, there lived a devotee of Siva named Sivanesa Chettiar. A daughter was born to him after doing penance. He gave her the name Poompavai. Sivanesar heard about the glory of Sambandhar and surrendered all his wealth and daughter to the saint. One day, Poompavai was bitten by a cobra, while she was gathering flowers in the garden. She died immediately. Sivanesar kept her bones in a pot and kept the pot in the Kannikaimatam. He decorated the pot with silk cloth. Sivanesar invited Sambandhar to the place. Sambandhar came to Mylapore and had Darsana of Kapalisvarar. The devotees informed Sambandhar about the death of Sivanesar’s daughter. Sambandhar asked Sivanesar to bring the pot which contained the bones of his daughter. Sivanesar brought the pot at once. Sambandhar sang a Padigam. Poompavai came out of the pot just as Lakshmi emerged from the lotus. Sivanesar’s heart was filled with intense delight. There was a rain of flowers from the celestial regions. Then Sambandhar went to Sirkali. The Brahmins approached Sambandhar and said: “O Swami, you will have to marry a girl now in order to perform the sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas”. Sambandhar agreed. The Brahmins and the father of Sambandhar selected the daughter of Nambiandar Nambi as the bride. The marriage ceremony was arranged at Nallur Perumanam. Sambandhar went along with his chosen bride into the temple. When he approached the Lord, he, his bride and his followers got merged in the Jyotis or the effulgence of the Lord. Sambandhar says in one of his Padigams: “O foolish man, do not allow days to pass. Serve Lord Siva who has a blue neck. Hear His praise. Meditate on His form. Repeat always the Panchakshara. Live in the company of devotees of Siva. Serve them. His name will remove all evils and dangers likely to fall on you and your children. Worship Lord Siva. He will confer on you eternal bliss and immortality”.

 

Sundaramoorthy Nayanar

There was a Brahmin by name Sadayanar in Navalur in Tamilnadu. He was very pious and devoted to Lord Siva. He had a pious son named Nambiyarurar or Alala Sundarar. He attained manhood. He was known by the name Sundaramurti Nayanar also. Sundaramurti Nayanar was a great devotee of Lord Siva. He is one of the four Saiva Acharyas. Lord Siva of Tiruvennainallur appeared before Sundaramurti in the form of an aged Brahmin on the eve of his marriage. The Lord said that Sundarar was His bond slave and so ought to work for Him in His house. The name of the Lord is Taduttatkonda Isvar or the Lord who obstructed and saved Sundarar from Samsara. Sundaramurti visited several temples. He went to Adigai Virattanam. Lord Siva appeared before him and placed His sacred feet on his head. Sundarar then went to Tiruvarur. Lord Siva made Sundarar His friend. Kamalini was the maid servant of Umadevi at Kailas. She entertained a desire to marry Alala Sundarar. So she was forced to take birth in the world at Tiruvarur. She was named as Paravai. She came of age. Lord Siva of Tiruvarur appeared in the dream of the devotees and told them: “Arrange for the marriage of Paravai and Sundaramurti”. Lord Siva informed Paravai and Sundarar also. Sundarar married Paravai and both lived happily.  There was a famine in Tiruvarur. Lord Siva appeared before Sundaramurti and gave him heaps of grain. It was impossible to remove this large quantity of grain. Sundaramurti asked Lord Siva to help him. The grain was removed to the house of Paravai by the Ganas, the agents of Lord Siva.

When Sundarar was at Tiruppugalur he asked for gold for his wife. He kept his head on bricks and slept. He woke up and found the bricks converted into gold. He got again gold on his way to Vriddhachalam. He threw the gold in the river Manimukta according to the Lord’s command. He took it again in the tank at Tiruvarur. Lord Siva showed him the way to Tirukkudalaiyarru. Lord Siva gave Sundarar food when he was going to Tirukkarukavur. On another occasion Lord Siva begged food for Sundarar. Sundaramurti went to Tiruvottiyur. He married Sangili, a great devotee of Lord Siva through the grace of Lord Siva. Aninditai, maid servant of Umadevi who lived in Kailas, took her birth as Sangili. Sundaramurti requested Lord Siva to stay under the Magila tree when he was to swear to Sangili that he would not leave her. Sundarar wanted Sangili to go inside the temple, but Lord Siva already informed Sangili that He was under the tree and not inside the temple. Thereupon, Sangili asked Sundaramurti to come to the tree and not inside the temple, to take the oath. Sundaramurti had to give consent to Sangili’s request. Later on, he broke the oath by going to Tiruvarur to see the Utsava leaving Sangili, and became blind.

Sundaramurti said to the Lord: “If it is just that You should make me blind, kindly give me a stick”. Lord Siva gave a stick at Tiruvenpakkam. Sundarar’s left eye became all right when he came to Kanjivaram. When he praised Lord Siva at Tiruvarur his right eye also became all right.  When Sundaramurti was passing through a street in Tiruppukoliyur he saw that some people were crying in a house and some people were rejoicing at the opposite house. He asked the people: “What was the matter in both the houses?” They said: “Two boys aged five took bath in a tank. One boy was devoured by a crocodile and the other boy escaped. The parents of the boy who was killed by the crocodile are bitterly weeping. The parents of the boy who escaped, are celebrating his thread-ceremony and so they are rejoicing.” Sundarar was greatly moved. He sang a Padigam in praise of Lord Siva-Avinasi. The crocodile brought the child to the shore through the order of Lord Yama. The parents of the boy greatly rejoiced and prostrated before Sundarar. During the pilgrimage tour, Sundarar came to the bank of Kaveri. There was flood in the river. He wanted to have Darsana of Lord Siva at Tiruvayur. He sang a Padigam. The river gave way to Sundarar. He reached Tiruvayur and worshipped the Lord.

There was a great devotee of Lord Siva in Tiruperumangalam named Kalikamar. He was a Pillai by birth. He heard the news that Sundarar sent Lord Siva as a messenger to Paravai, and said: “A devotee has ordered the Lord to do some work. He has made the Lord his servant. That too for the sake of a woman. Is this man who has behaved like this, a devotee? I am a great sinner. My life has not yet departed from me as I have heard such news. I have not destroyed my ears, with an iron rod, which heard such news of a so-called devotee”. Sundarar came to know of the condition of Kalikamar Nayanar. He knew already that what he did was a grave error. He prayed to the Lord to pardon him. Lord Siva wanted to unite these two devotees. He caused the disease gastritis in Kalikamar, appeared in his dream and said: “This disease can be cured only by Sundarar”. Kalikamar reflected: “It is better to bear the pains of this disease, than to be cured by Sundarar”. The Lord commanded Sundarar: “Go and cure the disease of Kalikamar”.

Sundarar sent a message to Kalikamar about his coming to him. Kalikamar thought: “Let me give up my life before Sundarar comes to cure me.” He cut open his bowels and gave up his life. The wife of Kalikamar received Sundarar with great honour. Sundarar said to the wife of Kalikamar: “I wish to cure the disease of your husband and live with him for some time”. She kept quiet and asked those who were around her to tell Sundarar that her husband was not suffering from any disease and he was sleeping. Sundarar informed the people that he had a strong desire to see Kalikamar. Then they showed Kalikamar. Sundarar saw the dead body of Kalikamar. He also drew the sword and wanted to kill himself. Kalikamar came back to life through the grace of Lord Siva. He at once caught hold of the hands of Sundarar. Sundarar fell at the feet of Kalikamar. Kalikamar also prostrated at the lotus-feet of Sundarar. They both embraced each other. They both went to the temple of Lord Siva and worshipped Him. Thereupon, they proceeded to Tiruvarur.

Paravai was very much annoyed towards Sundarar for having left her and married Sangili. Sundarar requested Lord Siva to pacify Paravai. Lord Siva went twice to the house of Paravai, pacified her and united them both. The Lord acted the part of a messenger for His devotee. The Lord becomes a perfect slave of His sincere devotees. Sundaramurti became quite disgusted with this worldly existence. He requested Lord Siva to take him back to Kailas. Then Lord Siva sent him a white elephant.  Sundaramurti sang the glories of Siva in different sacred places. These hymns are called Tevaram. They are collected in a book-form. All devotees sing Tevaram even today. The hymns sung by Sundaramurti, Appar or Tirunavukarasar and Tirujnana Sambandhar are called Tevaram. The hymns sung by Manickavasagar are called Tiruvasagam.  Sundaramurti had the Sakhya Bhava with Lord Siva. Therefore, he was quite friendly with the Lord, took any kind of liberty with Him and asked for gold, pearl garland, musk, a garland of precious stones, spectacles, clothes, fragrance, jewels, horses which can go with the swiftness of the wind, golden flowers, palanquins, one-third of the riches of Tiruvarur. He did not ask for these things on account of desire for enjoyment. He had no selfish desires. He did not keep them. He utilised them for those who depended on him. Sundaramurti showed to the world the path of Sakhya Marga or Sakhya Bhava in Bhakti.

 

Manickavasagar

Manickavasagar was a Brahmin by birth. He took his birth in Tiruvadavur seven miles from Madurai on the banks of Vaigai river. He must have lived between 650 and 692 A.D. Some say that he flourished in the tenth or eleventh century. He secured the friendship of the king of Madurai, Arimardana Pandyan, and became his chief minister. He was also known by the name Vadavurar. The Pandya king sent Manickavasagar with a lot of money to purchase horses for the State. Manickavasagar started on his journey. On his way, he heard the Kirtan of Siva in a garden in Tiruperundurai. Lord Siva assumed the form of a Siva Yogi and seated Himself, underneath a tree with His Siva Ganas as disciples. He came here to initiate Manickavasagar in Siva Jnana. Manickavasagar fell at the feet of the Lord and surrendered himself. Lord Siva initiated Manickavasagar into the mysteries of Siva Jnana. Manickavasagar spent away all the money he had brought, in the construction of temples and feeding Siva Bhaktas. He renounced everything, wore a Kowpin and became a Sannyasin. The matter was reported to the king.

The Raja sent a letter to Manickavasagar and ordered him to see him at once. Manickavasagar did not pay any attention. Lord Siva said to Manickavasagar: “I will bring the horses on Avani Mulam. You go in advance. Give this diamond to the Raja”. Manickavasagar proceeded to Madurai, gave the diamond to the Raja and said: “The horses will come here on Avani Mulam”. The Raja became impatient. He did not get any information about the horses two days before Avani Mulam. He thought that Manickavasagar had cheated him. Therefore, he put Manickavasagar in jail and tormented him severely. The horses came in the morning of Avani Mulam. Lord Siva assumed the form of a groom. How merciful is the Lord towards His devotees! The Raja was highly pleased. He released Manickavasagar from jail and made an apology to him. Through the Lila of the Lord, jackals came in the form of horses. All the horses were turned into jackals. The Raja became terribly angry. He again tortured Manickavasagar. He made him stand in the hot sand-bed of Vaigai river at 12 noon. At once the Lord caused flood in the river to cool His devotee. The whole town was inundated.

The ministers told the Raja that this calamity had happened on account of his ill-treatment of the great Mahatma. The Raja at once released Manickavasagar. He prostrated before him and requested him to stop the flood. As soon as Manickavasagar marched on the bank, the flood subsided. The Raja ordered all the subjects to put one basketful of mud on the bank of the river. All the breaches were made all right except that portion of the breach given to an old woman Vandi. She was in distress. Lord Siva Himself out of compassion appeared as a cooly before that old woman and offered His services to her in return for a handful of rice-flour. He was simply playing. He kept the mud in His hands. The Raja came to know that the cooly of Vandi did not do any work. He became very angry and beat the cooly with a stick. The blow was felt by the Raja and everyone in the town. The cooly vanished. The Raja came to know that this was the Lila of the Lord Siva. He recognised the glory of Manickavasagar also. Thereupon Manickavasagar met Lord Siva. The Lord ordered him to visit all places of pilgrimage and then go to Chidambaram. Manickavasagar visited Tiruvannamalai, Kanjivaram and other places, sang his Tiruvasagam and lastly went to Chidambaram. Tirukoovai was written by him here. Then Manickavasagar entered into discussion with a Buddhist teacher and defeated him. Goddess Sarasvati made the Buddhist teacher and his disciples dumb. Then the Buddhistic king approached Manickavasagar and said: “You made my teacher and all his disciples dumb. If you can make my dumb daughter speak, I and my subjects will embrace Saivism”. Manickavasagar then put some questions to the dumb daughter of the king. She began to speak. Then the Buddhistic king and all his subjects became Saivites. Manickavasagar then made the Buddhistic teacher and his disciples speak.  Then Lord Siva approached Manickavasagar in the form of a Brahmin. Manickavasagar repeated the whole Tiruvasagam to the Brahmin. The Brahmin wrote down everything on the palmyra leaves and wrote in the end: “Manickavasagar repeated this, Tiruchittambala Udayar wrote this”. The Brahmin kept this in the step of Panchakshara of the Chitsabhai. Then the Brahmins of Chidambaram showed this to Manickavasagar and requested him to tell the meaning of the verses. Manickavasagar said: “This Tillai Nataraja is the purport of these stanzas”. He at once merged himself in the feet of Nataraja at the age of thirty two. The poems of Manickavasagar are fifty two in number. They are all collected together under the title of Tiruvasagam. They are most beautiful, sublime and inspiring. They contain ornamental poetry. South Indians sing Tiruvasagam daily. The hearts of those who hear these hymns melt at once.

 

Thiruvelliyangudi – Kolavilli Ramar

Name of the Temple

Sri Kolavilli Ramar Temple

Period of origin

Before 1500 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Kolavilli Ramar

Thayar : Maragathavalli

Pushkarani:  Shukra, Parasurama, Brahmma and Indra

Vimanam: Pushkalavartha Vimaanam.

Mangalaashaasanam: Thirumangai Alwar

Sthalapuranam:

The lord is present in the reclining pose and the utsavar is known as Sringara sundaram. Markandeya Maharishi appears near the Lord’s head, Bhoomidevi at the foot, Brahma in the centre and the Lord’s feet are placed over Lotus. There are two prakarams in the temple. The temple is close to Senganoor/Chenganoor which is the birth place of Periyavachan Pillai.

Lord Perumal blesses the devotees in his Bhujanga Sayana-reclining form. The vimana above the sanctum sanctorum is of Varthaga Vimana design. Shukra, Lord Brahmma, Indira, Sage Parasurama, Mayan the divine sculptor had the darshan of Lord in this temple. Senganur, the birth place of eminent Vaishnavite Scholar Periavachan Pillai is near this place. Kanchi Acharya His Holiness Sri Chandra Sekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal – Kanchi Periavar – stayed here to execute renovations.

As Lord Shukra (Venus) also known as Velli was in penance at this place this sthalam is called as “Velliankudi”.

The belief is that worshipping Perumal in this temple equals to worshipping him in all 108 Divya Desa temples. Planet Shukra-Venus is worshipping Perumal in the form of a ever burning lamp as a token of his gratitude to Lord who restored his vision. Of the Navagraha importance places, this belongs to Shukra. A plantain that came through rocks still exists here yielding fruits once a year. This is the only Divya Desa temple where Garuda Bhagwan blesses devotees with four hands holding discus and conch (chakra and shanku).

Lord Maha Vishnu, in His Vamana Avatar, sought three feet of land from emperor Mahabali. Shukra was the Guru of Mahabali. When Mahabali was to offer the three feet land to Vamana, knowing his design, Shukra took the form of a bee and blocked the handle hole of the water bowl to prevent Mahabali obliging Vamana’s wish. Vamana the Lord, removed the bee inside (shukra) with a grass stem to facilitate flow of the water to solemnize the charity. The stick hit one eye of Shukra. He lost vision of that eye. Shukra visited many places to regain the vision of the one eye, finally landed here, worshipped Perumal and got back his vision. There is also a different story prompting Shukra to choose this place for his penance.

Viswakarma, the celestial sculptor built a temple for Perumal. Seeing the beauty of the temple, Mayan, also a skilled sculptor but belonging to demon community felt that he could not do one for Perumal like this. He approached Lord Brahma to help him who suggested that he should perform penance on Lord Perumal in this place. Mayan performed penance here. Perumal granted him darshan but Mayan wished the Ramavatara darshan. Granting him the boon, Lord left his discus and conch with Garuda and granted darshan to Mayan as he wished. So Shukra-Velli chose this place of great glory for his penance to regain his vision. This is also a reason why the place was named Tiruvelliangudi. Of the 108 Divya Desas of Perumal, this is the only temple where Garuda Bhagwan appears with 4 hands holding discus and conch. Also this is the only place where plantain grows on a rock yielding fruits once a year even today. Lord Perumal graces in the temple in reclining form facing east and painted beautifully. It is said that praying at this temple would be equal to praying at all the 108 divyadesams. Lord Vishnu is present in the temple in the form of Lord Rama with a bow.

Many Sages and Saints have performed the “Vyasa Pooja” here. This temple is maintained under the “Vygnasa Agamam” which means: Viganasa Maharishi was born from the soul of Sriman Narayanan. The format of Slokams which he assorted is known as “Vyganasa Aagamam”, the Four Lakh Granda’s (letter format) which was formed by his four students Maharishi, Athiri, Bhrigu and Kashiyapar is also known as Vyganasam.

Bodily matters were put into the Gruhyam sect while details regarding the implantation of idols of deities, prayers, rules for repenting his sins (Prayachitham) are put under the Deivegam section.

As all the worldly bliss is found here, mother earth (ie) Bhoomi Piratti came here to get the Dharsan of the Lord here.

Route:

The temple is about 20 kms from Kumbakonam on the way to Aaduturai.

Temple Timings:

8.00AM to 12.00PM and 5.00PM to 7.00PM

Temple Telephone Number:

0435-2450118

Temple Address:

Sri Kolavilli Ramar Temple,

Thiruvelliyangudi, Palakkudi Post,

Thirumangalakudi (Via),

Kumbakonam – 612102.

 

 

Tiruvellarai – Pundarikasha Perumal

Name of the Temple

Sri Pundarikasha Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar:  Pundarikakshan

Thayar:  Shenbagavalli

Pushkarani: Kusa, Manikarnika, Chakra, Pushkala, Varaha Gandha and Padma

Vimanam: Vimalaakkruthi Vimaanam

Mangalaashaasanam: Periyalwar and Thirumangai Alwar

Sthalapuranam:

The Moolavar of this Sthalam is Pundarikashan.Moolavar in standing position facing east direction.Prathyaksham : Garudan, called as “Periya Thiruvadi”, Sibi chakravarthy, Bhoomi Piratti, Maarkandeya Maharishi, Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva. Shenbagavalli thayar also called as “Peri Piraattiyaar Lakshmi Devi”. Seperate sannadhi for Thaayar. Utsavar thaayar is named as “Pangajavalli”.

Vellarai means white rock. Since, this sthalam is situated 100 feet high in the top of the small mountain, which is white in colour. Hence this sthalam is called “Thiru Vellarai”.

The temple was built by Sibi Chakravarti, Markandeya rishi  wanted to have all the religious functions performed. So he ordered 3700 Vaishnavites from Antarvedi that lies between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers to be brought to tiruvellarai to attend to these functions. Accordingly, 3700 families were brought to Tiruvellaria. During this time, one of this group died, and so Lord himself appeared as a replacement for the departed soul, and completed the festivities. It is said that when one of the Vaishnava died, Lord  himself took the place of the missing person and performed Avini Avittam along with others. During Avani Avittam, even today, Vaishnavas here, have their bath in Kusahasti theertham and proceed to the temple and the homam is performed in the temple precincts itself. In the course of time the 3700 brahmins got dispersed to Srivilliputtur, Tirukoshtiyur, Vembathur, Kidaram Perunkaruani, where there are, even today, identified as Tiruvellarai Sri Vaishnavas. Ramanuja, when he went to Melkote, took 52 families from Tiruvellarai. Another 64 went to Kongu Nadu (present day Erode).

As per legends it is said that one day there was a delay in Perumal returning after his rounds in the village. Thaayaar asked Him as to why He was delayed and arrived late at a particular entrance. Lord is reported to have told her the reason and only then entered the temple precincts. Sicne then this entrance is known as Naazhi ketta Vaasal

Another interesting episode involving this sthalam is the fact that Lord promised Thaayaar that she would have Sengol paripalanam. So even today when both Perumal and Thaayaar are taken out in prcession during festivals, the utsavar for Thaayaar will go first and Perumal will follow. Similarly, Thaayaar will reach the moolasthanam before Perumal.

The moolavar who is on top of the hill has to be approached by climbing 59 steps. The first 18 of these are said to represent the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita. The next 4 steps represent the four vedas. After crossing these, one reaches the Bali peetam. After offering prayer at Bali peetam, one has to cross 5 more steps, which represent the Pancha boothams. After which we find the affromentioned Naazhi ketta Vaasal. Then one goes around the hill in a pradakshina form, crossing two entrnaces viz., Utharayana and Dakshinayana. After crossing these entrances, there are eight setps representing the Ashtaakshara Mantram. Then comes the final 24 steps that represent the Gayatri Mantram.

At the end of these 24 steps we reach the Moolasthanam, where Perumal is flanked by the Sun God (Suryan) on the right and the Moon God (Chandran) on the left, each facing the moolavar. Gadruda and Adisesha, in their human form, can be seen to the right and left, respectively, of Perumal. Next we see, Markandeya to the right and Bhoomipiraati to the left, both in seated posture performing tapas. In front of the Moolavar is Pankaja nayaki and Pundarikakshan Utsava murthis.

Due to problems in Srirangam, Udayavar spent about 12 years here. There is a sanithi for Udayavar on the street in front of the temple. It is said that when thaayaar asked what He proposed to do for the Sanyaasi staying here, Perumal replied that She should send to him as prasad, food after She has partaken of it. Enven today, the food, after it is offered to Thaayaar, is taken as prasad to the Udayavar sannithi and offered as neivedhyam to Udayavar.

Tiruvellarai is the avathara sthalam for two prominent acharyas, Uyakkondaar and Engalalvan. Uyakkondaar, know intially as Pundarikakshan was one of the two sishyas of Nathamuni, Kurukai Kavalappar is the other. When Nathamuni wanted to wanted to train each the path for moksha, Pundarikakshar took the path of Divya Prabhandam, which has the potential to provide mokasham for the entire human race. Pundarikakshar was able to help the entire world by learning the prabhandas from Nathamuni and making sure that the recitation and the text are preserved for future acharya and bhaktas. Hence Nathamuni, named him Uyakkondar, for his selfless service to others.

There is a belief  that no Vaishnavite can get Moksham without visiting Thiruvellarai. Hence, there is this tradition at the temple to call ‘Thiruvellarai Kandeero- Thiruvellarai Kanden Aiyya’ (the devotees informing the Lord that they have seen Thiruvellarai and that they are now ready/eligible for Moksham), a voice that is said to echo to the Lord up there.

Sriman Narayanan is giving dharshan to all living and non living things as Sooriya Narayanan. By extending his rays, he is giving security to the entire world. Sri vishnu who is also named as “Maayavan” at the end of Dhakshinayana kaalam (Margazhi 15th) is named as “Thai Maatha Naayagan”, at the start of Thai Month (Jan 15th).

There is a small explanation that has to be said for the two Vaasals (entrance). In the human life, there are two separate entrances, (i.e.) entering to the life and getting out of it is the other. In both these Vaasals when entering in to the life and when getting out of it, he could be able to feel the presence of Paramaathma. To make this understand, he resembles himself as “Suriya Narayanan” at the state of Utharayanam and as “Govindan” at the end of Dhakshinayanan at the end of Maargazhi.

The Dhakshinayana Vaasal is the Vaasal or entrance which leads us to the death and it is the place of the stay of Lord yeman, the king of Naragam.

The Uthirayana Vaasal, which is the Vaasal which way that all the Jeevathmas enter in to world as an human being (or) a non living being, is the place of “Lord Guberan”, who is the God of wealth.

Even if a person who is well enough in money and his good activity will only lead him towards the Emperumaan. And if a person is very poor and if he is a good hearted and do proper karmas, will lead him to attain the Swargam, the Heaven.

To explain this only, there are two vaasals in this Pundarikaksha Sthalam.

Sri Pundarikakshan, Bhoomi Piratti, Periya piratti, Suriya and Chandiran and Aadisheshan resembles as humans in this sthalam and it can be seen in the Moolavari Place.

Engalaazhvan has written the great “Nadaa thooram Aalukku oppatra pungai Maalai”. Nadaathoramaal means Bhakthan who is having full and entire soul of Bhakthi on the God.
The name which has been given Engalaazhvan as “Nadaathoramaal” has a very special story to be said. Every day he gives milk to Emperumaan. Thinking the milk may be hot, he makes it cold by blowing air through his mouth and gives to Emperumaan. On the action of Engalaazhvan as his mother and calls him as “Nadaathoorammaal”.

Udaiyavar, Sri Ramanujar, stayed in this sthalam and explained about Vaishnavam and made it grow. Vedantha Desikar in his Hamsa Sandesam has done Mangalaasasanam.

In front of big pillar in his temple, when we make any sound, it replicates and echo around the temple. Because of this, some of paasurams in Divyapprabhandhams are said for 2 or 3 times.
The big festival takes place on the third day of Panguni (March-April) every year when the Lord and Goddess are taken on a procession to the Coloroon river.One can see the Srirangam temple from here, though it is 15 kms away.

Another staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu Bhakthar Uyyakondaar was born here and he along with Sri Ramanujar Acharya stayed in this place and explained about Vaishnavam to spread Vaishnav cult.The temple is on a white rock hill of about 100 feet high. The Raja Gopuram (main entrance) of the temple is an incomplete structure. While the construction of the Gopuram was going on there was a mishap and the work was stopped. The work to complete the Gopuram was not taken up again till today.

Route:

Tiruvellarai temple is 20 km far from Trichy on Thurayur route. Bus facility to the temple is frequently available from Tiruchi Chathiram bus stand.

Temple Timings:

7.00 a.m. to 1.15 p.m. and from 3.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

0431-256 2243, 93451 18817

Temple Address:

Sri Pundarikakshan (Thamarai Kannan) Temple,
Tiruvellarai-621 009,
Tiruchy District,
TamilNadu.

Varagunamangai – (Nava Tirupathi) Vijayaasana Perumal

Name of the Temple

Sri Vijayaasana Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 1600 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Vijayaasana Perumal.

Thayar:  Varagunavalli 

Pushkarani: Agni Theertham and  Deva pushkarani

Vimanam: Vijayakodi Vimaanam.

Mangalaashaasanam: Nammalwar

Sthalapuranam:

The presiding deity of the temple is Sri Vijayaasana perumal in a sitting posture with Adiseshan over his head like an umbrella like in Srivaikundam temple. Thayar is known as Varagunamangai /Varagunavalli thayar and there is no seperate sannadhi for thayar in this temple. It is interesting to note that in many of the Nava thirupathi temples, the thayar is known by the name of the place itself. The temple is the second among the Nava thirupathi divyadesams of Sri Vaishnavas and comes under Pandiya naatu divyadesams among the 108 temples. The place is also called as Naththam and Mokshapuri. It is believed that one’s soul attains moksham if death occurs at this place. This temple occupies the chandra sthalam in the nava grahas. A Brahmin undertook penance here at Varagunamangai chanting the ‘Aasana Mantra’. Pleased with his prayers, the Lord provided darshan at this place. As the Brahmin attained moksham as a result of his chanting the ‘Aasana Mantra’, the Lord here came to be referred to as ‘Vijaya’ ‘Aasana’ Perumal.

Another story goes that a fisherman, who had cast a net at this Theertham, was bitten by a snake and immediately attained moksham thus reaching the abode of the Lord.

Romasa rishi narrated to his son the story of the fisherman attaining moksham referring to his previous life as a king, who had performed harsh acts and hence had to lead the current life as a fisherman.

But sincerity in performing all his duties in this life led him to attaining the Lord’s feet. As he attained moksham here, the theertham at this temple is said to be sacred.

This sthalapirattiyaar – Varaguna valli thaayar (or) Varaguna mangai clearly explained how a wife (or) mangai should be and found along with Vijiyasanap perumal. Vijayasana means perumal who sits on top of the  Victory.

Festival: Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January is grandly celebrated in the temple.

Route:

This sthalam is situated in Tirunelveli district, in Tamil Nadu. It is 1 1/2 miles away from Sri Vaikundam in East. We can easily go to this sthalam by asking as “Nattham”. It is one of Alwars Nava tirupathi.

Temple Timings:

09:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm  and  01:00 p.m. to 06:00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

04630 256476,  98656 52280

Temple Address:

Sri Vijayaasana Perumal Temple,
Natham, Varagunamangai,
Tirunelveli,
Tamil Nadu.

ThiruThangal – Nindra Narayana Perumal

Name of the Temple

Sri Nindra Narayana Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 1600 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Nindra Narayanan

Thayar: Sengamala thaayar

Pushkarani: Papha Vinaasa Theertham

Vimanam: Devachandra Vimaanam

Mangalaashaasanam: Bhoodathalwar

Sthalapuranam:

Once there was a discussion among Sridevi, Bhoodevi and Neeladevias to know who is best among them. Finally Sridevi left the place and reached this holy place Thiruthangal and meditated Narayana manthram. Lord Vishnu appeared before her and acknowledged that she was his favorite. In memory of this event, this place came to be called ‘Sri’ Puram. It is believed that Bhoodevi and Neeladevi agreed with this verdict of the Lord and decided to stay here at this place.

This sthala perumal, travels like a cool breeze into the hearts of his bhaktas and takes out their sorrow and thereby making them happy. Since, the perumal has the character (Thanmai) of the cool breeze and air, this sthalam is called as “Thiruthankaal”.

The Moolavar, Nindra Narayanan is found in Nindra Kolam and towards his right side, separate sannadhis for periya pirattiyaar who is called as “Anna Nayaki”.

Neela devi also named as “Aanandha Nayaki” and towards the Moolavar’s left side is Bhoomi Pirattiyaar, also named as “Amirutha Nayaki” and Jambhavathi are found and giving their dharshan to the bhaktas.

All the statues (Moolavar and Thaayar, except Sengamala thaayar) are painted and because of this, they are not done the thirumanjanam. Only, Sengamala thaayar is done with the Thirumanjanam only with the oil.

Manmadhan, who is the son of Thirumaal, Sri Vishnu, was made into ash by Lord Shiva and in Krishna Avathaar, he was born in the name of Prathyumnan, as the son of Sri Krishnar. His son is Anirudhan.

Ushai, who was the daughter of Baanasuran, loved the grandson of Sri Krishnar, Anirudhan. But, he has seen him only in her dream. So she ask her friend how to get him. Her friend, Chitralekha got some photos pained and one of the photos, Anirudhan was found and identified by Ushai. Chitralekha, who knows magic, took away Anirudhan, when he was sleeping in his cot. On knowing this, Anirudhan was jailed by Baanasuran. After hearing his Grandson was jailed, Sri Krishnar fought along with Baanasuran and made Anirudhan out of prison and was married to Ushai. This is one of the oldest stories told about this sthalam.

Chandrakethu, who was the son of Lakshmanan had the fasting on Ekadesi and he took his oil bath before the Dhuvadesi came. As a result of this, he became a  tiger and when he came to this Lakshmanan worshipped this sthala perumal and finally got his mukthi.

Periya Pirattiyaar did a strong tapas against Sriman Narayanan. On becoming happy and fully satisfied on her tapas, Sriman Narayanan gave him the Varam that she will become the hamsam of Annapoorani by offering food and shelter to the people of this entire world and said she is the combined and total structure of all the other naayakis – Aanandha Nayaki, Sridevi, Neeladevi and Amirutha Nayaki. And as further to this, the sthalam will be named as “Sripuram” and these are the Varam (Which is given as the prize who satisfies the perumal) given for Sengamala Thaayar. Since, Thirumagal stayed in this sthalam and did the pesence; this sthalam is named as “Thiru thangal”. (Thangal means the place of stay).

This sthala thaayar is also named as Jaambhavathi. She was the daughter of the Great Vishnu bhaktas, Jaambhavan who had a great love and bhakti towards Sriman Narayanan. Once in Ramayana time, he wanted to hug SriRamar but Sri Ramar didn’t allow him to do so. But, he gave him a promise that in the Krishna Avathar, he can catch hold of him and will be given in Ramavathar, Jaambhavan in Krishnavathar, came towards Krishna to steal the Siyamanthaka mani, for which they bought for s8 days. In Vaamanavathar, he asked Sri Vishnu that he should be killed only by his weapon, Chakkaram. As a result of this, he was killed on the 28th day and at that time, Sri Krishnar made him to remember his past. Jaambhavan was so happy that he was killed by a great person, who takes care of the entire world and asked for a final help to Sri Emperumaan that he should marry her only daughter, Jaambhavathi. As his final wish, the perumal married, Jaambhavathi.

The one more feature of this sthalam is the Garudan. Garudalwar is found along with the snake in his left hand and Amudha Kalasam in his hand and giving his seva and other two hands are folded and he found along with 4 hands .Another specialty is the Thaayar is found in standing posture facing her thirumugam along East direction. In all the sthalams, the thaayar is found only in sitting position, but only in this sthalam, she is found in standing position, which is said to be one of the specialties of this temple.

Festival: Aani Brahmotsavam, Aavani Pavitrotsavam, Puratasi Garuda Sevai, Chitra Pournami- 3 day procession

Route:

Thiruthangal is 24 Kms from Virudhunagar, 4 from Sathur.

Temple Timings:

6am-12noon and 4pm-8pm

Temple Telephone Number:

94426 65443 and  94425 47533.

Temple Address:

Sri Nindra Narayana Perumal Temple,
ThiruThangal,
Virudanagar District,
Sivakasi 626 130
Tamil Nadu.

 

Thiruppullani – Kalyana Jagannatha Perumal

Name of the Temple

Sri Kalyana Jagannatha Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Kalyana Jagannathan,

Thayar: Kalyana Valli

Pushkarani: Hema Theertham, Chakra Theertham

Vimanam: Kalyana Vimanam

Mangalaashaasanam: Thirumangaiazhwar

Sthalapuranam:

The moolavar of this sthalam is Kalyana Jagannathan. He is found in Nindra thirukkolam facing along the East direction. Prathyaksham for Ashwantha Narayanan, Pullaranya Rishi, and Samuthira Rajan, Devalar Muni and Kanva Maharishi. Thaayar: There are two thaayars found in this sthalam. Kalyana valli is one of the thaayar and another one is Padmasini thaayar.

Thousands of centuries ago, three maharshis, Pullavar, Kalavar and Kannavar performed severe penance on Lord Mahavishnu sitting on the Darba grass. The Lord gave darshan to the Rishis in the form of an Arasu tree. Though they were happy to have the darshan of the Lord in the form of Arasu Tree they begged him to show them His original form. The Lord obliged and appeared as Adhi Jagannatha Perumal. This is the present Thirupullani. It is here king Dasaratha also received the Puthra Bagya Mahamantra and had Rama as his son.

Puranas ascribe different reasons for the wild growth of Kusa grass in this particular spot. There is a version which says that Lord Vishnu assumed the form of the ‘Divya kUrma’ tortoise which form Lord Vishnu assumed to hold the Manthara mountain that was used as churner in place, on His hard, rock-like shell. When the mountain was turned over and over again on His back in the efforts to churn the Ocean of Milk several hundreds of strands of hair on the shell of the Divya kUrma fell off due to the friction and were washed ashore and with the passage of time, they turned into Kusa grass. The story goes on. When nectar was churned out of the ocean, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a damsel, Mohini, and distributed it among the celestials. Several drops of nectar fell on the ground when it was distributed and also when it was consumed by the Devas. Such drops fell on the ‘dharbai’ or Kusa grass and therefore the grass is considered sacred. In fact, it is considered as a part of Vishnu himself. The eighth day of moon in the month of Badra (September) is observed as Darbha Ashtami and is an annual festival in this shrine.

Thirupullani has the special distinction of having visited by Rama twice – before going to and when returning from Lanka. It was here that he is believed to have reclined in meditation for three days, invoking Varuna.

The large army of Vanaras reached the tip of the continent and looked to Rama for devising a way to cross the ocean. Vibishana, who had by that time crossed over to the side of Rama suggested that Rama should meditate on Varuna, the Lord of the Sea and seek his permission to cross the ocean. Rama lay in meditation for three days on the bed of grass and hence the name Thiru-pull-ani, or Dharba-sayanam – reclining on the (bed of) grass. ‘tharuNa mangayai mItpadhOr neri tharuga,’ sings Kamban of this moment. ‘Show me a way to cross you to retrive Sita from the hands of Ravana.’ ‘ennum poruL nayandhu,’ with that sole purpose in his mind, ‘nal nUl neri’ as prescribed in the Books ‘adukkiya pullil’ over a bed made of grass, ‘karunai am kadal kidandhanan,’ He, the ocean of mercy, rested on it ‘karum kadal nOkki’ facing the blue sea.

And after three days, Rama loses his patience, takes his bow in hand which makes Varuna come running to him. He agrees to remain as still as possible to enable the construction of the bridge, Sethu, over the ocean to Lanka. It was at this moment that Adi Jagannatha Perumal, the presiding deity of the temple appeared before Rama and handed him the divine bow. The imposing image of Lord Vishnu reclining on Adi Sesha is awe-inspiring.

When returning from Lanka, Rama after installing the Rama-linga at Rameshwaram, visited this shrine once again, the ‘adi sethu’, and it is here he is said to have had his holy dip to rid himself of the ‘brahma-hatya-dhosha’ of killing Ravana.

Since this was the place where Vibishana was accepted without a question by Rama, this shrine is also celebrated as ‘sarana-gathi sthala’.

Festivals:

Brammotsavam in Panguni – March-April; Sri Ramanavami in Chithirai, April-May are the important festivals celebrated in the temple. Also Vaikunda Ekadasi, Janmashtami, Pongal, Deepavali and weekends attract huge crowd to the temple.

Route:

8 Kms South East of Ramanathapuram, 60 kms SouthWest of Rameswaram and about 120 kms East of Madurai

Temple Timings:

8:00am – 12:20pm and 3:30pm – 8:00pm

Temple Telephone Number:

04567-54249.

Temple Address:

Sri Kalyana Jagannatha Perumal Temple

Thiruppullani,

Ramanathapuram (Dist) – 623 532.