Posts Tagged ‘a Swayambu Lingam’

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made Mothers.” — Jewish proverb


Thirukarugavur is on the banks of Vettaru, a tributary of Cauvery.  This is a padal petra sthalam.  Lord Shiva is known as Mullaivananathar and His consort is Garbarakshambigai or Karukathanayaki.  This place was a jasmine forest, jasmine in tamil is mullai and hence the name Mullaivananathar.  The Goddess here protects the foetus during pregnancy and hence the name Garbarakshambigai or Karukathanayaki.  The Goddess not only protects the foetus but also blesses the childless with progeny.  Pregnant women come here to pray to be free from pregnancy related problems and for easy delivery.  The Shiva lingam is a Swayambhu or self manifested lingam.  When you visit the temple make a request to the priest to show the deeparardhanai and you can see the marks of the jasmine creeper on the lingam.  Vinayakar and Nandhi are also Swayambhu in this temple.  Generally the Navagrahas are Vakramurthys or in other words they face different directions.  Here the other eight planets face the Sun.

The story of a childless couple Nithiruvar and Vedhigai is connected with temple here.  The couple was longing for a child and they set out on a pilgrimage seeking divine intervention in having their desire fulfilled.  They visited a lot Shiva temples before finally reaching Thirukarugavur or Mullaivanam as it was known then. Here, Vedhigai realised that she was pregnant.  The couple were overwhelmed with joy and believed that it was due to the blessings of Mullaivananathar.  The couple decided to stay back at this place.  On a particularly hot summer day, Vedhigai was resting when Sage Oorthuvapadhar came to their place.  Vedhigai in her state of exhaustion failed to take notice of the Sage.  The principle of “Athithi Devo Bhava” was practiced to the letter in those days.  The sage was angry with Vedhigai for being inhospitable towards the guest.  In his anger he cursed that her pregnancy would be terminated as that was the reason for her “indifferent behaviour”.   The couple was aghast at the misfortune that had befallen them and prayed to Goddess Parvathi.  The Goddess then blessed them by safeguarding the foetus in a pot for the remainder of the pregnancy period.  At the end of it, She handed over a healthy child to the overjoyed couple.  The tank opposite to the temple is supposed to have been dug by Kamadhenu.  This was to provide milk to the child.  This tank is known as Ksheera Kundam.  Thus the Goddess then came to be known as Garbarakshambiga or Karukathanayaki.  This place came to be known as Thirukarugavur or the place where the foetus is protected.  The local villagers say that there has been no pregnancy related death of the mother or the child from time immemorial. None whatsoever has had a miscarriage or any other pregnancy related problem in this village.

Couples seeking progeny buy the ghee sold in temple and hand it over to the priest.  The priest duly recites the necessary mantras and places the ghee at the feet of the Goddess before returning the same to the couple. The instruction given by the priest is to be followed and the couple should eat a little of this Ghee every night for 48 days.  It is believed that not very long after this 48 day period, the woman conceives.  This is a belief that is backed up by the experience of many.   Similarly, pregnant women are given oil as prasadam which they apply on their abdomen during the pregnancy.  One can see a lot of couples seeking the blessing of the Goddess and an equal number of them on a thanks-giving visit.  Worshipping at this temple also removes marriage obstacles.

Punugu Abhishegam (Ablution) to Mullaivananathar is believed to cure incurable and chronic illness.  Since the Lingam is a SwayamBhu Lingam no other abhishegam is done to the Lingam.

This is one of the five temples which collectively make the Pancha Aranya Sthalams.  Aranya means forest and this is one of the five temples that were found amongst the forest. The other four are Alangudi, Avalivanallur, Haridwaramangalam and Thirukollambudhoor. If one worships at these five temples on the same day, in the above mentioned order, he is absolved of all his sins and there will be no rebirth.  Thirukkarukavur is the first temple to be visited early in the morning, between 5:30 and 6AM.

On the full moon day of the tamil month of Panguni (March-April) moon’s rays falls on the Shiva Lingam.

Garbarakshambigai Mantra

Aum Garbarakshambigaayai cha vidhmahe

Mangala dhevadhaayai cha dheemahee

thanno devi prachodhayaath

Garbarakshambika sloka for Marriage and To beget children

Aum devendhiraani namosthubyam

Dhevendhira piriya baamini

Vivaaha baakyam aarokyam

puthra laabam sadhehime

Padhim dhehi sudham dhehi

Soubaakyam dhehime subhe

Soumaangalyam subam Gnayanam

Dhehime Garbarakshake

Kaathyaayini mahaamaaye

Maha yoginya dhisvari

Nandhagoba seedham dhevam

Padhim Megurudhe Namah

Garbarakshambigai Sloka for Safe Pregnancy and Delivery of baby

Hey sangara Shamarahara PramadhaadhiNaadhari Mannaadha shaamba sasisuda

HarithiriSulin sambo sugaprasava kiruthbavame dhayaalo

HeyMaadhaviVanesa Paalayamaam Namasthe

Blessings of Garbarakshambigai for safe delivery of baby

Hamavath yuthare Paarchve shuradhaa naama yakshini

Dhasyaa Shmarana Maathrena visalyaa Garbinibavedhu

Location

Click here for Map

This temple is about 20 kms from both Kumbakonam and Tanjavur.  This 7 Kms from Papanasam.

Boarding & Lodging:

Excepting for a couple of petty shops that also serve tiffin, there isn’t much you can get.  The nearest towns are Kumbakonam and Tanjavur.

Temples nearby

Papanasam

Vasishteswaraswamy temple in Thenkudi Thittai

ThiruNallur – The lingam that changes colour

Patteswaram

Thiruvalanchuzhi

Temple Address

Arulmigu Mullai Vananathar Thirukkoil Thirukkarugavur (P.O)

Papanasam Taluk.

Thanjavur Dt. 614 302 Tamil Nadu

Phone: 04374 273 423

 

Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Srivanchiyam is the last temple we visited on 1st January 2010.  Srivanchiyam, is a small Village in Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu, between Mudikondan and Puttar rivers.  The presiding deity here is Vanchinathan and His consort is Mangalambika. The Shivalingam is a Swayambhu (self manifested) and faces both West and East; hence puja is performed here in both the directions. There are two Nandhis in this temple, one on the East and one on the West. This lingam is supposed to have existed even before the pralaya (the Great Deluge) and was facing west when Suryan worshiped him. The Shivalingam here is considered to be the oldest among the 64 swayambhu lingams in the world.  Sandalwood is the sthala vriksham here and sandal leaves are used to perform the puja to the Lord. Usually vilva leaves are used in puja for Shiva.  Brahmandam, Skandam, Samboban and Agneya Puranas talk about this sacred place.

 

Nandi facing East in the Outermost Praharam behind Vanchinathaswamy's Shrine.

There is a separate shrine here for Yama Dharmaraja. He is given preference in daily worship. Legend has it that, Yama Dharmaraja was very worried and felt overwhelmed with all the sins accumulated in the course of performing his duty. He wanted a solution for this.  As per the advice of Brahma, Yama went to a place by the banks of the Cauvery, where he could find Gandharanyam (Sandal Forest), and propiate to Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva was pleased with his devotion and instucted Yama to have a temple built Him at here.  He also wanted Yam to be His vehicle. Accordingly, Yama stayed at this temple which he built at SriVanchiyam. The Lord also granted Yama’s wish for a shrine for himself at SriVanchiyam. Usually, Vinayakar is the first deity to be worshiped in all Shiva temples, but here at Srivanchiyam, Yama is worshiped even before prayers are offered to Vinayakar.  The Sannidhi to Lord Yama is in the first Praharam (circumambulatory path). On entering the temple, the temple tank called the Gupta Ganga Temple Tank is situated on the right hand side. Yama’s Shrine can be found on your left hand side. This small shrine faces south.  Kubera can be seen standing next to Yama at this shrine.  Those who pray here are considered to be free from the sufferings preceding their death.

This is a Mukthikshetram (where you attain salvation). The holy tank (theertham) here is Gupta Ganga. Ganges was once very worried that people were taking bath in the Ganges to get rid of their sins and she was accumulating all their sins. She is supposed to have taken bath here at the Gupta Ganga as advised by Shiva to purify herself. A dip in the tank supposedly absolves you of all the sins and there is no rebirth.

 

Gupta Gangai, SriVanchiyam

Gupta Gangai, Sacred water that is holier than The Ganges

Tharpanam on the banks of Gupta Gangai

This photo is a late addition to the post. My friend Bharath performing tharpanam at Gupta Gangai.

 

Niches for Vinayaka and Bala Murugan can be found at the entrance to the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). In the inner praharam is the shrine for Goddess Sughandha Kundalaambigai. There is Vennai Pillayar in a pillar in the first praharam (circumambulatory path). People smear butter on His stomach to get cured of their stomach ailments.

Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu are believed to have prayed the Lord here to get united. Bhairavar is in a separate shrine in the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). He is in Yoga posture without his vahanam (Vehicle) – the dog. Pujas are performed to the Yoga Bhairavar using Vanni leaves.  Consumption of the powder made from the vanni leaves used in the puja is believed to cure all nervous ailments. One can to get rid of all evils directed towards them if they perform puja to Yoga Bhairavar.  The prayers of the childless are answered after they perform puja for 6 consecutive Krishnapaksha ashtami days (eighth day of the waning Moon).  One can succeed in all his endeavours and business if he makes an offering of Curd Rice, Coconut rice and Honey on Amavasya days (New Moon days). This is also parihara sthalam (place for remedial worship) for the malefic effects of Rahu & Kethu. Rahu and Ketu appear in the same niche here. This is next to Yoga Bhairavar.  Rahu Kala Puja on Sundays with offerings of vada made of lentils and ghee is believed to remove the obstacles in getting married. Like in Thirunageswaram, milk turns blue in colour during the rahukala abhishegam (ablution during rahukalam).

Opposite Yoga Bhairavar is the shrine for Mahishasuramardhini. Mahishasuramardhini here gets rid of all evil. Since this is a very ancient temple and has been in existence before the advent of Navagraha worship, there is no shrine for the Navagrahas here. However, Saneeswarar has a separate niche. Goddess Mahalakshmi has a separate shrine and her elephant has four tusks. I wonder if this was an ancient cousin of the present day elephant.

In almost all temples, if there is an unfortunate event like a death, the pujas are not conducted.  At SriVanchiyam it has no bearing on the conduct of daily pujas and rituals, they continue.

Shashtiabthipurthi & Sadhabhishekam can be celebrated either at Srivanchiyam where the temple is specifically meant for the safety of soul or at Thirukadaiyur where the temple is specially built for the safety of body.

Performing tharpanam (ritual to pay tribute to ones ancestors) on Amavasya (New Moon day) here is considered very special. Srivanchiyam is one of the 7 pithru kadan nivarthi (absolution of ancestral debts) sthalams.  The other six are Kasi, Rameswaram, Thiruvenkadu, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri. Some consider Srivanchiyam to be holier than even Kasi.

Location:

Click here for the Map

Srivanchiyam is 25 kms from Kumbakonam and one km from Achuthamangalam on the Kumbakonam Nagapattinam route. It is 16kms from Tiruvarur on Tiruvarur Nannilam route.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thiruveezhimizhalai

Thirupampuram

Thilatharpanapuri

Koothanur

Tiruvarur

Boarding & Lodging:

There is a Brahmin household in the Sannidhi Street that runs a mess.  There is also a kalyana mandapam where you can stay.  If you prefer a more comfortable accommodation, Tiruvarur is the nearest town.

The temple timings are 6.00 Am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM

Temple Address

Arulmigu Sri Vanchinathaswamy Kovil
Sri Vanchiyam 610110
Nannilam Taluk
Tiruvarur District

Temple Phone number is 04366-228305

Sri Raja Raja Gurukal’s phone numbers: 91-94424-03926, 91-9788-75933, 04366-354108

Vegetarian Mess

Sri Mangalambiga Vilas

No, 2 -17 Sannadhi Street

Sri Vanchiyam

+91-9894726839

04366-229675