Posts Tagged ‘Murugan’

Contributed by Mr. C. I. Sivasubramanian

Skanda Sashti falls on the sixth day of Amavasya in the Tamil month of Eippasi, or Asadha sukla Sashti (Oct 15 – Nov 15). It is celebrated with great pomp and splendour in the temples dedicated to Lord Muruga, the second son of Siva and Parvati. Muruga, or Murugan takes various other names as Subramania, Skanda, Karthikeya, etc. In northIndiahe is better known as Karthikeya. Lord Muruga is an important deity for the Tamils especially.

Skanda Sashti commemorates the destruction of the demon Soorapadman by Murugan. This festival is celebrated in a grand manner at the ‘Aru padai veedugal’ [the six houses of the Lord where temples have been consecrated in His honour viz. Tirupparanmkundram, Tiruchendur, Tiruvavinankudi (more famously known as Palani), Kundruthoradal (commonly known as Tiruttani), Tiruverakam (better known as Swami Malai in Kumbakonam) and Pazhamutircholai, near Madurai], where the ‘Soora samhaaram’ (the defeat of Soorapadman) is enacted. It is an important festival wherever temples have been built for Lord Muruga, including one inDelhi. These temples are usually built over a hill.

In countries likeMalaysia,Singapore, where many Tamils reside for centuries, this is an extremely popular and widely observed festival.

When the ‘devas’ couldn’t contain the evil doings of Soorapadman, they approached Lord Muruga.  The kind Lord went on a war against Soorapadman. The war was waged for six days, at the end of which the Lord vanquished the asura. He threw his weapon at him and Soorapadman was split into two halves. At his own request, one half became a peacock, which He took as His ‘vaahana’ and the other became a cock and transformed into a flag.

Lord Skanda married Deivanai immediately after the defeat of Soorapadman. It is the custom to dramatize this marriage during the Skanda Sashti celebrations.

The ‘devas’ were very happy over this victory and praised the Lord and prayed to him for six days. Devotees usually narrate the Skanda Sashti ‘kavacham’ (a hymn in praise of the Lord), during this period. Whoever fasts for these six days of Skanda Sashti and prays to Lord Muruga steadfastly, it is said that their prayers would be answered. Those who are unable to fast for a whole day for six-day duration are recommended to eat just one meal during this period.

Devotees who want to get over great calamities in their life taka a vow to carry the ‘Kavadi”, a sort of palanquin with two baskets at either end. The baskets contain sacred water and milk. They observe strict celibacy, beg their food and offerings for the Lord and walk barefooted all the way to the famous shrine. After reaching the sanctum sanctorum they ceremonially offer the sacred water and milk to the Lord. It is quite common even for the laymen to take Kavadi.

Like in Kumbakonam, there is a Swami Malai In Delhi, better known as Uttara Swami Malai (popularly known as Malai Mandir) where Lord Muruga resides. Starting from the scratch this temple has grown to great heights and draws thousands of devotees. On Skanda Sashti day almost the whole Tamil population congregates here.

It is worth noting that almost all Hindu festivals celebrate victory of the Lord over the demon, who represents evil, or Good over evil. This is the common refrain of Hindu mythology.

Financial abundance is of great importance to every human being. Good Health & Happiness (peace of mind) are the other two of the three foremost things that man prays to his Creator to bestow him with. Padikkasunathar temple at Alagaputhur near Kumbakonam is one such temple where the presiding deity blesses His devotees with financial prosperity. The main deity here is also known as Swarnapureeswarar. His consort at this temple is Alagammai or Azhagammai. The deity taken out in processions (Utsavar) during festivals is Somaskandar. The sthala vruksham is vilva. The Shiva Linga is a swayam bhu or self manifested. Alagaputhur is on the banks of the river Arasalar. The old name for this place is Arisilkaraipudur. This three tiered temple is believed to be about 2000 years old.

Padikkasunathar Kovil, Alagaputhur

Padikkasunathar Kovil, Alagaputhur

The priest at this temple was a staunch Shiva devotee who performed the daily pooja with great devotion along with all the customary offerings. Famine and poverty struck the whole region that was once prosperous. In spite of his poverty and the difficulty he had in making the ends meet, he never shirked from his “responsibility” of performing the daily poojas to the Lord. Please with his devotion, one night the Lord appeared in his dreams and granted a boon.  The priest wished that the village must become prosperous once again and that he himself should have enough to continue performing the daily poojas without any hurdle. As per his wish Lord Shiva left him one gold coin at the steps of the temple everyday. The priest used this to take care of the villagers and also to perform the daily pooja. Soon the famine was gone and the village became prosperous once again.

The descendents of that noble priest are still the priests at this temple.  The priest performed the padikasu pooja for us. We handed to him an even number of ten rupee notes for the pooja. After performing the pooja the priest gave us back half of them (that is the reason for taking even number of currency notes). The money retained by the priest is utilized for temple maintenance etc. The priest asked us to preserve the currency notes he gave us and also issued detailed instructions on performing poojas at home using these. Devotees believe that performing this ritual will bring prosperity.

Lord Muruga here is very unique. He is seen with the Conch and Discus that one normally associates with Mahavishnu. The story goes that it is the Conch and Discus given by Lord Vishnu to Muruga when He set out to wage a war on the demons. He is seen sitting on a peacock with His consorts Valli and Deivayanai. Since Muruga appears with both His consorts He is known as Kalyanasundara Shanmuga Subramanyar. The decoration in the background is in the form of Om.

Talking of Om, there is a story linking this temple to the Swaminatha Swamy temple at Swamimalai. Once Lord Brahma, the Creator was asked how he created life in the Universe. Lord Brahma replied that he used the Pranava Mantra. When Lord Muruga further asked Lord Brahma the meaning of the Pranava Mantra, Lord Brahma was stumped for an answer. An angry Muruga imprisoned Him and stripped Him of the responsibility of creation. He took upon the responsibility Himself. Lord Shiva approached Muruga and requested Him to free Brahma and reinstate Him as the creator. He also wanted to know the meaning of the Pranava Mantra. Lord Muruga taught Lord Shiva the meaning of this mantra at Swami Malai. Later, when Lord Shiva appealed to Lord Muruga again, He relented. He was also remorseful for having punished and insulted an elder for his ignorance. Lord Muruga performed penance on Lord Shiva at this temple and sought forgiveness. Lord Shiva pardoned Him and said that while pointing out of mistakes committed by the elders can be accepted, you should take sufficient care to ensure that it does not offend the elders.

This is one of the 275 Padal Petra Sthalams and all the four Great Saints have sung hymns in praise of the Lord at this temple.

Location:

Click here for the Map

This village is just about 2.5 Kames from Nachiyar Kovil on the Kumbakonam-Nachiyar Kovil-Tiruvarur route. It is about 7 Kms from Kumbakonam. This temple is almost on the State Highway. It is just a two-minute walk from the highway. The bus services are frequent and is well connected with the important places around here.

Other Nearby Temples

Nachiyar Kovil

Karuvalarkum Nayaki Temple, Karuvalarcheri

Uppiliappan Kovil

Thirunageswaram

Saranatha Perumal Kovil, Thirucherai

Kadan Nivartheeswarar Kovil, Thirucherai

Amirthakaleswarar Temple, Sakkottai

Siddhanathar Temple, Tirunaaraiyur

Ramanatha swamy Temple, Thirunaraiyur (This temple houses Saneeswaran, who is present with His wives and sons)

Travel Base: Kumbakonam

Temple Timings:

7 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 8 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Padikkasunathar Kovil

Alagaputhur – 612 401

Thanjavur District

Phone: +91-435-2466939  Mobile: +91-99431-78294

I had earlier listed the temples pertaining to each of the 27 Birth Stars or Janma Nakshathiram.  Now, I am listing out the temples pertaining to the 12 rasis or the 12 Lunar Zodiac signs of the Moon.  These are the temples where you can do dosha nivarthi pujas or appeasement pujas.  I have already written about four of these temples viz  ThiruvisanallurKarkadeswarar Temple at ThirundudevankudiVanchinathaswamy Temple at SriVanchiyam &  Vaitheeswaran Koil.  I will write about the rest as well, over a period of time. I am not mentioning the corresponding English name of the rasis, lest the readers confuse it with the Sun Signs.  The list is as below.

Rishabam

SivayoginatharTempleat Thiruvisanallur about 6 Kms from Thiruvidaimarudhur

Katakam or Karkataka

Karkadeswarar Temple at Thirundudevankudi 1 Km away from Thiruvisanallur.

Mesham

RamanathaswamyTempleat Rameswaram

Thulam

Subramaniya Swamy Koil at Thiruttani

Vrichikam

Ekambareswarar Koil at Kanchipuram

Mithunam

MuruganTempleat Palani

Dhanush

MayuranatharTempleat Mayavaram

Makaram

NatarajarTempleat Chidambaram

Simham

Vanchinathaswamy Temple at SriVanchiyam near Nannilam

Kumbham

Thilakeshwarar temple at Devipattinam

Kanni

VedagireeswararTempleat Thirukazhukundram near Chinglepet

Meenam

Vaitheeswaran Koil near Sirkali.

Mangalambigai Sametha Mangalyeswarar Koil at Edaiyathumangalam is the temple that people born under Uthiram star have to visit regularly.  This is the third temple that I am writing about in this series of “Birth Star Temples or Nakshathiram Temples”.  This temple is special to me as my forefathers hail from this village – my native place.  Unfortunately, during my last visit in January, my camera malfunctioned and I am unable to post photographs of this temple.  I shall post a couple of snaps after my next visit to this temple.

This place is called Edaiyathumangalam as it was once situated between two rivers; Aaru means, river and Edai means, in between. Mangalyeswarar (as Lord Shiva is known at this temple) is present with His Consort Mangalambigai.  Mangalyeswarar is facing East while Mangalambigai is facing South.  This is quite a small temple and has shrines for Vinayakar, Mangalya Maharishi, Dakshinamurthy, Bitchandar, Ardhanareeswarar, Chandikeswarar, Durgai, Nandi and Navagrahas.  Lord Muruga is also present with His Consorts, Valli and Deivayanai.

The Legend here is connected with Mangalya Maharishi who was born under Uthiram Nakshathiram.  Marriages of Agasthiyar, Vashishtar and Bhairava Maharishis were conducted under his aegis.  He is supposed to have all the powers of his penance in his palms.  He is the Guru of the Angels that bless the marriages.  At the auspicious time that is suitable for marriage, these Angels are believed to be visiting this temple to pray to Mangalyeswarar and re-energise their power to bless married women with a long & happy marital life.  Their blessings are always at the peak during Uthira nakshathiram.  It is because of this reason that the Kalyana Utsavam or the Celestial Wedding of the God and Goddess are held during Uthiram nakshathiram day in the Tamil month of Panguni.  Panguni Uthiram is an important part of the calendar in most temples.

Young unmarried women – especially those born under Uthiram – pray at this temple seeking Lord’s blessing for early marriage, removal of hurdles causing delay in marriage, long & happy marital life.  Mangalya Maharishi is the First invitee when the marriage alliance is finalised.  Devotees place the First Invitation of the marriage at the feet of Mangalya Maharishi and invite him to grace the marriage and bless the young couple.  Mangalya Maharishi is believed to attend the marriage and bless the newly weds.  After the marriage the newly weds visit this temple for thanks-giving.  Married women pray for longevity of their Husband’s life.  Elderly and destitute who have been deserted by their children are reunited with their family after worship here. People suffering from chronic pain in their feet are relived of their ailment after prayers to Mangalyeswarar.

Click here to listen to the temple priest’s narration about this temple in Tamil.

Location:

Edayathumangalam is at a distance of about 18 Kms from Trichy.  There are a couple of buses viz Route nos 75 & 75 A from Trichy Chathiram Bus Stand to Lalgudi that pass through Edaiyathumangalam. Edaiyathumangalam is at a distance of about 5 Kms from Lalgudi.  Autos charge about Rs.70/- for a one way trip from Lalgudi.

Those going by their own mode of transport need not go up to Lalgudi.  You will find an arch on the right hand side just after Valadi, take a right turn there and this road will lead you to Edaiyathumangalam.

Click here for the map

Other Temples Nearby:

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple

Srirangam Temple

Jambukeswarar Koil at Thiruvanaikaval

Bitchandar Koil

Tirupattur Brahmapureeswarar Koil

Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple at Anbil

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM (Check before you go there.  It is likely that the temple priest may decide to close early or open late due to some reason as there are not many pilgrims visiting this temple.

Temple Address:

Sri Mangalyeswarar Koil

Edaiyathumangalam Post

Via Valadi

Lalgudi Taluk

Trichy District

Pin 621218

Phone: 91-431-2544070,

Sri Srinivasa Gurukkal – 91-98439-51363

 

Alangudi – Guru Temple

Posted: January 25, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sri Abathsahayeswarar Temple, the sthalam of Guru Bhagavan is at Alangudi.  The presiding deity here is Abathsahayeswarar and His consort is Elavarkuzhali Ammai or Umayammai.  The Shiva Lingam here is a Swayambhu (self manifested). Dakshinamurthy in the praharam (circumambulatory path) around Shiva’s shrine is worshipped as Guru Bhagavan here.

In all Shiva temples the main deities are Shiva and Parvati. Other deities like Pillayar Murugar, Dakshinamurthy, the Navagrahas, and Chandikeswarar are also present in the praharam (circumabulatory path). As defined in the temple Vaasthu Shastra, the deities are placed in a particular position and facing a particular direction.  There is a group of temples around Kumbakonam whose deities form a big temple. This group of temples is called the Parivara Sthalam.

This big temple would have

I do not know if these temples are to be visited in any particular order.  I hope I will be able to visit these temples in the prescribed order if any, and post the details.

The story of the Devas and Asuras churning the celestial ocean or the parkadal is associated with many temples.  During this churning, Vasuki spat out deadly poison.   Lord Shiva consumed that poison here to save the world. Hence the name Alangudi: Ala meaning poison.  The Lord himself came to be known as Abathsahayeswarar (one who helps in crisis) as he saved the world from impending danger. Lord Ganesha defeated Gajamuhasuran here, to save the Devas from the asura’s atrocities.  Ganesha is worshipped here as “Kalangamal Kaaththa Vinayakar”.  This place is also known as Thirumana Mangalam as Ambal undertook penance to marry Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva in the guise of a boatman had helped Sundarar to cross the Vettaru which was in spate. It is believed that Sundarar had received his Gnanopadesam from Dakshinamurthy at this temple. Gu in Sanskrit means darkness and ru means the destroyer of that.  Hence Guru means one who destroys darkness or one who enlightens.  Thus Guru is one who leads you from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

Alangudi is the most popular Parihara sthalam for Guru.  The other ones that readily come to mind are Thittai and Padi in Madras. Poolai is the sthala vriksham.

Pooja: Guru is attributed to luck, favor and fortune.  The unfavourable position in the horoscope can cause skin problems, arthritis, heart related problems, worry & uneasiness.  Guru blesses his devotees with progeny, good education, valour, long life and cure from diseases. Devotees light 24 ghee lamps and do pradharshanam (circumambulation) of Shiva’s shrine 24 times.  Offerings of yellow cloth, konda kadalai (chick pea) and vella mullai (a type of Jasmine) are made to Guru here.  The transit of Guru, known as Guru Peyarchi which happens every year, is an important festival in this temple.  Thursdays being the day of Guru is very important.  Fasting or eating only once (oru pozhudhu) on Thursdays is recommended.  Banana and salt is to be avoided on these days.

Recite the following mantra facing North East to get over the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.

Guru Moola Mantra: Aum gram grim graum sah gurave namah

Guru Gayathri: Rishabadhwajaya vidhmahe gruni hasthaya dhimahi thanno Guru prachodhayath

Other Guru Parihara Temples:

Thiruvalidhaym or Padi near Chennai

Thenkudi Thittai or Thittai near Tanjore

Murugan Temple at Tiruchendur

Guruvayur Krishna Temple

 

Location:

Click here for the Map

38 Kms from Thiruvarur town

Alangudi is 17.5 kms away from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam – Needamangalam – Mannargudi road in Tiruvarur district.

Other Temples nearby:

Thirupoovanur (Pushpavanam)

Thiruvenniyur or Koyil venni – the Shivalingam here has marks resembling sugarcane

Kasi Vishvanathar Temple at Needamangalam

Boarding & Lodging: There are quite a few shops here but there is no decent place to stay or eat.  If hungry, prasadam from the temple is the best option.  Stay at one of the nearest towns like Kumbakonam or Thiruvarur.

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8.30 PM.

TempleAddress

Arulmigu Abathsahayeswarar Temple,

Alangudi – 612801

Valangaiman Taluk

Thiruvarur District

Telephone Number: 04374 – 269407