Saturday, March 19, 2016

Uppiliappan Temple, Thirunageshwaram - Theerthams

Uppiliappan Temple, Thirunageshwaram - Theerthams
Ahorathra Pushkarani:
The pushkarani (temple Tank) here is known as 'Ahorathra pushkarani”, meaning that bathing is especially permissible here both during day and night. Normally according to shastras, bathing in holy waters is not permitted during nights. But bathing is permitted here, only when the temple is kept open for Dharsan.

Once a learned Brahmin by name Devasharma was overcome by passion and had a forceful union with the daughter of Gemini rishi. On her tearful complaint to her father, the rishi cursed him to become a krauncha bird.

It was then the sinner repented and begging for pardon requested the stage not to impose the curse. The sage relented and advised that while he could not withdraw the curse already pronounced, as a bird he might live in the branch of a tree overlooking the holy pushkarani at this place. A cyclone would blow and break the branch of the tree, which would, along with the bird, fall into the holy waters. Due to the bird's contact with the holy waters, he will be released from the curse and regained his original form.

Not only that, he was also escorted to Sri Vaikuntam in a divine chariot. Then the messengers of Varuna stopped him and demanded justification for going to Vaikuntam, since he had committed a further sin by dipping in the holy waters during the night, which is forbidden by the shastras.
At this, the messenger from Vaikuntam intervened and clarified that this was an exception and bathing was specially permitted in the pushkarani at this holy place, both during day and night and the pushkarani at this holy place, both during day and night and the pushkarani was therefore named as Ahorathra pushkarani meaning "Day and Night Holy Tank". Thus saying, the Lord's messengers took the Brahmin to Sri Vaikuntam. Anyone who bathes in the pushkarani acquires a lot of merit (punya).
Indra Theertham:
In the north-east of the temple is Indra tirtha (tank), so named because Indra washed off his sin of molesting Agalya, by bathing in these holy waters. This tank is located outside the temple as per sources but do not exist now. Either they have become completely dry or they could not be located.
Brahma Theertham:
To the south of Indra Theertham is Brahma tirtha, so named because Brahma bathed in this tank and did penance, because of which he became what he was (Brahma). This tank is located outside the temple as per sources but do not exist now. Either they have become completely dry or they could not be located.
Surya Theertham:
Surya tank to the west of the temple has an interesting legend. Siva once plucked one of the heads of Brahma (who had five heads earlier) and to get rid of the sin, he bathed in the holy waters of Ahorathra Pushkarani and is still doing penance here. Since Surya (Sun) repaired this tank, it is called Surya tank.
This tank is located outside the temple as per sources but do not exist now. Either they have become completely dry or they could not be located.
Sarnga Theertham:
This tank is located outside the temple as per sources but do not exist now. Either they have become completely dry or they could not be located.
Rivers associated with this Temple:
To the south of the temple run three holy rivers, even now:
1.    Dakshina Ganga (ganga of the south), now named as Nattaru
2.    Dakshina Yamuna, now known as Arasalar.
3.    Dakshina Godavari, now known as Kirtiman River.

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