Masilamaniswara Temple, Thiruvaduthurai – Legends
Legend of Thirumoolar:
Legend associates the temple with the Saivite saint Tirumular (6th century CE). Tirumular saw a herd of cows lamenting the death of their herdsmen named Moolan. Being a siddha, he entered into the body of Moolan, came back alive to serve as the herdsman. It is believed that he was coming from North to South India to meet sage Agastya. When he went back to the place where he left his original body, he did not find it. Considering it as a divine play, he continued to remain in the body of Moolan for the rest of his life.
Thirumoolar began his penance on Lord Shiva in this place. (Original) Moolan’s wife asked him to return home. Her relatives said that he had attained the divine wisdom, hence she too returned home. He would wake up from his penance once a year and sing a song with a high philosophic content and go back to penance again. Thus he produced 3,000 songs sung in 3,000 years. This is edited as Thirumoolar Thirumandiram. His shrine is in the prakara where he merged with Lord Shiva.
The legend is closely associated with this temple, but is also associated with other temples like Thenupuriswarar Temple at Patteeswaram, Aavoor Pasupatheeswaram and Tirukogarnam near Pudukkottai.
Yama worshipped Shiva here:
Yama is said to have worshipped Shiva at this Shetram.
Mushukunda prayers to Lord Shiva for Puthra Bhagya:
Emperor Mushukunda Chakravarthi was much annoyed as he had no child. He was worshipping Lord Thiyagesar presented to him by Indira. Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and advised to come to this place for worship to get a child. The emperor was blessed with a child following Lord’s directions. It is the faith of the devotees that they would be blessed with a child if they pray here. Shiva displayed this shrine as Thiruvarur and himself as Thyagarajar to Muchukunda Chola.
Shiva helping Tirugnanasambandar for Yagna:
Saint Tirugnanasambandar was staying in this place for a while with his father, Shivapada Hrudayar. He wanted to perform a yajna in Sirkali and asked his son saint to get him the wherewithal for the purpose. Sambandar sung a Pathigam-ten verses praying to Lord for gold and other materials needed for the yajna. Lord Shiva placed a purse of gold on the peeta through his Ganas. Shivapada Hrudayar conducted the yajna in Sirkali. The peeta still exists in the temple with the Ganas around. It is believed that praying in this spot in the temple would bring prosperity to the devotees.
Reputation of Nandhi:
Thirumaligai Thevar, a staunch Shiva devotee and one among the celebrated Nayanmars was serving Lord here. Believing some baseless allegations as true, the king sent his men to attack him. Mother Ambica urged Lord to protect Thevar. Lord sent an army of Nandhis and drove them away. All the Nandhis merged together and became one too big in size.
Parvathi in the form of cow prayed to Lord Shiva here:
Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi were playing the dice in Kailash. At the end of each game, Lord Shiva was successively winning the game. As Parvathi grew angry, Lord cursed her to become a cow on earth. Lord said that the curse would end at this place where she should perform penance. Ambica did penance as a cow here. Go in Sanskrit means cow. Mukti means relief. As the cow got the relief from the curse here, Lord Shiva is praised as Gomukti Easwarar – Lord who relieved the cow from its past curse.
Shiva performed Shiva Thandavam for Devas & Sages:
Devas and Muni’s requested Lord Siva, to bless them by performing his Siva Thandavam, in which they were interested. Lord Siva fulfilled their wish here under the Sthala Vriksham. Muni’s and Brahma got their Upadesam of Siva Gnanam in this place. Sidhars were granted Athama Siddhi.