Bhoomeeswarar Temple, Kunnam – Legends
Bhoomadevi worshipped Shiva for her safety from Demons:
Sage Marichi is the son of Lord Brahmma. Marichi’s son was Sage Kashyapa. Thithi was his wife. While in Dhyana-meditation during the sunset, unfortunately, Kashyapa’s attention was diverted towards sexual emotions. As result of this, Thithi gave birth to two sons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranya Kashipu. Both of them performed intense penance on Lord Brahmma. Pleased with the intensity of their penance, Brahmma appeared before them and granted bunch of boons they desired. With the power of boons they got, both brothers conquered the earth, the world below the earth known and as Pathala Loka and began to invade the celestial world called Devaloka-Swargaloka.
Devendra could not stop the invasion of the two demon brothers and surrendered at the feet of Lord Vishnu who with his discus destroyed the demon army. Hiranyaksha was defeated due to the blow of the club of Lord Vishnu and fell fainted. Hiranyakashipu took a magic body and rescued his brother from the battle field. Devas – people of the celestial world returned home happily with victory in their hands. With a desperate intention of avenging Lord Mahavishnu who defeated him, Hiranyaksha rolled the earth as a mat and captured Mother earth also and hide himself under the sea.
To rescue Mother Earth – Bhoomadevi, Lord Vishnu incarnated as a colossal swine, plunged into the sea, killed the demon and rescued Mother Earth. Mother Earth fell at the feet of Lord and asked him, “Oh Lord, it is possible that violent demon-like men would be born in future too. If such a calamity occurs again, would there be a similar response from you for the safety of myself and the beings living on me”? Lord advised Bhoomadevi that she must worship Lord Shiva, Mother Parvathi and Lord Muruga and install them at a holy place to prevent any such danger in future.
Bhoomadevi wandered through the earth for a suitable place and finally landed in a place known as Bodhigandharam in between the two Cauveries. She heard a voice saying, do penance, do penance. Bhoomadevi immediately installed Lord Vinayaka, Lord Muruga, a Shivalinga and Mother Parvathi and also a tank for her bath. She began the Panchakshara Mantra Japa. This worship lasted for 12 years. At the end of the 12th year, Lord Shiva appeared before her and said that he was pleased with her penance. Lord asked what she wished.
Mother Earth begged for safety from the demons and that the Shivalinga she worshipped should be praised as Bhoomeeswarar in this place for ever and the devotees should be blessed with all happiness, safety and a happy life. Those bathing in the Theertha she created should be relieved of all evil effects and sins on them with total liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.
Bhooma Devi also wished that the rituals performed on the bank of the Theertha for the ancestors on the Vaikasi Poornima day (May-June Full Moon day) should be blessed and they would be staying in Kailas Mount forever. Mother Parvathi should also stay here as Vidhruma Nayaki (Pavazhambal-Coral bright Devi) along with Lord Vinayaka as Bhoomi Vinayaka and Lord Muruga and bless the devotees with all health and prosperity. Lord Bhairava should be custodian deity.
Lord Shiva was pleased to grant the boons Mother Earth wished. Mother Earth-Bhooma Devi, called divine sculptor Vishwakarma and ordered construction of a temple. Vishwa Karma placed Lord Shiva – Bhoomeeswarar and Mother Vidruma Nayaki at the centre, Lord Ganesha at the southwest and Lord Subramania with his consorts Valli and Deva Sena in west and Lord Bhairava in the northeast and completed the construction of a beautiful temple as per Agama Rules. Mother Earth prayed in the temple and returned to her abode in Vaikunta.
Parasurama got relieved of Dosha for beheading his Mother:
The story of the place begins with Sage Parasurama, the illustrious son of Sage Jamadagni and Renuka Devi. Mother Renukadevi had the power of making pots and take water in it immediately they are made and remain wet. She was carrying water for the daily pujas of her husband Jamadagni this way. One day, while doing so, she happened to see the reflection of a Gandharva in the water while he was flying up. Renukadevi just observed the handsomeness of the Gandharva and this delayed her returning to the ashram with the water.
Jamadagni was able to find the reason for his wife’s delay and in his fury ordered his sons to behead her. Sons simply refused. His last son Parasurama came forward to behead the mother as desired by the father. Pleased with his son, Jamadagni offered Parasurama a boon. Wise Parasurama demanded his Mother back to life and Jamadagni granted it. Yet, Parasurama had to incur a dosha for beheading his Mother.
To get rid of the dosha, Parasurama undertook a pilgrimage and finally reached this place, sat on the Bhoomi Kunda in the temple and began his penance on Lord Bhoomeeswarar. A ferocious tiger came to the place and was about to attack the sage. Parasurama thought of his Mother Renuka Devi who instantly appeared before her son. She made a pot, filled with water and spilled it on the tiger which immediately turned into a Deva and left for his homeland Devaloka after worshipping Renuka Devi and Parasurama.
Sage Parasurama requested his mother to stay in this place with the name Gadeswari (meaning one who makes clay pots) and grant all the boons to those who bathe in this tank and worship her on the Masi Friday (February-March). Sage Parasurama continued his penance on Lord Bhoomeeswarar who appeared before him on a Somavara day – Monday- and relieved him of the dosha he incurred for beheading his mother.
Varadan, son of Hara Sharma performed penance on Ganesha here:
There lived many years ago a Brahmin Hara Sharma by name in Brahmmapuram. He had three sons. The last was dull headed and violent in nature. Hara Sharma sent him for a pilgrimage. The boy reached the hermitage of Sage Kanwar who taught him the Panchakshara Mantra and advised to perform penance on Lord Ganesa at this place, Bhoomi Sthalam (now Kunnam) to become master of all arts. Lord Ganesha was pleased with the penance of the little boy and granted him the boon he desired and made him wise and noble.
The Ganesa - blessed boy came to be known as Varadan. He visited Kancheepuram and proved his genius in the royal court of learned pandits and received valuable awards from the king. He returned back to Bhoomi Sthala and built a beautiful temple for his mentor God Lord Ganesa. Finally, he returned to his native place Brahmmapuram, his father’s place and lived happily for many a year.
Lord Vishnu and Mahalakshmi worshipped Vinayaga here:
The next story about Bhoomi Sthala is about Lord Vishnu about his separation from Mother Mahalakshmi. He told Maharshi Narada that all his powers are derived from Mother Mahalakshmi and he would be powerless without her. He recalled the past experiences 1) due to the curse of Sage Durvasa and 2) when she fell into the Sea of Milk as she could not bear the pain when “I was attacked by the club of Veerabadra for participating in Daksha Yaga and I suffered a lot to get her back”.
Lord Vishnu asked Narada a way to avoid separation from her again. Narada said that their union was the blessing of Lord Ganesa. But they forgot him. Hence, they should begin worshipping him again for a perennial union. Lord Vishnu and Mother Mahalakshmi landed on Earth for worship of Lord Ganesa. Vishnu created a spring with his discus, now praised as Chakkara Theertham and installed a Vinayaka and worshipped him.
The Elephant faced Lord appeared before them and granted the boon of non-separation sorrows in future and forever. Lord Vishnu called Vishwakarma the master sculptor and built a grand temple for Lord Ganesha in Bhoomi Sthala, arranged festivals especially on the Masi (February-March) Sukhla Paksha Chathurthi (fourth day of the full moon fortnight). Then Lord and Mother Maha Lakshmi left for their abode Vaikuntam.
Viswarupan, Vishnu devotee granted Vaikunda Life here:
A little Brahmin boy Viswarupan was a staunch Vishnu devotee from his very infant days. He was on a pilgrimage. After visiting Vadarangam and Kazhi Sri Rama Vinnagaram he reached this place to worship Lord Ganesha with Lord Vishnu and Mother Mahalakshmi. But he could not find the temple and began praying for Dharshan in Bhoomi Sthala. Lord Vishnu spoke to him without a visible form. He said, “I am pleased you have come here after worshipping me in various Kshetras.
This Bhoomi Sthala is also a place of my choice where I had the boon of ever being with Mahalakshmi without separation. Stay here and continue worshipping me. I will grant you Vaikunta Life soon. Viswarupan followed Lord’s advice scrupulously. On a Masi Sukhla Paksha Ekadasi day, a divine aircraft came down at his puja spot and took him to Vaikuntam.
Harikrishnan, a Vishnu devotee installed Sastha for safety of devotees:
Hari Krishnan, a Vishnu devotee from Kerala came to this Bhoomi Kshetra and was planning to proceed to Chidambaram Govindaraja Perumal temple from here after his worship in Vadarangam Lord Vishnu temple. He was intercepted a number of wolves. Harikrishna prayed to Dharma Sastha, his family deity, who applied his trident and destroyed the wolves. He also granted darshan to him with his consorts Poorana and Pushkala. Harikrishna begged Lord Sastha that he should stay in the same place and protect every one visiting this Bhoomi Sthala.
Lord Sastha agreed and directed him to install his idol and promised to put on his power in the idol and disappeared. Harikrishnan installed Dharma Sastha with Poorana and Pushkala at the northwest side of the Chakkara Theertha and continued his worship. He then proceeded to Thillai Chidambaram and worshipped Lord Govindaraja Perumal. He stayed there for some time and then reached feet of the Lord.
Lord Rama got relieved from the Sthreehathi dosha here:
With due respect to the order of King Dasaratha, Lord Sri Rama left Ayodhya for the forest along with Mother Sita and Brother Lakshmana. The duration of the exile was 14 years. He met sage Agasthya at Dandakaranyam on the way and sought the reason for the appearance of a terror faced demon woman before him often. Sage Agasthya replied that the woman was Thataka whom he killed during his journey to protect the Yagna of Sage Vishwamitra and suggested that he install a Shivalinga and worship the Lord for relief from the Sthreehathi (killing a woman) he did.
Sage Agasthya also said that Lord Shiva himself would show the spot where he should install the Shivalinga for worship. Lord Rama travelled through many places and reached this Bhoomi Sthala. He heard a voice directing him to install the Linga there. Lord Sri Rama, followed this advice sincerely, worshipped Lord Shiva and got relieved from the Sthreehathi dosha.
Chandrachooda got rid of Brahmma Hathi Dosha here:
Next is the story of the son of king Chandrachooda in Thiruvannamalai. While he was on a spying job at a night in disguise, he saw a miscreant torturing the civilians. The prince immediately killed him. He came to this Bhoomi Kshetra to cleanse himself from the Brahmma Hathi dosha caused by the killing of the robber.
Dosha Nivarthi Sthalam:
A Brahmin youth in Kancheepuram, Sridaran by name took to robbery because of poverty. He happened to meet a Yogi who took a pledge from the youth that he would never speak lies. One day, when he was attempting a burglary in the very palace of the king, he was caught by the security men there. During the trial, the king found his determination to speak only truth, pardoned him and also offered a berth in his cabinet. Sridharan told the king that he was unclean to take up the job due to his earlier life and said that he would cleanse himself of the sins first and would return to Kancheepuram to accept the offer. He took up a pilgrimage and reached Bhoomi Sthala when a voice told him that he had become worthy of the choice of a minister’s job the very moment he stepped on the holy soil. Sridaran returned to Kancheepuram after worshipping Lord Shiva and took charge as a minister and served the people for quite long years.
Dharma got relieved of Dosha here:
Dharma also known as Yudhishthira told his Guru Dronacharya that an elephant named Ashwathama died in the battlefield. As the name also happened to be that of Drona’s son, Yudhishtira’s statement caused the death of the Guru. Yudhishtira’s ratha was always running one inch above the earth because of his pure qualities. But it touched the earth since then. Dharma sought the advice of Sage Vyasa for a remedy. Sage Vyasa advised Dharma to go to Bhoomisthala and worship Lord Shiva-Lord Bhoomeeswarar for relief from this dosha.