Yoga Rama Temple, Nedungunam – Legends
Lord Rama met Sukabrahmma Rishi on his way back to Ayodhya:
On his way back to Ayodhya after the war with Ravana in Sri Lanka Sri Rama passed through this place and met parrot faced Sukabrahmma Rishi who was performing penance on the hill here. Sukabrahmma Rishi invited Rama to his hermitage. It was a critical and embarrassing time for Rama then. He could neither refuse nor accept the hospitality of Sukabrahmma rishi to stay for a day and dine with him. The 14 years deadline to return to Ayodhya was nearing.
Bharatha was all set to fall in the fire if Rama did not return in time. A confused Rama gave his ring to Hanuman to be given to Bharatha as evidence that Rama was fast on his way to Ayodhya. Meantime, Rama and Hanuman dined on a single leaf when Rama drew a line on the leaf to facilitate easy use. That line became a permanent mark on the plantain leaf, goes the hearsay story. This happened in Nedungunam.
The Rishi immensely pleased with the visit of Rama with Sita and Lakshmana gave Rama some palm leaves containing some rare scriptures. Receiving the palm volume from the Rishi with all humility, Rama sat with Sita on the left and Lakshmana on the right and asked Hanuman to read the scriptures. Hanuman sitting in a Padmasana form read the leaves. The Rishi taught Hanuman the Muktikopanishad here, according to a story. The name Nedungunam conveys the noble quality of Rama – Nedum meaning high/ noble and Gunam meaning Quality/ Personality.
Eri Katha Ramar & Nedungunam Yoga Ramar:
The Kaliyar River starts from here through the waters of the nearby Dheerkachalam hill and ends at the Maduranthakam Lake near Chengalpet which was protected by Eri Katha Ramar. So both the temples are connected by legend.
Rama is the Abhimana Perumal for people belonging to almost 25villages around Nedungunam.
Sukha Brahma Rishi, Devotee of both Shiva & Vishnu:
Sukha Brahma Rishi is a devotee of Lord Shiva as well. Sukha is an expert in changing forms and once he changed into a parrot. He flew to Kailayam where he saw Lord Shiva was preaching Shiva secrets to Parvathi Devi and Sukha wanted to know the secret. So he was flying around between Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi. Parvathi Devi got angry and cursed him to be in the Parrot form itself.
Sukha then pleaded pardon and Shiva gave some relief to be in human form but with Parrot face. Sukha penanced at a place called Thiru Idayaru near Sidhalingamadam near Tirukoyilur and got blessed by Shiva. Sukha has a separate shrine in this temple. Thus Sukha Brahma Rishi is a devotee of Lord Shiva as well as Lord Rama.