Paampuranathar Temple, Thirupampuram – Legends
Ashtama Nagas got relief from Lord Shiva curse here:
When Lord Vinayaka offered his pranams to his father Lord Shiva, the snake around Shiva’s neck grew proud that Vinayaka was worshipping him too. Angry Shiva cursed the whole snake community that it should lose its power - viz. their poison power. All the Ashtama serpents - eight great serpents – appealed to Lord Shiva that it was not fair on his part to curse the whole community for the wrong committed by a single one and they also sought pardon for the snake that grew proud.
Lord Shiva told them that the Ashtama Nagas, Aanandhan, Vasuki, Dakshakan, Karkodakan, Sangabalan, Kuligan, Padman and Mahapadman and others headed by the divine snake Adhishesha may come to Tiruppamburam on Maha Shivarathri day when they will be pardoned and relieved of the curse. All serpents came to the earth and did penance and in a single night (4 jamas) it worshipped Shiva in four places. All serpents worshipped Lord Shiva at Nageswarar temple in the morning, Thirunageswaram in the afternoon, Thirupampuram in the evening and Naganathar at Nagore in the night to be absolved of the effect of the curse.
Thirupampuram is the place where Nagaraja worshipped in 3rd Jamam. Due to unavailability of flowers that time, he tied agathi poo (sesbania grandiflora) flowers in alavizhudhu (banyan tree stems) and finished pooja. So, as a rarity in this village, Agathi won’t flower and alamvizhudhu won’t touch the earth (It is very usual that alamvizhudhu will touch earth and the stem itself will turn to roots). By this worship method, Serpents regained their lost power.
All serpents are believed to follow the same worship method every Mahasivarathri. There is a belief that following the same routine to worship at these four temples is of special importance. Hence, it is believed that people who had lost anything valuable in their life will get it back by praying to Lord Shiva here.
Rahu and Ketu in single body:
It is also noteworthy that Rahu and Ketu are not individually separate from each other as in other temples, but are in one single body with Lord in their mind.
This temple has the combined reputation of the temples of Thirunageswaram, Nagoor, Keelaperumpallam, Kalahasthi and Kumbakonam. This is a remedial temple-Parihara Sthalam- for all adverse planetary aspects, according to Puranas.
Presence of Snakes:
It is said that since Adhiseshan and the serpents had worshipped at this temple, snakes are present in this temple. On Sundays, Tuesdays, Fridays the fragrance of Fragrant Screw pine or Jasmine is in the air in this temple and serpents are believed to be present within the temple premises. On 26-5-2002 a snake had shed its skin on the Shiva Lingam here like a garland. This is still preserved at the temple and can be seen at the Lord’s Sannidhi. Villagers here vouch that there has been no history of anybody being bitten by a snake in the vicinity of this village.
Ganga got relieved from the sins of the devotees which occupied in her body:
Gangadevi took bath in the Cauvery River at Mayavaram for 30 days during the month of Thula and then she is moving to Thirupampuram during the month of Karthigai. Gangadevi continuously performing the prayer for sixteen years and she get relieved from the sins of the devotees which occupied in her body.
Slaying of Daksha’s Head by Virabathira:
Thirupampuram Sthalapuranam gives a detailed account of Daksha and his act of not giving respect to his Son-in Law Lord Siva. He was punished by Virabathira who was created by Lord Siva by slaying Daksha’s head. Later on he came to Thirupampuram with the goats head provided by Lord Siva and worshiped the Lord to expiate his misdeed and he was graced by our Lord Seshapureeswarar.
Suneethan king of Kasi got rid of the disease Epilepsy by worshipping here:
Suneethan king of Kasi as per the advice of Vashista Munivar who presented himself in his dream came to Thirupampuram to get rid of his Epilepsy disease and performed the prayers as per the rituals and get cured and went back to rule his Kingdom.
Kochenganan got rid of the disease Leukemia by worshipping here:
Kochenganan alias Chilanthi Cholan alias Chenkanan came to Thirupampuram to get rid of the disease Leukemia and after taking bath in the “Brahma Theertham” performed Prayers to the Lord Seshapureeswarar for three years. His disease was cured by the Lord and ruled the Chola Kingdom for a longer period. The king arranged for the Chariot to run in the streets of Thirupampuram for the Lord.
Competition between Adhiseshan and Vayu:
In a competition between Adhiseshan and Lord Vayu to prove who between them was more powerful. Vayu tried to unearth all the mountains with his force. While Adhiseshan with his strength prevented this from happening, in his rage, Vayu stopped the breathing air (oxygen) to all beings. As requested by all devas including Lord Indra, Adhiseshan retreated from this test of strength. But Vayu continued to unearth the mountains and this angered Lord Shiva, who cursed Vayu and Adhiseshan to life of ghosts. Upon the repentance of both, Lord Shiva directed Vayu to do the penance at the north of the river Vaigai & to the east of Madurai, while directing Adhiseshan to worship him for 12 years in the Pambupuram hence Adhiseshan created Theertham here observed his penance and got relieved of the curse.
Adhiseshan worshipped Shiva to get rid of his overburden of supporting the World:
Legend has it that when Adhiseshan who supports the world on himself felt overburdened and ill. Lord Shiva directed him to worship him on Mahasivarathri night in the following order: First, at Nageswarar at Kumbakonam next Naganathar at Thirunageswaram and finally at Thirupampuram. Adhiseshan did so and got back his strength. Because of this, all snakes in this place are considered as devotees of Lord Shiva and legend has it that they do not bite anyone here.
Brahma absolved his curse of having of ill intention towards Thilothama:
Brahma created Thilothama, as the most beautiful of all women .Since he was her creator, she considered him as her father and went round him in worship but Brahma to savour her beauty, created for him four heads to look at her as she went round him. Getting afraid of this, Thilothama fled skyward, but, Brahma started at her with a face on top too. Upon her prayers to Lord Shiva, the Lord removed the top head of brahma and also cursed him to lose his powers of creation. Acting on the advice of rishis, Brahma reached Thirupampuram with his consort, created a Theertham there, worshipped the lord for one year and got released from the curse.
Indran absolved his curse of having illicit relationship with Ahalya:
Indra, the king of Devas, was cursed with a thousand eyes all over his body for his illicit affair with Ahalya, wife of sage Gautama. Heeding the advice of the Devas, he came to Pambupuram and worshipped there for 12years .The Lord appeared before him in the first segment on Mahasivarathri and gave him from release from the curse.
Uma relieved of curse for playfully closing the eyes of the Lord:
Similarly, Goddess Uma playfully closed the eyes of the Lord while in Kailayam. Since this darkened the world and every being was stopped from pursuing its vocation, the Lord got angry and cursed the Goddess to leave him. Repenting for her mistake, the Goddess was directed by him to worship him at Pambupuram for 12 years. After she thus completed her penance, she was relieved from her curse in the fourth segment of Mahasivarathri.
Agasthya got his speech back here:
Once, in Kailayam, the Sage Agasthya countered the argument of Devas and other Rishis who claimed that Sanskrit was unequalled, by saying that Tamizh was a great as Sanskrit. Lords Shiva and Vishnu agreed on this, albeit silently. But, the Devas and rishis, cursed Agasthya to become dumb for disrupting their say. On his prayer to Lord Shiva, he was directed to visit Thirupampuram and worship there for one year for restoration of his speech. Agasthya did so and Lord Shiva appeared before him in the first segment of Mahasivarathri and cured him. He was also directed to leave for Podhigai hill and help Tamizh grow.
Agni relieved of his curse for attending Daksha’s Yagna:
During the Yagna by Daksha, Lord Shiva was ignored for distribution of alms, while all other Devas were given theirs. Getting angry at this, the Lord in the form of Veerabhadra, cut off Agni’s hand and kicked him down. Realizing his mistake, Agni prayed to the Lord and he directed Agni to pray to him at Thirupampuram. Agni worshipped at Thirupampuram for three years and got relieved from the curse.
Suryan in search of source of his light:
Suryan, the Sun god, went about asking the rishis of Naimisaranya the source of his light. They told him that only sage Vyasa could answer him, and upon his doing so, sage Vyasa told him to go to Thirupampuram temple and worship the Lord there. Surya went to Kashi, took a holy dip in the Ganges, then travelled to Mayiladuthurai to worship Mayura Nathar and then reached Thirupampuram. He worshipped the Lingam worshipped by Adhiseshan, with a thousand flowers every day for twelve years. The Lord appeared before him in high moon on a day in Chithirai month and granted him the boon to be forever bright.
Chandran absolved his curse of having illicit relationship with Vanathara:
Vanathara, the wife of Brihaspathi, in his absence, begot Budhan in an illicit relationship with Chandran. Learning of this, Brihaspathi cursed Chandran to fall ill with tuberculosis. Indiran, the other Devas and Chandran requested the rishis to suggest ways of absolving this curse. The rishis advised Chandran to worship Pampuranathar and Chandran did so with a thousand flowers daily for twelve years. He was absolved of his disease at noon on Thai Poornima Day.
Presence of Snake Skins:
In 2002 May 26 a snake skin was found (8.3 feet) like a garland on Siva Shrine. Already a snake skin (7.5 feet) was found around Ambikai Shrine on 21.03.2002.