Saturday, March 19, 2016

Uppiliappan Temple, Thirunageshwaram – Greatness of Temple

Uppiliappan Temple, Thirunageshwaram – Greatness of Temple
Lord Vishnu-Perumal came to Sage Markandeya on a Panguni (March-April) Thiruvonam star day seeking his daughter’s hand in marriage.  The wedding took place on Aipasi (October-November) Thiruvonam Star day. 
Remembering this event, on Thiruvonam Star day each month, special pujas are performed with Aganda Deepa (big deepa) and Long deepa – Vaal deepa lighting.  It is believed that Mother Mahalakshmi graces devotees from these lamps.  This darshan is considered a lucky one by the devotees. 
On Aavani Thiruvonam star day, Perumal grants darshan – Udaya Garuda Sevai. Then He bathes in the Nattaru River praised as Dakshina Ganga. Special pujas are performed after this event. The practice of soothsaying before the lamps is followed even these days.
The slogan uttered by Lord in his Gita Teaching “Maam Charanam Viraja” is written on his right hand pointing to his feet. This means “I take care of those surrendering to me”.  Saint Thirumangai Azhwar had praised this Perumal as such. 
Perumal granted darshan to Azhwar in five forms – Tiruvinnagarapapan (in sanctum sanctorum), Ponnappan (procession deity), Maniappan and Ennappan in Prakara shrines and Mutthappan.  Of these, Mutthappan shrine is not in existence.  Discus and Conch are with the Lord in Maniappan shrine. 
Nivedhanas are prepared in this temple without salt.  It is believed that taking salted food into the temple is a sin.  As Sage Markandeya, ever 16 in age, worshipped in this temple, special Homas as longevity and Mrutyunjaya Homas are performed in the temple.  Ahora Pushkarani Theertha is revered high. Devotees can bath in this theertham both in day and night. 
Generally Mother Bhoomadevi is on the left side of Perumal.  As Lord wedded her in this place, she has the right side here.  Also, while offering his daughter to Perumal in marriage, Sage Markandeya took an undertaking from the Lord that he would not part with her even for a moment. Accordingly, during all processions, Lord appears with Mother Bhoomadevi.
The prasadams like tamarind rice, fried snacks are prepared without salt. If one tastes them inside the temple, they seem to taste normal. If they take them outside and eat them, they can realize that it does not contain salt.