Saturday, April 23, 2016

Navabashanam Temple (Navagraha Temple), Devipattinam, Rameshwaram

Navabashanam Temple (Navagraha Temple), Devipattinam, Rameshwaram
It is also known as Navabashanam, a coastal Village that is located 70 km from Rameswaram. It has a temple dedicated to Devi who is said to have killed the demon Mahishasura at this spot. It is said that Rama calmed the sea at this coastal village to install nine stones representing the Navagrahas. Those stones can still be watched partly submerged in the water close to the beach near a bathing place of the Thilakeshwar Temple or the Navagraha Temple.

The Hindus perform religious rites for the forefathers and a large number of devotees visit Tamil Nadu's ancient Thilakeshwar Temple, popularly known as Navagraha Temple at Devipattinam. The Thilakeshwar Temple is dedicated to Shiva and Parvathi. Shiva here is known as Thilakeswarar and the Goddess is known as Soundaryanayaki. The shrine has a beautiful image of an eight-armed Durga with weapons. Devotees at the temple offer nine varieties of grains including paddy, wheat, pulses and other things to the Gods and Goddesses.

Devipattinam is located near Rameswaram at the southern tip of India. Traditionally, it is visited along with a visit to Rameswaram. It is said that Lord Rama installed the Nava Grahas (Planets) at this place and worshipped them. A visit to this place is a wonderful experience. It is situated inside the sea with 9 installed stones representing the planets. Once has to first take bath in the sea and then do pooja. Offering prayers here are said to remove the ill effects of all planets and confer peace prosperity to the devotee.

For relief from the sins accompanying each man and woman from the past birth, to offer prayers for the salvation of the departed ancestors and perform Shraddha for them, devotees visit this shrine from corners of the country. People also seek boons for children, marriage, education, longevity and prosperity.
Sri Rama & the Planets
According to the scriptures, pujas should be performed to Lord Vinayaka and the Navagrahas. Following this rule, Sri Rama, after completing the Vinayaka Puja in Uppur, wanted to perform the Navagraha puja in Devipattinam. He took handful of sand personifying them as a planet. As the tides of the sea rose high, he lifted his hand to calm them down. Sri Rama installed the Navagrahas this way in Devipattinam. The place is also known as Navabashanam spot (Bashanam – Stones). The nine stones represent the planets.

The Navabashanam Navagrahas are installed in the midst of calm sea and are noted for its divinity ensuring total bliss. The Navabashanam temple has the added pride of their installation by the hands of Sri Rama and it is holy place to perform Tarpan for the ancestors. The devotees perform the worship and pujas themselves. This is also the place where Rama Himself was relieved of Saturn effects. He was blessed by Lord Shiva and Parvathi here. The Easwara here is known as Thilakeswarar and the Goddess Soundaryanayaki. A very visit to this holy soil of Sethu would relieve the devotee from all his sins.
Sri Rama took a march towards Lanka to free Sita from Ravana’s captivity. Before undertaking the journey, as prescribed in the scriptures, he performed the Vinayaka Puja in Uppur and the Navagraha puja in Devipattinam by installing them each with a handful of sand and calmed the high tides by raising his hand. The Navagrahas installed by Sri Rama are the Nava Bashanam (stones) gracing the devotees in Devipattinam.

This Navagraha temple in the midst of the sea is a divine wonder since the Puranic days.
The Temple
There is a special temple dedicated exclusively for the Navagrahas in Tamilnadu. The Navagraha temple is known as Navapashanam temple. The temple is situated in Devipattinam village near Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram (Ramnad) District of Tamilnadu. The specialty of this temple is that the 9 deities of the Navagrahas are installed in the sea near to the shore in the village.

It is believed that the stone idols of the Navagrahas were installed by Lord Sri Rama to appease the Graha Devathas (planetary deities) by fixing 9 stones (rock pieces) a few meters into the water of the sea near to the shore before he went to Lanka to wage war against the demon king Ravana in order to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king.

After installing the deities Sri Rama worshiped the Navagrahas installed by him along with Lord Siva for removal of the troubles from his life. It was not much known earlier may be due to the deficient conveyance facility and an infrastructure facility of the place as it is a very small village on the coastal area in Devipattinam.

Now most of the devotees who come to the famous Rameswaram Temple also come here and worship the Navagrahas. The idols may not be visible at all times depending on the water level in the sea, the Bay of Bengal. During low level of water at low tides the idols will be clearly visible. Some of them very much above water level as the height of the stones are not identical. During the periods when water level in the sea is high the idols may not be visible as they are under water.

There is a bathing Ghat here close to the Thilakeshwar Temple which is also known as Navagraha temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Siva in the form of Thilakeshwar with goddess Parvathy (known as Soundaryanayaki). There is also an idol of Goddess Durga with eight arms with weapons in each of the arms. The deity is worshipped with ellu – tila or gingelly seeds. This is a very important center for performing Tarpan (offering of water with till seeds) to the ancestors.

The Navagraha Navapashana (also pronounced as Nava bhasanam) temple at Devipattinam is about 15 kms from Ramanathapuram town. Buses going to Karaikudi stop at Devipattinam very near to the temple. The water used to be very good. But now due to the greatly increased flow of devotees who come here to worship liter the place and the sea with garbage and is increasingly getting polluted day by day.

It is said that Rama performed the ritual so that the nine planets would shed their auspicious light on him in his battle with Ravana to rescue Sita. As per Hindu mythology, the planetary conditions have a major effect on humans' lives and thus by worshipping them their impact can be reduced. This has been constructed under the sea by Lord Rama. While Lord Rama was worshipping here, he was disturbed by waves. He prayed to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu stopped the waves so as to help Rama perform his Puja (prayers).
Since that time Devipattinam drew popularity for being a place to get relief from all kinds of adverse planetary conditions by performing the suggested rituals. Devipattinam or, the place of Goddess is also described as the place where the Goddess killed the demon Mahishasura at this spot.

As per Hindu mythology, nine planets control the life of human beings. People face good or bad phases in their personal lives, depending upon their Karmas or, deeds performed in their previous births. People from across the country and abroad, therefore, visit this temple devoted to the nine planets to seek divine blessings and a relief from planets' adverse impact and suffering caused by them..
Devotees at the temple offer nine varieties of grains including paddy, wheat, pulses and other things to the Gods and Goddesses. They go around the deities and worship the `Navagrahas' or, the nine planets seeking peace and prosperity in their lives and a divine blessing to relieve them of all their sufferings.
The Temple in the Sea-Navagraha Worship (Nine Planets):
Deities: The nine planets – Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Dragon's head dragon's tail.
Installation by: Sri Rama
Speciality: In the midst of sea
Epic: The Ramayana
Holy Spring: Agni Theertham and Ramar Theertham
Place: Devipattinam
Scriptural Name: Devipur
Other Name: Devipuram
District: Ramanathapuram
Devotees offer nine varieties of grains, paddy, wheat, dal varieties, pulses, Dil (Ellu) etc. They go round the deities and perform pujas to the Navagrahas – nine planets.
Humans are conducted by the nine planets and are subjected to rejoicing or sufferings based on their deeds in the previous birth. Therefore, devotees come here to worship them and get relieved of the suffering.
General Information
Devipattinam is 77 Kms from Rameswaram, 15 from Ramanathapuram, 115 from Madurai and 47 from Sivaganga.
Lodging facilities are available in Rameswaram and Ramanathapuram. Charges in the range of Rs. 200 to Rs. 600.
Considering the religious importance of Devipattinam Navagraha temple, Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram are linked by rail routes. Adequate bus facilities are available from important centres of Tamilnadu. Nearest airport is Madurai.
Adi Amavasya festival is observed for 10 days during the month of July-August when the devotee crowd would be over a lakh and same number crowds can be seen on the Thai Amavasya (January-February) too.
It is about 15 kms from Ramanathapuram and buses going to Karaikudi stop at Devipattinam. The shore is walkable from the bus stop.