Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Metraleeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram – Legends

Metraleeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram – Legends

Odha Urugeeswarar:

As per legend, Once, Lord Vishnu reclining in Milk Ocean had a desire to have the form of Shiva Linga. He approached Lord Shiva for the purpose. Lord Shiva pleaded inability. But Lord Vishnu did not give in and began penance on Lord Shiva. Surprised at his determination, Lord Shiva told Vishnu that he could have his wish by performing penance at this place on his Swayambhu facing west. Further, Lord Shiva informed Lord Vishnu that he had to continue his penance till Sambandar visits the place and sings praise of him.

Lord Vishnu came to this place, began penance facing east in a standing form after a bath in Vegavathi River. Saint Thirugnana Sambandar visited Mettraliyur and saw Lord Vishnu standing in penance. The saint thought it was Lord Shiva as he was at the back. Saint Thirugnana Sambandar began singing in praise of the Lord. Lord Vishnu in penance was moved by the divine melody and began to melt. Lord Vishnu attained the Linga form due to the melting, but his feet remained.

As Lord Vishnu began to melt at the singing of the saint, Lord Shiva came to be called as Odha Urugeeswarar (Odha-singing, Urugu-melting, Easwarar-Lord Shiva). The deity at the Urugeeswarar temple was thus originally Vishnu, who was mesmerized by the devotion of Sambandar and changed to Lord Shiva. Both the Shiva Linga and holy feet of Lord Vishnu can be seen in the Odha Urugeeswarar Shrine.

Metrali Nathar:

As per legend, Originally, Lord Shiva was facing east in this temple. On hearing the hymns of Thirugnana Sambandar praising Odha Urugeeswarar, Lord Shiva turned west to listen to the songs of Thirugnana Sambandar. Hence, Lord Shiva came to be called as Metrali Nathar (Merku – west, Thali – temple and Nathar – Lord Shiva) and the place came to be called as Thirumetrali.

Utru Ketta Muktheeswarar:

Saint Thirugnana Sambanthar was singing songs in praise of Thirumetralinaadhar outside the temple. Lord wanted to hear out the song distinctly, came a little forward from the place he occupied in the temple and enjoyed hearing the song being sung by saint Thirugnanasambanthar. He transformed himself in to a Linga. Hence, he came to be called as Utru Ketta Muktheeswarar. Strangely, the hymns of Sambandar on Lord Shiva of Metraleeswarar temple are not yet found. This temple is situated between Metraleeswarar temple and Thirugnana Sambandar temple.

Thirugnana Sambandar Temple:

It is believed that Saint Thirugnana Sambandar, sang his hymns in praise of Lord Shiva in Thirumetralinaadhar Temple from the end of the street has his shrine there itself. Strangely, the hymns of Sambandar on Lord Shiva of Metraleeswarar temple are not yet found.

Pillayar Palayam:

As the saint is also known as Aludaipillayar and Sambanda Pillayar, the place came to be called as Pillayar Palayam. The place is also called as Pachimalayam.

Budha worshipped Lord Shiva here:

It is believed that Budha, one of the Navagrahas, worshipped Lord Shiva here.

People worshipped Lord Shiva here:

100 Rudras, Sikandar, Veerabhadra, Krodha and Mandalathipathis, all totalling 116, had worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.