Achalpuram Shivalokathyagar Temple, Nagapattinam - Legends
Tirugnana Sambandar merging with Shiva Jyoti with all the devotees gathered for his wedding:
The history of Saint Tirugnana Sambandar is the very history of Saivism philosophy stressing the ultimate truth that reaching the Lotus feet of Shiva should be purpose of a meaningful human life. Father Shivapada Hrudayar asked the Saint Son to marry which though he refused first but gave in reluctantly thinking it to be the will of Lord. Shivapada Hrudayar chose Poompavai, daughter of Sivanesan Chettiar as his bride. But she died of a snake bite. Tirugnanasambandar restored her to life with the grace of Lord and simply accepted her as his daughter only. Shivapada Hrudayar then chose Mangai Nallal daughter of Nambiandar Nambi of Nallur. The wedding took place at Achalpuram. Tiruneelanakka Nayanar conducted the rituals.
Circumambulating the wedding fire pit with his bride, Gnanasambandar prayed to Lord Shiva to protect him from the problems of a marital life and praised him with Kallur Perumanam hymn. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Jyothi and advised the saint to join him along with all gathered there. Losing himself completely to the Lord, Sambandar sang his last Pathigam (10 verses) highlighting the glory of Panchakshara Mantra – Na Ma Shi Va ya. All merged with the Lord collectively the same time. This event is celebrated each year in the temple on the Moola Star day in the month of Vaikasi – May-June.
Reputation of Sirkazhi:
Sirkali occupies a place of pride in the religious map of Tamilnadu as the birth place of Saint Tirugnana Sambandar who ably restored the Vedic glory and supremacy of Saivism against the massive assault of other faiths. It also has the added reputation of the Saint merging with Shiva Jyoti with all the devotees gathered there for his wedding at Achalpuram. Noted poet Sekkizhar shows the Saint in his celebrated epic Periyapuranam as one small in physical stature but a mount in wisdom.
Mother Parvathi offering Viboothi to the guests during Sambandar Marriage:
As Achal-Mother, personally attended the wedding of the saint and offered the Vibhuti Prasad to the guests, She is praised as Tiruvennetru Umai Ammai. The place came to be known as Achalpuram.
People worshipped Shiva here:
Great sages as Vasishta, Parasara, Jamadagni, and Brugu had the Kailash darshan here. Lord Brahmma secured the creation boon from the Lord here, while Vishnu was granted the power of destroying the wicked and demons. Indira had all the luxuries from Lord Shiva at this place. Holy Ganga Devi performed penance at the entrance of the place. Moon was relieved of his curse. Those worshipping in this temple will become free of all adverse effects falling on them. Everyone worshipping Lord who embraced Saint Sambandar through the Shiva Jyoti is sure to awarded total salvation.
Sage Kaka was reluctant to tread on this land with his legs and used his head and performed penance sitting in the Nirudhi corner – southwest. Tiruneelakanta Yazhpanar, Muruga Nayanar, Tiruneelanakka Nayanar worshipped Lord in this temple. Sacred Ash-Vibhuti is the Prasad offered in the temple. Applying this on the body cures the devotee of all illness, frees him/her from sins and poverty and ensures the Mangalya longevity of women, according to belief.