Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Edaganathar Temple, Thiruvedagam – Legends

Edaganathar Temple, Thiruvedagam – Legends
Pandya kingdom with its capital at Madurai was under the rule of Koon Pandian (hunchback Pandiyan) then. Those were the days when Jainism was dominant in the kingdom with political support – king’s support. Saivism and Shiva worship were almost routed out. Child Saivite Saint visited the city in such a situation. This created a fear in the minds of the Jain monks. They set fire in the camp of the saint to eliminate him. Knowing their evil design, Gnanasambandhar sung 10 verses directing the fire on the king who was their support then. The effective verses had their impact on the king affecting him with severe burning small pox boils in the whole body.
The Jain monks did their best with the mantras they knew, but in vain. The king appealed to people to help him in his distress. All merciful Gnanasambandhar came to his palace, sung a Pathigam-10 verses- beginning with line “Mandhiram Avathu Neeru” meaning the best Mantra is the sacred ash on the Body of Lord Shiva, brought the ashes from the kitchen of Mother Meenakshi Amman temple and applied it on the body of the king. The small pox disappeared miraculously immediately even with any of symptoms. King began to think of the glory of Saivism. 
The Jains, shaken by the incident said that it was witchcraft work of the saint and challenged him to a contest and vowed that they would leave Madurai if defeated. The contest was that both will write a verse and place it on the floods of Vaigai River. The victor will be the one whose song leaf swims against the current and reaches the banks. If lost in the current, they will be the loser. Jains wrote the verse beginning with the lines Athi Nathi. Sambandars’ verse began with “Vazhga Andanar, Vanavar Aaninam”. Jains leaf was washed away. Sambandar continued his song Vanniyum Mathamum and the verse leaf reached the shores establishing the Might and Glory of Lord Shiva. 
Yedu in Tamil means the palm leaf used for writing in those days. The place where the Yedu reached the shore came to be known as Thiruvedagam. Vaaduvenra Vinayakar here is said to have stopped the movement of the palm leaf in the guise of a fish, in response to Sambandar's patikam. The palmyra leaf which the Samanars left was swept away by the river and reached 'Thirupasethi' (Thiru + pa + Serthal) later to be known as Thirupachetty.
Sattainathar Adhishtanam:
There is still a controversy about the place where Sattainathar Siddha attained Samadhi. Seven places claim this honour. During his visit to Thiruvedagam, he saw Shivalingas scattered on the way and was afraid to tread on the way. Boys in the place use to simply carry him to the temple. He changed the river sands into some useful things and offered them to the boys. Sattainathar and his followers used to put the sacred ash in the water soaked rice (Neeraharam in Tamil) and cured stomach aches. Following this example, even today people use to bring the water soaked Neeraharam to the Sattainathar Adhishtana (Samadhi), place it on the Linga there and consume it for stomach problems. On the new moon day in the month of Aadi – Aadi Amavasya in July – August, Guru Puja is dedicated to Siddha.
As per local legend, the place was called Seshanur as Adisesha, the serpent snake of Vishnu worshipped Shiva and later went on the become Edakam.
People worshipped Lord Shiva here:
Shiva here is believed to have been worshipped by Garuda, Adhiseshan and Vishnu