Friday, October 27, 2017

Thirukkadigai, Sholinghur – Legends

Thirukkadigai, Sholinghur – Legends
Sri Vishnu Puranam and Sri Padma Puranam speak about the greatness of the place and it is said that sage Viswamithra became a Brahma Rishi by staying in this place for one “Kadigai”.
Saptharishis worshipped Lord Vishnu here:
According to legend, Saptharishis - Athri, Kashyapa, Vasishtar, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadhwaja and Viswamithra - did penance here to have a vision of Lord Narasimha.
Anjaneya stayed here on Lord Rama request:
The Lord, in his incarnation as Rama, after slaying Ravana, wanted to return to his abode and when Anjaneya expressed the wish to accompany him, he directed him to stay here and offer protection to the Saptharishis. When two demons, Kalan and Keyan, caused hindrance to the penance of the Saptharishis, Anjaneya tried to defeat them. The Lord gave him his sacred conch and holy discus to slay the two as well as other demons. The Lord also appeared before the sages as Narasimha. He directed Anjaneya to sit atop the nearby small hill and bless the devotees till the end of Kaliyuga.
Anjaneya was doing penance here to become the next Brahma:
According to a few Vaishnavite scholars, Anjaneya was doing penance atop the hill to become the next Brahma and he suspended the same in the Karthigai month as per the directive of the Lord to bless the devotees.
The Goddess here is known as Amritabalavalli or Sudha Valli as she emerged sitting on a thousand-petal lotus in a tank near Kadigachalam. As she was holding the Amrita creeper in her hand, she came to be known as Amritabalavalli and was married to the Lord on a Friday.
Sage Durvasa, who was overwhelmed with joy after getting a Tulsi garland from Lord Narayana, began to dance. On seeing this, Budha, one of the nine planets, laughed, and was cursed by the sage. He got relief from the curse after visiting the hill temple and taking a dip in the “Pandava Theertham”.
The hill temple is also known as Kadigachalam or Thirukkadigai. Peyazhwar refers to the Lord here as ``Vann Poonkadigai Ilankumaran.'' It is known as Kadigai as, one could get salvation if he stayed in the place for one ``Kadigai'' (24 minutes). It is believed that those afflicted with psychological ailments, find cure upon residing here. Sholinghur or Chola Simhapuram was known in ancient times as Thirukkadigai and is mentioned in the sacred poems of the third Thiruvanthathi of Peyalvar and Thirumangai Alvar (Vaishnava saints). The Lord is referred by Nammazhwar in a Paasuram (verse set to music) as Thakkan, the Lord who has the right to fulfil all the wishes of the devotees.
Equivalent to Gaya:
It is also claimed that performing the rites for our forefathers in this holy place is more effective than performing the same at Gaya in the North.
Lord Anjaneya helped King Indradhyumna to defeat a Demon:
There is a legend associated with this shrine. Once a king named Indradhyumna came to this place chasing a deer. When he attempted to shoot an arrow at it, the deer disappeared and there came ablaze a flame. From then on, he left his hunting activities. He received an extraordinary prowess with which he routed a rakshasa called Kumbhodharan and protected his citizens. It is believed that at the behest of Lord Narasimha, Lord Anjaneya came to help the king. The former bestowed the latter with the wheel (chakra) and the conch (shanku), and also four arms. Like the Master, Lord Anjaneya also sits in yogic posture, containing within himself, his immense energy. Worshipping this Lord, along with the Prime Deity, drives off insanity and evil doings, is the staunch belief of the devotees.
Balarama pressed down the height of the Hills:
There is also a legend that this hallowed hill which arose out of the surrounding plains, continued to rise in height much to the chagrin of Indra, who requested Balarama to press it down to its present height.
Valmiki worshipped Lord Vishnu here:
Valmiki, author of Ramayana is said to have worshipped Lord Vishnu here.
Narasimha came to this place after killing the demon Hiranya:
It is believed that Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar (the lion-man avatar of Lord Vishnu) came to this place after killing the demon Hiranya and stayed here forever in this peaceful Yoga posture.
Narasimha gave mukthi to Prahaladha:
Lord Narasimha gave mukthi (salvation) to Prahaladha, the son of Hiranya. Prahaladha was a staunch devotee of Narayana and was given a darshan (appearance) by Lord Narasimha in his calm and peaceful Yoga pose.
Narasimha gives darshan to Anjaneya through a small Window:
There is a small window opposite to Lord Narasimha’s sannidhi at Big Hill, through which the Lord gives darshan to Yoga Anjaneya Swamy at Small Hill. Yoga Narasimhar is facing east and the Small Hill is at the eastern side of the Big Hill.
Dodda Acharya and the Sholinghur – Kanchi connection:
The Sholinghur Narasimha Koil has been managed and taken care of by the descendants of Dodda Acharya for the last several centuries. Dodda Acharya was the grandson of Muthalai Andaan and to him, it is said, goes the credit of creating this beautiful temple town of Sholinghur in the Arcot region of Tamil Nadu. Dodda Acharya used to visit the Garuda Sevai of Varadaraja Perumal at Kanchipuram every year. However, once he could not make his annual trip to Kanchi as he fell ill. Saddened by this, he bathed at the temple tank at Sholinghur, invoked the blessings of Varadar of Kanchi and sang 5 songs in praise of Lord Varadaraja Perumal. 
So, pleased was the Lord with his devotion that he is believed to have provided darshan to Sholinghur Dodda Acharya from his Garuda Vahanam. In memory of this event, every year on the third morning of Brahmotsavam at Kanchi, the temple door is closed for a few minutes and Lord Varadaraja Perumal, in his Garuda Vahanam, says ‘I am now going to give darshan to Dodda Acharya of Sholinghur. The Lord waits at the entrance of the temple, faces the direction of Sholinghur and provides darshan to Dodda Acharya. This is called the Dodda Acharya Sevai in Kanchipuram.
Prarthana Sthalam:
This is a Prarthana Sthalam. Belief is that the Lord cures devotees, who bathe here and walk up the two hills, from all kinds of diseases and is said to give them peace of mind. Lord Narasimha is also said to fulfil all the wishes of the devotees. Every Friday at 7am in the morning, there is a Prarthana Utsavam for Amruthavalli Thaayar with special Abishekam for the Thaayar and Perumal. On Sunday at 7am, there is special Abishekam for Lord Anjaneya. According to the puranas there are 14 peaks at Kadigachalam and the hill temple has existed for eons. If one takes a dip in the holy tanks here and goes around the two hills they can achieve many things in life. The circumambulation of the two hills has been classified under two heads.