Sunday, March 18, 2018

Jagannatha Perumal Temple, Thirumazhisai – Legends

Jagannatha Perumal Temple, Thirumazhisai – Legends
Madhya Jagannatham:
According to the Hindu legend, the Saptarishis, the seven sages, wanted to have a view of Madhya Jagannatha (literally meaning Jagannatha located in the middle). As per Hindu legend, the Jagannatha at Puri Jagannatha Temple is called Vada Jagannatha (located in the North) and the one located in Adi Jagannatha Perumal Temple at Thirupullani is called Keezha Jagannatha. Acceding to the request of the sages, Vishnu is believed to have appeared as Madhya Jagannatha at this place. While Lord Jagannatha appears reclining in Thirupullani and standing in Puri, He graces darshan here in sitting form, hence the place is revered as Madhya Jagannatham and Poorna Jagannatham.
Birthplace of Thirumalisai Alvar:
The place is also believed to be the birthplace of Thirumalisai Alvar, one of the twelve Azhwars whose work is compiled as Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. His works include Thiruvanthathi and Tiruchanda Viruttam, which are included in the canon. He was considered as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu’s Sudarsana Chakra (Discus). As this is the birth place of saint Tirumazhisai Azhwar, the place also is named after the saint.
Sages Brighu and Markandeya had darshan of Vishnu here:
Maharshis Brighu and Markandeya had the darshan of the Lord in this temple. They are in a worshipping form in the shrine.
Mageesara Kshetram:
The temple that dates to the Dwapara Yuga, finds reference in the Brahmanda Purana as ‘Mageesara Kshetram’.  As the place of the temple is believed to have in it all the glory of Earth, it is named Magisaram. Those born in this sacred place and those who worship here will not have rebirth, according to belief.
Sacred Town:
Maharshis Athiri, Brighu and Bhargava approached Lord Brahmma to suggest a place where they would perform penance. Lord Brahmma called the divine sculptor (Mayan), gave him a scale. He placed Tirumazhisai on one plate and the rest of earth on the other. The plate of Tirumazhisai went down overweighing the other side of the scale. Realizing the glory of the place, the sages performed penance here. Lord Jagannatha granted them darshan in sitting form. Thirumazhisai, a place that is said to be equivalent to visiting two Divya Desams. 
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar:
Born to Bhargava Rishi and Kanakangi in the Tamil Calendar month of Thai (Magam star), Thirumazhisai Azhvaar had a disfigured body at birth. Hence, his parents threw him into a Bamboo pit at Thirumazhisai (which is now a Mandapa to the west of the temple complex). A childless couple - Thiruvaalan and Bangaya Selvi- picked him up and brought him up with love and care. The presence of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar brought back youth to the couple who then had a son by name Kanikannan.
Kanikannan became Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s disciple and served under him. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s favourite lord was Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal of Thiruvekka in Kanchipuram. For years, he stayed at Thiruvekka and undertook service there. Once, a Pallava King, of Kanchi, ordered Kanikannan out of the kingdom for failing to sing praise of him. When Thirumazhisai Azhvaar heard this, he too followed suit.
Not just him, he asked Thiruvekka Lord to also accompany him. To the shock of everyone, the Lord joined Thirumazhisai Azhvaar and Kanikannan out of the kingdom plunging the whole place into darkness. Realizing his folly, the king apologized and requested them to return to Kanchi. As a mark of having left his abode and having returned subsequently, the Thiruvekka Lord changed his posture and slept in the opposite direction.
As the Lord acceded to the request of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar to accompany him out of the kingdom, the Lord of Thiruvekka Divya Desam came to be called ‘Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal’. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar also visited Thiru Kudanthai and sung praise of Lord Aaraavamuthan. Seeing the sleeping posture of the Lord, a curious Thirumazhisai Azhvaar questioned if the Lord’s tiredness was the reason for him to be lying down in his sleeping posture and if he would not raise and provide him darshan.
After hearing this, it is believed that the Lord slightly raised his posture to greet the Azhvaar. Feeling the guilt of having caused strain on the Lord, Thirumazhisai Azhvaar asked him to remain as is. And the Lord remained so ever after. To this day, one can see the Lord in a slightly ‘raised reclining’ posture (Uthaana Sayanam).
நடந்த கால்கள் நொந்ததோ நடுங்க ஞாலம் ஏனமாய்
கிடந்த வாறு  எழுந்திருந்து பேசு வாழி கேசனே
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar sung over 200verses of praise comprised in Naanmugan Thiruvanthaathi and Thiruchandha Viruththam. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar spent his final years at Thiru Kudanthai and attained Moksham there.
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar with Third Eye at this temple:
To the left of the Jagannatha Perumal Sannidhi is the Thirumazhisai Azhvaar Sannidhi facing South. A special feature of the moolavar deity is that he is seen with a third eye. The story goes that Thirumazhisai Azhvaar was undertaking yogic penance at this place. Shiva and Parvathi, who were flying over this place were pleased with his penance and landed here at Thirumazhisai. When asked for a boon, Thirumazhisai Azhvaar asked for Mukthi only to be rejected as only Vishnu had the power to provide Moksham. 
He then asked for small thread that could keep rolling into the needle that he was using to stitch his torn clothes. Fuming with anger at this request, Shiva opened his third eye. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar invoked the blessings of Lord Narayana and immediately a third eye emerged for Thirumazhisai as well from the toe of his right leg with water rolling out to cool the fire raging from Shiva’s third eye. Pleased with the devotion of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar, Shiva presented him the title of ‘Bhakti Saaran’.