Sunday, March 18, 2018

Othandeeswarar Temple, Thirumazhisai – Legends

Othandeeswarar Temple, Thirumazhisai – Legends
Kai Thandha Piran:
Chola king Karikal Peruvalathan was proceeding on his elephant to worship Shiva in another place. On the way, one leg of the elephant was caught in a creeper. Despite efforts, it could not pull out from the bush. The king tried his hands to remove the bush but could not. He began cutting the bush with his sword which began to bleed. Shocked king, found a Shiva Linga hidden under the bushes. Realizing that he had offended the Lord, he unhesitatingly cut his hand with the same sword when Lord appeared before him with Mother on his Nandi and fixed the hand as before.
Remembering the event, Lord is praised as Kai Thandha Piran – Lord who gave hands. Lord consoled the king. The presiding deity at the temple is still believed to have a scar on it. Mother narrated to king the stories of Shiva devotees and cooled his mind. Kulirvithal in Tamil in this context means cooling the sorrows of devotees, hence, she is praised as Kulirvitha Nayaki.
As this place was full of Azhinjal trees, it was called as Azhisai in olden days. Later, after God took abode here, the word ‘Thiru’ was added to it and came to be known as ‘Thiru Azhisai’, which later corrupted to become ‘Thirumazhisai’.
Sage Agasthiyar worshipped Lord Shiva under Azhinjal Tree:
During the Shiva Parvathi wedding ceremony at Kailash, all the Devas, Gods, Rishis and Ganas gathered to witness the holy event. As everyone gathered at the North, that is Kailash, the whole earth tilted to one side towards North, because of the weight. To balance the Bhoomi, Lord Shiva directed Sage Agasthiyar to go to the southern part of the country. As Sage Agasthiyar felt sad that he would miss seeing the holy wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvathi, Lord Shiva granted him a boon that, from wherever Agasthiyar worships him, he would get the Dharshan of God’s complete wedding ceremony.
While traveling in Southern region, Sage Agasthiyar worshipped Lord Shiva at Velankaadu (today’s Thiruverkadu), where he wished to see Sri Shiva Parvathi wedding ceremony. The Lord too gave Dharshan of the whole wedding ceremony to Agasthiyar there. On realizing this, Pulasthiyar, who is the primary disciple of Agasthiyar and all other disciples, requested Agasthiyar that they too wish to see the wedding of the Lord.
Sage Agasthiyar along with his disciples came walking towards south of Thiruverkadu and stayed in this place, which was a forest filled with Azhinjal trees. As Azhinjal tree is considered most sacred, Sage Agasthiyar installed a Shiva Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva here. God, pleased with Agasthiyar’s prayers again gave Dharshan of His wedding ceremony to Agasthiyar and all his disciples.
Sage Agasthiyar overwhelmed by the mercy of the God, requested God to take abode in this place in Kalyana Kolam (posture as just wed couple). As wished by Agasthiyar, Lord Shiva and Parvathi took abode here as Uma Maheshwara just behind the Shiva Lingam, worshipped by Agasthiyar. There are 3 places of then ‘Thondai Mandalam’, where Sage Agasthiyar had worshipped Lord Shiva under Azhinjal tree. They are Azhisoor near Kanchipuram, Thirumazhisai near Poonamallee and Chinnakkaavanam near Ponneri. The divine coincidence is all the 3 temples lie on a straight line.