Bhavani Amman Temple, Periyapalayam – Legends
Bhavani Amman, Sister of Lord Krishna:
According to Hindu Mythology, King Kamsa got his beloved sister Devaki married to Vasudeva. Driving the chariot back home along with the newlywed couple, he heard an oracle stating that the eighth baby born to his sister will be the cause of his death. The evil Kamsa grew furious immediately and decided to kill his sister instantly. Vasudeva pleaded Kamsa not to kill his wife and instead promised to handover all his children to him immediately after birth. Despite Vasudev’s promise, Kamsa got the couple arrested and put them in a prison.
As time passed, Vasudeva handed over every baby born to Devaki to Kamsa. Kamsa is said to have killed six babies of Devaki, the seventh one being Balarama who was transferred to Rohini’s womb without Kamsa’s knowledge. Rohini was another wife of Sri Vasudeva. Kamsa was anxiously waiting for the birth of Devaki’s eighth baby. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Lord Krishna and was born to Devaki as her eighth child. Lord Vishnu himself ordered Vasudeva to place Krishna by the side of Nandagopan’s wife Yasodha in Brindavan and to bring back her girl child Mayadevi to prison along with him.
He is said to have explained the purpose of his birth which was to kill the evil king Kamsa. He also informed them that he would be growing up as Nandagopan and Yashodha’s son in Brindavan while their daughter Mayadevi would be brought back to the prison on the night of the birth, to make Kamsa believe that it was Devaki’s child. On knowing about the birth of Devaki’s eight child, Kamsa came to the prison wanting to kill his messenger of death. When Kamsa tried to kill Mayadevi, considering her to be the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva, Goddess Mayadevi is said to have kicked Kamsa’s chest and flew to the skies.
She also warned him that his messenger of death was already born and will reach him on the right time to bring his end. The angry Kamsa sent many demons in search of lord Krishna who was growing up with Yasodha in Brindavan. One among them was the evil Boodagi, who came with pretext to breast feed baby Krishna. The divine Lord eliminated Boodagi and the subsequent demons Sakatasura and Trunavartha who were sent by Kamsa to kill him. Lord Krishna grew up to become a naughty boy in Brindavan who stole butter along with his friends, from the villager’s house.
He also ate mud as a little boy and stunned Mother Yasodha when he showed the entire universe on his little mouth. Goddess Bhavani is the same Mayadevi who warned Kamsa and came to Periyapalayam. She is the sister of Lord Krishna. The benevolent goddess is believed to have manifested herself on this earth to relieve human beings of distress and spread happiness and prosperity to the entire world.
Local folklore about the Temple:
According to local folklore, the place where the temple now stands was once a forest where cows from a nearby village used to graze. At exactly noon, one of the cows would drink water at the river and spray milk on a small rock nearby. The cowherd could not understand why this cow never had any milk for him and resolved to sell the animal. But before that, he decided to observe the cow for an entire day.
When he saw the cow give all its milk to the rock, he took an axe and cracked the rock into two. Immediately, the cowherd fell, bleeding from his mouth and nose. Out from the broken rock stepped a woman dressed in yellow and red. She told him that if he would build a shrine for her, his life would be spared. And thus, was born the Bhavani Amman temple.