Saturday, December 8, 2018

Odhimalai Andavar Temple, Irumbarai – Legends

Odhimalai Andavar Temple, Irumbarai – Legends
Odhimalai Andavar:
During a visit to Mount Kailash, Lord Brahmma, the creator, after saluting Vinayaka, simply bypassed Muruga and proceeded for darshan of Lord Shiva. Lord Muruga stopped him and demanded the meaning of the Pranava Mantra from Brahmma which Brahmma was not able to answer. Hence, Muruga jailed him and began the creation work himself. Odhimalai Andavar kept Brahma in an iron + room, latter it became Irumbarai.
All the creatures created by Lord Muruga including humans, were of high righteous standards and enjoyed high longevity too. This added to the burden of Mother Earth. She went to Lord Shiva and explained her woes. Lord Shiva intervened, asked Muruga the meaning of Pranava Mantra, which Lord Muruga explained. On the direction of Lord Shiva, Muruga released Brahmma from his captivity. There is a temple for Lord Siva at Irumbarai, where he gives darshan as Kailasanathar.
Lord Muruga explained the meaning of Pranava (the first Vedic sound Ohm) in Swamimalai. Here in Irumbarai, Muruga taught the Agamas of the Vedas. Odhal in Tamil means learning. Malai means hill. As Lord Shiva learnt from his son Muruga these philosophies here, the place came to be known as Odhimalai. The Lord also was named Odhimalai Andavar.
The reason for the 5 faces & 8 arms:
Originally Lord Muruga at Odhimalai is said to have had 6 faces & 12 arms. Bhogar, one of the 18 siddhars was performing yagna at a location about 1 Km from Odhimalai. Lord Muruga gave darshan to Bhogar after he had completed three Yagas. Bhogar wanted to reach Pazhani but was not sure of the way. Muruga took a form with one face & four arms and led Bhogar towards Pazhani. He stopped at a place about 4 Kms from Odhimalai & gave further directions to Bhogar to reach Pazhani and vanished from the scene.
This location is Kumarapalayam. The Muruga idol in this temple at Kumarapalayam is seen with 1 face & 4 arms. And the Lord resides at Odhimalai with the remaining 5 faces & eight arms. The place where Bhogar performed the homam is still present with white ash like sand which is offered as prasadam on special occasions.
No Goddess:
When the Lord met Muruga, in Odhimalai, he came alone not accompanied by his Consorts. Hence, there is no shrine for the Goddess.