Saturday, September 28, 2019

Rudra Kodeeswarar Temple, Thirukazhukundram – Legends

Rudra Kodeeswarar Temple, Thirukazhukundram – Legends
Rudra Kodeeswarar:
It once happened that the celestial beings who could not bear the torture and the destruction caused by the demons, prayed to Lord Siva, who made one crore Rudras emerge from his body to destroy the demons. The Rudras had a very striking feature – thick tangled locks of hair, wearing garland made of skulls and jewels with symbols of snakes, carrying a trident (Trishula), with four armed hands each carrying weapons such as bow, arrow, discus etc. They bowed before Lord Shiva awaiting his order.
Lord Shiva directed the Rudras to kill the demons and evil creatures that disturb and terrorize sadhus and devas and protect the universe. And the Rudras obediently followed the strict orders issued by Lord Shiva and kept the demons at bay, protecting the universe. It was then Lord Vishnu started churning the ocean to offer the panacea drink, Amrudha, to devas by excavating Mount Manthiragiri.
From the plateau caused by the excavation, there emanated evil demons with grotesque shapes and figures with multiple heads, creating unimaginable horror and inflicting suffering to devas. This was brought to the notice of Lord Shiva. He then summoned the Rudras again and asked them to destroy the team of demons at once. However, the Rudras hesitated.
When Lord Shiva enquired about the reason behind their reluctance to kill the demons, the Rudras stated that these demons were rife with malicious spirits now, but had once been carrying good spirits, and making intense penance thinking of Lord. They, thus, feared the sins that would accrue to them as a result of slaying the demons. Lord Shiva listened to the Rudras and comforted them saying they could atone their sins by praying Lord Vedagiriswarar, who was residing in Mother Earth.
Then the One Crore Rudras then slayed the demons as per Lord Shiva’s instruction and then came down to Earth to pay obeisance to Lord Vedagiriswarar. Rudras were extremely pleased by the ambience at the Lord’s temple and the appearance of the mountain – the sound of water-drops falling into the river from falls, plants that smelt like sandalwood, platforms that shone like pristine crystal.
As the Rudras neared the temple, Lord Shiva transformed himself into One Crore Shivalingas so as to enable the Rudras individually atone their sins by performing poojas and other deed including reciting prayers, showering the Linga with pure scented water and fragrant flowers. Lord Shiva immensely pleased with the prayers of the Rudras transformed himself and showed his real form to the Rudras by consuming all the one crore Shivalingas into his heart.
The Rudras unanimously requested the Lord to grant them the boon of naming the land they worshipped Lord Shiva after them and hence the place was rightly named Rudrakoti Sthalam. Lord came to be called as Rudra Kodeeswarar. A temple was erected later. The sacred pond associated with the temple was called as Rudrakodi Theertham. The Goddess is called Pennilnallal (also known as Rudrakoteeswari).
Partly buried Nandhi:
Once Vishnu came to see Shiva here in the form of Garuda; When Garudazhwar was waiting outside, before Vishnu came out, Nandikeswarar blew his breath over Garudazhwar and the feathers of Garudazhwar fell off. Shiva then punished Nandikeswarar by making him sink to the ground. When Nandi’s body started to sink into the ground, at the behest of Vishnu, Shiva stopped Nandikeswarar at that point. So, you can see Nandikeswarar partly buried at the ground.
Benefit of doing Pradakshinam of a crore of Rudras at a time:
By worshipping here once, one can get the benefit of doing Pradakshinam of a crore of Rudras at a time.
Story behind reclined position of Mother:
Ambal, also known as Sri Abirami, has calmed down Sri Kali Devi, who was brimming with anger. Hence, she is appearing in a slightly reclined position.

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