Saturday, February 20, 2021

Andhakeswarar Temple, Thiruputkuzhi – Legends

Andhakeswarar Temple, Thiruputkuzhi – Legends

Andhaka was the son of Hiranyaksha and cousin of Prahlada. Andhaka and Prahlada, along with their army defeated the Devas, making Prahlada the king of the three worlds. Sometime later, Prahlada battled Vishnu, but lost the battle due to a curse the sages have placed upon him. After his loss, he appointed Andhaka as king and successfully acquires Vishnu's forgiveness. Upon returning, Andhaka tries to make him king again, but is met with refusal. At one point, Mahishasura and Tarakasura are killed by the gods, a feat which Andhaka thought was impossible.

After this incident, Andhaka came to desire a beautiful wife and was informed about Parvati, said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Unaware that Parvati is his mother, Andhaka makes his way to Shiva's abode. There he tried to abduct Parvati, but she assumed a hundred forms and knocked him unconscious in battle. Andhaka fled back to Patala with the intention to recuperate and make another attempt at procuring Parvati.

Prahlada tried to dissuade him. He revealed to Andhaka his true origins about being born from the sweat of Shiva when Parvati covered his eyes. His explanation falls on deaf ears and he fails to persuade the Asura. Andhaka attacked Shiva and the other deities with his army, most of whom were obliterated. Andhaka then disguised himself as Shiva to fool Parvati, but she managed to recognise him and hid among her servants. Unable to find her, Andhaka returns to the battle.

Karthikeya and Ganesha accompanied by the Ganas, destroyed Andhaka's chariot. Lord Shiva engaged him in battle and pierced his heart, but Andhaka was able to recover and strike Shiva with his mace. The blood that fell on the ground from the wound gave rise to the eight forms of Bhairava. Lord Shiva impaled Andhaka on his trident and lifted him upon it. The sweat that emanated from Shiva gave rise to a girl and a boy of the colour of charcoal, who proceed to consume Andhaka's blood before it falls onto the ground. Shiva names the girl Charchika and the boy Mangala.

He holds Andhaka impaled on his trident for thousands of years, reducing his body to a mere skeletal appearance. Andhaka begged for forgiveness and began praising Shiva, upon which Shiva agreed to release him on the condition that he accept Parvati as his mother. Andhaka does so and also accepts Shiva as his father. He is forgiven and made a Gaa chief. Lord Shiva takes him to the Mandara mountain where Parvati also blesses the same boon to him and he later becomes famous by the name of Bringi. The above incident is said to have happened in this place.

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