Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Etteeswarar Temple, Paiyanoor – Legends

Etteeswarar Temple, Paiyanoor – Legends


During 8th Century CE, a devotee named Nagan from this village was a tenant of a piece of land belonging to the temple. Many villagers were also tenants of the temple land. All of them paid their dues to the temple properly and had their wages from the Grama Sabha for their services rendered to the village and the temple. It is said that Nagan also cleaned Paiyanoor Lake at his own cost. Though Nagan worked sincerely wages were not paid to him properly.

Unable to overcome the injustice, he begged Lord Etteeswarar to end his sufferings and requested him his pending wages to be given to him. The wage day came after few days and the Grama Sabha was held before the temple. The members of the Gram Sabha cheated Nagan again.  He pleaded before them, but none took it seriously.

They chased him out. When he was chased out, he cried in front of the sanctum and shouted that Lord Shiva should make them pay a heavy price for their injustice. After the payment session was over, they began to leave the Sabha. They were intercepted by a divine voice demanding them to stop and ordered them to pay all the pending wages to Nagan, else all evils would engulf their families.

Further, the divine voice threatened them that they would be put to untold sufferings with serious diseases. They turned to the direction of voice, found a Jyoti moving slowly and disappearing in the sanctum. They realized that it was the order of the Lord Shiva warning them of the consequences of the injustice done to Nagan. They paid his dues in total and requested him to appeal to Lord on their behalf for pardon. 

Nagan pardoned them, expressed his gratitude to Lord for his intervention to save him. The Grama Sabha understood their mistake and paid all the dues to Nagan. They requested Nagan to appeal for them to Lord Shiva and pleaded him to pardon them. Nagan expressed his gratitude to the Lord who saved him. Hence, Lord Shiva came to be called as Etteeswarar (Ettee means Seek in Tamil).

People worshipped Lord Shiva here:

Siru Kurippu Thonda Nayanmar is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva of this temple. It is mentioned in 1080 song in Periyapuranam. It is also said that Idai Kattu Siddhar of Thiruvannamalai had worshipped Lord Shiva here. His idol can be seen at the entrance of the temple.

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