Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Naganathaswamy Temple, Keezhaperumpallam – Religious Significance

Naganathaswamy Temple, Keezhaperumpallam – Religious Significance

The temple is one of the nine Navagraha temples of Tamil Nadu and is a part of the popular Navagraha pilgrimage in the state. It houses the image of Kethu (South Node). The planets are believed to influence the horoscope computed based on time of one's birth and subsequently influence the course of life. Each of the planets are believed to move from a star to another during a predefined period and thus sway over an individual's fortunes. The Navagrahas, as per Hindu customs, are believed to provide both good and bad effects for any individual and the bad effects are mitigated by prayers.

As in other Navagraha temples, the common worship practices of the devotees include offering of cloth, grains, flowers and jewels specific to the planet deity. Lighting a set of lamps is also commonly followed in the temple. As per contemporary Shaivite belief, the energies distributed cyclically by Navagrahas can be channeled based on remedial measures. As per local legends, Shiva, the overlord of the nine planetary deities, allowed them to freely grant wishes based on devotion of the devotees.

Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu are;

1. Suryanar Kovil, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur (Suryan / Sun) 

2. Kailasanathar Temple, Thingalur, Thanjavur (Chandran / Moon) 

3. Vaidyanatha Swamy Temple, Vaitheeswaran Koil, Nagapattinam (Chevvai / Mars) 

4. Swetharanyeswarar Temple, Thiruvenkadu, Nagapattinam (Budhan / Mercury)

5. Apatsahayesvarar Temple, Alangudi, Thiruvarur (Guru / Jupiter) 

6. Agniswarar Temple, Kanjanur, Thanjavur (Sukran / Venus)

7. Tirunallar Saniswaran Temple (Dharbaranyeswarar Temple), Karaikal, Puducherry (Sani / Saturn) 

8. Naganathaswamy Temple, Tirunageswaram, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur (Rahu / North Node) 

9. Naganathaswamy Temple, Keezhperumpallam, Nagapattinam (Kethu / South Node)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Subramanya Swamy Temple, Ettukudi – The Temple

Subramanya Swamy Temple, Ettukudi – The Temple

This temple is facing towards east with three tiered rajagopuram. Dhwaja Sthambam, Balipeedam and Nandi can be found in the mukha mandapam facing towards the sanctum. The temple consists of sanctum, antrala, maha mandapam and mukha mandapam. Presiding Deity is called as Soundareswarar / Soundara Nayagar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam.

Mother is called as Anandhavalli. She is housed in a separate south facing shrine. Her shrine is situated in mukha mandapam to the left side of the sanctum. Though the presiding deity is Lord Shiva, prime importance is given to Lord Murugan even the temple is famously called as Ettukudi Murugan Temple.

The Murugan shrine is facing towards east and is situated adjacent to the Soundareswarar shrine. The Murugan shrine houses an image of Shanmuga with three faces and 12 arms seated on a peacock facing towards north flanked by his consorts Valli & Devasena. It is unique that the head of peacock faces to the left side here, while in all other temples, it faces to the right side.

The image is carved in such a way that the whole weight of the image is supported by the peacock's legs. He is depicted in a pose in which he was about to take the arrow from his back. He appears in different forms to the eyes of the devotees depending on the imagination of their mind as a child, youth and an elderly person.

The idol looks similar to the ones in Sikkal and Enkan. There are idols of the heroes who accompanied Lord Muruga for the war against Surapadma. There are two shrines for Lord Ganapathy in this temple with strange names- Koothaadum Vinayakar and Kokkaritha Vinayakar. There is also a shrine for Jurahareswarar which is seen only in a few temples.

Shrines & Idols of Nardana Ganapathy, Dakshinamoorthy, Srinivasa Soundaraja Perumal, Anjaneya, Manonmani, Ayyappan, Maha Lakshmi, Durga, Navagrahas, Saneeswarar and Bairavar can be seen in the prakaram. Sthala Vriksham is Vanni tree. Jeeva Samadhi of Vanmeega Siddhar can be seen below the Vanni Tree. Theertham associated with this temple is Saravana Poigai. Saravana Poigai is situated in front of the temple with a Neerazhi Mandapam.

Subramanya Swamy Temple, Ettukudi – Legends

Subramanya Swamy Temple, Ettukudi – Legends

As per legend, the region was under the control of Chola King in ancient period. He ordered a sculptor from Porulvaitha Cheri village to sculpt an idol of Lord Murugan for safeguarding the region. He sculpted an idol of the Lord Murugan with six faces on peacock. The Chola king was so impressed with the idol and wanted the idol to be unique one of its kind in his kingdom. Seeing the beauty of the idol, the jealous Chola king cut off the thumb of the sculptor so that he could not do another one for anybody.

The king installed the Murugan Idol in the Sikkal. The sculptor moved to another village and found a stone suitable for making an idol. He started sculpting another Murugan idol exactly similar to the previous idol with lot of dedication and devotion. A local chieftain named Mutharasan was ruling over the village. The chieftain noticed the hard work of the sculptor and was visiting him regularly to enjoy the beauty of the idol.

While the idol was nearing completion rays of light flew from the idol and the peacock bearing Lord Muruga began to fly. The sculptor lost his eye sight on seeing this incident. He screamed out to catch (Etti Pidi means catch in Tamil) the peacock. The chieftain along with his soldiers were entering the sculptor house during that time. Hearing his scream, the soldiers caught hold of the peacock and made a scar on the leg.

Thus, the name of the place came to be called as Ettipidi and later got corrupted to Ettukudi. The chieftain built a temple at this village and installed the idol in the temple. The sculptor was able to sculpt a third idol with the help of his daughter as he lost the eyesight at Ettukudi. The third idol was installed in Enkan and the sculptor got back his vision and thumb. All the three idols respectively in Sikkal, Ettukudi and Enkan are similar in look.

The place was surrounded by Shiva Sthalams in all eight directions. Hence, the place came to be called as Ettukkudi. Another explanation is that the place was abound with Etti Trees in ancient time. Thus, the place came to be called as Ettukudi. It is said that Vanmeega Siddhar attained salvation here. His Jeeva Samadhi is situated in the temple premises.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Navaneetheswarar Temple, Sikkal – Literary Mention

Navaneetheswarar Temple, Sikkal – Literary Mention

This Temple is considered as one of the shrines of the 276 Paadal Petra Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Thevaram hymns. This Temple is the 200th Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 83rd sthalam on the south side of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. Thirugnana Sambandar had sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. The Temple finds mention in Periyapuranam written by Sekkizhar. Lord Murugan of this Temple is praised by Saint Arunagirinathar in his revered Thirupugazh hymns. The Kshetra Kovai Pillai Thamizh also praises Lord Muruga (Singaravelan) of this temple. Vallalar also has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.

Sambandar (02.008):

வானுலா வும்மதி வந்துலா

வும்மதில் மாளிகை

தேனுலா வும்மலர்ச் சோலைமல்

குந்திகழ் சிக்கலுள்

வேனல்வே ளைவிழித் திட்டவெண்

ணெய்ப்பெரு மானடி

ஞானமா கந்நினை வார்வினை

யாயின நையுமே.  1

மடங்கொள்வா ளைகுதி கொள்ளும்

மணமலர்ப் பொய்கைசூழ்

திடங்கொள் மாமறை யோரவர்

மல்கிய சிக்கலுள்

விடங்கொள் கண்டத்து வெண்ணெய்ப்பெரு

மானடி மேவியே

அடைந்து வாழுமடி யாரவர்

அல்லல் அறுப்பரே.  2

நீலநெய் தல்நில விம்மல

ருஞ்சுனை நீடிய

சேலுமா லுங்கழ னிவ்வள

மல்கிய சிக்கலுள்

வேலவொண் கண்ணியி னாளையொர்

பாகன்வெண் ணெய்ப்பிரான்

பாலவண் ணன்கழ லேத்தநம்

பாவம்ப றையுமே.  3

கந்தமுந் தக்கைதை பூத்துக்

கமழ்ந்து சேரும்பொழிற்

செந்துவண் டின்னிசை பாடல்மல்

குந்திகழ் சிக்கலுள்

வெந்தவெண் ணீற்றண்ணல் வெண்ணெய்ப்பி

ரான்விரை யார்கழல்

சிந்தைசெய் வார்வினை யாயின

தேய்வது திண்ணமே.  4

மங்குல்தங் கும்மறை யோர்கள்மா

டத்தய லேமிகு

தெங்குதுங் கப்பொழிற் செல்வமல்

குந்திகழ் சிக்கலுள்

வெங்கண்வெள் ளேறுடை வெண்ணெய்ப்பி

ரானடி மேவவே

தங்குமேன் மைசர தந்திரு

நாளுந்த கையுமே.  5

வண்டிரைத் தும்மது விம்மிய

மாமலர்ப் பொய்கைசூழ்

தெண்டிரைக் கொள்புனல் வந்தொழு

கும்வயற் சிக்கலுள்

விண்டிரைத் தம்மல ராற்றிகழ்

வெண்ணெய்ப் பெருமானடி

கண்டிரைத் தும்மன மேமதி

யாய்கதி யாகவே.  6

முன்னுமா டம்மதில் மூன்றுட

னேயெரி யாய்விழத்

துன்னுவார் வெங்கணை யொன்று

செலுத்திய சோதியான்

செந்நெலா ரும்வயற் சிக்கல்வெண்

ணெய்ப்பெரு மானடி

உன்னிநீ டம்மன மேநினை

யாய்வினை ஓயவே.  7

தெற்ற லாகிய தென்னிலங்

கைக்கிறை வன்மலை

பற்றி னான்முடி பத்தொடு

தோள்கள் நெரியவே

செற்ற தேவன்நஞ் சிக்கல்வெண்

ணெய்ப்பெரு மானடி

உற்று நீநினை வாய்வினை

யாயின ஓயவே.  8

மாலி னோடரு மாமறை

வல்லமு னிவனும்

கோலி னார்குறு கச்சிவன்

சேவடி கோலியும்

சீலந் தாமறி யார்திகழ்

சிக்கல்வெண் ணெய்ப்பிரான்

பாலும் பன்மலர் தூவப்

பறையும்நம் பாவமே.  9

பட்டை நற்றுவ ராடையி

னாரொடும் பாங்கிலாக்

கட்ட மண்கழுக் கள்சொல்லி

னைக்கரு தாதுநீர்

சிட்டன் சிக்கல்வெண் ணெய்ப்பெரு

மான்செழு மாமறைப்

பட்டன் சேவடி யேபணி

மின்பிணி போகவே.  10

கந்த மார்பொழிற் காழியுள்

ஞானசம் பந்தன்நல்

செந்தண் பூம்பொழிற் சிக்கல்வெண்

ணெய்ப்பெரு மானடிச்

சந்த மாச்சொன்ன செந்தமிழ்

வல்லவர் வானிடை

வெந்த நீறணி யும்பெரு

மானடி மேவரே.