Lord Raama prayed to the Sea Lord to seek solution for his cross over to Lanka
10kms South East of Ramanathapuram on the Keelakarai Road is Thirupullani located on the banks of river Sethu (Sethu Karai). This temple dates back to a time before Rama Avatar. Rama came here in his search for Sita. Rama is believed to have invoked the blessings of Adhi Jagannathan at this temple before he departed for Lanka.
It was here that Vibheeshana, the brother of Ravana, came for refuge and surrendered to Lord Rama asking him for help. While the entire Vaanara army looked at Vibheeshana with suspicion- one who has come with a plot to attack the Lord, it was Hanuman, who with folded hands, expressed his opinion that the Lord should accept Vibheeshana. Hanuman can be seen here, at this temple, in a posture indicating Vibheeshana’s surrender to Raama and to protect him from his brother(Raavana).
It was also here that Rama preached the doctrine of ‘Surrender’ that is applicable even today.
In Valmeeki’s account of this ‘Surrender to Lord episode’, Raama says, ‘I cannot reject anyone who comes to me for protection. This is my dharma. If Raavana himself came to me I would not reject him. How then can I reject his brother who has done me no wrong.’
In the Vaishnava Sampradaya, this episode of ‘Surrender to the Lord’ is held just as important as the Bhagavad Gita(Mahabharata). It is a doctrine that Lord accepts all who, in absolute surrender, seek shelter at his feet. Their sins are burnt out by the mere act of surrender.
This is a message of hope to erring humanity. There is hope for the worst of us if only we surrender ourselves to the Lord. This divine assurance is the life and light that a world filled with sin and darkness, needs.
Out of all the Divya Desams, this is said to be the most sacred for those devotees who are seeking ‘absolute surrender to Lord’.
Having accepted Vibheeshana, it was here that Lord Raama along with the Vaanara (monkey ) army deliberated ways to cross the sea and orchestrated the way forward plan to Lanka to defeat Ravana.
Spreading Darbha grass (sacred grass used for religious rites) on the banks of River Sethu, Raama undertook a fast addressing Varuna(Sea Lord) and looked to him for a solution to cross the sea. Varuna asked him to build a bridge across the sea with boulders and trees and also promised him to show the best route to build the bridge.
Being the one who undertook a fast, lying on the Darbha grass, Raama here is called Darbha Sayana Raama.
Thondaradipodi Azhwar in his Thiru Maalai verse makes a reference to the role of the Squirrel in the construction of the bridge across the Sethu “குரங்குகள் மலையை தூக்கக் குளித்துத் தாம் புரண்டிட்டு ஓடித்……”. He says that the squirrels which on seeing the monkeys helping Lord Rama, too wanted to help out the Lord. Being small in nature, they could not carry the trees and boulders. Hence, they did something innovative. The squirrels rolled on the sand and then ran back to the Sethu Bridge and dropped off the sand that had stuck to their body.
So impressed was Lord Rama that he rubbed the squirrels with warmth, a mark that remains to this day on the body of every squirrel. Squirrels have 3(vertical) lines on their body believed to be Rama’s own finger prints.
Having defeated the Lankan king, Lord Raama is said to have come back here and performed Pattabhishekham (crowning ceremony). Hence, he is here called ‘PattabhiRaamar’.
Raama’s father King Dasharatha is believed to have performed a Yagna here and is believed to have had his four children after this yagna. Hence it is the belief that childless couple who bathe at the Sethu river and pray to the Lord here will be blessed with a child.
Sethu BridgeThe Sethu bridge has submerged under the sea but if you do request the fisherman on the banks of the Sethu sea shore, they may take you across the sea to show you the place that once was the Sethu Bridge.
Moolavar : Adhi Jagannathan – East Facing, Sitting Posture
Thaayar : Kalyanavalli, Padmasini
Time : 8am –12.20pm and 330pm-8pm
Priest : T. Seshadri(Peshkar) on 98429 48390,
Ranganatha Bhattar on 99428 89763
Anantha Krishnan (Accountant) on 04567 254 527
How to reach:
Thiru Pullani is around 10Kms South East of Ramanathapuram, Muffosil buses every 15minutes from Ramanathapuram Bus Stand. Town Bus 1A,1B, 5,5A,5B, 10 and 17 from Ramnad
Auto : Auto will charge Rs. 150-200 for a one way drop from Ramanathapuram to Thirupullani
Places to visit nearby : Dhanushkodi, Pamban Bridge, Rameswaram