Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thiru Kalvanur, Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam

Yet another Controversial tale at the Kanchipuram Divya Desam
Two Divya Desams inside Big Saivite Temples

Divya Desams in Kanchipuram require a very in depth research and analysis and a close look at historical records and inscriptions to answer a few of the unsolved mysteries. Several of the Divya Desam temples here raise some very serious questions.

In the earlier piece on Neeragam, Kaaragam and Kaarvannam, we raised questions on how 3 temples came to be located within the Ooragam Divya Desam temple complex.

In a piece that follows this story, we throw up another big controversy relating to yet another Divya Desam on the outskirts of Kanchipuram (ThiruPutkuzhi).

Thiru Kalvanur and Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam Temple
Today’s story relates to two Divya Desams in Kanchipuram which are housed inside now well known and big Saivite temples - Thiru Kalvanur inside Kaamaakshi Temple and Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam Temple inside Ekaambareshwar Temple. In both these temples, it’s the Saivite priests who perform the daily poojas at the Divya Desams (They are currently not too clued in on Azhvaars, Mangalaasaasanams, Divya Desams and one really cannot blame them for that).

Both these Divya Desams seem to have a very small and almost insignificant presence within these huge Saivite temples.

One wonders why. The Azhvaars who have praised the Lords at these two temples don’t seem to give an answer or even a clue.

For a city that boasts the now renowned Varadaraja Perumal Divya Desam ( to be seen later in this series), these two Divya Desams seem to be almost ‘anti climatic’.

Were the Divya Desams inside Saivite Temples when Thirumangai praised the Lord??
In fact, the indications are that these two Divya Desams were not here inside the Saivite Temples and may have been brought here much later, may be to show the world the coming together of Saivism and Vaishnavism. For, if the Kaamaakshi temple existed then in its current form and if the Divya Desam was in the place it is now within the Kaamaakshi temple, it is very unlikely that Thirumangai Azhvaar would not have made a mention of the presence of the Saivite giant. From this, one can be sure that the two (Kaamakshi temple & Kalvanur Divya Desam as well as Ekaambareshwar temple & NilaaThingal Thundathaan Perumal) were not in the same place at the time Thirumangai praised the Kalvanur and NilaThingal Lord.

Whether the Divya Desam idol came up here later or if the huge Kaamaakshi and Ekaambareshwar temples came up at the Divya Desam temple is a matter for debate, research and analysis.

More Controversy
This is not the end to the controversy. There is one other twist within Thirumangai Azhvaar’s praise of the Lord. In his Paasuram, Thirumangai Azhvaar says,

“Kaaragathaai Kaarvannathullaai Kalvaa………..
Kaamarubhoong Peyraathen Nenjinullaai………”

The Divya Desam inside Kaamaakshi temple is called Thiru Kalvanur and the Lord is called Aathi Varaaha Perumal.

When Thirumangai Azhvaar praises the Lord as Kaaragathaai Kaarvannathullaai Kalvaa, is he referring to the Lord at Kaaragam and Kaarvannam or is he referring to the Kalvanur Divya Desam Lord within Kaamakshi temple as ‘Kalva’.

Thirumangai Azhvaar and his Paasurams
As seen in several of the Divya Desam stories featured in this series, Thirumangai Azhvaar, who has praised the most number of Divya Desam deities (well over ¾ of the 108), has sometimes praised the location alone, in others he has sung verses combining location and the Lord. Sometimes, Thirumangai Azhvaar has sung praise of the Lord with the location and related that particular Divya Desam with reference to several others that he had already seen.

நீரகத்தாய் நெடுவரையினுசி மேலாய்
நிலாத்திங்கள் துண்டத்தாய் நிறைந்த 
கச்சி ஊரகத்தாய் ஒன துறை நீர் வெக்காவுள்ளை 
உள்ளவாருள்ளதாய் உலகமெதும் 

காரகத்தாய் காரவன்னதுல்லாய் கல்வா 
காமருபுங் காவேரியின் தென்பால் மண்ணு 
பேரகத்தாய் பேராதேன் நெஞ்சினுல்லை  
 திருவடியே பேநினேனே

However, in this particular Paasuram, Thirumangai Azhvaar seems to have left a lot to one’s imagination. It looks like he has included 5 and more Divya Desams in this one Paasuram but it does not give one a clear idea as to who he is referring to specifically and also whether some of these temples actually were located in Kanchipuram.

For example, in line 3 above, he makes a specific mention of Ooragam Divya Desam as ‘Kachi Ooragathaai’ confirming the presence of Ooragam in Kanchipuram. No such mention or reference relating to Neeragam, Kaaragam and Kaarvannam.

Reference of Kalvanur Lord in Thirumangai Azhvaar’s Paasuram
The only probable reference that Thirumangai Azhvaar has made of Thiru Kalvanur in this Paasuram is the mention of ‘Kalva’, but as discussed above, one is not sure if he is referring to Kaaragam / Kaarvannam as Kalva or are we to take that as his reference of the Thiru Kalvanur Lord.

However, what one can be reasonably confident of is the fact that these 5-6 Divya Desams were within a touching distance of one another…as he has referred to all of them in one single Paasuram.

Thirumangai Azhvaar must have visited each of these temples in one go and then composed a ‘combined’ praise of the Lord!!!!

Quick Facts
Moolavar ; Aathi Varaaha Perumal Standing Posture West Facing
Thayar   : Anjilai Valli

Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam
Moolavar ; NilaaThingal Thundanthaan Perumal Standing Posture West Facing
Thayar     : NilaaThingal Thunda Thayar


RV said...

A good pieace of analysis. You must be knowing that in Chidambaram also, we have another Divaya Desam (Lord Govindarajan) inside Lord Natarajar temple. Anyhow, we need to welcome this since this will bring in much more unity between the two major sects of Hindusim.

PRabhu S said...

Dear RV,

Thanks much for your comments.

yes, am aware of the Chidambaram Divya Desam...