Thursday, March 31, 2016

Vedapureeswarar Therezhendur

Thevaram Saivite Temple and Azhvaar praised Vishnu temple face each other at Therezhendur

Even Thiru Gnana Sambandhar was locked in doubt as to which was the Saivite temple
Lord Shiva meets Vishnu here on Maasi Punarpoosam day every year

It is a unique occurrence at Therezhendur, a town just over 10kms from Mayiladuthurai off the Kumbakonam Highway.

As one enters the town and looks around in the East and Western corner, one is surprised at two Raja Gopurams on either side of the town exactly facing each other. This is said to have ‘stumped’ even Thiru Gnana Sambandhar who on his arrival here did not know whether to turn East or West to the Vedapureeswarar temple.  It is believed that it was Lord Vinayaka at the junction of the two temples who directed him East to the 5 Tier Raja Gopuram and the Saivite temple where he then composed 10 verses in praise of the Lord. This is a West facing temple with Murugan in a East Facing Sannidhi and Durga in a South facing Sannidhi.

Saint Poets Appar, Thiru Gnana Sambandharar and Sundarar have sung praise of Lord Vedapureeswarar at this temple in 40 verses.

எச்சிலிளமரேம நல்லூரிலம் பையங்
கோட்டூரிறை யாஞ்சேரியசிருபாக்க மனப்பூரம் பராவுடு
தண் டுரை  யழுந்தூராரை கச்சினங் கற்குடி கச்சூரா
லக்கோயில் கரவீரங் காட்டுப்பள்ளி
கச்சிபல தளியுமேகம் பத்துங்
கயிலாய நாதணையே காணலாமே  - Appar’s Thiruthandagam
 Thiru Gnana Sambandhar

The Legend
Once when Shiva and Vishnu were involved in a game of dice, there arose a point of dispute and the two looked to Parvathi for the solution. She pointed to Vishnu as the winner evoking an angry response from her husband. Believing that she favoured her ‘Poranthu Veedu’ and her brother Vishnu and that her mind was still inclined towards her house of birth, Shiva cursed her to turn to a cow. In anger, Shiva moved from a family life to a Sanyasin.

To try to liberate herself from the curse, she went around on a Giri Valam driving by cow herd Krishna to the nearby villages of Tholluthozhangudi, Moraiyur, Asukadu, Vazhuvur, Komal, Maanthai, Ilangarangdui, Mekshakaal Mangalam, Thiruvavuduthurai, Thiruthuruthi and Thiruverkudi.  Unable to walk any longer, she sits down here in meditation. Pleased with her sincerity, Shiva provides darshan to her and liberates her from the curse and she regains her original form again. She embraces him and asks him never to ignore her again.

She reminded him of his wedding promise never to leave her and to take care of her through their lives. He retorted that he and her brother were only playing a game but she seemed to be biased towards her brother and made it seem that he had lost everything even though he had only lost a simple game. Later justifying his decision, Shiva says that there were a few Kshetrams in the neighbourhood where sins were committed. It was through her presence there as Kamadhenu that liberated those sacred Kshetrams from the sins.

He also reminds Parvathi that unlike Lakshmi, who only finds a small place in the Lord’s chest, she is blessed to have an equal share in him and provides the Artha nareeswarar darshan to her at Thiru Manancheri where the Thiru Kalyana Vaibhavam was enacted.

This event happened on Maasi Punarpoosam day.  It was on that day that the separated couple meet once again along with Vishnu. To this day this event is enacted at Therezhendur with Amaruviappan of Therezhendur Divya Desam making his way to road junction with Shiva and Parvathi too arriving at that place for a unique meeting of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

Sun's rays on the Lord at three different positions
On the 23rd, 24th and 25th day in Maasi, in a prayer invoking Vedapureeswarar’s blessings, the Sun God casts his rays on the Lord. On the first day through the gap on the 4th tier of the Rajagopuram, on the second day through the 3rd tier and on the third day through the 2nd Tier of the 5 Tiered Raja Gopuram on Lord’s feet. This unique occurrence is yet another feature at this temple.

Sage Agastya’s Brahmma Hathi Dosham is said to have been liberated here at this place. In a separate Sannidhi in the south of the temple, Mesha Dakshinamurthy is seen in a grand sitting posture flanked by Ganga Devi (seen Standing) and Sage Agasthya on the right.

This is a parikara sthalam for unmarried people. If they perform Palliyarai pooja on their star day, it is believed that their wedding bells will ring. This is also a parikara sthalam for separated couples. Belief is that those who present Goddess Soundarya Nayaki with mahilam and Pavala Malli flowers after sunset and have a Palliyarai Sevai will re-unite within 90 days.

Dilapidated state - No Salary for the Gurukal
For a temple with such rich history and with several inscriptions dating back to the 9th century AD, there is only one Gurukal to manage the entire temple including the Madaipalli. There isn’t enough oil to light the lamp and not even soodam for the Aarati display. The walls of the temple are in dilapidated state with ancient brick construction peeling off. There is a huge space for Nandavanam in the outer prakara but there aren’t people to take care.

The redeeming news is that the Gurukal is committed to performing his services at the temple at a ridiculous monthly salary in low three digits which too has been pending for several months.  The message to him from his acharya was to keep continuing his service irrespective of the financial condition. His family is not too bullish on him given the meagre income and the lack of prospects but he seems to have unflinching faith in God and believes that he is blessed to be able to offer his services in the sanctum every day of his life. He believes that no amount of financial benefits can substitute this blessed state inside the sanctum.

Sundarar refers to the Lord as the ‘Ruler of Azhundur’.
காட்டூர் கடலே கடம்பூர் மலையே காணப் பேரூராய் கோட்டூர் கொழுந்தே அழுந்தூர் அரசே

The temple is open between 6am-12noon and 430pm-830pm Contact: Raja Mona Shivam Gurukal  @  94864 57103 / 98421 53947

10 day Brahmotsavam ending on Chitrai Pournami
Sangha Abhishekam on Mondays in Krithigai
Ambal Thirumanjanam on Aadi Pooram day with a special alankaram following that

Krithigai, Shashti, Sivarathri, Pradosham are celebrated here.

How to reach
Uzhavan Express stops at Kuttalam station (Mayavaram- Kumbakonam route) at 530am. Auto from Kuttalam to Therezhendur will cost Rs. 150 ( about 5kms). Auto from the Mayavaram- Kumbakonam highway (Komal Road Junction) will cost Rs. 40. Town buses ply every hour from Mayavaram to Kumbakonam to Therezhendur.

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