Friday, December 17, 2010

Navabrindavan, Anegundi

A glimpse of the Nava Brindavanas
Immediately after writing about the Chintamani temple, at Anegundi I wanted to write about Navabrindavan which is on the other side of the Tungabadra from the Chintamani temple. Nava Brindavan means nine tombs of saints who were predecessors of Sri Raghavendra. The brindavans are situated in a small mound like island in the middle of Tungabadra. The only mode of reaching Navabrindavan is through ferries in summer season. In rainy seasons where the river is flooded, there is no route to reach there, and therefore, blessed are those who have the opportunity to do so. Who are these saints who have their tombs here? Why did they choose to do so at this exact place? Read on.
This was the place where Sangukarna, an angel used to come and collect flowers for the puja of Sriman Narayana in Devaloka. He used to forget himself in the beauty and serenity of this location that he would often return late, well past the time the flowers would be required. Angered by the fact that he often was lost in worldly pleasures, he was cursed to be born as an asura. The child so born to Hiranyakasipu, the demon king, was none other than Prahalada. Prahalada spent hours meditating in the cave on this island. He used to come here from his palace and stay and meditate on Narayana. The place where the homa kunta of Prahalada once stood now bears the moola brindavana of Sri Raghavendra ( at Mantralaya) and the place where Prahalada meditated and where Sangukarna spent several hours collecting choice flowers bears the brindavana of Sri Vyasaraja.
Prahlada Cave

The connection can be well appreciated if one is aware of the reincarnations of Sangukarna.
Sangukarna - Prahalada - the lesser known avatar Pahlikaraja - Vyasaraja & Raghavendra. There is no avatar after Sri Raghavendra as he has promised to stay in his astral form within the brindavana for 700 years.
Beautiful view of the Tungabadra at the entrance to Navabrindavan

After crossing the river Tungabadra by ferry, we have to get down at the island and walk through the rocky terrain for about 500 - 700 metres to reach Navabrindavan. All puja items will have to be taken from the Raghavendra Mutt at Anegundi since nothing is available there.
An old mandapam on the way to Navabrindavan

 Even the battars reach there by ferry and come back in the evening. During rainy season, there is no puja and harathi is shown from the other side of the river itself. The first thing to do when you get down from the ferry is to take a dip in the icy cold waters of the tungabadra. I always feel there is a lot of difference in the waters of the Tungabadra between Mantralaya, Bhikshalaya and Navabrindavan. While in Mantralaya, it is warm and welcoming, in Bhikshalaya or Bichale as it is locally called, it gushes with happiness and in Navabrindavan it is extremely calm, deep and chill. Pebbles of unique shapes are all over the bed of the river and are usually collected and placed in pooja rooms. There are stones like Ganesha, Shivalingam, and various other forms.
The ancient Ranganathaswamy shrine with lamps 

The navabrindavan complex has the samadhis of the nine saints, a Ranganatha Swamy shrine, a Hanuman shrine and another hanuman installed by Sri Vyasaraja, right opposite to his brindavan.

There is sufficient space to circumambulate around the samadhis.
The saints whose brindavanas are available in the temple complex are:
1. Sri Padmanabha Theerthar - the first and a direct disciple of Sri Madhvacharya
2. Sri Jayatheerthar/Sri Raghuvaryar - There is a lot of debate whether the second brindavana in Navabrindavan belongs to Sri Jayatheerthar also known as Teekachariar or Sri Raghuvaryar.
3. Sri Kaveendra Theerthar- Moolaguru to two important Madhva Maths
4. Sri Vaageesa Theerthar
Sri Sudheendra Theerthar Brindavanam
5. Sri Vyasarajar- Sri Vyasaraja as we saw earlier was the previous incarnation of Sri Raghavendra. He was the Raja Guru of the Vijayanagar Empire and has installed over 700 Hanuman idols all over the country.
6.Sri Srinivasa Theerthar - Next in lineage to Sri Vyasarajar
7. Sri Ramatheerthar - Sri Rama Theerthar succeeded Sri Srinivasa Theerthar
8. Sri Sudheendra Theerthar - Sri Sudeendrar succeeded Sri Rama Theerthar. He was Sri Raghavendra's guru and the noble saint who initiated him into sanyas.
9. Sri Govinda Odayaru

Sri Vyasaraja Brindavana

Out of these, the Vyasaraja Brindavana is unique and has four pillars in front of it. Figures of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman, Krishna, Sri Vyasaraja etc. are inscibed on the four sides of the Brindavana. Opposite to the Vyasaraja Brindavana, is the Avatharatraya Hanuman temple. This idol of Hanuman installed here by  Sri Vyasaraja is indeed unique.
It depicts the three avatars - Hanuma, Bheema, Madhva in one form. The face is like Hanuman, the arms and shoulders well - rounded and muscular with the Gadhayudha symbolises Bheema, the avatar of Hanuman in the next yuga and the manuscripts in his hand symbolises Madhvacharya.

Avathaarathraya Hanuman
There are two other shrines here, one of Sri Ranganatha swamy with Lakshmi Devi holding his feet and the other another Hanuman temple. These two are atop a boulder, next to the cave in which Prahalada had spent several years meditating. They seem to be older in times when compared to the Avathaarathraya Hanuman.
There are certain regulations while visiting the Navabrindavan.
1. Nobody is allowed to touch the brindavans and disturb the saints in meditation.
2. A yellow line has been drawn around the brindavans and the line should not be crossed while circumambulating.
3. Do not go around the brindavans with wet clothes and untied hair.
4. This is a very holy place and is a parihara sthala for all astrological complications one might have and therefore should be treated that way.
There are several means of information about Navabrindavans these days. But from what I have read so far, Sri. A S Rajagopalan, Editor, Kumudam Jodhidam and Sri. Amman Sathyanathan, author of Sri Raghavendra Mahimai Volumes have been giving a lot of authentic information about the saints, the place and its importance and have been advocating for people to visit here at least once in their lifetimes to get the blessings of these great saints.
The Ranganatha swamy shrine in Navabrindavan

One can also get all information about Nava Brindavan ,pooja items, times of worship etc. from the Raghavendra Swamy Mutt at Anegundi
The view outside Nava Brindavan

Apart from Navabrindavan here at Anegundi, there are two other navabrindavans at Shenbakkam near Vellore and at Erode near SPB Colony respectively. I have been able to visit both with Rayaru's blessings and will soon write about them, god willing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chintamani Temple, Anegundi

The entrance of the Chintamani Temple with a view of River Tungabadra 
Inside the cave where Rama met Sugreeva for the first time
The footprints of Rama at the spot where he aimed and
shot at Vaali
Anegundi is in Koppal District of Karnataka. Just across the river from Hampi, it is another treasure trove of ancient history and reminder of the glory of Krishnadevaraya and the Vijayanagar empire.
This place is believed to be the maternal home of Bhooma Devi and during Ramayana times,
this was Kishkinda, the kingdom of Vaali and Sugreeva. As I mentioned this place is so full of remains from the Ramayana times, that it is a delight to be here. The Chintamani temple complex houses the cave in which Rama met Sugreeva for the first time to seek support in finding Sita. Not only that, the spot from which he aimed and shot at Vaali is also here.

People light lamps and worship the stone on which Rama
is believed to have sat and spoken to Sugreeva in the cave

Light coming in through the roof in Sugreeva's cave

The mountain of ashes believed to be that of Vaali's
Close to the temple, is Pampa Sarovara which houses the cave in which Sabari, the old lady who was an ardent devotee of Rama met him. Sabari, anxious to give Rama the choicest of fruits, used to taste them first before offering to him, and the Lord understanding her love and devotion accepted those fruits with pleasure. The Anjanadri Hill, said to be the birth place of Hanuman, or Anjaneya as he is also called is also found here. The locals believe that the ashes of Vaali and some bones can still be found at the place where he was cremated in Nimmapuram.

This place is called Chintamani as it was here that Lord Rama met Hanuman for the first time along with Sugreeva and gave him a jewel to identify Hanuman as his messenger when he met Sita. The Chintamani temple was subsequently developed by a Saint who stayed here for several years. He has created a Sivalingam and Annapurani housed under a beautiful Rudraksha Mandapam and a Sree Chakram has also been installed here. It is believed that the saint one day went into the cave at the base of this temple and never came out.
The Sivalingam, Nandhi and Annapurani with Rudraksha Mandapam
inside the temple complex

There are several other interesting places to visit close to Chintamani like Navabrindavan which houses the brindavans (samadhis) of nine saints who were predecessors of Saint Raghavendra ( including the Brindavana of Vyasaraja the Rajaguru of Krishnadevaraya, the previous incarnation of Saint Raghavendra himself)and the samadhi of Krishnadevaraya. I plan to write a seperate blog on the three Navabrindavans in the country including this one, the other two being at Shenbakkam near Vellore and Erode near SPB colony.

Tourists who visit Hampi also visit Anegundi and it is common to find foreign tourists easily outnumbering Indians. There are modest places to stay at Anegundi itself and the Raghavendra Mutt there also provides rooms and food if requested in advance. A ferry service is available to take tourists from Anegundi to Navabrindavan and Hampi and it plies till about 6 pm in the evening but for the times of heavy rains. A bridge is also being constructed to facilitate road travel to these places. If you happen to plan to visit Hampi at any time, please take time out to visit Anegundi as well. It is an awesome place and a must see for every Indian.

Contact person at Anegundi : Mr.Manju Phone: 094492 84490. Note only BSNL phone network is available here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sri Lakshmi Kubera Temple, Rathinamangalam

Diwali is the time when Lord Kubera, the God of Wealth is worshipped. This Diwali fell on a friday and therefore, two additional holidays were available. After all the busy work on Diwali day, we decided to go to the Lakshmi Kubera temple at Rathinamangalam near Vandalur on saturday evening. Special Poojas were performed at this temple for Diwali when Lord Kubera is decorated in Currency notes. Several people throng here to worship the Lord and pray for wealth and prosperity for the whole year following.
A view of the entrance of the temple
We entered the temple and joined the serpentine queue as you can see in the picture. Kubera was looking magnificient in Silver Kavasam and the whole sanctum sanctorium was decorated with currency notes. We paid Rs. 100/- and took the "muram"which had a green cloth, pooja materials a small picture, and a lamp.
The line slowly moved towards the tank which had an idol of Sri Adhi Sankara placed on it. Inside the tank are Arawana fish ( Vaastu fish). Unfortunately, people are throwing flowers and other stuff into the tank. Hope this does not cause any discomfort to the fish and the tank is cleaned regularly.
Idol of Sri Adi Sankara over the fish tank
The queue moves slowly towards the Kan Dhristi Ganapathy - the Ganesha who removes the impact of the Ëvil Eye. We pray to Lord Ganesha and move towards the navagraha. There is a Pathala Kubera lingam at the extreme left end of the temple where people bend down and touch the top of the lingam and pray. After praying to the Lingam and performing nine circumambulations around the navagraha we move towards the anjaneya sannadhi. After praying to him, there is an alcove where the lamp that was provided as part of the Pooja kit is to be lit. Near the anjaneya sannadhi, several yantras and sacred ropes, tailor made for each zodiac sign are being sold.
The fish tank

Kan Dhristi Ganapathy
 We now move to the Sanctum Sanctorium. The Lord looks magnificient but we are only given a few seconds to take a look as the crowd is jostling behind us. The pujari asks us to do pooja with Rs 5 coins kept in a plate. We pick up the coins with heaped hands and offer to him thrice. We are then given a small laughing buddha idol and five Re.1 coins as prasad. Reluctantly we move forward. There is an idol of Lord Venkateshwara on the outer wall of the sanctum sanctorium. He is said to have borrowed 141 lakh gold coins from Kubera for his wedding for which he is still paying interest. By offering rice, dhall or other ingredients here, one is said to be contributing towards setting off the interest on Lord Venkateshwara's loan.

Pathala Kubera Lingam
Right behind the Sanctum Sanctorium is an idol of Swarna Akarshana Bhairava, a manifestation of Shiva who is said to aid accumulation of gold. We spend a few minutes before him in meditation seeking his blessings.
The Glorious Lakshmi Kubera decorated in currency notes
As we move around the temple, we find idols of Lord Brahma with Saraswathi a rather rare sight which I do not know if exists anywhere else, Lord Ayyappa and Lord Muruga.

 Very close to the temple are three other temples - one of Goddess Bhavadharani or Chakrakali, the other of Shirdi Sai Baba. Opposite to the Lakshmi Kubera temple, is the temple of Goddess Arai Kaasu Amman, the Goddess who restores lost or misplaced belongings. The original temple of Goddess Arai Kaasu Amman ( the Goddess Brahadambigai of Pudukkottai was worshipped by the King of Pudhukottai and he had inscribed her picture in the 1/2 paise coins issued by him which is why she is called Arai Kaasu Amman) is in Pudukottai. A gold ornament belonging to the Lakshmi Kubera temple got lost and the trustees had prayed to her to restore the same promising to build a temple for her once their prayer was answered. The chain was soon found and the temple along with 108 other goddesses around her was soon built. It is a beautiful sight to watch the replicas of various goddesses from different places in the world around the shrine along with 18 padi karuppa swamy as the guardian angel of the temple.

Arai Kaasu Amman
The goddess is a delight to watch and looks at us smilingly. We also had the fortune of performing Kumkuma archana to her and the other 107 goddesses at the temple. I have had several instances in the past where I have prayed to her and recovered important misplaced items and therefore it was a time of gratitude and thanksgiving.

All the temples are clean, well maintained and crowded. The only annoying factor was that the Pujaris seem extremely callous and rude. In fact, the one at the Arai Kaasu amman temple kept shouting over our head throughout the archana at the person who was supposed to have brought him his evening tea.

Location of the temple: If you are going from Chennai, take the left at Crescent Engineering College, just after the Vandalur Zoological Park. Proceed for about 7 kms. You will reach Tagore Engineering College. Take an immediate left and proceed for about half a km and turn right. If you are coming from outside Chennai take a right at the Team Sangeetha Restaurant at Vandalur and follow the same instructions. There are also several buses plying from Tambaram to Rathnamangalam. Buses proceeding towards Thiruporur from Tambaram stop here. One could also take the EMU train service on the Beach - Chingleput route and get down at Vandalur. There are several share autos available from the station to the temple.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sri Panchamukhi Temple, Ganadhal

Panchamukhi Cave Temple
Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple is found to the north of Mantralaya, the Jeeva Samadhi of Saint Sri Raghavendra across the river Tungabadhra. It is 2 km away from Ganadhal in Gillesugur Mandal. This temple is also very close to Bhikshalaya or Bichale as it is locally called.

Saint Sri Raghavendra Swamy did penance for 12 years in the cave inside the temple, wherein Lord Hanuman appeared to him as Panchamukhi and told him that he should attain samadhi at the place where Prahalada ( Sri Raghavendra in his former birth - Prahalada - Pahlikaraja- Vyasaraja- Raghavendra) had performed yagna. This was the reason why Sri Raghavendra chose Manchala Village for brindavana pravesa and asked Nawab Siddhi Masood Khan to donate it to him. The cave contains the naturally formed Panchamukha where the Lord appeared to Sri Raghavendra along with Lakshmi Venkateswara and Rudra. There is a brindavana placed inside the cave at the spot where Sri Raghavendra meditated for twelve years.

Inside the Panchamukhi Cave temple - the natural impression of the
five faces denoted by sandal paste

The legend of Panchamukhi is interesting and dates back to the Ramayana days. Lord Hanuman went into Pathala Lokha to kill Mahiravana who had kept Rama and Lakshmana as prisoners there. The only way to kill him was to swallow the five bees that held his life at the same time. To do this, Hanuman required five faces. The Lord granted his wish and each face was an amsam of Lord Vishnu, the faces being Garuda, Ugra Narasimha, Varaha, Hayagriva and his own face. When Mahiravana had taken Rama and Lakshmana to Pathalaloka, Hanuman did not know how to go there. Vibhishana told him that there were only two ways to get there - one through the palace of Ravana and the other through a cave in Dandakaranya guarded by a Goddess named Yerukalamba. Hanuman came to Dandakaranya and found the cave and asked the Goddess to help him to kill Mahiravana. The Goddess asked him to take the help of Chandrasena, who was an ardent devotee of Sri Rama and had been held captive by Mahiravana. It was Chandrasena who told Hanuman where Mahiravana's life source lay and how he could kill him. Once Rama and Lakshmana were saved from Pathalaloka, Hanuman thanked Yerukalamba and told her that the place would come to be known as Panchamukhi and she would continue to guard it.

Goddess Yerukalamba
Natural Aerial Vehicle
Natural Bed and Pillow of Hanuman
Hanuman's Gadhaayudha
It is a beautiful cave, serene and calm, surrounded by rocky terrain. There is a natural pushpakavimana said to have been used by Hanuman and a natural bed and pillow where the Lord used to sleep on. One unique feature in this temple, is the huge pair of slippers made for Hanuman. It is being done by the Bheemiah family of Kerebudur. It is believed that Hanuman himself gave the size for the slippers to be made by appearing in his dream and asking him to heap mud in a particular place. He did as instructed and found Hanuman's footprint in the wet mud the next day and made slippers to that size. For generations, his family has been making footwear for the Lord. Each pair lasts five years after which it is replaced. It is believed that every morning when the Poojari opens the shrine where they are kept, he finds grass, mud and abrasions on the slippers, evidence that Hanuman wears them over night and patrols around the temple. The Gadhayudha used by Hanuman is also kept here.

Hanuman's footwear placed in a seperate shrine

Goddess Yerukalamba shrine is also found behind the Panchamukhi temple. She is the guarding deity and people throng her shrine too offering bangles and flowers. If you are blessed to visit Mantralaya, do take the effort to visit Panchamukhi as well. It is an amazing temple!
Impression of Hanuman's feet on the wet mud

Friday, October 15, 2010

Poongavanathamman Temple, Putlur

The entrance of Poongavanathamman Temple
This is probably the only temple where the Goddess has manifest herself  in the natural form of an anthill complete with face, eyes, dainty eyebrows, parted lipts, hands, legs, and a pregnant belly. It gives you goosebumps as you circumambulate around her in the narrow and poorly lit space among the several hundreds of people who throng this temple everyday to seek her blessings.

Picture of Goddess Poongavanathamman
Lord Shiva and Parvathi were walking from Melmalayanur towards Ramapuram ( the place where this temple is located, which subsequently came to be known as Putlur because of the Goddess manifesting herself in the form of a Putru - an anthill). This place was a forest those days full of neem trees. Parvathi tired after the long walk, sat down and asked Lord Shiva to fetch her some water. Lord Shiva went searching for water but could not find any nearby. He had to go to the river Coovam ( looks like it had drinkable quality water then!) to bring the water. It started raining heavily and the river was getting flooded. So he had to wait a while for the rain to subside. Tired of waiting for the Lord, and exhausted with hunger and thrist, the Goddess lay down on the floor and an anthill (புற்று) grew over her. She became one and the same with the anthill.
Lord Shiva returned shortly after and found that Parvathi had permanabtly stayed there. So he too stood beside her and is called thandavarayan. Probably this is the only amman temple where you can find a nandi before the sanctum sactorium and this is because of the presence of Shiva behind the goddess.

Nandi in front of the Sanctum Sanctorium
The temple, as I said is always crowded. People come and pray here for childbirth and other wishes. They usually buy five lemon and bangles from the shops outside. One lemon is taken by one of the several old ladies who can be found outside the temple. It is believed that one has to remove all "drishti" (casting of evil eye) before entering the temple. So these women circle the lemon thrice around your head, and ask you to crush it under your left foot. This is supposed to remove all dristi from you. On entering the temple, there is a trident ( trishul) on which three of the remaining lemon are pressed on.

Offering lemon at the Trishul

Then you move to worship the nandi, and enter the mandapam to go towards the sanctum sanctorium. One can see that the ancient temple has been modernised over time by laying glazed tiles on the walls and floor. Actually it would have been better if the original architecture had been retained and well maintained.

Pair of Scales in front of Sanctum Sanctorium
We find a huge pair of scales here, where devotees who have been blessed with children offer sugar,banana etc. equivalent to the weight of the child. As the serpentine queue moves slowly towards the sanctum sanctorium you wait with bated breath. The main sannadhi is small, dark and crowded. There is a strong stainless steel railing affixed all around the goddess so that no one touches and damages the structure. It is difficult to see very clearly through this railing. Just behind the goddess, through a small window like structure, you can see thandavarayan looking a little sad that he could not quench his wife's thrist in time. As you circumambulate and move towards the front portion of the sanctum sanctorium, you hold your breath in awe. The goddess completely covered in turmeric paste looks magnificient. The eyes, eyebrows, the parted lips, the visibly pregnant belly all look so natural. The bangles and the last lemon are offered here. The poojari takes your bangles and gives you others as prasad. He rolls the lemon now smeared with kumkum from a stone near the goddess's feet, and the devotees collect it in the pallav of their saree. Lemon garlands are also offered and returned with her blessings and people keep them in their vehicles, shops, pooja rooms, or over their front door as a charm. On coming out, we find another huge anthill ( this does not have a human figure)to the right of the sanctum sanctorium under the stala Vriksham - Neem Tree. People who seek childbirth, tie miniature cradles near this anthill or pieces of pallav of their saree in anticipation of the fulfilment of their desire.

Cradles tied above the second natural anthill
and on the Sthala Vriksham
It is also very common for people to stay overnight here on full moon days. A special prayer is conducted at 5 am the next morning for these people who stay awake and pray through the night.
Location of the temple: This temple is near Tiruvallur.
How to get here: It is very easy to reach here by train. From Central one has to take a train, bound for Tiruvallur, Tiruthani or Arakkonam, and get down at Putlur station.  Make sure it is not an express which stops only at limited stations. From there the temple can be reached either by walk or share auto.
By road: On the tiruvallur road, after crossing Nemam, go straight. There will be a board on the right saying Putlur. Just a few feet away, there would also be an ambedkar statue on the left side of the road pointing to the right. Take the right turn here. A bridge is being constructed. Just before the bridge, there would be a small mudtrack to the left. Go down that track. Very soon, you will reach a railway gate. The temple is about half a km from this railway gate. There are several share autos available to take the visitors at Rs.5 per person. Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays and full moon days are extremely crowded here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Tirupattur

Tirupattur is about 25 kms from Trichy on the Chennai - Trichy NH 45. While going from Chennai, you have to reach Siruganur and take a right there into the service lane. There is a big board to guide people travelling by road. After turning right, the temple is about 5 kms down the road. While coming from Trichy, Siruganur is about ten kms farther from Samayapuram, and one has to turn left at the Siruganur Service lane.

The Rajagopuram of Brahmapureeswarar Temple
The entrance has a Five Level colourful raja gopuram . When you go into the beautiful and cool Veda mandapam with the dwajasthabam you notice Nandiswara resting under an intricate Rudhraksha Pandal, a sight not found in any other temple.

Nandi under the Rudhraksha Pandal
 The next mandapam is called Nada Mandapam wherein the seven musical pillars are present. There are seven entrances to cross over to reach the sannadhi of Sri Brahmapureeswara. He is called so since he changed the destiny of Brahma. To the left of the Nadha Mandapam, is the Brahma Sannadhi. The idol is huge-  almost six feet and sitting on a lotus flower in Padmasana. Brahma is considered as the Adhidevatha of Guru Bhagavan, and therefore, here he is covered in turmeric paste. The turmeric is also given as prasadam. If you visit the temple around 7 am in the morning, you will be able to see both the Nirmalya Darshan as well as alankaram. Worshipping this Brahma, wil change the destiny of the worshipper for the beter. But not everyone will be lucky enough to come here. Only if their destiny allows can it happen. Which is why he is called " விதி இருப்பின் விதியை மாற்றும் பிரம்மா"

Brahma in turmeric alankaram
The story goes like this:
Brahma was very vain as he had five heads like Shiva and he was the creator of all beings. In order to curb his vanity, Shiva plucked out one of his heads whereby Brahma lost all his thejus or glory. Since he lost thejus he also lost the art of creation. In order to be relieved of the curse, Lord Brahma came to Tirupattur and installed 12 (Dwadasa) Lingams and prayed to them. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before him with Goddess Parvati, who gave him back his lost thejus which is why she is called "Brahma Sampath Gowri" here. Shiva also gave another boon to Brahma. Just like how he had changed the destiny of the one who was responsible for writing everyone's destiny, Brahma would have the power of changing the destiny of all those who worshipped him here, for the better. Goddess Brahma Sampath Gowri can be worshipped in a seperate sannadhi outside the main temple.

 Usually in temples, the devotees stand on both sides of the main deity and worship. In this temple, it is important that the devotee falls within the direct deeksha of Lord Brahma. Therefore, they are asked to stand directly in front of him so that their destiny can be changed for the better.
Saint Padhanjali

Another very important feature of this temple is the Jeeva samadhis of Saints Padhanjali and Vyakrapadhar. While Shiva performs the Ananda Thandava between the horns of Nandi, there are two saints who witness it - Padhanjali and Vyakrapadha. Both their jeeva samadhis are found here. Padhanjali was the creator of Yoga Sutra. His jeeva samadhi can be found to the left of the Brahma Sannadhi. A covered enclosure has been made around it convenient for those who want to come here and meditate. The vibration is extremely powerful here.
Thala Vruksham - Maghizha Maram

The jeeva samadhi of Saint Vyagrapadhar is found about half a km away from the main temple.
The Stala Vruksham is Magizha maram which is about 150 years old and is found in the complex outside the temple which houses 7 out of the 12 lingams. It is believed that Sage Pathanjali often left his physical body and stayed in the astral form for many days in this magizha maram and performed penance.
There are four lingams in the main temple
1. Brahmapureeswarar - Main Deity
2. Pazhamalainathar - Opposite to the Jeeva samadhi of Saint Padhanjali
3. Padhala Eswarar - Every temple that has a Jeeva Samadhi will have a padhala lingam. Here it is present near Chadikeswara
4. Suttharathneswarar - near the navagrahas

One lingam in front of the Amman Sannadhi:
5. Thayumanavar
The other seven lingams are found in the adjacent campus:

List of lingams outside the lingam complex

Clockwise from left: Manduganathar, Ekambareshwarar, Arunachaleshwarar, Kailasanathar, Jambukeshwarar, Kalathinathar, Saptharisheeswarar and the huge nandhi in front of Kailasanathar shrine
There are Pancha Bhootha Sthalangal in Tamilnadu namely - Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai, Kalahasti, Thiruvaanaikaval and Chidambaram. But this temple has all lingams of all five elements and saptharishis in one place. Lord Brahma has installed them all at one place so that the devotees who come here get the benefit of having workshipped the pancha bhoothas and the saptharishis when they worship at this temple. Each one of the shrines are different in architecture and size and the avudaiyars are also different some have the komukham on the left and others on the right. The Kailasanathar shrine has a 16 pillared hall and a huge nandi before it.

There is also a tank here called the Brahma Theertham...which is supposed to have been created by Lord Brahma to perform puja to the Dwadasa Lingams but the current status in which it is maintained leaves a lot to be desired.
Brahma Theertham

Every year in the tamil month of Panguni (March-April) for three days, namely 14, 15 and 16th the Sun God is said to worship Brahmapureeswara. As I mentioned earlier, there are seven entrances to reach the main deity's sannadhi. It is a miracle that the sun's rays cross these seven entrances and fall directly on the lingam from 6.15 to 6.45 a.m.

The jeeva samadhi of Sage Vyakrapureeswara is situated in Kasi Viswanatha swamy temple attached to the Brahmapureeswarar temple about half a km away. He has installed the Kasi Vishwanatha Swamy in this temple. Once there was no water in Tirupattur for performing the daily pujas. Sage Vyakrapadha saw Airavatha, the white elephant of Lord Indra, carrying water for the puja of Lord Jambukeswara of Tiruvanaikaval. He asked Airavatha to give him some water for the puja. The elephant refused. The angry sage who had hands and feet of a tiger dug the ground with his claws till water gushed out. He used this water to perform the puja. The tank so created by him is called " Pulipal Theertham". Bathing here on full moon day cures one of all skin ailments. The Jeeva samadhi of Sage Vyakrapadha is found encased in glass.

Kasi Vishwanatha Temple where the jeeva samadhi
of Sage Vyakrapadha is found
 Both temples are open from 7 am to 12 pm in the morning and from 4 pm to 8 pm in the evening.
Contact details:
Baskara Gurukkal (Brahma Sannadhi)
0431-2650439 / 9443817385

On Thursdays, Full Moon Days, and Sadhaya nakshatram days the temple is extremely crowded.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Veera Anjaneyaswamy Temple, Kakkalur

Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple, Kakkalur

Kakkalur is very close to Tiruvallur and those of you who are planning to visit the Vaidya Veera Raghava Perumal Temple or Putlur Angala Parameshwari temple can also visit this very unique and ancient temple.

Vyasarajar, the Raja Guru of Krishna Devaraya and the previous avatar of Sree Raghavendra had installed about 730 Anjaneya statues all around India. All of them are identical in the fact that they are turning towards north, with a lotus flower in one hand, and bell at the end of their tail.

This is one of the Anjaneya Swamy idols that had been installed by Sree Vyasarajar. The small temple was also home to Sree Raghavendra for 14 years while he stayed here and meditated and wrote several verses in praise of his favourite God, Sree Anjaneya Swamy. The temple has a big picture of Sree Raghavendra at the spot where he sat and meditated and also an inscription containing verses he wrote about Kakkalur Veera Anjaneya.

Verses written by Sri Raghavendra Swamy

The temple has yet another special characteristic. Just outside, we find that entwined Peepal and Neem trees growing together  People stand between the trees and the entrance of the temple, look at Anjaneya Swamy and make a wish and it is believed that from that position whatever wishes are made come true very soon.

Entwined Neem and Peepal Trees
Just across the road from the temple, is a Housing Board colony. Inside the colony, is a Pathala Lingam said to have been worshipped by Saint Agasthiyar. When we went there, the door was closed, but we were able to peep in and see the small, yet beautiful moorthy. It is very easy to visit Kakkalur Anjaneya who is waiting to bless us as the temple is just on the main road and no effort is required to go searching for it.

Maragatha Pathala Lingam

Temple Timings at Kakkalur:
Morning 6 am to 1 pm Evening 3 pm to 8 pm

Contact Details:
Mr. Raman - 97892 92700 / 27661624