I visited for the first time to Thirucherai. Here, Shiva is known as Saaraparameswarar and Ambikai as Gnanambikai. The lingam (Runavimocheswarar) installed by markandeya is in the outer prahara. We have to repay three types of debts viz., deva Runa-Debt to God, Rishi Runa-Debt to sages and Pitru Runa-Debt to ancestors. If we repay all the debts correctly, we won’t get another birth. To repay our debts we have to perform puja to God, visit lot and lot of temples, get asirvatham from sages, do service to human beings and other creatures. Pitru runa can be repaid by looking after the parents and doing shrardham after their death. People visit this temple to get relief from all types of debts in life including the above three types of debts.
When we think about Patteeswaram, the destroyer of all evils – Durga come to our minds. Durga, shantha swarupi is seated on her vehicle lion is seen with her foot on Mahishasura. We get relief from all types of black magic, unfavourable effect by planets, bad luck, health problems and problems by enemies. The Avathara purusha Rama was affected by Chaya Hathi as Ravana was an exponent of fine arts and a devotee of Shiva. He was absolved of this sin by installing Shivalingam here. Kamadhenu’s daughter Patti worshipped Shiva by doing milk abhishekam to this lingam and hence, this city got the name Patteeswaram. Once Thirugnana sambandhar, a child poet visited this temple to worship Dhenupureswarar and Gnanambigai. Thirugnana sambandar, being small could not see the Shiva as he stood behind Nandi. Shiva asked Nandi to move aside as the young devotee can see Him. So, Nandi here is shifted to a side in this temple.
Then, we went to have the darshan of Thiruvalanchuli Nathar. Here, the Shiva is known as Kabardeeswarar and ambigai is known as Periyanayaki. Here, Shiva is suyambumurthi. Lord Vinayaka idol is in white colour and hence known as Swetha Vinayagar. Since the idol is made of froth, no abishekam is done here. River Cauvery curves gently right at this place and hence the name Thiruvalanchuli.
Our forenoon session ends after visiting Thiruvalanchuli. We returned to lodge after taking lunch by 2 PM. Again, we started our journey sharply by 4 PM. Since we have visited lot of temples, we made our trip short in the afternoon session. We went to see the temples in proper Kumbakonam. First, we went to Kumbeswarar temple. The city got the name Kumbakonam because of this temple. In this temple, the shape of lingam is very unique and is in conical shape. The Shiva is known as Adhikumbeshwara and His consort as Mangalambika. During cosmic dissolution, a pot containing nectar (Amrta) was floating and lord Siva came in the disguise of a hunter and pierced the pot with an arrow ,thereby making the nectar to flow through it’s nostril on all sides . Hence this place is named Kudamooku (kuda – pot; mooku – nostril or tip). The objects such as mango leaf,sacred grass (Tharppai),hoop (uri), Bell tree leaf (Bilva), coconut and the sacred thread (poonool) which adorning the pot fell into different places due to whirl wind. They appeared as Siva lingas and later on they became Siva temples.
Next, we went to Vijendra Theerthar Brindavanam. There, we had to wait for half an hour as the temple opens by 5PM in the evening. Saint Vijendra asked his successor Sudhindra to ensure that after him (Sudhindra), Venkatanatha(Raghavendrar) should be made as the head of Kumbakonam Mutt. Vijendra Theertha entered Brindhavanam, after appointing Sudhindra as his successor. Sudhindra gave Dheekshai to Venkatanatha at Thanjavore and named Him as Raghavendra. Sudhindra Theertha entered Brindhavanam at Nava Brindhavanam, Humpi. Raghavendra Swamy headed Kumbakonam Mutt for several years and left to Manchala(Manthralayam). He stayed in the house of Appanacharya for 13 years in Bichale. Rayaru entered Brindhavana in Manthralaya afterwards. I will say about Saint Vijendra separately in a blog. In this Mutt, devotees can make a stay, since rooms are available. They can make visits to Navagraha and other temples.
Then, we visited two Vaishnava temples viz., Sarangapani and Chakrapani temples. Both are ancient and big, & also come under 108 Divyadesam temples. In Sarangapani temple, the thayaar name is Komalavalli. Lakshmi emerged from Potramarai tank among 1000 lotus flowers and was brought up by Hema Rishi. Vishnu descended to earth as Aravamudhan in a chariot drawn by horses and elephants from his abode Vaikundam. Since He carried bows in His hands, He is known as Sarangapani.
The Chakra, the discuss is the most powerful weapon of Lord Vishnu. Once Vishnu sent Sudharshana Chakra to kill King Jalandasura. this weapon came from the underworld through river Cauvery. Lord Brahma was taking bath in Cauvery and got impressed by this sight, installed the image of Sudharshana. Surya, the Sun god, who was glowing in brilliance, had his brightness diminished by the effulgent Sudarshana. Surya worshipped Sudarshana and pleased by his devotion, Sudarshana restored all the powers of Surya. Vishnu attained the name Chakrapani from then on. Surya wanted the town to be named after him and pleased by his devotion, Chakrapani named the city as Bhaskara Kshetra. The main deity Chakrapani is sported with 8 arms, each having a weapon. Chakrapani has a third eye on his forehead. Chakrapani’s darshan relieves us from the dhoshas of all grahas, as the main graha Sun (head) got surrendered to the Lord here.
Finally, we returned to our room by 8.30 PM and took rest after taking dinner.