Friday, November 27, 2015

ஆகாஷபுரீஸ்வரர் ஆலயம்

ஆகாஷபுரீஸ்வரர் ஆலயம்
சாந்திபிரியா 

தஞ்சாவூரில் உள்ள காடுவெளி சித்தர் ஆலயம் 3000 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முற்பட்டதாகும். இந்த ஆலயம் உள்ள இடத்தில்தான் காடுவெளி சித்தர் பிறந்தாராம். காடுவெளி சித்தர் பல மேன்மை வாய்ந்த சக்திகளைக் கொண்ட 152 சித்தர்களில் ஒருவர் ஆகும். காடுவெளியில் அவர் சிவபெருமானை துதித்து தவத்தில் இருந்தார். அவர் தவத்தை மெச்சிய சிவபெருமான் அவருக்கு காட்சி தந்து அஷ்டமா சித்திகளை அருளினாராம். அவை எளிதில் எவருக்கும் கிடைக்காத சக்திகள்.

இந்த ஆலயம் உள்ள வெட்ட வெளியில் பூராட நக்ஷத்திரத்தின் ஒளி படர்ந்து உள்ளது. காடுவெளி என்றால் பரந்த, திறந்த வெளி என்று பெயர். இந்த பரந்த வெளி அகண்டத்தின் முனைப் பகுதியான விளும்பில் உள்ளது. ஆகவேதான் காடுவெளி ஆலயம் அகண்டத்தின் விளும்பில் உள்ளது ஆகும். அங்கு ஆலயம் உள்ளதினால் சிவபெருமான் அங்கு வெட்ட வெளியில் ஒளிமயமான வெளிச்சத்தில் காட்சி தருகிறார்.

ஆலயங்கள் பஞ்ச பூதங்களான ஆகாயம், நீர், நெருப்பு, அகண்டம் மற்றும் காற்று போன்ற ஐந்து குணங்களில் ஒன்றைக் கொண்டவையாக அமைந்து இருந்தால் அவை மென்மையான ஆலயமாகும். இந்த ஆலயமும் ஆகாயத்தின் அடிப்படையில் அமைந்துள்ளது என்பதினால் விசேஷமான ஆலயம் ஆகும்.  இந்த ஆலயத்தில் உள்ள சிவபெருமானை பூராட நட்சத்திரம் வணங்கித் துதிப்பதான ஐதீகம் உண்டு. அதைப் போல ஆகாயத்தில் குடி உள்ள அனைத்து தேவ தேவர்களும், வாயு பகவானும், வாஸ்து பகவானும் பூராட நட்சத்திர தினங்களில் இங்கு வந்து சிவபெருமானை துதிப்பதான ஐதீகம் உண்டு. ஆகவேதான் இந்த ஆலயத்தின் மூல தெய்வமான சிவபெருமானை ஆகாஷபுரீஸ்வரர் என்று அழைக்கிறார்கள். அவர் மனைவியான பார்வதி இங்கு மங்களாம்பிகையாக எழுந்தருளி உள்ளார்.

இந்த ஆலயத்தின் மகிமை என்னவெனில் இங்கு காடுவெளி சித்தர் தவத்தில் இருந்தபோது சிவபெருமான் அவருக்கு காட்சி தந்தார். அப்போது காடுவெளி சித்தர் சிவபெருமானை துதித்து வணங்கும்போது அதற்கு தாம் இடைஞ்சலாக இருக்கக் கூடாது என்பதற்காக நந்தி தேவர் வெளியில் சென்று அமர்ந்து கொண்டாராம். அதனால் நந்தியின் சிலை ஆலய சந்நிதானப் பகுதியில் இல்லாமல் ஆலயத்தின் வெளிப் பிராகாரத்தில் காணப்படுகிறது.

பூராட நட்ஷத்திரத்தில் பிறந்தவர்கள் தமது நட்சத்திர பிறந்த நாளன்று இந்த ஆலயத்துக்கு வந்து வணங்கி தமக்கு வாழ்க்கையில் ஏற்படும் தடைகள் விலகவும், வாழ்க்கையில் மேன்மை அடையவும், பாபங்கள் விலகவும் சிவபெருமானை வேண்டித் துதித்து புனுகு மற்றும் ஜவ்வாது போன்ற வாசனை திரவியங்களைக் கொண்டு அபிஷேகம் செய்கிறார்கள். முக்கியமாக திருமணத் தடைகள் விலகவும் வேண்டுகிறார்கள். வீடு கட்டும் முன் இங்கு வந்து வாஸ்து பூஜையும் செய்கிறார்கள். அதனால் வீடு கட்டுவதில் ஏற்படும் தடங்கல் விலகும் என்பதும் நம்பிக்கை ஆகும்.

Akashapureeswar temple


Kaduveli  Akashapureeswar
temple
-Written  by  : Santhipriya  -
The Kaduveli Sithar temple in Thanjavur in Tamilnadu dated to over 3000 years old. This is where Kaduveli Sitdhar has born. Kaduveli Sithar is one amongst the 152 Siddha Purush available in space with supernatural powers. He remained in penance in Kaduveli for long years for darshan of Lord Shiva. Pleased with his arduous penance Lord Shiva manifested before him to grace him with Ashtama Siddhis, the eight branches of mystic arts not easy to absorb and thus he became a great Siddha Purush. 
The belief is that this temple is engulfed with the brilliant energy in the form of light from space of Poorada nakshathira. Since Kaduveli means open space, and the open space begins at the edge of the cosmic rays Kaduveli where the temple exists is believed to be the edge of cosmic space. Lord Shiva created a magnificent light at Kaduveli to reveal his existence at the Kaduveli Temple in the form of space. 

Since this temple has been dedicated to space called Akash in Sanskrit, the main deity is called Akashapureeswar and the female deity called Mangalambika meaning the mother who grants prosperity. The Poorada Nakshathira remain serving Lord Akashapureeswar. It is believed that entire deities residing in space and Lord Vastu worship Lord Akashapureeswar on Poorada nakshathira days. Generally some mystically important Temples are dedicated to the five elements like Space, Fire, Wind, Water and Earth and such temples are considered to be highly sacred and holiest to visit and get the grace of the Lord manifest there. 

The sacredness of the Kaduveli temple is that when Lord Shiva manifested before Kaduveli Sitdhar, in order not to be hinder the worship of the Sithar to Lord Shiva, Nandi Deva, carrier vehicle of Lord Shiva moved outside and sat there; hence the idol of Nandi Deva is established outside the sanctum area where Nandi Deva sat after giving way to Kaduveli Siddha to worship the Lord. 

Since the belief is that it is auspicious for those born under Poorada nakshathira to visit this temple and make offerings to Akashapureeswar on the day of their Nakshathira birthday, devotees specially born on Poorada Nakshathira come here to offer prayers and seek the grace of Lord Akashapureeswar and Mangalambika to wash away their sins, obstacles in life and get relief from the ill effects of stars. The Poorada Nakshathira remain serving Lord Akashapureeswar here and therefore the ill effects of planetary afflictions are nullified by the grace of the Lord. 

The devotees are suggested to offer the Lord Punugu and Javvadhu powder for their bright future. (While Punugu is fragrant substance got from rarely living civet cat Javvadhu Powder is extracted from Indian herb called Javvadhu. Both the perfume powders are applied on the deity idols, yantras while performing pujas). specially those facing obstacles in the marriage proposals visit this shrine and pray goddess Mangalambika seeking her grace to rid of the obstacles.

The Kaduveli temple it is appropriate to conduct the Vastu Pooja for the earth element before constructing a building or home so that there would be no obstacles during the construction.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nakuleswar Temple (English)

-: Nakula Puran :-
Nakuleswar Temple:
History of Keeri Malai
(Written by Santhipriya)
Some Puranas and Hindu texts, frequently and explicitly mention that several centuries ago both Sri Lanka, Island nation and India were one land mass called Bharath Kandha or Bharatha Shethra. According to one of the puranic legends, the present nation of Sri Lanka was formed when sage Narada enraged with Mount Meru sought the help of wind God Vayu to humble Mount Meru to contain its vanity. Many divine forces were living on Mount Meru and it was also shielded by divine bird Garuda, the carrier vehicle of Lord Vishnu. However in the fight that ensued for several years, a part of the apex mountain fell into the Bay of Bengal (sea) and thus the island nation of of Sri Lanka was formed in mid sea on the fallen part of the hill. 
 
According to another legend, after the island nation was formed by divine forces, it was ruled by the Lord of wealth Kuber, and later he was usurped by his half brother King Ravan, great devotee of Lord Shiva. The worship of Saivite God Lord Shiva was highly popular in Sri Lanka during his regime and therefore the divine craftsman Viswakarma in Deva Log was ordered by Lord Shiva himself to raise temples of worship for him in some of the places where he manifested at different periods of time pleased with the penance of his devotees and continue to stay there in unique forms. 
Whatever be the reasons for the formation of Sri Lanka, the fact remained that many important Saivite temples came up on the side of present Sri Lankan territory. Centuries later, when erosion of sea and typhoons caused land split separating the two nations by sea water it resulted in some of the important Saivite temples to remain in Sri Lankan side of land. While the history of several such temples were known to scholars in those period, the history of others remained shouldered in mystery for want of archaeological evidences or other documents till some scholars were able to dig out their history with research. Out of many ancient temples there were five unique Shiva temples, one amongst them being Nakuleswar whose glorious history is found in the form of Nagulapuran. 
The ancient holy Temple Nakuleswar reportedly established 3000 years back is located in the northernmost part of the island nation and venerated by millions of Hindus across the world as a sacred place of worship. The adjacent water tank of Nakuleswar temple, Keerimalai Springs also referred as Gangasagarasangam is believed to have curative properties. This temple has been built during the period of a Sadhu who worshiped Lord Nakuleswara to regain his original form of human face which had earlier turned into face of a mongoose on account of a curse befallen on him. On being relieved of the curse, the Sadhu continued to stay there serving the mankind and reportedly wished to built this temple. Lord Shiva is represented in the form of a lingam called Nakuleswara. 
The idols or statues in most of the venerated ancient temples were either manifested on their own or were found buried deep inside the land and were taken out to enshrine in the same place when their hide out was revealed to some of the devotees in their dreams. In ancient time, well structured temples were also not constructed , but only places of worship were created in open places, many of them even without surrounding walls or top covered sheds in which some divine images chiseled stones or rocks were erected and worshiped as so and so divine or unique divine imaged statues recovered from inside land in the same site were accidentally dug out, installed and worshiped. 
When people began worshiping those deities, their glorious past or merits were spread by word of mouth stories, and such stories prompted them to be converted into well structured temples in later centuries. The temple in Nakuleswara could have also been initially a place of worship since well structured stone temples of the present magnitude have not been heard of 3000 years ago. 
Like many other temples in the region, temple Nakuleswar too was razed to the ground during the Portuguese invasion and the present temple structure, well maintained and administered, dates back to 1859. The Portuguese who took over Jaffna in year 1621 A.D ensured that this temple was completely demolished though prior to the demolition sensing trouble the idols and other valuables were secretly taken away by the priest and kept hidden inside a well nearby. It was not uncommon  in those period when fearing attack from invaders and their known intention of demolishing the Hindu temples, whenever invasion of alien enemy forces was heard, the devotees in and around many of the temples in Sri Lanka took away the main idols and other important temple properties and hid them in several wells in and around Jaffna to protect them from getting defaced and destroyed. Several years later they were recovered from their hideouts and demolished structures reconstructed in the same places of worship. Unfortunately before Nakuleswar temple was demolished by Portuguese it had three tiers of Rajagopuram structures and they could not be saved from demolition but the statues of the main deities were saved. 
In 1878, a savant in Sri Lanka, Sri Arumuga Navalar who led the revival of public interest in Saivaism campaigned for the restoration of demolished temples in Sri Lanka, urging everyone to donate in kind or cash for the restoration of the demolished temples including the one in Nakuleswaram. Seventeen years later a consecration ceremony of temple Nakuleswar took place. However in the year 1918 this temple again suffered severe damage due to an accidental fire. It was unfortunate that after the damage was repaired, once again the temple structure had to face the fury of the bombardments in the recent years of ethnic war in Sri Lanka and the daily worship ceased till 2009 on account of war torn nation. Inspite of all such continuing disasters the temple stood up again and again finally to be renovated to commence the worship from 2012 and has since become a tourist spot now. Now read the glorious history and sacred story of the holy temple Nakuleswar below as told by Sage Sudhaga to other saints and sages in Naimisaranya  forest. 

Part-1

The sages in regular routine gathered in Naimisaranya  forest and sat under the tree to hear saintly sage Sudhaga’s universally revered discourses for the day. Naimisaranya  forest is renowned from the time of Satya Yug or Kritha Yug and the glory of this ancient forest has been mentioned in the epic Puranas. The forest that lay on the banks of the River Gomati that flowed between Panchala Kingdom and the Kosala Kingdom is believed to be the meditation centre of about eighty eight thousand saints and sages in the ancient past. It is the holy place where many sages have performed their penance. 

Once Sage Sudhaga came and sat for the days discourse, one of the sages queried, ‘Oh, master, sage of sages, we are perplexed over an unusual incident that occurred this morning. We saw saintly Sage Narada Muni hurriedly passing through this place and when we tried to stop him to offer our obeisance, instead of stopping and acknowledging it for a moment, he hurriedly walked past uttering that he was in a hurry to proceed to Naguleswaram to offer worship before noon which he mentioned as southern part of sacred Kailas and on his way back from Naguleswaram he would meet us in leisure. We were amazed to hear for the first time in life that southern part of sacred Kailas called Naguleswaram exist somewhere nearby. Kindly enlighten us about the glory of the sacred site and also tell us where the temple is located so that we too can go there to offer prayer to get the grace of the Lord’. 

Sage Sudhaga was delighted to see the interest of the sages on Nakuleswar and began narrating the glory past of of Nakuleswar: 

‘Oh, assembled saints, hear this with devotion. A holy temple for Lord Shiva, considered to be the southern part of mount Kailas, exists in the city of Yazhpanam in a place called Naguleswaram. In Nakuleswaram Lord Shiva has manifested as Nakuleswar along with his consort Parvathi as Nakuleswari and they are served there by none other than Lord Vishnu himself staying in the form of Nakula Madhava. (Present Jaffna is called Yazhpanam in Tamil. Yazh is the Tamil name of an instrument played with fine strings attached to it and Panam means a place. Why this place has been nicknamed Yazhpanam is explained in the later part of this story). 

Several yugas ago, Lanka was ruled by Ravan and he was killed the  war with Lord Rama, who had to wage the war to liberate his wife Sita held under the custody of Ravan in Lanka. On the flip side, Ravan was not only a great devotee of Lord Shiva, but was also a well versed scholar in Vedas. Ravana used to mesmerize Lord Shiva with heart rendering songs played in Sama gana in his harp, an instrument played on strings attached to it, and pleased the Lord by his intense penance on several occasions to receive many boons of rare nature to remain unconquerable for many centuries till he met his death on account of a doom. At the same time another King namely Suganesan, ruler of a province under Ravan, also an expert musician in several instruments was waiting for opportune time to grab the instrument from Ravan and to use it to seek  boons from the Lord who was very kind and compassionate to those devotees who totally surrendered  to him with devotion. 

When Suganesan heard of the death of Ravan, he wasted no time to quickly enter Ravan’s palace, stole the instrument and brought it with him. Once the instrument was with him, he went to the bank of Gangarasagarasangam, huge water tank situated in the deserted jungle near Nakuleswaram, sat in penance and began playing heart rendering verses on the greatness of Nakuleswar for several years. Pleased with his severe austerity and devotion, Lord Shiva who was already there in the form of Nakuleswar manifested before him and granted him several boons, one important boon being Suganesan would thenceforth be known as Yazhpanan, one of the greatest musician in earth on Yazh, the melody instrument which he had played while rendering the heart melting songs in praise of the Lord. 

Soon with powers derived from the boons from Lord Shiva, Suganesan established a well structured place in the forest which several centuries later came to be called as Yazhpanam in memory of Yazhpanan, la Suganesan. Thus emerged Yazhpanam (Jaffna) city and soon people from other areas moved in to Yazhpanam accepting the authority of Suganesan.


Part-2

Several thousands of years prior to the establishment of Yazhpanam, dwarfish Sage Agasthya was staying in Kathirkaman another sacred place in Sri Lanka where Lord Muruga remains invisible in the form of a trident. Dwarfish Sage Agasthya had to come there on the orders of Lord Shiva to restore balance of earth which began to tilt  on the northern side on account of the weight of entire fleet of divine forces of devaloga consisting of semi and demi Gods and goddesses, sages, saints and rishies including Dwarfish Sage Agasthya who had assembled in Mount Kailas to witness the grand wedding ceremony of the Lord with Goddess Parvathi, daughter of King of Himalayas. As the northern side of earth began tilting dangerously unable to hold the weight , the southern side began rising above ground level causing imbalance of earth due to unequal distribution of weight on both sides. In order to balance the weight Lord Shiva dispatched dwarfish Sage Agasthya to the southern side to restore the balance.

Dwarfish Sage Agasthya went to the southern end and stayed there and gained extraordinary weight with the mystic powers vested on him by Lord Shiva thus restoring the balance of earth. However in order not to disappoint the dwarfish Sage from witnessing his wedding for which he specially went to mount Kailas, prior to the departure of the sage from the wedding site, Lord Shiva promised that the sage would witness his wedding with Goddess Parvathi in the same pomp and show in Nakuleswar at appropriate time. Mentally satisfied with the promise from the Lord, the sage reached Kathirkaman and continued to remain there  praying Lord Shiva to grace him to witness the grand ceremony of the Lord’s wedding at the earliest. 

Several thousand years elapsed and one day amidst thunderous sound of beating drums, the sage saw a huge convoy of demi & semi Gods and Goddesses descending in Nakuleswaram. Soon Lord Shiva surrounded by Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and other Gods and Goddesses followed the convoy to reach the site. As awestruck dwarfish Sage Agasthya kept watching the event in amazement, Lord Shiva turned at the direction of the sage and winked at him to enter into the wedding hall where he was scheduled to marry Goddess Parvathi. The signal from Lord Shiva was quickly noticed by Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu and they went rushing to the sage standing in an isolated place to invite him to enter into the wedding hall to witness the grand wedding of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvathi. 

As the sage entered the wedding hall he noticed Himalayan King walking slowly into the hall, followed by his daughter Goddess Parvathi. Thereafter the wedding ceremony rituals began quickly and marriage of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvathi ended with Lord Brahma performing the wedding rites as Pundit. Dwarfish Sage Agasthya shed tears in ecstasy when he realized that Lord Shiva had kept up his promise of marrying goddess Parvathi in the presence of the sage. 

Though the entire scene was a replay enacted by the Lord to not only to keep up his promise given to the sage, but also to reveal to the universe through the dwarfish Sage the glory of the sacred land Nakuleswaram. On getting node from Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma revealed to the assembled divine audience for the first time that Lord Shiva remains in Nakuleswaram in bodiless form as Nakuleswar along with his consort as Nakuleswari and in the holy water tank Gangasagarasangam, Lord Vishnu remains as Nakula Madhava’. Soon the entire scenes of marriage ceremony vanished, Lord Shiva was also not to be seen, but the divine forces and Lord Brahma were seen assembled there. Dwarfish Sage Agasthya too went nearby and sat in the group where many other saints and sages were also seen.


Part-3

Sage Suthaga continued the holy story. ‘Brahma began unraveling to semi and demi Gods and Goddesses, the till then held secret story of how Lord Shiva had manifested in bodiless form as Nakuleswar in Nakuleswaram. 

‘Once upon a time when time ripened for Lord Vishnu to take different incarnations to destroy evils from earth, he realized that in order to achieve the fete in every incarnation he was destined to take, he needed extraordinary energy and strength besides special mystic powers beyond what he already possessed and which only Lord Shiva can bestow. Such powers were essential because in every incarnation, he has to vanquish the enemies and demons who may have been graced with mystic boons for invincibility and therefore they need to be vanquished manifesting in stranger forms, at the same time without diluting the sanctity of the mystic boons given. Surprisingly every boons of invincibility bestowed by the Lords were only recondite boons imbibed with scope for doom. When Lord Vishnu searched for Lord Shiva to reach him get his grace, he learnt that Lord Shiva with his consort Goddess Parvathi was staying in bodiless form on the banks of water tank Gangasagarasangam in Nakuleswaram. Therefore he immediately reached Nakuleswaram and sat in penance on the banks of Gangasagarasangam seeking the extraordinary powers he desired.
Every day he prayed to Nakuleswar ‘Maha sambo, Lord of divine residing in mount Kailas, eternally powerful in the company of Nakuleswari, please bestow me matchless strength and everlasting energy beyond what I possess to vanquish the evils in every incarnation that I am destined to take. On completion of my mission after each incarnation I wish to be back here to serve Thee residing by the side of this holy tank Gangarasagarasangam. Bestow me a boon further, Oh, Kailasanatha, those who visit this place to offer prayers to Thee, they shall have to take bath in this sacred tank where I am on penance, offer prayers to me first before entering Thine sanctum to offer prayer. Then only they shall be blessed by Thee. Sambasiva, please bestow me the boon that I plead thus’. 

Pleased with the prayers of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva in bodiless form appeared before him as Nakuleswar to grace ‘Madhava, Mukuntha, I am overwhelmed with your penance and prayer that has touched my heart too deep. Your sincerity and devotion to the committed cause has no parallel and therefore I grant you the entire boons that you sought. In every incarnation you are destined to take, you shall remain invincible for ever for you are part of my power. Know that my power as Nakuleswara is no less to Arunachala or Ketharnath where too I manifest. I have manifested here in bodiless form to bless those praying with sincerity and devotion. While I am here I shall be known as Nakuleswar and your sister Parvathi shall be my consort Nakuleswari. Besides us you shall also stay on my left side as Nakula Madhava. Those who visit this shrine shall first offer prayer to you before reaching my sanctum, lest they shall not get any boon from me’. Thus spoke Lord Shiva disappeared and Lord Vishnu was granted everlasting extraordinary mystic strength and power needed to destroy the evils in every incarnation he was destined to take. When Lord Shiva appeared before Lord Vishnu, many divine forces and Lord Brahma came rushing to the site seeking blessings of Nakuleswar in his bodiless form. 

The name of Nakuleswar has special meaning. The mystic meaning of Kula in Sanskrit is ‘sareer’ which is body. Kula also meant caste, race or tribe. Na kul means bodiless, casteless, creed-less and bond-less on earth. Since Lord Shiva was in bodiless form, he remained approachable by each and every human being born on earth regardless of their caste or creed, and therefore the Lord’s name in the temple established by Yazhpanan Suganesan came to be called as Nakuleswar meaning he does not belong to any caste or creed and everyone is dear to him. This place was also called Keeri Malai meaning Mongoose Hill. In Tamil, Keeri means Mongoose; similarly in Sanskrit Nakula means Mongoose. Why the place was called Keeri Malai? The events that led to the place being named Keeri Malai are narrated in another story that follows at the end.


Part-4

Once Lord Shiva disappeared, when Lord Brahma sought to know from Lord Vishnu   the the sacredness of the water tank Gangarasagarasangam, visibly pleased Lord Vishnu began narrating the holiness of the tank to Lord Brahma and others. ‘Hear this story of Gangarasagarasangam, Oh, Lord of creation, the birth place of this water tank is mount Nakul whose original name is Kanya Ganga. This holiest water tank called Kanya Ganga absorbs the sins of each and everyone who take dip in her and grant eternal bliss unmindful of the accumulating sins on herself. The devotees who take dip in this tank and pray Nakuleswar will be purified. In the order of sanctity this water tank is no less to Ganges that flows from the crest of Lord Shiva. Those who are sinners of alcoholism, knowingly or unknowingly killed a Brahmin, deceived their masters, deserted spouses or husbands, if they come here and take a dip and pray Nakuleswar, all their past sins thus committed will vanish and their souls sent to Shivaloga upon death. This holy tank is as pious as any other sacred rivers like Gaya, Narmada or Cauvery where one takes bathe to get rid of their sins, pay homage to the dead souls of their ancestors by offer of Pinda Daan in the name of tharpan. The Pinda Daan offered reach their manes through the divine souls living in the sacred waters of those rivers. Similarly if the descendents of dead offer water mixed with sesame seeds in this tank, the divine devas staying in it will receive the oblation and make it reach their manes. Those who donate a Cow after taking dip in this tank shall remain in my Vaikund for one crore years. Whoever perform the yagna on the banks of this tank after taking bath here shall reach Brahma loga.  Those who take a dip in it pray me (Nakula Madhava) and then perform Shiva Pooja, their mind and soul shall be ever filled with full of bliss. 

On hearing the holy nature of Gangasagarasangam directly from the mouth of Nakula Madhava, mentally contented Lord Brahma left Nakuleswaram to reach his place of stay in heaven, while Lord Vishnu continued to stay there waiting for the appropriate time to incarnate on earth to accomplish destined mission. The place in and around Nakuleswara temple was called Keerimalai meaning Mongoose Hill. 

Thus Sage Sudhaga cleared many doubts of those assembled in Naimisaranya forest. While continuing the discourse on the greatness of Nakuleswar Sudhaga said ‘Oh, assembled sages and saints, be delighted to hear the greatness of the river Gangarasagarasangam which is where Lord Rama after vanquishing Ravan came and took dip to get rid of the Brahmathi Dosha arose out of killing a Brahmin. King Nala who spoke nothing but only truth which he held as sacred and came here to get rid of the effect of Lord Sani who troubled him the most. Similarly one of Pandavas brothers Arjun while chasing a group of thieves who stole the Cows of a Brahmin, unknowingly committed a sin by running through the private room of Darma when he remained in union with Droupathi and to get rid of the sin he had to come to Gangarasagarasangam and pray Nakuleswar’. One of the assembled sages sought to know whether it was true that a Mongoose faced saint named Nakula got rid of his sins  and hence the place was named Nakuleswaram with in around Nakuleswara temple named Keerimalai.


Part-5

Sage Suthaga began narrating the story related to Keerimalai. ‘Several years ago one of the greatest sages Sudhama was in penance inside a bush in one of the dense forests under mount Meru. Unaware of the sage sitting in penance, a hunter from nearby village climbed the tree over the bush and sat there to spend night as the jungle was full of wild animals. As he slept, unknowingly saliva from his mouth fell on the face of the sage disturbing his penance. When the penance disturbed sage woke up, a mongoose which was also sitting on one of the boughs of the tree came down rushing and pleaded with the sage that he was not the culprit, but the saliva fell from the mouth of the hunter sitting on the bough above her. 

Anger ridden sage shouted at the hunter and called him down. Hearing commotion, the hunter woke up, came down, and realized his mistake and instantly sought pardon for the act committed unknowingly, but the sage would not relent and cursed that his face shall turn to that of a mongoose. Instantly the mongoose disappeared and a demi god in the form of an angel stood before them. Both the sage and the hunter prostrated before the angel which was straying in the forest in the form of a mongoose. The angel then revealed that all that happened for the hunter was due to a curse befallen in his previous birth and the curse was destined to be relieved by sage Sudhama as both of them were linked with the curse.

The angel said ‘oh, hunter, you were born an insect in your previous birth due to a curse accrued and strayed on the backyard of a sinner. One day a crow picked up a piece of meat from the backyard of the house and flew. When the shade from her wings fell on you, your curse was released, but unfortunately as the crow was carrying meat on her peak only half the period of the curse was released and you were destined to born again as human to get rid of the other half of the curse. The crow was none else but Sage Sudhama, who had to be also born as a crow to release your curse as both of you were together in previous births and were destined to be sufferer and the savior. 

In order to get rid of the other half of the previous two birth’s curse, you have  now born as hunter hunting for meat because the crow carried the meat of an mongoose on her peak when it released your curse and the mongoose was none else than me. We  both have come here as destined  to get our curses released by this sage. This is ordained to be so because I have to guide you to get the entire curse released to enable you go to heaven after death.  Do not worry. You will get back your original face if go to Nakuleswaram and pray Nakuleswar who will bless you to get rid of the curse’. 


Part-6
The angel cautioned that since the hunter’s face would turn mongoose within next few hours he should quickly proceed to Vetharanyam, cross the long stretched sea and continue to walk till he reached a mountainous place where he would suddenly feel mystic bliss indicating that the place where he should remain in penance has been reached. The curse bound hunter wasted no time in reaching the place – Nakuleswaram- even within half the period of time required for the travel, of course with the help of the angel again. As the hunter reached Nakuleswaram his face instantly turned to that of an mongoose. He sat below the mountain and remained in penance. 
 
Since his face was that of mongoose, people in and around were afraid to go near the temple site and he had to remain isolated from everyone. They teased and abused him in many words. Though the behaviour of public caused immense agony, still the hunter sat in arduous penance praying Lord Shiva to end his curse. Time passed and pleased with the arduous penance of the hunter, one day Lord Shiva manifested before him to release the curse and to transform him into a Sadhu glowing with lustre and charm. The public who learnt of the episode few days later realized their folly and sought pardon from the Sadhu, previously mongoose faced hunter. On release of curse he continued to stay there guiding the people and to involve themselves into spiritual way of life while continuing their duty needed for a human. 

As time elapsed, as ordained by the Lord, after the demise of the Sadhu the King who was also follower of the Sadhu constructed a temple for Lord Shiva with the help of the locals. Lord Shiva who had already manifested there as Nakuleswar and his consort as Nakuleswari settled inside the temple while Lord Vishnu too continued to remain there as Nakula Madhava on the banks of Gangasagarasangam, all because of the arduous penance of Saint Nakula.  Thus the place Nakuleswar turned out to be called Keerimalai in Tamil, Keeri meaning Mongoose. This renaming was done by the locals in honour of the revered Sadhu who came Mongoose faced till he got the curse removed by the grace of Lord Shiva’.

Part-7

Sage Suthaga narrated another story on the merits of Gangasagarasangam. At one time, the southern part was ruled by a Chola King named Disaiyuktha Chola. He had extremely attractive and beautiful daughter who was canny and shrewd in all aspects, but the only imperfection in her was that her face was slowly turning to that of the face of a horse. She could not go out with such a deformity and was shamed. The agonized King consulted several astrologers and Pundits but no one could offer a solution to correct the deformity. As time passed, she attained the age of marriage. One day a recluse (saint) visited the King and the King sought the counsel of the recluse on the plight of his daughter as no one was willing to marry her. The recluse consoled him and advised that he take her to Nakuleswaram and seek the blessings of the once Mongoose faced sage who had many mystic powers and he may cure her deformity. 

As advised by the sage the King took his daughter to Keeri Malai and met the mystic saint pleading for his grace to get his daughter’s deformity corrected. The Saint closed his eyes for some time and analyzed the reason for her deformity. After some time he opened his eyes to unravel the reason for her deformity to the King ‘Oh, mighty King, the cause of deformity to your daughter is a curse that had befallen  in her previous birth. She was tendering the horses in the stable shed, but had a peculiar habit of enjoying the agony of staples when they were tortured. She used to deliberately insert rods into the noses of the horses or pricked their faces with sharp edged pins and enjoyed when they neighed in agony. Thus the faces of many female staples were wounded, scratched and when they neighed in agony the girl enjoyed. Once a female horse wounded on her face by the pierce of the sharp edged rod died unable to bear the agony of the wound. Before her death her mother horse cursed your daughter to feel shame of life by having a horse face on her body. The curse in her previous birth has been the cause for the present agony of your daughter. See how strange the events turn up and Lord Nakuleswar has enacted this play....... In previous birth I was mother of the horse which died at the hands of your daughter and you have come here seeking salvation for the same girl born as your daughter. Never mind, when a recluse is approached by an agonized sinner, he is duty bound to help the sinner get rid of the agony for he is servant of the God. This is also a kind of play enacted by the Lord who has sent you to the same person who cursed your daughter in her previous birth. Never mind, ask your daughter to take dip in the tank Gangasagarasangam, pray Nakula Madhava and then offer prayer to Nakuleswar and Nakuleswari seeking their grace for regaining human form of face. The compassionate Lord shall bless her regain her original human face’. 

As advised by the sage, the King and his daughter daily took bath in Gangasagarasangam, offered prayers to Nakula Madhava followed by prayers to Nakuleswar and Nakuleswari and got rid of their problem in the next few months of time. She regained her original form of human face and went home happily after paying obeisance to the saint who helped them in the hour of agony. 

Sage Suthaga ended the day’s discourse and everyone dispersed happily deciding to visit Nakuleswaram sooner or later.