Stories of various places related to Murugan
The importance of the divine Aarupadaiveedu needs special mention when we devotees are actively seeking Lord Murugan’s divine blessings. Visiting each one of the Aarupadai Veedu and offering prayers to Karthik Swamy is considered Kodi punniyam. The first padai veedu is Thiruparankundram, also called as Thenkundram, Satyagiri, Parankundru and Kanthamalai near Madurai in TamilNadu and the hill has Lord Murugan as the main deity at the rock cut cave downhill and Lord Shiva in the form of Kasiviswanathar at the hill top of Thiruparankundram. The Murugan here takes the name of Subramaniaswamy and he is also represented by the name of Soma Subramaniyar, ‘Soma’ symbolizing the presence of Lord Shiva in Thiruparankundram.
The puranam behind the Aarupadaiveedu as listed in Thirumurugatrupadai which says that Nakeerar when performing pooja towards Lord Shiva encounters a bootham who had enslaved 999 humans and awaiting to pounce on Nakeerar as the next in line and was waiting consume the entire 1000 in one go after the 1000th encounter. The great saint and composer envisioned to save the 999 humans, then prayed to Lord Murugan through his divine Tamil composition Thirumurugatrupadai which lines up the six houses of Lord Karthikeya which are the Aarupadaiveedu and his prayers help him to successfully save the hostages.
Thiruparankundram consists of Murugan in the form of Subramaniyaswamy in ‘Thirumana kolam’ married to Deivanai also known as Devasena, the adopted daughter of Devendira, whose marriage was arranged and presided over by Brahma and Vishnu after the Sura Samharam of the asura in the hands of Lord Murugan. Marital Harmony is blessed to the couple who prays at Thiruparankundram and also to those who seek the path of a good marriage. Worship starts with the auspicious prayers to the Kalyana Vinayagar under the Peepal tree near the temple. The presence of Lord Vishnu as Pavalakanivai Perumal who had presided over Meenakshi Kalyanam at Madurai and the abodes of Lord Shiva as Satyagirishwarar and Goddess Durgai with the Karpaga Vinayagar sannidhi comprise of the five sannidhis at the Moolasthana of Thiruparankundram. The presence of Munjuru vahana, Nandi and the divine Peacock as vahanas of Vinayagar, Satyagirishwarar and Subramaniyaswamy side by side in the front of the Sanctum sanctorum is indeed auspicious.
Abishegam of the Vel is the most important ritual in the temple as this invokes deep religious fervor and abundant shakti and so the divine Vel Abishegam is considered very important as Vel is the Ayudham of Lord Murugan which played a prominent role in the Surasamharam where the asura was defeated. Thus the Divine Vel symbolizes Sathru Samhara and thus the samhara of our human ills like ego, anger, jealousy and hatred.
The Lakshmi theertham at the Hill top and the 11 thirthams at the temple which includes the Saravana Poigai are part of the springs that are present in this Aarupadaiveedu. The Lakshmi Theertham has medicinal properties that has a positive effect on skin ailments. Similar to Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar temple the lighting of the big diya atop the hill at Thiruparankundram on Thiru Karthigai is symbolic of enlightening us from ignorance and leading us towards gnana or knowledge. Rishis and Siddhars namely, Pamban Swamigal, Arunagirinathar and the Nalvar comprising of Thirunavukkarasar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar and Sambandar have prayed to and composed Tamil hymns on Thiruparankundram. Thus Thiruparankundram is a ‘Padal Petra Sthalam’ meaning the glory of the temple has been recollected in ancient Tamil poetry written by the Nayanmars, the saivite saints.
“vizhikkuth thunai thiru menmalar padhangal, meimai kundra
mozhikkuth thunai muruga enum namangal, munbuseidha
pazhikkuth thunai avan panniru tholum, bayandha thani
vazhikkuth thunai vadivelum sengkodan mayuramume.”
This excerpt from Kandhar Alangaram written by Thiru Arunagirinathar explains that our karma from our previous births are washed away when one truly surrenders to the feet of Lord Murugan who protects us throughout our path of true devotion to attain moksha. The Bay of Bengal beholds the presence of Lord Murugan as Senthil Andavar in Thiruchendur in the Tuticorin district of TamilNadu, which has been the ancient battle camp for the asura Samharam, Surabadman being the asura, inorder to protect the Rishis, Devas and ultimately Dharma in the hands of Murugan. His presence here is as Gnana Skandan, who is an epitome of knowledge, as he was invoked by the penance of Guru Dakshinamurthy. Thiruchendur being a Gurusthalam has thousands of devotees surrendering themselves to this Murugan who has been celebrated by saints like Kumaragurubarar, who has written Kandhar Kalivenba in Tamil. Kumaragurubarar regained his ability to speak as a child after deep prayers by his parents to the Thiruchendur Murugan.
The main deity or the moolavar is in deep meditation with prayers towards Lord Shiva in gratitude for his victory over the asuras. The panchalingam namely, Tatpurusam, Aghoram, Sadyojatam, Vamadevam, Eesanam present behind the moolavar whose prayers reverberate throughout the sand rock in the caves in this rock cut temple cut out of a hill known as sandhanamalai on the seashore is unique to Thiruchendur where Murugan himself performs the shivpooja and the Murthi is seen with a flower in hand.
The Vibuthi in a paneer leaf as prasad has reference in ancient texts to cure diseases as mentioned by Adi Shankarar in Subramanya Bujanga slogam whose ailment was cured after his visit and prayers at Thiruchendur.
There are manifold benefits of immersing in the 24 Theerthams at Thiruchendur consisting predominantly, the adjoining sea and the Nazhi kinaru. After the dip in the sea and then the Nazhi Kinaru which is a small well with fresh spring water near the salty sea, indeed a wonder offering a soul cleansing experience that humbles one to surrender to the divine feet of Murugan.
Shanmugar, Jayanthi Nathar, Soora Samhara Moorthi, Alavai Perumal, Kumaravidangar are the four Urchavars representing the moolavar, who is Subramaniya Swamy in Thiruchendur. Since the main deity is in deep meditation, there is no pradakshina around the main deity for the devotees inorder to not disturb Murugan in his prayers to Lord Shiva. However the Pradakshina can be done around the urchavamoorthy, Shanmugar in Thiruchendur. The darshan of the Rajagopuram and the Moolasthana Gopuram alleviate us from our past sins. The positive energy that Thiruchendur radiates along with the spiritual awakening prompts one to surrender to the Skanda Guru who would protect us and lead us to the liberation of our soul.
The exquisite temple dedicated to Lord Muruga in Tiruttani is perched atop a solitary rock, soaring 700 feet above sea level. Nestled within a range of hills, it offers a breathtaking panoramic vista. This hallowed site is located along the Chennai-Mumbai route, just 13 kilometers from Arakkonam and 84 kilometers from Chennai.
In the vicinity of this town, you can find renowned religious destinations such as Kancheepuram, often referred to as the Banaras of the South, to the south. To the west lie Sholingar and Vallimalai. Heading north, you'll encounter the popular and prestigious pilgrimage center, Tirupati, also known as Balaji, along with Kalahasti, home to the Vayu Lingam. To the east, there is Tiruvalangadu, steeped in puranic mythology, and featuring Lord Nataraja.
Among Lord Murugan's six sacred abodes, Tirutanikai stands out as the most esteemed jewel in His divine crown. The very name of this holy shrine, Tirutanikai, signifies that when we seek the blessings of our Lord at this sacred place, He bestows upon us mental tranquility and physical well-being. It is believed that His righteous anger towards the asuras (demons) for their cruelty was pacified and calmed at this location, earning it the name "Shantipuri," meaning the "Abode of Peace." Due to the swift fulfillment of prayers and desires of devoted worshippers of Lord Tanikesan on this hill, it is also known as "Chanikasalam."
When Lord Murugan arrived at this hill after marrying Goddess Valli at Vallimalai, She implored Him to enlighten Her about the significance and greatness of this hill. In response, our Lord conveyed that if someone wholeheartedly worshipped Him in this hill temple for five consecutive days, that individual would be blessed with all that is desirable in this life and the hereafter.
In the Treta Yuga, Lord Rama, after vanquishing Ravana, paid homage to Lord Shiva at Rameswaram. At the request of Lord Shiva, Rama journeyed to Tiruttani and discovered perfect peace of mind through the worship of our Lord Subrahmanya here. In the Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna received the blessings of Lord Murugan in this place while offering prayers on his way to the South for a sacred pilgrimage. Lord Vishnu also prayed to our Lord at this location and reclaimed His mighty Cakra (sacred wheel) and Shanku (sacred conch), which had been forcibly seized by Tarakasura, the brother of Soorapadma.
Lord Brahma sought Lord Murugan's favor at the sacred spring located beside the steps leading to the shrine, known as Brahmasonai. This plea for forgiveness followed his imprisonment by Lord Murugan, which occurred due to his failure to elucidate the significance of the Pranava mantra (the 'Om' mantra). In return for his humility and repentance, Lord Brahma regained his creative abilities, which had been revoked by Lord Murugan as a consequence of Brahma's egotistical arrogance in neglecting to worship Lord Subrahmanya while en route to Mount Kailasa to pay homage to Lord Shiva.
In a similar vein, Lord Indra nurtured a rare plant called Karunkuvalai in the pool adjacent to this hill temple, known as Indrasonai. This plant bore three flowers each day, which Lord Indra used to worship our Lord three times daily. By offering these flowers in devotion, Lord Indra successfully reclaimed the precious treasures of the Deva Loka, such as Sanghaneeti, Padmaneeti, Chintamani, and more.