Showing posts with label Kumbakonam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kumbakonam. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Significance of MaaghaMakam

Kumbakonam, the holy town has a very important significance for the humankind. For, this is where it all began according to our traditional texts. 

Like how we cleanse the wardrobe at our homes, paint the house and refresh our material stuff, Lord Brahma, the creator also cleanses the Earth and His creations every once in a while. During one such “pralaya kaala” or cyclic existence, Lord Shiva advises Lord Brahma to pick up the holy soil from important Kshetras and water from important rivers with a coconut tied atop a pot (kumbha) and keep it safe. The pot, after the pralaya is over, rolls over to a place and stops.

A hunter breaks the pot with his bow and arrow. Water and soil spills over and the first humankind emerges from the place. The coconut becomes an idol. 

Since the pot (Kumba) settled in a corner, the place is thence known as “Kumba-kona” or Kudanthai (in Tamil) - Kudam meaning a pot. 

The place where this celestial activity occureed is what is now known as the MahaMakam tank, for it occurred on the Pournami (full moon) thithi, Makha nakshatra during the Maagha maasa. Every 12 years, the day is celebrated with fervent devotion and is known as “MahaMakam” meaning the grand Makha star.

The hunter is none other than Lord Shiva who is seated alongside the tank and is known by the name “Sri Adhi Kumbeswarar”.

Nine rivers collide here - Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Narmadha, Kaveri, Godavari, Krishna, Tungabadhra & Sarayu. 

The main tank is spread over 20 acres of land and has 16 mandapas and 21 wells altogether. The mandapas are where the soil was strewn over and the wells are where the water from the pot sprinkled. 

It is believed that a holy dip in this Mahamakam tank will remove all obstacles in our life as one proceeds in the path of dharma towards attaining moksha. 

The next Mahamakam will occur during Feb. 2028. During the previous edition in 2016, over 20 lakh people visited and participated in the festivities which is spread over a fortnight. All the temple deities are brought to the tank to perform “Theerthavari” - Abhishekam to the Lords. Thereafter, devotees take a dip in the tank and visit temples.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Garbha Rakshambikai Temple

Being a Friday, I pray my obeisance to the Goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswathi who reside with their respective consorts all the time and bless us all the time. 

Today, I would like to share with you about Goddess Garbha Rakshambikai.

Legend has it that an ardent devotee of Goddess Parvati by the name Vedikai who was childless, prayed at this Mullai (a variant of jasmine flower) forest and the Goddess blessed her to conceive. However, at the time of delivery, Vedikai was almost about to lose her foetus, which is when the Goddess herself descended in human form and helped Her devotee to deliver the baby safely. Ever since, She resides here as “Sri Garbha Rakshambikai” and blesses Her devotees who even think of Her, not necessarily at her shrine particularly. 

“Sri Mullai Vana Nathar” is the name of Lord Shiva shrine here which is a svayambu idol made of a type of clay. Till date, there is no abhishekam that is performed on the Lord and only the paste of Punugu (Civet) is applied on the Lord’s Linga form on the 13th day after Pournami (new moon day), what is known as Valarpirai Pradosham day. The Punugu thus removed from the Lord’s idol is then distributed as prasadam to His devotees which is said to have a remarkable healing power for skin diseases among others.

Many people from all over the world visit Her to seek blessings for Child Birth. Again, one doesn’t have to visit Her in person, rather praying to Her will satisfy the Goddess and She shall bless the couple with fertility. There are thousands of Her devotees all over the world who narrate miraculous stories about Her benevolence and blessings towards child birth. 

Upon request and a payment made at the temple, the Priest performs pooja and offers Blessed Castor Oil to Her devotees which is said to help the woman for a safe delivery. The oil must be applied on the lower abdomen in the third trimester. The Woman can pray wherever she is and the Goddess shall bless her. The Oil can be requested either in person or through anyone else and there is no compulsion for the woman to visit Her in person during the Pregnancy. 

After child birth, the couple may visit the temple along with the new born baby and offer the bundle of joy on a cradle which is present at the temple premises and circumvent Her shrine. There are three cradles, wooden, silver and golden and one can anyone of them as per their wish and there's a small fee charged by the temple for this. It is ideal that this offering is completed before the baby turns One year old. 

The link above is the most popular Music Album eulogising Her sung by noted singer and Padmashri awardee Smt. Sudha Raghunathan. Hearing the songs and slokas during pregnancy is said to have healing effects on the foetus in the womb and the child can recognise the songs once they’re born as well. Nothing short of a miracle, indeed. 

Even after conception and child birth, continued prayers to “Sri Garbha Rakshambikai” is said to ensure well-being of the families and their children all their lives as well as being blessed in abundance. 

Here's a link to hear Her songs online as well.

The Temple is located at the holy place of "Thirukarugavoor", 15kms off Kumbakonam and is reachable comfortably by road through Public Transport as well as private vehicles.

Your Sarathy would be able to arrange a trip to visit Her and seek Her blessings. 

Bookings begin soon.