Showing posts with label temples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label temples. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Pitru Kariyas by Lord Rama

Sriman Narayana has innumerable forms, names and incarnations. But the ones that are closest to the humankind in this Kali Yuga are only a handful. And among them, the most respected and revered is the form the Lord took in Treta Yuga as Sri Ramachandramurthy, S/o King Dasaratha.

Even as the Honourable Supreme Court of India is discussing the existence of Ram Lalla, a final debate is scheduled after the Court’s Dasera holidays after which a verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi is in the anvil (quite ironical since it was during Dasera that Lord Rama is said to have returned to Ayodhya and His pattabhisheka or ascending the throne is celebrated as Deepavali by believers of Sanatha Dharma all over the world), we showcase two temples of utmost spiritual significance and associated with the Ramayana, revered as an important Purana. 


While Lord Rama walked all the way to the southern tip of India to go to Lanka to rescue Goddess Sita from the captivity of King Ravana, he faced a number of hurdles. Among others, he was asked to pray to the Nine Planets who govern the life of every individual. Even though the Creator created Lord Brahma to create mortals like us across the yugas and has absolute control of our lives, He was perhaps the most benevolent CEO cum Founder of His times to delegate work to the Team. So, the Navagrahas who monitor our past lives and accordingly teach us lessons so we don’t repeat the mistakes (although many of us don’t learn and keep repeating for the love of being reborn!) govern each and every step of our lives and must be appeased from time to time for our prosperity.


Lord Rama, reached the seashore, invoked the Navagrahas and installed nine structures using Navapashanam, a unique mix of nine medicinal minerals such as Veeram, Pooram, Rasam, Jathilingam, Kandagam, Gauri Pasanam, Vellai Pasanam, Mridharsing and Silasat. It is said that one would need at least 30 years in today’s time to learn the art of making Navapashanam from an Expert (who doesn’t exist by the way), which is said to have miraculous medical impact for people suffering from various ailments. The water soaked on the Navapashanam structures and consumed is said to relieve people of pain and diseases. The Navagraha structures at Devipatnam can be seen only in the early mornings and thereafter, they get immersed by the sea water! 


When Lord Rama was installing the Navagrahas, sea waves came up heavily. So, Rama prayed to Lord Sri Adhi Jagannatha at Thirupullani close by and therefore He came here and stopped the rising waves. He’s seen seated facing the Eastern direction with Abhaya Hastha and has the name “Kadal Adiatha Perumal” – one who stopped the sea.  This part of the Sea doesn’t have waves, therefore and one must see this to believe. 


Closeby is Sri Thilakeswarar Temple where Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva for the sake of His forefathers and performed puja with Thila, Til or Ellu to appease Lord Maheshwara, hence His name. The shrine is famous for pitru dosha nivarthi since Lord Rama is said to have performed a number of pujas associated with His Ikshvaku clan of the Surya Dynasty. This is the lord associated with Kumba Rashi as well as the Pradhan'a deity of Lord Shanaischara and all types of rituals to invoke the pitru-shapa & nivarthi are performed here.


Thila Homa is performed near both these temples by learned Priests as well as near Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram town which is about 50kms from Devipatnam.


Thousands throng to The Navagraha Shrine at Devipatnam everyday but only a few - very few souls who are blessed by the Lord get to enter the Vishnu & Shiva Shrines close by and seek their blessings. 


Sarathy, your friendly Travel Companion will be able to arrange trips to these Temples soon. Bookings open soon. Stay tuned. Share this Page and spread the word.

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. 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Lord Shanaischaran

Today is Saturday. A day dedicated to Lord Shanaischaran (Saneeswarar is more colloquial).

Shanaischaran means someone who walks slow. The Lord, among the Nine Planets is the son of Lord Surya and is apparently handicapped in his leg and hence moves very slowly once He enters one's Janma Rashi, 7 1/2 years to be precise.


But that’s not always the case, for He is a very benevolent, great Teacher and guides His devotees in the path of righteousness during this period. Yes, he pushes one to the brim but when the said devotee surrenders to Him completely, one can only come out with worldly wisdom and knowledge.

The Lord has many shrines for Him, especially and mostly inside Shiva temples as part of the Navagraha shrine or even as an individual one. The Lord is almost always facing West and his back towards His father, Lord Surya who is always facing East. Lord Shani likes dark blue and black colours and Till is the preferred offering to the Deity. 


But the two most popular ones are separate shrines at Sri Abatsagayeswarar Temple, Thirunallaru in Puducherry and a Swayambu Shrine at Kuchanoor in Tamil Nadu (near Theni hillside). One can reach Thirunnalaru by road from Chennai via Pondy or by road from Mayiladuthurai aka Mayawaram. Kuchanur is reachable only by road while driving from Theni towards Cumbum.

Did you know there are two more interesting shrines for Him?

One is at Nachiyar Koil near Kumbakonam where He is present with His two wives Mantha Devi and Jeshta Devi and two children, Mandhi and Kuligan. This is also a Shiva temple where Sri Ramanatha Swamy is the main deity. Legend has it that King Dasharatha once fought against Lord Shani, not with a sword but with his intellect and Lord Shani was mighty impressed with him in this regard and sanctioned him a boon, to which the King requested the Lord to remain on Earth and bless all those who came there to seek his divine vision. Many years later, Lord Sri Ramachandramurthy visited the place where His father during this incarnation has installed the Lord Shani idol and He also installed a Shiva Linga, which surprising measures exactly the same as the one in Rameswaram. Such is the greatness of this holy shrine which is less than 1,000 metres from the famous Nachiar Koil Temple which houses Sri Maha Vishnu & Maha Lakshmi.


The other temple is at Thirukollikadu, inside Sri Agnieeswarar Temple where the Lord is famously known as Pongu Saneeswarar, which is located 55 kms from Kumbakonam. Pongu Sani is the second time one inherits the 7 ½ Shani period in their lives. It is said that the Lord relieves His devotees of their dush karma if they visit this shrine during their 7 ½ Shani period.

Sarathy, your friendly Travel Companion will be able to arrange trips to these Temples soon. Stay tuned.

Share this Page and spread the word.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Why visit Temples?

For the inquisitive minds, this note provides a little insight on Brahmam and the main purpose of worship and visiting temples.



1.    Why do we visit temples?

We visit temples to worship God. Brahmam (Sriman Narayana) has five different forms.

While God is infinite and beyond the limits of space, time and form, he takes various forms for different purpose.

Let us understand the five different places and forms of God and the purpose of each of these forms.

1stform           -Para Roopa, the form he takes in Sri Vaikunta, His Celestial Abode. 

Description     - In seated posture, to His right is Sri Mahalakshmi and to his left is Bhooma Devi and Neela devi. Along with Him are billions and billions of Nitya aatmas and Mukta aatmas having great experience and spiritual bliss at Sri Vaikuntam.

Attribute        - Exhibits Supremacy

2ndForm          -Vyuha Roopa, the form in Milky Ocean (Ksheeraabdi)

Description     - Here He is in the reclining posture. Whenever Devas have tough time with Asuras, they rush to Ksheeraabdi. God listens patiently to all the complaints and the lament of the Devas and if needed He incarnates from Ksheerabdi to help the Devas and protect his devotees

Attribute        - Exhibits as the ultimate Saviour (Rakshakatvam)

3rdForm          - Vibhava Roopa, his various incarnations

Description     His incarnations are countless which includes Dasa Avataara. The purpose of his incarnations are 1. To award and protect the ones who follow the rule book (Dharma Shastra), 2. To punish the ones who do not follow and 3. To establish Dharma. (Paritraanaaya Saadhoonam, Vinaashayacha Dushkrutaam, Dharma Samstaapanaartaya, Sambhavaami yuge yuge)

Attribute        - Exhibits Dharma Samstaapanam

4th Form          - Antaryaami, residing inside each of us (inside all Jeeva aatmas)

Description     He dwells inour heart, which is in the form of inverted lotus. He is quite close to us, watching us all the time, even when our mind is engaged in material matters. He is steadfast, ever pardoning and waiting for the right moment to correct us.

Attribute        - Exhibits magnanimity (Vaatsalyam) in this form

 5th Form         - Archaa, the deity form which is the most important and useful form for us.

Description     God resides in deity form in standing, sitting or reclining postures. We, as human beings, do not know the route to Sri Vaikunta, nor we live in Krita, Threta or Dwapara yuga to see His incarnations. God resides in each of us, quite intimate and close, but we have not attained the state of Yogi to meditate and realise the One who dwells in us. So, unless he is available and accessible for us, we can’t meditate on him, worship and exhibit bhakti. So he is available in deity form in temples all days, close to our homes, accessible, for us to worship.

Attribute        - Exhibits simplicity and accessibility (Soulabhya) in this form


2.    The next question is why worship God?

God gives us anything we ask for when we completely surrender on Him. While He grants all the material pleasure we ask for, He is the only one who can help us achieve the supreme goal which is to realise the ultimate purpose of life.

Let us ask the basic questions: 
·      Who am I? - I am Jeevaatma (There is no difference between me, a sheep, a flower, Devas or any other Jeevaatma)

·      What differentiates Jeevaatmas? – Intelligence (Gyana) which is accumulated based on our actions (Karma) over several births

·      Who is God? - Paramaatma (the one who is eternal, infinite and supreme of all)

·      What is the ultimate purpose of my life? – To attain moksha and realise Brahmam (experience eternal bliss and cut out from the cycle of birth and death)

While it is easy to put this in bullets, it is not easy to experience and appreciate Brahmam without Surrender on Him and experience his various forms.


The simple beginning would be to visit the closest temple, mediate and worship on Him.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Welcome Post


Welcome to my weblog on Temples - Gopurams & More.

It's been a long pending task for me to share the temples I visit - something many of my friends, family and acquaintances have asked me to share. It's quite an effort to chronicle the visits than driving to the temples - but I assure to get this up and running from now on. 


Do share your wish list of temples' information that you may need and I will do my best.

Write in to me at shri611@gmail.com