Monday, February 9, 2015

Pradosham at Erukathampuliyur

We come across many places which are named after an event or person. We also find the names related to trees which are considered as sacred to that place. Vanniyoor is named after the sthala vruksham of the place,namely, Vanni.Thillai tree is related to Chidambaram. Thirumullaivaayil gets the name after the shrub called "Mullai ". Similarly, the plant ,"Erukku " , being the sthala vruksham , forms the first part of the name of a place and the second part is atributed to a Rishi known as Vyagra patha. Both put together, the place is called as "Ërukkaththam puliyoor." It is now called as Rajendira Pattinam. It is located 12 km south of Vruthachalam on Jayamkodam road. The east facing Temple is sung by Thirugnana sambandhar in the 7th century.

The Temple has two prakarams. It has got 40 ft high Raja gopuram. Vel eruku is the sthala vruksham which can be seen in the prakaram.Sidhi ganapathi, Nardhan ganapathi, Subramanya are the Murthis we worship in the Prakaram. When Shiva was explaining the meaning of Vedas, Parvathi did not show rapt attention to it. Angered Shiva cursed her to take birth in fisher man''s community. On seeing this, Subramanya threw the Vedic manuscripts into the sea. It made Shiva to curse Subramanya to take birth as a dumb Subramanya, as dumb, named as Rudra sarma worshipped and got rid of his dumbness. Rudrasarma's figure is also seen in this Temple. When Devaganas prayed Vruthachaleswara to tell a place which could easily grant salvation, The Lord asked them to go to Erukathampuliyur. Hence the place is also known as Ganeswaram.

Erukku- Sthala Vruksham
When a hunter saved a brahmin from a Tiger,he was blessed to take birth as Vyagrapatha and worship Shiva. Therefore the place is called as Puliyur. The legend also says that a King of Madhurapuri visited the Temple and prayed. His prayer was answered and he was blessed with a child.He named his son as Rajendran and the place got the name, Rajendrapattinam.Naimicharanya rishis took the form of the plant "Ërukku"  and worshipped the Lord. It is for this reason the place is known as "Erukkathampuliyur" This is also a place which removed the disease of a King from Ujjain. Arunagirinatha has sung Thirupugazh in praise of Subramanya of this Temple.Sivaprakasa has authored the Sthala Puranam of this Temple.

Erukkaththampuliyoor is also the birth place of  Thiruneeelakanda Yaazhpaanar, one of the sixtythree Nayanmaars. Being a great player of the instrument "Yaazh" , he accompanied Thirugnana Sambandhar wherever the Acharya went. His wife , Madanga Choolamani also joined him in this Pilgrimage to several Shiva Shrines. They entered "Siva Jothi " at Nalloor Perumanam ,now known as Achalpuram along with hundreds of devotees. The girl of  Yaazhpanar's legacy, set tunes to Thevaram Hymns. The idols of  Yaazh panar's family are installed along with those of the four Saiva acharyas in the prakaram.

In contrast with crowded Temples of major Towns on Pradosham days, Erukathampuliyur presents a serene look on this day. The Nandi Mandapam, located between the Rajagopuram and the Temple Tank makes the atmosphere more Divine. Not many people join the occasion except some visitors from outside and very few persons of the village.

However, the Pujas started with Abhishekam to Lord Neelakandeswara followed by Deeparadhana. Abhishekam is then performed to the Nandi with Milk,curd, Honey, Vibhoothi, Coconut water ,vibhuthi and sandal paste. If anyone want to visit a Shiva Temple on Pradosham where one can have dharshan easily, this is one of those places free from crowds.

The Temple is undergoing renovation and lot of work remains to be done. The work has to be speeded up with the support of Philanthropists to perform the consecration at an early date.