Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Easwara Vasal, Vaipur and Thirumarugal

Thirumarugal Temple
Assurances are meant to be honoured.Long term assurances were made in manuscripts. Endowments were even recorded on stone walls of the Temples.   Failing to keep up the word was considered as a sin in those days. Nayanmars like Iyarpagayar, Thirukuriputhondar,  Thiruneelakandar, Amarneedhiyar were very particular in keeping up the verbal assurances made. At the same time there were some people who failed to keep their words. Perhaps such violations are more at present!

Marriage under Vanni tree-Thirumarugal.  Pic Courtesy: Unknown
There lived a Vaisya called Daman in Vaipur, a village  in Chola Kingdom. He had seven daughters. He assured his sister's son that he would give him the eldest daughter for getting married. When a better alliance came he failed to keep his promise and gave his eldest daughter to a wealthy bridegroom. He continued to break his promise in the case of other five daughters also  and disappointed his nephew. The youngest daughter wanted to save the face of her family by deciding to marry the very person at whom the promise was made by her father. She left Vaipur with him and proceeded to the groom's place to get married. When they approached Thirumarugal, the boy was bitten by a snake and it proved fatal. The helpless girl cried by looking at the Temple of Rathnapureeswara Swami of Thirumarugal. Saivite Saint Thirugnanasambandhar who was on a pilgrimage to Thirumarugal heard her cries and came to console her. He instantly sang a Padhigam on the Lord of the Temple by describing her plight. Once the Padhigam was over, the boy got up and worshipped Sambandhar. Their marriage was conducted under a Vanni tree in the temple in the presence of Sambandhar. This incident is narrated in Periayapuranam by Sekkizhar.

Easwara Vasal
While Thirumarugal Temple is well maintained, people have almost forgotten the temple at Vaipur. Those who take Mayiladuthurai- Thiruvarur road  should take diversion at a place called Gangalancheri. This road leads to Nagore and Vaipur is about 10 km from Gangalancheri. We come across another temple at Eswara Vasal amidst a beautiful surrounding. A tributary of Cauvery flows North- South in front of the temple. There is no concrete bridge to cross the river. The present bridge is made of bamboo sticks only. When Lord Sani was on his way to Thirunallar, he stayed overnight at this place and worshipped Lord Shiva . Sani has a separate shrine here and people visit the temple on saturdays in good numbers. The Temple seems to have been rebuilt with bricks some  300 years ago by retaining the ancient Murthis .

Swami Vimanam-Eswara Vasal
 People guess that the Kumbabishekam might have been performed a century ago. The Lord is called Sankara Narayanar and Devi as Sankara Narayani. It appears that the original names might have been some thing else and the Deities are renamed. There is a small shrine for Vishnu behind the Sanctum. The Goddess is housed in ardhamandapam of Swami Sannadhi.

Ambal Vimanam-Easwara Vasal
A small Temple,though, it needs immediate repairs to the roof and Vimanams. Initiative was made to start the renovation work to complete it by mid June so that the villagers can aim to perform the Kumbabishekam before July 15th. The one positive aspect here is that the Sivacharyar lives close to the Temple with his family .

It was nearing sun set when we reached Vaipur. We were shocked to see that the Temple was in an abandoned state.Even one Kala puja is not conducted at the moment. It is not known why the locals have failed to preserve the Shrine which has got more than 1400 years History behind it. With bushes and thorns all around the prakaram is misused by some bad elements as open toilet. The small Temple lacks a compound wall and a gate. Renovation work in Swami and Ambal Vimanams has been discontinued in the middle for reasons not known. God willing, work should resume by July end and efforts for the same will be made by us.

Thirumarugal can easily be reached by road if one takes the Nagoor road near Sannanallur( on Mayiladuthurai- Thiruvarur road) and proceed to some 10 Km. Marugal is a type of Banana tree which is the Sthala Vrukasham of Thirumarugal temple. The temple tank is in the front and Rajagopuram is there at the entrance. One can see the Vanni tree in the prakaram under which Sambandar held the marriage. Rathnapureeswara Swami sannadhi is located on an elevated place. The annual festival is conducted here during which  the marriage of Vaisya girl is enacted.
The situation has come to such a bad state as there is no revenue from any source to preserve the village temples. People normally visit only those temples which are attracting large number of devotees. Lack of interest shown by the locals and the HR & CE dept is the major  cause which makes the age old temples sink further.