Monday, January 18, 2016

Thirumullaivaayil (Vada Thirumullaivaayil)

This year sankaranthi, was a special one to me. For I had the opportunity to have a darshan of Maasilaamaneeswarar and Kodiyidaiamman, on January 16, 2016 (Maattu pongal day).

Thirumullaivaayil is located some 30 km from chennai, on chennai thiruvallur high way. Reach ambattur and from there on the way to avadi, you will find this place. There is another thirumullaivaayil, called as then thirumullaivaayil or thirumullaivaasal, in choza naadu, on the northern banks of river Cauvery.

This is one of the paadal petra shiva sthalams. Of the 276 temples, sanctified by saiva saint poets, 32 are in Thondai nadu (covering chennai, tiruvallur, tiruvannamalai, kanchi). This temple is 22nd of the 32 thondai naatu sthalam. Sundarar has sung a pathigam in praise of this temple. Sthala vruksham is mullai.

Thirumullaivaayil, was once a forest full of mullai (Jasmine) creepers. The history goes like this.

There were some 3 small kings, who were an ardent devotee of Bhairava. They were so powerful and they tortured the people in the areas ruled by them. King Thondaimaan who is a shiva bhaktha, waged a war against them. With the help of their favourite god, Bhairava, the 3 kurumbars defeated Thondaiman. On his way back, through the dense mullai forest, King Thondaimaan's elephant got stuck in the bushes. The king, cut those bushes with his sword. Alas! Blood started oozing out of the bushes. The king was terrified. He came down and was frightened to see a shiva linga, behind the bushes that he cut. Thondaimaan, prayed to the lord for a solution. 

He heard a voice which asked him to take the linga out, by cleaning the bushes and the king did so. After placing the linga in a separate place, he again heard the voice that said, "although I am with blood stains, I am still pure." Hence the name, Maasilaamaneeswarar. 
Maasu + illaa + mani + easwarar.

Maasu - dirt. 
Illaa- without.
Mani - Gem
Easwarar - shiva.

Shiva is a gem without dirt. This is the direct meaning of the name.

Lord shiva, encouraged the king to go back to the kurumbars and wage a war. The lord also sent his vahana, nandi as a support to the king thondaimaan. King Thondaimaan won his foes and brought 2 erukkam tree, which one can see at the entrance of the garba graham of maasilaamaneesar.

Since the lord has sent, Nandi to assist the king, one can see the unusual position of nandi. In other temples, nandi will be facing siva. But here it is facing the opposite direction.

Also, since the lord maasilaamaneesar and his consort kodiyidaiamman blessed the king thondaimaan, they both face east (same direction). In most of the temples, siva sannidhi will be facing east and ambal sannidhi will be facing south or north.

Kodi idai amman - the one with a lean hip. This temple ambal is kriya sakthi. Iccha sakthi being thiruvudai amman at melur, near minjur, chennai. Gnanasakthi is vadivudaiamman in thiruvotriyur, chennai.

The vimaanam, above shiva's garba graham is called as Gaja brushta vimaanam. Gaja - Elephant, Brushta - Back side. Yes. It looks like back side of the elephant. The front side is flat and the back side has rounded corners. The elevation is like a half-cylinder.

As one enters the temple one can find lord vinayaka, Prasanna Ganapathi. Then we circum ambulate the prakaram. We find Lord subrahmanya with his consorts valli-devasena, We then reach the sannidhi of two lingas - chozhapureeswarar and Kucha-Lava-Pureeswarar. Some chozha king, Lava, kucha (sons of Rama) must have worshipped the respective lingas.

There is also a big size lizard, carved on the compound wall of the temple.

There are shrines for Lord Surya and Lord Bhairava. They too worshipped the Shiva linga here.

Then we enter a common mandapam, housing the separate sannidhis of ambal first and Shiva next. 

Surrounding the Ambal's shrine, there is a Durgai sannidhi.

Surrounding the shiva's shrine, we can find Dakshinamurthi, Vishnu and Brahmma. Since shiva's head was cut by, Thondaimaan's sword, there is a scar on the top of linga. Sandal paste will be applied on all days. Only during Sathayam star falling on Chithirai month every year, this paste is removed and Shiva blesses devotees in his true form.

There is a tank associated with this temple. Thanks to the rains, for it has ample water in it.

There is a mandapam outside the temple, for resting the God on the vahanas during procession. Each pillar has some carvings like Rama, idiyappa chithar etc. There is a small temple for Vishnu, Sri devi Bhoomi devi sametha Swarna Venkatesa perumal, near this mandapam.