Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Madurai Veeran Koil – Temple on East side of Arunachala

At Kailash, Lord Shiva and Parvati blessed the world with peace, prosperity and happiness. Goddess Parvati, deciding to shower her bountiful grace on human beings by enacting a drama, closed the eyes of Shiva with her hands. As a result the Universe was engulfed in total darkness. The Devas and other celestial beings flocked to Kailash and Shiva gave asylum to them and opened his third eye thereby dispelling darkness and bathing the area in brightness.

The Goddess, in the form of Pachaiamman, prostrated at the feet of Shiva, who knew of her Divine design, to establish peace and harmony in the world. Since she was responsible for drowning the world in darkness Lord Shiva wanted her to atone by proceeding to the world in order to perform penance. The Goddess appeared in many spots which became holy by her presence. She appeared in Kasi and spread the Vedas and Sastras and also at shrines at Thirumullaivaayal and Mangadu. The Goddess also went to Kanchi to perform penance under a mango tree to propitiate her Lord Shiva. At Sengodu, near Tiruvannamalai, she observed tapas standing on a needle. It is believed that she performed penance at Arunachala, at an Ashram located in what is now known as Pavalakunru.The Goddess was victorious in all her endeavours. Since she is believed to appear as Pachaiamman in Thirumullaivaayal, she has a famous Temple dedicated to her there which is situated near Vaishnavi Devi Temple near Ambattur, North Chennai. Pachaiamman is called the goddess of marriage and blesses those entering wedlock.

Here at Arunachala, we also have a famous Pachaiamman Temple which has a long history attached to it. The most recent of which is that over the last 3 years the Temple, its tank and compound are undergoing extensive renovation. In 1905 when there was a plague crisis in Tiruvannamalai, Ramana Maharshi moved to Pachaiamman Koil for six months during the worst of the epidemic and returned to the caves on the southside of Arunachala when the plague crisis was over. Again in 1908 Ramana Maharshi returned to Pachaiamman Koil and lived there with Ganapathi Muni and others for about three months. I hope to re-visit Pachaiamman Koil soon and check out the progress of the renovation programme.

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