Thursday, March 1, 2012

Siva related - Siva temple were Thazhampoo - Ketaki - Screw Pine flower is allowed

 Dispute between Lords Brahma and Vishnu
All Hindus know that Thazhanpoo (Ketaki flower or Screw Pine Flower) is not offered for worship in Siva temples except on the night of Maha Siva Rathri. As per a legend this flower gave a false evidence in a dispute between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma as to who is greater. The dispute was to be settled by a condition as to he who see either end (head or feet) of Lord Siva is greater than the other. Both started their journey. Brahma went up to see the head and Vishnu went down to see the feet. After travel for several days Lord Vishnu could not find the feet and he sat in deep meditation and realised that he is not the greatest. Lord Brahma also traveled several days and could not see the head and was about to return when he saw a ketaki flower coming down. The flower said that it is coming from the head of Lord Siva. Brahma requested the flower to give evidence in his favour that he has seen the head of Siva. They came to Lord Vishnu and said that Lord Brahma has seen the head of Lord Siva and they are coming from there. Immediately Lord Siva appeared and was very angry with both Lord Brahma and the Thazhampoo for telling lie. He plucked the 5th head of Brahma and cursed that Brahma will not be worshiped in any temple. He also cursed Thazhampoo - Ketaki that the flower is not used to worship him in any temple. On its pleading he made a concession that the flower may be used on the Maha Siva Rathri nights.

However, there is an exception to the above. There is a temple of Lord Siva in Thamilnadu in Ramanathapuram District. The temple is in a village of the district by the name Uthara Kosa Mangai. The Lord is known as  Lord Mangalanathar/Mangaleshwarar. His consort there is known as goddess Mangala Nayaki/ Mangalambikai. The place got its name from the fact that the lord gave the pranavopadesam (secret advice about the pranava)to his consert in this place. The name is derived from Thiru (Lord) Uthara (Advice) Kosa (Secret) Mangai (Consort). In this temple thazhampoo/ketaki offering is considered as highly beneficial. The belief for this is that it is in this temple that the Thazampoo/ketaki got the relaxation of the curse by the lord. 

Specializes of the  Mangalanathar/Mangaleshwarar temple
It is believed that at the request of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu that the Lord Siva should stay in this place and bless the devotees coming here to worship with peace, tranquility, happiness. Accordingly the Lord Siva stayed there in the form of a Swayambhoo Linga. There are other upa devathas (sub deities) in the temple complex f 20 acres of land in separate shines. One of the shrines is for Lord Subramanya with His consorts Valli and Devayanai. Another one at the right side of temple entrance (Raja Gopuram) is for Lord Ganesha. The Naga Devathas are installed under Banyan tree in the complex.  

Shrine of Maragatha Natarajar
There is a special shrine for the deity of Lord Shiva known as Lord Maragatha Natarajar, Mangala Nayaki Thayar/ Mangalambikai. Here the deity is a huge statue of 5.5 feet height made of the precious stone of Maragatha (Emarald). The statue of the lord will always be covered with sandal paste except for one day on the Aurudra Darisanam day in the month of Mrigashirsha when sacred bath is performed and the glory and splendor of the idol of the lord can be seen by those who are lucky to be there on that occasion. On other days the poojas and abhisheka etc are done to a spatika (crystal) linga kept for the purpose. It is the belief that Lord Vishnu,  Lord Brahma,  Mandodhari (wife of Ravana) and most the Nayanmars worshipped Lord Mangalathar in this temple.

The sthala Theertham is Agni Theertham and sthala Vriksham (tree) is Ilanthai (Mimusops elengi).


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