3 special temples in the South of Bharat Ma
This year’s Yatra is yet to be processed and put into words. The major difference with the last year, it was planned lightly without much organisational hassle - however with great deal of focus on Sadhana. Once back on a computer, both - Yatra 2019 and 2018 - shall be refreshed and put into articles on ShantiDwara.com as stepping stones for other Yatris.
Given this year’s visit to some of the favourite Ma’s portals of Kalighat, Dakshineshwar Kali Temples (Kolkata), my most favourite (Palani and Ivar Malai) Murugan Mandirs, most impressive Meenakshi Amma Ji embrace (in Madurai), fantastic swirling through Sri Rameshwaram whirlpools of Ram’s precious land marks, this journey has unearthed 3 new breath taking love affairs. Through our 5 week of wondering, with blessings of our Guru Jis, teachers and Sangha, by the invisible hand of the all-seeing One at the end of our graceful Yatra we have been brought to the following 3 extraordinary temples in Tamil Nadu. No doubt, being there will bring you down in full prostrations...
Thirupullani, 1 hour north from Rameshwaram, 20m west of Ramnathapuram.
Divya Desam105, Thiruppullani Arulmigu Kalyana Jagannatha Perumal Temple
Keywords: ANCIENT temple (lakhs of years), POWERFUL, huge reclining Rama with Brahma, Surya and Chandra originating of the navel, empty of crowds, mind blowing priests
Hints: take time to explore systematically, do triple parikrama around each sanctum sanctorium, visit MahaLakshmi first, Rama Bhavan next to finish with Adi Jagannath
Thiruvarur, Pondicherry region, 1h west of Karaikal (went there by night sleeper bus from Ramnathpuram, can exit 1 stop earlier in Nagapattinam).
Sri Kamalambal Temple and Arulmigu Thiyaagaraaja Swaamy Temple
Keywords: POWERFUL, TyagRaj Shiva and Kamalambal both with 2 crescents (one for themselves, one for consort) and sacred threads over bodies (Devi too!), two swords - Jnana and Veera, the biggest Teerth in India
Hints: ancient, powerful, take time to explore, make sure to find Sri Kamalambal Temple, it stands outside main complex
3. Thirumeyachur, just 0.5h north of Thiruvarur on the way towards Mayiladuturai (major train station).
Sri Meganathaswamy Lalithambigai temple
Keywords: POWERFUL Lalithambigai Temple, origin of Lalitasahasranama chanting
Hints: get darshan of Mahashodashi-Lalitambika first, then Shiva, offer bangles to Devi
Snippets from the web:
“Located at a distance of around 12km from Ramanathapuram, Thiruppullani is a small village known for the temple of Adi Jaganntha. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram that stands facing east. The temple enshrines the idol of Lord Vishnu along with Sri Devi and Bhudevi. There is a separate shrine close to this temple, where the consort of (Adi Jagannath) Lord Vishnu, Padmasini Devi is worshipped. Another temple enshrined the statue of Lord Dharbasayana Ramar in a reclining posture.”
“So Mother Kamalambal grants darshan to her devotees with this Crescent Moon jewel. She represents Mothers Saraswathi, Parvathi and Mahalakshmi holding a flower in the right hand, keeping the left on the hip and legs on a Yoga posture as an Empress with pasam ankusham, rudraksha and lotus in her arms. Also within this temple there is another little temple called the Kamalambal Temple. This is considered one of the 64 Sakthi Peedam.
The Thiruvarur Devi, Kamalambal, is the yogini. She is the tantric focus of spiritual power. Her shrine faces north, the direction of Kailasam, symbolizing release from the cycle of birth and death. She sits cross-legged in virginal purity contrasting the more earthy and sensual Bhoga Amman within the inner precincts.
The Ambal sannidhi complex has a lot of mysticism built into it with the figures and construction all as per Srividya concept and it will not be explained by the priests to all. For example the Ganapathy in the main temple entrance is called Vallabha Ganapathy due to Vallabha on his left lap with the lord having 10 arms also. The Ambal sannidhi has an Uchishta Ganapathy with an asura neela on his lap (and his hands controlling this asura with many features who becomes a goddess as Ganapathy is with her, these are all part of the srividya worship traditions hence a treat to the connoisseur.
The temple history credits this temple as the earliest in the whole complex. Muthuswamy Dikshidar has composed 9 Krithis on this deity called nava Varna krithis which people who practice srividya say is his Gnana drishti, flowing out as compositions.”
“There are many specialities associated with Sri Lalithambal sameda Sri Meganathaswamy temple in Tirumiyachur, Peralam, Nannilam taluk, Tiruvarur district. Foremost among them is the fact that this is where Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam originated. Also it was here that Sri Agastiyar composed Sri Lalitha Navaratinamala. The Goddess is referred to as Soundarya Nayaki.
Legend has it that it was after worshipping Siva here Surya got rid of a curse and recovered his brilliance. Both Sani and Yama were born to Surya here. Yama worships Sri Meganathaswamy daily at noon.
Interesting Facts Tirumiyachur has been eulogised by Tirugnanasambandar and Appar. Sri Kshetrapuraneswarar and Sri Chandrasekhar underline marital compatibility. A parrot is perched on the arm of Sri Durga. The bird is said to convey devotees’ messages and appeals to Sri Lalithambika.
A unique factor is that two Siva temples coexist here, the other being the shrine for Sri Sakalabhuvaneswarar with sri Megalambika as Consort. The vimanam of Sri Meganathaswamy temple is Gajabrishta.
There is a beautiful sculpture of Kshetrapuraneswarar and Ambal. In the background is an interesting story. Surya doing penance, cries out in agony as Siva does not appear. Disturbed by his call, Parvati protests. Siva pacifies Her and offers Surya relief. The sculpture of the Lord pacifying Ambal shows her sullen from one angle and smiling from another.”