The first time I went, I started in adivaram at 10 AM and reached Sathuragiri at 4 PM! Guinness record for slow walking I thought. I have gone after that with different people, and I proudly say, every time, am the slowest 🙂
I had taken some Abhishegam things that time and went straight to Ayya Sivasangu Matam for lunch(this I will write elaborately later). He guided me to meet Mr. Balaraman from Madurai.
Balaraman sir, as I call him, is a retired person, and his family holds a mutt on top, called Pudhupatti matam. Both my overnight stays in Sathuragiri have been there. His family is doing Pournami Abhishegam for all Lingams and Aanandha Valli Amman on top, almost close to 40 years now. In my first visit, he inquired my details, work and did one thing, which I would not have done in his place.
He called his nephew and told, “Give my seat to Palani today in all abhishegams and poojas!” I was shell shocked, surprised on why this happened. There were many who gave him Abhishegam things at that same time. Might be, it was God’s own wish to give me such a beautiful darshan after so many trials, but I never know. Sat in front row before all sannadhis, and saw the poojas done. What started in Anandhavalli Amman sannidhi at 5.30 PM, ended exactly at 12.30 midnight, in the same sannidhi. I didn’t go to see Abhishegam in Pala-adi Karuppar sannidhi after that.
That Periya Karthigai night, I will cherish in my whole life!
Thirukailayam – Siva Peruman Thiru-sabhai:
With consort Parvathi was Lord Shiva seated in His assembly. Rishis, Munis, Devas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, and Shiva Ganas were present, making the atmosphere divine.
An ardent devotee of Shiva, Yaazh-Valla-Devar was playing Saama Gaanam with his Veena. The complete gathering was enjoying his soulful music. Added to this, puranam says, he was equal to Love God Manmathan in his looks.In the crowd, there was a lady who was from Deva lokam. She was way too beautiful, and when Yaazh-Valla-Devar had a momentary look towards her, both fell in love with each other.
Lord Shiva, who realized what went on in His divine assembly, called upon both, and said, since Kailash was not a place for love, both shall be born in this world and live as man and wife.On hearing this, both were terribly upset. Their take was, once if they get into a human birth, Mayaa will surround them, and they will get into cycles of birth and death. They both prostrated before Lord Shiva, and asked for their lifetime in world. Lord Shiva blessed, that within 40 years of worldly life, they will be taken back.
In a distance of 5 Naazhis from Sathuragiri, in a place called Kotaiyoor, as son of leader of Yaadavas, Thillaikon and his wife Thilagamathi, was born Yaazh-Valla-Devar, and was named Pachaimaal. Thillaikon’s sister, Singaara-Mangai, and her husband, Sengamalakannan, as their 8th child, had a daughter, Sadai-Mangai, who was the deva logam lady in her worldly birth.
When Yaazh-Valla-Devar was 16 yrs old, and Sadai-Mangai was 12 yrs old, their marriage was conducted by their parents, and they lived a very happy and peaceful life. During this period, Pachaimaal started herding cattle and would often visit Sathuragiri, and stay with his cattle-fold inside forest for some days. Sadai-mangai would visit him, collect the milk, return to her home and sell it in neighborhood. This routine went on for 20 years.
Lord Shiva comes to Sathuragiri:
The Lord, who runs the world by His 5 deeds, decided to give darshan and bless this couple. He came to Sathuragiri wearing Sacred Ash and Rudrakshas, Jadamudi, Thandam (stick used by rishis to rest their hand when in penance), kamandalam, looking like a Sidhdhar, and sat down near Maavoothu.
Sadai-Mangai, on her way home once, saw this Sidhdhar, prostrated before Him and seek-ed his blessings. On this, Sidhdhar asked her, “Maadhu Sironmani! I have great thirst. Will you give me some cow’s milk?” Sadai-Mangai immediately gave Him the vessel and the Sidhdhar drank some milk. “I wish to stay here for some days, and do tapas. Can you give me some milk every day?” was His question, for which Sadai-Mangai immediately accepted.
Then on, everyday, when returning home, she will prostrate before the Sidhdhar, pray Him, and give Him the vessel and clean surroundings. And since there was lesser and lesser milk every day, her parents and in-laws made a complaint to Pachaimaal on reducing milk quantity. The very next day, Pachaimaal, followed his wife secretly and found that the Sidhdhar was drinking milk to quench His thirst. He went to his home and being very angry that he suffered so much to herd cattle inside forest, he punished his wife.
Sada-thaari Amman and Ayyanars:
Sadai-mangai, on the next day, came to the Sidhdhar, and cried on her ill-fate. Karunamoorthi, Lord Shiva, blessed her immediately, with a position in Nava-Shakthis, with a name Sada-thaari Amman! Puranam says, there is a temple for Sada-thaari in Sathuragiri, and She is very powerful in blessing people with their worldly needs.
Since they did not find her sister, all her 7 elder brothers, came searching for her, found that she has become divine and felt a lot for missing her. Seeing this, Lord Shiva, made these 7 brothers Ayyanars, and made them sit in different directions.
Pachaimaal, on learning what happened with his wife and her brothers, got frustrated of this worldly life, went deep inside forests, lived with his cattle, and helped people who came there. Since he was alone, he started doing meditation, and always had his thinking on Shiva, for giving him moksham.
One day, when he was herding cattle in the forest, he incidentally saw a Lingam, which was installed by none other than Sidhdhar Agasthiyar Peruman (This we will see in the next part). Sidhdhar Sundaranandhar was performing pooja at that time. Feeling very happy, Pachaimaal went near the Lingam, prayed it and got blessed by Sidhdhar Sundaranandhar. And every day, he started giving milk for Abhishegam for this Lingam. He had marked a cow for this purpose.
Lord of Universe, Shiva, decided to take him back and came near this Lingam from Maavothu one day. Sidhdhar Sundaranandhar, on seeing Him, thought He is a big Sidhdhar, and welcomed Him with all respects.
Sidhdhar stayed with Sundaranandhar for some time and on that eventful day, Sundaranandhar had gone outside using his sidhdhis to travel on sky (Gagana-sancharam). Pachaimaal, rushed to his cowshed after herding cattle, to take milk and give it to the Sidhdhar. Alas, the cow which he had marked for Abhishegam purpose was not there in the cattle. Lord had stopped it under the Karpaga-vruksham tree in Sathuragiri, where He was sitting.
Pachaimaal came in search of the cow, and saw that the Sidhdhar was drinking its milk. He got very angry, that the milk for Shiva pooja was snatched by this person, and hit Him very hard on His head with the stick which he always carried. This beating was received by all living creatures in this world!
Seeing their head getting injured, Sidhdhar Sundaranandhar and Sattai Muni both appeared there to punish Pachaimaal. But the Sidhdhar, who got the beating, stopped them and stood up from his seat and disappeared.
Appeared in a lightning flash was Lord Shiva. Pachaimaal on seeing the Lord fell in his feet multiple times, and when Shiva asked for a boon, he said, he only needed Moksham. It was granted 🙂
Shiva asked Sundaranandhar and Sattai Muni for a boon, and they asked for His presence in Sathuragiri for eternity. Shiva blessed them and disappeared, leaving behind a suyambu Lingam which we will see in a couple of minutes.
Now, you stand at this point in Sathuragiri.
When you climb some 15 – 20 steps, you have a shrine to your right. Shiva lingam, which was installed by Agasthiyar Peruman is here! You continue climbing another 10 steps, and walk towards the temple. Take a left, and enter the premises.
The parivaara deivams are worthy to be seen first.
Complete the Pariharam, and come to the entrance, you have Nandhi devar and an Elephant, vahanams for Sundara Mahalinga Swamy and Vinayaga Peruman, who is also present in this shrine !
And before you, is whom Maharishis, Munis, and supreme souls call –
Umai oru Baaghan,
Ellam Valla Em-Piran, Sri Sri Sri Sundara Mahalinga Swaami!
முன்னைஒப் பாயுள்ள மூவர்க்கும் மூத்தவன்!
தன்னைஒப் பாய்ஒன்றும் இல்லாத் தலைமகன்!!
தன்னைஅப் பாயெனில் அப்பனு மாயுளன்!
பொன்னைஒப் பாகின்ற போதகத் தானே!!
He is the leader of Trinity!
Who has nothing equal to Him in creation!!
If called “Appa”, He also becomes a father!
He who has His body shining like gold!!
Says Thirumoolar peruman.
Trust me, a single sight of Him, makes you feel worthy of this complete journey.
Speciality of the temple:
Non-Brahmins take care of this temple and pooja. They don’t know to chant mantras. They only sing a couple of Pathigams when Sandhi poojas are done. But their sincerity is awesome. And when the conch is blown thrice at end of each Sandhi pooja, you will feel out of the world. Uchi kalam is at 12 noon, and Sayaratchai is at 4 pm.
Prayed this Lord and came out to the Lingam, which has been installed by Sri Agasthiyar Peruman.
We shall see it in next post!