The first time when I went there, I was very reluctant of the stay. Where do we stay in the hill top? Also I had some luggage, and was afraid I will end up sleeping in the open air. But when I reached there, I was surprised to see lot of modern RC buildings near the temples. There are very powerful LED lights, which are solar power based, and a very huge Kirloskar generator, which is used on festival days, till midnight. Sathuragiri is safe for women also.
There are 4-5 mutts in the vicinity of Sundara Mahalingam Temple, and good 4-5 mutts in vicinity of Santhana Mahalingam Temple. The famous, “Kanji Matam” has history of close to 40 years, where an elderly women used to take Kanji / Starch every day to the hill from her home, and serve people who came there. It has been established well now.
I should definitely say some words about Sivasangu Ayya, who runs the Sivasangu Annadhana mutt.
Seems he has been running this for atleast 20 years now. The first time I went to this hill, I was taken here by the students group for lunch at 4PM and was surprised; the food was served hot and tasty. I should say, this is the only mutt, where they call “Ayya saapidalam vaanga! Amma saapidalam vaanga!”In all other places, I didn’t like the way in which the people are called. Sivasangu Ayya accepts money in case you give him after meals, which he uses for providing food the next time, and doesn’t bother, in case you don’t give him also. The first time he saw me, he explained how he runs this, how people help him providing food and stuff like that. There will be huge crowd in this mutt during festival days for stay at night.
Puthupatti Mutt, which is run by Balaraman sir’s relatives, has a relatively lesser crowd, and you will find place any festival day to rest, possibly other than Aadi and Thai Amavaasyas.
Now, after praying Sri Sundara Mahalinga Swami, we have to climb down 10 steps and we are just before “Sri Sri Sri Sundara Lingam”. Let’s see history of this Lingam, before we have His darshan.
Shiva – Parvathi Marriage:
Lord Shiva, wanted to have small fun and created this world. In some Krutha yuga He decided to marry Parvathi devi (This is 28th Kali yuga, as ascertained by Sri Adhi Sankara), who was living in this world as daughter of Parvatha Rajan. Saptha Rishis fixed the marriage Muhurat, and Shiva ordered Nandi, to invite all Devars, 48000 Rishis, Garudas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Vinayagar, Subhramanyar, Munis and also the people who lived in this world, with their consorts / wives. Once they arrived, Parvatha Rajan invited Lord Shiva, to come to Mountain Meru, where the marriage was scheduled to happen.
Creation of Agasthiyar Peruman:
The Lord and Goddess were seated in a throne, full of pearls and Pushparagham. All the invitees were standing around them to witness the holy marriage, when the Northern hemisphere tilted down, and Southern hemisphere rose from its position. Bhooma Devi, mother of earth, moved her hand and at the same time, Aadhiseshan, moved his head in disbelief. Lord Shiva, who saw this, created a Rishi from his heart, and named Him “Agasthya”!!! (Iraivanin Agathil irunthu vanthathal thaan emakku Agathiyan endru peyar, has said Maha Guru Agasthiyar in his nadi!)
Lord Shiva, ordered his replica, as I would any-day say happily, to travel to southern hemisphere, so that the world will regain its balance. Hearing this, Agasthiyar became sad, since He would not be able to witness the holy wedding. Lord Shiva, on hearing this, blessed Agasthiyar, with a too great boon, which would probably fit only this Guru in this known creation. “Wherever, and whichever time, you think of Me Agasthya, I will bless you with this Wedding scene there, at that time itself!!!(thirumana kolam).”
One thing to mention here. In Chennai, if you want to have darshan of Thirumana Kolam, you can go to Thiruverkadu Shiva temple (not the famous Mariamman temple) or Othandeeswarar temple in Thirumazhisai. Only these two sthalams have this speciality. Agasthyar Ashramam in T.Nagar, has a manmade thirumana kolam, which is not attributed to Sidhdhar Agasthiyar Peruman.
Gurudevar Agasthiyar, travelled down south and reached Pothigai hills. The world got its balance. Agasthiyar peruman stayed for some time in Pothigai, and did thapas, yagyas, and poojas to Lord Shiva in Thirukutralam. During this period, he came to know about the Sathuragiri Hills, the Munis, Rishis, Sidhdhas who lived there, and lots of Kaaya-kalpa herbs, which were present at that point of time.
Thirumana-Kolam in Sathuragiri:
Agasthiyar Peruman, reached Sathuragiri, and was welcomed by Sidhdhar Sundaranandhar, Yugi Munivar, Konganar, and many Rishis. In their conversation, Agasthiyar Peruman came to know many herbs which were there and being extremely happy, to do a Shiva pooja, did Pratishta of a Linga, and started pooja for that Lingam in Aagama-Vedha-Purana-Shaastra methods.
When doing so, he remembered the boon given by Shiva, on His wedding day. So, Agasthiyar peruman, thought of that boon, and started praying Shiva, using many mantras. Shiva, on seeing this, came to Sathuragiri, with Goddess Parvathi, Ashta-Digh-Balakas, many devas, Rishis, and Sidhdhars with consorts.
Because of Agasthiyar Peruman’s devotion, entire Rishi-Muni-Sidhdha clan in Sathuragiri got darshan of the Lord in His wedding scene again. Gurudevar Agasthiyar, started praying Shiva regularly with this Lingam and after sometime, wanted to start His tapas again. Sidhdhar Sundaranandhar, on knowing this, asked permission from this great sage, to continue the pooja which he did for which Agasthiyar Peruman accepted and blessed the other Sidhdhar and taught him pooja Vidhis and left.
This Lingam, is called “Sundara Lingam”, with the name attributed to Great Sidhdhar Sundaranandhar, who did poojas for long time.
பின்னைநின்று என்னே பிறவி பெறுவது
முன்னைநன் றாக முயல்தவம் செய்கிலர்!
என்னைநன் றாக இறைவன் படைத்தனன்
தன்னைநன் றாகத் தமிழ்செய்யு மாறே!!
You have got a new birth now,
Because you didn’t use your previous Birth to attain Moksha (by dhaana, dharma, and Tapas)!
God created me in a very good way,
To praise Him good in Tamil!!
Says Thirumoolar Peruman in his Thirumanthiram!
Umaya Saha Deveshu, Nandhi Vahanamevacha!
Basmalepana Sarvaangam, Eka Bilvam Sivaarpanam!!
With Uma Devi, and all Devas accompanying Him, Shiva appears on Nandhi!
To Him, who has adorned sacred Ash all over his body, I offer, a Bilva leaf!!
says Bilvashtakam. We pray Lord Shiva standing before Sri Sundara Lingam, thinking about His Thirumana Kolam which He showed and blessed Agasthiyar Peruman and other Rishis in Sathuragiri, and move down.
After coming down probably 15 steps, take a Right, and walk the most difficult 30-40 steps, since they are wide and slightly bigger ones, and with pain, enter Sivasangu Ayya madam, have lunch, rest for 5 mins, climb another 15-20 steps, and you are in
“Sri Sri Sri Santhana Mahalingam Temple!!!”
This temple complex has too many good things to write about, so see you in next post! Before that, have a darshan of the temple complex now.