Friday, July 15, 2011

Temple Visit - Thiruverkadu Sri Vedapureeswarar



















Dear Readers,


I am currently based at the place called ‘Vanagaram’ in Chennai. From my home the famous Thiruverkadu Devi Karumariamman Temple is less than 5 KMs. I have visited Thiruverkadu on many occasions but never visited this ancient Shiva Temple located here. After knowing the greatness I made an exclusive visit to this shrine and had the divine darshan of Sri Balambika sametha Lord Vedapureeswarar.


The Lords here are in divine wedding posture which is a rare one to see. This is one of 32 Paadal Petra Sthalam in the Thondai Region visited by the Saivite Saint Thirugnaana Sambandar, later visited by Saint Arunagirinathar. This temple has Devaram and Thirupugazh in its credit by their visits. You will be surprised to know that this is the birth place of the one of 63 Naayanmar Sri Moorka Nayanar.


Please read on to know more about the temple.


Happy Reading!
Warm Regards

AV Devan
Chennai
15- 7-2011

Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple, Thiruverkadu, Chennai.

Thiruverkadu

Thiruverkadu is the famous religious village located on the Chennai – Bangalore NH 4 Highway about 12 KMs from Chennai Koyambedu Bus Terminus. Verkadu in Tamil means Neem forest. This is the place where the four Vedas stood as Neem tree and worshipped Lord Shiva and hence this place got its name as Thiru-Ver-Kaadu. Thiruverkadu is famous for the Devi Karumariamman Temple. People who visit Thiruverkadu also visit Mangadu Kamakshi Amman Temple which is about 7 KMs from Thiruverkadu. Though many people knew about the famous Mariamman temple here, only a few are aware that Thiruverkadu also hosts one of the ancient Shiva Temple known as Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple.

Greatness of the Temple


This is one of the 32 Paadal Petra Sthalam (i.e. temple visited by the Saivite Saints who have composed divine hymns on the Lord) in the Thondai Region (Mandalam). There are about 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams in Tamilnadu. Thiruverkadu is unique in the sense it is also the birth place of the one of 63 Nayanmar “Sri Moorka Nayanar”. This temple was visited by the Saivite Saint Thirugnaana Sambandar and composed “Devaram” i.e. Divine Hymns on the Lord. This temple was also visited by Saint Arunagirinathar and composed “Thirupugazh” on Lord Muruga. This Village was also known as Vada Vedaranyam since Lords here appear in their Wedding Posture similar to the one at Vedaranyam in the Nagapattinam District.
Legends associated with the temple.


Once when Lord Brahma was proceeding towards Kailash, the son of Lord Shiva, Lord Skanda / Muruga asked Brahma for the meaning of the Pranava Mantra “OM”. When Brahma could not explain the meaning Lord Muruga imprisoned him. As a result, all creations came to a standstill and the devas prayed to Lord Shiva to get Brahma released. Lord Shiva sent Sri Nandhigeswarar to talk to Lord Muruga and rescue Lord Brahma. But Lord Muruga did not listen to Sri Nandhigeswarar and hence Lord Shiva himself approached Muruga and convinced him to release Lord Brahma. Later Lord Shiva instructed Lord Muruga to go to Thiruverkadu and worship him there. Later Lord Muruga visited Thiruverkadu formed a Pond (Theertham) using his Spear (Vel) installed a Shiva Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva here. Hence the Pond here is called as “Velaayudha Theertham” i.e. pond formed with the spear. In this temple we can see Lord Muruga in a separate shrine without any weapons in his hand. Also there is a Shiva Lingam in front of Lord Muruga which is a rare one.

Another legend associated with the temple is that during Lord Shiva’s wedding everyone including Gods, Devas and Saints gathered at Mount Kailash to witness the celestial event. Due to this the earth was tilted towards North and Lord Shiva directed Sage Agasthiyar to go towards South to balance the Earth. Sage Agasthiyar prayed the Lord saying that he will not be able to see the God’s wedding. Hearing this Lord Shiva granted Sage Agasthiyar a boon that wherever He prays the Lord he will have the darshan of his wedding. Sage Agasthiyar on his way stayed here at Thiruverkadu and worshipped Lord Shiva and had the darshan of Lord’s wedding. One can see Lord Shiva and Goddess in ceremonial wedding posture just behind the Shiva Lingam inside the Sanctum. Sage Agasthiyar was blessed to have God’s darshan from various places and Thiruverkadu is one of them.



Details about the Temple


The Lord here is called as Vedhapureeswarar (also known as Sri Verkateeswarar) and the Goddess Sri Baalaambigai (also known as Verkanni Ammai). The temple is constructed on a vast area and the Raja Gopuram is facing east. The Rajagopuram is five tiered and has various sculptures on it. Sri Nandhigeswarar located at the outer Prakaaram decorated with many flowers and Vilvam allowing us to have the Darshan of Sri Vedhapureeswarar. In the Sanctum we can see Sri Vedhapureeswar in the form of Shiva Lingam and behind that we can have the darshan of Lord Shiva and Parvathi in the wedding posture which is the specialty of the temple.

At the inner prakaaram we can see the four Saivite Saints who have sung Thevaram and Thiruvasagam i.e. Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar. Also the “Arupathumoovars” i.e. Sixty Three devotees of Lord Shiva known as “Nayanmars” are located in a row at the Southern Prakaaram. Sri Dakshinamurthy is found at the southern side of the Prakaaram. At the south western side there is a separate shrine for Lord Ganapathi.
The Sanctum and Vimanam is constructed in “Gajabrishta” form i.e. style similar to the backside of an Elephant (semi circle). One can also see Sri Lingothbavar i.e. Linga where one can see the Lord Brahma in Annapakshi (bird) form on the upper portion of the Lingam and Lord Vishnu in Varaha form on the lower portion of the Lingam on the backside of the outer wall of the Sanctum. Just behind the Sanctum one can also see the deities of Sri Kasi Viswanathar, Sri Visalakshi, Anabaya Chozhan and Sekkizhar are seen facing the East towards Sri Lingothbavar. Sri Sandigeswar is facing south towards the Lord and another Sri Sandeeswarar is also seen sitting and meditating the Lord looking towards the Sanctum. Ambal Sri Balaambigai is facing South and has Simha Vahanam facing her towards North. There is a tall Dhwajasthambam in front of the shrine. There are separate shrines for Lord Saneeswarar.

This is also the birth place of one of 63 Nayanmar named “Moorka Nayanar” and there is a separate shrine to Moorka Nayanar on the North Eastern side of the outer prakaaram. Moorka Nayanar was born at Thiruverkadu and was doing service to Saivite Saints by first offering food to them. Nayanar partakes food only after feeding the Saivaite Saints. By doing this service he lost all his wealth. However he later adopted Gambling as a means to earn livelihood to serve the Shiva devotees.


Sri Arunagirinathar has sung Thirupugazh on Lord Muruga here and has a separate shrine facing west on the South Eastern Side of the temple. The Sthala Vruksham (Tree) is called “Vel-Vela Maram” which is seen on the outer prakaaram. There is a Shiva Lingam and Sri Nandhi under the Sthala Vruksham. The Theertham (Water) of this temple is called Velaayudha Teertham formed by Lord Skanda.


Let us visit this holy shrine and get the blessings of Sri Vedapureeswar and Sri Balambika.

Bibliography/Reference

Thiruverkadu Vedapureeswarar Temple – http://www.dharsanam.com/
Thiruverkkadu Vedapureeswarar - Pulivahanan.Wetpaint.com
http://www.thiruverkadukarumari.com/

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