Sri Abhirami Sametha Amirthagadeshwarar Temple - Thirukadaiyur
Thirukadaiyur is a temple in Tamil Nadu, India. It is the place where Lord Shiva protected Markandeya from Yama (Lord of Death) when he was about to take the boy's life. Hence, this temple is supposed to give longevity of life to devotees. A function called Sashtiaptha poorthi is often celebrated for couples,particularly at the temple premises, when the husband reaches 60 or Sadhabishegam when he reaches 80, which is believed to give them a long life.
About the Temple
Most of the temples are known either by the name of the Lord or His Consort. For Example, Madurai reminds us Lordess Meenakshi, Chidambaram for Lord Nataraj Kancheepuram for Lordess Kamatchi and so on. However, there are a few temples that are well-known for the Lord and his Consort and Thirukkadaiyur is one among them. The Amirthakadeshwarar Abirami Temple of Thirukadaiyur is associated with the legends of Markandeya and Abirami Battar.
In line with the grand temple architecture of the Cholas, the Temple occupies a very vast area of 11 acres, with five Prakarams, imposing temple towers and large and spacious Mandapams. Though the details of the king who consecrated the temple could not be ascertained, it is seen from the inscriptions in the temple that it has been in existence during the period of Raja Raja Cholan, that is, from the early 11th century.
It is a grand temple with 5 Prakarams, imposing towers and ornate Mandapams covering an area of 11 acres. Based on the inscriptions seen here, it is inferred that the stone base of the central shrine was in existence even during period of Raja Raja Cholan (early 11th century). It was during the period of Kulottunga Chola I (1075 - 1120) that the brick walls of the temple were replaced with stonewalls and the Mandapam in the front was constructed. The Rajagopuram is replete with images made of mortar, depicting the legends associated with the temple.
Death put to death
Markandeya, son of sage Mrikandu was predicted to live for only 16 years. As advised by his father, Markandeya worshipped Lord Amirthakadeshwarar in Tirukkadaiyur, bringing the water from Ganges through an underground passage to the temple. The passage is in existence to this day, to a depth of a flight of 20 steps. On the destined day, Yama (Yaksha) appeared with his noose, kala paasa. Markandeya sought refuge in the Lord and embraced the Shiva Lingam. The Lord warned Yama not to touch Markandeya as he was under his protection. Yama did not listen and threw the noose that bound Markandeya and the Lingam together. Angered by this act of rashness, the Lord kicked him with the left leg and held him under his left foot, making him inactive.
Images in the temple depict the Lord with a raised forefinger, warning Yama. The mark of the kala paasa is visible on the Lingam. With Yama being rendered inactive, there were no deaths on earth. As nature should have its way, the Kala-samhara-moorthi, the other name by which Amritaghateswarar is known - Lord Shiva brought Death to life. It is here that the significance of 'kicking with the left leg' is spoken about. Had He desired to quell Yama forever, He would have held him under His right leg - as in the case of Muyalaka. The very fact that He used His left leg points to the fact that He intended it as a punishment for an act of rashness and not otherwise.
Since Death was conquered at Tirukadaiyur, it is not unusual to see couples who have celebrated their Shasthiapthapoorthi (completion of 60 years), Bheemaradha Shanthi (70th Birthday) and Sadhabishekam (completion of 80 years) make it a point to have a darshan of the Kala-samhara-moorthi.
The 'New' Moon
Abirami Battar lived during the rule of King Serfoji (Sarabhoji). He was completely devoted to the Consort of Amirthakadeshwarar, Abirami. He would sit in meditation and in the blissful state of trance for hours - sometimes days - together in the presence of the Mother.
King Serfoji, who had visited the temple, saw this temple priest, who was lost in himself and did not even stand up as an elementary mark of respect to the King. Abirami Battar was at that moment meditating and was immersed in the vision of the luminous visage of the Divine Mother. The king was annoyed with Battar for not showing the respects due to him and enquired about him with the persons standing close by. Unfortunately, he was told that 'this fellow' was a fraud.
The King then approached Abirami Battar and asked him for the thithi (lunar day) of that day. It was new moon day. Since the mind of Abirami Battar was filled with the luminescent vision of the Mother, he - even without opening his eyes - said that it was full moon day.
The King was angered by this answer and he thought that he had a clue to the 'true bearings' of this fraud. 'If there is no full moon rising this evening,' he warned Battar, 'you will be put to death.' Abirami Battar was told what had happened only after he opened his eyes after a long time, from his meditation. Poetry, evocative, moving and having the power to melt the hearts of all, flowed from him right from that moment. He sang a hundred verses in praise of Abirami. The verses are known as Abirami Antadhi, a unique kind of poetry that begins with the last foot - or a portion of it - of the previous verse. And the last foot of the last verse would end with the first foot of the first line of first verse. The Mother took Her earring and threw it in the sky. That shone in the sky brighter than the full moon.
King Serfoji realised the greatness of Abirami Battar. Despite the refusal of Battar, he had documented his command on copper plates to donate one-hundredth part of his revenue from all villages to him and his successors. The copper plate is still in possession of the successors of Abirami Battar.
There are three temple tanks - Theertham - known as 'Amrita Pushkarini', 'Kaala Theertham' and 'Maarkandeya Theertham'.
The worship services are offered six times a day in the temple. Almost every day dawns with one celebration or other, as hundreds of pilgrims throng the temple to celebrate their 60th, 70th or 80th birthdays.
Historical Importance of Thirukkadaiyur
This famous Shrine is,
One of the Eight Viraattanams (Avadharams) of Lord Siva. This temple belongs to Dharmapuram Aadinam (Mutt). This temple deities are sung by the three Tamil Trinities i.e, Appar, Sundar and Thirugna
Thirukkadaiyur is further purified by the holy trees like Pinchilam (2000 Years Old Tree) and Bael tree (Vilvam tree).
Before taking Amirtham from Paarkadal, the Devas and Asuras did not pray the first God Vinayaga (Lord Ganesha). He got angry and had stolen the Amirthakalasa and hided it somewhere. It later on became Siva Lingam and hence the Moolavar is known as Amirtham + Kadam and briefly known as Lord Amirthakadeswarar
God Vinayaga has hided the Amirtha kalasam. Hence he gets the name Kallavaaranam. The famous votary of Lordess Abirami, the Abirami Butter has sung Pathigam and Andhadhi on the first God Kalavaranam. It has its own significance
The Lordess Abirami has come as Amman Sakthi from Lord Mahavishnu's ornament (necklace).
Thirukadaiyur is the place where Lord Shiva has bestowed immortality to Sri Maarkandaya and best owed with Ever Sixteen Age (16). For example Lord himself killed the God Yaksha (Yaman) and saved his votary’s life. He has also bestowed yama with the Absolution for the sake of the Goddess Bhumadevi.
Here the Lord killed Yama, for the sake of his votary and has known as Lord Mirthunjayamoorthi. Hence, people perform Shastiapthapoorthi at the begininning of 61st Age of their Star Birthday, Bheemaradha Shanthi at the beginning of 70th Age of their Star Birthday and Sadabishegam at the beginning of 80th Age of their Star Birthday. Other important functions take place here are Ayush-Homam for Children to remove the future Astrolgical difficulties arising from Navagrahas. If anybody is suffering from serious disease and is in the verge of their lives, Mirthunja-Homam is performed here to Lord to save their lives and to relieve them from all illness. This is a proven fact.
It is the place where two out of the 63 Naayanmars Viz., Gungiliya Naayanar and Kaari Naayanar were rendering services to get the blessings of the Lord.
During the Rule of the King Saraboji, Lordess Abirami, for the sake of her votary Abirami Butter, has thrown her stud (Thaadangam) towards the sky during the new moon day. The stud later become round shaped and the new moon day turned into a full-moon Day (Pournami). The votary Abirami Butter has sung the famous"Abirami Andhadhi" praising Lordess Abirami to save him from death, sentenced by the King. Lordess Abirami excused the king and gave her blessings to the votary. This historical story further blossoms Thirukadaiyur.
In the Tamil Calendar, during the month of Kaarthigai (Viruchiga Month), on each and every Monday during Somavarams, the Priests performs "Sankaa-Abishegam" with 1008 Sankus to the Deities for get the blessings for the welfare of the people.
Another famous ocassion is "Yama-Samharam" which takes place annually during the first month of the Tamil year Chithirai (Mesha Month) during Magam Star. This is being celebrated as Lord Shiva killed Yama, in order to save the life of his votary Maakandeyar.
Thirukadaiyur has its own significant plance in the History of TamilNadu and is one of the ancient temple in the place.
POOJAS TO BE PERFORMED FOR:
It is believed that Lord Siva dimnished Kalan (Yaman) in Thirukadiyur. So Lord Siva in Thirukadiyur is called Mritunga jaya murthi . Devotees completing 59 years and starting sixty have to perform Ukira ratha Santhi ; completing sixty years and starting sixties have to perform Sashtiyapatha purthi . Completing sixty-nine years and starting seventy have to perform Beema ratha santhi. Starting eighty has to perform Sathabishekham and Ayusha homam. According to astrology devotees can perform Mrutinji jaya homam.
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE:
Sri Amirtha kadesvarar temple is located in Thirukadiyur which is near Mayiladuthurai in Nagappatinam district in the state of Tamilnadu, India. It is around twenty kilometers from Mayiladuthurai. It is situated in the chidambaram- Nagappatinam East Coast Road.
T.R.V. Sundaramurthy Gurukkal S/o. T.R. Viswanatha Gurukkal
(Chief Priest - Thirukadaiyur Temple Devasthanam)
Mob: +91-9655577497 / +91-9443225345 / +91-4364-287183 / 287378
Where to Stay:
Hotel Sadhabishegam, sannathi street, Thirukkadaiyur, TamilNadu, INDIA
Tel +91 4364 287413, 287613,287713
For More Details Click Here
Few Words From Sri Guruji Narendra Babu Sharma
Before Visiting Thirukkadaiyur, to perform Shastiapthapoorthi (completing sixty years and starting sixties) You Have to Visit Arulmigu Swaminatha Swami Temple - Swamimalai and Climb the 60 Steps - which signify 60 years. then visit Thirukkadaiyur.