Sunday, 24 July 2016

Abirameswarar Shiva Temple – Thiruvamathur (near Villupuram)

This temple signifies Lord Shiva offering protection to Cows as a mother. This paadal petra sthalam has been praised by Thirugnanasambandar, Appar and Sundarar as well. The very existence of cows were in great peril because of the attacks from wild animals, Lord Shiva offered protection to them by providing horns to them. To commemorate this, there is a hoof like mark on the Shiv linga in the main sanctum.

There are two separate temples on either side of the road, one for Shiva and the other one for his consort.  Rama worshipped the Shiva here on his way to Lanka and hence the Lord is called as Abirameswarar. This is also the shrine where sage Bhringi got absolved of his curse. Bhringi used to worship only Lord Shiva and completely ignored Shakti because of which she cursed him to become a Vanni tree.

In the amman temple just opposite to the main temple, there is a circular stone, as per the legend Rama made a pact with king Sugriva in this place before going to Sri Lanka. Hence this stone is referred as stone of oath and it is believed that those who make false statements in the presence of the stone will face bad consequences. Another story which is being told supports this belief – once there were two brothers in a nearby village and the elder one due to his greediness, retained their ancestral property completely for himself without giving anything for his younger brother. Aggrieved by this injustice, the younger brother made a complaint to the village elders and they asked the elder brother to come and make a promise before the circular stone. Aware that this oath taking will be compelled on him, prior to making the promise, the elder brother transformed the plundered wealth into gold and hid them in a walking stick kind of arrangement. Just before making the promise, he momentarily transferred his walking stick to his younger brother, made the promise that he does not have the wealth with him right now and immediately got the stick from his younger brother.  Villagers did not have an option other than accepting the promise and let him go. The elder brother was feeling happy that he had smartly deceived everybody including the Lord. But his happiness was short lived, he was bitten by a highly venomous snake and killed at about 10 kms from this temple. Integrity is always the best policy, promptly reinforced by Devi Herself.

Lord Siva: Abirameswarar , Azhagiya nathar
Ambal (Goddess): Muthambigai, Azhagiya nayagi

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