Glory of Bharath  »  Bharath Darshan
Dear Sai brothers and sisters,
This month our sojourn is to Alangudi to worship the Guru.


Alangudi
Lord Guru Bhagavan or Lord Dakshinamurthy is one of the "Navagrahas" and is referred to the planet Jupiter, and Alangudi is the "Guru Stalam" dedicated to the planet Jupiter. Thursday is an auspisious day for Lord Guru Bhagavan. The temple here is known as the "Arulmigu Abathsagayeswarar temple" where the main deity is Lord Shiva.
Alangudi is a tiny village in Thiruvarur Dt. of Tamil Nadu. It is 7 kms South of Needamangalam Railway station and 17 Kms South of Kumbakonam, on the road that leads to maanargudi. Kasi Arranyam, Thiru Erumpoolai and Alangudi are the names by which this holy place is known. The Divine poet, Thirugnanasambandar has blessed this Sthalam as beautiful place filled with flowers.

Alangudi is the divine place, where Lord Guru can be propitiated in the form of Sri Dakshinamurthy. This sacred shrine of Jupiter is renowned for its tri-glories, i.e. Moorthy (The Presiding Deity), sthalam (Place of divinity) and theertham (The Holy Water). Lakhs of people throng his place, particularly on the day of Jupiter's transit to the next sign, to solicit Jupiter's protection from afflictions. Lord Jupiter's benign look (Drishti) can shower a lot of blessings from him. He is Deva guru. He is also known as Brihaspathi, due to his excellence in education and fine arts, possessing supreme intelligence.

Alangudi is the holy abode of Jupiter and a divine place where one could propitiate Jupiter. Lord Shiva is manifested here in the form of Lord Guru. Sri Dakshinamurthy is to be worshipped as he is worshipped, as Guru Bhagwan here. Alangudi is renowned for its 'triglories' i.e Moorthy (The Presiding Deity), Sthalam (Place of divinity) and Theertham (The Holy Water).


Legends

274 Sthalams of erstwhile Chola Country have been sung in Thevaram and Alangudi is one among the 127 Sthalams, situated on the southern banks of Cauvery River. Sage Sukha, Rishi Viswamithra, Sage Agastya, Adisankara and several other holy men have worshipped at this shrine. The Lord of this Sthalam is Swayumbhu. Hence, the period of this temple could not be fixed accurately. The temple was in existence since ancient times.

This temple was believed to be constructed by an ardent of Lord Shiva 'Amuthokar', the minister of the King Masukuntha Chakravarti. He was beheaded by the Chakravarti, as he refused to give half of his Punya, (merit) to the King. On his death, the sthalam reverberated with the sound 'Amuthokar'. The King got frightened at this constant diabolic echo, realizes his mistake and worshipped the Lord Abadsahayeswarar with ardent devotion. Then, he was relieved from all Doshas.

Poolai Shrub is the holy tree of this Sthalam and it is an object of worship here. Alangudi is surrounded by three holy rivers. They are Cauvery, Kolidam and Vennaru. Fifteen theerthams are around this temple, among which the Amrita Pushkarani encircling the temple is very famous. Chakra theertham is in front of the temple. It is said that this theertham, was created by Maha Vishnu's Chakra.

Once a Chola Raja, who ruled over Thiruvarur, was fascinated by the idol of Sundaramurthy at Alangudi and desired to have it installed at Thiruvarur for worship. On learning this, temple priest at Alangudi become panic stricken. He disguised the idol as a child affected with chicken-pox, hid it inside a swing and brought it back safely to Alangudi. The traces of Chicken-pox can still be seen on this image.


History of the Temple
Legend has it that Alangudi is the place where Lord Shiva consumed the deadly poison as emitted during the churning of the 'paarkadal' (Sea of milk). Hence the place is known as Alangudi, which literally mean 'the place where Lord Shiva consumed the deadly poison'. The Devas, when churning the paarkadal for nectar, were hindered by the poisonous fumes from the snake Vasuki and prayed to Lord Siva for deliverance. Lord Siva consumed the deadly poison (Ala Visham) , thus giving rise to the name Alangudi to this sthalam and the Lord was known as "Aabathsagayeshwarar" (One who defends from the danger).

Devas also had a horrid time by Gajamuha suran and Lord Ganesha subdued Gajamuhasuran, and hence Lord Ganesha is worshipped in this sthalam as 'Kalangaamal kaatha Vinayagar'. Goddess Parvati undertook severe penance to marry Lord Siva and then married Lord Siva and hence this place is also hailed as Thirumana Mangalam.

Lord Siva as a ferryman (boatman) helped Sundaramurthy Swamigal to cross the river Vettaru, a branch of river cauvery, 3 km away from Alangudi, which was in spate, to reach this place. The boat capsized hitting a rock, on the way. Lord Siva seated on his Rishaba Vahana helped him reach the sthala safely. Sundarar received his Gnana upadesam after his darshanam of Dakshinamurthy at this sthalam.

This sthalam is the Parivara sthalam for Madhyarjuna Mahalinga Perumal. This is the fourth amongst the Panchavarunya Sthalas. Vishwamithrar, Thirumal, Brahma, Lakshmi, Garuda, Ashta Thikku Balagas, Ayyanar, Veera Badrar, Mukunda Chakravarthy, Suvasanan, Sundarar have worshipped at this sthala.

Thiru Gnanasambandar has sung in praise of the Lord here and is the 98th temple among the 127 temples located on the southern bank of Cauvery.

Our sojourn continues next month…Till then Sai Ram


- October 11
- December 09













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