Sthala Puranam – Nava Tirupathi Divya Desams – Part-2


Here is a writeup of Stalapuranam about Nava Tirupathi Divya Desams in Thirunelveli , written by Sri U.Ve.Vidwan Egai VedantaDesika Thatacharya Swami.

Part 1 of this can be read from:

Erettai Tirupathi

Two Temples at Thulai Villi Mangalam, referred to as Erettai Tirupathi, about 100 yards of each other on the Northern banks of Tamaraibarani make up one Divya Desam

Nam Azhvaar has sung 11 verses of praise on Devapiran and Aravinda Lochana, the deities of the twin temples, located about 10kms East of Sri Vaikuntam. When Rishi Suprabar dug the ground here for a yagna he was performing, he found a bow and a measuring scale, which turned into a handsome young man and a beautiful girl thus relieving them from Kubera’s curse.

Nam Azhvaar saw and attained Lord Devapiraan of Erettai Tirupathi as both his father and mother in thought, word and deed.

சிந்தையாலும் சொல்லாலும் செய்கையாலும்
தேவபிரானையே தந்தை தாய் என்று அடைந்தவன்
குருகூர் சடகோபன் 

The name
As one found a bow and measuring scale, this place came to be called ‘Thulai’ ‘Villi’ Mangalam.

Karthigai Brahmotsavam
Thai Fridays
Puratasi Saturdays

Moolavar: Devapiran Standing Posture
Goddess : Karunthadakanni Thaayar

Aravinda Losanar Temple

100 yards North of Devapiran temple is the Aravinda Losanar temple. Pleased with Sage Suprabar’s devotion of offering Lotus flowers every day without fail., Lord provided darshan in a standing posture. As he adorned himself with the Lotus flowers, he is referred to as Aravinda Losanar. Belief is that those who offer sincere prayers here with Lotus flowers will be relieved from their sins.
In the Thiruvoi Mozhi Verse on Aravinda Lochana Divya Desam, Nam Azhvaar refers to this prosperous temple as being in Thulai Villi Mangalam on the Northern Bank of Porunai River (Tamaraibarani) where there was constant Vedic Chanting and where the ladies were always uttering the name of ‘Aravinda Lochana’.

திருந்து வேதமுகம் வேள்வியும்
திரு மா மகளிரும் தாம் மலிந்து
இருந்து வாழ் பொருநாள் வடகரை
வான் தொலைவில்லி மங்களம்

கருந்தடம் கணி கைதொழுத அந் நாள்
தொடங்கி இன் நாள்தோறும்
இருந்து இருந்து, அரவிந்த லோசன
என்று என்றே நைந்து இறங்குமே –Thiruvoimozhi

Festivals: 10day Aipasi Brahmotsavam
Moolavar: Aravinda Losanar
Goddess : Karunthadakanni Thaayar
Azhvaar : NamAzhvaar (11 Paasurams)
Time      : 9am-1pm and 2pm-6pm

Mayakoothan Thiru Kulanthai (Perungulam)

10kms North of Thiru Pulingkudi and about 12kms North East of Sri Vaikuntam is the Mayakoothan Perumal Koil in Perungulam and part of the Nava Tirupathi(Divya Desams) near Tirunelveli. This is a Sani Sthalam.

Vedhacharan and Kumudavalli were childless. They bathed in the river here and undertook penance. Pleased with their prayers, Lord Vishnu blessed them with a daughter.

The daughter, Kamalavathi, turned out to be no ordinary girl. She desired to marry the Lord himself and to this end, she relentlessly pursued the Lord offering daily prayers. Moved by her sincerity, the Lord appeared before her and asked for her wishes. Delighted at having darshan of the Lord, she said that her mind had not changed and HE was the one that she wanted. Granting her wishes, he accepted her and took her in his chest.  It is believed that Lord Vishnu came on his Garuda Vaahanam to defeat Asura Asmachaaran. Having defeated the asura, Vishnu is said to have performed his victory dance standing on the asura’s body. The Devas who watched this ‘dancing victory’ of Lord Vishnu wanted him to provide darshan here as ‘Maaya’ ‘Koothan’. Since Garuda was instrumental in bringing the Lord to this place, he was accorded a special status at this temple and is seen as a Utsavar.  Lord is seen alongside Sree Devi, Bhoo Devi and Neela Devi at this temple with Kamaladevi in his chest.

In his only verse on Mayakoothan, NamAzhvaar refers to him as a wonder dancer,riding on Garuda in the West in Southern Kulanthai. His reference to groves and big mansions indicates that this was a prosperous location in centuries gone by. NamAzhvaar says that desiring to see the beauty of the Lord, he went all the way only to lose himself completely on seeing the handsome Lord Mayakoothan.

கூடச் சென்றேன் இனி என் கொடுக்கேன்
கோல்வளை நெஞ்சக் தொடக்கம் எல்லாம்
பாடு அற்று ஒழிய இழந்து வைகல்
பல்வளையார்முன் பரிசு அழிந்தேன்

மாடக் கொடி மதிள் தென் குளந்தை
வன்குட பால் நின்ற மாயகூத்தன்
ஆடல் பறவை உயர்த்த வெல் போர்
ஆழி வலவனை ஆதரித்தே Thiruvoi Mozhi (8-2-4)

Deity : Saara Nathan, Srinivasan East facing Standing Posture
Goddess : Kulanthai Valli Thaayar, Alarmel Mangai Thaayar
Utsavar : Maaya Koothan
Azhavaar : NammAzhvaar- 1 Paasuram
Temple timing : 730am-1230pm and 430pm-730pm

Perungulam is about 15kms East of SriVaikuntam and near Eral.  After finishing Mayakoothan perumal, one can visit Rettai Tirupathi (about 5kms from here and then move East to finish the Nava Tirupathi trip with Pulingudi and Natham Divya Desams)

Thiru Kolur- Vaitha Maa Nidhi Perumal

Located 2 kilometers South East of Azhvaar Thirunagari is the birth place of Madhura Kavi Azhvaar and the Vaitha Maa Nidhi Divya Desam at Thiru Kolur. The Lord is seen in a reclining posture (Bhujanga Sayanam) facing East.

Recover Lost Wealth
Legend has it that Kubera, the protector of the nine forms of wealth, once went to have a Darshan of Lord Shiva. He is said to have cast an evil eye on Goddess Parvati, who cursed him as a result of which he lost an eye as well as the power of being the protector of the wealth. To be liberated from the curse, Kubera is said to have come down to Thiru Kolur to undertake penance.

Lord Vishnu is said to have appeared in a sleeping posture and taken care of the nine forms of wealth from the banks of Taamaraibarani. Hence the Lord is called ‘Vaitha Maa Nidhi’. Another story goes that Dharma Gupta, a brahmin, was in financial distress not being able to even feed his children. He invoked the blessings of his Guru Sage Bharadwaja.  The Sage explained to him the reasons for his current state- Dharma Gupta who had been wealthy in his previous birth had become arrogant and did not share his wealth with the poor. The sage asked Dharma Gupta to proceed to Thiru Kolur to undertake penance in front of Vaitha Maa Nidhi Perumal. He is said to recovered his lost wealth at this place.  It is said that a visit to this temple will help one recover lost wealth. The Lord here is said to help his devotees in distress.

Deity : Nishebavithan, Vaitha Maa Nidhi Perumal East Facing Sleeping Posture
Goddess : Kumutha valli, Kolur Valli
Azhvaar : NammAzhvaar 12 verses- 3293-3303 and 3473
Time : 730am-12noon and 4pm-8pm

Then Thiruperai Nigaril Mugil Vannan

3 kms North East of Thiru Kolur off the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur highway is the big Nigaril Mugilvannan temple at ThenThiruperai, with the Lord seen in a majestic seated posture facing East. Goddess Lakshmi was upset that Lord Vishnu was spending more time with Bhoodevi and not with her. She shared this grievance with Sage Durvasa and also wanted the same colour and beauty as Bhoodevi.  Durvasa, who then met with Bhoodevi, was angered at her disregarding his presence and cursed her to take the same form and colour as Sridevi. While undertaking penance at this place on the banks of Tamaraibarani, she found two fish shaped ear rings and offered it to the Lord. The Lord who wore this came to be known as ‘Makara Nedun Kuzhaikathan’. Since Bhoodevi had taken the form and colour of Sridevi (as a result of the curse), this place came to be called SriPerai/ThiruPerai.

Having been defeated by the Asuras, Varuna (the Rain God) lost his chief weapon (he had earlier insulted his Guru and hence this fate) and undertook penance here. Lord Vishnu is said to have appeared before him on the full moon day in Panguni and helped him recover his lost weapon as well as his powers. As a mark of this episode, it is believed that Varuna, visits this temple, every year, on the full moon day in the month of Panguni (March-April) to worship Vishnu.

Nammazhvar’s Praise of Nigaril Mugil Vannan

நகரமும் நாடும் பிறவும் தேர்வேன்
நான் எனக்கு, இல்லை என் தொழ்மீர்கால்
சிங்கார மணி நெடு மாடம் நீடு
தென் திருபெரையில் வீற்றி இருந்த

மகர நெடுங்குழை காதன், மாயன்
நூற்றுவரை அன்று மங்க நூற்ற
நிகர் இல முகில்வண்ணன், நேமியான், என்
நெஞ்சம் கவர்ந்து எனை ஊழியானே

The lord of Then Thiruperai is surrounded by mountain like jewel mansions.
He is Makara Nedung Kulai Kathan, one who is seen wearing Makara Ear Rings.
He is the Lord who killed a 100 Kauravas.
He is the one who stole my heart long long ago.

Deity : Makara Nedung Kuzhai Kaathan, Nigaril Mugil Vannan East facing Sitting Posture
Goddess : Kuzhai Kaathu Valli, ThiruPerai Naachiyar(Separate Sannidhis)
Azhvaar : NammAzhvaar 11 Paasurams(3359-69)
Temple timing : 730am-12noon and 5pm-830pm

Azhvaar Tirunagari Aathi Nathan temple

Located about 30 kms East of Tirunelveli on the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur highway, Aathi Naathan Temple in Azhvaar Tirunagari is one of the Nava Tirupathi temples on either side of Taamaraibarani. This place is also referred to as Aathi Kshetram, Varaaha Kshetram, Theertha Kshetram, Thaantha Kshetram and Sesha Kshetram and is also called Thiru Kurugur. Most of the inscriptions here date back a 1000years. There is a separate Sannidhi for NammAzhvaar said to be more significant than the main Sannidhi itself for it was here that he spent 16 years in silence. This is the only Divya Desam to have the name of the Azhvaar.

Naatha Muni, who came here to compile the Naalayira Divya Prabhandham composition, is said to have met with Madura Kavi Azhvaar and picked up ‘Kanninun Sirutha Ambinaal’ composition from him. It is believed that Naatha Muni recited these verses 12000 times before NammAzhvaar appeared before him to share the contents of the Naalayira Divya Prabhandham, which Naatha Muni wrote and compiled.

3 days before the end of the Raama Avataar, Lord Yama came to meet Raama. Given the timing, Raama asked Lakshmana not to allow anyone inside. Unfortunately for Lakshmana, it turned out that Sage Durvasa chose to meet with Raama. Knowing the sage’s anger and not wanting to be at the receiving end, Lakshmana remained silent and allowed him entry.  As he stood still like a tree and did not stop the Sage from coming in, as instructed by him, Raama pronounced that Lakshmana turn into a tree. Saddened by this, Lakshmana pleaded before Raama that he could never live away from him. Consoling him, Raama said that he himself had to atone for the sin of making Sita stay in the forest and that he would be born as NammAzhvaar and stay ‘still’ for 16 years. During this period, he would sit under the tamarind tree (Lakshmana).  He directed Lakshmana to the banks of Taamaraibarani, where he would get transformed into a tree. When born, Nammazhvaar is said to have not opened his eyes or cried. He resided under the tamarind tree within the Aathi Naathan temple for 16 years till he met Madurakavi (who later became his disciple) who posed some interesting questions about life. And that is when NammAzhvaar is said to have spoken for the first time. So impressed was MaduraKavi (Azhvaar) with Nammazhvaar’s answers, that he said ‘I do not need God, Nammazhvaar is enough’.

NammAzhvaar Paasuram

ஓடி ஓடி பல பிறப்பும் பிறந்து
மற்ற ஓர் தெய்வம்
பாடி ஆடிப் பணிந்து, பல்படிகளால்
வழி ஏறிக் கண்டீர்

கூடி வானவர் ஏத்த நின்ற
திரு குருகூர் அதனுள்
ஆடு புள் கோடி ஆதி மூர்த்திக்கு
அடிமை புகுவதுவே

After having tirelessly and having several births, one has tried many paths to truth. NammAzhvaar asks the devotees to come and serve Aathi Nathan at Thiru Kurugur, whom the celestials stand and worship and Garuda dances. A special feature at the Aathi Nathan temple at Azhvaar Thirunagari is the stone nadaswaram said to be over 350 years old.

An important festival at this temple is Vaikasi Utsavam, when the deities from all the Nava Tirupathi temples congregate here on the occasion of Garuda Sevai to listen to Paasurams, with Nammazhvaar seated on the Hamsa Vaahanam.  This is one of the three Divya Desams in TN where Araiyar Sevai, the visual song and dance enactment of the ‘Paasurams is still being performed.

Deity : Aathi Nathan East Facing Standing Posture
Goddess :Aathi Nathavalli, Kurugur Valli
Azhvaar : NammAzhvaar- 3106-16(11 Paasurams)
Timing : 7am-12noon and 5pm-8pm

By bus- It is an hour from the new bus stand at Tirunelveli. Buses ply every 5-10minutes on the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur route.
By Train- The broad gauge conversion between Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur has just been completed and one can reach the temple by getting down at Azhvaar Tirunagari station
By Car- One can also take a cab from Tirunelveli and finish all the 9 temples in half day- one day
English Writeup Source: prtraveller

Aravindalochanar Temple
Azhwar Thirunagari
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