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Veeratteswarar Temple Significance

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One of the 8 Veeratta Stalams of Shiva One of the 275 sacred temples glorified by the Thevara hymns

Location: The temple is located in a place called Kizhur or Kizhaiyur. Legend: The eight Veeratta Sthalams are where Lord Shiva vanquished various demons. Here He vanquished Andakasuran. The Periyanai Ganapathi shrine here had been worshipped by Poet Avvaiyar. Since it was getting late for the Poet to go to Kailayam, this Vinayagar is said to have lifted her up and placed ahead of Sundarar en route Kailayam. The Temple: The moolavar here is a big Swayambu lingam. During the Kumbabhisheha work, when the area around the lingam was dug up, the base of the lingam was going well below 25 feet and so it was left untouched further. Although much in need of repair, frescos on ceilings are of interest. The Rajagopuram is about 70 ft in height and the temple has 2 praharams. Inscriptions from the Pallava, Vijayalaya I and Paranthaka Chola I periods are found here. Durgai koshta God is here is very special since Her eyes appear with white eyeballs as real eyes though the idol has been sculptured in black granite stone. It’s a wonder indeed! The Ambal temple is located separately. Kabilar Kundru This place, being maintained by the state Archaeological Department, is near the Veeratteswarar temple and is situated in the middle of the river Pennayar. After the death of Pari, the King who is said to have given his chariot to a jasmine creeper for its support to grow, his daughters Angavai and Sangavai (names seem to have been heard somewhere? remember the daughters of Soloman Pappayya in the movie Sivaji?) had suffered a lot. The saint poet Kabilar, a good friend of Pari and the caretaker of the girls could not bear the pain of the sufferings of the girls had immolated himself on this rock. Gnananandha Thapovanam The history of the Matam, takes us back to the times of Adhi Shankara. Adhi Shankara established four Peetams of which Jyotir Matam is one, with Thotakacharya as the main functionary [Thotakacharya was Sankara’s disciple]. In this lineage the Fifth Peetathipathi was Sri Sivaratna Giri Swamiji. Sri Gnanananda Giri Swami was his principal disciple viz. Sixth Peetathipathi. When His Guru attained Samadhi on a Chitra Pournami day, Sri Gnanananda Giri Swami was unable to bear the separation of his Guru and so left the Peetam and went to Manasarour, handing over the charge to his disciple. At Manasarovar, he practised vigorous penance for a number of years and travelled by foot to a number of places in India, Malaya [now Malaysia], Burma [now Myanmar] and Sri Lanka, and interacted and blessed his devotees. At last he reached Thirukkovilur and

established the Ashram at the Thapovanam. He is a Siddha Purusha, transcending time and space. Rahothama Brindhavan The Samadhi of Swami Ragothama, worshipped by the followers of Madhwas and others is situated on the bank of the river South Pennai. Other places:
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Kugai Namachivayar Samadhi in the North street Aadhi Madalayam near the Veerateswarar temple

Vishnu Durgai Temple at Seerpananthal This temple is located at 4kms north of Odiyanthal, in the Thirukkoyilur – Sankarapuram highways. Normally you can see Goddess Durgai only as a koshta god in the outer walls of the sanctum sanctorum but this temple is exclusive for Vishnu durgai. She is seen with six hands trampling the demon Mahishasuran’s head by her feet. The temple was visited by Kanchi Maha Periyavar in 1930s. Legend says that the seven Kannigas started from their place separately and decided to stay at wherever they are during dawn. As per that, the second Kanniga Vishnu Durga stayed here.

Sri Ramana, then still a 16 year-old boy, came to Tirukkouyilur on his way to Arunachala, and experienced the unlimited light in Arayaninallur Temple. Later, trying to find food, he went a bit more than 1 km away to another temple, Viratteswara (also transliterated as Veerateshwarar), with some other visitors of Arayaninallur Temple. They sat for the puja, where Ramana again sank into samadhi. When it ended about 9 PM, Ramana asked if he could have something to eat from the offered food, prasad. After being told that there was nothing for him, the drummer for the puja told them to give Ramana his share. After eating, the young Ramana slept on the ground, collapsing at the end of the day. The next morning, August 31, 1896, was celebrated throughout India as Sri Krishna’s birthday, a most auspicious day. Ramana could not find the right road to get to Tiruvannamalai, so felt that he would not be able to walk. Still exhausted and hungry, Ramana reasoned that his ruby earring, worth about Rs 20, could be used for money to take the train and to get something to eat. He went, at random, to Muthukrishna Bhagavatar’s house, near the Viratteswara Temple, begging for food. The woman of the house, seeing the beautiful Brahmin youth, welcomed him and gave him a good meal. Ramana then asked Muthukrishna Bhagavatar for four rupees in exchange for his earring. Seeing this as a loan, it was agreed to, and a note was written to Ramana so that he could, at a later date, ‘redeem’ his earring. Before he left the house for his journey, the housewife gave Ramana sweetmeats that had been made as an offering to Krishna. Ramana left the house, threw the note away, knowing that he would never again have use for the earring, and used the money for a train ticket to Tiruvannamalai. He took the train to Tiruvannamalai, to be with his father, Arunachala, which he never again left in this lifetime. This posting shows the journey from the train station and tracks which Ramana followed to get to Tirukkouyilur, to Arayaninallur Temple, across the Pennar River to Viratteswara Temple, then to Muthukrishna Bhagavatar’s house. Arayaninallur Temple was shown in some detail in the previous post, Part One of this series. Ramana followed the railroad tracks into town. This old sign may have been there even then.

This is the road that Ramana would have taken into the temple. it is a direct walk to the temple on the rock. the goporum is what is seen first. As you walk. Arayaninallur Temple. .From the train station.

Arunachala can be seen dimly here.From the rock. Here is a blow up of the photo above. Arunachala is visible (depending on the clarity of the day). In the photo below it is a smudge on the horizon. .

Across the Pennar River is Viratteswara Temple. In this closeup. . the gopuram can be seen rising above the trees.

It looks like there is some kind of road between them.Back on the other side of the river is Arayaninallur Temple. . We were on the main bridge across the river when these photos were taken. in a closeup from the above photo. Here is the gate for Arayaninallur Temple.

.The location of the two temples can be seen in the map below. Entering through the main gate. the gopuram for Viratteswara Temple is seen.

you get a better view.Closer inside. . The temple through the gate.

.Nandi looks into the temple.

. destroying a demon.On one side of the door there is this poster. Someone (Sakti?) is collecting the blood of the demon. a form of Siva. telling the story of Viratteswara.

a goddess with a necklace of human heads around her neck. .This poster is on the other side of the door.

the ‘garbhagriha’ or ‘womb-chamber’. . the temple is dimly light. This is the hallway into the main shrine.Inside.

.On the back wall is Ganesh.

he mounted a horse and came to Tiru Anchaikalam. The horse flew up and reached Sundarar. Sundarar himself reveals that this departure for Kailasa was not in his physical body. The physical body was discarded here in this world He also informed Sundarar of this.One one side of Ganesh is this bas-relief. Cheraman learnt by intuition of Sundarar’s departure for Kailasa. He mentally wished to take Cheraman Perumal also with him to Kailasa. Then he climbed the elephant and proceeded towards Kailasa. At once Cheraman pronounced the Panchakshara in the ears of the horse. and the elements of which it was composed were returned to their sources. but in his spiritual body. It depicts the incident where Ganesh transports Avvaiyar.dlshq. The details of this incident is found in the lives of nayanmar saints. Cheraman worshipped Sundarar there. The white elephant was waiting for him there. At once. the saint to Kailasa.htm The Lord. commanded the celestials to bring him to Kailasa on a white elephant. Both of them went to Kailasa in their spiritual body. From http://www. desiring to take Sundarar back to His Abode. Sundarar came out of the temple. In a Padigam he sang on this occasion. . There he saw Sundarar going along the sky on the celestial elephant.

Ganesh told her to calm down and that he would take her to Kailasa.Avvaiyar was hurrying up her puja to Ganesh because she wanted to visit Kailasa too. Who? . On the other side of Ganesh is this god.

In the other corner is this lovely Murugan. . with his spear.

. has white inlaid eyes that the priest is trying to point out. Durga here.More figures.

Siva. in bright orange paint. .

One of many lingams on the back side of the temple. This one is BIG! .

The lingodbhava. This is a particularly nice one. . well rendered.

Here is a lingam dedicated to Arunachala. .

On the side wall is the panel. giving some story in Tamil. .


This does not seem usual. I think this one is carrying a club.A very nice Ganesh. .

On the side wall are many murtis. .

Nandi looks into the garbhagriha. We are not allowed to take photos in there.I think these are some of the 63 Tamil saints. .

Back out the entrance. It’s Ramana! . you can see a photo.

.We walk around the temple. I like this Nataraj atop the temple wall.

It is on the north wall.This is probably the entrance used by Ramana to go into the temple grounds. . To the rear of the temple is an ancient Bodhi tree.

.It is surrounded by snakes. Nagas.

Rounding the side of the temple. the main gateway can be seen again. .

looking up in gratitude. and with the demon of forgetfulness under his foot. . with his four disciples. there is the wonderful depiction of Dakshinamurti.On the south side (naturally) of the main entrance.

.Across the street from the temple is a house. with a Ramana sign.

This is the house of Muthukrishna Bhagavatar. . They opened the doors for us to enter. People still live in this house.

The front room is set up as a shrine to honor Ramana. .

. The tracks are torn out. On the horizon. faintly.Now back to the train depot. being upgraded as a major rail improvement in this area. This closeup shows more. is Arunachala. but Arunachala is still barely visible today.

The way that Arunachala rises as is is approached. what else would you do? .It is not written anywhere that I have seen. watching it get closer and closer. but I imagine that Ramana must have been looking at Arunachala during the train ride.