In this blog, we are going to know about the temple that is considered to be auspicious and special for Sadayam Nakshathira. People who are born on Sadayam Nakshathira are generally harsh in their speech but truthful. They tend to be clever and they have strong principles in their life. The temple that is dedicated to Sadayam Nakshathira is Karundhar Kuzhali Sametha Sri Agneeshwarar temple in a place called Thirupugalur in Nagapattinam Dist. This temple is 75th Paadal Petra Sthalam located on the South of Cauvery. The temple has been praised by the Nayanmar Thirugyana Sambandar in his Thevaram Hymns.
The Shiva Linga of this temple is a Suyambu and it is slightly tilted. So Lord here is also known as Kona Piran (Kona in Tamil means Tilted). The temple is believed to have been built during the Chola period in the 10th Century. The Goddess is known as Karundhar Kuzhali. It is believed that the Goddess acted as Midwife to take care of a pregnant lady and She ensured the safe delivery of the baby.
As per the Sthala Purana, it is said that the fire god, Agni worshipped Lord Shiva here to get rid of his curse and hence the name Agneeshwarar. The temple tank is called the Agni Theertham. Though Agni does not have any form, Lord Shiva blessed Him with one and so in this temple he appears with two faces, 7 hands, 7 jwala sparks (Jyothi lines), 4 horns and 3 feet. This is a rare form of Lord Agni’s idol. Moreover, the evening Aarathi (Sayarakshai) happens only after the pooja for Lord Agni.
It is believed that this is the place (temple) where the saint Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) attained salvation. It is believed that He attained salvation by serving the Lord by cleaning the grounds and paths of the temple so that the devotees could walk comfortably. So this temple is praised as Salvation Centre (Mukti Kshetra). In the remembrance of this event, every year Appar festival is celebrated as a 10-day event in this temple. This festival is celebrated in the month of Chithirai (April – May) and it starts before the Sadayam Nakshathira Day.
According to Hindu legend, a demon named Banasura was helping his mother in Shiva Pooja. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. So Banasura used to collect all the Suyambu Linga for his mother for worship. He once came to Thirupugalur and found the Suyambu Linga in this temple. When he tried to remove the Linga but he could not move. So he dug a deep and vast pit around the Linga to take the Linga out. Though the Linga did not move, he could see water springing out from the ground. When he was about to sacrifice his life in frustration, a voice came from the sky “I will make Myself present for your Mother’s Shiva Pooja”. As said, the Lord appeared before Banasura’s mother with Punnai flowers in His head. Once the pooja is over, He returned to Thirupugalur. The deep vast spring or the Agazhi that Banasura dug around the temple is still found and is called the Bana Theertha.
This Kshetram of Thirupugalur is also considered as Sani Kshetram. Lord Saneeshwara (Saturn God) graces His devotees by facing the West. It is said that it would be auspicious if one visits this temple before going to Thirunallar. Moreover, King Nala and the Lord Saneeshwara are seen in the same Sanctum in this temple.
The next significance of this temple is that this is considered as the Mukti Sthala. The temple is surrounded by the spring or Aghazhi on all four sides. Hence it marks a dead end, signifying the path to Mukti. Also, there is only one entrance to the temple. The entry and exit to the temple will be from the same entrance, unlike the other Saivite temples that might have 2 or 4 entrances.
Apart from all the above significances, this temple is considered as one of the major temples for Vastu Pooja. Vasthu purity is considered as an important basis for constructing the buildings. According to Hindu Mythology, once Sundara Nayanar wanted to do Anna Daanam (providing free food) on a Panguni Uthiram Day after his marriage. But he was short of money. So Sundarar told his wife that he would go and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva at Thirupugalur. By the time he reached, it was already late in the night and the temple was closed. So he picked up a brick, placed his head on it and started to sleep thinking of the Lord. The Lord appeared in his dreams and He assured that He would surely help him for the noble cause. Next morning, when he woke up, he was surprised to see that the brick that he kept has turned into Gold. Overwhelmed by this, Sundaramoorthy Nayanar sang 11 Pathigams in praise of Lord Shiva. He also requested Lord Shiva that He should bless His devotees who come to this temple with the issues related to the construction of the house. So it is strongly believed that if they perform Vastu Pooja here in this temple by placing a few bricks, then they would be able to buy or build a house within 1 year.
Hence, it is strongly believed that the people who are born on Sadayam Nakshathira can get rid of all ill effects of the planetary positions by praying the Lord Agneeshwarar and the Goddess Karundhar Kuzhali whole heartedly.
Stay tuned for the next blog to know about the temple that is dedicated to Pooratadhi Nakshathira!!