Tholur Choleeswarar Temple

A Vaippu Sthalam awaiting restoration/renovation

Introduction

Tevaram hymns are the first seven volumes of Saiva Tirumurai, Tamil devotional poetry on Lord Siva. They were composed by the first three among the Nayanmars, the Tamil Saivite saints,

1.Tirugnana sambandar               

Moovar
Tevara Moovar

2.Tirunavukkarasar and

3.Sundaramoorthy Nayanar

about 1200 years ago, from the 7th century to the 9th century AD. Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar, as they are generally called, form the Tevara Moovar or Tevaram trio.

Independently they undertook long pilgrimages, visiting Siva temples, often accompanied by a group of devotees. At each of the temples they visited they composed and sang hymns glorifying Siva. These hymns were handed down by word of mouth and contain a wealth of information on the places (sthalam) where the temples were located and the glory of Siva in these sthalams and the benefits to be gained from recitals of the hymns. (Sthalam is the Tamil word for a holy place, or a place of pilgrimage.) Appar went a step further and set about cleaning of the temples he visited along with fellow devotees. Such service is called as Uzhavara pani.

Each hymn is called a Pathigam in Tamil and comprises a set of 10 verses or more.

Each hymn is set to a specific Pann, the Tamil equivalent of Ragas, and is unique to Tamil musical tradition. Singing of these hymns at worship services in Sivan temples by the Oduvars is an age old tradition which began when in the 10th to 11th century AD the hymns were compiled, codified and set to music by Nambiandar Nambi at the behest of King Raja Raja Cholan, though it is traditionally acknowledged that Lord Siva himself set the tune. They are exceptionally sweet and melodious to listen to and in Tamil Nadu we are familiar with the traditional rendition of these songs in temples everyday by the Oduvars. They are considered equal to the Sanskrit mantras and as powerful.

Paadal Petra Sthalam

Paadal petra sthalams (பாடல் பெற்ற ஸ்தலம்) are 275 Sivan temples which bear one or more pathigams composed on them.

Vaippu Sthalam

249 other temples are referred to in the Tevaram. These temples do not bear a pathigam and are called as Tevara Vaippu Sthalam(தேவார வைப்பு ஸ்தலம்). Considering the historical fact that only a part of the Tevaram hymns were recovered in the 10th century by King Raja Raja Cholan, the rest having been destroyed by termites, it is possible that the Vaippu sthalams(வைப்பு ஸ்தலம்) might have had pathigams too which were among those that were destroyed.

We shall never know as these are some of the best kept secrets of history.

Tholur Choleeswarar Temple

Choleeswarar, Tholur, Tamil Nadu
Choleeswarar, Tholur, Tamil Nadu

The Choleeswara temple at Tholur near Namakkal is a Tevara Vaippu Sthalam.

The temple is mentioned in the pathigams of Tirunavukkarasar (Appar), in the 6th Tirumurai (ஆறாம் திருமுறை)

6.70 க்ஷேத்திரக்கோவை – திருத்தாண்டகம்

        ( ஆறாம் திருமுறை)

705 கொடுங் கோளூர்  அஞ்சைக்களம் செங்குன்றூர்

      கொங்கணம்  குன்றியூர்  குரக்குக் காவும்

      நெடுங்களம் நன்னிலம் நெல்லிக் காவும்

      நின்றியூர் நீடூர் நியம நல்லூர்

      இடும்பாவனம் எழுமூர்  ஏழூர்  தோழூர்

      எறும்பியூர்  ஏராரும்  ஏமகூடம்

      கடம்பை  இளங்கோயில்  தன்னினுள்ளும்

      கயிலாய  நாதனையே  காணலாமே.          6.70.5

6.71 திருஅடைவு – திருத்தாண்டகம்

          (ஆறாம் திருமுறை)

715         பிறையூரும் சடைமுடி எம்பெருமான் ஆருர்

     பெரும்பற்றப் புலியூரும் பேராவூரும்

     நறையூரும் நல்லூரும் நல்லாற்றூரும்

     நாலூரும் சேற்றூரும் நாரையூரும்

     உறையூரும் ஓத்தூரும் ஊற்றத்தூரும்

     அளப்பூர் ஒமாம்புலியூர் ஒற்றியூரும்

     துறையூரும் துவையூரும் தோழூர் தானும்

      துடையூரும் தொழ இடர்கள் தொடரா அன்றே 6.71.4

Visit to the temple

For a long time I have wanted to visit this temple so close to Namakkal. The only detail available on the internet was that it was a Vaippu sthalam near Namakkal. Google maps wasn’t very helpful. So we set out early one morning in July to search for this temple by the best way possible- asking people about it! At Namakkal we stopped for breakfast at hotel Adyar Ananda bhavan. I asked for the route to Tholur Sivan temple. The hotel staff were not sure but promised to ask around. By the time we finished breakfast the lady supervisor gave me the details-

“Take the Namakkal-Mohanur road. At a place called Aniyapuram turn right to travel for 4 kms to reach Tholur. The temple is right on the main road.”

Delighted, I thanked her and we set out once more on the Namakkal- Mohanur road. Aniyapuram turned out to be a fairly large village 9 kms from Namakkal. A right turn here and driving along a scenic village road for 4 kms, soon we came to Tholur.

The charming village of Tholur, Namakkal dt.
The charming village of Tholur, Namakkal dt.

On the right was a board that said Arulmigu Sri Visalakshi udanurai Sri Choleewarar Aalayam, Tholur. But there was no temple, only a large grassy vacant plot, enclosed by an ancient stone wall. In the distance was a small stone Nandi in front of a one room asbestos roofed structure which was locked. Beyond lay a vast heap of weathered ancient pink and yellow stone slabs, numbered in red.

The entrance to theCholeeswarar temple, Tholur
The entrance to the Choleeswarar temple, Tholur
The present temporary shrine of Choleeswarar, Namakkal dt, Tamil Nadu
The present temporary shrine of Choleeswarar, Namakkal dt, Tamil Nadu
Tholur (4)TN
Temple stones, Choleeswarar temple, Tamil Nadu
Temple stones of Choleeswarar temple,Namakkal dt, Tamil Nadu
Temple stones of Choleeswarar temple,Namakkal dt, Tamil Nadu

I was unprepared for this- no temple where there should have been one. The family who lived in the farmhouse next door very kindly fetched the gurukkal (priest) who opened the temporary shrine so that we might worship.

Inside were the Sivalingam and the temple deities in Palalayam on a cement platform. That first glance of Choleeswarar cannot be described in words, it was overwhelming. The Sivalingam is medium sized but the powerful prescence of the Lord is very palpable.

  Next to Choleeswarar is the idol of Ambigai Visalakshi. The beautiful goddess stands smiling. Her image and the tiruvaasi are carved of a single granite stone, a unique feature in this temple.

Visalakshi ambal, Tholur, Tamil Nadu
Visalakshi ambal, Tholur, Tamil Nadu

Next to her is the image of Chandikeswarar. The idol of Ganapathi is on left of Choleeswarar.

Chandikeswarar, Tholur, TN
Chandikeswarar, Tholur, TN
Ganapathy, Choleeswarar temple, Tholur, Tn
Ganapathy, Choleeswarar temple, Tholur, Tn

All the idols are in palalayam until consecration after the temple is restored. An oil-lamp burns steadily in this little shrine. Nandi and the bali peetam are kept outside.

Tholur Choleeswarar temple deities- A legacy to cherish
Tholur Choleeswarar temple deities- A legacy to cherish

Palansami Gurukkal does archanai and gives prasad of vibhuthi and kumkum. Afterwards we sit down before Choleeswarar as he explains about the temple which is more than 1200 years old and about the fact that Tirunavukkarasar has spoken of the Iraivan of this stalam in the hymns composed by him, probably when he visited one of the 7 Kongu Naatu Paadal Petra stalams. He tells us about the stone inscription on a pillar within the temple that speaks of a grant of cotton and oil to the temple. It is a fact, he says, that difficulties of any magnitude are wiped away by the grace of Choleeswara when we pray to him. Prayers to Ambal and performing kalyana utsava facilitate marriages for unmarried girls. It is also a temple for relief from the planetary afflictions of Ragu and Kethu.

Thiru Palanisami Gurukkal is the parambarai archakar of this temple. His father and his grandfather before him have been the archakars here. He recalls the days when he single-handedly cleaned the temple and conducted nityapuja every day. Today his son who has studied in a veda padasala is also involved in the care of the temple.

Tholur (7)
An old photo of puja to Visalakshi amman

The 1200 years old temple was dilapidated and roughly a year ago, the archaeological department inspected it and gave a report.Following this the temple was dismantled about six months ago. It is now awaiting reconstruction and renovation using the original ancient stone slabs of the old temple.

Beautiful stone carving of a Naagar at the Choleeswarar temple,Tholur,Namakkal
Beautiful stone carving of a Naagar at the Choleeswarar temple,Tholur,Namakkal
Inscription on a stone pillar in the Choleeswarar temple,Tholur Namakkal dt.
Inscription on a stone pillar in the Choleeswarar temple,Tholur Namakkal dt.

Excerpts from the report given on the Choleeswarar temple by the Archaeological Survey of India:

  • The Siva temple known as Arulmigu Choleeswarar temple…….is situated in a small village called Tholur, 4 kms off Aniyapuram in the Namakkal – Mohanur road.
  • The east facing temple consists of a garbagriha, an ardha mandapa, antarala and a mukha mandapa and a separate south facing amman shrine. Sub-shrines for Ganesha and Chandikesa are seen.
  • Lord Siva of this temple has been sung by Appar in one of his hymns.

      Architecture

  • While analyzing the architectural features of the temple, the specific designs in architectural members and the style, evidently proves that it should have been constructed by a local chieftain of that region.
  • The only available stone inscription of 16th century Tamil characters is on one of the pillar in the ardha mandapa. This records the grant of oil and cotton to the temple to light lamps.

      Present condition of the temple

  •  It is a living temple. The temple has a dry masonry compound with an entrance on the southern side.
  • Near the entrance in the prakara Naga stones are installed in a raised mud platform.

       …

  • At the eastern side is a small four pillared Nandi mandapa and behind that is the stone deepastampa.

      …

  • The stucco figures in the upper structure on the vimana are damaged.
  • Identifying the figures is difficult by now.

      …

  • The outer wall veneering stones of the main shrine are disturbed and dislocated all around due to the strong solid roots of trees grown on the terrace.

       …

       Archaeological Recommendation

  • The temple must be given proper conservation care immediately. It needs attention from the foundation up to the super structure.
  • The foundation should be checked as the walls are out of plumb and cracked in many places. Reconstruction is inevitable.

       …

  • Very few stones are seen damaged and broken. The temple can be reset with most of the old stones which are in good condition. The reusing of old stones will help in preserving the ancient value of the temple.

       …

  • It is recommended to avoid much of cement and to make use of combination of mortar, lime mortar and lime paste etc. while reconstructing the temple as it is our traditional method.
  • Our temples (in any form) are not only just places of worship but also have a strong binding with our tradition, heritage and culture and these places have remained as places of learning for many centuries. It is our responsibility to carry forward these to the next generation as our elders and ancestors did. This temple which was constructed by our ancestors has stood all these years as a symbol of our heritage, tradition and culture. Every individual should realize and co-operate in safe guarding this priceless contribution of our ancestors.

Tholur (2) - CopyTHolur (3) - Copy

Tholur - Copy

Puja

There is one kala puja everyday between 6am and 10 am. And the temple lamp is lit every evening. Special pujas are performed on Pradosham and other auspicious days. On request abhishegam is performed for swamy and ambigai.

With Ishwara’s grace, hopefully the work on the temple should start soon.

Location

Tholur is 4km from Aniyapuram on the Namakkal- Mohanur road.

Contact:

DSC02178

                                                         Palanisami Gurukkal – 91595 64006

 Shanmuga Gurukkal –  98656 17121

Sri Rama Temple at Pagoda Point

Sri Rama temple,Pagoda point

Sri Rama Temple, Stone Cairns and a View-point

Up in the hills, temples are sturdy landmarks in the lush surroundings, quite often built in chosen locations.

Sri Rama temple at Pagoda Point in Thalai cholai village is just such a place.

Pagoda point, Yercaud
Sri Rama Temple, Pagoda Point 
Sri rama temple -Pagoda point
Sri Rama and Sita, Pagoda point

 

Hanuman at Sri rama temple -Pagoda point
Hanuman

At four in the afternoon, it is cold up here. The temple is open, the oil lamps are lit but there is no priest. The idols of Rama and Sita are beautiful. There is a small idol of Hanuman in front facing the sanctum. The outer structure is modern and very clean.

The woman in the shop next to the temple says the temple is quite old, no one knows how old. It is one of many Rama temples in the Shevaroy hills. Her kula-deivam on her father’s side is Sri Rama she says, waving a hand in the direction of the temple.

Stone Cairns

Pagoda point is a view-point in the hills, a short distance from Yercaud Lake. Named after the stone cairns that are found here which are built in the shape of a pyramid or a pagoda, it is sometimes mispronounced as pakoda point! It is these stone cairns and the view-point that are the main tourist attractions. These cairns are 5 to 7 feet high. The lady shop-keeper says they are used to light the ceremonial lamps during the festival in the month of Karthigai.“Karthigai Maasam vaanga. Romba nalla irrukum,” she invites in Tamil, meaning, ‘You should come here in the month of Karthigai(for the festival). It is very nice then’. Her husband is also the caretaker of the temple. “We come here around 12 noon,” she says, “There are crowds of tourists on week-ends and holidays. On other days we just sit here”, she smiles.

Pagoda point,Yercaud
One of the stone cairns near the temple

 

A stone cairn, Pagoda point, Yercaud
Stone cairn,Pagoda point
Pagoda point, Yercaud (3)
View from Pagoda point, Yercaud

The view-point overlooks the valley. Wispy clouds float across the valley at eye-level! Fog surrounds you and moves away minutes later! Down below you can see a tribal village and another temple. It is a lovely place for a visit.

View from Pagoda point, yercaud
Clear view of the valley,Pagoda point
Clouds descend over the valley
This photo showing mist descending on the valley,was taken about 30 minutes after the first photo

The pictures below show how the fog brought road-visibility to near zero on our way back from the temple.Signpost in the fog

schoolboy in the mist
Fog is thicker. You can see a school boy making his way home.

Thick fog obscures the signpost

Thick fog obscures the signpost

Location

Pagoda point is roughly 4 km from Yercaud Lake in Thalai cholai village.

 

Three-day quote challenge

Day 3

I would like to thank Mandeep at https://singhcircle.com for nominating me for the 3 day quote challenge.

On Day Three, here are some inspiring quotes on LIFE.

“Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become.” 

― Paramahansa Yogananda

 

“When you have come to the edge of all the light you have 
And step into the darkness of the unknown 
Believe that one of the two will happen to you 
Either you’ll find something solid to stand on 
Or you’ll be taught how to fly!” 
― Richard Bach

 

“Around us, life bursts with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.” 
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Three-day quote challenge

Day 2

I would like to thank Mandeep athttps://singhcircle.com for nominating me for the 3 day quote challenge.

On My Day Two my favourite quotes are on NATURE.

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”

George Washington Carver

 

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”
Lord Byron, “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

 

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
-Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

 

Three-day quote challenge

Day 1

Hello All

I would like to thank Mandeep at https://singhcircle.com for nominating me for the 3 day quote challenge. On My Day One my favourite quotes are on  TRAVEL.

1.I really do believe that travel is my religion because I think travel makes us bigger, broader, more open-minded and open-hearted people.It makes us more keenly appreciative of every moment in our lives and of the vast mosaic of beliefs, creations, values, livelihoods, landscapes, and species that compose Earth.

In this sense I think Travel is the planet’s best hope for paving a pathway to shared understanding, respect,and peace.

-Don George, Editor at Large, National Geographic Traveler magazine.

2.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

-Mark Twain

3.I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’

Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades

For ever and forever…

  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson in Ulysses

 

To continue the Challenge I nominate:

https://callofthevedas.wordpress.com

https://jaipurthrumylens.wordpress.com

https://thetalkingofthesoul.wordpress.com

 

The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2.  Post up to 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days.
  3.  Nominate 3 blogs each day for 3 consecutive days.

Hope you’d enjoy the task. Happy posting.

 

Nerur- Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral Adishtanam

Nerur Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adishtanam (2)
Sadasiva Brahmendral Adishtanam, Nerur,TN

This post is offered humbly at the feet of Satguru Sadasiva Bramendrar of Nerur and my Gurudeva Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda.

Some holy places are capable of bestowing immense peace on all who visit. One such place is the Adishtanam of Satguru Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra in Nerur, near Karur in Tamil Nadu. Set amidst paddy fields and mango and coconut groves, the river Kaveri flows closeby. To many many Indians all over the world, Sadasiva Brahmendra is their maanasika Guru, the ever present guiding spiritual force in their lives.

Sadasiva Brahmendra was a saint who lived in the eighteenth century in Tamil Nadu. Gurudeva Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, during his year-long visit to India from America in 1935, sought out and visited many holy men and holy places which are recorded in his book,  ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’. He gives a brief account of Sadasiva Brahmendra and says he was, ‘a lovable and fully illumined Master’.

Early Life

Sadasiva Brahmendra was born to deeply religious parents Moksha Somasundara Avadhani and Parvati in Madurai. It is said that his mother Parvati was initiated into Rama japa and advised to chant it crores of times so that every cell in her body was charged with the nama. A child born to her in this state would become an exalted mahaan or saint. The couple prayed for a child to Ramanathaswamy in the famous temple in Rameshwaram and the son born as an answer to their prayers was named Sivaramakrishnan.

Somasundara Avadhani took his family to Tiruvisainallur near Kumbakonam, which was then the hub of learned masters of Vedanta. As a young boy Sadasiva studied under Ramabhadra Dikshitar and was a gifted student. At the age of 17, he was married but left home soon after to pursue his true calling. He went to Tiruvenkadu to meet his guru Paramasivendra Saraswati under whose tutelage he became a brilliant scholar well versed in the Vedas. He authored several Sanskrit works which include commentaries on the Brahma Sutras and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

 Sadasiva delighted in engaging in religious debates with Vedanta scholars. Invariably he defeated them. One such defeated scholar went and complained to Guru Paramasivendra about this behavior of Sadasiva. Paramasivendra summoned Sadasiva and said “What is the use of these intellectual debates? When will you learn to be silent?” “From this moment”, replied Sadasiva and became a non-speaking ascetic. He took to sanyasa and was given the formal monastic title of Sadasivendra Saraswati. Taking leave from his guru, he roamed the forests and unfrequented river banks, going deep in meditation for long periods of time. It is believed he spent many months in meditation in Nerur.

Among the disciples of Guru Paramasivendra, three attained the highest spiritual wisdom called gnana – (1) Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra (2) Sri Bodhendra (3) Sri Sridara Ayyaval. Of these three disciples Sadasiva Brahmendra went on to attain the highest spiritual state of Avadhoota.

In the higher stages of spirituality, he rejected all accepted norms. He wore no cloth and roamed everywhere in a state of enlightened bliss.

After he became an Avadhuta he once visited his childhood friend and fellow pupil Sridara Ayyaval of Tiruvisainallur who said that he accepted his vow of silence but what stopped him from singing songs on the Lord. Sadasiva then wrote several Carnatic kritis (musical compositions) some of which are mainstays in kacheris (concerts) today. A few of the more popular ones are Maanasa Sanjara Re in which he urges the human mind to always linger in the Supreme Brahman, Sarvam Brahmamayam in which he says that everything in Creation is purely the essence of Brahman, Pibare Rama Rasam in which he extolls the wondrous benefits of chanting Rama nama. He dedicated all his musical compositions to his guru. The insignia of his keertans was Paramahamsa guru and Paramasivendra sriguru.

Vijaya Raghunatha Thondaiman, the Raja of Pudukottai, learnt about this great master and went in search of him. He met the saint in the forests near Pudukottai and implored him to return to the palace with him. The saint did not reply. He merely walked into a thicket of thorn trees and sat down to meditate. The raja set up camp near the saint and served the master for many years, attending to his royal duties at the same time. He asked for and received religious instruction which Sadasiva wrote on sand and which the successive rulers of Pudukottai hold as sacred to this day. Sadasiva Brahmanendra instructed the king to appoint Gopalakrishna sastri of Pitchandar koil as the royal guru. His descendants served as guru to the subsequent rulers of Pudukottai.

Miracles

Many are the miracles that are told of this exalted master. One day, villagers saw the saint who was immersed in deep meditation on a bank of the Kaveri river being carried away by a sudden flood. They searched for him everywhere, in vain. Weeks later, near Kodumudi near Erode, when villagers dug a mound of earth near the river for sand to use in construction, they were shocked to see blood on their shovels. They found Sadasiva buried in the sand and freed him. The saint, in a trance, stood up and quietly walked away.

Once Sadasiva brahman was walking across some fields. It was harvest time and the saint stumbled on a stone and fell between stacks of hay. The farm workers, not noticing him continued to pile hay high on the stack. A year later when the hay was used up, Sadasiva Brahman picked himself up and walked away, to the shock of the workers.

Sadasiva Brahmendra adored children. Children from the village of  Mahadanapuram on the banks of the Kaveri, who were fond of him,  once expressed a desire to attend the festival in Madurai, a 100 miles away. In an instant he had transported them to the festival and back. Their parents were awestruck when the children told them about the wonderful time they had in Madurai at the festival. They even had bags of Madurai sweets.

Another time the saint was immersed in meditation near a heap of grains in a field. The farmer thought he was a thief and raised his staff to strike him. Lo! He became frozen like a statue. When Sadasiva came out of his trance his gaze brought the farmer out of his frozen state. He hastened to ask for the saint’s forgiveness.

Another incident describes how some soldiers made him carry firewood on his head when he was roaming the forests near Pudukottai. Sadasiva happily carried the load. When it was put down on a larger stack of firewood, the entire lot burst into flames and was reduced to ashes. Only then the soldiers realized that this was no ordinary person but an exalted master.

An illiterate man who was born dumb was a great devotee of Sadasiva. One day the saint placed his hand on the man’s head and prayed to God that He may bestow the gifts of speech and knowledge on him. By the grace of the Guru, he was able to speak and went on to become a famous scholar, Akasha Purana Ramalinga Sastry.

The saint once walked into the tent of a moslem chieftain in a trance. The ladies were alarmed on seeing the nude saint. In a fit of anger the chieftain slashed the arm of Sadasiva. Unconcerned, Sadasiva walked away. The stunned chieftain realized that he was a saint. Filled with remorse he picked up the arm and fell at the feet of the master begging forgiveness. Sadasiva Brahman came out of his trance, inserted the arm into the bleeding stump which instantly healed and went on his way.

Temples

Sadasiva Brahmendra consecrated deities in many temples. He also installed yantras in many of them.

Jeeva Samadhi

Sadasiva Brahmendra attained Jeeva Samadhi in 1750 A.D. in Nerur. He fulfilled the wish of his ardent disciple Raja Vijaya Raghunatha Thondaiman that he should settle down in land that belonged to the king. Here the river Kaveri flows south (dakshina) which adds to the sanctity of the place. Before he was immersed in Jeeva Samadhi, Sadasiva Brahman had clearly stated that on the nineth day following his Jeeva Samadhi, a holy bilva tree (bael tree) would grow above his head. On the tenth day a Brahmachari would bring a sivalingam from Kasi (Varanasi) which should be consecrated 12 feet in front of the bilva tree. All the incidents came to pass exactly as predicted. The Raja of Pudukottai built a temple in which the lingam was consecrated and arranged for regular pujas to be done at the temple and at the Jeeva Samadhi of the Guru.

He is said to have attained Samadhi at three places simultaneously – at Nerur and Manamadurai in Tamil Nadu and Karachi in Pakistan.

The younger brother of Kanchi Maha Periyava, Sri Sadasiva Sastrigal popularly known as Sivan Sir gives a detailed account of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra in his monumental work titled ‘Yenipadigalil Maandhargal’(Tamil).In this book Sivan Sar says that Sadasiva Brahmendra attained Mahasamadhi at five places corresponding to the five elements – Panchabhootas.

  1. Nerur,
  2. Manamadurai
  3. Karachi
  4. Kasi
  5. Puri

He also mentions that Sri Brahmendral blessed two Muslim brothers (Irratai Mastan) with knowledge of the Divine. Their Samadhi (dargah) is located in Tanjavur.

Since his Jeeva Samadhi, the miracles continue. One incident stands out like a beacon and is connected with the 33rd Shankaracharya of Srigeri Sarada Peedam.

Sri Sachidananda Shivabhinava Narasimhabarathi Swami was the 33rd pontiff of Srigeri Sarada Peetam. In the 1902 he visited Karur district and was pulled mysteriously by the adishtanam of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra in Nerur. To know more about the adishtanam, the seer sat fasting for three days in front of the adishtanam and finally had a dialogue with Sri Brahmendra on a subtle plane. Overcome with divine bliss he instantly composed 45 stanzas called Sri Sadasivendra Sthava and another hymn called Sri Sadasivendra Pancharatna. In his final years, Sri Shivabinava Narasimhabarathi swamy was greatly influenced by a masterpiece of Sadasiva Brahman titled Atma Vidya Vilasam. His successor, the 34th pontiff of Sringeri peetam Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi Swamy lived his life in the true spirit of this classic.

Visit to Sadasiva Brahmendral Adishtanam

The arch at the entrance to the Adhistanam of Sadasiva Brahmendrar
The arch at the entrance to the Adhistanam of Sadasiva Brahmendrar

The adishtanam is located in Nerur, a village 10km from Karur in Tamil Nadu.

The bustle of the city gives way to the charm of a rural countryside, lush and beautiful which makes the drive to the adishtanam along winding roads and tiny villages a memorable experience.

The arch at the entrance has the words Sri Satguru Sadasiva Brahmendral Mahasannidhi written on it in Tamil. It leads to the small beautiful temple of Kasi Viswanathar – Visalakshi Ambal. A passage to the left leads to the adishtanam of Guru Sadasiva Brahmendrar. It is the ideal place for meditation. Straw mats are placed here for those who wish to meditate. There is a small lingam on the adishanam. Archanai to the Guru is done here. Behind it is the holy bilva tree which appeared miraculously as promised by the Guru. Saffron Vastra is wrapped around it. Behind the samadhi Sri Sadasivendra Sthava and Sri Sadasivendra Pancharatna are inscribed on granite slabs.

The Kasi Visvanathar shrine, Nerur
The Kasi Visvanathar shrine, Nerur
Kasi viswanathar shrine, Nerur
Kasi viswanathar shrine, Nerur
Passage leading to the Adishtanam , Nerur
Passage leading to the Adishtanam , Nerur

 

Nerur photos

A  prayer  in Sanskrit and Tamil to Sadasiva brahmendrar
A prayer in Sanskrit and Tamil to Sadasiva brahmendrar
The Adhishtanam at Nerur
The Adhishtanam at Nerur

Devotees light lamps, give offerings and pray quietly. Silence prevails. It is a soothing, healing silence that seeps to the depths of our beings, purifying, and cleansing, bestowing peace. The only sounds are the sound of the wind in the maghizham and mango trees overhead, the chirping of the birds and the occasional muted sounds of puja bells, melodious intonation of mantras as aarti is performed and the hushed voices of visitors.

Pooja at Sadasiva Brahmendral Adishtanam in Nerur
Pooja at Sadasiva Brahmendral Adishtanam in Nerur
The Adhishtanam of Guru Sadasiva Brahmendra, another view
The Adhishtanam of Guru Sadasiva Brahmendra, another view

Nerur Sadasiva Bramendrar Adhistanam (7)

Nerur Sadasiva Bramendrar Adhistanam (6)

Nerur Sadasiva Bramendrar Adhistanam (5)

 

Nerur Sadasiva Bramendrar Adhistanam (3)

Inside Sadasiva Bramendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

The outer courtyard of Sadasiva Brahmendra's Adhishtanam
The outer courtyard of Sadasiva Brahmendra’s Adhishtanam
Cows look on in the Adhistanam campus
Cows look on in the Adhistanam campus

Silence was the language of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra and it is this silence that can be experienced here.

The grace of Guru Sadasiva Brahmendra continues to pour on all who seek him.

References

‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

A compilation of the life of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra drawn from the book by Sivan Sir, ‘Yenipadigalil Manthargal’

Literature on Sadsiva Brahman made available at the Adhistanam, Nerur, by Dr. A. Rajasimha, Simha Heart Foundation, Mysore.

http://www.columbuslost.com/Temples/Nerur-Sadasiva-Brahmendra-Swami-Biography-Miracles-and-Samadhi/info

LOCATION

The Adishtanam is located in Nerur, 10 km from Karur in Tamil Nadu.

It is called Sadasivam koil locally.

There are regular buses from Karur to Tirumukkoodalur that stop at Sadasivam koil, Nerur. The shrine is just a stone’s throw away from this village bus-stop which has a couple of tiny shops.

 Good hotels are available in Karur which is the nearest rail- head.There are no hotels or eateries in Nerur, so plan your visit accordingly.

Contact:

Sri Narayana Upadyaya, the priest at Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral's AdishtanamJ. Narayana Upadhyaya

 Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral Adishtana Archaka,

Agraharam, Nerur

Mobile No:  94886 27839,  94880 58741

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVARAYA PERUMAL-GOD OF THE SHEVAROYS

6th May, 2016

SERVARAYAN TEMPLE, YERCAUD

The god of the Servarayan ranges and of the 67 odd villages in these hills, Servaraya Perumal is the guardian of the Shevaroys, and his temple is no grand monument filled with amazing sculptures. I would call it a temple of surprises and wonders, as old as these ancient hills themselves, probably dating back 2000 years or more.

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A view of the Servarayan temple, Manjakuttai, Yercaud

The steep mountain road to the highest point of the Shevaroys makes for a very enjoyable drive. The temple is on a flat hilltop.

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Sunset over the Servarayan temple, Yercaud

A modern outer façade leads to the entrance of the cave. Here you have to stoop to enter and bend down for a few feet into the cave. The cave is wider inside and you can stand up straight. This is where you see the idols of Servaraya Perumal and KaveriAmman on a rocky platform

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TEMPLE OF SURPRISES

You wouldn’t expect a cave temple at this height– 5,326 feet above sea level (1,623 metres ASL)!

The goddess is Kaveri Amman. Yes, you’re right – the goddess of river Kaveri is worshipped at this highest point of the Shevaroy hills!

The idols of Servaraya Perumal and Kaveri amman are small -11/2  feet tall but adorable!

Servaraya Perumal holds the conch and discus in his hands while goddess Kaveri holds a lotus flower in her hand.

The roof above the deities is moist and drops of water fall at intervals on the idols. This flow of water dries up during the dry summer months.

In the dark recess behind the god and goddess the cave goes on. Visitors are not permitted to go beyond this point. A story is told by the local tribal people that the cave goes all the way to Thalakaveri in the state of Karnataka, which is the origin of the Kaveri river. No one knows for sure, but it is a tale that has been told for generations. Surely there must be a reason why there is a temple for goddess Kaveri at these heights but it is a reason that has been lost to us, lost in the mists of time.

There is a great tree at the entrance, its vast trunk covered with small bags of prayer offerings.

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Faith and Promise

 

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Steps leading from the temple to the hilltop above

There are just a few houses some distance away from the temple.

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A house on the hill top

Across the road, there is a wishing well where you throw pebbles and make a wish.

Breathe in the exhilarating, pure, cold mountain air. The vast flat hilltop above the temple is a great place to relax, to have a picnic with your family, or just enjoy the spectacular 360 degrees views and the play of clouds in a sky that is so close that you feel you can almost touch it!

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From this high vantage point you get a breathtaking view of the hills that stretch in rows upon overlapping rows into the distance. You can also see bauxite mines on the hills.

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The sky on fire? Sunset on the hills.

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The festival in May is an important one for the tribal people called as Malayaalees -the people of the hills, when they gather here in their hundreds.

LOCATION

 7 kms from Yercaud lake. You can go by car or take a taxi. Alternately you can hire an auto near the boathouse to take you to the temple.

TIMINGS

The temple is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.