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From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Fri Nov 22 1996 - 13:17:11 PST
Thiru maal irum sOlai - Part 4 - pathinettaam padi karuppaNNa swami mahimai The pathinettaam padi karuppaNNa swami is very important swamy and is also a popular kaaval theyvam or protecting demigod in this area. Once a keralite chEra king, adored the beauty of this Lord Azhagar and wanted to take away the Lord to his kingdom by any means. He couldn't do it over a challenge of war between his kingdom and the rulers of this place, as the rulers of this place were stronger then. He sent out, 18 paNikkars (persons who are experienced in mantram and tantrams) and wanted them to somehow bring this lord from this place to his kingdom. When they all arrived here and were surveying this place they were observed by a local priest. The priest who got the suspicion notified some local strong men. It is said that when the strong men and the priest arrived at the scene they found these men planning to abduct the lord from here. They got over the power of all these men and defeated their purpose and buried them ie each one under each step on the 18 steps here. Under the control of these 18 paNikkars were a kaaval theyvam or a protecting demigod who came along with them to this place originally. This demigod is believed to be real but invisible and it is said that this demigod fell for the immense beauty of this Lord Azhagar. It is said that the protecting demigod told the priest and the strong men that "the entrance to the Lord Azhagar and the 18 steps (where the paNikkars were buried) to reach the entrance of the temple will be guarded and that they don't have to worry for the protection anymore and in turn asked them to feed him everyday with the "arththa jaama prasaadham". They agreed. Such "kaaval theyvam" is known as "18m padi karuppaNNa swami". Thus the karuppaNNa swami got indebted to Lord azhagar for guarding the azhagar kOil. Even today it is tradition that the temple arththa jaama pooja is performed and the 18m padi karuppaNNa swami is offered with the arththa jaama pooja prasaadham. It is seen that th temple authorities simply *throw* the keys onto the 18 steps and go home for the night. No one dares to take this key and enter the temple for stealing when the keys are passed onto the 1m8 padi karuppaNNa swami. When Srirangam was invaded, namperumal or the ursavar Ranganathar was brought here twice and was hidden in the well of this temple. None of the invaders were daring to cross these 18 steps to steal the lord from here. Since namperumaal was here twice this kshEthram was in many deepest feelings, is equal to Srirangam in terms of the palan and many other ways. It is also reported in the life history of swami mahA achAryAL thottaachAryAL of shOlinga puram that once he met with shiva-advaithin "appaya deekshidhar" here at thiru maal irum sOlai. Appaya deekshidhar is a siva bhakthar and an ardent shiva -advaithin. It is said that Swami thottaachAryAL held the arms of appayya deekshidhar and asked him forcefully "naaraayana paaram pariaththai vedangaL sollavillai" enRu mana saatchiyudan sollungaL" ie " please swear with your antharyamin as the witness, that vedas never said that Sriman Narayana is the ever existing and only param poruL or causes of all causes" Appaya deekshidhar was a vedic scholar. however he lived as a shiva- advaithin due to unknown reasons that no one including the present day non vaishnavites would know. Due to Lord azhagar's divine vicinity and due to the fact that no one can lie or deny the truth in front of 18m padi karuppaNNa swami, deekshidhar accepted swami thottAchAryAL's darsanam and agreed with the statement that Sriman Narayana is the only causes of causes and the only ultimate param described in the vedam. Even today it is a tradition that goes back to several centuries that the "town panchAyat" or "small court" is held in front of these 18 steps and karuppaNNa swami. The cases of lies, cheating (soothu), stealing (kaLavu) are laid out here and it is seen and believed that 18m padi karuppaNNa swami punishes such crimes without fail. It is said that only truth prevails when one is summoned to this azhagar malai and when asked to reveal their convictions especially in front of karuppaNNa swami. It is an analysis that suggests the fact that persons belonging to other faiths that doesn't believe sirman naraayana is the only param described in the vedam may take this as a divine input and accept a friendly invitation. Such persons *may* then goto this place and attempt to swear their convictions in front of 18m padi karuppaNNa swami and Lord azhagar. It is believed that similar to appaya deekshidhar who cannot over write his conscience due Lord azhagar's presence, all the others will also be made to realize the truth in a fraction the moment. It is said that aNdAL who finally got married to this Lord due to his beauty also wondered about the devotion of karuppaNNa swami and his services for Lord azhagar. (There is a reference to this and it is conceived that when aNdAL went to Srirangam and got married, it was this azhagar who came from the periya perumal and married to her. This will be discussed with quotes in the later parts) My Salutations to 18m padi karuppaNNa swami who guarded Lord Namperumal (Sri Ranganathar) twice and who is also guarding the azhagar temple even today. AndAL thiruvadikaLE charaNam Sri SridEvi thaayar samEthara Sri azhagar thiruvadikaLE charanam Sampath Rengarajan note: The popular question raised by many atheists was once answered. "If Lord Vishnu is the ultimate protector of all why must one need to protect his temple" the answer was given by jeer that it is the "rasa" that Lord provides a window of opportunity for the tainted souls to perform this task and purify themselves. In cases when they fail in this Lord never hesitates to send his special messengers to carry out this. There were several instances even in kali yugam that sudharasana azzhwaar (Sri Chakram) of perumaal was used to intervene situations that ordinary souls could not handle. Lord also makes us to intensify our prayers when things such as these go out of control. Two possible examples are thiru kaNNapuram when lord used his chakram to punish the chola king who disassembled all 6 mathils or walls and thiru chiththrak koodam when the nitya kaimkaryam for Lord Govindarajan was interupted due to shaivite control of the temple in the past. As of Last week sunday, it will be one year since amuthan's jewels were stolen. Some of us pray to the Lord Amuthan that HE will help the investigating authorities and retrieve the same.