You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1996

Thiru maal irum sOlai - Part 4 - pathinettaam padi karuppaNNa swami mahimai

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.