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From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Thu Nov 18 1999 - 12:49:39 PST
Dear Friends : Although Sri VaishNavAs do not worship Nava Grahams , there are a wide variety of people who seek relief for inauspiciousness caused by one or more of this grahams .There are Veda manthrAs for each of the planets at the end of Surya NamaskAra manthrams of TaitthirIya AraNyakam . Dr.Parthasarathy of Coimbatore , whose posting on DipAvaLi we enjoyed earlier has assembled very interesting information on the location of the famous temples in ChOLa desam , where each of the Nava Grahams has a special koil . I will add some comments for perspective on Navagraha worship at temples and at home , whether one practises or not . **Sri Mutthuswamy Dikshithar has composed his brilliant set of nine krithis devoted to each of the nine Grahams . He composed them to help one of his dear disciples subjected to a graha dhOsham .These are musical gems housing the manthrams of the individual nava grahams . **Saint ThyagarAja has commented about the futility of worshipping Nava Grahams , while the mighty RaamachandrA is there to help us in every way .This song is set in Raagam Revagupthi : Pallavi : Graha BalamEmi Sri RaamANUGRAHA BalamE Balamu Anupallavi: GrahabalamEmi tEjOmaya Vigrahamanu dhyAninchu Vaariki Nava graha BalamEmi ? CharaNam : Graha Peedala PanchapaapamulanA grahamulu gala KaamAdhiripula nigrahamu jEyu Harini Bhajimchu ThyagarAjuniki RasikAgrEsarulaku ( Graha BalamEmi) Meaning : "Of What avail is the strength of the planets ? The real strength is that of RAAMA'S BLESSINGS . What can the strength of planets do to one , who meditates upon the effulgent form of the Lord , and to the men of discernment like ThyagarAjA , who are steeped in devotion to Hari , whose power destroys the virulent inner enemies like KaamA , the five great sins and the evil effects of the nine planets . In a NaadhavarAngiNi raaga Krithi , Saint ThyagarAjA talks further about the boons of Siddhis obtained by homams done to please the planets et al to secure some auspiciousness and rejects them too . There he says movingly : Oh RaamachandrA ! Dispeller of the sins of SaraNAgathAs ! People go after siddhis thinking that it may help them to gain salvation , but in the ultimate analysis , they find those siddhis are obstructive to Moksham and finally realize that they are deluded in going after these anithya siddhis. Oh My dear One ! Oh Daasarathi ! Pray have mercy on me and save me from any thoughts other than Your lotus feet ! Navagraha worship is however a tradition among many . Saint ThyagarAjA was an authority in JyOthisham and independent of that he recognized that Sri Raamachandran is his sole refuge . I am attaching this article from a historical point of view of temple culture .We have always to remember that the Sthala PurANams have to be taken with a pinch of salt . Any references there that one God worshipped the other to gain some relief or other has to be taken at the surface level. Sthala PurANams have a tendency to glorify the local God or Goddess at the expense of others. Please keep this in mind, when you browse this article. V.Sadagopan ARSHAM 033--TEMPLE WORSHIP. NAVAGRAHA KSHETHRAS -------------------------- ------------------ The planetary deities are perceived to play a significant role in an individual's life. Jyothisham (astrology)connects the events in life to the planetary movements. Hence the nine important planets are worshipped and have temples or occupy an important place in some temples. SUN :Governs confidence,authority and status. MOON:Presiding deity of mind and emotions. Kuja or Mangala or Angaraka : Governs courage and bravery and presides over health and siblings. Budha: Mercury .Presides over intelligence and capacities of teaching. Guru : Presiding deity of religious inclination and prosperity and married life of women. Sukra: Venus.Presides over comforts,arts,culture,asthetics and love. Sani : Presiding deity of longivity,calamities and difficulties apart from spiritual wisdom. Rahu and Kethu : Presiding deities of worldy desires and moksha (freedom). Now let us see some temples connected with these Navagrahas. These are all situated in Tanjore district of Tamilnadu on the banks of river Cauvery. SURYANARKOIL(15 km from Kumbakonam). Sun God.Lord Siva is worshipped as Suryanarayana by Brahaspathy. THINGALORE : (3 KM FROM THIRUVAIYARU): The planet Chandra worshipped Lord Kailasanatha here. In the months of Purattasi (Sep-Oct) and Panguni (March-April), Moon's rays fall on the Lingamam. Saivite saint Appar revived saint Appoothi Adigal's son, who died of snake bite, by singing in praise of the Lord here. VAITHEESWARANKOIL(6 Km from Sirkali): The presiding deity, Sri Vaidyanathaswamy, is hailed as the healer of all ills. The Lord came here as a Vaidya(doctor) and cured Angaraka(mars) of leprosy Among the Navagrahas,Angaraha is worshipped here with great reverence. Hence this shrine is also known as Angaraka Kshetra. THIRUVEKADU: (10 km from Vaitheeswarankoil).The Siva shrine here is dedicated to Sri Swetaranyeswara. The Goddess is Brahma Vidyambika.Legends glorify this place as Swetaranyam, Adi Chidambaram and Nava Nritta Sthala.Bhudha, the bestower of knowledge; has a separate shrine. Wednesdays are auspicious days of worship.The image of Lord Siva has five faces - Easanam, Tatpurusham, Aghoram, Vamadeuam and Satyojatam. The Lord assumed the form of Aghoramurti, the furious aspect of God, to vanquish demon Maruthwasura. The Lord also saved a devotee named Swetaketu from the clutches of Yama. For the sake of this devotee, Siva danced all His seven Thandavams - Anand, Sandhya, Samharam, Tripuranda, Urdhva, Bhujanga and Lalitha. ALANGUDI(6 km from Needamangalam): The presiding deity here is Sri Aabathsagayeswara or Aranyeswara, a Swayambu Lingam, and the Goddess is Umai Ammai. There is a separate sanctum for the special deity Sri Dakshinamurthi. Being a GURU KSHETRA ,Thursdays attract a large number of pilgrims and special poojas are performed. KANCHANUR (3 km from Suryanarkoil): Lord Vishnu worshipped Agniswara, the presiding deity here, to rid Himself of SHUKRA DOSHA. The divine consort is Karpagambal. Fridays are very auspicious, and devotees offer white flowers to the Lord. THIRUNALLAR:(5 km from karaikal); The Siva temple is dedicated to Sri Dharbaranyeswara. King Nala attained emancipation here from the hardships and miseries to which he was subjected by SANI. Enshrined within the temple is SANISWARA.The devout believe that they would get rid of their curses and spells of bad luck if they pray in this temple. Pilgrims take a dip in the Nala Theertaham and offer worhship at the temple. The worship here includes lighting holy lamps with til (gingelly) seeds and oil. After prayers, balls of cooked rice are offered to the Crow, the mount of Saniswara. The festival Sani Peyarchi, which occurs once in two and a half years, attracts thousands of pilgrims. On this day, Saturn moves from one Rasi to another. THIRUNAGESWARAM:(5 km from Kumbakonam) The Siva shrine is dedicated to Sri Naganathaswamy.RAHU worshipped Lord Siva here on Sivarathri day to redeem himself from some curse.Sundays are important and milk offered here turns blue.This Siva KshEthram is one KM from the divya desam of Oppilaippan Koil . KIZHAPERUPALLAM (near Tharangampadi)Planet Kethu considered as the bestower of knowledge is worshipped in a separate shrine here.vasuki the king of serpants worshipped siva here. I have briefly discussed above the nineplanets there shrines and their significance. Dr.V.Parthasarathy of Coimbatore .