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Re: 5th head of Brahma!

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Tue Sep 15 1998 - 19:31:10 PDT

At 08:19 AM 9/14/98 PDT, you wrote:
Dear Sri Sriram :
>
>I heard a story wherein Lord Shiva seemed to have plucked the 5th head 
>of Brahma and  the  kapala (skull) stuck to his hand. He was roaming 
>around with the Kapala which  later disappeared after Lakshmi poured 
>some grain into the Brahma-Kapala. Can anyone 
>shed more light into  this story ? . When and where did Brahma get his 
>fifth head ?

According to one of the PurANams , Lord ShivA acquired 
Brahma Hatthi DhOsham by plucking one of the five heads
of BrahmA . He punished BrahmA for lying that he saw the 
face of Lord ShivA , when he presented Himself as 
LingOthbhavar . According to this Siva PurANam , which
Saiva NaayanmArs repeatedly refer to , BrahmA flew up
as a Hamsam to determine the height to which Lord ShivA's
head projected into the sky and beyond . He failed to 
see the face of Lord ShivA and got tired .He flew down 
and declrred to the assembled DevAs that he had seen 
the top of the head of the LingOthbhavar , who grew out of 
the Lingam . Lord ShivA got mad and as a punishment 
plucked the fifth head of BrhamA , who in our sampradhAyam is
the father of Lord ShivA . That fifth head (skull ) got 
stuck in the hand of Lord ShivA and He had to go from place 
to place begging for food with that kapaalam . In the  same
Siva PurANam , Lord VishNu is said to have taken the form of
a wild Boar and dug himself deeper and deeper to find the 
feet of Lord ShivA .Lord VishNu failed and came up and 
reported His failure in contrast to BrahmA , who said a lie.
Incidentally , in the Saiva Aagamam defining the appropriate
places for particular Gods in a consecrated temple , LingOthbhavar 
will be seen in the Western PrAkAram behind the Garbhagraham .

Now returning to our story , Lord ShivA wandered 
with stuck skull in hand and ultimately reached 
KandiyUr divya Desam ( Kantana Puram in Sanskrit).
Here Rudran did penance and offered His worship
to Sriman NaarayaNan and took a dip in the PushkariNi 
and with the Lord's blessing , the stuck kapAlam 
eased itself from his hand . As a result , the 
BhagavAn here is known today as Hara Saapa VimOchana
PerumAL and the PushkariNi is recognized as Kapaala 
ThIrtham .There are two versions on how the kapAlam
got unstuck. One in which , Bhagavan makes a cut 
in His chest and directs the blood pouirng out into
the Kapaalam until it is full and that did it.
In another version, MahA Lakshmi poured some grains
as you described . 

Thrumangai Mannan refers to this in ThirukkurunthAnDakam
paasuram (19):

pinDiyAr ManDai yEnthip piRar manai thiritanthuNNum 
uNDiyAn saapam thIrtha oruvanUr , ulahamEtthum
KanDiyUr ----( This section refers to Lord ShivA
going from home to home of strangers beging for 
food because of the curse of BrahmA and this curse being 
removed by the grace of the KandiyUr perumAL ).

At this sthalam ( TrimUrthy Sthalam ) , there 
are temples for VishNu, BrahmA and Rudran side by side .
These temples are 6 miles from ThanjAvUr on the way to 
ThiruvayyAru . The sannidhi for Sri Sudarsana-
LakshmI Narasimhan ( Back to Back ) is very famous
at KandiyUr . The ancient name for Hara Saapa VimOchana
PerumAL is Kamala Naathan . ThayAr's name is kamala Valli .
The KapAla Pushkarani was known before as Kamala PushkaraNi .
The VimAnam is Kamala VimAnam ( Kamlaakruhti VimAnam ).
The KshEthram is also known as Kamala KshEthram .Hence , 
there are FIVE Kamalams here and remind one of MahA LakshmI.
The other Thri mUrthy Sthalam among the 108 divya desams
is KarambanUr or Utthamar Koil near Trichy .

> This, I believe may be linked with the sthala puranam of the famous 
>kapaleeshwarar  temple of Mylapore, wherein after the episode described 
>above , Lord Shiva decided to  grace the place as "Kapaleeshwarar".
>
>Mylapore Vaasis ...?

Here , the presiding deity KapaalIswarar got His name 
from the Kapaala Maalai that He is fond of wearing ,
when He dances on the smasAnams . The Mohana Raaga Krithi 
by late PapanAsam Sivan on the beauty of KaapAlIswaran 
and on His devi , KaRpagAmbhAL in madhyamAvathi ( KaRpakamE
KadaikkaNN paarAi ) are wonderful to listen to .As a student 
of VivEkAnandhA College , Mylapore , I relate to this question .
>
>dasan,
>
>-Sriram,Balaraman
>
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