We reached back from Vallalar’s place little knowing that we will have to take the same route to Tiruvannamalai the next day.
We had the morning food, and then started off. The sun was unrelenting during this time and it is only due to the kind grace of the Lord himself that we were left with very little health problems.
We reached Sirkazhi around 11.00. Sirkazhi is probably the most sung about temple in the Tevarams. This is also the place where the divine play of Thiru Gnaana Sambandhar happened.
The story is that when Sambandhar was a baby, his father kept him on the banks of the pond and was taking his bath. Due to hunger the little boy started crying Amma….. The ever kind divine couple Siva- Parvathi heard the same and Devi was moved with compassion.
With the Lord’s permission, she gave some milk to the boy and his ‘HUNGER’ was satisfied in the instant of her ‘karuna kataksham’. When his father came back from his daily ablutions, seeing a milk plate near the child, he was initially furious and threw away the same thinking that in his absence someone gave food to the child. The temple wall precinct still have a small dent, which is carefully marked even now, where the plate had gone and hit while he threw it away.
But Sambandhar put all questions to rest by breaking out into his first ‘paadal - Thodudaya Seviyan’ with which one of the most glorious and incredible chapters of Tamil history started.
In the temple seeing the Siva Lingam we were reminded of his ‘Apaara Karuna’ which is the boon every one seeks. I have heard well meaning radicals talk about life as only for improving our standards of living and bettering our own thought process followed by the correct understanding of things. What else is the ‘Karuna’ we talk about, when the Lord pours it over us and make us fully ‘nimagna’ in the flow of his ever lasting love and oneness?
There was a Sannidhi of Uma Maheshwara on the Vimana of the Garbha Griha where some excellent pictures and the vigrahams greeted all of us with their wonderful stories. It says that it was here, where the divine couple was sitting when they heard Gnaana Sambandhar crying…..
Inside the temple walls, by the side of the pond an area is marked, which is frequented by people as the place where the divine ‘leela’ happened. Praying humbly at the Devi’s abode near the main shrine we hurried into the vehicles as the pavements were already hot and our feet were burning.
We were slightly concerned whether temple would close by around 12 and we were rushing in. Little we realized that it turned out to be Tuesday and being the Managala Kshetram in the Navagraha temples, the temple was open comfortably for the day. It was crowded!!!!
My teacher got us to sing “Angaarakam Aashrayaamyaham” by Sri Dikshitar and we made three full pradakshinams at the Kuja Sannidhi. Abhishekams were happening during the time. In the krithi, there is a line which specifically points to the temple – “Vaidya Natha Kshetram” in the “Charanam”. The story of the Navagraha Krithis by Muthuswamy Dikshitar is very interesting. He composed the Angaaraka Stuthi for one of his sishyas when he was unwell which was diagnosed by Dikshitar as Kuja Dosham. To relieve this he composed the krithi. The same was cured in no time and upon the request from his other sishyas all the other 8 Grahams were sung upon using different Ragams and using all the Main Sapta Talams.
We went around to the main deity – The Vaitheeswarar. It s said that this is the place of Dhanwanthari Samadhi – one of 18 Maha Siddhars - thus the name of Vaitheeswarar. We could manage Darsanam in the heavy crowd and while doing the circumambulation, we also prayed at the Muruka Sannidhi, Jatayu Sthalam and spent sometime there. Jatayu was cremated here in this spot as per the oral traditions and it was for Jatayu that Sri Rama did the Karmams which even his Father Dasharatha could not receive directly upon his demise.
We also went around the Devi Thayyalnayaki and were standing near the flag pole for the Lord himself. It was uniquely lit from the sunlight from above and we stood under the golden rays fully getting immersed in the splendour the Lord provided for us.
Filled with ‘Mana: Sukham’ we returned to the hotel and rested until our further outing.