12 August 2009
SHAKTHI STHALAMS - KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE AT MAANGADU (Near Chennai)
This is one of the most visited temples in the vicinity of Chennai especially on Sundays and Fridays. The Kamakshi Amman temple at Maangaadu is located off of the highway linking Chennai with Poonamallee and is well connected with Chennai by frequent bus service. This temple is believed to have been in existence during the peirod of Aadi Sankaracharya. The sanctum here enshrines Kamakshi, and a Sri Chakram.
As per the legend, one day in Kailash, Parvathi Devi playfully closed the eyes of Lord Shiva from behind, with her palms. As a result of this, the whole universe was surrounded with darkness and all the living beings suffered. Lord Shiva became angry and the Goddess craved for his pardon.
Lord Shiva guided her to the earth and asked her to perform a severe penance to join him again. As per the God’s instructions she came down to earth and reached this place of dense Mango grove called Maangaadu. (means ‘Mango forest’ in Thamizh) She started her rigorous penance here in the standing posture on the Panchagni (Fire). She stood one legged on Panchagni with right leg folded. She was holding her right hand raised above her head holding the Japamala (Rudraksha). Even today we can see this Moorthi of Sri Tapas Kamakshi at Maangaadu.
Even after Goddess left the place, the power of the Agni didn’t subside, out of which the whole place in and around Maangaadu suffered with unbearable heat and the Ugram of the Goddess. Even today, no abhishekams are performed to the Sri Chakra as it contains rare herbs. Only Kumkuma Archana is performed that too only to the Sri Chakra and not the idol, as the powers of Sri Kamakshi Amman has been instilled in the Chakra by Sri Aadhi Sankaracharya. The idol Sri Aadhi Kamakshiamman made of Panchaloha (5 metals) was installed by Sri Kanchi Paramacharya Swami in the later years.
Six weeks worships are very popular here. The devotee who has some prarthana or wish can choose any one day of the week and to visit the temple along with 2 lemons, of which one will be retained at the temple and the other one has to be taken back home. Again the following week, on the same day, he or she has to carry the old lemon from home along with 2 other fresh lemons. Like wise, if one visits on the same day for six weeks continuously, the Ambaal grants the wishes of the devotee.