11 February 2011

Masi Magam Festival

It is said that " மகம் பிறந்தது நல்லூரில்...மாமாங்கம் பிறந்தது கும்பகோணத்தில்!"

In this posting of mine, I present to you the importance of observing Masi Magam and the temple associated with this festival SriKalyanaSundarareswarar Temple, Nallur,Thanjavur.

Masi Magam is an auspicious and important festival in the Hindu Almanac which is celebrated in a special manner by the people of Tamil Nadu. It occurs when the "Magam" star in the Vedic sky falls on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Masi which is between February and March.

This year the Masi Magam Festival falls on the full moon day of 18th February, 2011.

Masi Magam Festival
Masi Magam drives our way towards the path for prosperity and ensures to enhance a trouble-free, successful, and a wealthy life. It is also believed to be a great occasion to get rid of the negative effects of karma in you. Devotees can take this excellent opportunity to purify their karma with the blessings of the almighty and to get encircled by the rays of positive energy of the divine power. You can also welcome the riches through the power of energized Meru on this Masi Magam.

On this auspicious Masi Magam, Merus are being energized at the Kumbeswarar Temple in Kumbakkonam in the south of Tami Nadu when the energies of the Temple and the Temple Tank become increased with the Magam Full Moon influences.

The waters of the holiest rivers mix to energize this "Holy Dip". Gods and Goddesses, Rishis, Siddhas, other Celestials and even our Ancestors in the ethereal form are said to congregate at the temple tank for the annual bathing occasion to become re-energized. This ancient spot is considered to be the origin of the human species!

Masi Magam-Pondicherry
On the day of Masi Magam, idols of deities are taken from their holy sanctums in a procession for a holy dip in the river. Offering prayers and taking bath in holy rivers like Ganges, Cauvery and others is believed to be a holy ritual to wash away the karma in oneself.

People have the practice of taking the holy bath in the wells of Kumbakonam - Maha Magam temple tank, to eliminate the heaviest of their karmic negative effects on Masi Magham. It also presents a unique opportunity to receive karmic intervention from the heavenly beings and ancestors.  

Taking the Holy Dip on Masi Magam
Once in twelve years, Masi Magam attains special significance and then it s known as Maha Maham.  The reason for observing  Masi Magam varies from region to region and sometimes even from temple to temple. 
The day is of great signficance in Pondicherry, Kumbakkonam, Srirangam and in numerous other shrines associated with Lord Vishnu, Shva and Shakti in South India and n those regions around the world which has Tamil speakng population.

Sri Kalyana Sundarareswarar Temple, Nallur

Main deity: Swayambu linga known as Periyandeswarar, Kalyana Sundarar, Pancha varneswar, Sundara nathar, and Soundara naayakar with Ambal Giri Sundari, Parvatha Sundari Kalyana Sundari, Malaiazhagi and Vanduvaazh kuzhali
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Saptha sagaram [seven seas]

Panchavarneswarar -ShivaLingam-Nallur
[Colour Change is Visible]


• The miracle here is colour of the deity changes its color five times during daytime as Copper, Light red, Molten gold, Emerald and Multicolor for every 2 hours and 20 minutes and so the name
Panchavarneswarar.  Research has been done for colour change but the reason is still unknown.  

From sunrise to sunset, the colour of the top portion of the Lingam changes every 2 hrs 20 min..  

The timings for the Lingam colour changes are as under: 

  • 6 AM to 8.24 AM - Copper Colour  
  • 8.25 AM to 10.48 AM - Light Red [Sunrise Colour]  
  • 10.49 AM to 1.12 PM - Molten Gold Colour   
  • 1.13 PM to 3.36 PM  - Emerald Green   
  • 3.37 PM to 6 PM - A colour the Devotee has in mind and wants to see.
  • The Middle portion alternates between shades of blue and green.  This part is somewhat rough and has small spot-like holes in them. 
  • The lower portion remains black at all times.

Here avudaiyar is in square shape and has two Lingams.[not anywhere in the world].
• Since Lord Shiva gave Deeksha to Thirunavukkarasar by placing His feet on him, as a rare custom in a Shiva temple, the devotees are blessed by placing the Sataari [Lord’s legs] on their heads as in Vishnu temples.
• One of the 275 Thevara Padal petra sthalams
Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh


• It is believed Lingam starts from the land and ends at the top of the mount
• It said that the Jada mudi of lord Shiva is present at the back of temple, so we are not allowed to make a full round. Oblations to the manes take places here.
• The lingam has many holes across. Sage Bringi, an ardent devotee of Siva, was not ready to worship the Goddess. So he took the form of vandu [bee family] and worshipped Shiva alone by flying around Him. Hence there are small holes on the Shiva linga. Vaalakilya munivar performed thapas as vandu (beetle) in the holes and attained mukthi here. 
Kundhi devi got rid of her curse by taking a dip in the Saptha Sagaram Theertham on a Masi magam day.
Muchukundha Chakravarthi who belongs to Dwaparayuga, the third yuga, has worshipped here.
Amarneethi Nayanar, his wife and son were sanctified here

Lord Shiva-Parvathi Devi & Brahma-Vishnu in the Background

About the Temple

• This is a 4 acre temple with 3 praharams and 5 tier rajagopuram 
• In the garbhagraha, at the back of main lingam we can see sudai sculpture of Lord Shiva and Parvathi devi together in bridal form along with Brahma and Vishnu
• There are shrines for Kailasa Ganapathi, eight lingas, sapthamathas, Kasi vinayagar, 63 Nayanmars and Natarajar
Koshta moorthies are Dhakshnamoorthy, Sattanathar, Murugan, Mahalakshmi and Durga 
Ashtapuja Kali with 8 arms is present in the south prahaaram of this temple. According to Bujandar naadi, Sri Maha Kali who was responsible for defending this region against the invasion of Malik Kafoor is glowing with Her divine presence here. Worshipping Her on Fridays and Ashtami is believed to absolve many doshams of devotees. 
• In this Shiva temple we can see Narasimha idol in the Vimanam.
• One of the maada temples of the Chola king Kochengat

Sri Kalyana Sundarareswarar Temple, Nallur, is located at a distance of 10 kms from Kumbakkonam;  It lies in the route between Paapanasam and Kudavasal in Thanjavur District and about 10 to 15 min. from Pateeswaram. 

Temple Timings

Morning: 7 am to 12.30 am
Evening: 4 pm to 7 pm
Contact: Sri S Kannan[Pichai] Gurukkal 

Phone: 04374 222863

This temple is a Parihara Sthalam and is also famous for Jhathaka Dosham Nivarthi.  As this ancient Shivan temple holds so much significance and importance, while taking a tour to Thanjavur, you should make it a point to include this temple in your itinerary. 

09 February 2011

Panguni Uthiram Festival

Panguni Uthiram is an important Tamil festival observed in the Tamil month of Panguni [March – April]. Panguni Uthiram is not only sacred to Lord Muruga but also auspicious to Lord Maha Vishnu as well as to Lord ShivaTherefore the day is sacred to both Saivites and Vaishnavites

Panguni Uthiram nakshatram falls on full moon day[Purnima or Pournami] and it is believed that celestial weddings took place on this day.

In 2011, Panguni Uthiram falls on  March 19, Saturday. Panguni Uthiram celebrates the wedding of important deities in the Hindu religion and is an important 
festival in all parts of Tamil Nadu, India.

Pangun Uthiram Festival
It falls on the day,when the moon transits in the nakshatra [constellation] of Uttara-phalguni[Uthiram], in the month,Panguni [March-April],which is the full moon of the month of Pangun.

Lord Muruga in Kalyana Kolam-Thirutani
This full moon day is significant of the marriage of Shiva-Parvathi, Lord Murugan-Devasena and Andal- Rangamannar  On this day, Murugan gives his Kalyana Kola Seva to his disciples.  As per the Valmiki Ramayana, this is the auspiceous day when Sri Rama and Sita got married.  Panguni month [March – April] is similar to that of Phalgun month in other calendars.

Panguni Uthiram-Srivlliputhur

According to legend, one of the 12 Azhwars and Goddess Andal, also known as Kothai, married Lord Rangamannar [incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu] on this day.
The celestial marriage of Goddess Andal is a famous event at Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar
district.  Above all, Goddess Ranganayaki meets Lord Ranganathar at Sri Rangam on ths day.

Punguni Uthiram Festival- SriRangam
As per the Brahmanda Puranam, on Panguni Uthiram,  every holy water joins Thumburu teertha, one of the seven sacred tanks in Tirupati Tirumala. The day is the symbol of grahasta dharma i.e. the married life of a person. The Almighty manifests in the marital state as Sita-Rama, Radha- Krishna and Uma- Maheswara.  On this day the Lord in Shiva and Vishnu temples appear to devotees in their married state. This important festival is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva, Parvathi, and Lord Murugan.

Pilgrims  proceeding to Palani for Panguni Uthiram fesitval

Panguni Uthiram-Kavadi 
On Panguni Uthiram, in all the temples of  Lord Subrahmanya,  the devotees, in the fulfilment of their vows, carry the pooja material in a 'Kavadi'. This is a very special feature and also special poojas are performed in all of such Murugan temples in Tamil Nadu. In most of the temples in Tamil Nadu,  Float festivals are also common rituals observed during Panguni Uthiram.

Lord Ayyappan
The Lord Ayyappan Jayanthi, is observed on Panguni Uthiram day which falls on Pournami or Full Moon day in Meena masam of Malayali calendar. Ayyappa is also known as Manikandan or Manikanta. It is believed that Lord Ayyappan is born out of the union between Mohini avataram of Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Hence he is called as Hariharasuta or Hariharasudan.

As per the legend,the lord Ayyappa was born to vanquish the demoness Mahishi. After vanqushing her, the Lord gave her a boon that she will be worshipped as Maalikapurathamma. In Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, Ayyappa Jayanti is celebrated on this day,with much fevour  and is attended by thousands of devotees from world over.

Panguni Uthiram Thiru Kalyana festival in Arunachaleswarar Temple
Panguni Uthiram is considered to be a big and important festival in Tamil Nadu. Several Temple rituals like divine marriages, Brahmotsavams, Aradhanotsavams and other festivities are celebrated on Panguni Uthiram. Thousands of devotees attend the Srirangam Sri Ranganatha swamy temple, Madurai Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple, Palani Murugan temple, and some other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Murugan.

Sri Kapaleeshwarar with Karpagambal -Panguni Uthiram,Mylai
Mylapore Kapaleeswarar temple in Chennai, is one of the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tamil Nadu. Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple Brahmotsavam is a ten-day festival celebrated during Panguni Uthiram. 

Panguni Uthiram -AthikaraNandhi-Kapaleeshwarar Koil,Mylai

Kapaleeshwarar Koil-AruvathiMoovar-Panguni Uthiram
Thiruth Ther-Mylai
Brahmotsavam-Punguni Uthiram
During the 10-day Brahmotsavam festival, Rathotsavam is the major event which attracts lakhs of devotees from all around the country. Panguni Uthiram festival is celebrated with utmost pomp and gaiety which marks the conclusion of Brahmotsavam festival.

Falgun Purnima is also celebrated as Holi in all parts of India. Panguni masam or Pankuni month is the last and final month in Tamil calendar or Tamil Panchangam. 
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