20 May 2013

Guru Temple -Alangudi - The Fifth of the Navagraha Temples of Tamil Nadu

Guru Temple-Alangudi
Sri Abathsahayeswarar Temple, the sthalam of Guru Bhagavan is at Alangudi. The presiding deity here is Abathsahayeswarar and His consort is Elavarkuzhali Ammai or Umayammai. The Shiva Lingam here is a Swayambhu [self- manifested]. Dakshinamurthy in the praharam [circumambulatory path] around Shiva’s shrine is worshipped as Guru Bhagavan here.

In all Shiva temples the main deities are Shiva and Parvati. Other deities like Pillayar Murugar, Dakshinamurthy, the Navagrahas, and Chandikeswarar are also present in the praharam (circumabulatory path). As defined in the temple Vaasthu Shastra, the deities are placed in a particular position and facing a particular direction. There is a group of temples around Kumbakonam whose deities form a big temple. This group of temples is called the Parivara Sthalam

Guru Sthalam - Alangudi
The story of the Devas and Asuras churning the celestial ocean or the parkadal is associated with many temples. During this churning, Vasuki spat out deadly poison. Lord Shiva consumed that poison here to save the world. Hence the name Alangudi: Ala meaning poison. The Lord himself came to be known as Abathsahayeswarar [one who helps in crisis] as he saved the world from impending danger. Lord Ganesha defeated Gajamuhasuran here, to save the Devas from the asura’s atrocities

Ganesha is worshipped here as “Kalangamal Kaaththa Vinayakar”. This place is also known as Thirumana Mangalam as Ambal undertook penance to marry Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva and Ambal
Lord Shiva in the guise of a boatman had helped Sundarar to cross the Vettaru which was in spate. It is believed that Sundarar had received his Gnanopadesam from Dakshinamurthy at this temple. Gu in Sanskrit means darkness and ru means the destroyer of that. Hence Guru means one who destroys darkness or one who enlightens. Thus Guru is one who leads you from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

Alangudi is the most popular Parihara sthalam for Guru. The other ones that readily come to mind are Thittai and Padi in Madras. Poolai is the sthala vriksham.

Guru is attributed to luck, favor and fortune. The unfavourable position in the horoscope can cause skin problems, arthritis, heart related problems, worry & uneasiness. Guru blesses his devotees with progeny, good education, valour, long life and cure from diseases. Devotees light 24 ghee lamps and do pradharshanam [circumambulation] of Shiva’s shrine 24 times

Offerings of yellow cloth, konda kadalai [chick pea] and vella mullai [a type of Jasmine] are made to Guru here. The transit of Guru, known as Guru Peyarchi which happens every year, is an important festival in this temple. Thursdays being the day of Guru is very important. Fasting or eating only once [oru pozhudhu] on Thursdays is recommended. Banana and salt is to be avoided on these days.

Recite the following mantra facing North East to get over the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.

Guru Moola Mantra: Aum gram grim graum sah gurave namah
Guru Gayathri: Rishabadhwajaya vidhmahe gruni hasthaya dhimahi thanno Guru prachodhayath
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8.30 PM.
Location:  Alangudi is 17.5 kms from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam - Needamangalam - Mannargudi road in Tiruvarur district.  

Temple Address
Arulmigu Abathsahayeswarar Temple,
Alangudi – 612801
Valangaiman Taluk
Thiruvarur District
Telephone Number: 04374 – 269407

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