Shiva Krupa

Temples of India signify the very root of Hinduism and its culture. To be worth of the trust reposed by our ancestors, it becomes our primary responsibility to sustain our heritage for generations to come.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Selfless Service

We come across many magazines,doing business under the cover of Culture. Their true color gets exposed only when we send articles and photographs of neglected temples that cry for immediate attention.These publishers never bother to accept the articles unless they are introduced by an influenced person. Even though the writer does not expect anything in return, he is simply ignored. I am reminded of the statement of a novelist that publishers are ready to print even his laundry bill. The only advantage of writing to these magazines is that it would attract large section of the people.Finally the writers ,who are already dumped by the publishers,get another platform in the name of Google. By uploading the photos to your blog you can present a clear and true picture of the story.At the same time you can project the services of some people who deserve better recognition.This post aims to introduce the meritorious and selfless services of two gentlemen whom I met recently.

Udayavar Theeyanur is a tiny village in Pazhuvur Mandalam. Pazhuvur is now divided into Mel Pazhuvur and Keezhapazhuvur. Pazhuvettaraiyars ruled the region and stood like pillars for the safety and security of Chola Dynasty. After the Great war with Pandyas in 880 A.D., at Thiruppurambiyam,near Kumbakonam, Aditya I established the Chola Kingdom and his son Paranthaka I expanded it. We come to know about Pazhuvettaraiyars until the rule of Rajendra I . They had constructed many temples in this region during this period. I had the opportunity to visit Theeyanur,some 20 km away from Ariyalur/Pazhuvur. The gentleman who took me to this place hails from this village. A Chola period Shiva temple in this village requires renovation at the earliest . My friend who works in Bangalore visits this place everyweek amidst his busy work at his office.In fact he worked even after midnight on that day and started at 3 A.M. and drove straight to Chennai to meet someone in connection with the renovation work.I joined him in the after noon and reached his place around 7.30 p.m . We visited the temple on the next day .

The entrance does not have a Raja gopuram. The temple is also not very big in size. Luckily the compound wall shows only minor damages.The vimanam which stands on granite has plant growth at many places. Ganapathi shrine on the prakara is damaged in the front and needs to be reconstructed.Levelling of the Prakara remains to be carried out. The Six faced Subramanya is a delight for the worshipper. Since the Sage Jamadagni(Father of Parasurama) worshipped Shiva here, the main deity in the Sanctum is called Jamadagneeswarar. The Goddess is named as Amrithaambikai.The villagers are very eager to see the Temple attaining its past glory.A dedicated team of about ten villagers wear a T-shirt (in which the names of the God and Goddess are written) extend help in all possible ways.One can rarely see such a dedicated team in villages.I should commend my friend who made this possible.I think all philanthropists should come forward to encourage this young man. I can never forget the innocent men who involved themselves in the glorious work. Our Sabha wanted to encourage and assist the team in a small way by donating paint for the entire temple. Since we went by car we could carry a boot full of paint tins.

Paavattakudi is another place where a Shiva temple needs renovation urgently.It is situated about 20 km south of Mayiladuthurai, on Kollumaangudi-Karaikkal road. There are no signs of compound wall and we can see lot of encroachments in the temple land. I was invited to visit this temple by a gentleman who works as a HeadMaster in a nearby school. He is an ardent admirer of Sage Agasthya.The sanctum built in granite has a vimanam made of bricks.The East facing shrine has a Tank(Agasthya Theertham) in front. Chola inscriptions are seen on the outer walls of the sanctum. A smiling Dhakshinamurthi is seen on the south Prakaram . All other Deva- koshtams are empty. Deep rooted plants pose threat to the aged structure.

The Lord is known as Sundareswarar and the Goddess as Sivakamasundari. Shrines for Ganapathy and Subramanya might have collapsed long back and there are no signs of them now although the deities are protected and kept inside the temple. Though a lot of work needs to be undertaken, my friend ia going ahead with the desire to conduct the Kumbabishekam in the last week of August. Foundation work for the Ganapathi shrine is likely to be taken up this week .

There is also a totally ruined Vishnu shrine nearby. Only the damaged portions of the compound wall is remaining. My friend has made a temporary shelter to house the Vishnu,Sridevi,Boodevi idols inside. The foundation work is over for the sanctum where these idols will be shifted. But it appears to take a very long time due to paucity of funds.
As I wanted to bow before his dedication and commitment, I handed over our Sabha's contribution as a token of our humble gesture towards the reconstruction of Sundareswara temple.