Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Temple at KuLa-vaai.

The poem continues with the description of the devotees who visited the temple.
This is the last part of the description of the location, surroundings and the devotees who thronged. After this, the poem continues with the description of the glory of Adhisesha.

மணி மருள் தகை வகை நெறி செறி ஒலி பொலி
நிமிர் புகழ் கூந்தல்.
நெகிழ் துளையினை தெளி ஒளி திகழ் ஞெகிழ்
மது மகிழ்பு அரி மலர்
உண்கண், வாணுதலோர்-
மயில் தொழில் எழில் இகல் மலி திகழ் பிறிது
கடுங் கடாக் களிற்று
மிக வந்து இறைஞ்ச, அல் இகப்ப, பிணி நீங்க,
எல்லாம் இயைதரும்-தொல் சீர்
வரை வாய் தழுவிய கல் சேர் கிடக்கைக்
அம்ர்ந்தான் நகர்.

(நீல மணி போன்ற நிறத்தினையும் அழகினையும் , கூறாகப் பிரித்து , அழகு படுத்தப பட்ட கூந்தலையும் , தெளிவான ஒலி எழுப்பும் நெகிழ்ந்த சிலம்பினையும், வண்டுகள் மது உண்ணும் மலர் போன்ற அழகிய கண்களையும் , ஒளி பொருந்திய நெற்றியையும் , அழகாலும் , நடையாலும் மயில் போலவும் , அவற்றினின்று மாறுபட்டும் விளங்கும் பெண்கள் , மத யானை நடை உடைய தங்கள் கணவன்மாரோடு , இணைந்து , அழகுபட வந்து , தங்கள் துன்பமும் , பிணியும் தீர்ந்து , நல்லவற்றை எல்லாம் தரவல்ல , தொன்று தொட்டு புகழ் உடைய மலையின் அடிவாரத்தில் , கல் சேர்ந்து கிடக்கும் குள வாய் என்னும் நகரில் அமர்ந்த அந்த இறைவனைத் தேடி வருவார் .)

The first 8 lines describe the devotees who thronged the temple.
The devotees came as couples.
The women were noted for their beautiful hair, eyes like flowers and beautiful forehead.
The anklets they wore made sound as they walked along with their husbands whose gait was that of a big elephant.

The information that the devotees were married couple is repeated twice in this poem.
This is something to be noted, because even today in the case of doing propitiation,
the people come as a couple.

The next line tells about their expectations in visiting the temple.
அல் இகப்ப, பிணி நீங்க,
நல்லவை எல்லாம் இயைதரும்

This means, that the lord bestows beneficence while removing sufferings and disease.
Usually the disease is of two types, the physical and karmic.
By saying அல் இகப்ப, - to ward off sufferings –
it is indicated that karmic diseases or sufferings caused by previous karma are warded off
by this God.

In the next line the poet once again gives some information on the location of the temple.
The temple is very close to the olden mountain which was very popular from ancient times. Exactly at the place where the mountain begins there was a tank – குளம் .
The Lord is seated at the mouth of the tank.

The poem says “kuLa-vaai”.
This could have been the other name for Irunthaiyur or
the exact place where the temple is situated.
Or it could also mean that the temple was situated at the mouth of a tank or a kuLam.

In poem 11 of Paripaadal, there comes an expression, kuLam.
ஞாயிறு காயா நளி மாரிப் பின் குளம் ”.
In his commentary for this term, Parimelazhagar says that
Kulam is how the month of Maargazhi is called.

This term comes in the course of explaining the way Paavai nonbu was conducted
on the banks of river Vaigai in Madurai.

Maaragzhi is the right time to do this nonbu or austerity.
This nonbu must be done near waterways.
Of all the months of the year, the water will be clear only in the month of Maargazhi and Thai. The sun will be in ‘Pooth thadam’பூத் தடம் (poorvashada) in maargazhi.
“Pooth thadam’ means ‘in the flowers of the pond’.
Therefore this month is called KuLam (pond or tank), says Parimelazhagar.

Reading the same word in this poem as ‘kuLa-vaai’, it makes me wonder
if the water body near the temple was considered as KuLam – or lent its name to the month!

The root of this word ‘KuLam’ is pooth thadam.
In Tamil, thadam also means ‘வளைவு ’ – ‘in circle’ or ‘curved’.
One guess is that the water body that started at the foot of the mountain
(explained in the above verses of the poem) ran curved - as a garland.

Today the river near Koodal azhagar temple is called as Krutha maala river.
Krutham in Sanskrit means ‘done’ or ‘performed’.
The ‘janmaandra krutham paapam’ –
the sins done in all the births could be removed here by worshiping this lord.
Maala means garland.
Krutha mala symbolizes something which is done continuously as a garland.

The KuLam was associated with austerities done for the sake of happy and long married life.
The prayer by the women was that they must have the same husband in all the births – the previous ones, the current one and in future births.

Did they continue their prayers in other months at this river or the water body near the temple?

Was it the reason they came along with their husbands – as specially noted twice in this poem?

Is Krutha maala of today, the Kulai-vaai of those days?

This search is exciting…..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting blog on paripaadal.

Regarding the description of "KULAVAAI", it is possible that it refers to "IRUTHAIYUR" or koodal azhagar temple. If you look at madurai in google map, you would see that there are four "VELI" streets as perimeter enclosing Meenakshi temple and koodal azhagar temple. Madurai was a fortified city with walls on all 4 corners. These 4 VELI streets were originally large MOATS fed with water from both "KRUTHA MALA" and "VAIGAI". The british levelled the fort walls and filled in the MOAT. A narrow portion of the MOAT must have become the VELI streets and rest to public encroachment.

Also to account that madurai was destroyed and rebuilt more than once (considering the story of kanagi and seige of cholas,etc till Malik Kafur).

It is possible that "KRUTHA MALA" and the MOAT water bodies should have been close to koodal azhagar temple entrance on the south west.

But still, I wasn't able to see an exclusive AadiSeshan Sannidhi in this DivyaDesam. I have seen that the Bhattars here also don't accept salt for perumal, which is given for relief for diseases in other temples (பிணி நீங்க,நல்லவை எல்லாம் இயைதரும்). I have also seen Devotees bring in Salt to the ThiruEvvul divyadesam (thiruvallur) for the relief from diseases.

Either AadiSeshan temple was close by IRUTHAIYUR or IRUTHAIYUR itself or lost in time.