Sunday, July 05, 2009
A Trip, few deliveries and a wedding...
First of all a note for the readers, don't get carried away by the title. Last week was a hectic week for me..first was the trip to 3 of the 9 navagraha sthalas that i had planned in a jiffy, followed by the delivery of couple of apps in my project to be completed and then finally to end the week my cousin Sai's wedding.
For the past 2 weeks i was contemplating a trip to vaideeswaran koil near sirkali (Chidambaram) around 250Kms from Chennai. But, thanks to the TN heat and thought of going in bus kept me away from the plan to be executed. Why suddenly? because my mom was keeping on saying that as per my planetary positions i should appease Suriyan (SUN), Sevvai (Mangal), Kethu & Raahu (Snake Gods) for things to be much better than what it is currently. Trust me i could do anything to make things better than it is now. So i was getting geared up for this and just to avoid going by bus i asked my dad if he can accompany me so that i can go on a long drive. My dad obliged and more so he offered to take my aunt and her family as well since it was her family deity. Being a loving brother he never bothered to check with me and passed on the info that they would be joining too.
On Sunday early morning we set out for what i thought would be a tedious one day journey. Sharp 3:45AM left my home and headed straight to my Aunt's place and took them and hit the road by 4am.With all my calculations on the speed and time i thought it'd be great if we could make it to vaideeswaran koil by 10-10:30am. The route i took was Chennai-Thindivanam-Pondicherry-Cuddalore-Chidambaram-Sirkali-Vaideeswaran Koil. Being early in the morning, the road were having pretty less traffic so i can easily touch 100kmph most of the time and at an average 80kmph. Reached Pondy by 6AM itself, went to a petrol bunk and filled my car tank. Had a cup of hot coffee that we'd taken in a thermos and got ready to burn some more gas. After Pondy the roads were not 4 lane like the one till Pondy, hence i was expecting my speed to go down a bit. But, to my surprise i could still maintain 80KMPH at an average, thanks to newly laid roads and less traffic. Reached Cuddalore by 6:45 and headed towards Chidambaram. En route Chidambaram, we were diverted through a bypass road that avoids taking us into the town Chidambaram but took straight to sirkali. This arrangement was due to the fact that Chidambaram temple had car festival that day and the roads to the town were blocked to avoid chaos in the town road through which 4-5 giant tepmle cars come with the presiding deity. Finally managed to reach Sirkali and vaideeswaran koil (6-7kms further down) by around 8:45am. I was so astonished by the speed i drove and thought better to drive slowly while returning back.
My aunt had made some arrangement for an archaka (pujari) who'd take us to the major deities in the temple and do the pooja for us. We waited for him for close to 30 min and that was a welcome break for me. Went around the temple and temple tank which i always liked so much and was reading the sthala puranas. Vaideeswaran koil, where the presiding deity is Lord Shiva called as Vaidyanatha swamy or vaideeswaran here (Vaidyam - Medication; Eeswar - Shiva) who is capable of curing 4400 odd diseases and hence the name. The temple is more famous for other deities like Lord Selva Muthukumaran (Lord karthikeya or Muruga) and most importantly Sevvai (Mangal or Angaraka) graha for whim this temple is the main sthala.
Once the archaka came went ahead with the archanas for Lords Ganesh, Vaideeswara, Thaiyalnayaki, Selva muthukumara swamy and Angaraka or Sevvai. Felt relived that could make it after couple of weeks planning. Then took prasadas from temple and converted that to our breakfast. By around 10:45am we left the temple and headed to Keezaperumpallam(Kethu sthala) & Thiruvenkadu(Budhan Sthala) which i had planned to cover. For this we had to drive 4 km back towards sirkali and take a turn towards Nagapattinam and take the poompuhar road. Drove for another 40 minutes before we reached the Keezaperumpallam temple. This is again a Shiva temple which is more famous for Lord Kethu for this being his main sthala. The presiding deity in this temple is called Sri Naganaadhaswamy(Snakelord). The legend goes like this during the churning of divine ocean by devas and asuras for the celestial nector amrith , the snake "Vasuki" which was used as rope spitted venom and Lord shiva drank this to save devas and asuras. then finally when the amruth came, the devas to avoid sharing it with the Asuras snatched it and gave it to Visnu's mohini avataar. While this was shared to all devas by mohini, One of the asuras managed to sneak in and taste the celestial nector. This enraged the God and he punished by severing the asuras head. by the virtue of him having drank the amrith, he still managed to get life in two forms - by having a snake's head with the torso and body of the snake to the severed head. One with snake's head was called Kethu and one with snake's body was called Rahu. And both of them was incarnated as planets and hence became one of navagrahas. There is an interesting side story that it was infact Sun and moon who complained about the asura having tricked and drank the nector, was punished by rahu and Kethu by swallowing them during Solar and Lunar Eclipses.
Finished the darshan and pujas for Kethu we left the temple and headed to Thiruvenkadu- the budha(mercury) sthala. This temple is on the middle between vaideeswaran koil and Kethu sthala. The presiding deity here is Sri Swetharanyenswar (sweth(ven) - White, aranya(kaadu) - Forest, eeshwar-shiva). This is a huge temple just like Vaideeswaran koil with awesome architecture. The Budha sthala is behind the main deity as a separate temple behind in a coconut grove. This temple has 3 theertha (temple pond) called Surya theerth, Agni Theerth and chandra Theerth. Lord budha is supposed to be a eunuch and is lord for intellect and studies. The goddess here is also called "Brahmavidya" who gives knowledge and intellect. This temple is must see temple.
Finally completed the dharshan and started the return journey by 12:30pm. reached Chidambaram by 1:15pm and finished lunch and reached pondy by 4pm. Had a nice cup of coffee in Adayar Arya Bavan hotel and headed towards chennai. I was driving like mad to reach Chennai as i was really feeling tired already after driving close to 550kms. Managed to reach home by 6:30pm and my car odometer showed 558kms. This was the longest stretch i have driven so far at a time and no wonder i was dead tired.
For more pics check this out http://picasaweb.google.com/mailchandar/NavagrahaI?feat=directlink
This followed by 2 days of hectic work in office to complete my deliveries for couple of apps. Managed to deliver them and get it signed off by clients.
And, then came my cousin's wedding. Sai finally managed to find his match in Devi and tied the nuptial knot with her. May God bless the newly wed with all the best things in life. This meant another 2 days of activities for me in the marriage hall with family and friends. finally here i am sitting on a Sunday afternoon penning the events.
Aaahhh...Monday to come...not sure what to expect...but i am sure my project and deliverable would not disappoint me with more hectic activities keeping me tied to it.