Talk:Thenkudi Thittai Guru Bhagavan

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By Saravanan Iyer


The Temple

Vasishteswaraswamy temple is a very ancient temple situated in a village called "Thittai", near Thanjavur. The temple is situated on Thanjavur - Melattur Road on the way to Thirukkarugavur, about the 10 km from Thanjavur. This temple is also called "Thenkudi Thittai" since it is situated south of the river Cauvery.

The presiding diety is Swayambootheswarar and the Godess is Ulaganayaki. The main diety got the name "Swayambootheswarar" by virtue of being a Swayambu Lingam (Swayambu=Self-forming). He is also called Vasishteswarar, as he was worshipped here by Saint Vasishtar. "Thittai", the name of this village, means "Thittu" in Tamil, which means a mound. When the whole world was surrounded by water because of "Pralayam", Brahma and Vishnu worshipped Lord Maheshwara for protection. After wandering fervently for a safe place, they found this mound, which was the only piece of land that did not submerge in the Pralaya waters. Furthermore, there was also a Shiva Lingam on it. They performed Pooja to the Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva, who appeared before them and delegated their duties of Creation and Protection. It is beleived that this is the only place which was not destroyed during Pralayam.

Unlike many other temples, here the complete temple was built using stone. This construction style is used not only for the main dieties, but all other Sannidhi's are also constructed using stones, right from the floors, to the pillars, walls and roof. A unique feature of this temple is that a drop of water falls on the Lingam (Main Diety) exactly every twenty four minutes (one Naazhigai) from the roof. But for a small hole, there is no other source of water on the Vimana of the main diety.

Two stones, "Suryagaanthakkal" and "Chandragaanthakkal", which are placed at strategic points above the Vimana, are the reason why the droplets of water fall on the diety. These two stones absorb moisture from the atmosphere, convert into a single water droplet, which then performs a natural Abhishegam to the diety when it falls. This happens every twenty four minutes (one Naazhigai), be it day or night. Because of this, the small piece of yellow cloth (dhothi) that covers the Lingam is always wet. If one is willing to wait patiently, this amazing spectacle can be readily observed. The preciseness in space and time with which the water droplets fall show the scientific and architechtural brilliance of the architects of this temple.

The temple tank situated opposite the temple is called "Chakra Theertham", which is believed to be created by the Chakra from the hands of Mahavishnu. Another special feature here is that the "Guru Bhagavan" has a temple inside this temple itself. Even in the Gurusthalam Aalangudi, one can see that Dhakshinamurthy, facing South in the Praakaaram, is worshipped as the Guru. This is probably the only place in the world where Guru Bhagavan has a separate Sannidhi and separate Vimana between Vasishteswarar and Loganayaki Sannidhis. This is also the only place where one can see Guru Bhagavan, who is the Raja Guru, in a standing posture with four hands holding his weapons and a book. Chitra Pournami and Guru Peyarchi are most important festivals here.