Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Tamilnadu State (Murugan temples) - 5

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in  Tamilnadu State

Six Abodes of Murugan, Tamilnadu


The six most sacred abodes of Hindu god Lord Murugan called as "Aarupadaiveedu" in Tamil literature, are situated in the state of Tamil Nadu in south India.  The god is also known as Karthikeya, Skanda, Vadivela and Guha. ] The six most sacred abodes of Lord Muruga were mentioned in the Tamil literature Thirumurugatrupadai, written by Nakeerar,  and in Thirupugal, written by Arunagirinathar.  In Hinduism the gods Shiva, Shakthi, Vishnu, Ganesh, Muruga, Surya are the six main gods and the supreme gods for the six sub-religions of Hinduism.  According to Kaumaram Lord Skanda is the supreme god, as told in Skandapuranam. The six abodes are Tirupparamkunram, Thiruchendur, Palani, Swamimalai, Thiruthani, Pazhamudircholai. The six abodes of Lord Muruga has separate sthalapuranam

The Garden of Ripening Fruit
  Small grains of millet
and flowers are mixed together...
[then the throat]
of the young goat
is cut.
  It is there
that they hoist
the flag of the cock!
  In town after town
his festival
is grandly celebrated,
  By those
wanting to worship
in all the right places.
  The frenzied dance
is performed
in the field
where the Velan is installed.
  Or in the forest garden
so lovely,
on the isle
[where two rivers meet].
  At rivers or at tanks,
and various other places...
  Where four roads
come together,

at any such kind of junction,
or [under] the newly-blossoming flowers
of the Kadampa tree
  where the village assemblies
[gather to meet].
In halls or in stables,
or any [such kind] of places.
  There the revered
banner of his command

is fittingly adorned,
  smeared with oil
and white mustard,

then they whisper
a secret,
  and bending down
in worship,

they scatter
voluptuous blossoms.
  Having dressed in two
contrasting colors,
  and tying on
a red thread,

they scatter
white puffed-rice...
in its brash might,
the wide-hoofed

goat is fat...
  It's blood
is mixed
with pure white rice
  and some other
rites performed.
  [These offerings]
are placed
in bamboo baskets
  and sprinkled
with fresh tumeric
and fragrant mixtures.
  The large soothing
Kanviram flowers
[strung as]
a garland:
fragrant, cool,
  and beyond compare;
is cut [into smaller strands]
and then hung up,
suspended [in the air].
  They worship
in fine hamlets,
on the dense mountain peaks,
  with fragrant smoke
wafting up,
the hill-tribe songs are sung.
  With the sound
of the waterfall's own music,
sweet instruments
are played,
  with many dark red
blossoms scattered,
[its song]
makes one dismayed.
  And a kind of rice
that's red as blood
is spread out,
and a Kurava maid
  sounds Muruga's
making those who
deny him
  [but also],
to guide them
to Muruga
at his broad city
filled with fear.
  Songs [are heard]
to echo
[his] fields of [frenzied] dance.
And many
  horns [of music]
[are raised up]
and held up to their lips.
And curving bells
are played
  to greet [him]

of unconquerable might.
  To worship
is to get what one asks for,
according to one's request...
there and there
[he's] residing,
as everybody knows.
  It whatever place
you happen to be,
there you'll be able to see [him].
  Whenever you long
to look upon his face
and do worship,
he'll appear there instantly.
  With folded hands,
and praised by words,
[he's] worshipped
by touching [his] feet.
  [Then say]:
"Tall and great the zenith,

blue-green the mountain spring,
  One of the five
who abides within,
in the palm of his hand
  Six [maidens]
gave birth
to six [babes],
who united
to form the child!
  The son of the god
at the Banyan tree
who [is seen there]
to reside!
O Wondrous peak,
  the son of
the Mountain's Daughter!

He is Yama,
[the Lord of Death],
to his enemies!
  He's the little one
of the warring Korravai,
victorious in battle!
  Child of the Ancient Goddess,
adorned by
a jewel of distinction!
  The Devas'
legion commander,
with a curving bow!
  [Wearer of]
a garland
[hung] upon [his] breast!
A scholar,
in books!
  One who stands out
in battle!
A strong warrior
who's waging war!
  Treasure of
the sages!
The Knower's
mountain of words!
  Husband of the maidens!
 [amongst] warriors!
  Wealthy One,
great and grand,
having a spear
in his broad hand!
  Slayer of the mountain,
a never-fading victory.
  Lord of the Hills,
where tall mountains
dash against the sky!
  Many people
praise him
with fine words,
this Lion of the Learned!
  Of well-begotten lineage,
this great name "Muruga"!
  He gives to those
with longing,

this Great Man
of renown!
  He gives to those
who suffer,
this Son
with ornaments of gold!
  With many
battles won,
his breast
rejoicing in conquest,
  Support of [all] those
who [have won] the prize.
and full of beauty
this one is
loved by all!
praise him,
this Hero
of great name!
  Oft compared to battle!
This Leader!"
[Such his] many [praises]...
  [But] to the extent
of my knowledge,
these praises
aren't enough.
  "[How] rare it is
to know your meaSure,
in this abiding life.
  I came
to contemplate
your feet.
For with you
  there is no equal,
O' Learned One!"
I say this
  to give some indication,
and as I speak...
then instantly...
Upon pointing out
  [your] numerous varied forms,
many dwarfish little devils,
  at a grand festival
are celebrating...
having appeared
in the field!
  [They say]:
"We who are so lowly,
We requested your
wizened truths...
  And you came,
you Noble One!
We cherish
your abundant glory!"
  [All] that which is sweet,
[All] that which is good,
so many, many ways
he is praised...
  And divinity
does shine forth,
in the form
of [his] boundless strength.
  [A form]
that's come
to reach a height,
so as to touch the sky.
[his] divine character's
contains the higher states.
As an ancient
  waft of fragrance,
his divine and youthful
is revealed:
  [He'll] say,
"Be rid of your fear.
I know why you have come."
  There is no end
to [his] fine words,
imbued with love.
  With a dark ocean,
encircling this Earth
  [he'll] make you alone
[to attain] the superb
[as he] confers
[his] precious gift!
And not only that...
  [Like] many varied
[it] carries off
the Akil trees.
  The sandalwoods
from root to tip,
[then] come rolling down;
  its flowers,
with its glittering branches,
are [swept away]
[Its] roots [had been] cracked.
  [As if]
the sky-jousting,
tall mountain's sun,
out gathering honey...
  had broken open
the full blown
exuding coolness...
[Its honey with]
much fine and
  ripened pulp
of the jackfruit
mixed together
[in the raging torrent].
Way up on the peak...
  The aromatic blossoms
of the Surapunnai tree
are scattered.
The black monkey
along with
the big-faced ape;
and [with their] speckled brows
  the dark she-elephants
quiver in [its] spray.
While the large bull elephants,
  with pearl
in their white tusks,
are Surrounded
by its gushing...
  With fine golden
jewel-like colors
sifting gold.
  With plantain trees
pulled up whole,
and the coconut trees'
  best bunch of nuts,
  [from the force]
[of its] attack.
  Bunches of black blossoms
from the curry creeper
fall down,
and the spotted tails...
  of many
innocent peacocks
are thus frightened away
  and the
rugged hen
also flees
along with
the wild boars...
  [who] just like
the dark palm tree,
with its prickly thorns,
  have black
and hairy bodies
[much like]
the bow-legged bears,
  who hide in mountain caves
and hallows.
The black-horned
goodly bulls do bellow...
and far away
  is [heard] the hum
of the waterfall's

  at Palamutircolai!
[at] the mountain of our Lord!!!


1. Invoking "the world" at the beginning of a poem is considered auspicious.
2. The word for "right" used here (valan/வலன்), also means victory. So an alternate opening would read:
The World delights
as he rises victorious
and goes wandering...
"Right" presumably refers to the right side of Mount Kailasa, which is Shiva's abode, the cosmic axis, and center of the world. The god is here envisioned as the rising sun.
3. So Murugan is both the Sun in the sky, as well as the sacred "Son" of the Goddess Korravai.
4.("strength") + ("having") ("attempt") ("feet")- Uraiyaciriyar's commentary would render this line as:
Those who approach
have the support
of his mighty,
ego-crushing feet.
5. Naccinarkkiniyar would render this verse as:
His destruction
of his enemies
coldly contrasts
his broad hand.
6. the expression used here for "ocean," literally means "what the cloud takes."
7. The Sun & Moon, who literally, "cut" the sky with their light.
8. The Sengadambu tree is here called the மரா அம்.
9. The term used here for this highly refined form of gold is "navalam/நாவலாம்."
10. Blue lotus.
11. A kind of jewelry worn on the head, called "Tevya Utti."
12. The word used here for mountain (silampakam/சிலம்பகம்) literally means "the place of echoes."
13. Uraiyaciriyar (and Parimelazhakar also offers this as a possible alternate reading) ineterprets the word for "she-monkey" (manti/மந்தி) as actually refering to Aditya or the Sun. So the passage would read:
A mountain range
with trees so dense,
it's unknown
[even] to the Sun.
14. As we saw in the previous footnote, this should literally read "the she-monkey doesn't know it."
15. Tradition holds that when the deity comes down to Earth, bees won't dare approach the garland of the god.
16. This flower, the gloriosa superba, is likened by poets to the evocative gesture of worshipping maids, whose palms are held together with fingers spreading like a blossoming flower.
17. An ancient dance of joy and victory, where the hands are placed on the shoulders and the arms flap like the wings of a bird.
18. That is, a body part man and part animal.
19. In the Sangam age, if a king wishes to wage war, he erects a flag post at the border, and hangs from it a ball of coiled twine and twelve dolls. This tells the enemy king that he is only fit to play childish games.
20. In Sangam times a seven-storied building was a sign of great status.
21. A sophisticated poetical-bhakti image, where the god's pervasive presence in nature (i.e. as the hillside flowers) is likened to the eyes of one's lover as they awaken beside them.
22. Parimelazhakar says that Muruga has five different crowns. The other commentators are in agreement that these are five different gems.
23. The Tamil in this line echoes that of line five.
24. This line may also be read, "of golden foam".
25. Celvan, here an epithet of Vishnu.
26. Celvan is again used, this time to denote Shiva.
27. Tradition holds that to complete a hundred fire sacrifices is to become an Indra.
28. Naccinarkkiniyar explains that Tiru, appropriately, refers to Lakshmi. Before the advent of the Linga Purana, Lakshmi was the consort of whoever was the supreme sovereign. First she was wife of Indra, then Kubera, and finally Vishnu when the Churning of the Milk Sea myth first appears in the Linga Purana in the 4th CE. Uraiyaciriyar explains Tiru as here meaning "beauty".
29. Celvan is yet again used, this time for Indra.
30. Naccinarkkiniyar explains that these four great gods are Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Soma. Parimaelazhahar, oddly explains the four great Tevams as being the four varnas or castes.
31. According to Naccinarkkiniyar, the three are Ayan, Hari, and Haran (i.e. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva).
32. The proper role of the trinity was undermined when Muruga declared that his victory over the asuras was due to the power of his spear. Brahma in his arrogance announced that he was its creator. So Muruga humbled him with the curse that he be born on Earth (or alternately held him captive in a cave).
33. Literally, "pointed out".
34. Presumably inferring that the Creator comes into being just to have the darshan of Muruga, and by extension brings about creation for a purpose much the same. This section may also be referring to those who achieve the higher state in line 168.
35. An alternate rendering would be, "Appearing as the Sun."
36. "Vision" here can also be read as "opinion".
37. The 4 classes of deity that make up the thirty three gods include the 12 Adityas, the 11 Rudras, the 8 Vasus, and the 2 Maruts.
38. The 9X2 refer to the 18 Ganas.
39. முறை கொண்மாலு.
40. Presumably Devasena.
41. Alt. "The woman whose doctrine is free of suffering."
42. The six duties of the Brahman: (1) reciting and (2) teaching the Vedas, (3) performing yagnas, (4) having them performed, (5) giving and (6) recieving charity.
43. குடி or gotra.
44. 48.
45. May mean either "six" or "path". Parimelazhakar say that the passage refers to Brahmins spending time studying the six religions(?!!!).
46. Or Dharma.
47. The three types of sacrificial fires, with their varied functions, are partly defined by the shape of the fire pit: with the triangular Dakshinagni, the square-shaped Ahavaniya, and the semi-circular Grihapatya.
48. Held above their heads or directed to the mountain's zenith.
49. The commentators designate "Nama Kumaraya" as the original six lettered mantra (vs. the more contemporary "Saravanabhava").
50. "That which is heard", i.e. the mantra. The "scripture" referred to here is most likely a universalizing allusion to Vedic tradition in general.
51. தொண்டகம்.
52. An ancient dance, known as the Kuravai (குரவை).
53. Parimaelazhahar reads "[at that] place" as வயிலு +(ப்ப)+ உடன் or "horn"(+aux.). So an alternate reading of the line would be:
Then the flag of the cock
and horns [of the goat]
are held high.
54. Can refer to any small isle in a river.
55. The forceful attribution of Murugan with Mars is clumsy at best, it stems from sanskritizing attributions that taut him as the God of War. But his character is most definitely Mercurial in nature, and as the Greeks and Romans erected posts and shrines to honor Mercury at all junctions, we can see the relationship is more than superficial.
56. The 'Sea-side Indian Oak' (anthocephalus kadamba).
57. Translated here as "dignified/revered," "leadership/chief," and "flag." Naccinarkkiniyar reads this section as if in ancient times they depicited the cock on Murugan's banner as having a man's head.
58. There is a reference in the Tolkappiyam that oil mixed with white mustard will keep away all evil.
59. This rendering is based on Naccinarkkiniyar's commentary. A more literal rendering would be:
smeared with oil
and white mustard.
They speak
so beautifully.
60. Parimelazhakar says that this "bending worship" actually refers to a specific mode of salutation where the fingers of both hands are intertwined at the chest, while the two thumbs are extended so as to touch the heart.
61. Presumably some kind of raksha or rakhi is tied about their wrists.
62. What is translated here as "wide-hoofed" is literally rendered "large feet". Parimelazhakar, explains this expressions to be referring to elephants (!) that are sacrificed with the goats.
63. Both Naccinarkkiniyar and Uraiyaciriwar interpret meaning as "bamboo basket", but Kavipperumal favors the word's alternate meaning, this being "a bamboo cane," that is set alongside these offerings. Parimelazhakar once again provides us with an interesting interpretation as he sees the word to mean to mean முலை or "breast," as the worshippers chests are smeared with the blood-soaked rice.
64. விரை can also refer to "cosmetics."
65. (lit. "cool").
66. The word for "peak" used here also means "anklet." At Pazhamutircolai there was once a river that flowed from its peak, back in Sangam days. It was called Silamparu, but is now mistakenly referred to as Nupuru Kangkai or "Anklet River."
67. (lit. "afraid").
68. தினை.
69. "Attractive Face", the name of Muruga's elephant. Parimelazhakar says that pinimukam refers to his peacock.
70. Refers to Mount Kailasa.
71. Refers to Lake Saravanbhava.
72. Agni, one of the five elements residing in the body, received the seed of Shiva.
73. Referring to Dakshinamurti, but as the text literally describes the tree as being "full of" the god, it may infer a time when the god was worshipped as the tree itself, rather the divine guru who sits beneath it.
74. Parvati.
75. Naccinarkkiniyar informs us that the god is envisioned as a mountain formed of the praises of his devotees. Uraiyaciriyar & Parimelazhakar explain that those who know Muruga (because of the sheer immensity of his being) are confronted with a mountain of words, when they try to praise him. (Just as this vast sequence of epithets implies.) Pariti's commentary states that he is the mountain praised by scholars.
76. May also mean "head" or "bull."
77. Celvan is again used.
78. The demon, Tarakasuran took the form of a hill.
79. See 76
80. Naccinarkkiniyar specifies 'those longing for liberation.'
82. Uraiyaciriyar explains the name (மதவலி) to mean "Great Strength."
83. Naccinarkkiniyar and Uraiyaciriyar deny him his devilish attendants, and instead say these kuli (Pqi) are "worshippers."
84. Muruga's own "Visvarupa."
85. Out of mercy for those who cannot bare his Universal Form, he manifests as a youth.
86. Lit. "Along with many..."
87. The commentators all describe these fabrics as being 'flags.'
88. A tree of particularly strong character. Like the sandalwood of the following verse, it is employed as incense in sacrifice, much like the sacrifice it experiences in this auspicious torrent.


Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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