Celebrating the Azhwars and the Divya Desams of Lord Sriman Narayana!

Friday, January 23, 2015

ThirumUzhikkaLam divya dEsam

In this blog, so far, the divya dEsams in the southern part of kEraLA have been covered. Now let us proceed further north to cover the two divya dEsams located near the twin cities of Cochin-Ernakulam, which are located in central kEralA. These two divya dEsams are ThirumUzhikkaLam and ThirukkAtkarai.

Location and Access:

ThirumUzhikkaLam is located 5 km from the railway station of AngamAli town in kEraLA. There are no facilities for boarding and lodging in ThirumUzhikkaLam itself. Pilgrims may stay at the nearby towns of Alwaye or ErnAkuLam and visit this temple by public bus. The temple is located on the banks of the river BhArathapuzhA.  

The Temple:

The thAyAr here is Sri madhuravENi nAchiyAr. The Lord here is known as “thirumUzhikkaLathAn”, “appan” and “Sri SukthinAtha perumAL”. The icon of a sage by the name of hAreetha maharishi is also seen here.

The temple is built over a large area and is located amid picturesque surroundings. The temple is built in typical kEraLA temple style with plenty of open space.

Legends and History:

When Sri Rama started living in the forests of ChitrakUtA  at the beginning of his exile, his brother BharathA visited him. BharathA’s intention was to persuade Sri Rama to curtail His exile and return to ayodhyA. However, when LakshmanA saw bharathA approaching with his retinue, he mistakenly suspected bharathA’s intentions. He thought bharathA’s purpose was to harm rAmA and hence prepared to attack the former. Later, when he understood the truth, Lakshmana felt very guilty about suspecting the pure-hearted bharathA. To get rid of his guilt, LakshmanA worshipped Sri perumAL here. According to legend, when LakshmanA worshipped here, bharathA himself appeared and assuaged his guilt with his kind words and tender embrace. With the negative feelings cleared up, both of them together worshipped the Lord at this Divya dEsam. Since kind words were exchanged (between LakshmanA and bharathA) here, this place came to be known as Thiru-mozhi-kaLam – which literally means – “place of auspicious words”. The name gradually evolved into Thiru mUzhikkaLam. It is believed that LakshmaNA renovated this temple. In fact, the temple is even locally known as LakshmaNa perumAL temple.

Another legend associated with this Divya dEsam is that a sage by the name of Hareetha Muni, who was the son of Sage VisvAmitrA worshipped Sri perumAL here. The Lord revealed His form to Hareetha Muni here.

AzhwAr mangaLAsAsanams:

nammAzhwAr: 3623-33
Thirumangai AzhwAr: 1553, 2061, 2674(129)

[Note: The numbering convention for the pAsurams seems to differ in various Divya Prabandham books. In some Divya Prabandham books, the same pAsurams by srI nammAzhwAr are listed as verse numbers 3030-40.]

A sample pAsuram:

எனக்கு ஒன்று பணியீர்கள் இரும் பொழில்வாய் இரை தேர்ந்து
மனக்கு இன்பம் பட மேவும் வண்டு இனங்காள்! தும்பிகாள்!
கணக்கொள் திண் மதிள் புடைசூழ் திருமூழிக்களத்து உறையும்       
புனக்கொள் காயா மேனிப் பூந்துழாய் முடியார்க்கே

In this pAsuram, Sri nammAzhwAr implores the insects to act as his messengers and convey his longing to the Lord Sri perumAL at thirumUzhikkaLam. ThirumUzhikkaLam is fortified by high walls and the Lord here has the colour of kAyA flowers and is adorned with Thulasi (basil).

Sri madhuravENi nAchiyAr samEtha thiru mUzhikkaLathAn thiruvadigaLE saraNam