Running through the rains and mucky streets, we rushed for our next visit, The Temple of Budhan or Thiruvenkadu
. This was at a little distance away. At the entry was a huge gopuram with lovely carvings and bright colors. Lord Shiva is known to have performed his 7 forms of dance here. Since it was late in the afternoon and the temple would close down, we decided to run through the 3 sacred tanks. They were called Surya Teertham, Agni teertham and Chandra teertham.
The deity present here had 5 faces, this was a very unusual and startling sight. Each represented a direction and aspect of Lord Shiva. There was no end to the temple boundary. We kept walking and walking. It was one of the biggest of the Navagrahas. Big green parks and mighty old trees. Each of the trees had several stones around it and every little stone had a serpent carved on it. I wonder why?!
It looked very beautiful though.
Someone told me that there was a reference to this temple in Valmiki’s Ramayana and the oldest part of the temple was more than 3000 years old
Budhan is considered as the greatest among the wise and holds the portfolio of Education and Arts. The planet also governs the nervous system. The head priest told us that Budhan bestows wisdom and wealth on his devotees and this place was considered very holy and similar to Kashi. People came from far and wide to soak themselves in this spiritual energy.
As we managed to step out, we realized we had been in the Temple of Budhan for more that 3 hours. We decided to visit Lord Shani dev next. The temple of Thirunallar. Lord Shiva is known as Darbaranyeswarar here and Goddess Parvati Devi as Pranamambika. As we arrived, the 1st thing we did, was to look for the head priest. I was really interested in seeing a special puja and Aho! We banged on the right target. The abhishekam was going on! Lord Shaneeswara was seen in a graceful standing pose, being bathed with milk, curds and many more things! The Lord was then decorated with gold ornaments and offered hundreds of exotic flowers. Our flower garland was offered as the main garland! This brought a big smile on my face! As the aarti began, the fire lit the entire idol and it blinded me! The glory of the Lord was not to be missed. The chants felt great! We sat there awe struck and meditated for almost 2 hours. The energy was healing us. I felt some strong karmas being washed off.
There is a special emerald shivling in the temple that is taken out at 7:30pm everyday, just for 3 minutes. The priest whispered into my ear. You will be very lucky if u see it! Since we had time, we decided to wait there for another hour. The heat in the room was quiet intense and strong. We were sweating it out. We knew the wait was worth it. Exactly at 7:30pm, the doors opened, the emerald shivlinga was brought out for abhishekam. The aarti was done and in no time, it was put back inside. It felt like a dream!!! We bid goodbye to the Lord and on our exit offered our pranams to the four great Saiva Saints and 63 Nayanmars.
In 2010, a group of NASA scientists visited this temple, as they observed a peculiar instance- the rays of Saturn fall directly on this temple as a centre, and a 5 km radius surrounding it!They were amazed to know, that in the Vedic culture Saturn planet is represented by ‘Shaneeshwara’ who is the main deity of this temple!
This shows that there is a great science behind the location of the Navagraha Temples.
As we woke up in the morning , we knew that we were coming closer to the Master! Alangudi – Temple of Jupiter was our next endeavour. Just being in the presence of a Guru, Knowledge flourishes, Misery diminishes, Joy wells up for no reason,Lack diminishes, prosperity increases and talents manifest !
Coming to the MASTER is to know Yourself !
I was excited! We bought the best of flower garlands and lamps for Lord Dakshinamurthy, the embodiment of Knowledge! As we entered the temple, I felt closer to my Master!
We spent nearly 2 hours inside the temple, visiting all the shrines, lighting lamps and sitting in front of Lord Dakshinamurthy in deep prayers. We chanted the Guru Puja thanking all the masters of the past, present and future.. It was a spontaneous integration of life and wisdom! We requested the pundit to perform a special puja for Our Master – Sri Sri. He was so thrilled and happy to offer the prayers. Our garlands and lamps were offered to the Lord in the most special way! The chants and mantras felt so special and enlivening. Our Master was closest to us at this moment! I was reminded of what Gurudev once said – “ The purpose of a Guru
is to have a personal connection with life, with divinity and with infinity. It was very difficult for us to say bye to Alangudi. As we left, we felt the Guru awakened within us!