Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Idumban and Kavadi at Palani

Long Long ago Sage Agasthiar during one of his trips away from his abode at ‘Pothigai’ created two hills, Sivagiri and Sakthigiri. He wanted to offer his  “Nitya Puja” to Lord Shiva and his consort Sakthi  so he pleaded them to appear on these hills.  In response to his prayer Lord Shiva along with his consort appeared one on each hill.   At the end of his worship Agasthiar wanted to take these two hills to his place in Pothigai. He therefore summoned his disciple Idumban to transport these two hills.

Idumban bore the hills slung across his shoulders in the form of a kavadi, one on each side and followed Agasthiar on his journey. As he approached Palani he felt fatigued, he placed the kavadi down to rest for a while.

Idumban reaches Palani and feels the kavadi is suddenly heavy
At this same time Subrahmanya or Muruga had just been outwitted by His brother Ganesha in a contest for going around the world.  In anger, Muruga vowed to leave His home and family and came down to Tiru Avinankudi at the Adivaaram (meaning ‘foot of the Sivagiri Hill’).  Click here to read the story of How Muruga came to Palani

Idumban after his rest tried to lift his ‘kavadi’ so that he could continue on his journey but found that he could not lift them. He found out that there was an intruder in one of his hills and tried to attack him without realising who the intruder was. Lord Murugan immediately killed Idumban but he was later restored to life at the pleadings of Idumban’s wife and of Agasthiar.

Idumban then prayed to Lord Murugan that he be allowed to stand at the entrance to Lord Murugan’s shrines as ‘Dwarapalaka’ and any devotee carrying a ‘kavadi’ to these shrines in fulfilment of a vow should be granted his wish.

Idumban today at Palani
The deity on the hill shrine thus appears in the form of an ascetic and stands with just a pole in his right hand and is called ‘Thandaayuthapaani’ (Thandu = Pole; Aayutham = weapon; Paani = Appearance. There is another hill nearby called ‘Idumban malai’, the other hill that was carried by Idumban.


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