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From   Sthal Puraan

After the deluge Brahmaa Jee prepared for next creation. he put all the seeds in Amrit and kept them together in a mud pot. With due ceremony, he placed a coconut with mango leaves on it, tied a sacred thread to the pot and kept on Meru Parvat. When the water came there the coconut dislodged in the storm and fell into the water. At once the water receded from there and a piece of land appeared there. This spot is 4 miles far from Kumbhaakonam (Tamil Naadu) and is called Naarikeleshwar (Naarikel means coconut). After that the mango leaves also fell off. There also some land appeared. That land is also 4 miles North-west from Kubhaakonam, named Tirrupurambayam. Bayam or Payam is Paayas, means water (may mean deluge also). Puram means outside or beyond something. Thus this name means beyond the waters. The sacred thread also got loose and fell off in the waters. Where it fell its Deity is Sootranaath - Sootra means sacred thread.

Now this mud pot, a Kamandal (Kumbh) had a nose also along with its mouth - water is filled through its mouth and is poured through its nose. Parameshwar was watching all this. Parameshwar watched the scene. Since the pot with the Amrit and the seeds was not yet overturned on its own, so He decided to break it with His arrow so as to bring out its contents and spread on Prithvi. The place where he hit the arrow is called "Baan Puree" - now it is known as Vanatturai. The deity here is Baan Pureeshwar and the spot where the mouth of the pot fell in pieces is Kudavayil (now called Kudavasal). Parameshwar wanted the Amrit to be discharged in the Shaastrik manner, from the nose of the pot. The place where the nose broke and the Amrit fell is holier than other places. It is called "Kumbhaakonam", Kon (Konam) meaning nose. In the Tevaram the place is referred to as "Kudamukku". Here the mud pot itself came to be the Ling and even today it is so. The Ling is ceremonially bathed along with a protective wear outside. Kumbheshwar is the name of the deity. The Mahaamagham pond is the spot where the Amrit first fell.

Thus there are many places interconnected which show that Sthal Puraan is authentic.

There are three places - Raameshwaram, Vedaaranyam and Patteeshwaram. They are not near to one another In all these three places there are great Shiv temples and the name of the deity in each is Raam Ling, suggesting that they are all connected with Raam. Raam installed these Ling to strengthen the connection of Vishnu with Shiv. At the temple of Vedaaranyam, the temple door were closed after the Ved had prayed Shiv. Pattee, the daughter of Kaamdhenu, worshipped Shiv at Patteeshwaram.

Where did Agastya Muni witness the marriage of Shiv and Paarvatee?
Three places are mentioned in this regard, that is three places are associated with the same event. As mentioned before, the Raam Ling was installed in three places, but in each place with a different reason. Raam committed a threefold sin by slaying Raavan.
(1) First Raavan was the son of the sage Vishravaa and that is why he was a Braahman. By killing him Raam incurred the sin of Brahm  Hatyaa. To wipe away the same he installed the Ling at Raameshwaram. The Temple of Raameshwaram has the biggest corridor in the world (Prakhar or ambulatory).
(2) Apart from being a Braahman, Raavan was also a great warrior. All the worlds trembled before him. He fought successfully all the powerful rulers of his time except two - Kaartveerya Arjun and Baali. By killing such a warrior Raam committed the sin of Veer Hatyaa. It was in expiation of it that He installed another Ling (Raam Ling) at Vedaaranyam.
(3) Besides, Raavan was an ardent devotee of Shiv and proficient in playing the Veenaa and was a good singer. Excellence such as this comes under the term Chhaayaa: it means both light and shadow. The goddess Meenakshee is addressed as Marakat Chhaayaa (emeraldine in radiance). By killing Raavan who possessed Chhaayaa, Raam also earned the sin of Chhaayaa Hatya". To expiate it he installed one Ling at Patteeshwaram.

Actually Raam is Patit Paavan and He cannot be tainted by any sin. By uttering His name a man is freed from the most terrible of sins. So Raam had no need to perform any Praayashchit (He does not have to do any expiatory rite) - He is Taarak Raam. But since He had descended to this world to serve as an ideal for all mankind and so He acted strictly according to the canons even with reference to matters that might be considered even trivial. In the observance of Dharm according to the Shaastra no one excelled Him. Throughout the Raamaayan we see this remarkable trait in His character. He regarded Himself as an ordinary individual, observed all the rules of the Shaastra; in this way He also performed the Praayashchit according to them. All this is not mentioned in the Vaalmeeeki Raamaayan, but the Sthal Puraan of Raameshwaram, Vedaaranyam and Patteeshwaram fill the gap. He must have performed the three types of penitence. What is left out in the Vaalmeeki Raamaayana is mentioned in the Sthal Puraan.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 10/02/13