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Thirumanancheri - For A Blissful Marriage

Posted By: Staff

The human mind is habituated in clinging to forms. We feel, hear and speak forms. Thus it could be the reason for it to perceive the divine also with a form. The divinity in a form ( Saguna Bhraman) is related in terms of relationships like father, mother, comrade etc in accordance with the mind's make up before the devotion blossoms in maturity to conceive divinity without forms & attributes ( Nirguna Bhraman ) in its natural state. It is a belief that the divine thus embodied in a form reaches out to the cry and call of the devotees in response to their love and devotion. The various temples spread across the country bears testimony to this ancient belief and numerous are the experiences of people.

Thirumanancheri is one among the popular temples of Lord Shiva, where He is devotedly worshiped as Kalyanasundareswarar and His consort, mother Parvati as Kokilaambal. The lord in Sanskrit is also called as Uthvaanganathar. In Tamil they are addressed as 'Arul Vallal' and 'Kuyilinmenmozhiammai'. As per the legend, Shiva and Parvati have a quarrel and thus annoyed with Parvati, Shiva claims Parvati to assume a form of a cow and recede to an earthly life. Yet the pangs of separation seemed to have bothered Shiva. Hence he assures her that her brother, Lord Vishnu will then aid in resorting her normal form and he( Shiva) at the right time will seek her hand in marriage.

In accordance with the verdict of Shiva, Parvati recedes to an earthly life and amidst her wandering reaches a place called Komal, where Lord Vishnu assumes a form of a cowherd to take care of his sister. He releases her from the clutch of the curse in a place called 'Thiruvaaduthurai' and Parvati sheds her assumed cow's form and takes Her normal form in 'Kuthaalam' in the sacrificial fire of Sage Bharata Muni. Shiva and Parvati then unite in marriage in Thirumanancheri. Shiva is also called as 'Sonavaararivaar' for keeping up His word.

Apart from this legend, it is also believed that in response to the wish of Parvati in experiencing an earthly union in marriage with Shiva, Parvati incarnated herself as the daughter of Bharata Muni. The divine couple tied the knot in Thirumanancheri. Henceforth the divinity here in this temple answer the prayers of those devotees who face difficulties in getting married as well as those who face problems in their marriage. An anecdote bearing testimony to the fact is mentioned below.

Two friends due to their close friendship promise to get one's child married to the other in future. In due course of time, one gives birth to a beautiful baby girl and the other to a male child resembling that of a tortoise. The mother of the girl refuses to give her daughter in marriage to her friend's son owing to his peculiar appearance. However the girl casts away her mother's decision and seeks the mercy of Lord Shiva in Thirumanancheri with her man. The benevolent lord bestows a normal form to him and unite them in marriage. Henceforth it is believed that the physical appearance of a person that seems to be an obstacle in one's marriage will be taken care of by Kalyanasundareswarar and Kokilaambal by either rectifying it or by blessing with a spouse who has the maturity to look beyond it. Such is the grace of the lord in this shrine.

Story first published: Tuesday, May 29, 2007, 12:33 [IST]
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