Stayed at a friends place in Mohanur. Old house, with a ‘thinnai’ outside, where anyone can sit or sleep. First room is a verendah, which leads to the drawing room, that has bedrooms on both sides. The drawing room leads to the dining room, that has an old swing – oh what joy! Kitchen on one side and stoor room on another. The dining room leads to the open backyard, that has a well, a tulasi maadam, and wash rooms. The back door of the backyard opens to steps that leads down to a ‘vaaykaal’, a canal of the Kaveri river. This is splendid! And along that canal, just a few houses away, there is a temple, with its own recent legend as well…
After a breakfast of uppuma, khichdi, sambar, chatni, a sweet, and some coffee, one is ready for the day.
First stop is the yaaga shaala in front of the temple. Under shamiyanas, ever so many yagya kundas are crackling with sacred fire. Five yagya altars each for the three presiding deities of the temple, one altar each for each of the 63 Naayanmars, and one kundam each for the other deities of the temples. Some 80 or 90 yagya altars! Sivachariars were busy chanting mantras and making offerings to the fire.
Back in the main temple, an area is cordoned off, where some people are sorting out the items needed for the Poornahuti… A long queue of folks line up, to receive the ‘green’ plate of offerings for the Poornahuti. Here’s what the plate contained.
Sometime around 1 pm or so, the time for the Poornahuti arrived. Here is a picture of the sivachariars getting ready to make the final offering of this session to their respective yagya fires.
Lunch had been organized in one of the local community halls.
Afternoon 4 pm saw us leaving for Namakkal. The idea is to visit the Namakkal Narsimha temple and the Anjaneyar temple. The Narsimha temple is real old, and is built right against the Namagiri hill. The Anjaneya temple has the idol of Hanuman standing in the open ( to see picture, click here to see an earlier post), and is so designed that the Hanuman looks directly at the sanctum of Narsimha.
Here is a picture from inside the main courtyard of the Narsimha temple.
It was by the blessings of the Goddess of this temple that, Srinivasa Ramanujam, the great mathematician, got his great inspirations. Ramanujam used to say that the Goddess gave him the formulae in his dream visions, and so profound were these formulae that the British mathematician GH Hardy said that Ramanujan’s theorems “must be true, because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them”. And Hardy’s colleague, Neville said later that “”not one [theorem] could have been set in the most advanced mathematical examination in the world”. Ramanujam himself is reported to have said that “An equation for me has no meaning, unless it expresses a thought of God”. This temple at Namakkal, the temple of Narsimha and his consort, is the one that gave him those math equations that were expressions of the divine…
As we sat in the Namakkal temple, the priest told us about the temple lore. The main sanctum was not yet open. Preparations were on for the chariot festival in the evening. That day was Panguni Uttiram, which was the one day of the year when the utsava idols of Narsimha and his consort would be seen together. Even as we were sitting and listening to the priest, some of the temple priests brought the utsava idol of Lord Narsimha out into the area where were sitting. The idea was to decorate the idol for the chariot festival later in the evening. The idol looked beautiful.
Here, you can see it too.
The Darshan of Narsimha in the sanctum sanctorum was awesome. Huge idol, tearing the entrails of Hiranyakashipu. On one of the side walls, there was a carving of Trivikrama that was quite awesome as well. We then had darshan of the Goddess, and then went on to the temple of Anjaneyar nearby.
A picture of the chariot… The Utsavar (seen above) would be going on a tour riding this chariot a little later this evening…
Returning to Mohanur, we went to the temple of Murugan at Kaantamalai. Peacocks could be seen outside. Panguni Uttiram is sacred to Murugan, and a steady stream of devotees were visiting the temple.
After Darshan of Murukan, we came back to the Achaladeepeshwara temple for the evening/night Yagyams…
** To be continued **