மார்ச் 26, 2009

Shrine for Bruhaspati



"PARAADI CHATVAARI Vaak Swaroopa Prakasaka" thus glorified is Lord Bruhaspati as the very embodiment of the four-fold aspects of Speech by the incomparable composer, Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar in his composition, "Bruhaspate" (Atana) addressed to Lord Guru. In Tittai, a tiny village en route to Melattur in Thanjavur district, is enshrined this Lord of Unique Wisdom, in an exclusive sannidhi, not to be found anywhere else. In this shrine, Guru Bhagavan appears in a standing posture, blessing the devotees with the Abhaya Hasta, from the divine enclave of Lord Dakshinamurthi. Here, He is worshipped as Raja Guru.


According to legend, during the deluge, when the entire Universe was surrounded by water, the place of Tittai stood aloft and was hailed as Gnanamedu or the Plateau of Intellect, where Lord Siva appeared as Swayambhu Linga. The presiding deity is known by the following names — Sri Dakshina Kuti Dweepa Kshetra Iswara, Swayambhootesa, Pasupathinatha (Lord of the Atman — Pasu), Vasisteswara etc, each one relating to a specific divine episode.


The Goddess is worshipped as Akhilandeswari, Sugandhikuntaleswari and Mangaleswari. The Sthala or the Holy place is referred to as Vasishtaasrama, Renukapura, and Rathapura. Here, the Lingamurti is glorified as the 22nd Swayambhulinga, following those of Kailasa, Kedara, Kasi, Srisaila, Kanchi, Chidambara and others.


Tittai is one of the holy places, extolled by the Saivite saint-singer, Tirugnanasambandhar, who hails the sanctity of the place as more superior to even the glory of the Lord Himself. The Lingamurti in the sanctum sanctorum receives an eternal ablution of dripping water from the Moolasthana Vimana, which has a unique ceiling embedded with a chandrakantha stone in the centre.


According to legendary sources, Brahma, Vishnu, Subrahmanya, Bhairava, Surya, Saneeswara, Yama, Parasurama, Devendra, Adisesha and sages Vasistha and Jamadagni, Divine cow Kamadhenu's children — Nandini and Kamalini, and Sumali, son of Rahu, have worshipped the Swayambhumurti here, and received enormous powers.


The Swayambhooteswara Purana also serves as a source of information. Tittai is one of the Sapta sthana sthala based on Sri Bruhadeeswara temple of Thanjavur. The temple is situated facing the crystal clear waters of the Pasu Teertha. After climbing the stairs in front of the majestic Raja Gopura of the temple, one enters the first Praakaara, which has the shrine of Guru. Apart from the presiding deity, Sivamurti, Devi, Vinayaka, and Subrahmanya are all venerated with equal importance. The ultimate knowledge, and Lord Subrahmanya as the giver of this wisdom, form the underlying principle of the holy place of Tittai, according to Puranic sources. It further refers to Thenkudi as the human body.


The human form, which is comprised of the six Aadhaaras through which the Lord enlightens the individual for reaching the ultimate truth, is yet another description.


Tittai is famous for its rare shrine for Guru in the recent years. Devotees throng this temple to worship Lord Guru, especially during Gurupeyarchi. The quiet, serene atmosphere of the temple, and the powerful appearance of Guru Bhagavan help the devotees find self-realisation.