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Sri Adi Sankara & Sri Kamakoti Peetam
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  Sri Varadaraja Perumal
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  Sri Kachapeswar
  Sri Kailasanathar
  Kumarakottam
Pandava Dhootha Perumal
  Sri Ekamreswarar
  Sri Ulagalanda Perumal
  Sri Kamakshi Devi
Sri Pachaivannar and Sri Pavalavannar
Sri Vaikunta Natha Permul
  Chitragupta Temple
 The Temple of Sri Kumarakottam
  Sri Kumarakottam - Introduction:

 

    The famous temple of Sri Subrahmanya known as Kumarakottam is located in West Raja Street near Gangaikondan Mandapam and Sri Sankaramutt in Big Kanchipuram. It is situated in between the temples of Sri Ekambareswara and Sri Kamakshi.

Puranic Origin - Kumarasambhava:

Sri Subrahmanya Temple, Kumarakottam     All living-beings in this Universe are but the reflected images of the Paramathman the Supreme Being. The realization of this truth is referred to as "Self realisationknowledge ofthe self' or "Atmagnana" and a person attaining this is called" Atmagnani". An atmagnani is able to extricate himself from the harmful influence of the feelings of "I" and "Mine" trapping him in the net of illusion and leading to egoism and attachment to wordly affairs. He sets for himself the goal of escaping rebirth. Such an atmagnani is also called " jeevanmuktha".

    According to Siva Gnana Bodham, God appears before the matured soul in the form of a guru and reveals Himself to be the same as that of the soul, thus saving the soul from falling into the trap of illusion. The blissful evermeditation form of Sri Dakshinamoorthy, the earliest and foremost of gurus, emphasizes the greatness of a guru.

    The influence of Maya illusion is so powerful that even those with a fertile mental disposition conducive of becoming a Jeevanmuktha are trapped at the last moment. The story of Soorapadaman, is a fitting example. Having performed a severe penance Soorapadma was able to get the Sakshathkara of Lord Siva. It was at this stage Maya started Playing its role.

    Soorapadma committed the folly of seeking a boon to be able to escape death rather than rebirth. Aware as he was of the inevitability of death, he had no propriety in asking for a boon to avoid death. Instead, he thought of a plan to evade it. Knowing fully well that Lord Siva is neither equalled nor excelled by anyone, he cleverly sought a boon that he should face death only at the hands of some one excelling even Lord Siva in eminence and the boon was granted to him. Thevery thought of having secured a state of being free from the fear of death made Soorapadma egoistic and he started committing a number of atrocities. In order to protect the pious, and also to save, out of mere compassion, His devotee Surapadman of countless sins Lord Siva thought of putting an end to the asura's existence. To honour the peculiar boon granted to him, Lord Siva chose to procreate Himself into a Superior from and confer on him better status who later came to be called as Kumarswami, Sri Subrahmanya and Swaminada. The story runs as follows:

    Once Lord Siva was sitting in Kailas in a state of yoga. Lord Siva the God with five faces, then assumed a six-faced form including the"Adhomuktha" perceptible only to great seers. The devas who could not bear the sufferings inflicted by Soorapadma wanted Siva to divert His mind from penance to Parvathi. Sri Subrahmanya Temple, KumarakottamSo they deputed cupid to create an atmosphere in Kailash conducive to Love-making and turn the mind of Lord Siva towards Parvathi. Disturbed by Cupid, Lord Siva chanced to see Goddess Parvathi before Him and become infatuated with love. Noting the change in the state of His mind, Lord Siva searched for rolex replica the cause and found Cupid to be the cause for disturbing His concentration on yoga. As Lord Siva got furious, his third eye of Fire got opened and as a result, Cupid was burnt to ashes. The six sparks of fire got emanated from the forehead eye of Lord Siva and reached a thicket of reeds in a Pond called "Saravana Poigai" where they took the form of six children & by the grace of Goddess Parvathi mysteriously combined into one of extraordinary form with six faces and twelve hands and thence came to be called "Shadanana" "Shanmukha" or "Arumuga" - meaning a God with six faces. As the Shanmukha was exquisitely beautiful, He came to be called "Muruga" the beautiful. Since He was earlier fostered by six celestial damsels called Krithikas, He attained the name "Karthikeya". Later, He was made the Commander in-Chief of the army of the Devas in their battle with the Asuras- Tharakasura and Soorapadman. Hence He was called Senani and Devasenapathi.

Puranic Origin of Kumarakottam:

Sri Subrahmanya Temple, Kumarakottam     Lord Brahma, Devendra and other Devas were once proceeding to Mount Kailash to have darshan of Lord Siva and pay obeisance to Him. Seeing Lord Subramanya on their way, all the devas offered their salutations to replica watches uk Him but Lord Brahma, entertaining a wrong notion of Him as a mere child lacking in erudition, showed Him no respect.

    Irritated by this attitude of Brahma, the illustrious son of Lord Siva called Him and asked Him to explain the significance of "Pranava" the sacred syllable "OM". As Lord Brahma's answer did not satisfy Him, the Kumara held Him captive and He took upon Himself the task of creation vested with Brahma. Lord Narayana reported this matter to Lord Siva and sought His sympathetic intervention. Lord Siva sent Nandikeswara to Kumara with a personal appeal to release Brahma but to no purpose. Then Lord Siva, like one desirous of striking down two mangoes with a Single stone Himself came to Kumara with the twin objectives of releasing Brahma and conferring a better status on Kumara than Himself. He asked Kumara to reveal the meaning of Pranava and also release Brahma. In reply, Kumara stated that the meaning of Pranava can only be learnt through a Guru and Lord Siva appreciated Kumara's stand and agreed to know the meaning of replica watches Pranava from Kumara considering Him as a Guru. It was then that Lord Subramanya initiated Lord Siva into the sacred Pranava Mantra by conveying the answer into His ears. Hence He came to be called as 'Sivagurunatha', Gnanadesika and Swaminatha meaning, "Preceptor" of the Adi Guru or the master of the Lord.

    This divine sport of the Omniscient Lord Siva, enacting the role of an ignorant disciple, is intended just to instruct humanity that anyone seeking knowledge should himself take the initiative to resort to a guru and make an earnest appeal to impart knowledge. The sacred place 'Swamimalai' signifies this incident of elevation of Sri Kumara as Sivaguru or Swaminatha. Sri Kumara released Brahma and felt for having not acted on Lord Siva's instructions conveyed through Nandikeswara. So He wanted to have prayaschitha, as an atonement for transgressing His father's orders to release Brahma from captivity and to establish to the world that it is the duty of a son to honor the words of the father as even the slightest disregard would amount to committing a great sin.

    So Sri Kumara wanted to do penance on earth as prayaschitha and chose the sacred place of Kanchi to worship Lord Siva, as Kanchi was glorified as Pralayajit Kshethra, the holy place which could withstand the wrath of deluge and escaped destruction on account of its sacredness. The place where Kumara stayed in Kanchi and worshipped Lord Siva in the form of a Linga came to be known as Kumarakottam and the Siva Linga as "Devasenapatheesar", meaning "The Lord worshippped by Devasenapathi".

Description of Kumarakottam:

Sri Subrahmanya Temple, Kumarakottam     The form of Lord Siva, with His consort Uma Devi seated on His left and Kumara in between them is known as Somaskandar. The temple of Kumarakottam, is located in between Ekamreswara and Kamakshi temples, the three taken goether resembling the form of Lord Somaskanda.

    The predising deity, Lord Kumara, is seen with a single face and four hands, the temporary form, which He assumed when He undertook the task of creation on Him after taking Brahma as a captive. The upper right and left hands are embellished by a rosary and a water-pot respectively. The lower right hand is held as Abhaya Hastha Mudra and the lower left hand is majestically placed in his hip just above the thigh.

    While circumambulating the inner Prakara, we see Santhana Ganapathi facing east and at his north we see Dhandapani. In the Ardha Mandapam, comprising the sannidhi of Lord Kumara, we come across the sannidhi of Lord Devesenapatheeswar, worshipped by the Kumara. Coming round, we see the idols of Vinayakamoorthy and Kachchiappa Sivacharyar facing south and west respectively. The processional deity of Lord Kumara is seen opposite to the sannidhi of Kachichappa Sivacharyar. Following this, we have the sannidhis of Bhairava and Lord Vishnu in the name of Urugumulla Perumal.

    Adjacent to this sannidhi, we come across the sannidhis with the processional dieties of Somaskandar, Muthukumaraswamy, Navaveerargal and Gajavalli.

    In the northern corner of the eastern side of the same Prakara, we come across Mother Valli's sannidhi and in the southern corner Mother Deivasena's sannidhi. In between them, we come across Navagraha Sannidhi.

     While coming out of the temple, we see a marble statue of Vallalar Sri Ramalinga Swami. At the left side of the entrance to the temple, there is a sannidhi with a huge idol of Varasiddhi Vinayakar. The idol of Lord Anjaneya in one of the pillars of the sixteen pillared mandapam is worshipped by devotees as a bestower of boons.

There is also a sacred tank in the eastern side of the temple.

Illustrious Recipients of the Lord's Grace:

Sri Subrahmanya Temple, Kumarakottam     Lord Kumara as Gnanaguru graced many of His devotees with supreme knowledge and also the capacity to compose poems who became great by singing in His praise. Note worthy among them are Kumara Guruparar, Devaraya Swamigal and Pamban Swamigal the famous authors of Pillai Tamil, Skanda Sashti Kavacham and Shanmuga Kavacham respectively. In some cases, Lord Kumra made His devotees' distinguish by their works, helping them by composing Himself the first line of the leading verses of their poems. Arunagirinathar and Kachchiappa Sivacharyar are the recipients of such rare previlege and the works which made them great were Tiruppugazh and Kandapuranam respectively.

    Once, there lived a pious temple priest in Kanchi by the name Kalathiappa Sivacharyar who was noted for his scholarship in Sastras. He was a staunch deovtee of Lord Subrahmanya of Kumarakottam. He was yearning for progeny for a long time, and was praying to Lord Muruga to grant him a son. By His grace, he begot a male child, who came to proficient in Vedas, Agamas and all Sastras and after initiation into priest hood, became the priest of the Kumarakottam temple.

    One day, Lord Kumara appeared in his dream and asked Kachchiappa Sivacharya to write His biographical story, Kandapuranam, in a verse form. Aware of the limitations of his scholastic attainmnets and scholarship he hesitated to take up that voluminous great work. It was then that Lord Kumara endowed him with the rare literary talent necessary for that purpose and also made the beginning of writing the work by Himself composing the first line of the leading verse commencing with the words" Thigatachakkara Semmugam Aindulan".

    After completing Kandapuranam Kachchiappa Sivacharyar wanted to have the 'Arangetram', the first public recitation of the work in a mandapam in Kumarakottam. After he finished reciting the first line scholars started demanding grammatical authenticity of the same as according to them no such usage was found in any of the standard grammar books. Sri Kachchiappa Sivacharya told the Sadas - the assembly of learned persons that the first line was not his own and was that of Lord Kumara Himself. The critic at once retorted that whoever might be its author, he could not give his approval unless it was grammatical. Unable to convince the poet, Sri Kachchiappar requested for time and the meeting was adjourned to the next day. Kachchiappar had no other recourse than to pray to Lord Muruga to help him out.

    The next day, Lord Kumara Himself appeared in that august assembly in the guise of a poet and established the correctness of the usage of the word Thigatachakara by quoting authority by reference to the work on Grammar called Veerasozhiam'. The assembly of the learned, therefore ruled out the objection raised the previous day. The new poet then disappeared from the scene. The gathering soon realised that the strange poet was none other than Lord Kumara and praised His benovelance in appearing Himself before the gathering only to bring to light the greatness of Sri Kachchiappa Sivacharyar. The Arangetram of the great work in Tamil 'Kandapuranam' was then duly completed in the same Mandapam which came to be called" The Kandapurana Arangetra Mandapam".

     Another illustrious devotee who is the recipient of the grace of Lord Kumara of Kumarakottam is Pamban Swamigal. Once Sri Pamban Swamigal in the course of his pilgrimage came to Kancheepuram. After having darshan of the temples there, he was returning without seeing Kumarakottam as the place was shrouded by a dense growth of vegetation. At that time, Lord Kumara appeared before him in the form of a lad and enquired whether he had seen Kumarakottam and led him there with other devotees and then disappeared. This is another instance to prove the boundless compassion of Lord Kumara of Kumarakottam in Kanchi.

     Lord Kumara of Kumarakottam is believed to be fond of Thenabhisekam and so he is anointed with honey only except on the day of Deepavali when oil is used. Among the festivals, Vaikasi Visakam Festival is celebrated as Brahmotsavam. Adikrithika and Skandasashti are other important festivals. Occasions such as Shasti, Krithika and all Tuesdays draw large number of devotees to this temple yearning for the grace of Lord Kumara of Kumarakottam.

" Om Saravana bhavaya Namaha �