Once when Lord Siva and His consort Gowri Devi were
sporting amorously sharing the same seat in Kailash, Gouri covered His eyes
with Her hands for fun. As the two eyes of the Lord which are considered to be
the Sun and the Moon were marks closed by Gowri, the whole world at that time
was plunged into dense darkness, causing distress to all the creatures in the
Universe. Realising this, Lord Siva opened His third-eye of fire in His
forehead to illuminate the Universe and rendered relief to the living beings.
Though Gowri's action was an unmindful act of sport, the Lord asked her to
perform penance on the earth as an atonement for her crassitude.
In deference to His command, she decided to do penance
in Kanchi. She menifested Herself in the form of a female child in
Badrikasrama. On seeing the child, the sage Kathyayan longing for progency,
brought Her up in his custody. Hence Her name 'Katyayani'.
As she grew up, the sage, aware of the purpose of Her
incarnation, sent Her to the South with his blessings. He gave Her 1. a
yogadandam, 2.a rosary, 3. skin of tiger, 4. a holy book, 5. fried green gram,
6. sand of the ganges, 7. an umbrella, 8. a fan made of palyra leaves, 9. two
chowries (fly-whisks), 10. a water-pot, II. Vidayadharam, 12. deepasthambam and
13. Ganges water.
He told her that as soon as the reached Kanchipuram,
these would be transformed into 1. a trident, 2. Bilvagarland, 3. Somavritta,
4. Kamadhenu, 5. sprouted greendhal, 6, a lingam 7. a serpent ornament 8. a
parrot 9. two beautiful women 10. the pedestal of the lingam, II. a needle
From Badrikasrama, Katyayani came to Kasi where a
severe drought had set in tormenting and impoverishing the people. Seeing the Plight of the people and taking campassion
on them She caused a heavy downpour of rain and high yield of crops. She
Herself fed the people to their hearts content and earned the title of
Annapoorani. Then she continued her journey towards the South. She recognised
Kanchi as per the guidance of sage Katyayana. She made a Sivalingam out of
sand, employed the two Sakthis, who were two chories before, on guard and stood
on the top of the needle and performed severe penence under a mango tree.
Lord Siva wanted to perform a divine sport by putting
Gowri to test. He released Ganges from His matted hair. Seeing the floods of
Ganges approaching Her panance-site she shouted 'Kampa Kampa', expressing Her
fear. Hence that river came to be called 'Kampa'. She employed one of her
attendants a manifestation of sakthi to check the floods. The sakthi then
assumed the form of Kali and stored up the floods in skull held on her hands.
Hence her name Maha Pralayabandhini.
Then Lord Siva made the floods in the skull overflow.
Seeing the floods again, Katyayani prayed to Her brother, Lord Narayana to come
to her rescue. Then Vishnu took Viswaroopa, prevented the floods momentarily and
advised her to surrender to Lord Siva, the originator of the floods. Taking up
his advice, she embraced the sandy lingam (Prithivi Lingam) with both hands to
prevent its dissolution in the floods. Infatuated by love, Lord Siva showered
his grace on her and on her prayers, he graciously accepted and chose to dwell
permanently in that form of Prithivilingam at the trunk of the sacred mango
tree, with the names Kameswara, Ekamranatha and Choothanatha meaning "The Lord
of the sole Mango tree". His other names are Kanchi Tiru Ekamban and
When the celestials prayed to the lord to give them the
rare dharsan with Goddess Gowri as the Divine couple on their wedding day, He
fulfilled their desire by accepting the hand of Kathyayani with the name of
Elavarkuzhali. To commomerate this sacred occasion, this is celebrated as
Tirukalyanotsavam on the Panguni Uttiram day during the brahmotsavam.