Devotees from all parts of South India throng the Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamilnadu to seek the blessings of Lord Vaidyanathar or Vaitheeswaran (Lord Shiva) and pray here for a remedy from various ailments as Lord Vaitheeswaran is regarded as the “God of Healing”. Devotees believe that prayers to Lord Vaitheeswaran can cure all ailments and also brings mental peace and relief from hardships. Vaitheeswaran Koil is revered for providing relief from adverse planetary aspects and people pray and perform Parihara pooja at this temple for employment opportunities, progress in trade and profession, promotions, marriage, and child boons. Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamilnadu is classified as a Paadal Petra Sthalam (temple revered by the Nayanars). It is also revered by Tevaram hymns of saint poets belonging to the 7th century, Thirunavukkarasar and Sambandar.
Now, let us check out some of the TRUE FACTS OF VAITHEESWARAN KOIL IN TAMIL NADU:
- ANGARAKAN NAVAGRHASTHALAM
Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamilnadu is one of the Navagraha temples associated with the Planet Mars (Angaraka, Chevvai) and thus popular as Angarakan Navagrahasthalam. As per legends, this is the place where Planet Mars was cured by Vaidyanatha Swamy (Lord Shiva) when he was once afflicted with leprosy and from then on, the temple is treated as Angarakan Navagrahasthalam. Hence, he stayed in Vaitheeswaran Koil and called as “Vaitheewaran” and cure all the diseases of whom praying him.
The Angaraka shrine in Vaitheeswaran Koil houses a bronze image of Angaraka (Planet Mars) which is taken out in procession on a goat mount every Tuesday as it is considered an auspicious day to worship Mangal (Planet Mars). Angaraka is described as one with a fiery red complexion attired in red. Devotees worship Angaraka with immense devotion, seeking a cure from illness.
2.THE CRADLE OF NADI ASTROLOGY
Vaitheeswaran Koil is considered to be the cradle of Nadi Astrology or Palm Leaf Astrology. A popular form of Hindu astrology, Nadi Astrology is based on the belief that the past, present and the future lives of all humans were foreseen by ancient Hindu sages using their yogic and intuitive powers and are said to have written these predictions on palm leaves. These predictions are mainly written in
Vatteluttu (Vattezhuthu), an ancient Tamil script which can be deciphered by expert Nadi Astrologers only. Vaitheeswaran Koil’s connection with astrology is more fascinating than its connection with planet Mars.
Each Nadi or set of leaves is made up of palm leaf, written with a sharp, nail-like instrument called ezhuthani. It is believed that the life of each human being who has lived, is living and of someone who is yet to be born is recorded in these palm leaves. These predictions are believed to be written by a Tamil sage called Agathiyar who is said to have had divine revelations. The Nadi Leaves are still preserved in Tanjore Saraswati Mahal Library, Tamil Nadu. However, most of the Nadi Leaves were auctioned during British rule. Families of astrologers in Vaitheeswaran Koil obtained and possessed these leaves and passed them down from one generation to the other to make predictions about the future. Hence, Vaitheeswaran Koil is considered to be the birthplace of Nadi astrology or the primary centre for Nadi Shastra.
Seemingly, there is a palm leaf that corresponds to everyone, not just Indian nationals but also people of other nationalities, religions, and creeds. The palm leaf inscription of an individual can be identified according to one’s thumb impression. It is a universal fact that the whirls and loops of the fingers of people on the earth are unique and they cannot be replicated. There are 108 types of thumbprints and it is believed that the Naadi Palm Leaves are arranged according to these types. The Nadi readers identify the particular types of lines on the thumb and frame their questions in a way that enables them to find the corresponding set of palm leaves to give predictions and also suggest remedies to correct “problems”.
3.SIDDHAMRUTA THEERTHAM – THE MIRACLE “TANK OF NECTAR” CURES SKIN AILMENTS
The holy waters of the Siddhamrutha Theertham, the huge temple tank of Vaitheeswaran Koil contains nectar. Filled with holy waters and mixed with medicines in the form of leaves, Siddhamrutha Theertham is known to have medicinal properties and a holy dip in it is believed to cure all diseases. The holy water of Siddhamrutha Theertham is bestowed with curative properties for various skin problems. As per legends, Angaraka was cured of his leprosy after a dip in the holy waters of Siddhamrutha Theertham. The waters of this miracle temple tank taste sweet like a cane juice and hence known as Ikshusara. It is also known by the name Goksheera, as Kamadhenu’s milk flowed into this tank when she performed Abhishekam to the deity here with her milk. Another legend has it that Jatayu had his bath here and hence Siddhamrutha Theertham is also known as Jatayu Theertham.
4.A REMEDY FOR CHEVVAI DOSHAM
The unfavorable position of Angaraka or Chevvai in the horoscope leads to Chevvai Dosham (malefic effect) which may manifest as aggressiveness, tendency to get into unnecessary arguments or jealousy in the native. It can also result in loss of money, disturbs family life and causes frequent quarrels, delays marriages, frequent minor accidents and small injuries, emotional upheavals, abusive violent fights between marriage partners, etc.
Chevvai Dosham is rectified by performing Parihara Poojas to Angaraka or Chevvai. Worshipping Chevvai at Vaitheeswaran Koil and performing Angaraka Pooja is the best remedy for Chevvai Dosham which helps in neutralizing the negative effects of Angaraka. Devotees offer red cloth and Bengal gram or kadalai paruppu to Chevvai here. Tuesdays are regarded as the special day to worship Angaraka.
5.THE THIRUCHANDU URUNDAI PRASADAM – A PANACEA CAPABLE OF CURING ALL DISEASES
Thiruchandu Urundai is the prasadam being offered to the devotees at Vaitheeswaran Koil. It is considered as a panacea capable of curing almost all kinds of diseases that an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva suffers from. The special Thiruchandu Urundai Prasadam is made of medicinal clay extracted from temple pond, essence from neem leaves, neem bark-powder, and the holy ash collected from the Homa Kundam (sacred fire).
6. ARCHITECTURAL SPECIALITY
Vaitheeswaran Temple boasts of a five-tiered gopura and large enclosures. Interestingly, the five towers of this temple are on a straight line. The western tower of the temple houses the Shiva Lingam. The most significant feature of the temple construction is that the western tower allows the rays of the Sun to fall directly on the Shiva Lingam for a few days every year. Vaitheeswaran Koil contains inscriptions of King Vikrama Chola from the 12th century, the Nayaks in the 16th century and also the Marathas in the 18th century.
ABOUT VAITHEESWARAN KOIL IN TAMILNADUVaitheeswaran Koil is situated near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu. It is believed that this temple is built on the exact spot where Lord Ram, his brother Laxman and the Saptarishis are said to have performed their meditation. Vaitheeswaran Koil is also known as Thirupullirukku Velur.
Like other Navagraha Temples, Lord Shiva, and Goddess Parvati are the main deities who are worshipped here as Vaidyanatha Swamy and Thaiyalnaayaki. There is a separate shrine here for Thaiyalnaayaki who stands with the medicinal oil to cure the diseases of the devotees. Vaitheeswaran Koil also houses a small shrine to Dhanvantari and Angaraka. The presiding deity of Vaitheeswaran Koil, Sri Vaidyanatha Swamy, faces towards west. According to scriptures, worshipping in a temple where the Lord faces west brings the devotees the benefit of worshipping in 1000 Shiva Temples.