|GODS and GODDESSES|
Sthala varalaru, dosham and remedial measures
Sani Bhagavan waiting to aspect Nala,
noticed that he had not washed the back portion of his feet, while preparing
for his prayers. Deciding this was the opportune time, he aspected Nala.
Because of this, Nala lost his composure and lost his kingdom to Pudkaran
in a game of dice and sent his children to their uncle's house. Nala departed
to the forest with his wife Damayanti. Saneeswaran created trouble even
there and made Nala desert his wife in the forest. The snake Karkotagan
bit Nala, making him lose his stature (was made to look ugly). He took
on the job of a charioteer with king Irudhupannan. Damayanti, in the meantime
reached the kingdom of her father, and arranged a Swayamvara to locate
Nala. Damyanti identified Nala, the charioteer as her husband. Thanks to
a boon from Karkodagan, Nala regained his old form. In spite of being back
with his wife, Nala feeling very disturbed, sought the solace of sage Bharadwaja
and on his advice reached Thirunallar. He bathed in the Brahma Thirtham
of the temple, and when he entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple,
Saneeswaran departed from him.
Saneeswaran resides in each Rasi
for a period of 2 1/2 years. When Saneeswaran resides in the 12th, 1st
and 2nd house, it is 7 1/2 Naatu Sani ; when in the 4th house, it is Arthashtama
Sani; when in the 8th house, it is Ashtama Sani. During these periods,
he troubles the native.
Problems from Govt., peers, wife,
children, slowdown in business, loss of property, leprosy are caused by
transit of Sani.
In a person's life, 7 1/2 Naatu Sani
aspects thrice, the first called Mangu Sani, the second called Pongu Sani
and the third called Marana Sani.
Saneeswaran is reputed to be both,
a giver and destroyer. A person who prays to Saneeswaran will be blessed
with not only riddance from the problems and worries faced, but a life
that one desires.
The sthalam of Sani Bhagavan is Thirunallaru,
which is located 3kms from Karaikal, enroute to Peralam. His wives are
Neela Devi and Manga Devi. The presiding deities are Dharbaranyeswarar
(Swaymbumurti) and his consort Bogamartha Poon Mulayal. He is the Lord
of Maharam and Kumba Rasis and faces the West direction. The Adi Devatha
is Yaman and the Prathyathi Devatha is Prajapathi. His colour is black;
his vahana the crow; the grain associated with him is gingelley; the flower
- vanni and black kuvalai; fabric - black cloth; gem - neelam (blue saphire);
food - rice mixed with gingelley powder.
- Pongu Saniswaran gives darshan in this Agni sthalam
was very upset for he was being held responsible for all the woes of human
beings. He prayed to Agneeswarar, Lord Siva at Thirukollikaadu after
bathing in the Agni theertham. Lord Siva gave him darshan & praised
him for being a just planet, meting out justice impartially based on the
deeds of human beings. He further pleased Saneeswara by asking him
to reside in the temple as Pongu Sani, showering his blessings on
This temple is located in Thirukollikadu
near Thiruthuraipoondi in Thiruvarur district.
Presiding deities are Agneeswarar
or Thirukollikadar, a slightly reddish lingam and Mirudupaadanayagi or
Menthiruvadiamman or Panjinmelladiaal. (mirudu or men means soft in Tamil.
Panju - cotton, Paadam is foot. i.e., goddess with feet as soft as cotton).
Thirugnana Sambandar has sung the praise of Agneeswarar.
Agni Bhagavan is said to have worhsipped
lord Siva here and hence the name Agneeswarar and the place came to be
known as Agnipuri. Thirugnana Sambandar called the Lord Kollikaadar in
his pure Tamil (agni, kolli-fire).
This ancient temple was built as
a granite structure by the Chola kings. Inscriptions of Raja Raja
Chola, Rajendra Chola and Rajadiraja Chola I are to be seen in the temple.
There is no Raja gopuram.
Nalan who was rid of his Sani dosham
at Tirunallaru, is said to have got back his wife, children, kingdom and
all wealth after worshipping at this sthalam.
A Chola king with heavy Sani dosham
finally got relief from his sufferings on worshipping the Sani Bhagavan
King Harichandra is also said to
have bathed at this sthalam and was finally relieved of his dohsam by the
grace of Kollikadu Sani Bhagavan. The river where he bathed is still
named after him.
The sannadhi for Sani Bhagavan is
in the South west corner. The idol is seen with kalappai or plough
(right) & crow (left) in his upper two arms, left hand by his side
as ooru hastam and the right hand as abhaya hastam (Anugraha murti).
Offer of Oomatham flower to Lord Sani here is said to cure mentally afflicted
devotees. On performing pooja with Vanni leaf he will shower wealth
and on offering Kondrai flower he will bless devotees with peace &
unity in the family.
There are sannadhis in the main praharam
for Murugar with Valli Deivayanai, Mahalakshmi, Saniswaran, Bairavar, navagrahams.
The navagrahams are positioned differently here in an open formation all
facing the Lord (|_|). Lord Muruga is seen with a bow and arrow instead
of his vel. In niches on the outer wall are idols of Vinayagar, Dakshinamurthy,
Lingodbavar, Brahma, Durgai. The sthala vriksham is Vanni.
Only on Saturdays, the temple remains
open even in the afternoon.
Agamapraven S. Viswanatha Gurukkal
Pongu sani temple, Tirukollikadu
Tiruvarur (Dist) - 610 205
Ph: 04369 237454
(as on 14 July, 2005)