13 Oct 2021
Vathanyeswarar temple dedicated to Lord Siva is located in
Mayiladuthurai (also known as Mayavaram or Mayuram), originally a part
of Nagai district. The Ambal is Sri Gnanambikai. The temple is also known as Vallalar koil.
Vathaanyam means one who gives in abundance. Vallal also means the same.
There is a Nandi in the shrine of Sri Medha Dakshinamurthy (Medhaa). Nandi
Deva is said to have been Dakshinamurthy's chief student / disciple
Nandi Deva is said to have been vain and conceited that he was so great
and strong to be able to carry Lord Siva. To teach him a lesson,
Siva dropped a single hair off his matted locks. Unable to bear
the weight of this single hair, Nandi begged forgiveness and prayed to
the Lord to bless him with his Gyaana upadesam (divine
enlightenment). Nandi Deva following Siva's guidance bathed in the
holy Thula Kattam, (the mouth of the river Cauvery) and
worshipped Lord Vadhaanyeswarar. There is an idol of Nandi Devar
doing tapas in Thula Kattam river.
The rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi had been polluted and the three
river Devis prayed to Kasi Viswananthar, who bade them to bathe in Thula
Katta Cauvery for the whole Thamizh month of Aippasi and worship
him. With the guidance of sage Durvasa, they reached
Mayiladuthurai and worshipped as instructed. On Aippasi new moon
day (amavasai) the Lord gave darshan as Sri Medha Dakshinamurthy and
blessed them so that they were rid of their impurities. Lord Siva
adorned his locks with the Ganga again. Because of this, he is
also called "Ganga anugraha Sri Medha Dakshinamurthy". Every Aippasi new moon day, devotees gather to take a holy dip here.
Another story associated with this temple is that of Deva guru
Brihaspati. Once, he is said to have lost his Guru position due to
a dosham. He rid himself of his dosham by worshipping the
Dakshinamurthy in this temple. Hence, this temple is also
considered a Guru Parihara Sthalam.
Reference : M.Raghavan, Sakthi Vikatan, Nov 2019