Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple Palani
Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple Palani is one popular temple in Tamilnadu dedicated to Lord Muruga and is one of the Aru Padai Veedu shrines of Murugan.Palani (Tiru Avinankudi) is the third Padai Veedu.
The Murugan temple at Palani is an ancient one, situated at an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. The deity of Palani is known as Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the Staff in his Hand. The deity at the sanctum sanctorum is made out of an amalgam of nine minerals popularly called Navabashana. The deity is in a standing position with a baton in his hand. He has the look of a person who has renounced all worldly pomp. He has just a loincloth besides the baton. The icon is unique in the whole world. It was made by Siddha Bhogar by combining nine poisonous substances (navabashana).
Murugan signifies beauty and Lord Murugan of Kurinji land is the god of Beauty and Youth. The Bhogar Shrine is in the southwestern corridor of the hill temple. Siddhar Bhogar not only created the icon (the amalgam of nine minerals) but also did the daily services .
Legend Of Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple
There is a legend how Lord Murugan came to this sacred spot. Narada Muni, a sage, brought a golden mango to the divine court of Lord Siva when Lord Siva was seated with his consort Parvati and His children Lord Vinayakar and Lord Subrahmanya. Narada gave the fruit to Lord Siva and implored Him to eat since it was a rare, miraculous Jñanapalam, the fruit of wisdom. As a loving husband, Lord Siva gave it to Parvati and requested her to eat. As a loving mother, she wanted to give the fruit to her children. As there was only one fruit and it should not be cut, they announced a contest and said that the winner would be given the fruit. Whoever completes one round of the globe first will be given the fruit
Lord Subrahmanya mounted His peacock to go around the world. Lord Vinayakar circumambulated around His parents, symbolising the world, and got the fruit. On return, Lord Subrahmanya found that He was cheated. In anger, He renounced His family and came to this spot to settle forever. Lord Siva and Parvati came to pacify Him. They said, "Pazham Nee" ('You are the Fruit'). Hence the name Palani is a popular syncopation of the two words mentioned.
The legend behind the Palani Murugan temple is very famous. One day, when all was well in Mount Kailash, the sage Naradha went to pay his respects to the Destroyer. He had with him the 'nyana pazham' or the fruit of knowledge. When he offered it to Shiva, who in turn offered it to his offspring, there arose the question as to who would have it - Ganesha or Skanda. To help them arrive at a decision, Shiva and Parvati said that whoever circumbulates the universe and reaches them first will be declared the winner.
The minute these words were uttered, Lord Subramanya jumped on his vahana, the peacock to go around the Universe. Lord Ganesha thought for a minute and came around his parents. Thus declaring that they are the Universe. His delighted parents gave the fruit to him when Lord Muruga reached Mount Kailash after finishing his round. Seeing that he has been defeated made the young God angry and he left his parents and settled in Palani. He denounced all his riches, including his grand clothes - which explains the aandi pose at Palani.
Another legend attached to this temple is based on Sage Agasthiyar. Lord Shiva presented the holy sage with two mountain peaks, Shivagiri and Shaktigiri. Agasthiyar bade his disciple Idumban to carry the two hills. To make this easier, Idumban joined the two hills by means of a pole and carried it over his shoulders. When he came near Palani, he was exhausted and took a moment of rest. While doing so, he kept his load down. At this, the hills got stuck to the ground. While he tried to shift them, Lord Muruga, who was atop one of these hills, fought with Idumban and killed him. But Sage Agasthiyar implored the Imperial Commander to restore Idumban back to life.
Lord Muruga agreed to this and gave life to Idumban, who wished to be a dwara palagan at the temple at Palani. Lord Muruga granted his wish. The way in which Idumban carried his load is said to be the origin of the kavadi worship .
SKANDA LEGEND PALANI :Murugan slaying the demon SurapadmanSati, the consort of Shiva immolated herself at the Daksha Yagna, which was later destroyed by Shiva. Sati was reborn as Uma, or Parvati the daughter of the mountain king Himavaan (the Himalayas). Shiva withdrew himself from the universe and engaged himself in yogic meditation in the Himalayas.
In the meanwhile, the demon Surapadman ravaged the earth and tormented its beings. It was realized by the gods that only the son born of Shiva could lead the gods to victory over Tarakasuran, Surapadman and their demon companions. They plotted with Kamadeva, to shoot a flower arrow at Shiva, as he sat in meditation, so as to make him fall in love with Parvati. When Kama aimed his arrow at Shiva, he opened his third eye and burned him to ashes instantly.
The sparks of the fiery seed of Shiva were unbearable; even the fire God Agni could not bear them; this fire was then transported by the river Ganga into the Sara Vana forest into a pond called Sara Vana Poigai(located at mouths of river Ganga), where the sparks became six children.
They were raised by the six Krittika or Kartika - the stars that make up the Pleiades, earning the name Karthikeya. Parvati combined these six babies into one with six faces, ie. Shanmukha. Since he was born in the Sara Vana he was also called Sara Vana Bhavan. Murugan became the supreme general of the devas and led the army of the devas to victory against the demons.
The six sites at which Karthikeya sojourned while leading his armies against Surapadman are Tiruttanikai, Swamimalai, Tiruvavinankudi (Palani), Pazhamudirsolai, Tirupparamkunram and Tiruchendur. All these sites have ancient temples glorified by the Tamil poems of Tirumurugaatruppadai of the Sangam period
THE SANCTUM :-There are two Dwajasthambhas in each corridor. At the entrance to the sanctum, there are statues of two Dwarapalakas, known as Veeravaahu and Veeramahendra. Pilgrims first worship a huge Ganesha by name Kariamanicka Vinayaka and Devi Parvati. In the sanctum, a beautifully decorated image of Lord Subramanya holding a diamond-studded Vel stands facing east. Here He is represented as a Brahmachari.
In one hand He holds a rosary of beads and in the other, flowers for Shiva puja. Abhishekas are performed with vibhooti (holy ash), sandal paste, milk and panneer (rose water) among other sacred items. Enshrined behind the sanctum are five Lingas. The processional deities of Sri Shanmukha with His consorts Valli and Deivayanai are by the side of the sanctum. The
33 verses of Subramanya Bhujangam sung by Adi Shankara are inscribed on the walls. In an adjacent shrine, Lord Nataraja and the four Saivite saints Appar, Sundarar, Sambhandar and Manickavachagar are worshipped.
On the outer corridor, there are shrines for Valli and Deivayanai with Palliyarai (Sayanagruha). Vishnu in Anantasayana posture and Gajalakshmi are enshrined in a rock cut niche. The scene of Surasamhara is exquisitely carved in bas relief. There are also shrines for Venkatachalapathi, Santhana Krishna, Siddhi Vinayaka, Sahasra Linga, Pancha Bhootha Lingas, Shankaranarayana, Kashi Vishwanatha, Nataraja, Devi Shivakami, Shaneeswara and Bhairava. There is, however, no separate shrine for Navagrahas in this temple.
Vibhooti prasad offered in leaves from panneer tree is a special feature of this temple