Tuesday, February 16, 2016

About Mahamaham at Kumbakonam

On 22-2-2016-( Manmamatha  year  , Sisisira Rithu  , Kumbaha masam 10th  , Monday , pournami  ,  Maka Nakshatram  -) the great Mahamaham festival is being celebrated  in the holy city of Kumbakonam.. Read some tid bits  of information   collected  by  me about this very purifying   great festival   

Compiled by

(Most of the material has v been taken from a compilation in Tamil  by Sri Jeya Priyan  which was published  as an additional  book  By Kumudam Bhakthi  I of the February issue.My grateful thanks to them.)

Do you want
1.The effect of doing 100 years penance  on the  banks of Ganga  in  Varanasi
2. Going round the world 100 times , every time visiting  all  holy places
3,Performing 16000  times  Gaya Sradha
4.Taking bath in 66 crores  in all sacred waters
5.Effect of giving in charity heap of wealth   as big as  Meru mountain
6.Salute all the  33  crores of Devas  at the  same time
7. Giving salvation to seven generations of your ancestors
          All there I can be achieved  by taking bath in the Mahamaha tank   at Kumbakonam on the Maha day. Possibly because  of this it   has been told
“anya kshethre  Krutham papam  , Punya Kshethre  Vinasyathi,
Punya kshetre krutham papam  Varanasyaam  Vinasyathi
Varanasyam krutham papam  Kumbakone vinasyathi,
Kumbakone  krutham papam  Kumbakone Vinasyathi”
“Sins committed in any temple is destroyed  in Holy temples,
Sins committed in holy temples  , get destroyed  in Varanasi,
Sins committed  in Varanasi   gets destroyed  in Kumbakonam,
And  Sins committed in Kumbakonam also gets destroyed in Kumbakonam.”
Story behind Mahamaham:-
    Once when  final deluge was approaching Lord Brahma was worried that all   the various types of creations that he did  would  get destroyed then. He approached Lord Shiva, who told him  , to take sone earth , mix it with nectar  and make a pot  ,Then Lord Brahma has to put the root genes of all the various  type of creations  and fill the pot with nectar. Later  he has to close the pot with a  coconut kept over mango  leaves  and this pot has a to be kept on the  top of the Meru mountain..After the deluge darkness  engulfed the  universe   and after  some time Lord Brahma  saw rays of light  coming from  a place , which went on increasing in intensity .Lord Brahma rushed there and found that the pot   which he had kept on top of Mount Meru had moved   to a place  of Kumbhakonam . Lord Brahma  was not able to approach the pot due to great  intensity of light  and  heat., Then he prayer to Lord Shiva , who came there  in the form of a hunter .Lord Shiva the hunter  shot the pot with an arrow. The neck of the pot  , mango leaves   and coconut got separated  from the pot and moved further. Some nectar  fell in the place itself. Lord Brahma  took the nectar mixed it with earth and made  a Shivalinga. Lord  Brahma named   That linga as Adhi Kumbeswarar (Primeval  God made  from the pot)  and consecrated that Linga there  itself. The water from  the broken pot  reached a pond   and  created the Mahamaha tank and from that water  a golden lotus flower  came up., Lord  Brahma   took bath in that tank and offered the  golden lotus flower  to Lord shiva.,Then he was able to collect the  root seeds from the pot and started   again his job of creation.
    Meanwhile   the coconut which fell from  reached a nearby place and became Abhimukheswarar . The scared thread from the pot became Gouthameswarar, The mango leaves became the God of Thirupurambiyam. The place where  the mouth of that  fell is Kudai vayil  and  the place where  Lord Shiva stood as a hunter  became the temple of Bannapureeswarar,The place where  the pot stopped is the present Kumbakarnam   , which was earlier called  Kuda mooku.
    It is believed  that though Lord Brahma  started the creation , he was finding it imperfect   and  the day when He started the creation properly with a v blessings of  Lord Shiva is observed as Mahamaham. On that day , earth, sun, moon  and Guru(Jupiter)    stand in one straight  line.Ie Sun is in Kumba rasi , Chandra  and Jupiter(Guru) would occupy  the simha Rasi. It is also believed that on the Mahamaham day every twelve years , the  configuration of the  nine planets would be exactly similar   to the configuration  of planets  on the day when Lord Brahma   started  the creation.
   Apart from this it is believed  that  the nine  sacred rivers  of India viz  Ganges , Yamuna  , Narmadha  , Saraswathi ,  Godhavari , Sarayu  , Cauavery , Kumari   and Payoshni (Some say Thamravarni)  which remove the sins of people who bathe  u in them , to get rejuvenated   from the load of sins which sinners have left with them come to bathe  in the Mahamaham tank  on the Mahamaham day. Due to this  if we take bath in the Mahamaham on that day , we get the  effect of bathing in those nine holy rivers also.
  Also on the Mahamaham day  the Shiva deities of twelve   temples around Kumbhakonam arrive  to take holy dipping and bath in the Mahamaha  Tank, These twelve temples are  Kasi Viswanatha temple , Kumbheswarar  temple, Nageswarar  temple, Someswarar temple , Gowthameshwarar temple , Abhimukheswarar  temple  , Bana pureeswarar  temple, Kambatta  Viswanathar  temple, Ekambareswarar  temple, Kodeeswarar  temple , Kala hastheswarar  temple and Amrutha kalasa  nathar  temple, On the same day  the Gods from Vishnu  temples   of Saranga pani temples  , Chakrapani temple, Ramaswami temple, Rajagopala swami  temple  and Varaha temple  reach the banks of Cauvery in Kumbhakonam   and  take a dip and holy bath
    The Maha maha tank occupies an area of 6.2 acres .All e round the tank there are  16 Shiva  temples viz  Brahma theettheswarar,  Mukundeswarar  , Thaneswarar  , Vrushabeswarar  , Baneswara  , Koneswarar  , Bhakthikeswarar , Bhairaveswarar  , Agastheeswarar, Vyaseswarar, Umamaheswarar, Nirytheeswarar, Brahmeswarar , Gangadhareswarar, Mukthi theertheswarar and Kshethrapaleswarar,,
     In side  the Mahamaham tank are  21  sacred water  wells  which are called as  Vayu theertham  , Ganga Theertham  , Brahma theertham, Yamuna theertham  , Khubera theertham  , Godavari theertham  , Eesana theertham , Narmadha theertham , Saraswathi  Theertham , Indra theertham , Agni theertham , Cauvery theertham , Yama Theertham , Kumari theertham Niryathi theertham , Payoshini theertham , Deva theertham, Varuna theertham , Sarayu theertham Kanya theertham and Amrutha theertham..It is believed   that 66 crores of other sacred  waters come and join with these on the Mahamaham day .
    There is a set procedure   to take bath in this great tank on the Mahamaham day  . You have to visit   The pancha krosa temples around Kumbha konam viz Thirunageswaram  , Dharasuram  , Swami Malai  , Karuppur   and Thiruvidai maruthur  .Later  you have to take bath in the river Cauvery   offering to the river flowers,   sandal paste m, black beads , palm leaf pieces and some coins.Then you have to worship your ancestors  in the Cauvery river according  to the practice followed by your family  .Then we have to go round Mahamaha tank, Kasiviswanatha temples , the Nava Kanyakas  and the Peepul tree .Then we  jhave to take v =bath in Maha maha tank followed by bathing in Porthamarai tank   and complete it by again taking bath in Cauvery tank. It is also believed that  giving charity to the poor after  finishing this round of bathing would be highly  beneficial  .

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