Lord Shiva was creating so many miracles on the Earth. One day he was in Kailasa along with his consort Parvathi. Lord Shiva’s two eyes are comparable to Sun and Moon. Parvathi Devi was in a playful mood. She, like a small child, closed the eyes of Lord Shiva and the entire Universe was plunged in darkness. The short-tempered Shiva immediately blew his fuse. Angered by his consort’s irreverent behavior, he asked her to proceed to the Earth.
Goddess Parvathi arrived in a forest that was full of mango trees. She penanced for many years propitiating Lord Shiva/ Lord Neelakanta. But she was not able to achieve the Lord’s grace. But she wanted to meet Neelakanta Siva at any cost. She created “agni” (fire) and standing amidst the fire, she started doing penance. She stood on one leg. The only thought that was running in her mind was – how do I get a vision of my Lord? How can I meet him? How do I fulfil my desire of communion with him?
The penance of the Goddess was severe. She was standing in the fire. Eventually, her patience paid off. Lord Nataraja’s benevolent grace fell on the maiden Kamakshi. Though Lord Eshwar wanted to meet the beautiful maiden who was doing “tapas” to meet him and marry him, he could not meet her immediately? How could he, when Shukracharya, the Guru of asuras, was doing shiv-pooj ? Shukracharya was a staunch devotee of Parameshwara. So, first Lord Shiva appears before the guru and he sends a message to Kamakshi through his sixth sense (telepathy) that she should wait for him in Kancheepuram.
Goddess Kamakshi is now extremely pleased and she proceeds to Kancheepuram where she creates a sand idol of Lord Shiva and starts worshipping him. Pleased by her love and devotion, Lord Nataraja descends on Kancheepuram and marries Goddess Kamakshi. In Kancheepuram, the Goddess is called as “Kalyana Kamakshi” because it is in Kancheepuram that she married her Lord, the inimitable Lord Neelakanta Siva.
In her haste to reach Kancheepuram, Goddess forgot to douse the fire that she had created for the yagna. The intense heat from the yagna destroyed the water tables in adjoining lands. All human beings, cattle and aquatic animals started suffering the adverse effects of the heat.
But those who are suffering cannot suffer endlessly. There has to be an end to their suffering at one point of time! In a likewise manner, the people in this region also experienced a positive change. During this period, Adi Shankara visited this place. The people of Mangadu expressed their sorrow to Adi Shankara.
Through his inner vision, Adi Shankara was able to identify the root cause of their misery. He wished to take immediate corrective action to alleviate the sufferings of the people in the region. He immediately installed – “Sree Chakra” / “Ashta Gandham”/ “Artha Meru” in the place. This sree chakra was made of 8 herbs.
The sree chakra is called “raja chakra” . The basic foundation of the sree chakra is in the form of a korma (tortoise)on which three steps are constructed. On top of these steps is placed a Lotus with 16 petals and on top of it, the sree chakra yantra was installed. It has 43 triangles that signify 43 angels.
There are no abhisekams that are performed on the artha meru. Vermillion archana is generally performed on the mahameru. Over a period of time, after the artha meru was installed, the intensity of the fire kept on reducing. Despite this, there was fear amongst the devotees to enter the sanctum sanctorum. Reason? The form of the Goddess Kamakshi, performing penance, standing in one feet, was intimidating. The Goddess Kamakshi was in an intense form, frustrated as she was by failure of her attempts to meet the Lord and gain his grace. For many years, this temple remained unsung and unattended. Not much is known about the truth behind the creator of the temple. We may presume that it was Adi Shankara who created this shrine!
Who then solved this problem? How did Mangadu become popular? Who was responsible for this transformation?
(to be continued)