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History and Significance of Sri Mahalingeswarar Temple, Viralipatti “Odukkam Thavasi Medai’ 

Presiding deity, Lord Mahalingeswarar graces facing east. In the shrine, right to Him, there are two Ambicas named after Meenakshi in Madurai. They are close to the wall facing south. The devotee has to peep closely into the shrine to have their darshan. They represent two powers – Icha Shakti and Gnana Shakti. Worshipping them would benefit the devotee with wisdom to know God. As Maharshi Bharadwaja performed penance sitting on a platform with concentration on the Lord controlling all his senses, the place is known as Odukkam Thavasi Medai. Odukkam-controlling the senses; Thavasi-one performing penance and Medai-platform. Aadhi Bhairava: Bhairava shrine is generally on the northeast corner in the temple. Here, He is just opposite Lord Shiva. As Lord Mahalineswara is all powerful, it is said that to protect the devotees from the scorching heat (Ugra), Bhairava is installed here balancing the temperature. Bhairava here is known as Aadhi Bhairava. There is a hole behind the Bhairava through which the devotees worship Lord ShivaereH and Bhairava before entering the temple. Following Shivarathri, the rays of Sun God continuously fall on the Lord for thirty days during mornings and on Bhairava during the evenings. Special pujas are performed on Magam star days remembering Maharshi Bharadwaja’s birth star.

History of Sri Mahalingeswarar Temple, Viralipatti “Odukkam Thavasi Medai’

While returning to Ayodhya with Mother Sita, on the way, Sri Rama stayed in the hermitage of Maharshi Bharadwaja and accepted his hospitality. To honour Anjaneya on the occasion, Sri Rama shared the food served to him with Anjaneya by drawing a line on the leaf. Since that moment, plantain leaves grew naturally with a partition line, according to stories linked with Ramayana. Jubilant host Bharadwaja came to this shrine to worship Lord Mahalineswara, says the Sthala Puana – history of the place. Maharshi Bharadwaja is one of the five, who installed Mother Meenakshi in Madurai. Mother Meenakshi also bears the name Pancharaja Madhangi based on this belief. (Pancha-Five).

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