9 December 2008

Chandikeswara



In many of the functions of Deepam Festival, the panchamurtis are taken on procession. These panchamurtis are: Vinayaka, Arunachaleswara-Unnamalai, Amman, Kartikeya and Chandikeswara. I am including information below about the fascinating Chandikeswara and why he follows the other murtis (idols) as their steward.




Chandikeswara idol Arunachaleswara Temple




“Chandikeswara,a devotee of Lord Shiva was born in the village of Seynalur on the banks of the river Manni in the Chola country, as a young lad named Vicharasarman.

He was the son of a pious and learned Brahmin named Yajnadatta. Vicharasarman was of great intelligence. One day when the lad was going to school, he saw a cowherd brutally assaulting a cow. Angry at the behaviour of the cowherd, young Vicharasarman took upon himself the duty of tending the cows of the village, to which the villagers acceded. From that day the cows looked happier and yielded more milk. More than the cow’s udders could hold. Vicharasarman, seeing that the milk was being wasted, collected it in vessels, set up lingams made of sand and poured this excess milk to bathe the lingas with intense piety for Shiva.The cowherd who had lost position on account of this Brahmin boy, saw him in this act and found this a good cause for denouncing him. He immediately brought it to the notice of the village elders as well as Yajnadatta, Vicharsarman’s father. The father saw his son pouring milk on small sand mounds and without investigating, kicked one of the lingas in anger. Young Vicharasarmana came out of his reverie and cut off the leg of his father with an axe with which he had kicked a linga.

Shiva was pleased with the devotion of this boy and he appeared in person along with Parvati his consort, before the boy. Shiva embraced him and made him in charge of his ganas (devotees or followers). He was also made the steward of his household, naming him Chandikeswara.”




Gangai Konda Cholapuram Temple




“Siva seated on a throne with four arms carries axe and antelope in his upper arms; with the lower the Lord is seen crowning Chandesa with a garland of flowers, a symbol of affection and stewardship. Chandesa is seen seated in front and with folded arms receiving the pride of place bestowed on him by his Lord. Chandesa is the embodiment of devotion and piety and the place he attained is considered the highest, a devotee of Siva is privileged with. It is called the Chandisa padam, the abode of deliverance. According to Saiva Siddhanta Siva bestows this grace, in the company of Sakti, His consort. In the sculpture under reference, Parvati or Uma Parameswari as she is often described, is seated by the side of Her Lord. The treatment of ornaments, the portrayal of limbs and affection with which Siva is seen taking the garland around the head of Chandesa are suggestive and truly convey the supreme message of Saiva Siddhanta, the image seeks to depict.

On the side walls is shown the story of Chandesa; Chandesa worshipping Siva as a Linga; the cows standing by the side; his father watching the happenings hiding himself behind the branches of a tree; disturbing Chandesa’s worship; perturbed Chandesa throwing his axe at his father and Siva bestowing grace on both.”
[By Dr. Nagaswamy]

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its a great story but sort of creepy that he cut his Dad's leg off!

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Hmmm . . . thats exactly what I thought.