4 May 2014

Lord Muneswarar, Nallavanpallayam

Lord Muneswarar, who is popular throughout Tamil Nadu, is considered to be a form of Shiva and is worshipped as a family deity in many Shaivite homes. His Temples and Shrines are set in village groves where he presides as protector of the community. He can be viewed as either a fierce God or a peaceful God and his Shrines generally incorporate the worship of Shakti. 

Arunachala darshan from Shrine

There are several Muneswarar Shrines at Arunachala, a major one being near Adi Annamalai near the Vayu Lingam. The photographs below are of a well attended revered, powerful Shrine set in a grove at Nallavanpallyam at the back of the Samudram Eri. 

Shrine set on hillock in Grove

The origin of Lord Muneswarar goes something like this: Sati who was the youngest daughter of the chief of the Gods, Daksha, loved Lord Shiva from her earliest childhood. In the Swayamvara ceremony of the young girl which had been arranged to find her a husband, all the Gods and Princes were invited except Shiva. Sati threw her flower garland into the air calling upon her Lord to receive it; immediately Shiva appeared with the garland around his neck. Reluctantly Daksha, Sati’s father, allowed the marriage to take place. 

Fierce aspect of the manifestation

When a great horse sacrifice was arranged by Daksha again all were invited except for Lord Shiva. His bride Sati suffering from the intense humiliation of such an insulting omission, released her inner fire and fell down dead. 

Lord Muneswarar

Enraged Shiva tore from his head a lock of hair and cast it upon the earth, Virabhadra sprang from it. The Lord directed VÄ«rabhadra: "Lead my army against Daksha and destroy his sacrifice,” Legend has it that in order to protect innocent souls, Shiva created Muneswarar who was possessed of seven qualities. As Muneswarar is representative of various incarnations, devotees believe that with his blessings they can achieve bliss and good health in life. 

Shakti aspect represented at Shrine

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