23 November 2017

2017 Karthigai Deepam Festival: Vinayaka and Chandikeswarar Utsavam—Thursday, November 22, 2017

On the third day previous to the beginning of the 10-day Karthigai Festival, Lord Vinayaka and Chandikeswarar Utsavam is observed. 

The panchamoorthies taken in procession throughout the celebratory Karthigai Deepam Festival are: 

Vinayaka, Arunachaleswarar-Unnamulai, Amman, Kartikeya and Chandikeswarar.  

Chandikeswarar represents all devotees and follows the other murtis in procession as their steward. He is the embodiment of devotion and piety and the position he attained is considered the highest a devotee of Siva is privileged with.

The legend behind the reason for this great honour goes as follows:-
“Chandikeswarar, 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 lingams 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 lingams in anger. Young Vicharasarman 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 Chandikeswarar.”

Lord Vinayaka Alangaram

Chandikeswarar Alangaram

Lord Vinayaka and Chandikeswarar Alangarams

Leaving the Siva Sannidhi

The Lords on their respective Vahanas

Taking darshan of Arunachala

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