Lord Vinayaka and Manikkavasakar
This Sunday, we have a post about the relationship between Lord Vinayaka and Manikkavasakar.
Manikkavasakar has not mentioned anything about Lord Vinayaka in his Thiruvasakam. But, Lord Vinayaka was related to him very much in his life. Let us see a very rare story.
In those days, from the Pandya empire to reach the Chola Empire, they had to go through Aavudaiyarkoil. Aavudaiyarkoil was called Thiruperundurai in those days.
There was a rest house for travelers. There was a Vinayaka temple near that rest house without a roof. Lord Vinayaka present there receives the heat from the sun and gives shelter to travelers. He is known as 'Veyil Katha Pillaiyar'(வெயில் காத்த பிள்ளையார்). There are many places where Vinayaka is present without a roof. He is known in those places as 'Veyil Ugantha Pillaiyar'(வெயில் உகந்த பிள்ளையார்). The difference between them is as follows. In other places, Lord Vinayaka receives heat from the sun to experience the suffering of common people and he alone doesn't want to be unaffected while everybody are affected. Whereas here, Lord Vinayaka takes all the heat so that travelers do not have to suffer during their journey.
Once, Thiruvaadhavurar(திருவாதவூரர்) later called as Manikkavasakar, came to this place to horses for the Pandya king and stayed in this rest house. Lord Vinayaka- Veyil Katha Pillaiyar(வெயில் காத்த பிள்ளையார்), gave his Darshan to him in the form of all 3 Brahma-Vishnu and Shiva. Lord Vinayaka said "Oh Great One! Do me a favour. Construct a temple for Supreme God(பரப்ரஹ்மம்). Don't ask me how to construct a temple for a formless one and a characterless one. It is not possible to build a temple directly for it, but shouldn't all people have a clear idea that there is such a philosophy"?
"Of all idols, only Shiva Linga is a formless one while others have a form. It is said formless because it doesn't have hands and legs like a normal one. However it is not completely formless as it is oval in the top. So, we call it Aruvuruvam(அருவுருவம்). The plinth or the base(known as Aavudaiyar ஆவுடையார்) of the Shiva Linga is the form of all the 3 Gods- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. All the people think Shiva Linga as if it has a form. Of course, it is the nature of the humans in this Earth. For people to know there is also such a philosophy, you build a temple only with the plinth (ஆவுடையார்) that represents alll 3 Supreme Gods. Leave the top empty without installing Lingam. Empty doesn't mean nothing, it is indeed the root of all existence in the universe. Name the god as Athmanatha Swami to propagate the above message. But immediately don't start the work. Wait for a few days till you have the darshan of my father in the form of a Guru teaching Atma Tatva. After that, you start the work of the temple."
As said by Lord Vinayaka, Lord Shiva appeared as a Brahmana. Thiruvadhavurar received the Upadesa of Atma Tatva from the Lord. He attained enlightenment and later composed Thiruvasakam and got the name Maanikkavasakar. He built the temple as instructed by Lord Vinayaka. Since the sanctorum had only Aavudaiyar (ஆவுடையார்), people started referring the temple and the place as Aavudaiyarkoil. Goddess Parvati is also formless in this temple with the name 'Yogambika'. He also consecrated 3 Pillaiyars in this temple showing that Lord Vinayaka and the 3 Supreme Gods are the same.