|The twelve volumes of Tamil Śaiva hymns of the sixty-three Nayanars|
|Paadal Petra Sthalam|
|Paadal Petra Sthalam|
The Paadal Petra Sthalam, also known as Thevara Sthalam, are 275 temples that are revered in the verses of Saiva Nayanars in the 6th-9th century CE and are amongst the greatest Shiva temples of the continent. The Divya Desams by comparison are the 108 Vishnu temples glorified in the poems of the contemporary Vaishnava Alvars of Tamil Nadu, India
Thevaram literally means "garland of divine songs" and refers to the collection of verses sung praising Shiva, the primary god of the Shaivite sect of Hindu religion, by three Tamil poets known as Saiva Kuruvars - Thirugnana Sambanthar, Tirunavukkarasar (aka Appar) and Sundaramoorthy Nayanar (aka Sundarar). The three are considered the primary three among the sixty three Nayanmars of the Saivite sect of Hinduism. The former two lived during the 7th century CE while the latter around 8th century CE. All songs in Thevaram are believed to be in sets of ten songs, called pathikam in Tamil. Some musical experts consider Thevaram as a divine musical form. There is a common view that Sanskritization of names of the temples are carried out in later period that superseded the names mentioned in Thevaram - some of the common examples are Chidambaram as against Tillai in Thevaram and Kumbakonam as against Kudanthai.
The 275 temples that are mentioned in Thevaram are referred as Paadal Petra Thalam, meaning the temples that were sung in the verses. On the contrary, Vaippu Thalam are temples that were mentioned casually in the songs in Thevaram and lacking a mention of those temples. In modern times, the verses of Tevaram are sung daily and during the festive occasions in most Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu by musicians called Odhuvars.
Manikkavacakar is considered the 4th in the line of Saiva Kuravars, whose verses are classified as Thiruvasagam. There is a saying that "Thiruvasagathuku urugar, oru vasagathukum orugar" meaning the person who does not budge for thiruvasagam won't budge for anything else.
Paadal Petra ThalangalEdit
There are around 276 temples that are revered by the verses of Shaiva Nayanmars and are amongst the greatest Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu there are 267 temples, 2 temples in Andhra pradesh, 1 temple in kerala, 1 temple in karnataka, 2 temples in Uttarakhand, 2 temples in Sri Lanka, 1 temple in Nepal, and Tirukailayam in Mount Kailash. The list is as shown below.
Pancha Bootha ThalangalEdit
This refers to the temples that are the manifestation of the five elements - Land, water, air, sky, fire.
|Air||Sri Kalahastheeswara Swami Temple||Kalahasthi, Andhra Pradesh|
Pancha Sabhai ThalangalEdit
|Rathinachabai||Vada aaranyeswarar Temple||Thiruvalangadu||Emerald|
|Vellichabai||Meenakshi Amman Temple||Madurai||Silver|
Ashta Veerattam ThalangalEdit
The temples where Shiva is believed to have performed with fury. The eight temples are in 1. Thiruvadhikai 2. Thirukoyilur 3. Thirukkadayur 4. Vazhoovur 5. Thirukkurakaval ( kurukkai ) 6. Thiruppaliyalur 7. Thirukandiyur 8. Thiruvirkudi.
The Thyagarajar Temple at Tiruvarur is famous for the ajapa natanam (dance without chanting), that is executed by the deity itself. According to legend, a Chola king named Mucukunta obtained a boon from Indra (a celestial deity) and wished to receive an image of Thyagaraja Swamy (presiding deity, Shiva in the temple) reposing on the chest of reclining Vishnu. Indra tried to misguide the king and had six other images made, but the king chose the right image at Tiruvarur. The other six images were installed in ThiruNallaaru, Nagapattinam, Tirukarayil, Tirukolili, Thiruvaaimur and Tirumaraikadu. All the seven places are villages situated in the river Cauvery delta. All seven Thyagaraja images are said to dance when taken in procession(it is the bearers of the processional deity who actually dance). The temples with dance styles are regarded as Saptha Vidangam (seven dance moves) and the related temples are as under:
|Temple||Vidangar Temple||Dance pose||Meaning|
|Thyagarajar Temple, Tiruvarur||Vidhividangar||Ajaba Natanam||Dance without chanting, resembling the dance of Sri Thyagaraja resting on Vishnu's chest|
|Dharbaranyeswarar Temple, Tirunallar||Nagaravidangar||Unmatha natanam||Dance of an intoxicated person|
|Kayarohanaswamy Temple, Nagapattinam||Sundaravidangar||Vilathi natanam||Dancing like waves of sea|
|Kannayariamudayar Temple, Thirukarayil||Adhividangar||Kukuda natanam||Dancing like a cock|
|Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirukkuvalai||Avanividangar||Brunga natanam||Dancing like a bee that hovers over a flower|
|Vaimoornaathar Temple, Tiruvaimur||Nallavidangar||Kamala natanam||Dance like lotus that moves in a breeze|
|Vedaranyeswarar Temple, Vedaranyam||Bhuvanivividangar||Hamsapatha natanam||Dancing with the gait of a swan|
The sapthasthanam festival is conducted at Tiruvaiyaru during April every year. Hundreds of people witness the convergence of seven glass palanquins carrying principal deities of respective temples from seven places at Tiruvaiyaru. The palanquins are paraded near the car stand, the crowd witnessed the Poochorithal(flower festival) in which a doll offers flowers to the principal deities in the palanquins. After the Poochorithal, the palanquins leave for their respective places. The seven temples are
Saptha Mangai StalangalEdit
The seven temples are
|Chakravageshwarar Temple||Chakravageshwarar/Devanayagi||Chakramangai||Chakkarapalli, Thanjavur|
|Arimutheeswarar Temple||Arimutheeswarar/Gnambikai||Harimangai||Ariyamangai, Thanjavur|
|Krithivageswarar temple||Krithivageswarar/Alangaravalli||Soolamangai||Soolamangalam, Thanjavur|
|Jambugeswarar Temple||Jambugeswarar/Akilandeswari||Nandimangai||Tirupullamangai, Thanjavur|
|Pasumangai Temple||Pasupatiswarar/Palvalainayagi||Pasumangai||Thirukkandiyur, Thanjavur|
|Chandramouleeswarar Temple||Chandramouleeswarar/Rajarajeswari||Thazhamangai||Thazhamangai, Thanjavur|
|Tirupullamangai Temple||Alandurainathar/Soundaranayagi||Pullamangai||Pullamangai, Thanjavur|
Aathara Stalam indicates the places which are considered to be giving impersonification of Tantric chakras associated with human anatomy. Annamalaiyar temple is called the Manipooraga stalam associated with Manipooraga the human anatomical cause for spiritual ignorance, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness and sadness. 4 temples are located in Tamil Nadu, one in Andhra Pradesh, and one at Varanasi.
(Sanskrit: आज्ञा, ājñā [aːɟɲaː])
|Brain directly behind eyebrow||Natarajar Temple||Chidambaram|
(Sanskrit: विशुद्ध, Viśuddha)
|Neck region near spine||Sri Kalahastheeswara Swami Temple||Kalahasthi|
(Sanskrit: अनाहत, Anāhata)
|Central channel behind spine||Kashi Vishwanath Temple||Varanasi|
(Sanskrit: मणिपूर, Maṇipūra)
|Spine directly behind the navel||Arunachaleshwarar Temple||Thiruvannamalai|
(Sanskrit: स्वाधिष्ठान, Svādhiṣṭhāna)
|One's own abode||Thiruvanaikaval||Trichy|
(Sanskrit: मूलाधार, Mūlādhāra)
|Basal end of the spinal||Thyagaraja Swamy Temple||Tiruvarur|
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