Author Topic: The glory of Madurai  (Read 1401 times)

Subramanian.R

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The glory of Madurai
« on: February 13, 2009, 11:19:03 AM »
Madurai has got many glorious past history.  It was primarily ruled by Pandya Kings and this was their capital.  This is where the Third
Tamil Sangam was established and Nakkirar was the Head.  Nakkirar
the celebrated poet fought with Siva over a literary point and Siva has to punish him for finding fault with His poetry.  He suffered burns in the body, went to Pazhamudir Cholai and performed tapas.
During his meditation, he was tricked by a demon and imprisoned.
Muruga saved him, by killing the demon.  Nakkirar sang here the famous Tiru Murugatru Padai.

Somasundara, Siva of Madurai is famous for his 64 holy plays in
Madurai. He made Nedumaran, the Pandya King, to get cured from the burning sickness, through Tiru Jnana Sambandhar.  Nedurmaran who had embraced Jainism also returned to Saivism thereafter.

Later during Manikkavachagar's time, around 6th C.AD. Siva made a lot of plays here.  He helped Manikkavachagar from the wrath of the king for having misused the money given by the king to Manikkavachagar for buying horses, with which the saint constructed
Tiru Perundurai temple! Siva made foxes into horses and 'sold' them to king.  The horses at nightfall became foxes and created hell. When the king wanted to punish the saint Manikkavachagar, Siva intervened and saved the saint.

In another interesting play, a girl married a boy, in secrecy, without parents' approval with one Vanni Tree, a well and Siva as witnesses.
When the boy disowned her later, she called the witnesses inside the temple, before the King and these three appeared inside the temple.
Even today, there is a well, a Siva Linga and a Vanni tree inside the temple.  There are 64 such plays, sung in Tiru Vilaiyadal Puranam, by Sage Paranjoti in Tamil.  This work was composed around 11th century.

Regardless of Siva's plays and tricks, it is Meenakshi, the Princess
and the daughter of Malayadvaja Pandya, who steals the show.  She is more famous in Madurai, than Siva, Sri Somasundara.  Unlike Chidambaram, where Siva, Nataraja,  takes all the glory, and Sivakami, the goddess is a mute consort.

In Tiruvannamalai, they carry equal importance, with Siva and
Sakti, concorporate.

Arunachala Siva.