Thiruvilwamala Vilwadrinatha Temple, Palakkad, Kerala

 Thiruvilwamala Vilwadrinatha Temple is a temple for Lord Vishnu. It is located nearly 30 kms from   Pallakad town amidst numerous small hills. It is considered as a Rama, Lakshmana temple. Bharathapuzha is 3 kms away from this temple.

There are two shrines for Lord Vishnu with Chakra, Conch, lotus and mace - one faces east and other facing west.

The one facing east is considered as Lord Rama. But it has the serpent Anantha above with Sridevi and Bhoodevi on both sides. It is said to have been installed by Sage Amalaka. He is said to have performed intense tapas by eating only Gooseberry (Amla) fruits and praying to the Lord.

The one facing east is considered as Lord Lakshmana. It is said to have been installed by Sage Parasurama as an expiation for his sin of killing Khatriyas. Both the vigrahas are made from a special variety of stone called "Pathalanjana Sila".

Why this temple is considered as a Rama/Lakshmana temple is not clear. There are inscriptions of sages Nara/ Narayana on the ceiling of the temple entrance.

This temple is also considered a Shiva temple and the deity is also treated as Sankaranarayanan. There are vilwa trees sorrounding this temple and it is said that a golden vilwa tree lies beneath the hill.On special days associated with Lord Shiva, like Mahashivaratri, Pradosha vrata and Mondays, many people visit Thiruvilwamala Temple.

There is a shrine for Mahaganathi and Lord Hanuman. On climbing a set of down steps, there is a Lord Iyappa temple. What is unique is that Lord Ayppa is seen with Lord Shiva and Parvathi in the same shrine.  There is also a shrine for Brahmarakshas. There is also  Naga devata temple nearby.

The legend related to this temple is from a text, called “Sri Vilwadri Mahatmya” which 18 chapters, which describes the origins of this age-old temple.

There is also the Parakkottukavu Bhadrakali temple 1 kms from the Rama temple.

This temple is a perfect place for mediation amidst the rocks, tall trees and the overall calm atmosphere.  The main festival is during Guruvayur Ekadasi and Seeveli with elephants is conducted during this temple for 41 days mornings and evenings.

Punarjani Guha is open only during Guruvayur Ekadasi for general public.


A simple no-frills Dewaswom guest house with rooms are available. There is small vegetarian restaurant outside the temple.

Valikeshwara Shiva temple of Batlagundu


Our country is gifted with a number of small and large temples of great antiquity. One such shrine which is very small temple but has a great history behind it is the Valikeshwara Shiva temple of Batalagundu.

It is located on the banks of Vegavati river (nowadays called Vaigai) near the town of Batalagundu, enroute Kodaikanal. It has all the aspects of a perfect Shiva temple - located away from the town, near a river and near a cremation ground on a slightly hilly terrain.

This temple is known for the Varuna japam puja which is conducted till date. This is a puja to pray to the lord for copious rains during drought or insufficent rains. Continous abhishekam is performed to the Shiva linga with water till the end of the japam. There are various rules for performing Varuna japam such as avoiding food with salt on the days of the japa.

This is a first hand experience of a person who witnessed the Varuna japam performed in 1930s - 40s  in this temple and we have given a verbatium translation - " In those days, agriculture was more important than what it is today. Whenever there was a drought or lesser than usual rains, the village elders would decide on doing the Varuna japam along with Rudram chanting. They would fast and come to the temple to start the pujas. One set of people will be performing the abhishekam to Shiva and another group would go the nearby Vaigai river and stand inside the water till their neck. It must be noted that in those times even when the rains were not enough there was never a time the river went dry. It was before the construction of the dam across vaigai (~1960). Standing inside the river waters the varuna japam would commence. It would go on for several hours. Finally after pujas completion, prasadam was served to all. The ghee flowing from the sweet pongal prasadam would make the entire hand oily. Then they would start returning back to their homes by walk and it would be closer to evening. Batlagundu village (or today's town) was nearly 5-6 kms away. Here is where the fun starts. The moment they step out of the area, rains would start. It was an custom not to use any umbrella or any other things which would prevent the rain water from falling on them. If they used an umbrella then the rains would stop. The rains would continue till late in the night."

It was the strong faith of our ancestors on the grace of Lord Shiva that such a thing could happen those days.

Initially, there was only a shrine for Lord Shiva. Recently, shrines for Ambaal and Lord Subramanya have been added. This temple is open only on Monday mornings and that too for only few hours due to the remote location of the temple.

Gajasamharamurti of Vazhuvoor


        Tamil Nadu has many unique groups of temples dedicated to various groups of deities. Among such groups dedicated to Lord Siva are the “Ashta Veera Sthanams” or “Atta Veerattanams” as they are commonly known. These eight temples are known as “Veera Sthanams” or sites of valour because Lord Siva is believed to have performed one valorous feat in each of these sthalams:

1.      Thirukkovilur – Andhakasura-vadha-murti – slaying the demon Andhaka

2.      Thiruvadhigai – Tripurantakamurti – destroying the three cities of three asuras

3.      Korukkai – Kamadahanamurti – burning Kamadeva or Manmatha with his third eye

4.      Kandiyur – Brahma-shirashchhedaka-murti – cutting of Brahma’s fifth head as Bhairava

5.      Thirukkadaiyur – Kalasamharamurti – saving Markandeya from Kala or Yama

6.      Thiruppariyalur – Virabhadra – destroying Daksha’s yajna

7.      Vazhuvur – Gajasamharamurti – slaying the rogue elephant

8.      Thiruvirkudi – Jalandhara-vadha-murti – slaying the asura Jalandhara

The Veeratteshwarar temple in Vazhuvoor, a village in the Kuthalam taluk of Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu, is believed to be the site where Lord Siva killed Gajasura, the elephant demon, and wore his hide as a shawl.

The Rudra Samhita of the Siva Mahapurana contains an account of the story of Gajasura’s defeat at the hands of Lord Siva (Section 5 - Yuddha Khanda, Chapter 57). Gajasura was the son of Mahishasura who was killed by Goddess Durga as Mahishasuramardini. Wanting to take revenge for his father’s death, Gajasura did severe penance to propitiate Lord Brahma and obtained a boon from the creator god, “I shall not be killed by any man or woman who is overwhelmed by kama or lust.” As is the case with most asuras of yore, Gajasura began to terrorise all the worlds, and made his way to the city of Kashi, the capital city of Lord Siva. All the devas sought refuge in the Three-Eyed Lord who proceeded to Kashi to vanquish Gajasura and protect his devotees. After a long and terrible battle, the Lord who had burned Kama pierced Gajasura with his trisula, thus fulfilling the criterion of the demon’s boon. Realising his folly, Gajasura propitiated Lord Siva before giving up his life and asked for two boons –

यदि प्रसन्नो दिग्वासस्तदा दित्यं वसान मे।।

इमां कृत्तिं महेशान त्वत्त्रिशूलाग्निपाविताम् ।।५८।।

yadi prasanno Digvāsas-tadā dityam vasāna me

imām kṛttim Maheśāna tvat-triśūlāgni-pāvitām (verse 58)

Oh Sky-Clad Lord! Oh Maheśāna! If it pleases you, please wear this hide of mine which has been purified by the fire of your trident.


अन्यं च मे वरं देहि यदि तुष्टोऽसि शंकर ।।

नामास्तु कृत्तिवासास्ते प्रारभ्याद्यतनं दिनम् ।।६३।।

anyam ca me varam dehi yadi tuṣṭo`si Śaṅkara

nāmāstu Kṛttivāsāste prārabhyādyatanam dinam (verse 63)

Oh Śaṅkara! If you are pleased, grant me one more boon. From this day onwards, may you be known by the name Kṛttivāsa, one who wears the (elephant) hide.

Thenceforth, the Krittivaseshwara temple became one of the most important temples of Shiva in Kashi.

The Kurma Purana (Purvabhaga, chapter 32) has a slightly different version of the legend. Once, a daitya in the form of an elephant came to Varanasi and began to harass the sages who were performing penance and worshipping the Sivalinga. Lord Siva at once emerged out of the linga, killed the demon, tore his hide and wore it as a garment. Thus, he came to be known as Krittivaseshwara.

According to the sthala purana of the Vazhuvoor Veeratteshwarar temple, the sages who inhabited Darukavana (the forest of Daruka trees) became arrogant due to their spiritual prowess. Wanting to destroy their ego, Lord Siva took on the form of a mendicant, accompanied by Lord Visnu taking on his enchanting female form of Mohini, and the two of them entered the forest. While Visnu as Mohini distracted the sages, their wives were charmed by the handsome mendicant who had arrived. However, the sages soon realized that they were being cheated. They fuelled a great sacrificial fire out of which arose a great rogue elephant. When it attacked, Lord Siva entered its body. Unable to stand the fire of his presence in its belly, the elephant quickly entered the sacred spring called Pancha Brahma Teertha. The Lord then tore out of the body of the elephant and draped its hide around himself. The elephant here represents the ego which is torn out and destroyed once Lord Siva enters one’s heart.

The road leading up to the gopuram
(Photo by author) 

It is believed that at the time of Pralaya (the great dissolution of the universe), the village of Vazhuvoor escaped unharmed (vazhuvudhal in Tamil means to slip away or escape) and hence came to be known as Vazhuvoor. The Veeratteshwarar temple in Vazhuvoor is the only temple dedicated to the Gajasamharamurti form of Lord Siva. This form is immortalised here as a beautiful 4-foot-high Chola bronze icon in a separate shrine, the largest and only one of its kind. Lord Siva as Gajasamharamurti stands with majestic ease on the head of the elephant. Out of his eight arms, two arms are holding up the hide of the elephant above his head. The two legs of the elephant are visible near the two hands holding up the skin, as well as the tail. The hide itself becomes the prabhamandala or tiruvaasi (ring of flames) surrounding the Lord. His other arms hold various weapons and objects such as a trisula (trident), kapaala (skull bowl), khadga and khetaka (sword and shield), and a snake. He stands with his left knee bent and lifted high. The fact that the sole of the lifted foot is visible in front as a result of the graceful twist of the torso is a testament to the skill and expertise of the Chola sculptor.

The majestic Gajasamharamurti of Vazhuvoor 

Next to the Lord is another beautiful bronze icon of Devi Parvati carrying her infant son Muruga or Karttikeya on her waist. She stands with her feet turned away from Lord Siva as if she is about to walk away, but her face is turned to look up at her husband in awe and fear at his terrible yet wonderous feat. The little Murugan on her waist is turned towards his father with one hand pointing to him. It is believed when Lord Siva did not emerge out of the elephant, Parvati became worried and dejected and began to turn away when young Muruga suddenly pointed and cried out that his father had torn through the elephant’s body and come out. This has been skilfully depicted in bronze here. Together, the bronze icons of this divine family is an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

Devi Parvati with the little Muruga on her right waist

Apart from the bronzes of Gajasamharamurti and Parvati Devi, other icons include those of Lord Siva as Bhikshatana (the mendicant) and Lord Vishnu as Mohini. The Sivalinga (moolavar) in this temple is a svayambhu lingam. The goddess is known as Balankurambikai or Ilankilai Nayaki. The mandapam or hall where the shrine of Gajasamharamurti is housed is known as Jnana Sabha. The teertha (sacred water source) here comprises of five wells and is hence known as Panchamukha Teertha or Panchabrahma Teertha. Usually the shrine for Nandi is followed directly by the shrine of Lord Siva. However in this temple, the temple tank lies between the Nandi shrine and the main shrine.

The temple tank with the gopuram
(photo by author)

Gajasamharamurti and Parvati with Muruga are the utsavamurtis of the temple. It is believed that the killing of the rogue elephant took place on the day of Maasi Magha (February-March), hence the Gaja-samhara is celebrated on that day every year when the utsavamurtis are brought out in procession.

Vazhuvoor is a very significant place in the field of Indian classical dance, and Bharatanatyam in particular. Among the major baanis or sub-styles in Bharatanatyam, “Natya Kala Kesari” Guru Vazhuvoor B. Ramaiah Pillai (1910-1991) was the fountainhead of the Vazhuvoor baani of Bharatanatyam. Till date, practitioners of this substyle begin their dance recitals with the traditional todayam or invocatory song of the Vazhuvoor Gajasamharamurti temple.

ஜயசுத்தபுரிவாஸ ஜயமஹாஞானசபேச


ஶ்ரீக்ருத்திவாஸேச்வரருக்கு ஜயமங்களம்

ஶ்ரீ பாலாங்குரம்பிகைக்கு சுபமங்களம்

பஞ்சப்ரஹ்மதீர்தகர்தருக்கு நித்யமங்களம்

பக்தசுவாமிநாதனுக்கு க்ருபைசெய்யநித்யமங்களம்

jaya śuddhapurivāsa jaya mahājñānasabheśa

jaya Gajasamhāreśa jaya Kṛttivāseśa jaya jaya

Śrī Kṛttivāseśvararukku jaya maṅgaḷam

Śrī Bālāṅkurambikaikku śubha maṅgaḷam

Pañcabrahmatīrthakartarukku nitya maṅgaḷam

Bhakta Svāmināthanukku kṛpai seyya nitya maṅgaḷam


        A rendition of this todayam by Guru Vazhuvoor R. Samraj (son of Guru Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai) and the Bombay Sisters is there at the beginning of this YouTube video. 

          A most wonderful video of the utsavamurtis of the Vazhuvoor temple in procession is available on YouTube.



The Śiva Purāṇa Part 2, transl. by J. L. Shastri. Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi. 2002.

Śiva Purāṇa (original Sanskrit) – Wikisource

The Kūrma Purāṇa Part 1. Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi. 1998.

Kūrma Purāṇa (original Sanskrit) – Wikisource

Vazhuvoor Veeratteshwarar sthala puranam –


Thirunedungalam - Shri Nedungalanathar Shiva Temple

 Thirunedungalam - Shri Nedungalanathar Shiva Temple

We all must have read many of our “Stotra granthas” i.e Soundarya Lahari, Shivananda Lahari and Lalitha Sahasranamam etc. However, when we go to any temple, Would we anytime interpret some slokas or names of “Sahasranamas” with the presiding deities of the particular temple and get mesmerized.  The answer may be yes/no depending upon individual person. Now, let us go to one temple which is situated amid of paddy fields in small village but being a testimony to the various names of Lalitha Sahasranamam.

The temple is “Thirunedungalam Shri Nedungalanathar Temple”.

Thirunedungalam temple entrance


This temple is in Trichy district, Tamilnadu and 21KM from Trichy.

There is place called Thuvakkudi in Trichy to Thanjavur route 17 KM from Trichy and There is separate route on left side from Thuvakkudi and Thirunedungalam is being at 4th KM in that route.

On the other route, it is 42 KM away from Thanjavur.

There are buses available from Trichy Chathram bus station towards Maangavanam and these buses are used to go through Thirunedungalam. The best option is to arrange private cabs from Trichy and covers these area and devotees can have dharshan of another temple nearby i.e Thiruverumbur,

Significance of the Temple:

  • This temple is one among the 275 temples mentioned in Tamil devotional literature called Tevaram.
  • An ardent devotee and Tamil Sage Thirugnanasambandar came to this temple on 7th century and praised the deity in 10 beautiful verses in Tamil and the same is being currently called as “Idar Kalaiyum Pathigam in Tamil”. It means, the 10 verses are capable of eradicating all difficulties of an individual who recites it.
  • These ten verses of Thirugnanasambandar predominantly speaks about various incidents from Puranas of Mahadeva and the devotee the one who always remembers the same will eventually overcome all the obstacles due to the blessings of Thirunedungalam Shri Nedungalanathar
  • The great sage among all sages Agasthiyar came to this temple and established a well and worshipped Nedungalanathar and The respective well is still there in the temple and being called in the name of “Agasthiya teertham”
  • Since the mahadeva blessed the Chozha king with his wedding dharshan, Shri Nedungalanathar is also being called as “Nithya Sundareshwarar”.
  • There are around 50 inscriptions in this temple complex from Pallava dynasty to, Chozhas, Pandyas and till Vijayanagara kingdoms. The walls of inner Prakara richly possess the inscriptions of the Uttama chozha, great Raja Raja Chozha 1, Rajendra Chozha 1, Kulothunga I and Kulothunga III, Raja Raja III.
  • The inscriptions of Vijayanagara period denotes Thirunedungalam as a “Dakshina Kailash”.
  • According to Raja Raja III period inscription, Thirunedungalam was being called as “Thiyagavallai Chaturvedimangalam - a brahmadeya”.
  • Almost all inscriptions speaks about various donations to temples for worship and construction of various parts of temples.
  • Interestingly, one inscription speaks about the construction worker named “Thambikkunallar” who had done construction as well as repair work several times at this temple and also mentions about subsequent endowment of land and house by king to him.
  • Every year on the mornings of 7th to 12th of Tamil month Aadi (July-August or Aashada) – Surya worships Shri Nedungalanathar through his rays.

Thirunedungalam temple inside


Dakshinamoorthy is unique in this temple, This particular posture is being called as “Rajalingasana Dkashinamoorthy” and it is one among the 64 forms of Mahadeva.

Rajalingasana Dakshinamoorthy – here he sits in “Siddhashanam” and bears “deer as well as “Mazhu”” in his upper arms and shows chinmudra in lower arm and bears “box of vibhuti (ash from cow dung)” in his lower left arm and encircled the left leg.

Thirunedungalam dakshinamoorthy

Shri Nedungalanathar and Lalitha Sahasranamam”

According to kshetra Mahatmyam of this temple, Godess Parvati is also being there along with Shri Nedungalanathar inside the “gharbhagriha (Sanctum)”.

Due to this, Shivalinga is being there bit left side after leaving space for Parvati and Shivalinga is not exactly at the centre of sanctum. However, we are unable to see the goddess inside here why??. Since here she is being “formless” or “Aroopam state”.

Since Goddess is also present inside the sanctum along with Shri Nedungalanathar, here the Shri Nedungalanathar is also being called as “Ardha- narishwar” and there are two Vimanams at the top of sanctum to denote the togetherness of Parvati and Mahadeva.

Hence, overall, Parvati is being in formless state and being with Shri Nedungalanathar at same sanctum.

Thirunedungalam Prakaram

Following are few of names from Lalitha Saharanamam which describes this unique nature of Parvati as she is being in Thirunedungalam and also about her unbreakable togetherness with Mahadeva.

Nirakara & Nirguna – Parvati who does not have any shape & Parvati who is beyond any charecterstics. In Thirunedungalam temple – Her formless or shapeless state and being beyond characterstics are testament to this two names as glorified in Lalitha Sahasranamam and also core to the Advaita vedanta’s definition of Parabrahma as established by Aadhi Shankaracharya.

Shiva-Sakthi-Aikya-rupini (शिवशक्तैक्यरूपिणी) – Parvati who is the union of Shiva and Sakthi into one form. Despite we have seen Parvati with Shiva in Ardhanareeshwara form as a unified form in various other temples, this particular state of goddess in Thirunedungalam is unique. Here Mahadeva is being in Shiva linga which is also “Sakala nishkala form (either form or formless)” and Parvati is being “Nirakara (formless)”.


Shri-KanThardha-Sareerini (श्रीकण्ठार्धशरीरिणी) – Parvati who possesses half of the body of ShrikanTha OR Parvati who is in the form of Ardhanarishwara – When we remember this name & connect this with Thirunedungalam sanctum, there is no further explanation required. Her state here is as same as this particular name glorified in Lalitha Sahasranamam.


Kaantaardha vigraha (कान्तार्धविग्रहा) – Parvati who is half the body of her husband – This name is as same as the above one. However, the small difference here is that, this name explicitly says that she is half of her husband and the meaning of the earlier name is that she is half of Mahadeva (Shri Kantan).


We might have done the “Parayanam” of Lalitha Sahasranamam many times. But when we come to this Temple at Thirunedungalam, we will be able to get amazed that how many of the unique names of Lalitha Sahasranamam are being alive here practically and this temple is really being a living testament to various names as mentioned in Lalitha Sahasranamam.

Source: “Ashtashta moorthangal” book in Tamil published by Narmada publication and written by Shri.R Ramakrishnan


Thirupudaimaruthur - Putarjuneshwarar Temple


There are three Shiva Temples with Arjuna Tree as a “Sthala-vruksham”. They are

  • Srisailam – Mallikarjuna Jyothirlinga Temple, Andhrapradesh
  • Thiruvidaimaruthur – Mahalinga Swamy Temple, Tamil nadu
  • Thirupudaimaruthur – Putarjuneshwar Temple, Ambasamudhram Taluk, Tirunelveli district, Tamil nadu.

Arjuna Tree:

It is called Marudha Maram in Tamil, Arjun in Hindi. In Sanskrit, Arjuna means either bright or white. The flowers of Arjuna tree are white in color

The significance of the Arjuna Tree are mentioned in various Ayurveda texts. Astanga Hridaya of Vagbhata explicitly speaks about the Arjuna tree. The below slokas are in Chapter 15 of Astanga Hridaya and This chapter deals with various herbs which are used in Panchakarma (Ayurveda treatmeents).

न्यग्रोधपिप्पलसदाफलरोध्रयुग्मं जम्बूद्वयार्जुनकपीतनसोमवल्काः प्लाक्षाम्रवञ्जुलप्रियालपलाशनन्दीकोलीकदम्बविरलामधुकं मधूकम्

Nyagrodha, Pippala, Sadaphala, the two Rohra, the two Jambu, Arjuna, Kapitana, Somavalka,

Plaksa, Amra, Vanjula, Piyata, Patasa, Nanon, kon, Kadamba, Virala, Madhuka and Madhuka-


नयग्रोधादिर्गणो व्रण्यः सङ्ग्राही भग्नसाधनः मेदः पित्तास्रतृड्दाहयोनिरोगनिर्बहणः

this nyarodhadi group is good for wounds/ ulcers, cause constipation, unites fractures, cures fat accumulation, bleeding disease, thirst, burning sensation, and diseases of Vagina. 41-42


The flowers, barks, leafs and fruits of Arjuna tree have the capability to cure the heart ailments, even it is being touted as a “Guardian of Heart”. Various Ayurveda texts including Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita speaks about qualities as well as medicinal properties of Arjuna tree.

In this context, this Arjuna tree (Maruda vruksham) is being associated with three shiva temples as mentioned above. Out of this three temples, SriSailam temple in Andhra Pradesh is being the most famous one since it is one among 12 jyothirlinga kshetras and Thiruvidaimaruthur temples is also famous among Aasthikas but not to the extent of Srisailam. However, another Shiva Temple “Thirupudaimaruthur or Putarjuna kshetram in Sanskrit” is not that quite popular.

Thirupudaimaruthur – Kshetra Mahatmyam:

Brahma, Narayana, Mahalakshmi, Saraswati and all devas requested Mahadeva to show them the great place to worship him in Bharatavarsha. Mahadeva asked Brahma to throw his brahma dhanda into Ganga and Asked all devas to follow the Brahma dhanda and where it stops, the respective place would be the one which all devas aspired.

Thirupudaimaruthur Temple Entrance

Similarly, the brahma dhanda reached the merging point of “Tamraparni river and Sea” and then it traveled against the flow of Tamraparni river towards western side and stopped at the sangham point of “Tamraparni river with its tributary Kadana river”. In this place, all devas along with Brahma and Narayana established the Shiva linga and worshipped it along with brahma dhanda. The same Brahma dhanda can be even seen now in front of goddess ‘Gomathi ambal” sanctum.

This particular shiva linga later submerged into the sand. After long time, the local pandya king came to the banks of Tamraparni river while chasing a deer. The respective deer went downwards of the “arjuna tree” and While chasing it, the king located the Shiva linga and re-established it with full grandeur in a newly constructed temple. The downside part of arjuna tree where the deer disappeared can be even seen today on the back side of the temple near the shrine of Ganesha.

From Tamraparni Mahatmyam:

Following are excerpts from the Tamraparni Mahatmyam,

When the Sage among Sages Agasthya the one who brought the Tamraparni river along with him during his Dhakshina Bharata yatra, came to this kshetra along with his wife Lopamudra, When he entered this kshetra, he reached the eternal happiness and following are his expression while had a dharshan of this Maha kshetram Thirupudaimaruthur

“Agasthya Maharishi saw the The shiva linga which was there inside “Arjuna tree (Marudha tree)” – The one which possess the Brahmananda, Tapopala (the desired results through penance) of Agasthya, the nectar drop emerged from the ocean”.

Aadhi Manu and Thirupudaimaruthur:

As per the guidance of Agasthya, Aadhi manu the one who is the first “manushya” as per our Puranas intent to worship all the “Swayambu linga ksthetras on earth” and reached Thirupudaimaruthur. While reaching, he had seen that Mahalakshmi, Saraswati and all devas near the Arjuna tree on the banks of Tamraparni river and while he came near, they all had disappeared in the tree and he took his knife and tried to cut the tree. But due to divine intervention, he realised the presence of Mahadeva and built the temple and later the temple built by Manu turned ruins.

Thirupudaimaruthur Temple History

Devendra and Brahma hathi dosha”

Another important aspect associated with all these three shiva temples which are associated with “Arjuna tree” is its ability to wash away the “Brahma hathi dosha”.

In Thirupudaimaruthur, Devendra got relieved from Brahma hathi dosha after taking punya Snanam in Tamraparni & Kadana river sagham point and after worshipping “Putarjuneshwar”. Devendra got this Brahma hathi dosha since he killed his guru “Vrudhrasura” who was deva guru for brief period of time and this particular remedy told by Brahspathi to Indra.

Indra came to this Thirupudaimaruthur and took punya Snanam in “Tamil month – Thai & Pusya Nakshatram and Guru horai” and got relieved from his Brahma hathi dosha.

This particular incident is still even today being celebrated as a festivel in “Tamil month – Thai Pusya star day” as a “Tirthavari utsav. In this particular day, Utsav murthy of Putarjuneshwar comes to “Tamraparni river” bank in “Rishibha vahanam” and give dharshan to Indra’

Karuvur Chithar & Thirupudaimaruthur:

An ardent devotee of Shiva – Karuvur Chithar the one who was associated with the greatest king of Bharata varsha from Tamilnadu “Raja Raja Chola” came to the northern bank of Tamraparni river but he was unable to cross the river due to heavy floods. Due to his plead to mahadeva, Putarjuneshwar asked him to cross the river with the focused meditation on him. Similarly, Karuvur chithar crossed the river and had a dharshan of Putarjuneshwar.

Since Putarjuneshwar heard the pleading of Karuvur chithar, the shiva linga bit tilted on its left side and we can have a dharshan with the same tilted posture even today.

Thiruupudaimaruthur Temple Prakaram

Significance of the Temple:

  • Here, Tamraparni river flows northern wards “as a Uttara vahini” and turns eastern “as a Poorva vahini” exactly at this place. Whereever, the river flows northwards, the respective places are considered equivalent to Kashi since Ganga turns northwards when it enters the ever holy maha kshetra kashi.
  • Tamraparni River - Thirupudaimaruthur
  •   In Thirupudaimaruthur, another tributary of Tamraparni “Kadana river” merges with Tamraparni along with antarvahini Saraswati”. Due to the sangham of three rivers, “the place located on northern bank of Tamraparni” is being called as “Mukkudal (tamil name for Triveni sangham”
  • Thirupudaimaruthur temple is one among the three temples which has “Arjuna tree / Marudha maram in Tamil as a sthala vruksham.
  • Thirupudaimaruthur temple and Tamraparni river are one among the most sacred places in Bharatavarsha which have the potential to wash away the most harmful “Brahma hathya dosha”.
  • The person who has the mental illness comes to the temple and worshipped for 21 days will get cured.
  • According the “Tamraparni Mahatmyam”, there are 11 tirthas situated in Tamraparni river around this Thirupudaimaruthur temple.
  • Narayana, Mahalakshmi, Brahma, Saraswati and All devas have worshipped here.
  • The greatest sage among all sages “Agasthya” came and worshipped here and had his punya snanam along with his wife Lopamudra

Significance of Various Tirthas of Thirupudaimaruthur:

All this below mentioned tirthas are situated in Tamraparni river only but in various locations in and around Thirupudaimaruthur and they are not separate kunds or wells but all are in Tamraparni river only, All of these tirthas and Significance are mentioned in Tamraparni Mahatmyam

  • On the southern side of Putarjuneshwar Temple, there is tirtha called Putarjuesha tirtha or Devendra moksha tirtha which was earlier washed away the sins of Devendra,
  • On further south, there is tirtha called “Gowthama Tirtha” and Agasthya rishi did Snanam in this tirtham along with his wife lopamudra and did the Tarpanas to Rishis and devas.
  • Bit further south, there is a tirtha called “Paisasamochana tirtha” and who does the Snanam here won’t see the place of yema and they will directly liberate from the birth and death cycle.
  • Bit further south, there is tirtha called “Dhanadapavanam” which does wash away all sins i.e mahapapas.
  • Further down south, there is Sangham place where Tamaraparni river merges with Kadana river and Antarvahini Saraswati and the one who does the Snanam here will attain all his dharmic desires.
  • Bit further south, there is tirtha called “Maandavya tirtha”  and the one who does the Snanam here will reach Brahmaloka
  • On northern side, there is tirtham called “Vinayaka tirtha” and the one who does the Snanam here will get longevity of life.
  • On further north side, there is tirtha called “Karma tirtha” and the one who touches this tirtha will get relieved from all his/her karma cycles.
  • There is one more Tirtha called “Rakshashi vimochana tirtha” and the one who just sees this tirtha, will get relived from all sins.

Temple Architecture:

  • At Garbhagriha, Putarjuneshwar is there with tilted posture
  • Yoga Dakshina moorthy is an another main attraction in this temple.
  • Gomathi ambal Garbhagriha is located in the southern side of Putarjuneshwar.
  • Apart from this, there are shrines for Subramanya, Nataraja, Sahasra lingam, Bhairav etc.
  • At the entrance, there is sculpture of Pandya king who built this amazing temple.

  • Thirupudaimaruthur Temple Inside

Main Festivals

There is annual 10 days festival celebrated in Tamil month “Thai” ( in January / February) and the tenth day usually falls on Pushya nakshatra day. There will be “Tirthavari (the deity will come to Tamraparni river)” on this tenth day. This is the most significant annual festival and it related to temple’s kshetra mahatmiyam. There will be floating festival happening on this tenth day night and it is being called “Tepothsavam” in Tamil.

Apart from this, Maha shivratri, Aarudhra dharshan in December / January month, Poornima day in Krithika month are also being celebrated grandly.

Recently, Tamraparni Pushkaram was celebrated with full grandeur by all aasthikas.


Thirupudaimaruthur is a small village on the banks of Tamraparni river. It is in Ambasamudhram Taluk and Tirunelveli district and fully surrounded by Paddy fields and enriched forever by Tamraparni river.

It is located 28KM from Tirunelveli on western side. There are regular buses from Tirunelveli to Papanasam and the devlotees have to get down at the town called Veeravanallur and there are autos/ taxis available to Thirupudaimaruthur which is around 8KM from Veeravanallur. Devotees can also book private vehicle from Tirunelveli and which is the most convenient way.

Other Places to look around

  • This temple is situated along with other “Nava kailsha” temple.
  • Hence, when the devotees do the yatra to “Nava kailasha” temples, they can go to Thirupudaimaruthur also.
  • Gajendra moksha kshetram is very near to this temple.
  • Also, Brahmadesam which has one of the oldest shiva temple and the place where second guru of Kanchi kamakoti peetam got birth is also very near to this temple i.e around 8KM.

Temple Timing:

Temple is open for dharshan from morning 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM and evening 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM

Source: Tamraparni Mahatmyam Book,







Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswami

His Holiness Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamigal, the 33rd pontiff of Sringeri Sharada Peetham, was a divine personality who was the very personification of spiritual grace.

Born to a devout family with the Purvashrama name Shivaswami, His Holiness displayed an acute tendency towards divinity. One such example was when His Holiness Sri Narasimha Bharati Mahaswami, the 32nd Pontiff of Sringeri, at the time of wanting to choose a successor designate called upon the young Shivaswami who visited Sringeri to pay his respects to the Guru. The Guru, seated the young Shivaswami by His side and asked him what he wanted. The young Shivaswami quoted a verse from a prayer to the Lord Shiva, one among the many that establishes that the Guru is God in human form. This greatly impressed His Holiness who was impressed at the keen spiritual inclination of the young Shivaswami at the age of eight years and that reinforced without a doubt that He had found His successor designate in the young Shivaswami.

Having taken up Sannyasa in the year 1866 at the tender age of eight and given the Diksha name of Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamigal, His Holiness quickly ascended deeper into the spiritual doctrines and quickly established Himself as a matchless Yogi and an exalted being. On 27th june 1879, His installation ceremony took place. Universally hailed as an avatar of the great Adi Shankaracharya Himself, it was His Holiness who established irrefutably, Shankaracharya's birthplace as being Kalady. He was also responsible for starting the celebration of the Shankara Jayanthi festival in India and through His efforts that the collected works of Adi Shankaracharya were published as the Shaankara Granthavalli.

During the course of His reign as Pontiff, His Holiness undertook several tours to pilgrimage sites in and around Karnataka and different parts of India. Gokarna, Nanjangud, parts of Rameshwaram, etc. His Holiness was held in high esteem by the rulers of the various parts of India such as the Maharaja of Mysore and the Raja of Ramnad and the rulers, for their part were extremely blessed to have had an opportunity to contribute towards the causes of the math and thus secured His Holiness' grace in abundance.

His Holiness' keen sense of poetry and evocative hymns towards the various deities and His infinite capacity for Bhakti towards the Supreme cannot be understated. He was also an ardent devotee of Sri Sadashiva Brahmendral and composed hymns revering the Supreme Yogi. His Holiness' varied and beautiful hymns, shining through in spiritual splendour, can be found as part of the collection of His works titled Bhaktisudha Tarangini.

श्री सच्चिदानन्दशिवाभिनव्य नृसिंहभारत्यभिधान्यतीन्द्रान् ।

विद्यानिधीन् मन्त्रनिधीन् सदात्मनिष्ठान् भजे मानव शंभुरूपान् ॥

Salutations to Shri Sacchidananda Shiva Abhinava Nrisimha Bharati who is Shiva in human form, ever immersed in the Atman, a treasure of vedic learning and of mantric lore, Verily is He the king among sages.

Well known for His extraordinary mastery of the shastraic arts, His erudite wisdom, His captivating demeanor and His infinite compassion to every single one of His devotees, people from various parts of the world travelled to Sringeri to secure His grace. He shed His mortal coil on March 20, 1912 but His infinite grace and compassion will always be with those who think about Him with devotion.

A wonderfully detailed biography of His Holiness' life and teachings, is available in the Sringeri website for everyone interested in learning more about this esteemed saint of Sringeri.

Nerur Sadasiva Brahmendra - The Early Life and Enlightenment

This is a part of a series of articles on Sri Brahmendral

Brahmendral Life History -1

Brahmendral Life History -2

Sri Sadasiva Stava with translation

108 names of Brahmendral

Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra was born to a Telugu couple, Moksham Somasundara Avadhaani and Parvati in Madurai in Srivatsa Gotra of the Velnadu clan. Moksham was their family name.  Initially based in Madurai, His family later moved to Tiruvisainallur (also called Shahajirajapuram) near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.  Somasundara Avadhani was among the 46 eminent scholars who had received the grant of Tiruvisanallur Agrahara from king Shahaji (1684-1712) of Tanjore in 1693.

Somasundara Avadhani was disinterested in family life. So, the couple did not have a child till Avadhani reached 40 years of age. However, Parvathi was initiated into Rama Japa and advised her to chant it crores of times, so that every cell in her body would be charged with divinity and she would be purified in body, mind, and spirit. A child born of her then would be an extraordinary child and grow up to be a savior of the world.

 The couple then paid a visit to Rameswaram and prayed to Lord Ramanthaswamy of Rameswaram for a child.  The child born was named Sivaramakrishna. He was also called ‘Pichukuppan’ as it was customary in those days to name a child this way when the child was born after a long time.

Sadashiva had his early education in traditional subjects under Ramabhadra Dikshitar who lived in Tiruvisainallur.  Sri Sridhara Ayyaval of Tiruvisainallur and Bhagavan Nama Bodendral were his classmates in the Vedapatashala.

 At the age of 11, he got married. However, he left his home never to return. Soon, he took to sannyasa from an ascetic and was given the monastic name "Sadasivendra Sarasvati". He then went to Tiruvengadu to meet his Guru Paramasivendra Saraswathi. Sadashiva Brahmendra was so devoted to his Guru and named his Guru in all his works. He even composed poetic works like Navamani-mala and Gururathna maalika as a tribute to his Guru.

[The Jeeva Samadhi of Sri Paramashivendra Saraswati Guru of Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral, is in Tiruvengadu (Near the famous Buddha temple). Sri Swedaranyeswarar temple is situated at Thiruvenkadu, in Nagapattinam District, 59 Kms away from Kumbakonam.]


During the time spent with his Guru, Sadashiva Brahmendra, with immense knowledge and intellect would get into debates with scholars on various topics Vedanta. Invariably, he would defeat the scholar. On one of such days, one of the defeated scholars complained to his Guru about Sri Brahmendra's behavior. His Guru summoned him and asked a simple question "You are shutting down the mouth of others. But when will you shut your mouth?"

This simple question brought about a sea of change in Sri Bhamendra’s outlook and then on he went on a lifelong Mouna Vrata (Vow of Silence). He gradually withdrew from the world, introspected, and plunged into intense penance. He discarded all norms of accepted behaviors, wandered in the hills and alongside the river, Cauvery. When someone reported to Sri Paramashivendra that his disciple had gone insane, the Guru was delighted and exclaimed “Will I ever be so fortunate!”. He had realized that his disciple had attained liberation.

It has been said that, after taking sannyasa, he wandered around, semi naked, often in a trance-like state. He was reclusive and meditated most of the time and was described to be in a "supremely intoxicated state".

Records say that Sadasiva Brahmendra met the Tamil scholar-poet-devotee-philosopher Tayumanavar (1705 – 1742) in 1738 A.D. Even, Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman (Rajah of Pudukkottai) (1730-1769) subscribes to this meeting. 

 A letter is preserved in the “Saraswati mahal library” in Tanjavur, as evidence of the power of Sadashiva Brahmendra’s blessing. This letter was written by Asthana Vidwan Mallari Pandit from Deepambapuri to King Sarabhoji- I. The letter also mentions the saint handing over a copy of the "Atma Vidya Vilasam" to the king through Mallari Pandit. In fact, the king is said to have started the Saraswathi Mahal library on the instructions of the sage.

 He wrote several books on Advaita Vedanta. When he visited Sridhara Ayyaval, Ayyaval remarked about his happiness in his state of silence.  However, his Mouna Vrata brought an end to his singing (songs on Lord). So, from then on, he started writing several compositions out of which only 25 are available today.

Read: Part 2

Tattva Bodha - An English Translation


Tattva Bodha - 1

Vaasudevandra Yogindram nathva Gnaanam Pradham Gurum
Mumukshunaam Hitharthaaya TattvaBodhobhidhiyathae

Having prostrated Vaasudevandra Yogindram who is the embodiment of Knowledge, this work of Self-knowledge (Tattva Bodha) is expounded to the seekers.

 Tattva Bodha - 2

Saadhanachatushthayasampanna Adhikarinaam Moksha saadhana Bhootham Tattvavivekaprakaaram vakshyaamaha

Those who follow the four-fold qualification (Saadha Chatushthayam), which are the means for liberation, are told about the mode of discrimination.

Saadhana Chatushthayam Kim?
What is Saadhana Chatushthayam?

Nithya Anithya Vasthu Vivekaha {Discrimination between the real and the unreal}

Iham Uthraartha Phala Bhoga Viragaha {Dispassion to the enjoyment of fruits of one’s own action here and hereafter.}

Shamaadhi Shatka Sampatthihi {Six discipline starting from Sama}

Mumukshutvamchethi {Burning desire for liberation.}

1. Viveka {Discrimination}: Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal Objects

2. Vairagya {Dispassion}: Dispassion towards the enjoyment of the results of the actions.

3. Sat Sampthih {Discipline}: Six Disciplines which are Sama, Dhama, Uparama, Thithiksha, Shraddha and Samadhaana

4. Mumukshuthvam {Desire}: Desire to get liberated.

Tattvabodha - 3

Nithya Anithya Vasthu Vivekaha kaha?
What is discrimination between real and unreal?

Nithya Vasthu Ekam Brahmaa Tathvyathiriktam Sarvam Anithyam
Brahman alone is real, other than Brahman everything is unreal.

Ayameva Nithya Anithya Vasthu Vivekaha
This is what is called discrimination between real and unreal.

Tattvabodha - 4

Viraagaha kaha?
What is Dispassion?

Iha Swarga Bogashu Icha Rahithyam
The absence of desire for the enjoyment (of the fruit of one’s action) in this world as also in any other world.

 Tattvabodha - 5

Shamaadhi Saadhana Sampatthi kaa?
What is the accomplishment of Saadhana starting from Shama?

Samo Dama UparamasTitiksha Sraddha Samadhaanam Cha Ithi
They are Sama, Dama, Uparama, Titiksha, Sraddha, and Samadhana.

 Samaha Kaha?
What is Sama?

Mano Nigrahaha.
Control or mastery of mind.

Damaha Kaha?
What is Damaha?

Chakshuraadhi Baahyaendra Nigraha
Control of sense organs like eyes etc.

Uparamaha Kaha?
What is Uparama?

Svadharma Anushtaana Eva
Strict observance of ones own duty.

Tattvabodha - 6

Titiksha kaa?
What is Titiksha?

Sheethoshna Sukkha Dukkhaadhi Sahishnuthvam
The endurance of heat and cold, happiness and sorrow etc is called Titiksha

Sraddha Kidrishi?
What is Sraddha?

Guru Vedanta Vakyadhishu Vishvaasaha Sraddha.
Faith in the words of the Guru and Vedanta is called Sraddha

Samadhanam Kim?
What is Samadhanam?

Chitta Ekaagratha
Single-pointed mind.

Mumukshutvam Kim?
What is Mumukshutvam?

Mokshomae Bhooyaath Ithi Ichaa
I should have liberation - such a desire is called Mumukshutvam.

 Ethath Saadhana Chatushthayam
These are the four-fold qualification.

Tatastattvavivekasya Adhikarino Bavanthi.

Thus after having acquired the four-fold qualification, one becomes the Adhikaari or fit person to enquire into the truth.

Tattvabodha - 7

Tattvavivekaha Kaha?
What is enquiry into the truth?

Atma Satyam Thadanyath Sarvam Mithyethi
Atman alone is real. All things other than Atman are unreal. The firm conviction on this statement is called TattvaViveka

Tattvabodha - 8

Self-Knowledge or realizing ones own nature of Self alone can give Eternal Happiness. When a person realizes ones own nature of Self, he will always abide in non-dual bliss, nothing in the world can affect such a person.

"Atma sathyam thadanyath sarvam mithyaethi"

"Atman alone is Real rest all are unreal"

Tattvabodha - 9

Atma kaha?
What is atman?

Sthoola Sukshma Karana Shareeradhvyathirikthaha Panchakosatheethaha San Avasthraathraya Saakshi Sat Chit Ananda Swaroopaha San Yasthishtathi Sa Atma

That which is other that Sthoola, Sukshma, Kaarna Shareeram (Gross, Subtle and Causal body), which is beyond the five sheaths and which is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute is Atman

Sthoola Sukshma Kaarana Shareeraadh Vyathirikthah:

Our body can be divided as gross body, subtle body and causal body. Gross body is the external physical body which is visible to us as well as for others, subtle body is inner body which is invisible which includes mind, and causal body is Avidya or ignorance. Self is not any of these bodies.

Panchakosa Atheethaha:

The 3 body consists of 5 layers which are
Aannamaya kosa, Pranamaya kosa, Manomaya kosa, Vijnaanamaya kosa and Anandamaya kosa. The Kosa means Sheath ie., like we say the sword is in the sheath so the sword is not sheath the sword is in the sheath likewise Self is in the sheath. Self is not any of these kosas as Self is not gross, subtle or causal body, but here Sri Sri Shankara says Self is beyond 5 Kosas

Avasthathraya Saakshi:

There are 3 avasthas which are Jagrat or waking state,
Swapna or dream state and Sushupthi or deep sleep state. Sri Sri Shankara mentions Self as the witness of these three states. Witness should be something different from the thing it witnesses.

Sat Chit Aananda Roopam:

Self is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Aananda or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

Tattvabodha - 10

Sthoola Shareeram Kim?
What is Sthula Sareeram (Gross Body)?

Pancheekritha Panchamahabhoothaihi Kritham Satkarmajanyam
Sukha Dukhaadhi Bhogaayathanam Sareeram, Asthi Jaayathae
Vardhathae Viparinamathae Apaksheeyathae Vinashyatheethi
Shad Vikaara Vadhethat Sthoola Shareeram

That which is composed of five elements after they have undergone the process called Panchikarana, born as result of good actions of the past, acts as an hutment to enjoy the happiness and sorrow which has got Existence, Birth, Growth, Maturity, Decay and Death. This is gross body

 The nature of gross body is that the body is subjected to continuous changes. There are six changes or six ways of disintegration

Asti: The body stays in the foetus of the mother in the potential form before being born

Jayathe: The body the comes out from mothers womb and it is born

Vardhathe: The body grows from childhood to manhood.

Viparinamathe: The body matures.

Apaksheeyathe: The body then starts decaying

Vinashyathi: Finally the body perishes.

The body thus goes through these six modifications or shadvikaaraas.

Tattvabodha - 11

Sookshma Sareeram Kim?
What is Sookshma Sareeram (Subtle body)?

Apancheekritha Panchamahaboothaihi kritham Satkarmajanyam
Sukkha Dukkhaadhi Bhogasaadhanam PanchaJnaanendriyani Pancha Karmendriyani Panchapranadayaha Manaschaekam Bhudhischaeka Evam Saptha Dashakalaabhihi saha yaththistathi tatsookshmasareeram

That which is composed of five elements before undergoing the process called Pancheekaranam, which is born out of good action, which is the instrument to experience the pleasure and pain, and which contains 5 sense organs, 5 organs of action, 5 pranas (Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana), Mind and the Buddhi with the total of 17. This is subtle body.

Srothram Tvak Chakshuhu Rasanaa Graanam ithi Pancha Jnaanendriyaani
Ear, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose are the 5 Jnaana indriyaas (organs of perception).

Srothrasya Digdevathaa
The presiding deity of ear is Space

Tvacho Vaayuhu
Of the skin the Air

Chakshushaha Suryaha
Of the eyes the Sun

Rasanaaya varunaha
Of the tongue the Water

Graanasya Ashwinao
Of the nose the Aswini twins

Ithi Jnaanendriya Devathaaha
Thus are the presiding deities of the organs of knowledge (Jnaana Indriyaas)

Organs of Knowledge:

The five organs of Knowledge are Ear (Srothram), Skin (Tvak), Eyes (Chakshushah), Tongue (Rasanaa), Nose (Graanam), these above constitue the 5 organs of Perception. Each of the organs of perception has a presiding deity. The presiding deity of ear is Space, of skin is Air, of Eye is Sun, of Tongue is Water and of Nose is Aswini Kumars.

Tattvabodha - 12

Srothrasya Vishayaha Shabdhagrahanam
The field of experience of ear is the reception of sound

Tvacho vishayaha sparshagrahanam
For skin, the field of experience is sense of touch

Chakshusho vishayaha roopagrahanam
For eyes, the field of experience is perception of forms

Rasanaaya vishayaha rasagrahanam
For tongue, the field of experience is sense of taste

Graanasya vishayaha Gandhargrahanam Ithi
For nose, the field of experience is sense of smell.

Organs of Action:

Vaak Paani Paadha Paayu Upasthaaneethi pancha Karmaendriyaani

Speech, Hands, Legs, Anus, and the Genitals are the five Karma Indriyas (the organs of action).

Vaacho devathaa vahnihi
The presiding deity of speech is Fire

Of Hands, Indra

Padayor Vishnuhu
Of Legs, Vishnu

Paayor Mrityuhu
Of the Anus, Mrituhu (the Lord of Death)

Upasthasya Prajaapathihi
Of the Genitals, Prajapathi

Ithi Karmaendriya devathaaha
Thus the presiding deities for the organs of action.

Vaachovishayaha Bhaashanam
The function of organ of speech is to speak

Panyorvishayaha vasthugrahanam
The function of hands is to grasp things

Padayorvishayaha gamanam
The function of legs is locomotion

Payorvishayaha Malathyagaha
The function of Anus (excretory organ) is the elimination of the waste products

Upasthasya vishayaha Ananda Ithi
The function of genital organ is pleasure.

Tattvabodha - 13

Kaarana Shareeram Kim?
What is Kaarana Shareeram?

Anirvaacha Anaadhi Avidya Roopam Sareeradhvasya Kaaranamaathram Satswaroopaajnaanam Nirvikalpakaroopam yadasthi tat KaaranaSareeram

That which is inexplicable, without any beginning, of the form of ignorance, the cause for the other two bodies, ignorant of one’s own Self, free from duality, is the karana sareeram or the causal body.

Tattvabodha - 14

Avasthythrayam Kim?
What are the three states of experiences?

Jaagrat Swapna Sushupthi Avasthaaha
waking, dreaming and the deep sleep state are the three states of experiences

Jaagradavasthaa Kaa?
What is Jaagradavastha (Waking state)?

Srothoraadhi Jnaanaindriyaihi Shabdhaadhi Vishayiashcha Jnaayatham Ithi Yath Saa Jaagrath Avasthaaha. Sthoola Shareeraabimaani Athma Vishwa Ithyuchathae

The state of experience in which the organs of perception perceives its sense objects is the waking state. The Self identifying itself with the gross body is called Viswa

Swapnaavasthaa Kethi Cheth
What is Swapnaavasthaa (Dream state)?

Jaagradhavasthaayam Yad Drishtam Yad Srtuthaam Tajjanitha Vasanayaa Nidrasamayae yaha Prapanjaha yaha pratheeyathae saa Swapnaavasthaa Sukshma Sareeraabhimaani Atma Taijasa Ithyuchathae

The world that is projected during the time of sleep from those that we see, that we hear during the waking state is called the dream. The Self which identifies itself with the subtle body is called Taijasa
Tattvabodha - 15

Athaha Sushupthiavasthaa Kaa?
What is Sushupthi Avashta (Deep Sleep state)?

Aham Kimapi na jaanaami Sukkhaenamaya Nidranubhuyatha
Ithi Sushupthi Avasthaa Kaarana Sareerabimaani Atham Prajna Ithyuchathae

The state in which one doesn’t know anything, in which there is only bliss during the sleep is the deep sleep state. The Self that identifies with the causal body is called Prajna

Tattvabodha - 16

Pancha kosaha ke?
What are the five sheaths?

Annamayaha pranamayaha manomayaha vignaanamayaha anandamayashchethi

The five sheaths are Food sheath, Vital Air sheath, Mental Sheath, Intellectual Sheath, and the Bliss Sheath.

Annamayaha Kaha?
What is Annamaya kosa?

Annarasaenaiva Bhoothva Annarasaenaiva vridhim prapya Annaroopa Prithivyaam yadhviliyathae Thadannamayaha kosaha Sthoola Shareeram

That which is born of food, that which grows by food, and goes back to earth, which is of the nature of food, is called the food sheath – the gross body.

Tattvabodha - 17

Praanamayaha kaha?
What is Praanamaya kosa?

Praanaadhyaaha Panchavaayavaha Vaagaadheendryapanchakam praanamaya koshaha

The Pancha Prana such as Prana etc (Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udhana, Samaana) together with the five organs of action such as speech etc (Speech, Hands, Legs, Anus, and Genital organs) forms the Praanamaya kosa

 The vital air can be divided into 5 based on their functions, they are

Prana: responsible for respiration - the upper part of the body

Apana: reponsible for excretion - the lower part of the body

Vyana: responsible for circulation - throughout the body

Samana: responsible for digestion

5. Udhana: during the time of jumping, floating - active at the time of death to help Atma to pass out of the Sthula Shareeram.

The identification of Self with these five pranas along with the organs of action constitute the Pranamaya Kosa.

Manomayaha kosaha kaha?
What is mano maya kosa?

Manashcha Jnaanendriyapanchakam milithva yo bhavathi sa manomayaha kosaha

The mind along with the five organs of perception form the Manomaya kosa

Tattvabodha - 18

Vijnaanamayaha kaha?
What is Vignaanamaya kosaha?

BhuddhiJnanaendriyapanchakam milithva yo bhavathi sa Vignaamaya kosaha

The intellect along with the five organs of perception is called the Vignaanamaya kosaha

Anandamayaha kaha?
What is anandamaya kosa?

Evameva kaaranashareerabhothaavidyastham malinasatvam
Priyaadhivrittisahitham sat Anandamayaha kosaha

Established in Avidya or ignorance, which is of the form of the causal body, of impure nature united with the vrittis such as Priya (Priya, Moda and Pramoda)

These are the five sheaths.

Tattvabodha - 19

Madiyam shareeram madiyaha pranaha madiyam manashcha madiyaa bhudhirmadiyam Jnaanamithi Svenaiva Thadh yathaa Madhiyathvaena Jnaatham Katakakundala Grihadhikam Svasmaadh Bhinnam Panchakoshadhikam SvasmadhBhinnam Madhiyathvena Jnaathamaathma na bhavathi

Just as one may say bangles, earrings, house etc are mine, but still the knower is different from them, in the similar way, even if one say my body, my pranas, my mind, my intellect, the Self is different from the five sheaths

Tattvabodha - 20

Atma tharhi kaha?
Where does Atman dwell?

Sat Chit Ananda swaroopah
It is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Anandam (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss)

Sat kim?
What is Sat?

Kaalathrayaepi thishTatheethi sat
Sat is that which remains unchanged in the three periods of time.

Tattvabodha - 21

Chit Kim?
What is Chit?

It is of the nature of absolute Knowledge

Tattvabodha - 22

Anandah kah?
What is Ananda?

Of the nature of Absolute Happiness

 Tattvabodha - 23

ATha chathurvimshathithatvothpathiprakaaram vakshyaamah

Now, we shall explain the evolution of the twenty-four Tattvas

Brahmaashyraa satvarajasthamogunaathmika maayaa asthi

Depending on Brahman for its existence is Maya, whcih is of the nature of three gunas, Satva, Rajas and Tamas

Tattvabodha - 24

thathah aakaashah samBhoothah
From that (Maya), Akasha is born

aakaashaad vaayuh
From Akasa, (came)Air.

From Air, (came) Fire

Thejasa aapah
From Fire, (came) water.

adhbyah priThivee
From water, (came) earth.

Tattvabodha - 25

etheshaam panchathathvaanaam madhyae aakaashasya saatvikaamshaath srothrendriyam sambhootham

From among these five great elements, out of the satvic aspect of the akasha, is evolved the ear, the organs of 'hearing'

vaayoh saathvikaamshaath tvagindriyam sambhootham
From the satvic aspect of Vayu (Air), is evolved the skin, the organ of touch.

agneh saatvikaamshaath chakshurindriyam sambhootham
From the satvic aspect of Fire, is formed the eye, the organ of sight.

jalasya saatvikaamshaath rasanendriyam sambhootham
From the satvic aspect of Water, is formed the tongue, the organ of taste.

prithivyaah saatvikaamshaath grnendriyam sambhootham
From the satvic aspect of Earth, is formed the organ of smell, the nose.

Etheshaam Panchathatvaanaam SamashtiSaathvikaamshaath Manobhudhiranhankaara Chiththaanthaha Karnaani Samboothaani

From the Satvic aspect of the five elements comes the Anthahkaranam (the inner instrument) constituted of the Manas, Bhudhi, Ahamkara, and the Chitta.

Sankalpa vikalpaathmakam Manaha
Manas is of the nature of indecision or doubt

Nishchayaathmikaa Bhudhihi
Intellect is of the nature of decision

Ahamkarthaa Ahamkaaraha“I am the doer” – the sense of ego, Ahamkaarah

Chinthanakarthru Chiththam
The remembering faculty is called Chitta

Manaso Devathaa chandramaaha
The presiding deity of the mind is the moon.

Budhehae Brahma
The presiding deity of the intellect is Brahma

Ahamkaarasya Rudraha
For the ego, it is Rudra

Chittasya Vaashudevaha
For the chitta, it is Vasudeva

Tattvabodha - 26

etheshaam panchatatvaanaam madhye aakaashasya rajasaamshaath vaagindriyam sambhootham

Among these five elements, from the Rajas aspect of space, is formed the organ of Speech.

vaayoh rajasaamshaath paaneendriyam sambhootham
From the Rajas aspect of Vayu (Air), is formed the Hand.

vanheh raajasaamshaath paadhendriyam sambhootham
From the Rajas aspect of Fire, is formed the Leg.

jalasya rajasaamshaath upasThendriyam sambhootham
From the Rajas aspect of Water, the Genitals of formed.

priThivyaah rajasaamshaath gudhendriyam sambhootham
From the Rajas aspect of Earth, the Anus is formed.

etheshaam samashtirajasaamshaath panchapranaah samBhoothaah

From the total Rajas aspect of all these five elements, the five vital airs are born.

Pancheekaranam katham ithi cheth.
What is the meaning of panchikarana (grossification)?

etheshaam panchamahaaBhoothaanaam taamasaamshasvaroopam ekamekam bhootham dvidhaa vibhajya ekamekamardham prithak thushneem vyasThaapya aparamaparamardham chathurdhaa vibhajya svaardhamanyeshu ardheshu svabhaagachathushtayasamyojanam kaaryam. thadhaa pancheekaranam bhavathi. ethebhyah pancheekrthapanchamahaabhoothebhyah sthoolashareeram bhavathi.

If it is asked how this panchikarana (grossification) takes place, it is as follows:
1. The Tamas aspect of each of the five elements divide into two equal parts
2. One half of each remains intact.
3. The other half of each gets divided into four equal parts.
4. Then, to the intact half of one element, one one-eighth portion from each of the other four elements gets joined.
5. Then Panchikarana (the process by which the subtle elements become the gross elements) is complete.
From these five grossified elements the gross body is formed.

evam pindabrahmaandayoraikyam sambhootham

Thus there is the identity between the Pindanda and the Brahmanda i.e., the microcosm and macrocosm.

From the Tamasic part of the five elements the Sthula Shareeram is formed. The Sthula Shareeram is formed through a process called Pancheekaranam.

The process is as follows:
1. Every element is not a pure element like that of the subtle body but combination of all the other elements.
2. Each element is divided into two halves.
3. First half by the element and second by the other 4 elements.

Space = 1/2 Space + 1/8 Air + 1/8 Fire + 1/8 Water + 1/8 Earth
Air = 1/2 Air + 1/8 Space + 1/8 Fire + 1/8 Water + 1/8 Earth
Fire = 1/2 Fire + 1/8 Space + 1/8 Air + 1/8 Water + 1/8 Earth
Water = 1/2 Water + 1/8 Space + 1/8 Air + 1/8 Fire + 1/8 Earth
Earth = 1/2 Earth + 1/8 Space + 1/8 Air + 1/8 Fire + 1/8 Water

Tattvabodha - 27

sthoola shareera abhimaani jeevanaamakam brahmaprathibimba bhavathi. sa eva jeevah prakrthyaa svasmaath isvaram bhinnathvena jaanaathi.

The reflection of Brahman (in Sukshma Shareeram) which identifies itself with the Sthula Shareeram is called Jiva. This Jiva, by nature takes Isvara to be different from him.

avidhyopaadhih san aathmaa jeeva ithyuchathe.
maayopaadhih san isvara ithyuchyathe.

Consciousness conditioned by Avidya is called Jiva. Consciousness conditioned by Maya is known as Isvara.

evam upaaDhiBhedhaath jeeveshwaraBhedhadrishtih yaavathparyantham thisTathi thaavathparyantham janmamaranaadhi roopa samsaarah na nivarthathe.
thasmaathkaaranaath na jeeveshvarayorBhedhabhudhih sveekaryaah

So long as the notion, which is due to difference in the conditionings, that Jiva and Isvara are different, remains, until such time, there is no redemption from 'Samsara' which is of the form of repeated birth, death etc.

 Tattvabodha - 28

nanu saahamkaarasya kinchijnasya jeevasya nirahkaarasya sarvjnasya Isvarasya tatvamasi ithi mahavaakyaath kathamabhedhabhudhih syaadhubhayoh virudhadharmaakraanthathvaath.

But the Jiva is endowed with ego and his knowledge is limited. (Whereas) Isvara is without ego and is omniscient. (Then) how can there be indentity, as stated in the Mahavakya Tat Tvam Asi, between these two who are possessed of contradictory characteristics?

ithi cheth na. sthoola sookshma shareeraabhimaani tvampadha vaachyaarthah. upaadhivinirmuktham samaadhidhashaasampannam shudhdham chaithanyam tvampadha lakshyaarthah.
evam sarvajnathvaadhivishishta isvarah thathpadha vaachyaarthah.
upaadhishoonyam shudhdhachaitanyam thathpadhamakshyaarthah.
evam cha jiva isvarayo chaitanyaroopena abhedhe bhaadhakaabgaavah.

If said, no. The literal meaning of the word "Thou" is the one who identifies himself with gross and subtle bodies (jiva).

 Tattvabodha - 29

Evam cha vedaanthavaakyaih sadgurupadeshena cha sarveshvapi Bhootheshu yeshaam brahmabhudhiruthpannaa the jeevanmukthaah ithyarthah

Thus by the words of Vedanta imparted by a competent teacher, those in whom the knowledge of Brahman in all beings is born, they are the Jivanmktas (liberated even while living).

nanu jeevanmukthah kah?
yaThaa dehoham purushoham braahmanoham shudhrohamasmeethi
dhrudanishchayasthaThaa naaham braahmanah na shoodhrah na purushah
kinthu asangah satchithaananda svaroopah prakaasharoopah sarvaantharyaamee
chidhaakaasharooposmeethi drudanishchaya roopah aparoksha jnaanavaan jeevanmukthah

Just as one has the firm belief that "I am the body", "I am a man", "I am a Brahmin", "I am a Sudra", so also "I am not a Brahmin", "I am not a Sudra", "I am not a man", but "I am unattached, of the nature of Satchidaananda, effulgent, the indweller of all, the formless Consciousness' - thus one having this firmly ascertained Aparoksha Jnaana is the Jivan muktha.
Tattvabodha - 30

Brahmaivaahamasmi ithi aparokshajnaanena niKhilakarmabandha vinirmukthah syaath

By the immediate knowledge (Aparoksha Jnaana) that "I am Brahman" one becomes free from bondages of all the karmas.
Tattvabodha - 31

karmaani kathiviDhaani santheethi cheth aagaami sanchitha praarabDhaBhedhena thriviDhaani santhi
jnaanothpathyanantharam jnaanidehakrutham punyapaaparoopam karma yadhasthi thath aagaameethyaBhiDheeyathe

If it is asked: How many kinds of Karma are there?: (the reply is) there are three kinds of Karma namely: Agami, Sanchita and Prarabdha. The result of actions good or bad performed through the body of the jnaani after the dawn of knowledge is known as Agami

Sanchitham Karma kim?
What is Sanchita Karma?

ananthakotijanmanaam bheejaBhootham sat yathkarmajaatham poorvaarjitham thishTathi thath sanchitham jneyam

The result of actions performed in (all) the previous births which are in the seed forms to give rise to endless crores of births (in future) is called Sanchita Karma

Praarabdham Karma kimithi cheth
What is Prarabdha Karma?

idham shareeramuthpaadhya iha loke evam suKhadhuKhaadhipradham yathkarma thathpraarabDham
Bhogena nastham Bhavathi praarabdhakarmanaam Bhogaadheva kshaya ithi

Having given birth to this body, the action which give results in this very world, in the form of happiness or misery, and which can be destroyed only by enjoying or suffering them, is called Prarabdha Karma.

 Tattvabodha - 32

sanchitham karma brahmaivaahamithi nishchayaathmakajnaanena nashyathi

The Sanchitha karma is destroyed by the knowledge that "I am Brahman"

aagaami karma api jnaanena nashyathi kincha aagaami karmanaam nalineedhalagathajalavath jnaaninaam sambandho naasthi

The Agami Karma is also destroyed by Jnaana - and the Jnaani is not affected by it just as a lotus is not affected by the water on it
ye jnaaninam nindhanthi dvishanthi dhuKhapradhaanam kurvanthi thaanprathi jnaanikrutham sarvamaagaami kriyamaanam yadhvaachyam karma paapaathmakam thadhgachathi

Those who abuse, hate or cause pain or sorrow to a Jnaani - to them go the results of the sinful actions done by the Jnaani.

Tattvabodha - 33

thaTha cha atmavith samsaaram theerthvaa brahmaanandha ihaiva praapnothi

Thus the knower of the Self, having crossed the Samsara, attains the Supreme Bliss here itself

tharathi shokam atmavith ithi srutheh

The Srutti affirms: "The knower of the Self goes beyond all the sorrows"

thanum thyajathu vaa kaashyaam svapachasya grheTha vaajnaanasampraapthisamaye mukthaasow vigathaashayah ithi smritheshcha

Let the Jnaani cast his body in Kasi (a sacred place) or in the house of a dog eater (Chandala), (it is immaterial because) at the time of gaining the knowledge (itself) he is liberated being free from all results of action. So asserts the Smritis too.

ithi tattvabodhaprakaranam samaaptham

Thus ends the Prakarana called TattavBodha.