Koilvenni Vennikarumbeshwarar Temple – Diabetic Sweet Spot

On our repeated pilgrimages to Kumbakonam region, a visit to Kovilvenni a town near Needamangalam in Thiruvarur District about 24 km away from Thanjavur, was missed due to some reasons or the other. When we went to Kumbakonam Navagraha circuit in December 2021, we had resolved that we had to have a darshan in this temple at any cost. But then Arulmigu Soundara Nayagi sameta Shri Vennikarumbeshwararar blessings was not forthcoming as we had to rush back to Bengaluru. Finally on 14th August 2022, our wishes fructified and By Shiva! What an amazing time was in the offing. It only goes on to prove, it is His time and call not ours anyway. The highlight for us, after Darshan of the Bhagwan, was very learned and knowledgeable Chief Archaka Shri Prabhakar Shivacharya AVL – his affable, patient explanation of the sthala purana (Historical Significance of the Shrine).

Koilvenni Arulmigu Karumbeshwarar Temple

The temple dedicated to Shiva, as the Moolavar (Presiding deity), manifested as Shri Vennikarumbeswarar. Upadevata is His consort, Parvati, known as Arulmigu Soundaranayagi. The historical name of the place is Tiruvenni. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams – Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanars Tirugnanasambandar and Tirunavukkarasar. Koilvenni Arulmigu Karumbeshwarar Temple in 102nd of Paadal Petra Sthalams on the Southern bank of River Kaveri. He is also known as Venni Nathar, Rasapureeswarar, Triambakanathar It is believed that patients suffering from any ailments especially diabetes will be cured of the disease if they make an offering of sugar to the main deity at this temple. “Karumbu” in Tamizh means sugarcane and the main linga is in the form of a bunch of sugarcane stems tied together.

Sthala Purana or Historical Significance

In ancient times, the sthala vruksham was Nandivardhanam, a flower white in colour and hence called Venni or Nandivardhanam Flower (Pinwheel Flower or Crepe Jasmine). This is one of the favourite flowers of Bhagawan Shiva and used in His worship.

Venni Flower (Tabernaemontana divaricata) Pinwheel Flower/Crepe Jasmine

This place was also surrounded by dense Sugarcane fields. In Tamizh Sugarcane is called Karumbu. King Musukunda Chola Chakravarthy was a Chola ruler who ruled the parts of Chola Kingdom from Aarur (Thiruvarur). He was a great devotee of Bhagawan Shiva. He also had renovated the Thiruvarur Sri Thyagarajaperumal temple, after which he was passing by Venniyur with his troops. and when he overheard two Sages arguing between them on the sthala Vruksha of the place – one saying it was “Sugarcane” and the other claiming that it was “Venni“. Not wanting to take any sides, fearing curse of the other sage, King asked them why this argument about the Temple Tree, when there is neither a temple nor a Vigraha of Bhagawan Shiva. They hear an Akashavani (A voice from the Skies) which was that of Bhagawan Shiva saying that He should be named after Sugarcane (Karumbu) and the Temple Tree or Sthala Vruksha will be Venni. He also says that He is present in a self manifested form (Swayambhu), in a form that has seen all the Yugas (Krita or Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga), whose stem looks like a bunch of Sugar cane tied together, a form that has been worshipped by Devas and Rishis over the yugas. He continues saying He be found deep inside the earth below the very place the argument was going on, bring it up, build a shrine and perform Kumbhabhishekam. It is also said in Kanda Puranam that the wedding invitation of Devasena – Subramanya was sent to this place. 

King then uses his men to dig the field and he finds the Shiva Linga whose stem part was spread deeper and deeper and he was lost how to bring it up. Once again Bhagwan Shiva gives him a solution to tie it up at the stem and lift it up. The height of this Linga pratishthe from Surya Teertham towards the East is 36 feet, signifying surpassing of 36 tatvas or elements. This incident is believed to have happened 5000 years ago. After the historic “Venni war” the Chola King , Karikala Chola rebuilt and renovated this temple.

Swayambhu Shri Vennikarumbeshwarar

This place which gained prominence even in the Sangam times, had found significance in the songs of Thirugnanasambandar  and Thirunavukkarasar. Sundarar had hailed the Lord here as the one who heals diseases, in his song “ Kshetra Kovai.” So, the Lord of this temple, “ Sri Venni Karumbeswarar,” remains the Lord who heals all the diseases , especially diabetes, of his devotees.  Thirunavukkarasu had sung in praise of the Lord in his “ Thiruthandakam” , singing the history of the Lord’s marriage in Mayiladuthurai. 

The Goddess of this place is Shri Soundaranayaki. True to her name, this Goddess is amazingly beautiful, and showers her blessings. It is believed that if ladies whose Seemanta (Valai Kappu) ceremony is over visit Her to seek Her blessings and tie bangles in front of the Goddess, for having a safe delivery.

Shri Soundaranayaki

The holy waters of this place, “ Surya Pushkarani” and “ Chandra Pushkarani,” have the power to heal all diseases. 

Surya Teertham

The Main Temple, Shri Vennikarumbeshwarar faces East and the Surya Teertham is right opposite to Him. Shri Soundara Nayaki faces South in this Temple in standing position with four hands, one of which shows the Abhaya Hastham. Surya Theertham, is where Surya worshipped the Lord. Since it is an East facing Lingam, the rays of the Sun fall on Him on 2nd, 3rd and 4th days of Tamil month Panguni (Mid of March) during Sun rise. Ambal Soundara Nayaki is in a south facing shrine. The shrine of Nataraja is in between the shrines of the Lord and the Mother.

Panoramic Shot with Surya Teertham and Main Gopuram of the Temple

Sri Ikshupureeswarar (another name of the presiding Deity,  who is self – manifested remains with so much greatness , is also called” Sri Venninathar “ and “ Sri Venni Karumbeswarar.” ( The word “ Ikshu” means sugarcane.) 

Other deities in the temple include Murugan,Narthana   Vinayagar, Gajalaxmi, Bairavar and Navagraha. Goshta moorthies include Narthana Vinayagar, Dakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar and Durga.

The sanctorum is constructed in such a way that the outer mandapam looks like a moat. The Peetham or the Base of the Shiva Linga is Square as against Round that we usually find elsewhere just as the form of Linga is square and not round. In the recent past, this temple saw extensive renovation, done by Nattukottai Chettiar community.

The main offering here is Rava and Sugar. After the Sankalpam and offering at His feet, Rava and Sugar is mixed and strewn around the temple. The ants eat the Sugar and only Rava is left behind. This is said to cure Devotees of Diabetes. Once they are cured, Bhaktas return back and perform a Ghee Abhisheka to Bhagawan Shiva.

Since there are not any shops around, it is better to carry all Puja offerings when we go to the temple. Typically we will need to carry Betel Leaves, Betel Nuts, Some fruits, Coconuts, Ghee and Flowers, apart from about a kg each Rava and Sugar.

Driving Directions to the Temple
https://goo.gl/maps/U3fJaFr9iyP6qVnv8

Temple Opening Hours:
8:00am to 12 noon; 4pm to 8pm

Chief Archaka Shri Prabhakar Shivacharya AVL Contact
99768 13313

Requesting Bhaktas to donate for Conduct of Abhishekas on Pradoshas (2 per month) which costs about ₹1501 per Pradosham or ₹3001 a month

Also requesting Bhaktas to donate liberally for maintenance and renovation of the temple. Please contact Chief Archaka on the number given before for the same.

Signing off with the link to Sthala Purana (in Tamizh) recorded by me on 14th August 20222 explained beautifully by Shri Shri Prabhakar Shivacharya AVL

Om Namah Shivaya

PS: If there are any errors please leave it in the comment and I shall edit this article after verification.

Sharing some more pictures clicked

Happy 37th Birthday Aparna

Yes! 37th Birthday since we met and 31st as my better half and partner-in-crime. To say that it got better and better each year, would be stating the obvious or maybe an understatement. Looking back I can say that I don’t mind getting stranded on an uninhabited island after a ship wreck if she is around (so that she keeps reminding me that it was my fault 🤪)

If I were to list, Aparna has so many qualities that make her a very special person. But right on top that I have seen since 1993 every second of the day is what a wonderful mum she is. Not just to biological children but also to our manasik kids – “DaMaKis” gang. The ownership, the care, the rebukes and concern makes it so evident.

As some wise man said, I was lucky enough to have been blessed to be married to someone, not whom I can live with but whom I cannot live without. For no particular reason we have hit off. If someone asks me how, I always say, It just does. God has been Kind. Nothing else explains it. To be honest, it’s just perfect. It is a dream that is being lived every moment, thanks to her. An epitome who live the adage “Love like no other and you feel happy beyond your wildest dreams.”

The Chinese Virus screwed up and adversely affected all kinds of celebrations, some developments in some kids’ personal lives, celebrating as whole gang is now over Video calls. Nevertheless celebrating her existence in our lives never stopped.

Prayers to the Divine! And Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji to bless her with long, healthy, happy and joyful life ahead. May every moment of the year ahead be as special or better than today.

Today’s Birthday Gang
Your Birthday is a special moment for me. Let’s celebrate to treasure these memories forever.

Grace & its ways

I had written this down in response to a query (it was more a challenge) on twitter. Thought it is a good piece that is worth having it on this site with some additional experiences and learning gained ever since I tweeted them 4 years ago. By no means I claim this to be the ideal learning nor even as a prescription, it is just a scrawl of an avid Jigyaasu. I am blessed to be guided on this path, not just by way of various courses and discourses but learning from the Enlightened Master, Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living, whose unmatchable persona embodies all these virtues that is worthy of emulation.

PC: Peter Hershey (Unsplash)

Grace as explained by Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar :
When you receive a lot without making efforts for it, then it is said that you are blessed with anugraha. Usually you work hard at your job and then receive your salary. So you say, ‘I have earned my money’. But if someone gives you a gift, you do not say, ‘I have earned these gifts’. Can something that is earned be called a gift? No. You receive gifts without any efforts. So when you receive a great gift or an award that you feel you did not deserve, then that is called anugraha. When we receive something that we are not deserving of, or which exceeds our capabilities, then that is what is called Grace. When we see that in our life, we have received far more than what we deserve or are capable of, then gratitude dawns in us. We become thankful, complaints disappear and abundance grows.

My two pennies based on experience, generally reproduction of my tweets that were as explanation to a query. The tweet thread is here (at this time.)

Guru’s Grace & Blessings on His/Her Shishya(s) is infinite & is like a blank cheque that we can encash, provided we write our name on it in right (worthy) manner

Shishyas should satisfy two conditions:
1) Our Attitude and Mindset should be like an empty cup (if we think we are already full, then nothing can be poured in the cup)
2) Cup should be in right orientation. Empty cup face down cannot receive anything

Tumbler in Right Direction can accept Water Poured
Tumbler upside down can only mess the place

Grace can/will work only when used in Right Direction. So we as Shishya should have that viveka to ensure it is right. (If door opens inwards and you apply force in the wrong direction you shut it). Even the best of Guru’s Grace cannot work when your work is for wrong purpose

Applying efforts the wrong way
PC: Adobe Stock Photo

Guru’s grace though Free, it is not a Gift. Shishyas should have Arhata (deserving), Viveka (to use it for right reasons), know the Sannivesha (Context) and most importantly Sharanagati (state of surrender). The moment we think we are the Doers, we are DOOMED (Click on the link what “We are not the Doers mean)

As I experienced in various Paramparas, one important aspect they propagate is to refrain from Daiva/Guru Ninda (Defaming God/Guru) or anyone for that matter failing which the Good Karmic balance drastically reduces.

Wishing you loads of Divine, Guru and Elders’ Grace