Legend of Symantaka Mani & Ganesh Chaturthi Connection

Muni Narada on his rounds around the Universe arrived in Dwaraka to meet Bhagwan Krishna and sang His Glory. It was Ganesha Chaturthi and Narada tells Krishna about significance of the day and why no one should see the moon on that day.

Narada visits Krishna
Pic Source: http://bhagavatham.blogspot.com/2012/12/65-bhagavatha-narada-visits-krishna.html

Curse of the Moon & Mithya Dosha

It was late night and Ganesha was returning to Kailasa after a sumptuous feast hosted by Kubera, the God of Riches and considered the richest among all Gods.

Kubera – God of Wealth
Pic Source and for more details : https://www.templepurohit.com/hindu-gods-and-deities/lord-kubera-hindu-gods-and-deities/

Ganesha had eaten a lot of his favourite sweet, the Modakas and was returning on his Vahana (mount), Mooshika (Mouse). It was a Pournami (Full moon night) and the moon shone in the night in his resplendest best – in spotless white. Ganesha and his mouse were trudging along and suddenly a snake appeared in their path. Since mouse is considered prey of snakes, it was frightened and rushed aside for safety. Ganesha falls down on to the Ground and his stomach broke open, and all the modakas he had eaten rolled out. Ganesha stuffed all the Modakas back, picked the snakes and tied it around the stomach to pack it in. Embarrassingly He looked for his vahana, mouse and saw Moon laughing at His predicament. The moon, having witnessed the entire episode could not control his laughter which made Ganesha seethe in anger. He broke one of His tusks and flung it at the moon creating a crater on it and curses that he would never be a complete sphere any more and keeps getting disfigured. Thus we find the moon has a crater which we can see even from the Earth and it waxes and wanes every fortnight. He also curses that anyone who sees the Moon will attract Mithya Dosha (defamation by false accusations) Moon becomes repentant and pleads with Ganesh to redeem him from the curse. Ganesha says, the curse once delivered cannot be retrieved but reduce the effects. He then says no one should see the moon on on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Bhagwan Krishna, the dutiful King that He was, immediately makes a proclamation to this effect and lets all His subjects know the ill-effects of seeing the moon. Narada Muni then leaves the place and goes back to Vaikunta. Unfortunately for Krishna, while milking Gomata, He sees reflection of the moon in the Milk bowl. No one is spared of the curse and has to undergo the consequences, even if it were Bhagwan Krishna.

The Legend of Symantaka ManiMarriage of Krishna & Satyabhama

Prasenjit, nobleman of of Yadava Kula (same as Bhagwan Krishna) and Satrajit were brothers. Prasenjit also was uncle of Satyabhama, wife of Bhagwan Krishna. Satrajit was a devotee of Surya (Sun God). Pleased with his unwavering Devotion, Surya gifted Satrajit a ruby jewel called Syamantak Mani. It belonged originally to Surya, who wore it around his neck. It was said that whichever land possessed this jewel would never encounter any calamities such as droughts, floods, earthquakes or famines, and would always be full of prosperity and plenitude. Wherever the jewel remained, it would produce for the keeper eight bhāras (an ancient measure of weight and translating about ~77 kgs) of gold daily. It was also the source of the brilliant appearance of Surya.

Satrajit was walking along the sea shore, praying ardently, when Surya appeared before him. Seeing Him fiery form, Satrajit asked him to appear in a less blinding form, so that he could see him clearly. Surya took Syamantaka mani off his neck, and Satrajit saw him an ordinary looking dwarf form of Surya When Surya offered him a boon, and he asked for the jewel which Surya promptly gifts him as a boon.

Surya gifting Syamantaka Mani to Satrajit
Pic Source: https://www.sunosunati.com/story/syamantak-mani-ki-katha

Satrajit threaded Syamanta Mani and wearing it around his neck returned to Dvaraka. He was dazzling in such splendour that subjects there mistook him for Surya. Krishna requested him to present the jewel to Ugrasena, the supreme leader of the Yadavas and rightfully and more entitled as a King, but Satrajit refuses to do so and presents it to Prasenjit instead.

Once, Prasenjit went to the jungle for hunting wearing the jewel and a lion killed Prasenjit and took away the jewel. This lion in turn was confronted by Jambavan (Devotee of Shri Rama and King of bears). Jambavan finally wins the fight with the lion and takes away the Syamantaka Mani.

When Prasenjit did not return from the jungle his brother Satrajit was worried and there was a grapevine among people that Shri Krishna was eyeing the Symantaka Mani and accused Krishna of killing Prasenjit for stealing the jewel. To prove his innocence, Shri Krishna went to the jungle. Krishna traces the trail and finds Prasenjit’s body with tell tale signs of being killed by Lion and then follows the trail of Lion and finds another spot where Lion lies dead. He further follows the trail and comes at the door of Jambavan’s cave. He peeps into find children of Jambavan playing with the Symantaka Mani. Jambvan confronts Krishna and both fight for 28 days after which Jambvan was defeated. He then realised that Krishna was his Ishta Bhagwan Shri Rama’s form and penitently gives Krishna the jewel and also his daughter Jambavati in marriage.

Jambavan returning the Syamantaka Mani and Offering Satyabhama as Krishna’s wife
Picture Source: http://sarayutoayodhya.blogspot.com/2014/03/syamantaka-mani.html

Krishna returns to Dwaraka and hands the jewel over to Satrajit, who also regrets making false accusation. He offers Krishna the Symantaka Mani and also his daughter Satyabhama in marriage. Krishna accepted Satyabhama as His wife but did not accept the jewel. Krishna washed the stain off His reputation.

Symantaka Mani (Believed to be Kohinoor now – first looted by Allaudin Khilji & then stolen by British)

This story goes on to prove that irrespective of who you are, you have to bear consequences of actions that you perform. Even if you are Shri Krishna who was falsely accused of Murder and theft.

Sighting of Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi – Remedy

If you accidentally (or deliberately) see the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi, chant the following mantra

Simhah Prasenamavadhitsimho Jambavata Hatah।
Sukumaraka Marodistava Hyesha Syamantakah॥

Then read/listen to the Symantaka Mani Story (as elucidated above) and worship Shri Ganesha sincerely. He will bless you and ensure that you do not become of victim of Mithya Dosha

Note: The Story is compiled from various sources (both online and offline). All credits to original authors for the content and also for the pictures used in this article.

One of the critical source was this Kannada song – a legendary song sung by Shri PB Srinivas and a a must play in Karnataka and Kannadiga homes and Pandals on Ganesh Chaturthi. Listening to this song is a remedy from Mithya Dosha due to sighting of moon on Ganesh Chaturthi

Jai Ganesha

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.