Thursday, 14 July 2011
Biksha from Lakshmi
It is said that once Vishnu and Lakshmi went to visit Shiva and Parvati. Vishnu and Lakshmi gave Shiva and Parvati fine foods, and some pieces dropped to the ground. From these remains arose a maiden endowed with fair qualities. She asked for leftover food (uccishtha). The four deities offered her their leftovers as prasada (food made sacred by having been tasted by deities). Shiva then said to the attractive maiden: "Those who repeat your mantra and worship you, their activities will be fruitful. They will be able to control their enemies and obtain the objects of their desires." From then on this maiden became known as Uccishtha-matangini. She is the bestower of all boons.
However, that was just the beginning of an untold misery for Shiva. Since Shiva had tortured Brahma, the chief Brahmana, he was inflicted with the Brahmahathi Dosha. Brahma’s skull (Kapalam) stuck to Shiva’s hands and refused to fall off.
Shiva was aghast at this unseen complexity. Now he was stuck with this stupid skull on his hand. In his anxiety he asked Agni, the supreme purifier of everything, to blow off the kapala from his hand. But, however much Agni tried he was unsuccessful. To make it worse, Agni also contracted the Dosha.
Shiva was now terror-struck. He went all around the world searching for a remedy. It was then that Parvathi came to her husband’s rescue. “Swami, Vishnu alone can get you out of this misery. Go to various sthalas and take biksha in the Kapala. The place where the Kapala overflows will be where you will be freed from the Dosha.”
Biksha from Lakshmi
Accordingly, Shiva went from one place to another in search for liberation from the curse, as Bikshadanar, bearing the kapala in his palm. Wherever he got biksha, it would immediately disappear on touching the kapala and the Kapala continued to remain empty.
And so, hopping from one place to another he finally came to Thirukkandiyur. There, the Sthala Perumal sent Mahalakshmi to give biksha to Shiva. Mahalakshmi too came out in all her glory and started emptying biksha into the Kapala. The Kapala at once overflowed and fell to the ground (Some legends also claim that Mahavishnu cut his chest and offered the pouring blood into the Kapaala). Shiva was released from the curse at once and thanked Vishnu for his timely help. Since Vishnu had ridden Shiva of his curse, he came to be known as HaraSaabaVimochanar. Shiva remained in the place as Brahma Sira Khanedeeshwarar. The temple is situated across the street from the Hara Saaba Vimochanar temple.