Friday, May 18, 2007

108 Divya Desam-Thiru Pullani


















A Sacred Place for absolute Surrender to the Lord
Lord Raama planned his onward march to Lanka from here

8kms South East of Ramanathapuram on the Keelakarai Road is Thirupullani, located on the banks of river Sethu (SethuKarai). This temple dates back to a time before Raama Avataaram. Raama came here in his search for Sita. Raama himself is said to have prayed to Adhi Jagannathan at this temple before he departed for Lanka.

Childless Couple

Raama’s father King Dasharatha is believed to have performed a Yagna here and is believed to have had his four children after this yagna. Hence it is the belief that childless couple who bathe at the Sethu river and pray to the Lord here will be blessed with a child.

Sacred Place for Surrender to the Lord

It was here that Vibheeshana, the brother of Ravana, came for refuge and surrendered to Lord Raama asking him for help. While the entire Vaanara army looked at Vibheeshana with suspicion- one who has come with a plot to attack the Lord, it was Hanuman, who with folded hands, expressed his opinion that the Lord should accept Vibheeshana. Hanuman can be seen here, at this temple, in a posture indicating Vibheeshana’s surrender to Raama and to protect him from his brother(Raavana).

It is here that Raama preached the doctrine of ‘Surrender’ that is applicable even today, several thousands of years after this incident.

In Valmeeki’s account of this ‘Surrender to Lord episode’, Raama says, ‘I cannot reject anyone who comes to me for protection. This is my dharma. If Raavana himself came to me I would not reject him. How then can I reject his brother who has done me no wrong.’

In the Vaishnava Sampradaya, this episode of ‘Surrender to the Lord’ is held just as important as the Bhagavad Gita(Mahabharata). It is a doctrine that Lord accepts all who, in absolute surrender, seek shelter at his feet. Their sins are burnt out by the mere act of surrender.

This is a message of hope to erring humanity. There is hope for the worst of us if only we surrender ourselves to the Lord. This divine assurance is the life and light that a world filled with sin and darkness, needs.

Out of all the Divya Desams, this is said to be the most sacred for those devotees who want ‘absolute surrender to Lord’.

Darbha Sayana Raamar

Having accepted Vibheeshana, it was here that Lord Raama along with the Vaanara (monkey ) army deliberated ways to cross the sea and orchestrated the way forward plan to Lanka to defeat Ravana.

Spreading Darbha grass (sacred grass used for religious rites) on the banks of River Sethu, Raama undertook a fast addressing Varuna(Sea Lord) and looked to him for a solution to cross the sea. Varuna asked him to build a bridge across the sea with boulders and trees and also promised him to show the best route to build the bridge.

Being the one who undertook a fast, lying on the Darbha grass, Raama here is called Darbha Sayana Raama.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar in his praise of the Lord says, The Sethu bridge was built by the vaanara army as a help to the Lord for having killed Vaali( the Vaanara King and the brother of Sugreeva). The Sethu, he says, was built in Raama’s quest to move forward to defeat Raavana.

Andaal too has sung praise of this Lord.

Raama’s marks on Squirrel

Not to be left behind, Kulasekhara Azhvaar too praises – he of the Squirrel, which on seeing the monkeys helping Lord Raama, too wanted to help out the Lord. Being small in nature, they could not carry the trees and boulders. Hence, they did something innovative. The squirrels rolled on the sand and then ran back to the Sethu Bridge and dropped off the sand that had stuck to their body.

So impressed was Lord Raama that he rubbed the squirrels with warmth, a mark that remains to this day on the body of every squirrel. Squirrels have 3(vertical) lines on their body said to be Raama’s finger prints.

PattabhiRaamar

Having defeated the Lankan king, Lord Raama is said to have come back here and performed Pattabhishekham(crowning ceremony). Hence, he is here called ‘PattabhiRaamar’.

Sethu Bridge

The Sethu bridge has submerged under the sea but if you do request the fisherman on the banks of the Sethu sea shore, they may take you across the sea to show you the place that once was the Sethu Bridge.



Quick Facts:

Deity : Adhi Jagannathan – East Facing, Standing Posture

Goddess : Kalyanavalli, Padmasini

Mangalasaasanam : Thirumangai Azhvaar

Paasurams : 21

Temple timing : 8am –12.20pm and 330pm-8pm

Priest : T. Seshadri(Peshkar) on 98429 48390,
Ranganathar Bhattar on 99428 89763

Also contact : Anantha Krishnan (Accountant) on 04567 254 527

Location : 8Kms South East of Ramanathapuram, 60kms SouthWest of Rameswaram and about 120kms East of Madurai

Sethu SeaShore : About 4 kms South of Thirupullani Temple

Bus : Bus Numbers 1A,1B, 5,5A,5B, 10 and 17 from Ramnad

Auto : Auto will charge anything between Rs. 100 and Rs.150 for a one way drop from Ramanathapuram to Thirupullani

Place to Stay : Best to stay in Madurai (about 120kms away) or Rameswaram (70kms)

Road Route : Rameswaram- Ramanathapuram- Madurai is a National Highway, wide roads all the way through ( Paramakudi-Manamadurai route) that allows consistent travel at 80kms per hour

Rail Route : Currently on broad gauge conversion between Manamadurai and Rameswaram. Hence, all trains stop at Manamadurai

Places to visit nearby : Dhanushkodi, Pamban Bridge, Rameswaram

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