Thiruvenkadu, one of the navagraha sthalams, is the Budhan sthalam dedicated to Planet Mercury. Thiruvenkadu’s Sanskrit name is Shwetaranya and both literally mean – sacred white forest. This is also called Adhi Chidambaram and the Chidambara Rahasyam is also here. As seen in Chidambaram, Vishnu is near Nataraja. It is situated 15 kilometers away from Vaitheeswaran Koil, on the Sirkali – Poompuhar road. Here the Lord is Shwetaranyeswarar and His consort is Brahma Vidyambal. Indran, Airavatam, Budhan, Suryan and Chandran are said to have worshipped Shiva here. Thiruvenkadu is one of the six places considered to be equivalent to Kasi. The other five are Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri
Marutwasura, an asura, was troubling the Rishis and the people of Thiruvenkadu. The people prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva sent Nandi (Bull) – his vahana, to fight the demon. Marutwasura was defeated by Nandi and thrown into the sea. Marutwasura through his penance obtained sula – from Lord Shiva. The demon then returned with greater intensity to attack the innocent people. Once again, at the request of the devotees, Shiva sent Nandi. However, on this occasion, Nandi could not fight the demon as the demon had the Sula of Shiva. The demon caused wounds on Nandi’s back with the Sula. The idol of Nandi which bears scars on its body is seen here.
An angry Shiva opened his Third Eye and killed the demon. The idol of Aghoramurthy, a manifestation of Shiva’s anger, is installed in Thiruvenkadu. Worshiping Aghoramurthy, especially on Sunday nights is considered important and special.
There is also another story of Swetaketu associated with Thiruvenkadu. Swetaketu’s story is similar to that of Markendaiyan. Swetaketu was destined to die at the end of his eight year but the Lord prevented Yama from taking His devotee’s life.
Lord Shiva is known to have performed his seven forms of dance or Tandavam viz Ananda tandavam, Sandhya tandavam, Samhara tandavam, Tripuranta tandavam, Urdhva tandavam, Bhujanga tandavam and Lalita tandavam here. The three holy tanks here, known as Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham and Chandra Theertham are believed to have been created out of the three drops which fell from Lord Shiva’s eyes when he was dancing. Another rare feature is that the deity is present here with five faces viz Easanam, Tatpurusham, Aghoram, Vamadevam and Sadyojatam. They represent direction and an aspect of Lord Shiva. Easanam is facing the sky and represents purity, Vamdevam faces north and represents sustenance, Tatpurisha faces east and represents spirituality that has destroyed the ego, Aghoram faces south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva, Sadyojatam faces west and represents creation.
Shiva Panchanana Stotram
Praleyachala mindu kunda davalam goksheera phena prabham,
Bhasmabhyanga mananga deha dahana jwaala valee lochanam,
Vishnu brahmarul ganarchitha padanjargwedha nadhodhayam,
Vandeham sakalam kalanga rahitham Sthanormukham paschimam. 1
Gouram kumkuma pangilam suthilakam vyapandu ganda sthalam,
Broovikshepa kadaksha veekshshana lasad samsaktha karnodhphalam,
Snighdham bimbaphaladharam prahasitham neelala kalamkrutham,
Vande yajusha veda gosha janakam vakthram harsyotharam. 2
Samvarthagni thadith prathaptha kanaka praspardhi thejo mayam,
Gambeera dhwani sama veda janakam thamradharam sundaram,
Ardhendu dhyuthi phaala pingala jata bhara prabhadhoragam,
Vande sidha surasurendra namitham poorvam mukham soolina. 3
Kalabhra bramaranjana dhyuthi nibham vyavartha pingekshanam,
Karnodhbasitha bhoghi masthaka maniprothphulla damshtrakuram,
Sarpa prothaka pala shukthisaka lavyakeernasachhekaram,
Vande dakshina meswarasya vadanachaadharva vedhodhayam. 4
Vyaktha vyaktha niroopitham cha paramam shad thrimsa thathwadhikam,
Thasmad uthara thatwa maksharamithi dheyyam sada yogibhi,
Omkaaradhi samastha manthra janakam sookshmadhi sookshmam param,
Vande panchamamneeswarasya vadanam Kham vyapi thejo mayam. 5
Yethani pancha vadananbi Maheswarasya,
Ye keerthayanthi purusha sathatham pradoshe,
Gachanthi they Shiva purim ruchirair vimanai,
Kredanthi nandana vane saha loka palai.
There are three sthala vrikshams here – Vilvam, Vadaval and Konrai. Bhadhra Kali amman has a separate shrine. There are separate shrines for ashtalakshmi and Navagrahas. Navagrahas are installed in a row. The three holy tanks here, known as Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham and Chandra Theertham are believed to have been created out of the three drops which fell from Lord Shiva’s eyes when he was dancing.
Pooja: The native of a horoscope may suffer from lack of progeny, nervous problems and may not do well in academics and other arts, if Budhan is unfavourably placed. Worshiping Budhan on Wednesdays here will alleviate the problems occurring out of Budhan dosham. Malefic effect of Budhan can cause problems related to respiration like asthma and bronchitis, speech impediments and nervous disorders. Budhan is considered as the wisest of all the planets. Budhan is associated with intellect and knowledge; hence those who are not doing well in studies should worship Budhan here. Budhan blesses one with good education, knowledge, eloquence, music, astrology, mathematics, sculpture, medicine, scholarship in languages. Offer Green cloth & Full Green Moong Daal (pachchai paruppu) to Budhan here.
Recite the following mantras facing North East, which is the direction of Budhan.
Budhan Moola Mantram: Aum bram brim braum sah budhaya namah
Budhan Gayathri: aathreyaya vidhmahe indu putraya dhimahe thanno budha prachodhayath
Other Budhan Temples:
Sundareswarar Temple at Kovur near Chennai
Boarding & Lodging: This is a small village and do not expect anything here excepting a few petty shops. It will be a good idea to buy prasadam from the temple. Venn pongal, puliyodharai, chakkarai pongal and curd rice are all available as prasadam. Travel base can be Vaitheeswaran Koil, Thirukadayur or Mayiladuthurai.
Other Temples Nearby:
15.5 Kms from Sirkali (Off Sirkali – Poompuhar Road)
14 Kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil
16.6 Kms from Thirukadaiyur
8 kms from Keezhaperumpallam (Kethu sthalam)
28 kms from Mayavaram
TempleTimings: 6 AM to 1.00 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.
Arulmighu Swetharanyeswarar Temple
Nagapattinam District PIN 609114
TemplePhone Number: 04364 256 424
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