Gnanavalli sametha Sara Parameswarar koil at Thirucherai is known as the temple for debt relief. Lord Shiva here is known by different names like Udayar, Senneriyappar and Sara Parameswarar.
Markandeya installed a Lingam here and worshipped the same. Lord Shiva fulfilled his prayer for prosperity of the people of this region. The Rinavimochaneswarar Lingam is in the outer praharam (Circumambulatory path). The general belief is that worshipping Lord Shiva here helps improve the financial status and be debt-free. It is just the superficial meaning. However there is a deeper meaning to this. Debt includes financial debts and not limited to it.
Most of us are not aware of the other debts. According to scriptures, every human being is born with three types of debts. They are Deva rina (debt to God), Rishi rina (debt to Sages or Rishis) and Pitru rina (debt to ones ancestors). There are also well-defined means of repaying these debts. If a man does not repay these debts in his lifetime he will have another birth to repay. There is no escape from repaying these debts.
A man clears off his debt to God by performing poojas, visiting temples and most important of all – being good to fellow human beings & other living things and respect to nature. Any act of service goes to repay the debt to God.
The ancient Rishis or sages had framed a set of rules or Code of Conduct which are to be followed by all human beings. The second set of debts i.e. debt to Rishis can be repaid by following and adhering to the Code of Conduct laid down by the Rishis. A man can repay his debt to the Rishis.
Pitru Rina is repaid by performing Shrardham to ones ancestors and performing ones duty to his/her parents.
There also a set of rules called nithya karmas (daily duties) which are to be adhered to. According to the scriptures, every Grihastha or family man has to perform these six duties as follows:
- Should wake up in the Brahma Muhurtham (one and a half hours before sunrise) – According to the scriptures, sleeping during the Brahma Muhurtham destroys all virtues and is a sin. At this time the environment is calm and without any disturbances. According to Ayurveda life-force is at its peak during this time when the atmosphere is ozone rich. The pale blue light that appears in the horizon during the mornings is full of energy. It is very good for both the mind and the body.
- Immediately on waking up, look at your palms because Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Brahma reside in our palms. This is an auspicious beginning to the day and is supposed to bring good fortune.
- Pay your respect to Mother Earth. Mother Earth bears the burden of all the living things in this world. A biological mother takes care of us until we are grown up, but Mother Earth showers her care and love on us from our birth right through our lifetime until our death. She provides us food, clothing and shelter.
- After this, having a glimpse of a mirror, gold, diamond, sandal, conch or mridangam (a South Indian percussion instrument) is considered auspicious.
- One must prostrate to father, mother & Guru Every day.
- Then purify your mind. Ensure that you only think good thoughts. Sprinkle water on your head after chanting the following slokam.
OM APAVITHRAH PAVITHRO VA SARVAAVASTHAAM GATOPIVA,
YA SMARET PUNDAREEKA AKSHAM SA VAAHYA BHYANTARAH SHUCHIH
ATINEEL GHANSHYAMAM NALINAYAT LOCHANAM
SMARAMI PUNDAREEKAKSHAM TEN SNATO BHAVAMYAHAM
We should also take bath in the evening and worship. We commit a lot of sins inadvertently during the day. We unknowingly kill a lot of small organisms while we walk, cook etc. In our evening prayer, we seek apology for such unintentional sins.
Mondays are very special for Lord Shiva. Worship Kadan Nivartheeswarar, as Rinavimochanar is also known, for eleven consecutive Mondays here. This would not be practical for most of us. However, when you visit the temple you can register your name (mention your birth star, gothram, names of your other family members and their birth star) for the archana (roughly translated as series of mantras or slokas chanted in praise of God) that will be performed on eleven Mondays. The cost for this is Rs.165/-. The prasadam is sent every week and will reach you every Wednesday/Thursday for eleven consecutive weeks. At the end of the eleventh week, or at any later date, you may visit the temple and take part in an abhishegam (ablution) that is done every Monday. The timings of the abhishegam (ablution) are 6 AM, 11 AM and 6 PM. You can choose the time according to your convenience. The whole ritual takes about two to three hours. The cost of taking part in this abhishegam (ablution) is Rs.250/-. These were the rates in 2010. A more recent one is below.
Before this abhishegam (ablution), flower is distributed to the devotees and then taken back during the abhishegam (ablution). This signifies that you have paid back your debts. Eleven is a special number for Shiva as there are eleven forms of Rudra Shiva. Abhishegam (ablution) to Shiva is done with eleven materials as prescribed in the Shiva Agamas (Shiva worship rules). The abhishegam (ablution) materials are
- Gingely oil
- Pancha kavyam (mixture of five ingredients i.e. milk, curd, ghee and cow’s urine)
- Panchamrutham (mixture of five ingredients i.e. fruits, jaggery, ghee, honey and sugar)
- Cane juice
- Lime juice
- Tender coconut water
- Sandal paste
There are a fairly large number of people that join in this worship ceremony. During this ritual, a priest recites the Dharidriya Dhahana Shiva Stotram over a public address system and the devotees are encouraged to repeat after him. Thus worshiping at this temple absolves us of the three debts viz Deva Rina, Rishi Rina and Pitru Rina, apart from being blessed with prosperity. Reciting the Dharidriya Dhahana Shiva Stotram thrice a day also is said to yield the same benefits. I have appended the same for ready reference.
On the 13th, 14th and 15th of the Tamil month Masi, the Sun’s rays fall directly on the Shiva Lingam. It is a belief that Surya Bhagavan comes down here to worship the Lord on these days. In the inner praharam, there are Sannidhis (sanctum sanctorum) for Amrithakadeswarar and Abhirami worshipped by Markandeyar. There are also three niches of Durga viz. Shiva Durga, Vishnu Durga and Vaishnava Durga.
After worshipping Rinavimochanar, pray to Mahalakshmi and Jyeshtadevi. This ensures that you stay debt-free for the rest of your life.
Perform Archana to Bhairavar on eight consecutive ashtami (eighth day from New moon or full moon) and Abhishegam (ablution) on the ninth ashtami. The belief is that, if you follow this procedure, success in your endeavours and victory in any litigation, will be yours. Bhairavar also removes the navagraha dosham (malefic effect caused by a planet which is in an unfavourable position in ones horoscope).
Thirucherai is located about 15 Kms from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam Tiruvarur Road.
Other temples nearby:
Saranatha Prumal temple at Thirucherai, where there are 5 forms of Lakshmi, Mahalakshmi, Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Neeladevi and Saranayaki.
Boarding & Lodging
Have your travel base at Kumbakonam, which is very close to this place.
Arulmigu Sara Parameswarar Thirukkovil
Thirucherai – 612605