The Navapashana idol of Palani Murugan temple, Tamil Nadu - a recap

Bogar making herbal idol of god Muruga, Palani, TN
Palani temple hill, TN
The most fascinating aspect of Palani Murugan temple in Palani, 60 km from Dindugul city Tamil Nadu is  here the main idol (Moolavar) is made of an amalgam of herbal paste called  Navapashanam (nava+pashanam. Nava means ‘nine’ and pashanam means ‘poisonous substance’). It was made by none other than  a great Siddhar  called Bhogar who was living in this part 4000 years ago(?).  One among the seven disciples of Nandi Devar.  Bogar was  conversant with countless herbs available on the hills there and their medicinal values, etc and  it is said, he classified 64 types of poisons out of which 32 were  naturally occurring  and  the other 32 were  just artificial.  
Above image: Bogar or Bhogar, a Tamil siddhar who lived sometime between 550 and 300 BC, it is believed,  went  to China and teach about enlightenment. It is  mentioned in his book Bogar 7000. At the Panali temple he said to be in "Nirvigalpa Samadhi" below the garbagriha/sanctum sanctorum of Palani Murugan hill temple.  A disciple of great sage  Agastya,   Bogar himself taught meditation, alchemy, yantric designs and Kriya yoga at the Kataragama Murugan shrine, Sri Lanka  inscribing a yantric geometric design etched onto a metallic plate and installing it at the sanctum  of the Kataragama complex. According to legends and the temple scriptures of Palani temple, Bogar  created the Navapashana idol of Murugan and consecrated it atop the Palani hill.  He also established a Murugan temple in Poombarai-  Kuzhanthai Velappar temple Kodaikanal Tamilnadu, India.  In the bygone days the milk that was poured on this idol during anointing  was said to got mixed with some of the herbs thereby proving to be an effective cure for the diseases Bogar, the discoverer of an elixir of immortality was  best known  for  his  works  on yoga and archery, and a glossary of medicine. He came to Palani after his long stay in the Meru hills in Kumari Kandam where he spent hid time meditating on God.     (from en. wikipedia. org)  ...................................

Of the 64 poisonous substance, Boggar chose  nine poisonous herbs to  make navapashanam. The nine  available poisonous substances  that were normally used to make the beads, malai and idols were  Veeram, Pooram, Rasam, Jathilingam, Kandagam, Gauri pasanam, Vellai Pasanam, Mridharsingh and Silasat. The nine poisons represent nine planets  and nine openings in our body.  Bogar carefully processed using his knowledge of Tantric tradition, the herbs along with others and removed the poison as much as possible enough for humans to keep them alive. Now, it is a powerful alchemy, a smidgen of it is enough to cure any diseases.  So, the moovalar idol in saintly posture with a thandam (pole) in his hand is made of hardened wax-like paste of various herbs - navapashanam. It is not a stone image. Nor is it a metal image. It was so tough, anointing (ritual washing of Hindu idols)  for  long period of time won't cause any wear and tear. The anointed water, milk, etc on the moolavar idol used to be safely collected to be given to the devotees as remedy for many ailments. 
Agasthiyar Left, Bogar (right) shrine.
Siddha elixirs or medicinal potionYou may call it a panacea!! 

 It is said the slim idol of Karthkaya  stood unaffected by the  effect of abhishekams/ anointing  for centuries. On certain festival days like Karttikai,  hundreds of  abhishekams are done on the idol for the benefit of devotees who would use the anointed water or milk, etc. It it were not flint-hard, the herbal idol would have worn out centuries ago. Sage Bhogar, long ago, created a scientific wonder that may defy our imagination for, it has withstood the test of time beyond our comprehension. The  abhishekam materials including the sandalwood paste at night   would absorb the medicinal properties on the idol  and they cure many ailments. Leucoderma and asthma. It is believed to be a remarkable Siddha elixirs or medicinal potion that will protect 9 important parts in our body. You may call it panacea!!  In order to help the people free from some incurable ailments, Bogar made this medicinal potion. God Karthikaya himself advised Bogar to make the idol in a particular fashion and he revolved it  to the sage in his dream. An interesting fact is the temple  priests (Sivacharyas) of Palani Murugan temple were said to have been the descendants of Pulipani, one of Bogar's students, until the sixteenth century.

This  medicinal potion  believed to influence 01. Five koshas, 02. Navagrahas  and 03. the Panchaboothas in human body. It nullifies the bad effect of  some planetary positions on humans, it is said. That a single medicinal preparation offers remedy to so many diseases  is a rare thing and this  fact that can never be denied. 
Entrance atop the hill (1500' tall), Palani temple.
 Sri Ganapathi Sthapathi, former principal of the Tamil Nadu College of Sculpture, told "Hinduism Today" that, "The icon is not made of any stone. It is made of a peculiar and shastric cement called katusarkara, made out of limestone with certain medical herbs. When prepared according to directions, the resulting form is like artificial stone." He explained that this was applied to a wooden frame. "I was able to see the wooden frame in the composition of the image. There is a vertical wood rod anchored into the floor through the pedestal for stability. Shifting the idol is fraught with danger, even a small vibration is likely to dislodgeit (Vide:........................