''Palani Murugan'' (Karthikaya) and his link with God Ganapathi!!


Gods Vinayaka and Muruga (Karthikaya) wallpaperaccess.com

There is a link between God Vinayaka and God Muruga (karthikaya of the Palani (Pazhni) Hill, Tamil Nadu. Unlike other temples dedicated to God Muruga ( Aarupadai veedu/ six abodes of God Muruga or Subramanya), the one at Palani is  different. Here, the main idol made of Navabashanam (nine poisonous  chemicals)  is in standing posture with no clothes on but for  Kowbeenam (Komanam in Tamil to hide the genitals) a piece of cloth in the groin and a Dhandam (a long stick) high-lightening his contentment, quite reminiscent of a Sanyasi - the one who gives up  all the trappings of life. What made God Kathikaya choose this life of an ascetic? Why this renunciation? 

Palani Subramaniya temple, Tamil Nadu. templepurohit.com

The presence of God Karthikaya  is the tale of  'sibling revelry'  with his brother Ganesa.  Legend has it that once sage Narada who is known for his mischiefs (all of them will end on a good note) brought  a Mango (fruit of wisdom) to the abode of God Shiva and Parvati at Mt Kailash. The moment learned sage brought the mango the peaceful scenario of God's abode had changed and trouble started brewing as God Ganesha and God Subramanya (Muruga) vied with one another to get the fruit of wisdom. No question of sharing the fruit as the fruit had to be eaten  by only one person.  Consumption of Mango will entail knowledge and wisdom. As the competition between them became too acute  to warrant interference God Shiva did not like his children fighting  verbally for the fruit. Being in a quandary  Shiva  came up with an idea to solve the issue and accordingly, he  said, '' whoever goes round the world first will get the fruit.

On hearing from his father,   God  Muruga used his mount ''peacock''  and  soon  was out of sight on the way to circle the world. As for God Ganesa with a big body, he thought for a while and used his discretionary power  to win  the race. His perseverance and inherent endurance helped him tide over the difficult  situation  He went straight to his parents and  started going round them in clockwise three times and finally stood before them with his hands in supplication.  He told them politely, ''God Shiva is the master of the universe, omnipresent, all pervading. Circling God Shiva and Goddess Parvati is  as good as circling the world. Quite pleased with his  convincing explanation,  his is parents rewarded him with the fruit of wisdom. 

Upon his return from the trip around the world, God Muruga saw the Mango fruit with God Ganesa. He could not contain his disappointment and frustration. Quite dejected as he was,  he went straight to Palani hill and chose it as his abode;  he bared his body but for kowbeenam with only a stick in his hand. No jewels, nothing of the sort. Dejection made him  choose a different life style. A  god in  an acetic attire. 

Both Shiva and Parvati   quickly went to Palani hill to  pacify him and subdue his dejection They called him – ‘Gnana Pazham neeyappa’, meaning  that you yourself are an embodiment of  wisdom. This is the reason why this hill is called Pazhani  (Pazham  (fruit) plus Nee (you). This Palani hill is part of Eastern Ghat mountain  range close to the tall Kodaikanal  hills that stand majestically   behind this hillock. Every year millions of people visit the Palani hill and the major festival comes in the month of Punguni.  On account of Covid-19 pandemic, there are restrictions to enter the temple in large number. 

Here  Karthkaya is called Sri Dhandayathapani (holding  Dhandam). God Ganesa was indirectly responsible for the presence of God Subramaniya (Muruga) atop the hillock. On the day of Vinayaka Chathurthi it is good to remember God Ganesa  who made his parents declare that God Muruga  himself is a  symbol of knowledge and wisdom.