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Vinayaka in unique form



The idol of Adi Vinayaka. — Pic. by Rajarathinam.

THE NANDRUDAYAN Vinayaga temple in Devadhanam in East Boulevard road, Tiruchi, boasts of the unique Adi Vinayagar granite idol depicting Lord Ganesha with his original divine face without the usual elephantine head and the trunk.

The five-foot tall majestic presiding deity of the temple - Nandrudayan Vinayagar adorning a Naghabharanam around his waist, has a Naganandhi facing him at the Eastern entrance of the temple. It may be mentioned that Nandi Deva is generally associated with Siva Temples only. The Seventh Century Tamil savant Sambandar had in one of his pathikams praised the presiding deity of the temple thereby indicating that this is one of the oldest temples in Sirapalli (Tiruchi).

The four-foot tall Adi Vinayagar is installed in a separate shrine close to the sanctum sanctorum and the divine grace of the brilliantly sculptured granite idol is indeed captivating. In the one hand Lord Ganesha holds the axe, symbolising the destruction of all desires, a rope to indicate his willingness to rescue anyone from the mire of vasanas, the modaka representing the joyous reward of spiritual life, and lotus symbolising that all can achieve the supreme state of self-realisation. The large belly of Ganesha is to convey the idea that a Man of Perfection can consume and digest whatever experience he undergoes. The tiny rat which is seated in front of the Lord amidst a rich collection of food is to indicate that a perfect man - like the rat, will have total control over his desires.

Inside the small shrine one could also see the idols of Adi Sankara, Sage Veda Vyasa, Goddess Gayatri, Sadasiva Brahmendra and Saint Pattinathar. According to Sage Ramarathinam, Trustee of the temple, the Kanchi Paramacharya, used to offer worship at the Thayumanavar and Uchipillayar temples atop the Rockfort. When he visited the temple about 60 years ago he suggested the rendering of the Vedas in the temple everyday it is being followed, the reciting done by scholars. Just behind the sanctum sanctorum an Anjaneya shrine has been established and the temple has separate shrines for Lord Muruga, the Navagrahas, Goddess Durga and Lord Ayyappa in the other Mandapam. Special poojas are performed for Adi Vinayagar on Thursdays. In the annual music festival conducted for the past 83 years almost all leading musicians have participated. It may be recalled that Devadhanam of today is highly congested where daily wage earners, rag pickers, dealers in old second hand household articles, etc. live. A couple of centuries ago, prior to the establishment of the Town railway station Devadhanam was the entry point to the city from the East. Situated very close to the Cauvery, Devadhanam sported some very important and ancient temples, the Bhoologanathaswami temple, Veerasoora Mahakaliamman temple, Nandrudayan temple, etc. There were four huge tanks close to these temples all of which have now been converted into lorry stand, weekly market and parks. In recent years the residents of the area have taken a keen interest in preserving old and ancient temples.

V. GANAPATHY

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