Thought for the week

S. V. Subrahmanian svsubrahmanian at YAHOO.COM
Sat Nov 3 06:44:26 CST 2001

                     || Om Sri lalitAmbikAyai namaH ||
              || Salutations to the Divine Mother Sri Lalitha ||

hR^dayAlayISvara – God resident in the temple of the heart

There was a Pallava king ruling over Kanchipuram in Tamilnadu.  He wanted to
construct a temple for Lord Siva and set about doing it.  The temple had slowly
come up and finally reached completion.  A good date was chosen for
kumbhAbhishekam of the temple and all arrangements were made.  On the eve of
the day of the festival, Lord Siva appeared in the dream of the Pallava king
and requested him to postpone the ceremony as He had to attend another similar
ceremony at ThirunindravUr and He would have to be there without fail.

The king being a devotee himself felt very bad, that Lord Siva deferred the
temple he had built and that there was a devotee far more dearer to the Lord
than himself.  He was also surprised that somebody had constructed such a grand
temple within his kingdom and he did not know about it.  He was curious to know
who this devotee was.  So he proceeded to the village to see the Siva temple.
He searched the entire village and could not find any temple around.  He asked
the local people about a newly constructed Siva temple and nobody knew about
it.  Some of them said that there is a devotee of the Lord sitting at a
particular place and constantly meditating on the Lord.  They said that he
might know about it.

The king went to the saintly person and asked him the same question. The saint
also said that he did not know about any temple in the near vicinity, but said
that if the king wished he could witness a kumbhAbhishekam that was happening
right there.  The king expressed his desire to see and the saint pointed to his
heart.  The king saw in the heart of the saint, a grand temple built and the
ceremony proceeding with Vedas being chanted and Lord Siva manifesting there to
receive the oblations.  The king then knew what the Lord had meant.

This saint was none other than pUsalar one of the celebrated nAyanArs (63 of
them known for their devotion to Lord Siva).  He was a poor man.  But he
desired very much to build a temple for the Lord, but did not have enough money
to construct the temple.  But at the same time, he had this desire.  So he
decided to construct the temple in his own heart.  He did so, brick by brick,
everyday in his heart and on the appointed day, decided to perform the
kumbhAbhishekam ceremony in his heart itself.  That had coincided with the one
that the king had intended to perform.

It seems like the Divine Leela of Lord Siva that these two events should happen
the same day.  Thus the Lord honored the devotee however poor he was, moved
solely by his single-hearted devotion.  He preferred that to the grand
arrangements made by the king.

One is reminded of what Sri Krishna said in the gItA that as long as one offers
with true devotion, be it a leaf, water, flower or fruit, He would accept it.
This was proved true in the life of the nAyanAr.

Subsequently a Siva temple was built in the village to honor the great saint
and the compassion of the Lord.  This temple exists even today.  The temple had
over the centuries been neglected and was dilapidated.  Couple of years ago,
religious minded people recognized the significance of the temple and with the
help of few charitable persons renovated the temple.  Now a totally renovated
temple stands there, thanks to the enthusiasm and devotion of the people there.

ThirunindravUr is just a couple of hours drive from Chennai.  People who visit
Chennai, may take time to visit the temple and receive the Grace of ISvara and
also pay homage to the efforts of the people there.  The name of Lord Siva in
that temple is called hR^dayAlayISvara – The Lord whose abode is in the heart
(of the devotee).

Have a nice weekend.


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