His Holiness Sri Kamakshi Swamigal organised a pilgrimage trip to the Navagraha temples. According to Hinduism, Navagrahas are the nine planetary Gods controlling the destinies of human beings. Each of the nine Gods is represented by a planet. Suriyan (Sun), Chandiran (Moon), Sevvai (Mars), Budhan (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Sukkiran (Venus), Saneeshwarar (Saturn), Raghu (Uranus), Ketu (Neptune) are the Navagrahas. These nine temples are very famous and known to have dedicated to each of the nine celestial bodies. Each temple is unique with respect to beliefs and rituals, and every graha has its own character, color, favorite day/time ideal for worship. This tour has been organized to strengthen the planetary influences on the well being of all devotees of Sri Guruji. On 24/02/2012 afternoon, His Holiness Shri Swamiji along with his devotees/sevarthees started towards Kumbakonam for Navagraha Yatra.
The lush green district through which the Cauvery flows has nine Shiva temples. Each of these enshrines a Navagraha, six of them are situated on the Northern bank of Cauvery and three on Southern bank.
1. Suryan Temple, Tirumangalakkudi: Suryan temple is the first Navagraha temple that Guruji and his devotees visited. The temple priest received Shri Guruji with all due honour. This temple is dedicated to Sun God. Lord Surya is accompanied by his consorts Usha and Chayadevi in this temple. This is the only Navagraha temple that houses shrines for the other eight celestial bodies as well.
2. Chandran Temple, Thingalur: Shri Guruji and his devotees visited the temple of Kailasanathar (Sivan) of Thingalur which is located near Thiruvaiyaru and is dedicated to Moon. Thingaloor, referred to as Chandran Sthalam, is around 30km from Kumbakonam, near Thiruvaiyaru. Thingaloor means Place(Oor) of the Moon(Thingal) in Tamil. The main deities here are Kailasanadhar (Lord Shiva) and Periyanayagi (Goddess Parvati). A visit to this temple is said to grant a comfortable life, without stress and sorrow. On the full moon day in the Tamil month of Panguni, rays of the moon fall on the main deity Lord Shiva.
3. Vaitheeshwaran Temple, Sirkazhi: The Vaitheeshwaran temple is located near Sirkazhi, around 50km from Kumbakonam. Vaitheeswaran Koil is known as the Sevvai Sthalam. Shri Swamiji was received with a great tribute by the temple priest. In this temple, there is a special shrine devoted to Sevvai or Mangala or Angaraka or Mars. The Temple Priest also explained that every Tuesday there is a procession of bronze statue of Angarahan (Sevvai) which is placed in the temple. The Main deities in this temple are Vaidhyanatha Swamy (Shiva) and Thaiyal Nayaki (Parvati). Siddha Amritham and Jatayu Kundam are the holy tanks in this temple.
4. Thiruvenkadu, : Thiruvenkadu is located near Mayavaram, 60km from Kumbakonam and it is the fourth Navagraha sthala. This temple is dedicated to Mercury, referred as the Budhan Sthalam. Shri Guruji was given a warm welcome by the temple priest. Shri Guruji enlightened the devotees with the features and importance of this Sthalam. Budhan or Mercury is green in complexion, and is said to bestow wisdom and success in education & profession. It is also believed that Thiruvenkadu is considered to be on par with Varanasi. The main deities here are Swetha Ranyeshwarar (Shiva) and Brahma Vidya Nayaki (Parvati). The navagrahas in this temple are arranged in a single row, which is unique. Thiruvenkadu is also known as Adhi Chidambaram.
5. Alangudi Guru Temple: This is a Shiva temple which is located at Alangudi, around 17km from Kumbakonam. His Holiness Shri Swamiji was time-honored with great admiration by the temple minister. This temple is dedicated to Guru (Jupiter), Alangudi is also regarded as the Guru sthalam Guru Bhagwan is also known by the name of Dhakshinamoorthy. The presiding deity of the shrine is Lord Shiva in the name of Aabathsahayeswarar and Goddess Parvati as Elavarkuzali. It is believed that worship of Dakshinamurthy (Guru) in this shrine, would confer progeny, fame, longevity and wealth.
There are 15 theerthams (water bodies) in this temple, of which Amrita Pushkarani is the famous one. Goddess Parvati is said to have reborn here. Sage Visvamitra is believed to have worshiped Lord Shiva in Alangudi.
6. Kanjanur Sukkiran Temple: The sixth Navagraha sthalas is the Kanjanur Temple near Suryan Temple, around 20km from Kumbakonam. Here the main god Agnishwaraswamy is related with Venus. Kanjanur, known as the Sukran Sthalam. Shri Guruji was welcomed with a parivattam as a mark of respect by the temple priest. The main deities in this temple are Agneeswarar (Shiva) and Karpagambal (Parvati). The temple priest elucidated that there is no seperate shrine for Lord Sukran here, as it is believed that Lord Shiva has reincarnated as Sukran here. Sukran is said to bestow health, prosperity, marriage and happiness to the devotees, and is called as ‘Kalatra Karaka’.
7. Thirunageswaram Raaghu Temple: This temple is located in Thirunageswaram near Kumbakkonam and it is dedicated to Lord Raaghu. Here the main god is Lord Shiva which is in the form of Nageshwaran. This temple has a big shrine of Raaghu and this is the only temple to have a shrine for Lord Raaghu (Uranus). Thirunageshwaram is known as the Rahu Sthalam. Lord Rahu, the serpent king, can be seen along with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni in this temple. The main deities are Naganathaswamy (Shiva) and Girigujambigai (Parvati). The holy tank of this temple is Surya pushkarani. Though Rahu is usually associated with ill effects, he also bestows good financial and social status. And also visited Vedha Padasala of mutt, Guruji blessed the students.
8. Kethu Temple, Keezhperumpallam: Neptune is the last god of the Navagrahas.. Keezhperumpallam, an ancient Shaivite temple, is known as Kethu Sthalam. This is the only known temple which has a shrine for Lord Kethu The main deities in this temple are Naganathaswamy (Shiva) and Soundarya nayaki (Parvati). The temple is situated near the banks of river Cauvery, flowing downstream. Hence the name Keezhperumpallam (Keezh – Down, Perum – Big, Pallam – Low lying area).
9. Saneeshwaran Temple, Karaikal: This is a Dharbaranyeshwarar Temple which is located at Tirunallar, around 65km from Kumbakonam, near Karaikkal.. The main deities in Thirunallar are Dharbaranyeshwarar (Shiva) and Ponmulaiyal (Parvati). The temple minister explained that it here that King Nala was relieved of his suffering, after worshiping this shrine. Lord Shani is believed to be the most powerful of all the navagrahas. The holy tank in this temple is called Nala theertham.
Enroute Sri Swamiji and sevarthees visited Oppiliappan Temple, it is believed that Lord Srinivasa here has similar powers to that of the Lord at Tirupathi and hence its called the South Tirupathi, those who are unable to go to Tirupathi visit this temple. This is the only Divya Desam where prasadams do not contain salt and hence the name `Oppiliappan'(Lord without Salt). Also Sri Swamiji and sevarthees visited Sri Pretheyngara Temple at Ayyavadi, Sri Jagadguru Bhodhendra Swamigal Adhistanam Govindapuram, Sri Jagadguru Mahaswami Brindavanam managed by H H Mettur Swamigal, Sri Maha Periyava mother’s birth place Echangudi, Lord Vinayagar birth place(Avatharam) Ganapathi Agraharam, Sri Kamakshi Mariyamma at Karuvezhakarai and Sri Sivalokanatahar Temple, Thiripunkur (Those afflicted by Naga dhosha (anger of the snakes), Kalathra dhosha ( risk to the life of the wife), Papa dhosha (effects of sins committed) visit this temple for a dharsan of the Lord and the Goddess so that they will be relieved of the afflictions ensuring safety. Lord Sivalokanatha blesses them with his pardon. In turn, the devotees offer clothings to the Lord and the Goddess
Shri Guruji and disciples also to visited Lalithambigai temple at Thirumeyachur, the presiding deity of the temple is Lord Meghanatha. The consort of Lord Meghanatha is Goddess Lalithambigai. Lord Surya as requested by Lord Shiva prayed to relieve from his sins, Lord Surya became impatient and cried. Goddess got angry at the sun for shouting in Their abode. The God pacified her saying sun was looking for relief. (This Pacifying scene is depicted by the sculpture) One of the key attractions of this temple is this sculpture where Lord Shiva is holding Parvati’s cheeks …its said that Lord is pacifying the mother of universe. The expertise of the sculpture is clearly shown as the figurine of the goddess appears to be in anger from one angle and on the other she looks calm. By His Grace sun was cured. The pacified Goddess is named as “Shantanayaki” . It is here, from the mouth of shakti appeared the vachini devatas and is given to the world, hence its called Lalita Sahasranamam. One another exceptional feature at this Temple is, the Sun worships the Lord with his rays falling on the Lord from 21st to 27th of Chithirai Masam and Goddess Saraswathi Temple at Kuthanur.
Sri Guruji and sevarthees reached chennai on 27-02-12 evening