Archive for July, 2014

Naganathar Temple at Kochadai

July 1, 2014

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Kochadai Naganathar Sthala Puranam

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மதுரா நகராக்ரஸ்த நாளிகேர வனாலயம் …

பாரத்வாஜ குலோத்பூத மகனீயை ப்ரதிஷ்டிதம் ….

திராவிடீகவி சார்தூல வெங்குஸ்வாமி கவீடிதம் ….

மகாபூர்ண குலோத்பூத சோரநாத கவிஸ்துதம் …

நாகநாதம் அஹம் வந்தே

                              கோச்சடை க்ஷேத்ர வாஸினம்.

 

Kochadai is a small village near Madurai. Now it has become a suburb of Madurai Municipal Corporation. In this town on the banks of river Vaigai, there is a small, beautiful temple for the powerful deity of Lord Naganatha. He is worshipped both as Naga Bhushana of Lord Shiva and Naga Sayana of Lord Vishnu. Here is a brief account of the history of this temple.

About 150 years ago, (shall we say, 1860s AD) a well-to-do Brahmin of Bharatwaja Gothra was living in Madurai, in Kaka Thoppu agraharam. He owned a big coconut farm near Kochadai, on the banks of river Vaigai. He used to visit this farm very often. During one of his visits he happened to stay late in the afternoon. Hence he decided to perform his sandya-vandana there. He was performing Gayathri Japam with his eyes closed. After the japam when he opened his eyes, he was startled to see a big cobra with a wide open hood in front of him. He decided not to panic. He calmly completed his sandya-vandana. Surprisingly the cobra was also waiting. When he observed the cobra keenly, he found that it was sticking out his fangs and there was a thorn stuck deep into his fangs. The cobra was obviously in pain, not being able to get rid of the thorn. The bold Brahmin used the stem of his uttarini (spoon), and succeeded in digging out the thorn. The cobra was visibly relieved. But to Brahmin’s surprise it started circum ambulating him. After doing three pradakshans, it stuck the ground three times as though doing a sathya-pramaan. Then the cobra had gone away.

After returning home, the Brahmin narrated the event to his family and they were all very surprised. The same night Lord Naganatha, in his 5-headed glory appeared in the Brahmin’s dream and appreciated him for saving the life of one of his clan. The Lord promised him that no harm will come to any future generations of the Brahmin, from any snake or from any poison. The Lord asked the Brahmin to build a temple for him in the same spot at Kochadai and to adopt Lord Naganatha, as their family deity in future. With His divine grace, the Kochadai Naganatha Swamy Temple was constructed by the family at the present site. The family, which had Saptha Matha or Saptha Kannika as their Kula Devata (A small temple near Siruthyur, Lalgudi), had since started offering prayers to Lord Naganatha at Kochadai. Even today a few of our family members visit Vaishnavi (Ila-madicchi Amman) kovil in Siruthyur and pray just to keep the link. Otherwise the family have adopted Lord Naganatha as their Kula Devata and prays at Kochadai. They do Samaradhanai at the Temple premises ahead of any marriage or upanayanam ceremonies in the family. These days, a few of our family members even do Mudi-kanikkai there. Some do Anga-pradkshan also there.

One of the descendents of the Brahmin, Dindugal Sri L. A. Vengusamy Iyer, had composed Tirukochadai Naganathan Stotra Venba in 1957, consisting of 51 Venbas in Tamil on Lord Naganatha. This is being regularly recited at the shrine. Another Sanskrit scholar, (and pattrachariar of Santhana Gopala Krishna Swamy Temple at Sholavandan, near Madurai), Br. Sri. Kalla Piran had composed Kochadai Naganatha Stotram in Sanskrit consisting of twenty two slokams. Many in our family have included this also in their daily prayers at home.

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(The above incident was told to me by my father when I was a young boy. It will be nice if some in our community could corroborate/supplement this narration with more facts, names and dates – L V Nagarajan, 2012)