At the top of Pazhani Hill, near the holy Murugan which Bhogar had crafted from nine poisonous substances, there is an opening in the Earth; it is a hole in the ground; the mouth of a cave which lies below. Bhogar often lowered himself into the Earth, sat in the cave, accessing Life’s hidden secrets. He performed great austerities there, the magnitude of which very few in this modern age can fathom.
There at the opening Bhogar erected a humble shrine to the Great Mother: a few yantras, a couple of five-metal icons baring the form of the Mother and her son Murugan. He worshipped a small emerald lingam there, about ten inches in height. His one and only disciple, Pulipani (perhaps the only one who truly understood the sage), kept him company at the entrance to the underground cavern on the top of Palani Hill.
When Bhogar felt that his outer work was done, he entered the gateway of earth and stone and sat down in the darkness of the cave. Faithful Pulipani heaved a stone slab over the entrance, sealing Bhogar forever in the blackness of his earthen womb.
For thirteen generations Pulipani’s descendants have watched over that stone slab that marks the gateway to the underground chamber. Long ago, Bhogar’s little shrine was set atop that hallowed spot, and even today, is still worshipped by the vigilant sons of the faithful Pulipani. They say that Bhogar is seated quietly in meditation even now; alone in the darkness; watching the slow passage of time.
His breath is still. His mind is quiet, his heart unwavering; but through the dense dark matter of his earthly form stabs the vibrant & relentless flame of the Kundalini Shakti. There he waits…(Courtesy: Shaking the Tree: Kundalini Yoga, Spiritual Alchemy, & the Mysteries of the Breath in Bhogar’s 7000 English rendering by Layne Little)
On Lord Muruga’ idol of Pazhani
1. Only four kinds of materials are used to consecrate the idol of Dandayuthapani (in Pazhani Temple) –sesame oil, panchamritham, sandal and sacred ash. Rose water is used only in the month of Margazhi (Dec – Jan). Apart from sandal and rose water, the other three ingredients are placed on Dandayuthapani’s head and removed immediately.
2. The consecration of the whole body is done only with sandal and rose water. On the instructions of a Siddha (enlightened soul), the sacred ash placed on the head is given as prasadam. It is a great blessing to receive it.
The idol is given the consecrating bath six times a day for five to seven minutes.
3. Once the idol is bedecked after the consecration, till the next one, garlands or flowers are not offered to the deity.
4. At night, sandal paste is applied to Muruga’s chest.
5. A dot of sandal paste is also kept between the eyebrows of the idol. In the earlier days, the paste was applied to the face. Then that practice was changed.
6. The idol of Dandayuthapani is very hot. So at night, it sheds water. This water is mixed with the water used for consecrating the idol in the morning and also given as prasadam to the devotees.
7. The rudrakshams on the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, shoulders, hands, fingers, etc. are so clear that they look as if they have been carved using a very special chisel. This is the uniqueness of Bhogar’s skills.
8. The idol is surrounded by a unique fragrance that cannot be found anywhere else.
9. Bhogar took nine years to carve this idol.
10. Bhogar attempted to make such a powerful idol thanks to the blessings of Ambal, Muruga and Agastya Rishi. He collected more than 4,000 herbs from different places. 81 Siddhas made the Navapaashaanam (a kind of elixir) as instructed by him. Another trivia is that because it was done out of goodwill, Time and Nature subdued their impact to help the Siddhas.
11. One epic says, that on Agastya’s orders, a demon carried two hills on his shoulders and took it towards River Podhigai. Muruga stopped him, fought and defeated him and allowed the hills to rest where they are now.
12. Bhogar, to fulfil his promise to his wife when he was a householder, installed the idol facing west. Because of this, the people belonging to the hills consider Pazhani Muruga to be their family deity.
13. Many believe that while most temples with stone idols have become dilapidated with time, the Pazhani idol crafted from herbs is still standing because of the greatness of the Siddhars who made it.
14. There is a small emerald linga on the left side of Dandayuthapani. Devotees must approach him from the right and light a lamp because this can only be viewed only in the lamp light.
15. There are two emerald lingas in Pazhani – one in the sanctum sanctorum of Muruga and the other above the tomb of Bhogar. It is believed that Bhogar worshipped both these idols.
Pazhanimalai Muruganukku Arohara! Vel Vel Vetri Vel!