The history of Avudaiyar temple ( concluding part ).

Auvudaiyar temple is very different from other temples.There is no idols for God Shiva  as well as for Goddess .In shiva sanctum sanctorum, square type Auvudaiyar is  there.No bana linga.Three lamps  are lit behind Moolasthana .A white , red & green lamps.white representing Sun, green as Moon & Red as Agni(fire).Goddess  Parvathi is called "Yogambal".She ,after attending his father Dakshan's yagna jumps into the  yagna fire .She is  also  formless, comes here & doing penance to reunite with God Shiva.Her Sannidhi  is  always kept closed.Devotees can see her  feet (திருவடி) through   a mirror kept inside.During  festival time, only the  idol of Manickavasakar is  mounted on  a bull(ரிஷப வாஹனம்) & taken in  a procession. As both this saint & Shiva are one, here for Aani thirumanjanam, & Margazhi thiruvathirai festivals only Manickavasakar is decorated & taken around.The sculptural works are excellent & the "kodungai"  sculptural work in the prakara are exemplary & when the temple sculptors sign for new temples , they sign as except Avudaiyar  temple kodungai.There is a scene of God Shiva & Goddess Parvathi presenting Arjuna with  Pasupatha Asthra ,they take the form of  a hunter & his wife.Goddess wearing  bangles,with a hand bag & hunter's wife's ear rings are excellent work.In  the Panchatchara mandapa, five letters of the manthra are represented in the roof.                                                                                                                                                      Boiled rice in steaming condition with bitter guard   is poured over the Avudaiyar . Students studying under  God Shiva, used to bring boiled rice & vegetables for their Guru. So God Shiva is offered  this type of food.A vessel is kept in an inverted position above the Avudaiyar , the vessel representing our human body & God  as Atma dwelling inside ,protecting us. As the steam from the boiled rice , representing  God in  formless  form.The three type of manifestation of God, as formless, form  & Aruvuruvam(அருவுருவம்) are represented  here .As  god is protecting us  in the form of "Atma", he is called "Atmanathar".For the form he is coming as Manickavasakar as Shiva & him are same.For the Aruvuruvam,  moolasthanam & Sthala  virutcha - the holy tree in the  temple is represented.During Karthigai Somavaram holy water in 108 conches, pooja &  abishegam  is offered to the holy tree , under which Shiva taught  Manickavasakar.Shiva came  as a commander riding  a horse is shown in an excellent sculptural work.He is wearing  a turban  &  horse riding soldier's uniform with a big moustache in his face & a whip in his hand .This is called "kudhirai samy"(குதிரைச்சாமி ).Some foxes are  also carved  under his horse.Later Manickavasakar composes "Thiruvasakam" a priceless  holy hymn about God Shiva.He is said to  have entered  Lord Nataraja's chamber at Chidambaram in a divine light form & merges with God Shiva.Vallalar Ramalinga  Adigalar  adopts  Sri .Manickavasakar as his Guru & has deeply studied & experienced God Shiva's presence in all  songs of Thiruvasakam.Thiruvarutpa, composed by Vallalar is said to be  reverse of Thiruvasakam. Vallalar also found God in Divine light  form.His first Guru Thirugnanasambandar also finally merges in the Divine light . Sri.G.U.Pope who came to India   to spread Christianity through Church of South India mission, learnt Tamil to move  with Tamil people at Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu. After learning Tamil , he studies Thiruvasakam & very much impressed by Thiruvaskam & some of his colleagues complained to the  European church that Mr.Pope has become  a Hindu.Then they send  another person to verify the truth.He also studied Tamil & Thiruvasakam.Later he sent a message to his missionary that Mr.Pope was  a true christian & even after studying Thiruvasakam it is a great thing to remain as a christian.Photo below :Manickavasakar 's idol & Musical pillars in the temple.Photo courtesy:Dina malar magazine  with thanks.