Incarnation Of Meenakshi, The Goddess Of The Temple – Thiruvilaiyadal- Story 3

NO : 4 – Madurai Kantam

Incarnation Of Meenakshi, The Goddess Of The Temple

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Malayadhwaja-Pandya, succeeded his father Kulasekara Pandya as the ruler of Madurai. Like his father, he was also an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and was known to be an illustrious ruler, who ruled according to dharma. His wife was Kanchanamalai, daughter of the Chola King Surasena.

King Malayadwaja pandya for a long time didn’t have a child. This was a major cause of worry. As suggested by his raja guru, the king started performing ashwameda yagna. He continued to perform ninety-nine aswamedha yagnas and was about to go ahead with the hundredth one.  This alarmed Indra, the King of gods, as performing one more yagna, would entitle the King to replace Indra’s as the king of gods. This forced Lord Indra to appear before the Pandya king and offer him a suggestion to perform putra kameshti yagna.

Malayadhwaja Pandya proceeded to perform the yagna as per Lord Indras instruction. Much to his delight there appeared a female child of 3 years from the sacrificial fire, adorned with ornaments. The beauty of the child was beyond description as she was the incarnation of Goddess Uma. She directly walked towards the queen and took her seat on the lap of the queen to the delight of everyone. The ecstasy of getting a child was however blemished as the child was found to have three breasts.  Malayadwaja and Kanchanamala felt sad and worried on seeing this. At this point a celestial voice was heard from heaven, mentioning that the 3rd breast would automatically disappear upon meeting the person she would be getting married to at the right age. The celestial voice also told the king to bring up the girl more like a boy, and name her as Thatathakai. This immensely pleased the king and the queen. In due course, after Thatathakai got fully equipped and trained, was made the ruler of the kingdom before the king passed away.

Thatathakai, proved to be an ideal ruler. Two celestials, Anindhitai and Kamalini, who were born as mortals in Madura, became her bodyguards.

The background story of the avatar of Goddess Uma as Thatathakai is narrated by the great sage Agastya to the other sages.  Vidyadara had a daughter by the name Vichavati. Vichavati, an ardent devotee of Parvathi wanted to worship her. Vidyadara initiated his daughter Vichavati into the mantra of Parvathi and asked her to got to Madurai, the foremost of the Shakti peetas. Vichavati performed arduous taps on goddess Parvathi for a long period. Parvathi appeared before her as a small child and asked what she was praying for. Vichavati said that she wanted Parvathis blessing always and wanted to have a child in the same form as Parvathi and appeared in front of her. Parvathi granted her wish and said that  Vichavati would be born as Kanchanamalai and be married to the Malayadhwaja, the Pandya King . The goddess would become her child, known as Thatathakai.

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