Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda Temple

Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda Temple is an ancient important and sacred Vishnu Temple situated at Thirunavaya Village of Tirur Taluk, in Malappuram District in Kerala on the banks of 'Bharathapuzha' river.Bharathapuzha River is also known as 'Perar' and 'Nila'.Bharathapuzha is mentioned in the holy Hindu text 'Bhagavatham' as 'Pratheechi'.Opposite to this temple on the other shore of the river is existed an ancient Shiva temple and Brahma temple and thus this place is one which is blessed by the three Trinity Gods 'Brahma,Vishnu and Maheswara'.
Nava Mukundan Temple is one among the 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu in India which is also known as 'Divya Desam' which is one  of the 'Thirupathis'.There are only 11 Divya Desam temples in Kerala which are:-

Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
Sree Vallabha Swamy Temple,Thiruvalla
Thrichittattu  Mahavishnu Temple, Chengannur
Puliyoor Mahavishnu Temple, Chengannur
Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple, Chengannur
Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Aranmula
Thrikkodithanam Mahavishnu Temple, Changanacherry
Thrikkakkara Vamana Moorthy  Temple,Thrikkakkara
Thirumittakode Anchumoothy Mangalam temple 
Thirumoozhikkulam Lakshmana Perumal Temple
Thirunavaya Nava Mukundan Temple

Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda temple is more than 5000 years old and was consecrated by the Sages 'Nava Yogis' of Ayodhya who were nine brothers.When they selected this sacred place for the installation of Mahavishnu's idol the eldest 'Yogi' brought a 'Salagramam idol' but it got immersed in the soil.The second Yogi tried with another idol which also got immersed and this happened for the eighth brother also.The youngest but succeeded in his attempt to consecrate the image and installed it as Mukundan and prayed to Lord Vishnu to be present there always and bless the devotees, to forgive the sins of the devotees and to give salvation for the souls.
All the nine Nava Yogis assembled here afterwards and performed a 'Yagna' to propitiate the deity.
Lord Parasurama performed 'Pithru Karmam' which is oblation for the departed souls near the bank of the river close to this temple for the salvation of the departed souls of the 'Kshatriyas' which he killed, prayed to the Lord Mahavishnu to forgive his sins after taking bath in the holy river there.
Aadi Sankaracharya visited this temple and held 'Pithru Karmam' at the ghats of the river close to this temple  for the salvation of his father 'Jamadagni Maharshi'.
A dip in the bathing ghats of this temple in the Bharathapuzha and praying at the temple of Nava Mukundan will wash off the sins of the devotees.When the 'Bali Tharpanam' (Oblations) are performed at the ghats of this temple the departed souls will get salvation.People perform 'Pithru Karmam' at the banks of the river here on 11th day or 16th day after death, the oblations known as 'Sradham' for the anniversary etc.The oblations(Bali) done for all the departed souls in the family is usually done on the No moon day(Amavasi) of Malayalam month Karkidakam' which is known as 'Karkidaka Vavu' and  considered as very auspicious. 'Bali Tharpanam' is also done on 'no moon day' of Malayalam months 'Thulam, Kumbham and  Edavam'  which are meant  for all the departed souls in the family.
Even though this is a Mahavishnu temple, the devotees revere him as Lord Krishna as like at Guruvayoor temple.One of the favorite offering of the deity is garlands of lotus flower.There is a large lotus pond behind the temple which was constructed and offered to the temple by a Maharajah of Travancore from which sufficient lotus flowers are plucked for the use in this temple and also supplied to nearby major  temples like Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Swamy  temple.

There is a belief that the famous story of 'Gajendra Moksham' happened at this place.
Thirunavaya was famous all over India for the 'Veda Schools' functioned here which gave training for performing  Tantric rites and gave deep knowledge in Hindu texts like Vedas.Thirunavaya was once the capital of 'Perumpadappu Swaroopam' and was considered as the cradle of culture in Northern Kerala.

At Thirunavaya the famous 'Mamankam' festival was also held in which the selection of 'Perumal' who would become Emperor of Kerala for a period of 12 years used to take place once in twelve years.It was a splendid assembly of all the Kings and Chieftains of the small Kingdoms and provinces in Kerala and a trade fair conducted for 28 days during which cultural activities, display of martial arts etc were also held.The selection of the 'Perumal' was the main agenda. 
At Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda Temple the annual temple festival is for ten days and the flag hoisting will be around 8 pm the day before 'Vishu'(Vishu Sankramam).The morning after flag hoisting will be Malayalam month 'Medam 1st which is 'Vishu'.To get a glance of the deity at this temple in the early hours of 'Vishu' is considered very auspicious by the devotees.Nava Mukundan will forgive all the sins and bless the devotees for their betterment in all ways  is the belief.There will be heavy rush on the Vishu day.
The other important festivals are 'Nava Mukunda Ekadasi' celebrated in the month of Kumbham,Ashtami Rohini,Navarathri and so on.
When Perunthachan, the master Carpenter and Sculptor of Kerala   renovated this temple he made adjustments such that on 'Vishu day' the rays of the  Sun falls on the deity.In most of the temples they are constructed in such a way that the Sun's rays will not fall on the idol.Here it will fall on the idol on Vishu day and on another day in an year.
The sub deities in this temple are 'Aadi Ganesha' and Sree Mahalakshmi Devi.
The main offerings includes 'Paal Payasam,Lotus garlands,Ney Vilakku,Muzhukappu,Archana' and so on.All devotees visiting the temple is provided free food in the temple every day round the year which is known as 'Prasadam Oottu' (Annadanam) and devotees can donate for this cause as a 'Vazhupadu' (offering) also.
The temple is located 12 km south of Tirur town and buses and taxis are available from Tirur.'Ponnani town' is also nearby.

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