Culture Article #10: For the Joy of Sharing

Golu 2022: A Series on Pournami
Day 8: Thaai Pournami – Devi Abhirami

By Manu Vidya
Math Teacher, Fulltime Passionate Homemaker


Day 8: Thaai Pournami – Devi Abhirami

Subramaniya Iyer was born to Amirthalinga Iyer in the village of Thirukkadaiyur. Thirukkadaiyur has elegant Brahmin quarters near the temple called as Agraharams established by the Maratha ruler Serfoji I, a great admirer of Brahmin poets and bards, in the early part of the 18th century. The village was famous for its Shiva temple, called Amritaghateswarar – Abirami Temple, Thirukkadaiyur. Right from his childhood, Subramaniya Iyer was drawn to the temple and the Goddess.

One day, the King visited the temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva. On noticing the peculiar behaviour of Subramaniya Iyer who was a temple priest, he inquired the other priests about the individual. One of them remarked that he was a madman while another rejected.

Immediately realizing his mistake, Subramaniya Iyer supposedly lit a huge fire and erected a platform over it supported by a hundred ropes. He sat upon the platform and prayed to the Goddess Abhirami to save him. He cut off one rope after another in succession on completion of each verse of his prayer. These hymns form the Abhirami Anthadhi. On completion of the 79th hymn, the Goddess Abhirami manifested herself before him and threw her earring over the sky such that it shone with bright light upon the horizon. The area around the temple sparkled with bright light. Overcome with ecstasy, Subramaniya Iyer composed 21 more verses in praise of the Goddess.

The king repented his mistake and immediately cancelled the punishment he had awarded Subramaniya Iyer. He also bestowed upon the latter the title of Abhirami Pattar or “Priest of Goddess Abhirami”

By Manu Vidya
Math Teacher, Fulltime Passionate Homemaker

I learnt Rangoli as an eight year old from my mother and grandmother. Apart from Rangoli designs, I have an active interest in arts and crafts. I have passion to learn more about Hindu mythology and Rangoli to share it with like minded people and the next generation.


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