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The birth of Thadathagai pratti
March 15,2011
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For having built Madurai, King Kulasekara Pandiyan was blessed with a child. He named  the
child as Malayathwajan. .Lord  Shiva made his wife Parvathi reborn as King Kulasekara Pandiyan. Yes. She is none other than Thadathagai pratti alias Meenakshi. Her birth as the daughter of Malayathwajan is an interesting story. Kanchanamalai is the wife Malayathwajan.She is different personality among the beings born in this world. If God invites us and tellus “From today onwards you will be a celestial in the celestials world,” there is no limit to the happiness that we get for that position. Living beings would like the higher a status as Clestial than the lower status of being men. But Kanchanamalai was made of different stuff. In her previous she was Kantharva woman which is a higher status  than being a human being. But in this birth being born as a woman (human) she has lowered her status than what was her status in her previous in her previous birth. In her previous birth her name was Vidhyavathi and her father was Viswasu. She was fond of Godess.

         She told her father “Father? I should have a luck to see Goddess in person. And you should assist me to worship Goddess in person.’´ Viswasu taught her Sakthi manthra and advised her to recite the same innumerable number of times asa result of which she will be fortunate enough to see the goddess in person. She asked her father as to which is the right place to see the goddess. Her father replied that in the earth there is a place called Dwathasanyham which is full of Kadambavana trees. It is also called as Madurai. Any one who worships goddess in that place will be a fortunate one. After getting the permission of her father the Kantharva lady Vidyawathi came to Madurai. In Madurai she worshipped the goddess who appeared in the form of a child and recited the Manthra told to he, many times. For one year she observed very severe austerities, because of which the merciful goddess appeared before Vidhyavathi as a three year old child.

    Vidyavathi told her “ Mother Meenaksh, In my mind I imagined you as a child. Bathed you, nourished. When you were crying I scolded you (it was a false anger only) Gave you milk. Plaited your hair(Pinnal in tamil).Though all this was my imaginary act only, You have appeared before me and blessed for my very simple Bhakthi(devotion). Child Meenakshi laughed on hearing this. Godess Meenakshi who was in the form of a child addresses Vidyavathi “Mother. I do not get happiness on seeing the luxurious offerings that my devotees bring to me. By waiting simply for any length of time one can not reach me. I prefer the Bhakthi shown towards me in one’s mind always like you by just simply sitting in one place itself. I feel proud to reveal myself in person for such persons.” “ Alright you just ask me any thing you want. I will bestow the same to you.”Vidyavathi now replied “ Knowingly or unknowingly I have considered as my child. I can not give up that bond. The same relationship should continue. Except this I do not have any other prayers.”   Meenakshi felt very happy on hearing this and told her “MotheIn your nextbirthe you will born as a human being. You will born as the daughter of a Chola King. Malayathwaja pandiyan will mary you then.”

    “ in your house  I will incarnate as the same three year old child.”So saying and aftere blessing her she disappeared. Vidyavathi could have asked her to become a celestial from her present kantharva status and remained in the Sakthi loka. But by getting birth in her next birth as a human being she got the fame as the mother of Godess. She got the status of  the mother in law of Lord Shiva. By the divine grace words of Meenakshi she took birth as the daughter of the chola king Soorasenan. She married Malayathwaja Pandiyan. Years passed on. They did not have issues.The King felt sad that he will. not have a progeny to administer the kingdom after his death.He performed many yagnas and yaagas,  He calso performed consecration ceremony for many templws. Finally he decided to perform Aswametha Yaagam. By performing this he can bring under his control the various worlds and also will be blessed with child. The preparations for the yaagam went in full swing .When the final stage of  yaggam came it was almost certaint that the yaagam will be a success, Indran, the head of the celestial world got afraid. If the yaagam becomes a success then Malayathwjan will capture Indra lokam, and his position as the lord of indra lokam will also go away.Lord Indran appeared before Malayathwajayan.

Surprised at the sudden appearance Malayathwajan told Indran “ O”  lord  You have come in person to Madurai. I am really fortunate and blessed. Indran replied to him “O’ Mighty king Your request was to have a child (progeny) for you. But for that Aswametha yaagam will not yield fruit or result. Though you performed multifarious yaagas you have failed  to perform PUTHRA KAESHTI YAAGAM. Perform that yaagam. Goddess Parasakthi her self is waiting to be born as your child. This is the result of the Punniyam(Good deeds)acquired from the previous birth of your wife.” Having heard the words Indran, the king decided to stop performing Aswametha Yaagam and instead decided to perform Puthra kameshti yaagam. Indran also got relieved from fear and took leave of him.  Puthrakameshti yaagam commenced. When this news reached the ears of Kanchanamalai she felt very happy.

     A big yaaga salai(place where yaggas are performed) was built by Malayathwajan to the astonishment of every one. The yagaam also commenced. The people of the country,  with expectations in their mind that their king is going to get progeny, participated in the yaagam. King Malayathwajan and his wife Kanchanamalai had a holy bath, wore a garland of neem leaves and sat before the yaaga kundam. Lots of articles were put in the agni(fire) and several pots of ghee was poured. The smoke that emanated from the yaaga agni spreadin all the sides and directions Madurai city. Indran took the benefits of that yaagam and in turn reciprocated with blessings. At that time a rain of flowers showered. King’s right shoulder and right quivered (thudi thudiththal in tamil).

If a male member’s right shoulder and right eye quivered then it is considered good omen. In the same way a female member’s left shoulder and lefteye quivered it is a good omen. Kanchanmalai’s left shoulder and left eye quivered. That entire place became very bright. At the centre of the yaaga pit a three year old female child with green coloured appeared in a standing pose. Yes the divine mother Meenakshi got incarnated.It is not enough to visit Meenakshi temple and worship Meenakshi alone while visiting Madurai. They should also visit with out fail Kanchanamalai who was responsible for the advent of Meenakshi. When you pass the Pudu mandapam opposite the eastern tower of the temple You will come to Ezhu kadal street There is a separate shrine for Kanchanamalai in this street. On seeing the child she became very happy. Milk started secreting even without her knowiedge. The baby which appeared in the agni, had eyes long and big just like the fish called KAYAL. She called her “My mother Angayarkann”. Am+Kayal+kanni  became Angayarkanni. Am means beautiful, Kayal means Fish,Kanni means having eyes. Angayarkanni means one who is having beautiful eyes. There is another meaning for this word.Fish will nourish its younger ones just with her sight only.  i.e by seeing her younger ones with her eyes. It does bat its eyelids. We can also see it. When the fish is removed from the water and thrownon the earth it dies. Even at this stage i.e., death its eyes will remain open. So without batting her eyes even for a second she is protecting the people. That why we call her by the name Mother Meenakshi in Madurai.

        Malayathwajan took his child and embraced her. He planted many kisses on her cheek. She covered her child with a silk cloth and breast fed her. She was extremely happy to breast feed her. After she breast her, she saw the child’s face and was extremely happy and when she just looked the child’s body beyond the eyes  she had a shock. The female child should have her only two breasts. Instead it had three breasts. This is really a wonder in the world which no one would have seen. She started crying saying ”O” mother Parasakthi you have born as a child me. Even after giving birth you, should I have mental agony. The happiness that I had just few minutes have vanished.  “ Having heard the lamentation of his wife Malayathwajan wanted to know what has happened. Having heard from her what has happened he also became unhappy. Yet they did not expose this matter to any one. They took the child to Meenakshi sundarewarar temple, put her in the sanctum sanctorum and Malayathwajan said “Lord  You blessed  us with a child when we had none. But the baby is like this. Because of this her future is going to be bleak. What will I do?”  At that a heavenly voice(Asareeri in tamil) was heard by both of them only.

“Malayathwajan and Kanchana Both of you don’t worry about this. She is an incarnation Mother Parasakthi(God). After she attained her puberty, at the time of marriage this third breast will disappear. Name her as Thadaathagai” the heavenly voice said. What is the need for fear when the God had himself his assurance? The couple thanked the God and got rid of their fears. The birth of the child was celebrated with great pomp and glory throughout the Pandyan kingdom. Madurai city wore a festive look. The king gave lots of gifts to the citizens. Kanchanmalai gave Turmeric powder,Kumkum, silk sarees as gifts. Standing in the Q, for a great length of distance the citizens received the gifts and were happy. Citizens will get lotof gifts, when the rulers are in the happy, joyous mood. Taxes were reduced by the king Malayathwajan. Prisoners were released from the jails. Lot of Ponds were dug to quench the thirst of peopleand help cultivation. The citizens of Pandyan kingdom started living happily. The King arranged a big function for the naming ceremony of the child. As per the order og the God, the child was named Thadaathagai Prattiyar. What is the meaning of Thadaathagai? Why she should be born with three breasts? Thadaathagaai  means” one with a difference in all respects.” She iging to be the wife the three eyed Lord Shiva.

   To show him in a different perspective, she was born with three breasts(like himwho has three eyes). Since she is going to rule Madurai to represent Iyal. Isai, and natakam(Prose, poetry and drama)she was born with three breasts, it was told. Om is a combination of Akaram, Ukaram and Makaram.  She represents the Pranava letter. When she attained Puberty, Malayathwajan coronated her as the Maharani of Madurai. During her rule, it rained regularly as per season. Malayathwajan told her daughter that she should in all directions and bring all the countries under her control. Even the celestial world should come under your control. A stage should come that there is none in the world who is more courageous than her. Thadaathagai also did the same. In the interim period Malayathwajan fell sick. Feeling that his end is going to come, he called the Minister Sumathi, and told him “ O” Minister Sumathi I am going to tell you a secret about the queen Thadaathagai. It should not be known to any one else other than you.” Then he told him the secret of the three breasts.” When the Lord of Kailas Shiva appears before her the third breast will disappear. And thereafter their marriage will be held “ he further told. Then King Malayathwajan died.

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