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REMOVING THE CURSE OF WHITE ELEPHANT
March 15,2011
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Iravatham the vehicle of Indra was waiting for him. Eagle can catch a snake  . But if the snake is in the neck of Lord Shiva. Can eagle then approach the snake? Just like that, even if there are many elephants, Since Iravatham was white in colour it had self conceit.(Karvam in tamil). Such self conceit people will one day get a severe blow. A similar predicament came for the Iravatham.When Indran came to celestials world. It carried him on its back . There was a maharishi Durvasar in Indralokam. For him discipline is more important. If some one speak to him inadvertently or wrongly he will get annoyed and will become furious. The elephant got into a similar situation. That day Durvasar worshipped Lord Shiva with flowers. Lord Shiva became happy with his Bhakthi and dropped a lotus from his hip. Durvasar took that lotus flower and put it into his Kamandalam(water jug used by ascetics). Celestials invited and took him with lot of fanfare. In spite of severe hardships that he suffered, his indifference towards others did not go away. Further he had that arrogant feeling of having won over Vruththaswaran. Maharishi Dursvasar who came in front of him, gave him the Lotus flower from the Kamandalam wishing him a long life. While accepting the Prasad one should show humility and accept the same with utmost humility.

              Indran without any humility, received the same withan indifference attitude and   kept it on the forehead of the elephant. The elephant took it with its trunk(Thumbikkai in Tamil) put it beneath its leg and crushed it with its legs. Durvasar became furious and looked at him with anger. It looked as if fire of anger was emitting from his eyes. When he roared “ Devendra” in full throat with anger the entire area was shaken, and reverberated with that sound. Indra started shivering with fear. As expected by him Durvasar cursed him. “Indra? If you had accepted the Prasad of the lord Kadambavanam i.e., Lord Shiva the situation would have been different. But you gave it to this elephant. It put it beneath its legs and crushed. The celestial you are will get defeated in the hands of a Pandian King in the earth. His weapon Disc, will remove your head from your body. Both Devendran and the other celestials got frightened.
 Indran got down from the elephant and prayed to Durvasar. “maharishi?  Please pardon my guilt. Should I go to Earth once again, as I have suffered a lot by remaining in the earth already for innumerable number of years because of Brahmahathi thosam. And that too as per your curse should I get defeated in the hands of a human being.  Will there be any other and more severe punishment for me than this? O/ Maharishi you have excelled in the penance(tapas). Please pardon me. All the other celestials fell on the ground prostrating Maharishi with their heads wearing crown touching the ground.

          Durvasar had a change of mind. Where there is anger there will be goodness also there. He said to Indra “ Indra. I can not take back the given curse once given and is not possible also. Yet when the Disc(Chakrayutham in tamil) comes towards to you take away your head, it will take away and remove the crown that you are wearing on your head. What has come for the head will go away with head gear.(Thalaikku vanthathu thalai paagaiyodu pogum in Tamil)”.Then he saw the elephant Iravatham and said to it”Let your life be an example for others as a lesson that that those who are in service should behave humbly and should misuse the position and power. The white colour of your body will go away. You, the elephant oc celestial world will go back to earth, move with other elephants there and remain in the earth one hindred years. After that you will return back to Indralokam. The white elephant wept with tears rolling down from its eyes. Then it came down to the earth and wandered here and there in various places. At last after the passing of one hundred years, it entered into the Kadambavanam(forest full of kadamba trees). That is Madurai created by Indran. I t tok the water from the Lotus tank (portamarai) and performed abhishekam to Lord Chockalingam there. It plucked the golden lotus from the tank and did puja with it. Having felt mercy on the elephant Lord Chokkanathar appeared before it and said: “Iravatham the discourtesy you showed on Shiva has gone now because of the abishegam and puja that you did to Lord Chockalingam. You can now return back to Indralokam back now.”  The elephant in turn replied “O” Lord   I have lost myself  in the beauty of this forest. Further I have no mind to go away from you. Let me stay in this forest itself. You should accept one among the elephants that you are going to have to support the temple tower of yours “But Lord Shiva told the elephant that “your carrying Indran is equivalent to that of carrying me.. So return back to Indra lokam itself.And he gave back to it its original form{size and white colour}. But the elephant did not have mind norwish to go back. So it went to another part of Kadambavanam and stayed there itself by doing pujas for a Lingam there. That place where it stayed is called by the name Iravatha nallur. Then Indran having come to know of his elephant, came to invite it. He told Lord Shiva to fullfil the request of the elephant  Let the tower built by him be known by his name as Indra Vimanam and just Iravatham is carrying him  let the tower be seen as if  supported and carried by Iravatham in eight forms . Even today one can see the appearance of the temple tower being carried by eight elephants.


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