Brahma Temple in Tirupattur
It is been a few centuries since science has been pondering over the big question of how everything was created. How did life, complex human body, the planets, and the universe was created? Even though science has quite a few theory it still doesn’t have a concrete answer however the Puranas mentions in simple words that everything was created by Brahma. Our great grandfather first in ancestral hierarchy created all animate and inanimate in this universe. He is seated on a lotus, with four faces and four hands holding a ladle, manuscripts, rosary, and a pot in each of the four hands.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, it is said that a lotus emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu, who was lying on his Shehnag. The lotus then opened up and Brahma was born. Unaware of his identity and his cause of birth, he went to downwards in the stalk of the lotus, as he went downwards he heard the words ‘Ta pa’ and understood that he has to do penance and he did penance for 1000 years and Lord Vishnu appeared to him and made him aware of his duties and identity. Brahma then began the creation process. In the Shiva, Puran Brahma is born from the Shiva-Shakti, Ardhanarishwara form of Shiva. Brahma was always a very important deity and a presiding deity of the Yagyas. He was always the giver of boons and a creator of sacred Vedas.
Then why is it so that he lost the glory and is not worshipped anymore? There are only very few temples dedicated to him. The Puranas give three different narratives explaining the real reason why he is not worshipped, anymore.
The Shiva Puran mentions two narratives that stripped Brahma of being a worshipable deity. The first narrative begins with Brahma and Vishnu arguing about knowing the beginning and end of the Void Cosmos, Brahma and Vishnu start a race, where Brahma out of pride and ego says that I would not bow down so I would go to see the beginning, whereas humble Vishnu agrees to see the end. Vishnu takes the boar incarnation and proceeds downwards, whereas Brahma seated on his swan moves towards the sky. They both struggle for thousands of years tired and worn out. Vishnu humbly gives up and accepts defeat. Then suddenly Brahma finds a Ketki flower falling from the sky. He asks the flower to be his witness and Brahma falsely claims that he has seen the beginning.
This angers Lord Shiva and he appears as a pillar of fire, knocking Brahma unconscious. Shiva then cursed Brahma that no one would worship him, as a liar is not worthy of worship and Shiva also cursed the Ketki flower that no one would use the flower in worship.
Another narrative in Shiva Puran talks of Brahma’s Lust. Brahma originally possessed one Head. From a part of his own body, he created a woman Shatrupa and on seeing the beautiful lustrous body of Shatrupa Brahma became infatuated. Since Shatrupa was created by Brahma she was like his daughter, it is not right for a father to lust for his daughter. Being embarrassed by Brahma’s gaze she tried to escape his eyes, she ran through the universe, and where ever she went Brahma chased her. She took many animal forms, and with every animal form she took, Brahma took the male counterpart form. He had initially one head but because he wanted to gaze Shatrupa with lust he sprouted ahead in every direction. He did not stop here but he sprouted a fifth head. This indecent behavior on the part of Brahma angered Lord Shiva. To control Brahma, Shiva with his nails cut off the fifth head of Brahma. Also, Shiva felt that it was wrong for Brahma to become obsessed with his daughter Shatrupa. He cursed Brahma that there will be no proper worship on earth for the “unholy” Brahma.
According to another legend from Padma Puran, Brahma is not worshiped because of a curse by the great sage Bhrigu. Once a great Yagya was being organized on Earth and all the sages were discussing, who should be made the presiding deity among the trinity, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma. Brighu was chosen to test the trinity. Brighu first went to Brahmaloka where Brahma was busy playing Veena with Saraswati being preoccupied and did not notice Brighu’s presence. Feeling insulted, Brighu cursed Brahma saying that you are so proud of your power of creation; you did not notice my arrival. For this, you shall have no temples on Earth. Thus, there are very few temples of Brahma on Earth. Next, Brighu went to see Shiva in Kailash, but Shiva was busy in romance with Parvati and did not notice Brighu’s arrival. Brighu again felt offended, he cursed Shiva to be worshiped only as a lingam on Earth. This is the reason why Lord Shiva is primarily represented and worshiped as a lingam on this planet.
Then Brighu went to see Lord Vishnu, who was asleep and did not recognize Brighu’s presence. Brighu was so angered that he went forward and kicked Vishnu’s chest. Lord Vishnu apologized if he had hurt Brighu’s foot and began praising Brighu. Brighu immediately felt pleased and could understand that Vishnu was the most qualified to receive the offerings from the sacrifice.
Even though Brahma is not being worshipped, he is worshipped in Pushkar. The temple in Pushkar is often referred to as the only Brahma temple in the world. According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell at this place. Since a flower fell from Brahma’s hand the place was named Pushkar, etymologically ‘Push’ means flower and ‘kar’ means hand. Brahma decided to perform a grand Yagya here and he called all great sages, gods. However Brahma’s wife Savitri was not ready yet and was getting late for the Yagya. The time of Yagya was flying and thus gods urged Indra to get another wife for Brahma as he could not complete the Yagya without a partner. Indra proceeded to procure a wife for Brahma as he was searching he spotted a young beautiful milkmaid, carrying a jar of butter. He seized her and brought her to the assembly she was sanctified by passing her through the body of a cow.
Gods Vishnu, Shiva, and the priests certified her purity as she had passed through a cow, it was her second birth and she was named Gayatri. Brahma then married Gayatri and completed the Yagya with his new consort sitting beside him, holding the pot of amrita (elixir of life) on her head and giving ahuti. But when Savitri finally arrived at the venue accompanied by Lakshmi and Indrani seeing some other girl with Brahma at her rightful place Savitri was fueled in anger. She accused Brahma of deserting her. She then proceeded to curse Brahma that he would never be worshipped and she also cursed Indra to be chained by his enemies.
Since Vishnu and Shiva had given Gayatri as a bride to Brahma, Savitri did not spare them too. She cursed Vishnu to be born as human and experience separation from his wife. She also cursed Shiva to be deprived of his manhood. She cursed Agni to devour all clean and unclean offerings. She also cursed the entire priest that they would perform Yagya only because of self-interest to obtain gifts and remain satisfied with the food of others and be dissatisfied with their own houses. Savitri then left the assembly hall, Laksmi, and Indrani accompanied her till a short distance and returned to the Yagya assembly as dutiful consorts.
Seeing this Savitri was enraged again, she cursed Laksmi that she would never remain stationary, and she cursed Indrani that when Indra incurs the guilt of killing Brahman by slaying Tvastri’s son. Nahusha shall acquire the kingdom and shall desire Indrani. All the gods then pleased Gayatri to protect them from the curse. Gayatri then modified the curses. She promised all kinds of blessing including final absorption of all worshippers of Brahma. Though Indra was to be bound, his son should release him. Though Vishnu would lose his wife, he would regain her. Though Rudra is deprived of his manhood, he would be represented neither as a male nor a female and universally worshipped as Linga. Though men made gifts to the priests, it would be because they revered the gods and finally, none of the goddesses would suffer cause or regret for not having children of their own.
Pushkar is not the only temple of Brahma there is another temple that worships Brahma as a separate deity located in Tirupattur, 25 km from Trichy on the Chennai – Trichy NH 45 is the hidden Brahmapureeswara temple. The temple has special shrines for Lord Jupiter, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. The very stepping into the temple ensures all prosperity to the devotee. Brahma appears with turmeric dressing on all days. It is believed that visiting this temple changes your bad fate to good. People also offer their horoscopes and pray for Brahma’s blessings.
Lord Shiva is called Brahmapureeswara because he changed the fate of Brahma. The legend of this temple is co-connected to the story of Savitri, where Shiva cuts off the fifth head of Brahma. After losing the fifth head Brahma started on a pilgrimage of Lord Shiva’s temples. During his pilgrimage, Brahma visited Tirupattur and installed 12 Shiva Lingams and worshipped Shiva. Pleased by Brahma’s devotion and on Devi Parvati’s request, Shiva gave him Darshan. Lord Shiva blessed Brahma that he would have a separate shrine at this temple. He also advised Lord Brahma that since Brahma himself had his destiny rewritten here; he should rewrite the destiny of his devotees visiting this temple.
Since the fate of Lord Brahma, the Creator himself was changed by Lord Shiva at Tirupattur; one can expect a turning point in life by praying at this temple.
Brahma’s worship here should be done with 36 lamps (representing 27 stars and 9 planets) offering 108 tamarind rice balls. The devotee should walk 9 rounds. All the 12 Lingas worshipped by Brahma are in the temple giving the devotee the benefit of worshipping the Jyotirlingas in a single place.
– Mehul Vora
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