24th March, 1939
A certain person had composed verses in praise of Sri Bhagavan. Therein the
word Avartapuri occurs. Sri Bhagavan said that it means Tiruchuzhi, the
birth place of Sri Bhagavan. The place goes by different names. Avarta
chuzhi an eddy. There had been several deluges. God Siva had saved this
place from three of them. On one occasion when the whole land surface
was immersed in the waters, Siva planted His spear in that place. All the
waters, which would have otherwise flooded it, were drawn into that hole.
Then an eddy was formed. Hence the name. Again in another deluge, He
held the place aloft on the top of the spear. Hence, Soolapuri.
Mother Earth was carried away by Hiranyaksha into the waters.
When recovered by Vishnu she felt that she had papasparsa by that
Rakshasa. As an expiation of that impure touch she worshipped Siva
in that place. Hence, Bhuminathesvara Kshetra.
Gautama is prominent in Arunachala as well as in Tiruchuzhi. Shiva
showed Himself to the saint in the dancing posture and also re-enacted
the wedding of Gauri Sankar.
Kaundinya was another rishi for whose sake the sacred river began to
flow there. It goes by the name of the rishi i.e., Kaundinya river which
in Tamil was corrupted into Kundaru. It is otherwise called Papahari i.e.,
the destroyer of sins. There lies a story behind it: A King’s daughter was
hysterical (i.e., possessed). She was taken on a pilgrimage to various
sacred places and tirthas. On one occasion the party heard the name of
Papahari as a tirtha in a sankalpa before bathing. They enquired where
the tirtha was and went to Tiruchuzhi. The girl was bathed in that water
and thus made free from the spirit.
The Pandya king also got free from brahmahatya in this place. It
happens to be the centre of the Pandya Kingdom, which comprised
the Madura, Ramnad and Tirunelveli Districts.
The village had a sacred tank in front of the temple, which was the
spot of the eddy created by the spear of Siva. Even now the waters in
the tank rise at the rate of about a foot every day for ten consecutive
days preceding the full moon in the Tamil month Masi (Maghasuddha
Pournami) and then gradually fall during the succeeding ten days.
This phenomenon can be observed every year. It is noted with wonder
by the young ones of the village. Pilgrims gather to bathe in those
waters on that occasion. That water is sulphurous for the silver jewels
of the bathers become dark after bathing in it. Sri Bhagavan said he
had noted it when He was a boy.
The village has the river on one side and a huge lake on the other
side. The bund of the lake is clayey and runs about three miles in all.
The lake is strangely enough twenty feet over the level of the village.
Even when it is over-full, the waters escape in other directions leaving
the village unaffected.