Somaskanda

In the vidanga temples there will be a murthi called Thyagarajar , Uma and Skandha (generally called Somaskandha) form of Lord Shiva. Initially this murthi was prayed by Maha VishNu, later he gave it to Brahma and he gave it to Indra who offered prayer to this murti for a long time. The Chola king Muchukunda, who had the face of monkey, was known for his valor. Once, in a battle, the devas were defeated by the asuras. Tormented by arrows, they sought help from king Muchukunda who agreed to help them and fought against the asuras for a long time.  Since the devas  did not have an able commander, king Muchukunda protected them against the onslaught by asuras, until the deities got an able commander like Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva.

Indra wanted to return back the favour said to the king Muchukunda,

“O king, we, the deities are indebted to you for the help and protection which you have given us, by sacrificing your own family life. Here in the heaven, one year equals three hundred and sixty years of the earth (relatively). Since, it has been a long time, there is no sign of your kingdom and family because it has been destroyed with the passage of time. We are happy and pleased with you, so ask for any boon except Moksha (liberation) because Moksha (liberation) is beyond our capacities”.

Muchukunda what he wanted, the later asked for the Thyagaraja murthi.  Indra  in order to test Muchukunda ordered to make six similar murthi  and asked Muchukunda to find the original one, Muchukunda prayed to Lord Shiva and was successful  in finding the original murthi. So Indra gave him all the seven murthis, which Muchukunda placed in seven temples which are called Sapta vidanga temples.

Temple Vidangar Temple Dance pose Meaning
Tiruvarur Thyagarajar Temple vIdhi viDaNgar ajapA naTanam Dance without chanting, resembling the dance of Sri Thyagaraja resting on Lord Vishnu’s chest
Dharbaranyeswarar Temple nagara viDaNgar unmaththa naTanam Dance of an intoxicated person
Kayarohanaswamy Temple sundhara viDangar vIci naTanam Dancing like waves of sea
Kannayariamudayar Temple Adhi viDangar kukkuTa naTanam Dancing like a cock
Brahmapureeswarar Temple avani viDangar  brunga naTanam Dancing like a bee that hovers over a flower
Vaimoornaathar Temple nIla viDangar  kamalanaTanam Dance like lotus that moves in a breeze
Vedaranyeswarar Temple buvani viDangar hamsapAda naTanam Dancing with the gait of a swan

 

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