Wednesday 18 July 2007

POOSALAR

IN Tinnanur, an ancient town in Tondai district, there dwelt a Brahmin, Poosalar by name. His mind forever fixed on Siva's feet, he grew in love and learning day by day and spent his all in service to His devotees.

Wishing to build a temple to the Lord, he tried to raise funds. But try as he might, he failed. In grief he pondered, "What shall I do?" He resolved at last to raise within his heart a temple to his Lord. From far and near he fetched in fancy, little by little, stone and metal and other building material. Skilled masons and sculptors too he engaged and instructed in thought. And at an auspicious hour, he dug the ground and laid the foundation stone. Devoted, busy, sleepless even by night, he watched the temple grow, part by part and layer by layer, gateway, tower and central shrine, all planned according to the rules of Agama, and wrought in detail with the minutest care. On top of the domed turret over the holy of holies he installed a stone a cubit long. And so with hard, steady effort of the mind, he completed the structure, plastered chinks with lime, dug wells and tanks, put up the outer walls and fixed in his mind the auspicious day and hour for consecrating the shrine and installing the Presence.

The Pallava King had built in the city of Kanchi a mighty granite temple and appointed a day for the grand ceremony of its consecration. But, on the night preceding, the Lord appeared to the King in his dream and said, "Poosalar, my friend, has laboured lovingly for many months and raised a temple for me in his heart, and I must be there tomorrow at its consecration. So postpone your temple ceremony to some later day".

The King awoke, eager to visit Tinnanur and greet this favoured servant of the Lord. He reached the place and enquired of the people, "Whereabouts is this temple built by Poosalar"? But they all said, "We know of no such temple". Then he sent for the leading Brahmins of the town and asked them, "Who is this pure and perfect man, this Poosalar"? They answered, "A Brahmin of that name does dwell in this town. We shall go and bring him, Sire". But the King would have none of it. Instead he went himself to the man's house and falling at his feet, asked, "Where is your famed temple? Today, I know, the Lord comes there to dwell. And at His bidding I too have come, to meet you and greet you on this day".

Staggered by this speech, the Brahmin said, "If the Lord pleases, the world shall know," and told the King the story of the building of the temple thought by thought. The King heard it all, fell again at the good man's feet, and marched back to Kanchi, accompanied by his army with drums and trumpets.

Poosalar regularly performed the daily pujas in his ideal temple in the prescribed manner and in the end attained the feet of the Lord.

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