Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Rameshvara included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Rāmeśvara

There is in South India a very famous holy place called Rāmeśvara and a Śiva temple there. Rāma and others encamped on the sea shore to cross over to Laṅkā to release Sītā from Rāvaṇa’s custody. This temple, according to Kamba, was built by Rāma at that time. The following story is from the Yuddha Kāṇḍa of Kamba Rāmāyaṇa.

To make the passage over to Laṅkā easy, Rāma decided to build a great temple at Rāmeśvara and install a Śivaliṅga in the temple. Under the expert supervision of the great architects, Nala and Nīla, all the monkeys cooperated to build the temple. As ordered by Rāma, Hanūmān went to Kailāsa to fetch Śivaliṅga. Hanūmān did not return with the liṅga though the auspicious time for the installation was very near. How could the installation be made without the idol and the installation had to be made at the appointed time.

Śrī Rāma stood ready near the installation platform. It was the exact time for the installation of the idol. A divine effulgence was seen to emerge from Rāma and immediately a Śivaliṅga automatically appeared at the spot where rituals were conducted for installation. Everyone was wonder-struck by this mysterious happening.

Hanūmān by now, returned with the liṅga and he felt sorry that the installation of the idol had already been made. Śrī Rāma told him: "Please remove the idol already installed, we shall install a new one."

Happy at the words of Rāma, Hanūmān entwined the idol with his tail and jumped directly upwards. But, his tail was cut, head clashed against the roof which was broken and Hanūmān fell down unconscious. Śrī Rāma held him up and patted him on the head and Hanūmān was more pleased than ever. Afterwards, to fulfil Hanūmān’s desire and for the prosperity of the temple Hanūmān was made to install the new Śivaliṅga in front of the eastern tower of the temple. Śrī Rāma laid down the following rule also. Only after worshipping the idol at the tower, should the God inside the temple be worshipped.

The rule was also recorded there.

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