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Thirunilathingal Thundam Divya Desam - Nilathingal Thundatha Perumal

Sri VishnuMeditation: I meditate on Sri Nilathingal Thundathan at Thirunilathingal Thundam who was comforted by the cool rays of the moon.

Thirunilathingal Thundam Divya Kshetra: Thirunilathingal Thundam is a Divya Desam whose glory was sung by Thirumangai Alvar. Thirunilathingal Thundam shrine is located within the Ekambareswarar temple of Kanchipuram. The Lord here is known as Nilathingal Thundathan. Nila means Moon. The meaning of the name is derived from the association of the Lord with the Moon. According to one legend the cool rays of the Moon comforted the Lord during samudra manthana (churning of the ocean) when the devastating halahala poison emerged from the ocean. According to another legend the cool rays of the Moon fell on the throat of the Lord when he assumed a Vishwaroopa form to protect the penance of Devi Parvati at Kanchipuram.

Lord comforted by the cool rays of Moon: During the samudra manthana (churning of the ocean) by the devas and daityas (which was presided by the Lord), the first thing to emerge was the devastating halahala poison. According to one legend, it is said that the cool rays of the Moon gave comfort to the Lord during that time (hence the word Nila signifying Moon got associated with the name of the Lord).

Lord protecting the yagna of Devi Parvati: Once Devi Parvati in fun closed the two eyes of Lord Shiva (which were the Sun and the Moon) due to which the entire world was engulfed in darkness. Lord Shiva told the Devi to perform penance at Kanchipuram to atone this act. Devi Parvati incarnated as a child and was brought up by sage Katyayana at Badarikasharama. So she is known as Katyayani. Sage Katyayana knew the purpose of her advent. So when she grew up, he send her to Kanchipuram to perform penance giving her the necessary items like kamandalu, rosary etc. Devi Parvati performed severe penance under a mango tree at Kanchipuram by worshipping a Parthiva Lingam. To test her, Lord Shiva sent the waters of river Ganges from his matted hairs to wash off the penance site. Lord Vishnu then assumed a Vishwaroopa form and protected the penance from the flood waters. The Lord told the Devi to embrace the Lingam and protect it from getting dissolved. Lord Shiva became pleased. When Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Vishwaroopa, the rays of the Moon is said to have falled directly on his throat due to which he is called Nilathingal Thundathan.

Image: The image of Lord Vishnu here is in standing posture facing west.

• Thirunilathingal Thundam is located in Kanchipuram in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.

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Last updated on Sep-2021

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