Sarguneswarar Temple, Karuveli – Legends
Place for Total Salvation:
According to Hindu belief, those who pray at the Sarguneswarar Temple will not be reborn and instead attain salvation. The lesson is that having been born to a wicked person in the past birth, even the divine Mother had to be born again to get back her Lord so that she would not have to be born again. Those worshipping in this temple will have the eternal happiness of total salvation. Hence the place came to be known as Karu Illai meaning that there would be no entering into a womb again. In course of time, it got changed as Karuveli which is also an apt name meaning that the place was a fence not allowing a further birth.
The place is believed to help one to retain all his/her noble traits forever and also reform him/her completely from previous wicket qualities. The Lord therefore is praised as Sarguna Nathar (Sargunam-noble traits).
Lord Shiva married Mother Parvathi and stayed here:
King Daksha, son-in-law of Lord Shiva conducted a Yagna without inviting the Lord. The celebration went on in the absence of Lord Shiva. However, Dakshayani, daughter of Daksha and consort of Lord Shiva visited the Yagna though prevented by Lord. Daksha humiliated her. Unable to bear the insult, Mother Dakshayani fell on the Yagna fire and ended herself. Lord Shiva flew into passion, came to the Yagna spot, carried the body of Dakshayani and began to dance.
His furious dance shook all the worlds. People in all the worlds trembled. All went to Sri Narayana – Vishnu – and begged him to quench the fury of Lord Shiva. Lord Narayana applied his discus, cut Dakshayani body to pieces which fell in 51 places and they became Maha Shakti Peetas. Lord Siva who then was though appeared to be pacified but continued in a status of having lost his mental peace. He came to the forest site known as Amba Samuthiram close to Karuveli village.
When he was under penance, he saw the face of Parvathi the daughter of Himavan. Parvathi also came to Karuveli carrying all her beauty (Sarvanga Sundari) with her and danced before Lord Shiva. The place where she performed the dance is now known as Kottittai. Lord Siva married Sarvanga Sundari (Parvati) at Mount Kailash and stayed at the Karuveli temple.
People worshipped Shiva here:
There is also a story that Indira the King among the Devas came here and worshipped Siva and Parvathi. Devas, Rudhra gananms and a king by name Sargunan worshipped Shiva here.
Yama Raja constructed a temple tank opposite to the temple and offered prayer to the swami after taking a dip in the tank to get solace and overcome a curse. The tank is still called as Yama Theertham.
Story behind the name Sarguneswarar:
King Sarguna worshipped and was blessed by Lord Siva, hence the name Sarguneswarar for Lord Siva in this place.