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Someswaram-Kumaramam -Pancharama Kshetra 5

04/26/2010

Kshetra: Someswaram/Kumararamam/Koti Theertham/Kotipalli/SomaPrabhapuram

Location: About 38 Km from Kakinada and 60 Km from Rajahmundry situated by the bank of the river Godavari.

Kshetra Murthy: Somesvara ( Lord Shiva ) , Sri Raja Rajeswari ( mother goddess ) and Lord Soma ( Moon )

Kshetra Purana : There are three famous puranas associated with the temple. One being the shard of the Taraka linga fell at this place and became the Someswara linga. The other two stories involve Lord Indra and Lord Soma ( moon) .If you remember Draksharamam was the place where Daksha ( Father of sati devi ) was destroyed by the forces of Veerabhadra . Daksha had 27 daughters in addition to goddess Sati who were given in marriage to Soma the Moon. These 27 daughters are represented by the 27 nakshatras. The moon’s favourite nakshatra or wife was Rohini and he often spent a lot of time with her causing a lot of grief to the rest of his wives which in turn caused a terrible curse by Daksha that his son in law the moon would wane away in a matter of a lunar month. After the moon pleaded with him the curse was modified in a way that the moon would go through the lunar cycle growing and reducing in each cycle and he would stay in one nakshatra constellation per day.  It is interesting that Someswaram is the place of redemption of the moon and Draksharamam is the destruction of Daksha. Both are ancient temples with ancient agama architecture with gigantic lingas. People with mental problems often find solace at this temple as this temple is specifically built to heal those patients. Soma the moon represents the mind in hindu philosophy .

The third story is the story of Gowthami or Godavari.The river itself is associated with the great rishi Gautama who was married to the beautiful Ahalya. Indra the lord of the devatas lusted after the wife of the rishi and seizing an opportune moment when the rishi was away on a piligrimage  ,transformed himself magically into a look alike of the sage knocked on the door of the ashrama. Now ahalya herself was a lady of great spiritual virtue and could easily see through disguises .She did notice that Indra lord of the devatas was the one who was standing before her in the guise of her husband but alas the human ego has a very powerful grip even on spiritual stalwarts….she got puffed with pride that the lord of the gods himself had to resort to such trickery just out of his lust for her. She pretended not to know that it was Indra at the doorstep and served him as her husband . Later when Gautama returns to the hermitage he instantly knows what had taken place and pronounces two powerful curses. Since Indra was supposed to be the protector of the people and he himself had resorted to such trickery out of lust …Gautama prounces a terrible curse that Indra’s body will be covered with a thousand yonis  and he will carry this terrible disfiguration for a thousand years . Ahalya gets cursed into turning into a stone.

This story has many layers of metaphysical meanings. One important lesson is lust is the worst sin of all the things one can do. Ravana the great scholar and conqueror of the cosmos was reduced to rubble by his lust for another man’s wife and Indra the lord of the gods had to wander around for thousand years losing his throne and everything for again lusting after another man’s wife.

Notice the word Indriya ( Senses ) and Indra.Also notice the word Ahalya which means one of unparalled beauty and also who is uncorrupted by the senses.  The story of Ahalya and Indra is the eternal story of corruption of the jiva by the senses. The same jiva gets its purification at the feet of Sri Ramachandra.  🙂 Many a feminist will take cudgels with this description.Neither did the scriptures give women an lesser place , neither is this the story of patriarchial dominance. If it helps those feminists Lord Rama and Lakshmana do touch the feet of Ahalya after she is restored and praise her a lot as one deserving of the respect of the whole world. A lot of this mischaracterization is the mischief of western indologists who continue to perpetuate their distorted reasonings onto indian classics.

Someswaram or Kothi Theertham is the place where Indra the sinner after having wandered for 1000 yrs finally found his redemption and he worshipped Lord Shiva here for forgiving his mistakes. Lord Shiva is very kind by nature and forgives the worst sins of the mind.

Someswara Temple Arch

Closer view of the arch

Inside the temple

Goddess in the temple

Actual Someswara Linga

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