Melmaruvathur is a small village 92 km south of Chennai city (Formerly known as Madras) in the southern state of Tamilnadu, India. The place where the Temple stands today has more than 2000 years of history. At this place 21 Siddhars (Highly evolved souls or God realized beings similar to Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Mohammed or Great Spiritual Masters/Gurus) attained Jeeva Samaadhi (Leaving the mortal body but living in astral plane). These Siddhars hailed from various religions. That is another reason, why this Temple is not considered to be a Hindu Temple, in spite of following similar rituals and methods of worship.
Where the current temple's sanctum sanctorum stands today, there was only a neem tree in 1960's. Unlike every other neem tree, which bear bitter tasting fruit, this tree secreted and dripped a sweet nectar. Residents of that village found that they had a urge in their mind to taste this nectar whenever they passed by this tree. Since many passers reported of curing their illness and diseases after tasting this nectar, the word spread swiftly to entire village and its neighborhood. So it became a customary for these villagers to take a drop of this nectar to ailing friends and relatives. They treated this as a medicinal tree and protected it from grazing cattle and wood cutters.
In 1966, a severe storm uprooted this neem tree, which exposed the Swayambu underneath to the villagers for the first time. Swayambu means "A self emerging, naturally formed oval shaped object (carved of rock)". People built a small hut on top of this Swayambu and conducted poojas (prayer rituals) to it.
This place is known as Siddhar Peetam ("Siddhar" in Tamil language means enlightened or evolved souls. "Peetam" means throne. Thus Siddhar Peetam means The Throne of Evolved Souls or Great Spiritual Masters/Gurus) where 21 Siddhars are laid in Jeeva Samaadhi.
Swayambu alone was worshipped for many years. The idol of Mother AdhiParaSakthi was installed later in the sanctum sanctorum on November 25 1977. The idol of beautiful Mother is three feet tall, seated on thousand-petal lotus seat, with Her right leg folded and the left leg resting on the lotus petals. The thousand petal lotus has significance in meditation. In this idol form, She holds the bud of a lotus in Her right hand, the mudhra (sign) of knowledge in Her left hand and with Her hair plait and knotted upwards like a crown.
The shape of this idol is very different from those described in the codes of sculpture. The Mother wanted the idol to be in this form and so ordered through Her Oracle to one of the devotees to create it. The shape and form of this idol cannot be seen anywhere else.
The OM Sakthi Stage at the entrance. On the highway in front of the Siddhar Peetam there is a stage with the mantra of "OmSakthi" on it. Soolam (Trishul - Trident) of the Mother is erected on this stage. The devotees entering the Peetam to worship the Mother, first go round this stage thrice and then enter the Peetam. Since the AdhiParaSakthi is the Mother Origin of everything, there is no NavaGrahas (9 Planets) that are usually found in all other Hindu Temples. The Mother has ascertained, "Those who surrender to me, need not pray to the planetary Lords. They are my officers who carry out the work of implementing my Law of Karma.
The Sanctum Sanctorum faces the entrance where OM Sakthi stage is located. Inside this sanctorum is the Swayambu and Mother's idol. The sanctorum is only about 10X10 feet room. Amma has revolutionized the concept of spirituality by letting everybody irrespective of caste, creed, religion, language, nationality, social status, gender, education, etc., to enter the sanctum sanctorum and perform the daily rituals and prayers to the Mother AdhiParaSakthi. Women can enter the temple even during their menstrual cycle (which is prohibited in Hindu Temples) after taking bathe.
Putrumandapam: The Mother in order to keep blessing people at all times, dwells in the snake pit (putrumandapam) in the form of a cobra. The Mother appears before the devotees who stay in the mandapam (Hall) at nights, in the form of a snake till this day. It is the putrumandapam where the Mother gives Her Oracle.
Saptha Kanniyar Kovil (The Temple of Seven Virgins: To the right of putrumandapam is the temple of seven virgins. Normally the temple of the virgins will never have a roof. So also this temple of the virgins, with wall on four sides has no roof. To ascertain the fact that all are Her children and that She doesn't differentiate between any of us, the Mother ordained the local Harijans (considered to be low caste people in India) to construct the Saptha Kanniyar (Saptha means seven and Kanni means virgin. Kanniyar is plural for virgins) worship center within the Temple.
In July 1978, one day, AMMA in Her Oracle said, "Son the world has come to a very deplorable state, where black magic and voodoo is being practiced heavily. In such a state of affairs, a lot of innocent people get into trouble and suffer. The great many people who get caught in the web of this evil are coming to this place seeking relief. This is a place of devotion and spiritualism. Although it is not improper for them to come here, in order to continue to promote spiritualism without time being wasted in attending to them, construct the Adharvana Badhra Kaali (Furious Form of Mother AdhiParaSakthi to fight the evils) near the lake. The people afflicted by evil spirits will be relieved off them, if they worship My Furious Form of Adharvana Badhra Kaali". Accordingly the Adharvana Badhra Kaali idol was installed on February 9th 1979.
The abode of Adigalaar is a very simple but a beautiful place. Just opposite to this abode is a garden with green and natural scenery. It is from here that Adigalaar gives dharshan to His devotees and rests whenever He gets time. There is a small pooja (prayer) room here. When one enters the abode of Adigalaar, one feels like entering the sanctum sanctorum.
Although, Siddhar Peetam is called the AdhiParaSakthi Temple, there are no religious codes followed. There are no other Gods or Goddesses as found in other Hindu Temples. People belonging to all religions visit this Temple all the time. They recite their own religious Holy Scriptures such as Bible, and Quran. As Amma says, whichever scripture we read, whatever mantra we recite, everything is received only by Amma. And Amma is the one who disposes them. The visiting devotees are not required to convert their religion.
One of the unique features of this Temple is that it does not have priests to perform or conduct daily prayers unlike other temples and churches. The devotees themselves are allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum all the time and they can perform archanas and abishekams in accordance with the procedures laid by the Mother AdhiParaSakthi through Her Oracles. Maha yagnas or velvis are conducted by volunteers here.
The Daily Routine:
AMMA is very fond of cleanliness. She resides in a clean inner soul and a clean appearance. In the same way, the Temple and its surroundings are always kept clean by volunteers.
Nobody prevents the people from worshipping the Mother AdhiParaSakthi inside the sanctum sanctorum. Also, it is FREE OF COST unlike other temples in India, where money must be paid to conduct prayers.
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