The Miracle That Happened at Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore

Would you believe that a 7-year-old girl, who was fatally bitten by a snake, miraculously came back to life after 5 years? This extraordinary incident isn’t just a legend; we have concrete proof that it took place right here in Chennai during the 7th century. Inscriptions exist that validate the occurrence of this remarkable miracle.

Have you visited the Poompavai sannidhi at the outer Praharam of the Kapali temple in Mylapore, Chennai? Prepare to be captivated by the fascinating story behind Poompavai, one that will leave you astonished.

Sivanesan Chettiar, a wealthy merchant, had been childless for several years. However, through his selfless service to the Sivan adiyars (devotees of Lord Shiva), he was blessed with a daughter whom he named Poompavai. Sivanesan, a devout Saivite, held great admiration for the young saint Thirugnanasambandar. Having heard of the miracles Thirugnanasambandar performed in Madurai, including the healing of the Pandya King, Sivanesan aspired for Poompavai to marry the saint. Unfortunately, tragedy struck before he could approach Thirugnanasambandar for his consent. Poompavai was fatally bitten by a snake in the garden and passed away. Overwhelmed by grief, Sivanesan collected her ashes and bones, placing them in a beautifully adorned urn within her room. Every day, he faithfully offered Milk Rice as Naivedyam. Time passed, and after five years, Sivanesan learned that Thirugnanasambandar was residing in Thiruvottriyur. He met the saint there and extended an invitation to visit Mylapore. With great pomp and grandeur, Thirugnanasambandar made his way to the Mylapore temple, escorted by his followers walking beneath a canopy of palm leaves arranged by the devoted merchant, right from Thiruvottriyur to Mylapore.

At Mylapore, Thirugnanasambandar requested Sivanesan to bring the urn outside. As the crowd watched in anticipation, hoping for a miracle, the Boy Saint began singing the song “Mattitta Punnaiyan.” This song detailed the festivals observed at the Mylapore temple during the 7th century. Each stanza concluded with a poignant question, “How can you, Poompavai, leave this Earth without witnessing this glorious festival?”

When the 10th stanza was sung, a miraculous event unfolded—the urn shattered, and a 12-year-old Poompavai emerged from within. The onlookers were dumbfounded by this extraordinary spectacle, and the chant of “Om Nama Shivaya” reverberated throughout. People prostrated themselves in awe and wonder. Sivanesan, with folded hands, implored Thirugnanasambandar to accept Poompavai as his bride, but the saint declined, stating that as he had granted her a new lease of life, he was now considered as her father. Poompavai continued to live on, dedicating her life to the service of Lord Shiva.

Even today, the festivals mentioned in this Thevaram, such as Purataasi Thiruvizha, Aipasi Onam, Karthigai Vilakeedu, Margazhi Thiruvathirai, Thai Poosam, Maasi Magam, Panguni Uthiram, Chithirai Ashtami, Ponnoonjal Thiruvizha, and Perumshanthi Thiruvizha, are still celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion at the Kapaaleswarar Temple in Mylapore. These festivals continue to serve as a testament to the miraculous events that unfolded centuries ago, captivating the hearts and minds of devotees to this day.

Listen to the Thevaram Mattitta Punnaiyan


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