Stories of Two Donkeys blessed by Lord Shiva (Post No.11,876)


Post No. 11,876

Date uploaded in London – –  6 APRIL 2023                  

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Tamil Nadu has many temples associated with animals, birds, insects and plants. Most of them are Saivite (Shiva temples).

There is an interesting story  about a donkey who prayed to Lord Shiva and attained liberation. It happened in Karaveeram near Tiruvarur. The temple is at least 1400 years old  because it was sung by Tiru Gnana Sambandar, contemporary of Mahedra Pallava and saint Appar.

The donkey near the temple was praying for long to see Lord Shiva. But Shiva did not answer its prayer. At last, it decided to fall in the sea near Nagore and just before jumping into sea,it  heard a voice. When it stopped Lord Shiva appeared before and gave it Mokasha.

Old Dharmapuram Thevaram edition associated this shrine with donkey. It says Karaveeram means Donkey and the God here is called Karaveeranathar.

Other names are Brahmapureeswar.

The local purana associated this shrine with a plant as well. Gautama Rishi who was given the task of looking after the temple asked Lord Shiva for a boon. He requested that he should not be visible to anyone and so Lord Shiva changed him to the Sthala Vrksha, i.e. he sacred plant of the shrine.  There are two interpretations for the plant 1. Arali and 2.Alari

Even now women water the plant on New moon days so that they would get married soon.

Whatever the belief and customs, it shows that Hindus revere a plant or an insect or an un clean animal like  donkey.

If one goes to Ramanashram in Tiruvannamalai, one my see several Samadhis (graves) for animals from crow to a cow. If one goes to Tiru Kazuku Kundram near Chengalpattu one may see the statues of two eagles that visited the temple for hundreds of years to eat Sweet Rice Pongal. If one goes to Thirucherai Stone Garuda Temple, one can see the burial of sacred eagles. It is needless to say about the Samadhis or statues of sacred elephants in Guruvayur and monkeys in several places.


Here is another story about an ass that went to Shiva loka:-

Ass that carried Rudraksha (Rosary beads)

There was once in Kīkaṭa (now Bihar state)  a merchant who had an ass to carry his merchandise. Once the merchant was returning home from Bhadrācala with his ass loaded with bundles of costly Rudrākṣas. The old ass fell down dead on the way, the weight of the Rudrākṣa bundles having been too much for it, and immediately it assumed the form of Deva and went to Kailāsa. Even if a man does not know what he is carrying, if he carries sacred things he will certainly attain salvation, like the ass that attained salvation in this case. (Devī Bhāgavata, 11th Skandha).

source- Wisdom

All these stories show the respect given to animal kingdom by the Hindus.

— Subham—

Tags- Karaveeram, donkey, Nagore, Ass, Kirata, Rudraksha bundle, Devi Bhagavata

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