When Lord Vishnu in the guise of a maid bewitching grace and undertook to distribute the elixir among the Devas and Asuras, he decided to deny the Asuras and fed only to Devas. Rahu was the Asura who understood the intention of Vishnu. He transformed himself into the form of a Deva and stood among the Devas. But Suriyan and Chandran detected this subterfuge of Rahu and intimated Lord Vishnu of Raghu's maleficient cunning. But Lord Vishnu knew this only after he had already given Raghu the Elimir. Raghu had just then taken a mouthful, when Lord Vishnu hit him at the head. But Rahu had tasted the elixir and was now immortal. The dismembered head became Rahu, and the headless body kethu. The head fell in the Earth at Malayam; a brahmin, by name Mini brought him up. Raghu learnt of spiritual truths from the Brahmin. In revenge the dark snake that is Raghu grips Chandran and causes Lunar eclipse. Kethu who is a red snake grips Suriyan and causes Solar eclipse. Kehu by the grace of Lord Siva, became a Graha. His form became divine and the had the five heads of snake grown upon him. His consort is Chitralekha.
Once when Lord Vishnu in feminine form
Sent elixir to Devas you interposed
and your severed head replaced by a snake's hood.
I praise thee, Kethu you should protect me!
The propitiation of Kethu Dosha
It is Kethu who determines as to whether an individual attains Moksha or not. The period of Kethu's influence is 7 years. To ensure that one progeny, for the dawning of wisdom, to own a house one should worship lord Vinayaka, give the gem stone vaidooryam as a gift, recite verses on Machavatharam and worship at the shrine of Kethu.
Kethu gives wisdom, moksha, makes one live well, grace one with good children, bless one with chance to live in a foreign nation. He cures leprosy, fever, tuberculosis and skin diseases.
The Shrine of Kethu, Keezhaperumpallam Temple
Location : The temple is at a distance from Dharmakulam, where buses flying between Mayiladuthurai to Poompuhar stop.
Temple : The shrine faces east. The village is itself divided into two Keezhaperumpallam and Melaperumpallam. Melaperumpallam is referred to as valampuram in Devaram songs. The temple is called Naganthanswamy temple.
Reigning Deity : Lord Naganathaswamy with Mother Soundaranayaki.
Holy Water : Nagatheertham.
Saints Holy tree : Bamboo, Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar have sung hymns.
Features of the Shrine : The festival which makes the occasion when the king of the land welcomed.
Pattinathar into the city is celebrated annually. In the stone inscription of Vikramachozha this temple is mentioned as :Rasarasa Valanattu Akkur Nattu Thalai Chenguttu Thiruvalampuram" and the dieties "Valampuri Udayar" and "Thadangan Nachiar".
The temple of Kezhperumballam
The temple faces east and is surrounded by high walls on all the four sides. There is the holy tank Nagatheertham in front of the temple and on its eastern edge is an Arasa tree, on its western edge the Neem tree. There are snake's images worshipped under the neem tree. The Asuras who were enraged at being denied the elixir for which they strove hard, tore the snake Vasugi which they had used as a rope for churning the ocean of milk and strew its pieces all over the bamboo forest.
The snake whose life had not yet ebbed, grew up from the tail and when it came to know that Lord Siva had taken its poison into him, it asked to be forgiven and did penance. Lord Siva was pleased with Vasugi and manifested to her and asked her to seek a boon. The snake requested that lord Siva should have his temple in the Bamboo forest itself and assist the grief of devotees who pray at that temple. The lord assented and is even now as Naganathaswamy showering his grace upon the unfortunate.
In the west end of the perambulatory route there are images of Vinayaga, Muruga with Valli and Deivanai, Mother Durga, Lakshmi, Narayanar, Maheswari and Gajalakshmi for worship. In the last end of the same route are the sanctums of Saniswarar, Bhairavar, Sambandar and Nagar. In the North east facing west is the Kethu Bhagavan, his form divine, head in the form of a five hooded snake, his hands held together in front in a posture of worship. Naganathaswamy is to be prayed after worshipping Nandhi in the Silver Nagar entrance. There are also excellent statues of Natarajar, Kethu and other deities. Mother Soundaraayaki is in the great hall facing south.
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