was one of the most powerful and revered of all siddhars who earned the personal love of Lord Shiva. He did a very harsh penance towards Lord Shiva at the south Indian village called Irumbai.
A depiction of Kaduveli Siddhar
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Kaduveli siddhar began performing his penance under a peepal tree in Irumbai village renouncing food and water. He also withdrew interaction with others during this time.
Due to his intense meditation, extreme heat was generated in and around his place of penance, that there came scarcity for rain in the area. The villagers of Irumbai were in distress owing to the lack of rain, the ponds and other water sources dried up. Cattle rearing and agriculture failed and people could not find enough water to drink.
Over the course of time, an anthill developed around the siddhar’s body as he showed no movement from his posture.
Even the local king from Edayanjavadi village came to know of this, but even he did not dare disturb the penance of the Kaduveli siddhar fearing his curse. So he summoned a temple daasi (a devotee of god who dances in temples) named Valli to try to get the attention of the siddhar and put an end to the people’s misery.
Valli noted that Kaduveli siddhar would once in a while spread his arms around him to pick up peepal leaves. He ate these peepal leaves to sustain himself during the penance. He did all these with his eyes closed as not to disturb his concentration. Owing to this low nutritious diet, his body was thinned down.
Valli started to lay down Appalams around the siddhar. With his eyes closed, Kaduveli siddhar collected the appalams and ate them mistaking them for peepal leaves. Over the course of few days, he got his taste back, his body was nourished by the appalams and he started appearing healthy.
The anthill surrounding him broke down as he gained weight and the suns rays touched his body revitalizing him. Eventually he opened his eyes completing his penance. The heat radiation in the village of Irumbai subsided as a result and there was rain once again and the people were happy.
Valli was very happy that her purpose was served, yet she continued serving the yogi by giving him food, dancing for him and also learned devotional songs from him.
The King of Edayanchavadi was very pleased to see the ongoing and decided to throw a celebration at the Irumbai temple of Lord Shiva. Valli performed the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva as Nataraja at the event. During the performance, one of her anklets fell off making her lose her balance.
Kaduveli siddhar, who was deeply engrossed in Valli’s performance as Lord Shiva, could not bear the break in the show. He immediately rushed and set the anklet back in Valli’s leg so she could continue.
At this, the King and the villagers started ridiculing him for having touched the feet of a daasi, and started gossiping about their relationship.
Infuriated by the people’s infidelity, he invoked Lord Shiva to prove his innocence by raining stones all over the village. The shiva linga in the Irumbai temple burst into 3 pieces and were thrown apart. Wherever the fragments fell, the area became a desert proving the innocence of the yogi.
The King understood the power of the siddhar and along with the rest of the people begged for pardon. The siddhar after calming down, said that his curse cannot be taken back by him as what was done was done. He added that in the near future, people from far off lands would appear and settle there and make the desert lands green and fertile again.
Numerous spiritual followers from all over Europe, Australia, USA and different other nations today visit, settle and serve in and around the area of Auroville which is located very close to Irumbai village. Many of these people plant trees and shrubs as a part of their spiritual service towards Shri Aurobindo, trying to bring a more greener and peaceful environment.
Irumbai villagers today believe that these foreigners are the people from far off lands prophecized by Kaduveli siddhar to bring back greenery and fertility to the lands turned to desert because of his curse.
Irumbai Temple of Lord Shiva – Today
Today the temple of Lord Shiva stands colorful and vibrant in the village of Irumbai near the city of Pondicherry in Southern India.
Lord Shiva temple at Irumbai – 1
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Two of the shattered pieces of the Shiva Lingam had been recovered and belted to the base with metal. The third piece was no where to be found. If you visit the Irumbai temple today, you could see that the lingam is cracked with a piece of it missing at the top.
Irumbai Temple of Lord Shiva – 2
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The inner side of the temple’s walls are decorated with painted reliefs of the wrath and curse of the siddhar.
A gold plated metal relief of the siddhar in deep penance under peepal tree can be found inside the temple outside of the sanctum sanctorum of the self wrecked shiva lingam.
Metal relief of Irumbai siddhar inside the temple today
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