'Aalakaala Visham' and 'Thiruneelakantan'
Whilst posting about Madippakkam, we saw about 'Aalakaala Visham'. I just thought I would also briefly highlight about this topic for the information of all readers besides the fact that since it is about chanting the name of the Lord, it is good for us.
Long time back, there was a demand amongst the Devas and Asuras to go in search for elixir -- the medicine that would give longevity and remove the cap-limit of death on the person who consumes the elixir. The elixir (called amrutham) was supposed to be hidden in Thirupparkadal. The questions that came before the parties were:
- How should we search the big ocean?
- What is the search weapon to use and deploy for the operation?
They decided to make use of Mount Meru to churn the ocean by tying the divine snake, Vasuki. One side of the snake-rope was held by Devas and the other side was held by Asuras whilst they started the operation of churning Thirupparkadal. When the churning operation became furious and intense, Vasuki was unable to bear it and it started vomitting-emitting the world's deadly poison called Aalakala Visham. To protect the world from being sabotaged by this highly venomous material, Lord Siva intervened and drunk the entire poison in one gulp. Lordess Parvathi caught hold of Lord Siva on His neck to ensure that the poison didn't cross the throat and enter Him. Since the poison just spearheaded on His throat, it intensified and collapsed there but producing a dark blue complexion on His neck. This gave Him the name 'Thiruneelakanta'. 'Neel' means blue and 'Kanta' means 'neck' (in Sanskrit). You can check out this page for more details about related Siva temples too.