Palani Murugan

Palani Hill Temple: The Idol


Śrī Dandāyudhapāni Swāmi

Unlike other temples, here the Lord does not take a siesta and the temple-doors are open continuously from twilight to night for nearly 16 hours at a stretch without interval. The presiding deity in any temple is of stone. Here, it is an amalgam comprising navabashana or nine different kinds of medicinal minerals (some say poisons) blended together in certain rare proportions, the resultant substance resembling hard wax.

The slim figure has withstood the effect of abhishekams for centuries—about 700 abhishekams are done on a Karttikai day!—most miraculously and beyond human explanation. Some knowledgeable persons have felt that it is an understatement to call the image of Dandāyudhapani as an 'amalgam'.

The nine pashanas (poisons) of siddha science are all elements and compounds which evaporate under slight heat and there is no conceivable way in which they could have been 'amalgamated' into a castable metal. Only spectroscopic, radiographic and carbon C-14 tests of the image can throw final light on it.

Like the non-corroding Iron Pillar in New Delhi, the deity at Palani has stood as a mute witness to history. Sage Bhogar has created another timeless sentinel of a great scientific tradition, which now all but extinct.

The constant performing of abhishekams has perhaps added cohesive strength to the image and in turn the medicinal qualities absorbed by the abhishekam materials, attributing to them miraculous curative properties. The overnight sandal paste in particular is a wonder drug, a panacea for many incurable diseases. Not even the rationalist can say that the abhishekam is a waste. For every drop of it is consumed with profit and pleasure by devotees, far and near.

Leucoderma and asthma are cured by the use of abhishekam water. Modern physicians say that milliards of bacteria are stored in the idol and anything taken out of the touch of the idol by abhishekams also infected with the bacteria which grow in geometrical progression. This is the reason for the preservative quality of the articles offered during abhishekam. Prasadam filled with bacteria when consumed internally cures several human diseases.