jambunaathaashtakam By Shri Sridharavenkatesa
This hymn is about Jambunatha as Shiva is known at Jambukeswaram (known as Tiruvanaikkaval in Tamil), a place of pilgrimage in Tamilnadu. It is on the northern bank of the river Cauvery and 5 K.M. north of Trichy. The temple is one of the largest (having a spread of nearly 18 acres) and historic temples in the country. It dates back to the 13th century and has been visited by the great saivaite saints who had sung hymns on the presiding deity – Lord Shiva in the temple.
It seems that the temple was once a forest of jambu trees and there was a Shiva linga under one of the trees. So Shiva came to be known as Jambunatha or Jambukeswara. This is a Shiva temple associated with one of the five great elements (viz.) water and so called pancha bhoota sthalam (##pa.ncha bhuuta sthalam##). The Shiva lingam in the sanctum is always surrounded by water and so is known as appu lingam (ap for water). The other places where Shiva is worshipped in the form of the great elements are Chidambaram (space), Kalahasthi (air), Tiruvannamalai (fire) and Tiruvarur (earth). The temple is known for the historical inscriptions and magnificient architecture. It suffered damages during the moghul invasion in the 14th century and worship in the temple was disrupted.
The temple was restored during the Vijayanagar rule and the worship also revived. The goddess Parvathi in the temple has the name Akilandeswari. She is said to have meditated on lord Shiva here. Her shrine is very famous and attracts large number of visitors. Adi Shankaracharya is said to have visited the temple and worshipped the Lord and goddess here. Legend. As said earlier the Shiva lingam was under a jambu tree. Two devotees of Shiva were born as a spider and an elephant in the forest due to a curse. Both were regularly worshipping the lord in their own way. The spider would weave a web over the lingam to protect it from the falling leaves. The elephant brought flowers and water in its trunk for bathing the lingam before offering the flowers. But it would clear off the web the spider has built first. This act angered the spider very much. Soon a fierce fight broke out between the two resulting in the death of both. Pleased with their devotion Lord Shiva appeared before them and blessed them. Shince Shiva was worshipped by an elephant (aanai in Tamil) here the place is called Aanaikkaa.
jambunaataaShTakam | shrii shriidharave~NkaTeshaaryeNa virachitam Lyrics in English:
kashchana jagataa.n hetuH kapardakandalitakumudajiivaatuH .
jayati j~naanamahiindurjanmamR^itiklaa.ntiharadayaabinduH || 1 ||
shritabhR^itibhaddhapataakaH kalitotpalavananavamadodrekaH .
akhilaaNDamaaturekaH sukhayatvasmaa.nstapaHpariipaakaH || 2 ||
kashchana kaaruNyajharaH kamalaakuchakalashakaShaNanishitasharaH .
shriimaan damitatripuraH shritaja.nbhuuparisarashchakaastu puraH || 3 ||
karivanaghanabhaagyabharo giratu mala.n mama manassarashshapharaH || 4 ||
gR^ihiNiikR^itavaikuNTha.n gehitaja.nbhuumahiiruDupakaNTham .
divya.n kimapyakuNTha.n tejaH staadasmadavanasotkaNTham || 5 ||
kR^itashamanadarpaharaNa.n kR^itaketaraphaNitichaarirathacharaNam .
shakraadishritacharaNa.n sharaNa.n ja.nbhuudrumaa.ntikaabharaNam || 6 ||
karuNaarasavaaridhaye karavaaNi namaH praNamrasuravidhaye .
jagadaanandadhunidhaye ja.nbhuutarumuulanilayasannidhaye || 7 ||
kashchana shashichuuDhaala.n kaNThekaala.n dayaughamutkuulam .
shritaja.nbhuutarumuula.n shixitakaala.n bhaje jaganmuulam || 8 ||
|| ja.nbhunaathaaShTaka.n sa.npuurNam ||