Part 1 "Cholas and Rama belonged to the same lineage."
Part 2 "Muruga initiated the first ever Vedic Homa"
Part 4 "Dravidian architecture does not mean 'Tamil' architecture"
In continuation of the previous parts (Part 1) and (Part 2) of my Video talk in Desiya Siragugal channel, here is the 3rd part that focuses on the rumours surrounding the Big Temple built by Rajaraja Chola.
The high decibel campaign to replace Sanskrit in the Kumbhabhishekam with Tamil was based on a 'curse' by Rajaraja Chola's "guru" by name Karuvurar. It is said that he cursed Rajaraja would lose his kingship if he entered the temple as a King. This is reinforced by other rumours that any politician entering the temple during his rulership would lose power subsequently. It is also believed that the temple did not see regular Kumbhabhishekams due to this curse.
There is yet another rumour that the temple was closed for 200 years after the death of Rajaraja Chola due to the unnatural nature of his death. On one side it is rumoured that he was killed by someone within the premises and on the other it is said that he fell from the Gopuram.
In the video, I am focusing on these issues and showed by quoting inscriptions that no such curse existed and that the temple was continuously functional ever since it was built. Only during the last 2 centuries, after the British occupation of the temple that ended by 1801 CE, the temple is less cared about.
Kumbhabhishekam is a must once every 12 years for any temple. It is done to rejuvenate the energy of the temple as temples are consecrated for the helping the people derive benefits. Nowadays with temples under Government control, every Kumbhabhsihekam is done as though by the mercy of the Government, the politicians and the officials who are keen on getting their names engraved in the temple. But in those times inscriptions were made only when there was a need, say, when a donation was made, tax was levied or exempted and an order was passed by the king. Kumbhabhishekam was a routine affair of the temple whose expenses were managed by the temple committees from the revenue earned from the tax-exempted villages attached to the temple at its inception. This made the temple self sufficient in taking care of the expenses of Kumbhabhishekam with the result there were no donors and hence no inscriptions on who funded the Kumbhabhishekam. Absence of inscriptions does not mean no Kumbhabhishekam.
The curse of Karuvurar is unfounded due to the fact the temple activities had gone on well - something established by the inscriptions. There is even an inscription of 14 military officers of Rajaraja Chola who offered donation to the deity to help them retain their name and fame with the king. If Rajaraja was asked to discard his kingship while entering the temple, this kind of inscription (on retention of power, title and fame) could not be made during Rajaraja's reign.
Moreover there is scope to believe that the chief priest (Gurukkal) was given precedence over everyone including the Guru of Rajaraja chola. This is made out from the presence of the image (statue) of the Chief priest installed in the temple even while Rajaraja was around. In contrast the image of Guru Karuvurar was depicted in a couple paintings whose origins are not dated nor engraved in any inscription.
The continuity of temple functions can be known from Rajendra's 19th year inscription on donation of 2000 kalam paddy to the Chief priest. There is evidence of performance of a Drama in memory of Rajaraja Chola for which some donations were made in the 42nd year after Rajaraja's death. More in the video...