Abodes of Ganesha
Abodes of Shakti
Abodes of Shiva
Abodes of Skanda Abodes of Surya
Abodes of Vishnu
Templenet Archives

Templenet Encyclopedia
Travel and Tourism
Festivals and Fairs
Beliefs and Legends
Glossary of Terms
About Templenet

tn.jpg (19837 bytes)
The Ultimate Source of Information on Indian Temples

Temples of Tamilnadu
Temples of Kerala
Temples of Karnataka
Temples of Andhra

Temples of Orissa
Temples of Central India
Temples of Maharashtra
Temples of Western India
Temples of the Himalayas
Temples of the Gangetic Plains
Temples of North Eastern India
Temples of Bengal

Feedback & Information:

K. Kannikeswaran
All Rights Reserved
No part of this website may be reproduced or used in any form without permission.
Tradition Meets

tn.jpg (19837 bytes)
Temples of Tamilnadu
Beliefs and Legends >> Shiva


Tyagaraja is the name given to the Somaskanda manifestation of Shiva at Tiruvarur and 6 of the other Sapta Vitanka shrines.

The Somaskanda manifestation of Shiva features Shiva, Uma and Skanda; Shiva in a seated posture, with Parvati to his left and with Skanda his son, seated in between the two.

The Tyagaraja shrine assumes a special place in each of the above temples. There are shrines to Tyagaraja at a few other Shivastalams such as Tiruvanmyur and Tiruvotriyur. Tyagaraja is referred to in the ancient Tevaram hymns of Tiruvarur as Veedhi Vitankar. The Tyagaraja shrine at Tiruvarur is of special significance. 

tyaga.jpg (188287 bytes)

The term Vitanka (Veedhi Vitanka as in Tiruvarur) represents the Tyagaraja image, as well as the Shivalingam (made of precious stone, placed in a silver casket) that is also enshrined in the shrine dedicated to Tyagaraja to the right of the image.

The term Vitanka (sanskrit) refers to that which is not sculpted. An emerald Shivalingam in the Tyagaraja shrine at Tiruvarur is offered all the ritual ablutions and services. In the context of the Tevaram hymns, the term Vitankar refers to a person (Shiva) of extraordinary beauty.

The name Tyagaraja assumed popularity only from the Maratha period (17th century) in Thanjavur. Tyagaraja at Tiruvarur has been referred to as Aaruran or Veedhivitankar by the Tevaram hymns of the 1st millennium CE and by the Chola inscriptions.

The first references to the name Tyagaraja - or the Great Giver goes back to the tamil work of the court poet Ottakoothar of the Chola Kingdom in the 12th century. The Mucukunda Sahasranamam which dates back to this period also refers to the Tyaga (or the giving) attributes of Vitanka.

Also see:

Tyagaraja at Tiruvarur
Ajapaa Natanam
Saptavitanka Stalams
The Somaskanda Legend
Somaskanda Iconography
Mucukunda Chakravarti Legend