Konerirajapuram - Lord Natarajar
Greatness of Konerirajapuram Nataraja
The Nataraja and Ambal of Konerirajapuram is Swayambu! How can metallic idol be swayambu? Here is the legend behind it.
The Chola king who got a dream of the swami in Konerirajapuram wanted to dedicate a large Nataraja / Sivakami Idol to the temple. He wanted the idols to be of a greater height and weight than any other Metallic Nataraja murthis existed in that period. He called for the sthapathi (metallic sculptor) and ordered for making an "Iympon" (made of 5 metals, gold, silver, brass, copper and bronze with more gold to get the glitter), and gave the specification as per his requirements. The sthapathi created many models but could not satisfy the king. He was made to create several murthis and again melt them again several times. The king got frustrated and wanted the sthapathi to somehow finish the murthis by the next day lest he would kill him. The sthapathi did all that is required for creating the murthis but somehow he could not satisfy the king, though he was sincere and a great devotee. He prayed Lord Nataraja and the moolavar of Konerirajapuram to bless him somehow and lay fainted thinking of his end the next day. The metal liquid was heated and kept ready for making the idol, but he was not in a position to take it up. Lord Shiva and Parvathi came to his place in disguise and woke him up on the same night and asked why he was feeling sad. He tells them the entire story and again fell fainted (this time the lord made him faint). Then the both got submerged into the metal liquid and there came a wonderful lifelike Nataraja and Sivakami Idol without the sthapathi having to do anything. They were Swayambu murthis!. The next day the King wanted to see the work and got struck by the wonder of the idols where even the nails and hairlons of Nataraja was showing up! He asked the sthapathi how he could make it, and the sthapathi explained him that he did not do anything and the lord himself helped him by coming down as swayambu. King did not realise the sincerity of the sthapathi and wanted to check whether the idols are made of metal or anything else so he took his sword and did a mark in the shoulder part of the Nataraja idol and he saw blood coming out and suddenly realized his ignorance and fell fainted. The lord appeared to him in his dream state and said that while his intention to make such an idol was good, but he has to respect the devotee and also understand their limitations as human beings. The lord cursed him to get severe stomach pain for a period of 42 days and then wanted him to do all poojas for the Nataraja Idol by himself to get rid of the sin that he did against the Sthapathi. The sthapathi was given moksham.