The Inner Temple.
Poosalar was his name. He hailed from a town called Ninravur. He was a great devotee of Lord Siva. He longed to build a temple for his Lord, though he was a very poor man. He roamed far and wide to get the required funds. His efforts were not fruitful. He was desperate. He was distressed beyond words.
Suddenly a thought struck him. “Why do I not attempt to build a temple for my Lord in my heart? Why should I beg these worthless persons who have no devotion for my Lord?” He determined to do so. He studied the Agama Sastras. He consulted knowledgeable Sivacaryas. The thought got shape in his mind and gathered further strength and determination – this thought of building a grand temple for his Lord.
He gathered requisite materials in his mind. He approached rich donors and collected huge amounts from them – all in the mind again. Expert architects were approached. They formulated designs, plans and drawings. He collected artisans, renowned sculptors, labourers, tools and even tools? He did not leave the minutest details, however trivial it might appear on first sight! His thoughts were occupied only with the construction of a grand temple for the Lord, unrivalled it would stand when completed! He slaved and slogged for it.
On an auspicious day, the corner (foundation) stone was laid. The king laid it according to rituals. With infinite love and meticulous care he had the temple built brick by brick, stone by stone, pillar by pillar, sculpture by sculpture, day and night, unseen by anyone.
Layer by layer, from the base to the top, the temple was nearing completion. He planned the huge Rajagopuram, other four towers, one each for the four directions, North, East, West and South. He supervised the construction scrupulously, devotedly. The rounded dome, the ancillary pillars, pavilions, shrines and the sacred kalasams were all made ready, worked in ? on the wall sides and niches. Shrines for the Divine Mother, the Lord’s Consort, Vinayaka, Muruga, main deity, Durga were completed. Walls and prakarams were laid. The temple tank was dug and filled with clean water fit for abihsekham (anointing).
At last, the temple was fully completed. It was grand, mighty and a rare sight to behold! He consulted the priests, discussed with them in great detail and fixed an auspicious date for the Mahakumbhabhishekam (consecration) of the temple. Problem arises – no problem! There arose a problem. He had no knowledge of it of course, this devotee Poosalar. It was on this most auspicious date that the Kaadava ruler of Kanchi, who had built a magnificent temple of granite, marble, red and black stones for the Lord Siva, had decided to perform the Kalsabhishekam. The Lord was to be installed therein on the same date!
The Lord appeared in the king’s dream the night before the sacred consecration date. The king was thrilled. But, the Lord asked him, commandingly, so it appeared to the king, to postpone the consecration date. The Lord explained that He had to be present at the installation and consecration ceremony fixed by His dear devotee Poosalar of Ninravur on that same date! That was far more important!
The King moved on to Ninravur in search of the temple. He couldn’t find any. He came to know about Poosalar through some sources. The King spotted Poosalar in the town and inquired him about the temple. He also told him about the words of the Lord in his dream.
Poosalar was in tears. He was deeply touched by the grace of the Lord. He told the king that the consecration was happening that day in his mind, for the temple he was building in his mind.
The King later on built a temple in Ninravur and made the dream of Poosalar come true. Even today, the temple stands in that place (Tiruninravur near Chennai, India) as a testimony to the ‘power of human belief.’
Also See: A Visit to Dhyanalingam.