Abhirami is the Goddess of Thirukadayur near MayiladuThurai town of Tamil Nadu.
Abhirami means “She who is attractive every moment of time”. This goddess is believed to be extremely powerful and fulfills the wishes of all her devotees. One of her great devotees of the past was Abhirama Bhattar.Abhirami Pattar (original name Subramaniya Iyer) (late 1700s - early 1800s). He is famed as the author of a collection of hymns called Abhirami Anthadhi which is widely regarded as one of the foremost works of modern Tamil literature.
As he grew Subramaniya Iyer developed a fanatical devotion to Goddess Abhirami. Abirami Pattar who was a Sri Vidya Upasaka.He would sit in a corner of the temple meditating upon the Goddess and singing her praises. As time passed, he was forever immersed in meditation upon the Goddess that he began to observe the supposed likeliness of the Goddess in the persona of the women around him and often showered them with flowers. According to sources, soon, a particular section of the populace began to regard him as a madman He was always under the influence of the graceful Abirami, thinking of the radiance of her face as a full moon And He was a engaged in telling people the details of the day as to Thithi, day, time effects etc.
One day, Raja Serfoji, the Maratha Raja of Thanjavur who ruled over the land, visited the temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva. On noticing the peculiar behavior of Subramaniya Iyer who was a temple priest, he inquired the other priests about the individual. One of them remarked that he was a madman while another rejected this categorization explaining to the king that he was only an ardent devotee of Goddess Abhirami. Those who were jealous of him gave false reports to King Saraboji and induced him to test Pattar. King Saraboji and induced him to test Pattar. As Pattar was an almanac pundit, the king asked him about the day and pat came the reply from Pattar that it was full moon that day while it was the new moon day. , King approached the priest and asked him what day of the month it was i.e. whether it was a full-moon day or a new-moon day. Subramaniya Iyer who could see nothing else but the shining luminant form of the Goddess before him wrongly answered that it was a full-moon day while it was in fact a new-moon day.
When King repeated the question, he still replied the same answer as Full Moon day. King Saraboji told Pattar that he would be beheaded if the full moon did not appear at night.
Abirami Pattar realized his statement and put the blame on Goddess. He said to her that I made this mistake only because of you as I was immersed in your thoughts. Immediately realizing his mistake, Subramaniya Iyer supposedly lit a huge fire and erected a platform over it supported by a hundred ropes. He sat upon the platform and prayed to the Goddess Abhirami to save him. He started singing about the Goddess Abiraami in 100 slokas, so beautifully sung. The songs come under a class of Tamil poetry called "Andhaathi". This means, the next poem should start with the ending from the previous one.
Abirami, Pattar grew fire before the temple, erected a cradle above the fire and tied with 100 ropes. He sat on the cradle above the fire, and cut one rope each time he completed a hymn on Mother Abiramai. He cut off one rope after another in succession on completion of each verse of his prayer. On completion of the 79th hymn, Goddess Abirami pleased and appeared before him and thrown her ear-ring (kundalam) in to the sky which enlightened the whole sky like a full bright moon.
This stuns the king and the viewers. The King begged Pattar’s pardon and honoured him. The degree of Pattars Bhakti to Abirmai was proved by this event. Everyone worshiped the Goddess and her majestic powers.. The degree of Pattars Bhakti to Abhirmai was proved by this event. Sri Annai Abhirami Saranam.