Mental Worship & Idol Worship

When the artisans of the Kailasanatha temple had completed sculpting the exquisite figures in sand stone, the King fixed an auspicious time for the grand opening and the consecration ceremony. The king was surprised to hear from Lord Shiv in his dreams, that Shiva had committed to be at a consecration ceremony of a different temple on that date. The king decided to travel to the town where the other temple was being consecrated and was surprised to see no crowds, no music and no fan fare there.
Kailasanathar temple

The towns people directed the king to Koosalar, the great devotee of Shiva. Koosalar had just completed building a temple, mentally and was about to install the deity inside, in the cave of his heart. The King was touched by Koosalar's devotion. He recognized that it was not easy to connect with the supreme spirit, mentally. He had heard of Rishis who could worship the formless with total ease in the past. He had learnt that the Rishis had recognized that great mental steadiness was required for such worship and had therefore prescribed methods to see in Omnipresent in tangible objects - the fire altar, the water pot, the sacred plants and trees and consecrated stone idols.

Koosalar with King Rajasimhan

The king decided to build a brick and mortar temple in that very town to ensure the devotion experienced by Koosalar to flow for generations. The king delayed the consecration of the Kailasanatha temple until this new temple was completed. Vistors, today, throng the Kailasanatha temple, now classified as an archaeological monument, to enjoy looking at the sand stone carvings there. On the other hand, devotees continue to  connect everyday with the unseen symbolized as the Shivaling in the Hridayaleeshwara temple in Tirunidravur.

Hridayaleeshwara temple