BIRUNGI MAHARISHI
 
Every holy shrine will be blessed with the abundant divine power of a particular Maharishi. For example, the Thirupathi shrine is blessed with the divine power of Kongana Maharishi, the Pazhani shrine contains Bogha maharishi’s blessings, similarly the Tanjur and Neerur shrines are blessed with the divine powers of Karuvur and Sadhasivabramendheran Maharishies respectively. Similarly, Thiruvannamalai has the grace of Ramana Maharishi and Maruthamalai has the grace of Paambati Sidhar.

The Tombs of these great Maharishis are also present and fortified at their respective shrines. Following in their divine footsteps, the sacred Maharishi of the sanctified Tiruchengode shrine is Birungi Maharishi.

Birungirishi is praised as the only Maharishi in the entire world to posses 3 legs. He is said to have had such staunch faith in Lord Shiva that he strongly opposed the worship of any god other than the revered Lord Shiva. Every living day, throughout his lifetime, he worshiped Lord Shiva alone. He never even looked at Holy Ambal, though the deity was in close proximity. Noticing this, Goddess Shakthi pleaded with her husband, Lord Shiva, to manifest in the form of Half male and half female, i.e. Ammaiyappan in front of Birungi rishi so that he would be forced to worship her too. Birungi Maharishi, who arrived for his regular pooja that day, was shocked to see Shiva and Shakthi in a single form. He then took the form of a Bee and drove hard into the navel of the mixed deity, and separated them, in turn revolving only around Lord Shiva, his Supreme Deity. .

Angered by Birungi rishi’s actions, The Goddess removed her divine Shakthi from the body of the Maharishi, rendering him physically weak. The great Birungi rishi faltered without strength. Immediately, Lord Shiva blessed him with a strong, 3rd Leg. Lord Shiva, after blessing the Rishi with a 3rd leg, explained to him that without Shakthi there could be no Shiva, and worshiping Shivashakthi is the best form of devotion. Birungi in turn, begged forgiveness of the Goddess for the sins he had committed in ignorance. The Goddess forgave him, and graced him with her blessings. .

Birungi Maharishi is the only blessed soul to have witnessed the sacred form of Ammaiyappar. He then carved that form into an idol, and inspired generations of devotees to worship and identify with that sacred form as a deity. Since then, Holy Arthanaareeswarar is portrayed either as a painting or an idol, with the form of Birungi Maharishi offering worship at the feet of the deity in all portraits. .