The Sanskrit word ‘Runa’ denotes debts, and ‘Pariharam’ is a remedy. Runa Pariharam thus stands for remedies that can be done for getting relieved from debts.
Here, the question may naturally arise as to why should there be remedies for clearing debts? As it is commonly understood, the debt can be a loan taken, that needs to be repaid, or it can be some financial liability that has to be cleared. Thus a debt seems to be inherently financial by nature, so it has to be cleared only by the settlement of the amount involved.
Then, wherefrom a pariharam to clear debts, come into the picture?This seems to be a valid question. But, for answering this, we need to understand what a debt truly is?
What is Runa?
A debt is what a person owes to someone else, but this obligation can be much more than merely financial. And a person doesn’t become indebted only because he borrowed money from someone else. He remains indebted even otherwise!
Let us understand how?
Any person who takes birth in this world possibly comes here with 3 types of Runas, the debts. These are the Deva Runa, Rishi Runa, and Pitru Runa. That is, the debts to the celestial beings or Gods, the indebtedness to the saints and sages, and the debts towards one’s ancestors, respectively.
But how are these incurred?
The Deva Runa can incur if a person takes a vow in front of God or makes a promise to him to do something or refrain from doing something else. If the person fails to fulfill his vow or keep up this promise, the divine ensures that the person is born again in this world, so that he gets another opportunity to do what he promised to do earlier. This is the debt towards God.
Our ancient Rishis and saints have laid down several principles that a person has to abide by in his life in this world. The person who fails to adhere to these noble principles incurs Rishi Runa. This debt can also incur if the person fails to keep up his word given to his Guru in the previous birth, and is required to clear this Rishi Runa in the present one.
Pitrus are ancestors. If a person fails to take care of his parents or family elders or fails to discharge his responsibilities towards them, he incurs Pitru Runa. He becomes indebted this way, even if he fails to perform the austerities like Tarpanam etc. to his departed ancestors and will be required to pay back the debt to get relieved of it.
These apart, any promise not kept by anyone on any aspect or any commitment not fulfilled, adds to his or her debt account and necessitates that person’s rebirth. Our ancient scriptures claim that the affected persons come into the life of the defaulter as spouse, children, relatives, friends, colleagues, or partners, and make him pay back the debt by various means.
Any unfilled commitment thus becomes a debt. And no one who fails to clear any of these debts can hope to escape from this samsara, the eternal cycle of birth and death. And the subsequent birth that one takes is obviously due to these pending debts that a person has against his account.
Divine Grace for Clearing Debts
Divine grace can work wonders, and in the case of clearing such debts, it can work in the form of temple worship, too.
Here, it will be interesting to note that there are 2 Lord Shiva temples, which are meant exclusively for relieving people of their debts. These are the Runa Vimochana Lingeshwarar Temple, Thirucherai near Kumbakonam, and the Thyagaraja Swami Temple, Thiruvarur. Both these ancient temples of Tamil Nadu state, which provide pariharam to clear debts, were built by the Chola kings more than 1000 years ago.
Runa Vimochana Lingeshwarar is Shiva in his Linga form, whose idol was installed by the great sage Markandeya. It is believed that worshipping this Lord can help clear all kinds of debts, financial and otherwise, and bestow peace and joy to the people. This temple is dedicated principally to Lord Sara Parameshwara Shiva and his consort, Goddess Gnanavalli.
The second one is the Thiruvarur Thyagaraja Swami Temple. Shiva is in two Linga forms in this massive temple, and they are Rana Vimochana Lingeshwara and Runa Vimochana Lingeshwara. ‘Rana’ means wounds, and so, the former can heal wounds and cure diseases; whereas, the latter can clear your debts.
Thus, these Lords and the temple worships can provide immense relief from all debts, including the monetary ones. Hence, these temples remain as very important Runa Praihara Sthalams, that is, Runa Pariharam temples to remove debts.
Worship as Runa Pariharam
Somavara or Mondays are held as special for Shiva worship. Also, there are 11 Rudras who are the fierce aspects of the Lord. Hence it is believed that worshiping the debt-clearing Shiva forms in these two temples on 11 consecutive Mondays can get the devotees the blessings of the Lord and help clear their debts.
However, it may not be possible for all people to visit these temples, as per this requirement continuously. These persons can consider Lord Shiva enshrined in temples close to their houses as Runa Vimochana Lingeshwara, and seek his blessings with sincerity and devotion for debt relief. Thus, people can turn any temple as a Runa Pariharam temple to remove debts.
They can do Somavara pooja, the Monday worships for 11 consecutive Mondays, in the Lord Shiva temples. This pooja is usually done in the form of abhishekam, the hydration ceremony, which Shiva is very fond of. This is also done with raw rice powder, which can please the Lord all the more. So people can offer raw rice powder for these holy baths, along with some flowers, and offer prayers.
They can also offer items like milk, curd, tender coconut water, honey, rose water, turmeric powder, fruits, and jaggery for the abhishekam. Devotees can also observe a complete fast on all those Mondays or consume only fruits or fruit juices.
Devotees should also entertain only noble thoughts and should be immersed in complete devotion towards the Lord. They can also chant hymns in Shiva’s praise or recite ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ as many times as possible and pray to the Lord with complete sincerity and faith for relieving them from all possible debts.
After the completion of the 11 Mondays worships, people can visit the Runa Vimochana Lingeshwarar Temple, Thirucherai, and express their gratitude to him with prayers.