21 July 2014
Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai
Adi Pooram Invitation
From: 21-07-2014 Monday
To: 20-07-2014 Wednesday
On all days and night from 21-07-20-14 to 29-07-2014 Lord Ganapati and Parashakti are brought out in procession.
On the morning of 30-07-2014 there is a Panchamoorthi abhishekam and later a function at the Bangle Mandapam.
In the evening there is a special abshishekam for Parashakti, a procession then Firewalk ceremony conducted in front of the Unnamulai Shrine at Arunachaleswarar Temple.
18 July 2014
The below series of photographs denote the completion of the 10 day festival 2014 Aani Brahmotsasvam with an immersion of the Gods in the tank at the Ayyankulam Tank which is situated in front of the third major Shiva Temple at Arunachala, i.e. Arunagirinathar Kovil.
To find out more about this beautiful Temple please visit this earlier posting here.
As mentioned in an earlier posting at this link here, the 10 day Aani Brahmotsasvam Festival commemorates Dakshinayana which marks the beginning of the sun’s movement in a southern direction.
16 July 2014
This posting is about the opening of a new spiritual facility here at Arunachala. The founders (a married couple) are devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and have dedicated themselves to setting up a meditative retreat centre where individuals or groups can imbibe the atmosphere of the great Arunachala in a peaceful, countryside environment isolated from the hustle-bustle of the ever-developing Tiruvannamalai. Greenland Ashram is situated at around 12 km from Ramanashramam 4 km off the main highway to Bangalore.
These photographs were taken about 2 months ago; at this time the facility is near to completion. Its opening date is set for September 2014.
To find out more information please visit their website at this link here.
|Lord Ganesha entrance to Ashram|
|Arunachala darshan from Greenland Ashram|
|Kiran, Philippe's wife; co-founder of Ashram|
|Philippe, Kiran's husband; co-founder of Greenland|
|Living at site overseeing development|
|Meeting hall with attendance for 250 people|
|Some of the accommodation cottages at the Ashram|
|Ashram buildings being constructed simultaneously|
|All buildings constructed in organic, natural method|
|Buildings surrounded by beautiful hilly countryside|
|Ashram is a gated 6 acre protected environment|
15 July 2014
Aani Brahmotsavam is a festival which lasts 10 days. This year it officially commenced with the hoisting of the flag at the Arunachaleswar Temple on July 8, 2014. The purpose of the festival is to commemorate Dakshinayana which marks the beginning of the sun’s movement in a southern direction.
A year in the Hindu calendar consists of two Ayanas (which signfy the sun’s direction) that are divided into two periods of six months each. Summer solstice marks the beginning of Dakshinayana, which means in the Earth’s sky the Sun begins to trace a southward movement in the northern hemisphere of the planet. The Uttarayana period which begins on January 14th or 15th ends with Dakshinayana Punyakalam. The Dakshinayanam period ends on Makar Sankranti (i.e. Uttarayana day).
|Flag Hoisting Aani Brahmotsavam, 2014|
The Ayana from the beginning of Dakshinayana to the beginning of Uttarayana is known as the sadhana pada. In terms of sadhana, Dakshinayana is for purification, Uttarayana is for enlightenment.
|The Gods, Arunachaleswarar Temple|
In the northern hemisphere of the planet, Uttarayana is the time of fulfilment and Dakshinayana is the time of receptivity. They are also understood as – the first six months from January to June to be masculine in nature, and the duration of the southernly run corresponds to the feminine phase of the Earth.
|Aarti 2014 Aani Brahmotsavam|
Uttarayana and Dakshinayana have a significant impact on how the human system functions and acordingly aspirants shift their activities in relation to the dominant solar influence.
To find out more information about the meaning of Dakshinayana and Uttaraya, go to this link here.
14 July 2014
In the previous posting I wrote about an aspect of divination that have been used in India for a millenium. In this respect to show the depth of reverence given to the divination of the Leaf of Impartiality, it is interesting to learn that it was only after consulting the Leaf of Impartiality and receiving an affirmative response to his question (of whether he could fill the position of priest in the Dakshineshwar Temple), that Ramkumar’s brother the great Paramahamsa Ramakrishna withdrew his objections to Ramkumar serving as officiating priest in the Kali Shrine of that Temple.
|The brothers talk|
In the wonderful book Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master, the occasion reads:
“He then came to know that Ramkumar had agreed to assume permanent charge of the worship of the Divine Mother at the pressing request of the Rani. The Master could not approve of this, and was highly critical of his brother’s conduct. He reminded his brother that their father neither officiated in the sacrifices of the Sudras nor accepted gifts from all and sundry, and tried to dissuade him from the course he had taken. It is said that Ramkumar tried to vindicate his action to the Master in various ways with the help of reason and scripture, but nothing touched his heart. Therefore he had recourse to the simple expedient of Dharmapatra, the leaf of impartiality, at last. The leaf of impartiality, it is said, read, “Ramkumar has not incurred blame in accepting the offer of the priest. It will prove beneficial to all.”
. . . the Master now became free from anxiety regarding his brother’s decision . . . "
[page 141-142 Part I "Sri Ramakrishna The Great Master"]
13 July 2014
We recently uploaded onto our website Arunachala Samudra a new programme entitled Arunachala Oracle. When you first arrive at the programme introductory page you will learn of the workings of the Oracle and be then taken to a meditation page of an effulgent picture of the Lord and (if you wish) listen to inspirational Arunachala-Siva audios run on a continuous long loop. When you feel calm and composed you may then ask the Oracle your question and leave it to Divine Providence to supply you with the answer.
“In India there is still a custom in villages of people depending on providence when there is no possibility of a decision being arrived at by reasoning on a particular matter, and of taking recourse to Dharmapatra, the leaf of impartiality to know the will of Providence; when they ascertain it thus, they act accordingly, without further argument or reasoning. The leaf of impartiality is made use of in the following manner:
“Yes” and “No” are written on some fragments of paper or on Vilva leaves, which are put into an empty water-pot, and a child is asked to pick up one fragment or a leaf. If the child picks up a “Yes” fragment, the person who has recourse to this expedient knows that Providence sanctions the contemplated course. If the other pieces is picked up, he takes it that the will of providence forbids the course.”
[Page 140—Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master Part 1]
As well as the Leaf of Impartiality utilised in India for many hundreds of years, there are many other methods used by Devotees to access the will of Divine Providence. Sri Sathya Sai Baba often used to counsel his devotees that when they had a situation that required action, they could revert to “chits” in order to access the Will of Divine Providence. In this respect He suggested that the devotee keep a number of tokens or coins on their altar in order to access a “Yes” or “No” answer from the Divine.
A great devotee of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba, Shri Madhav Lele published a well known book, “Your Questions and Shree Sai Baba Answers,” which is comprised of 720 possible answers available in response to a devotee’s question.
The premise of Arunachala Oracle is the same as the Leaf of Impartiality, the recommendation of chits from Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the book of guidance of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba.
Arunachala Oracle is comprised of 630 possible answers compiled from sayings and recommendations of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Arunachala saints and devotees and answers of the book of Madhav Lele.
When visiting this programme please treat it with respect. You will receive an answer from Divine Providence directly proportionate to the extent of your seriousness and surrender.
To learn more about the Oracle and then ask your question go to this link here.
12 July 2014
The upa-agama, Devilottara is the essence of all Agama Sastra and explains the supreme wisdom to be attained by mature souls and their mode of life, expounded by the Lord Siva to Devi. Am posting this upa-gama today, Guru Poornima as it is a dialogue conveying the highest spiritual teachings between the Sadguru Lord Siva and His most surrendered devotee the Goddess Parvati.
Meditate in the Heart upon Lord Ganesa — the silent, non-dual, universal witness — who is the nectar of divine bliss and is full of grace, shining as the bountiful flowering of aspirants following the path of spiritual wisdom revealed in Devikalottara, which was expounded by Lord Ishwara into the ears of Goddess Ishwari.
1. O Lord of all celestial beings! I yearn to know that path of supreme wisdom and the code of conduct by adopting which one can get liberation, so that all humanity may attain salvation. I request you to enlighten me on them, out of your grace.
2. O Queen among women! So that everyone may attain knowledge, I shall clearly explain to you today the highest knowledge and the discipline to be followed by which discerning seekers will attain liberation, which is free from any blemish and is difficult to describe.
3. O Lady with fair countenance! Understand that one who is not able to realise the Truth in his Heart by this knowledge of spiritual wisdom known as Kala Jnana, can never attain it even by studying countless crores of sastras (scriptures) spread out like the sky.
4. Therefore cast aside all fears (on following this path) and shed all doubts. Giving up attachment or desire for anything, be ardent in seeking the ultimate knowledge with wholehearted devotion and with a clear mind (without any trace of confusion).
5. Claiming nothing as ‘mine’, filled with compassion, giving protection to all living beings so that no creature fears you, yearning for liberation, absorbed in yoga (union of jiva and Para, fusion of individual self with the universal Self), study this work Devikalottara and follow wholeheartedly and steadfastly the single path shown therein.
6-7. If one is to describe the person who can bring under control his mind, which is restless and turbulent like a whirlwind, and maintain it in a tranquil state, he is verily Brahma (the God that does the creation), Siva (the saviour who shows the path to salvation) and Vishnu (the sustainer of the world); he is Indra, King of the devas, and Lord Subrahmanya (chief commander of all the celestial forces); he is Brihaspati, the guru of all devas; he is a supreme yogi, and one who has achieved the result of performing all austerities; he is a great scholar (who has mastered all the Vedas and sastras), and an outstanding man; he is one who has achieved the true spiritual goal.
8-9. The means by which this mind, which is restless and moves about quicker than the wind, can be brought under control, is indeed the means to obtain liberation; it indeed is what is good for those who seek the permanent Reality; it itself is Pure Consciousness and the state of firmness; moreover, it alone is the righteous duty to be followed by discerning aspirants; it alone is the pilgrimage to holy waters; it alone is charity; it alone is austerities. Know that there is no doubt about this.
10. When the mind moves even a little, that is samsara (worldly bondage); when the mind abides firmly and motionlessly (in the state of Self), that is mukti (liberation). This is certain. Therefore know that the wise man must hold his mind firm by supreme Self-awareness.
11. The happiness attained in this aloneness is the highest, boundless bliss. Which learned persons will not revel in that Supreme Reality, in which there is absolutely no action? Tell me.
12. Being rid of the worldly knowledge, the great hero who has acquired pure wisdom, in which there are no sense objects, and which is all pervading and without any form, will attain immutable moksha without fail, even though he may have no desire to attain liberation.
13. The consciousness (chaitanya) associated with the aspect ‘am’ is called Sakti. The universe shines by its light. The entire creation is Sakti’s sankalpa (thought). The state (of mind) which is completely devoid of all attachment is the pure (wisdom) to be attained.
14. The void which is the infinite and all-encompassing one whole without a second, which is just the effulgence of pure wisdom, which is completely devoid of visible phenomena and which consists of the aspect ‘I’ is the seed which fructifies as liberation, bestowing salvation by enabling one to unite with the Supreme.
15. Instead of following this direct path, do not ever contemplate even in the least upon chakras (located in six adharas, centres in the body), nadis (subtle nerves that produce the ten divine sounds such as Pranava), the deities associated with the lotus seats (in the adhara chakras, beginning with Vinayaka), the mantraksharas (potent sound syllables for the worship of these deities) and the diverse mandala murtis (the God-aspects, starting from those controlling the sun, Surya Mandala, the moon, Chandra Mandala, and fire, Agni mandala).
16. Those who seek everlasting liberation need not endeavour to practise repetition and countless verse mantras (repeating potent scriptural words or texts to gain various ends), and methods of yoga such as breath-control (pranayama), breath retention (kumbhaka) and concentration.
17. There is no room for performing puja (worship of deities), namaskaram (paying homage like prostration), japa (incantation), dhyana (contemplation) and so on. Hear from me that the highest truth acclaimed in the Vedas can be known only through jnana; hence, there is absolutely no need to know anything outside of oneself.
18. For those whose minds are constantly expanding, clinging to external objects, factors will always arise causing increasing bondage. If the outward-wandering mind is turned inwards to stay in its natural state, know that one will not undergo any suffering in the world.
19. Unite with that one totality, which is all-pervasive, which has no inside or outside, which is bereft of all (concept of) directions such as above, below and in between, which assumes all the forms in creation and yet is itself formless, which can be known only by itself, and which is self-luminous.
20. People perform their actions having their own aims in mind, and they accordingly reap the consequences of their actions by attaining those aims. Therefore do not engage in such actions which are not free from flaws (leading to bondage). Turn the attention completely away from external objects and concentrate only upon that (the Self) which cannot be seen.
21. In our natural state, actions, cause and result of such actions, and all the various other theories propounded (in the scriptures) do not exist. In fact, even the diverse world does not exist. As such even the worldly individual who is attached to (the various attractions of) the world is also nonexistent.
22. This entire universe is nothing but the niralamba (the reality which exists without any support). Further, it shines being illumined by the niralamba. The yogi (with his mind turned inward) merges with this whole one by making every object in this world one with it. Know this.
23. If any person does not meditate on this great all-pervading void, which is the space of consciousness (chidakasa), he will be a samsari (a worldly individual) forever in bondage to worldly attachments, like the silkworm in its self made cocoon. Understand this.
24. All living beings, of whatever genus, undergo great misery over and over again. Hear from me. In order to avert all this suffering and sorrow, meditate on the great void constantly without any break.
25. Good actions and good conduct have been prescribed only to guide the seeker towards the path of acquiring knowledge. Therefore, giving up even salamba yoga in which an object (such as a mantra or a form of God) is meditated upon in the mind, stay steadfast in your real state (sahaja swarupa), where the outside world is not perceived.
26. One who can destroy all the tattvas (principles) from patalaloka (the nethermost world) to Sakti (one of the highest tattvas), which are all interdependent, by the arrow of sunyabhava is a man of great valour. He has attained supreme wisdom which is beyond matter.
27. The mind, hankering after things of the world, is more restless than a monkey. If one controls it from wandering after external things and holds it in the void of non-matter one will attain liberation directly.
28. The full Consciousness (purna chit) which is not other than the true import of the word ‘I’, being non-different in all the principles (tattvas) and being other than the sense ‘I am the body’, is the all-pervading Reality.
29. This complete wholeness pervades inside and outside all creations like ether, merging with them, and is itself formless. Dear, those who are submerged in this supreme bliss become that supreme bliss themselves. See, how wonderful!
30. The expanding mind will attain peace, becoming still of its own accord, if it is deprived of something to hold on, just as fire gets extinguished gradually if not fed with fuel.
31. You must realise that the four states of infatuation, delusion, swoon (due to shock) and dreaming, as also sleeping and waking, are all to be dispelled.
32. If one meditates that the one Consciousness (chit) is different from the prana (life-force), which has subtly attached itself to this gross body, from the mind, from the intellect and from the ego, one will become established in that Consciousness.
33. Due to sleep and due to thoughts the mind always loses its sharpness, its foolishness increases, and it goes to ruin. Awakening this mind with effort, and without allowing it to wander, establish it in the state of Self. Persevere in this effort by fixing the mind again and again in its natural state.
34. When once the mind becomes steady, it should not be disturbed in any way. There is no need to think even in the least of anything else, entertaining any doubts. Fixing the mind firmly in that state (of Self-awareness), keep it still.
35. Make the mind, which always clings to some support (attaching itself to sense-objects), devoid of all such supports. Making the mind, which is restless in clinging to external supports, motionless, do not disturb that tranquillity even a little.
36. Meditate on the peerless Self which pervades all the various forms, yet remains without any blemish (being unaffected by them), just as ether, pervading all the creations made up of the five elements, remains unsullied at the time of their dissolution.
37. When one adopts the practice (sadhana) by means of which one’s mind, which is restless like the wind, is made still perpetually, then the purpose of taking birth as a human being is fulfilled. That is also the mark of a true scholar.
38. Do not practise meditation by fixing the mind on the six adhara chakras, the ones that are up or down or in the middle, or anywhere else. Giving up all such meditations,make the mind always devoid of any support (either inside or outside).
39. If the mind falls asleep, awaken it. Then if it starts wandering, make it quiet. If you reach the state where there is neither sleep nor movement of mind, stay still in that, the natural (real) state.
40. The state in which the mind is bereft of any support to cling to, ever faultless and pure, and devoid of worldly attachments, is the nature of liberation attained through knowledge. Keep this firmly in mind.
41. Dispelling all attachments completely, and fixing that mind in the Heart firmly, persist in your practice always in order to strengthen the awareness, which then shines forth with great effulgence and clarity.
42. Know that whoever meditates on that supreme void, and becomes established in it by virtue of constant practice, will definitely attain the great state which is beyond birth and death.
43. Gods and goddesses, merits, demerits and their fruits, which are likewise anya (other than oneself), objects of attachment and the knowledge of those objects — all these will lead one to bondage in mighty samsara.
44. All objects of attachments are said to be pairs of opposites (happiness and misery, good and bad, profit and loss, victory and defeat, and so on). When one rises above those pairs of opposites, one realises the Supreme. Such a yogi is a jivanmukta, liberated from bondage. On discarding the body, he becomes a videhamukta.
45. A wise man should not give up the body out of aversion to it. Know that when once the prarabdha karma (result of accumulated actions) which was responsible for the creation of the body ceases, the bodily burden will automatically fall off.
46. The Consciousness which shines as ‘I’ in the Heart-lotus is pure (flawless) and perfectly steady (without a trace of movement). By destroying the ego, which rises (from that Consciousness), that Consciousness itself bestows the supreme joy of liberation. Be sure about it.
47. With great devotion meditating constantly that ‘I am that Siva the form of the one Consciousness that is always unsullied by any adjunct,’ dispel all your attachments.
48. Giving up all notions about country, caste, blemishless community, asrama (status as a bachelor, family man, ascetic or one who has renounced the world) and associated matters, hold on to and practise always meditation upon the Self, your own natural state.
49. I alone am. No one belongs to me; nor do I belong to anyone else. I can see no one who can call me his; neither can I see anyone who is mine. I am all alone.
50. Know that the person who experiences the firm conviction, ‘I am the Supreme Brahman, I am the Master and Lord of the Universe!’ is the real mukta (one who has attained liberation), and that the one following conflicting paths is in bondage.
51. The day one is able to see oneself with his inner eye as not the body, all his desires vanish, and he experiences perfect peace.
52. He who is described in the scriptures as the unborn and Lord, I am He, the Atman (Self), who is forever without form or qualities. There is absolutely no doubt about it.
53. I am pure Awareness, immaculate, perfectly liberated; and forever present everywhere. I am indeterminable. No one can grasp me or leave me. I am free from sorrow. I am always brahmamayam (of the nature of Brahman).
54. I am the Self which is Consciousness, absolute completeness, deathless and self-established, and which is other than this insentient body, limited between the top of the head and the sole of the foot, and which, beginning with the antahkaranas (the inner instruments such as mind and intellect) is bounded by the covering of the skin.
55. Thinking, ‘I am the Lord of all creations, moving or stationary, I remain as father, mother and father’s father for the universe’, aspirants for mukti contemplate with concentration and ardour only upon Me, who am that great turiya state (the substratum of the waking, dream and sleep states).
56. I am the one who is worshipped through sacrifices and penances by all celestial beings beginning with Brahma (the Creator), the heavenly damsels who are themselves sought after, humans, yakshas, gandharvas, nagas and other groups of superhuman beings, and also by many others. Know that everyone worships only Me.
57. By many kinds of rare austerities and charities, everyone worships only Me. Know that this vast creation, moving and stationary, and all objects, are nothing but Me, the Infinite One.
58. I am not the gross body, nor am I the subtle body. I am also not the causal body. I am the kinsman of the universe. I am the One who is of the nature of transcendental knowledge. I am moreover the eternal One, the Lord, the taintless One, the One who is devoid of the states (of waking, dream and sleep), the One who is devoid of the universe.
59. The beginningless Consciousness is unborn, whole and, residing forever in its natural home of the Heart-cave, is without form, world or impurity. It is beyond comparison and completely unattached. It cannot be comprehended by the mind nor can it be seen or felt by the senses.
60. Repeatedly see thus: ‘I am He, the eternal, omnipresent Reality which is Brahman’. Meditating thus for a long time, whoever abides imperturbably will become the Supreme Brahman, thereby attaining immortality.
61. Having thus explained the nature of knowledge to enable everyone to attain liberation, which is always available, I shall now proceed to describe the conduct to be adopted by seekers. Noble Lady, listen to them calmly.
62. O Queen among women! Know that bathing in holy waters, repeating holy names or words (mantras), performing daily homa (sacred offering in specially prepared fire), worship, other oblations in lustrous fire, or any other means (sadhana) to be followed after great study, are never required for him (the earnest aspirant seeking liberation).
63. Niyamas (strict rules of conduct such as what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, what to wear, where to sit and so on), worship of deities in sacred places, nama archanas (worship of deities by reciting sacred names), pitru karmas (oblations, etc., carried out for the sake of forefathers to help them reach a high state), pilgrimage to holy places which have come forth on earth, and observance of great vows, are all not for him (the earnest aspirant), if considered deeply.
64. He does not reap the fruit of actions, good or bad. Important dates and special observances zealously followed by the world are not for him. Give up all actions and all kinds of worldly codes of conduct.
65. Renounce completely all religious edicts and disciplines. Since all kinds of action result in bondage, give up all action plans, mental conflicts, and attachment to one’s caste duties.
66. Even if the aspirant acquires many kinds of supernatural powers and magical powers such as visualising what is buried underneath the earth, and can demonstrate them before the world, he should give up mental attachment to them.
67. All these (powers) are only bondages to the individual soul. Further they drag one to follow a low path. The supreme joy of liberation does not lie in any of them, but only in the Infinite Consciousness.
68. One must engage unfailingly in yoga (the practice of Self-abidance) in all conditions, without allowing any special event to affect one adversely. If, due to doubts, delusion arises in the form of attraction to worship in holy places and temples (on account of past practices and vasanas), reject it immediately.
69. Listen to me, Lady! Know that only the wise man who never does anything which leads to the destruction of any form of life, such as insects, worms, birds or plants, is a person who is seeking true knowledge.
70. He (the true aspirant) should not pull out tender roots (of fragrant plants, which is often done for worship); he should not even pluck the leaves; he should not harm any living thing out of anger; he should not heartlessly pluck even flowers.
71-72. He should worship Lord Siva using only flowers that have fallen naturally. He should not indulge in vile practices such as marana (causing destruction through the use of certain mantras) uchadana (driving one out with the force of mantras), vidveshana (causing mutual hatred between friends), the well known sthambana (freezing one’s capabilities), causing fever, putting into action evil spirits, causing agitation, wrongly taking control of others, attracting and infatuating others, and so on. Abandon the worship of stones, wooden objects and similar articles.
73. Having relinquished the great mudras which are adopted in order to fix the mind on the devatas (deities) residing in holy places and temples, and the associated sacrifices, get rid of the vasanas also which may have accumulated on account of such practices in the past, and cling only to the Self, the all-pervading real Consciousness.
74. Maintain a neutral attitude towards all things; do not get infatuated with anything; maintain equanimity whether in happiness or suffering; be the same to friends and enemies; treat alike a broken piece of mud pot and a piece of gold.
75. Know that a flawless yogi is one who does not ever allow himself to be swayed by desire for the pleasures of the senses, who frees himself at heart from mamakara (treating things as ‘mine’), who has a steadfast mind, who is free from desires and fear, and who always revels in the Self.
76. Being unaffected by either praise or slander, treating alike all creatures, he should always unfailingly maintain an equality of vision (sama drishti), considering all living beings in the world as himself.
77. Avoid unnecessary arguments and worldly associations. Do not create misunderstanding among others. Do not join religious bodies well versed in many scriptures (sastras). Give up both words of abuse and words of praise.
78. Gradually and completely get rid of jealousy, slander, pomp, passion, consequent hatred, desire, anger, fear and sorrow.
79. If a man is free from all the pairs of opposites and always lives in Solitude (established in himself alone), he gains perfect wisdom even while in the present body and shines forth with great effulgence.
80. Liberation is attained only by knowledge (jnana). By other powers (siddhis) such a fruit is unattainable. However, aspirants become enchanted with blemishful worldly enjoyments and thaumaturgic powers (siddhis) and go after them with desire.
81. Know that the pure flawless person will experience that blemishless Lord (the Supreme Brahman) and positively attain liberation whether attended by the supernatural powers or not.
82. The body is a form constituted of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether). The one all-pervading Siva is also nicely seated there. Hence the entire universe, right from the indivisible all-pervading Sivam (the highest and most abstract tattva or principle) to this world, is the form of Shankara.
83-84. My dearest, earnest seekers who see the enlightened one and worship him with all the three instruments (mind, speech and body) in unison, offering him with heart-melting love, sweet-smelling sandal paste, fruits, flowers, incense, good water to bathe, clothes and food, will thus attain liberation. Know that those who worship that jnani reap the fruit of his righteous deeds and those who slander him reap the result of his sins.
85. I have revealed the truth about knowledge and the conduct pertaining thereto, as you have asked. This entire path is indeed Kalottara Jnana (the knowledge to be revealed at the final stage of maturity). Tell me, O Lady, if you want to ask anything more.
(Translated by T. K. Jayaraman)
Today in celebration of the 2014 Guru Poornima the website of Sri Nannagaru will be conducting Live Streaming at this link here of Sri Nannagaru's Guru Poornima Discourse (this afternoon 12th July from around 2 p.m. IST). The discourse (in Telegu) will be streamed live from a facility arranged by his Hyderbad, Andhra Pradesh devotees.
Sri Nannagaru of whom I have made many earlier postings and who is my own Guruji, is a realised Master who hails from a small village in Andhra Pradesh and who achieved realisation in the late 1950's whilst on his own pilgrimage to Arunachala. He attributes his realisation occurred through the grace of his own Master Arunachala-Ramana.
Yesterday late afternoon (Friday July 11) early crowds started visiting the Arunachaleswarar Temple to take darshan in celebration of the 2014 Guru Poornima. By evening time the number of devotees and pilgrims at the Temple will have increased exponentially many of who will have either arrived after completing Arunachala girivalam, or would be starting off from the Temple on their Hillround.
27 May 2014
Ananda Vishesh a devotee of Arunachala Shiva and reader of Arunachala Grace kindly sent information about two new short videos on Mukkupodi Swamigal which have been posted on You Tube. I am embedding both videos below.
I previously posted a long narrative sent by Ananda about his meeting with Mukkupodi Swami, and to read the earlier posting with photographs please visit this link here.
There is now available a book in Tamil on Mukkupodi Swamigal entitled 'Arunai Vazh Podi Sittarin Arpudangal' written by S.A.Vennila. This book is available through the Mukkupodi Madam (ashram) opposite Vayu Lingam on the Girivalam pathway.
The hottest part of the year at Arunachala comes around May and early June and is known as Agni Nakshatram ("fiery star") or Kathiri Veyyil. This year the period ran from Sunday May 5, 2014 and will end tomorrow Wednesday 28 May, 2014.
For an earlier posting with photos of Thara Abhishekam go to this link here.
During this period Abhishekam is performed during which water is held in an overhead container and constantly drips, drop by drop unto the Shiva Lingam.
See below for the schedule of functions celebrating the end of this “fiery period.”
20 May 2014
One of the best known spiritual Masters who visit Arunachala is Sri Nannagaru. Due to poor health, he has not been able to come to this place for sometime, but it is hoped he will come and stay after the hot season is over.
Below is a short extract of his narrative about a “pure mind.”
“One must have the grace of God to attain the highest state or the complete bliss state. Ishwara’s (God) grace is of utmost importance to reach the highest state. If his grace is not there, then all efforts may not be successful. The mind is the creation of God. A mind free from desires, greed and jealously, and which neither sees good nor bad, such a mind is known as ‘bangara manasu’ (a mind that is pure). Such a mind is given by Maha Vishnu.
All the sadhana or spiritual practice that we are doing is to attain that ‘bangara manasu’. Our actions in the past affect us in this birth in two ways: the body suffers from disease;and the mind gets trapped in grief. Both disease and grief are fruits of previous actions (done in past births). So, in this life you must not keep recalling issues that have affected you. Leave them, forget them and move forward. In this life, do not be bothered about the past and the future. Future actions will take place as they have to. Thinking about them and disturbing the mind is not correct. Each one must learn to dwell in solitude (Ekanta Vasa) at least for an hour each day.
If you face all events in life happily, slowly the result of the past actions decreases. Gradually you will gain supreme knowledge. Each task or work assigned by God to you must be performed in a righteous way. If it is not possible, then do not do it. As far as possible do not jump into other people’s issues. This again leads to ignorance. But you can do tasks for the welfare of others.
Feed and take care of old people in the house. Think that the Lord has come in their form. This process is called seva or selfless service. Then the work does not become a burden. Through work you are glorifying God.”
To find out more about Sri Nannagaru through the experiences of his devotees, visit the website at this link here.
An estimated 10 Lakhs pilgrims (one million) visited Tiruvannamalai this year to perform Chitra Poornima girivalam around Arunachala. After Deepam, Chitra Poornima attracts the largest number of visitors to Tiruvannamalai in order to walk around the Hill.
During the full moon period and the days both previous and after, the area was inundated with heavy rain, which was the tail end of a storm coming up from Sri Lanka. The rain was welcomed by all, as it cooled the town and girivalam roadway down most effectively.
The two photographs below are of the daytime girivalm crowd on the Chengam Road (outside Seshadri Ashram) part of the girivalam roadway. However the BIG crowds mostly performed circumambulation in the night time of the full moon.
|Girivalam near Seshadri Ashrlam|
13 May 2014
Yesterday morning (Monday--May 12, 2014) Priests from Arunachaleswarar Temple in procession with Lord Annamalaiyar and the Goddess attended the Ayyankulam Tank (located less than a kilometre from the Big Temple) to immerse the Shiva-Shakti trisulam in the tank.
|Big Temple Priests with Shiva-Sakthi Trisulam|
|Priests immersing the Trisulam in the Ayyakulam Tank|
|The Gods Annamalaiyar and the Goddess watching the immersion|
|Crowd at Big Temple. Manmatha representation back centre of photograph|
That evening at the Arunachaleswarar Temple, a large crowd gathered to watch the completion of the various rituals undertaken over the last week, that would lead to the burning of Manmatha
|Large crowd at Temple watching the renactment|
|Finally at end of re-enactment, the burning of Manmatha|
To read the legend about Manmatha (the God of Love) go to this earlier link here.
11 May 2014
The hottest part of the year here at Arunachala comes around May and early June and is known locally as Agni Nakshatram ("fiery star") or as Kathiri Veyyil. During this time in all major Shiva Temples at Arunachala, Thara Abhishekam is performed. This abhishekam occurs over the period of Agni Nakshatram, and it is one in which water is held in an overhead container and constantly drips, drop by drop unto the Shiva Lingam.
The photographs are of a Shiva Temple on the girivalam roadway, but the same process is currently occurring at Arunachaleswarar Temple. Those who visit the Shrine during this time can observe the water receptacle inside the Arunachaleswarar Shiva Sannidhi directly over the Shiva Lingam.
The below photographs were taken on two separate evenings at Arunachaleswarar Temple during the current 2014 Chittarai Vasantha Ursavam Function. A doll with a bucket of flowers travels on a line to the Lord and his consort and offers flowers to the Gods.
|Annamalaiyar and the Goddess|
|Large crowds gathered each evening at the Temple|
|Doll on line travelling to the Gods|
|Doll on line from another angle|
|Arriving at the Gods with her bucket of flowers|
5 May 2014
Below is a very nice narrative of Vasantha Utsavam, the Festival celebrating the blossoming of love, describing some of the rituals and functions observed during the 10 days. I cannot vouch that Arunachaleswarar Temple observes the same schedule as below. To view the programme for the function go to my earlier post at this link here.
“Vasantha Utsavam is a ten day Festival depicting the blossoming of love. During this sacred event, Swami and Amman are gorgeously decorated with jewels. With the Temple Elephant fanning the Divine Couple with Shamara grass, they are taken with great ceremony in Mahapradakshina round the sacred Mahila Maram (trees) within the Third Prakaram – ten times every night for ten days = 100 times.
On the third day of Vasantha Utsavam is the birth of Manmatha, also known as Kama the God of love (lust). Manmatha is depicted looking for Siva.
At 9 p.m. on the fifth and eighth days the Temple lights are switched off so that the procession is in the dark. After going around the sacred Mahila Maram ten times the lights are switched back on to great rejoicing.
Lord Shiva opens His third eye on the final days of the Festival and the burning of Manmatha takes place.
During this sacred Festival the Jumbo Keswara Lingam, that is set in stone on the raised platform in the midst of the sacred trees is filled to capacity with water. Plants and flowers are placed to float inside the recess of the Lingam, appearing to make the Lingam levitate and blossom.
Sri Appar Swami’s birthday takes place on Satyam Natchatram day. Sri Appar Swami is taken on a chariot round the Maha Veedi – Seventh Prakaram.”
[The Light of Arunachaleswarar]
|God of Love shooting his arrow at Lord Shiva|
The Story of Kama The God of Love
“When Shakti became Parvati, daughter of the king of Himalayas, She was doing tapas for Lord Shiva. At the same time the great sages, the four sons of Brahma, Sanakar, Sanandanar, Santanar, Sanatkumarar came to Lord Shiva for enlightenment. The Lord gave them enlightenment in the form of Lord Dakshinamurti. Who are the cause as well as the energy for the whole world are into yoga, the whole world got more inclined to yoga and life sustenance was in trouble.
Meanwhile the Devas, who were tortured by the Surapadma and his brothers Taraka, Simhamukha, knew that those demons can be killed only by the son of Lord Shiva and Shakti. Disappointed that both God and Goddess were doing yoga instead of marrying, they asked cupid to disturb the meditating Lord Shiva with his arrows in order to induce lust for Parvati. When desperation sets in, reasoning gets pushed down. Can the Supreme be induced with lust by anybody? The cupid refused since he knew that it would be fatal for him. But the other Devas threatened to curse him if he didn't obey. Saying that it is better to be killed by the God of gods than by the curses of Devas, he went with his wife, Rati, to the abode of Shiva where He was in meditation.
The cupid shot the flower arrow on the Lord. The next moment the fire from the eye in the forehead of the Lord burnt the cupid. Undisturbed He continued His meditation. The cupid is of the reputation that his arrows never fail. But well, it can apply to others, can it be for the Almighty? His arrows were useless in front of the Lord and he too became just a heap of ash!
Shocked by the death of cupid all the Devas realised their plots would not work out with God. They understood that only sincerity can get showers of His grace and any other pressure can have no affect upon the Lord. They surrendered themselves in front of the Lord and pleaded for mercy. The Lord forgave them and married Parvati and gave Subrahmanya for the destruction of the demons. On their request He also bring back to life Kama, however he would be visible only to his wife and not to others. Because of this reason Kamadeva is called ananga (one without limbs).”
[The above narrative appears at this link here]