Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blessings from Arunachala..




6 months ago i had no awareness of even the word Arunachala. But then so much information mysteriously came my way, including generous offers from near and far ones to help me go there and arrange accomodations for me. I then learnt that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba had asked a few of His youths to make a pilgrimage to this sacred place and do Giripradakhshina. A few days later my friends at Devasunlimited ( Dr Srikant and Shivani Sola ) posted an note revealing interesting information about this very mountain. I could no longer ignore these obvious promptings from the inner Divine to learn more about and go to this sacred place. And when i began my research on what Arunachala was all about, this is what i learnt :



"Once Vishnu and Brahma fell to disputing which of them was the greater. Their quarrel brought chaos on earth, so the Devas approached Siva and besought him to settle the dispute. Siva thereupon manifested himself as a column of light from which a voice issued declaring that whoever could find its upper or lower end was the greater. Vishnu took the form of a boar and burrowed down into the earth to find the base, while Brahma took the form of a swan and soared upwards to seek its summit. Vishnu failed to reach the base of the column but “beginning to see within himself the Supreme Light which dwells in the hearts of all, he became lost in meditation, oblivious to his form and even unaware of himself, the one who sought”.  Brahma saw the flower of an alse plant falling through the air and, thinking to win by deception, returned with it and declared he had plucked it from the summit.

Vishnu admitted his failure and turned to the Lord in praise and prayer: “You are Self-knowledge. You are OM. You are the beginning and the middle and the end of everything. You are everything and illuminate everything.” He was pronounced great while Brahma was exposed and confessed his fault.


In this legend, Vishnu represents 
the intellect, and Brahma the mind while Siva is Atma, the spirit.

The story continues that, because the lingam or column of light was too dazzling to behold, Siva manifested himself instead as the Arunachala hill, declaring: 

“As the moon derives its light from the sun, so other holy places shall derive their sanctity from Arunachala. This is the only place where I have taken this form for the benefit of those who wish to worship me and obtain illumination. Arunachala is OM itself. I will appear on the summit of this hill every year at Kartigai in the form of a peace-giving beacon.” This refers not only to the sanctity of Arunachala itself but also to the pre-eminence of the doctrine of Advaita and the path of Self-enquiry of which Arunachala is the center. One can understand this meaning in Sri Bhagavan’s saying, “In the end everyone must come to Arunachala.”

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Ramana Maharshi said that other holy places such as Kailas, Kasi and Chidambaram are sacred because they are the abodes of Lord Siva whereas Arunachala is Lord Siva himself.

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"All stones in that place [Arunachala] are lingams. All trees are the wish-granting trees of Indra's heaven. Its rippling waters are the Ganges, flowing through our Lord's matted locks. The food eaten there is the ambrosia of the Gods. When men move about in that place it is the earth performing pradakshina around it. Words spoken there are holy scripture, and to fall asleep there is to be absorbed in samadhi, beyond the mind's delusion. Could there be any other place which is its equal?" -: Arunachala Puranam

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"The supreme knowledge (Self-knowledge), the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar." : Lord Siva in the Arunachala Mahatmyam

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In the Golden Age (Sat Yuga), many rishis and saints who have hidden themselves away from the public eye will again become available. A few days ago the Devas showed us a vision of Arunachalam, the sacred hill in Tamil Nadu, south India which is famous for its ancient Shiva temple as well as the ashram of the venerable Sri Ramana Maharshi. Many, many siddha purushas (perfected beings) are ensconced away within the bosom of the sacred hill, silently doing their tapasya for hundreds and even thousands of years.

Some of these rishis, the Devas told us, come into the world only during each Sat Yuga. Others hid themselves away so as to be unaffected by the onslaught of Dwapara and Kali Yugas.


In the years to come, many of these rishis will awaken from their Samadhi and become available to us. Some will form new spiritual centers of learning. Others will go about quietly meeting and teaching those souls who are ready for advanced lessons. And still others will simply vibrate at a high rate of consciousness, silently blessing all those around.


We cannot go and interact with these rishis just yet, as the depth of their Samadhi does not permit communication with us. However, we can go near and attune our awareness to theirs, allowing us to benefit from their presence.


: Devas Unlimited


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'Bhagavan, who scarcely ever gave advice to devotees unless asked, wholeheartedly encouraged their going round the hill as conducive to progress in sadhana,' : A book

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The importance of pradakshina became evident to him 'from the frequent references by Bhagavan himself to its great significance, and from the fact that thousands of people do it, including almost all the close disciples of Bhagavan, even those who may be considered the most advanced among them.' 


Though comparatively little has been recorded of what Sri Bhagavan used to say about the power of pradakshina, there is no doubt that he considered it to be an act having great spiritual efficacy. In fact he used to say that the benefits which can be gained by meditation and various other forms of mind-control only after great struggle and effort, will be effortlessly gained by those who go round the hill. 
     
'Bhagavan often said that those unable to meditate would succeed in their endeavour by circumambulating Arunachala.'  

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Sri Bhagavan said to Kunju Swami, 'This hill is the storehouse of all spiritual power. Going round It benefits you in all ways'.


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To even think of Arunachala, let alone perform giri valam, one must have lots of good karma in his or her spiritual bank account, say the Siddhas.

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What is the difference between Mt Kailash and Arunachala? How is it that the glories of Arunachala, the embodiment of Siva Himself is known only to a few in the south yet Mt Kailash, His abode attracts all attention?

Mji: Mt Kailash is like a junction of divine energies. One feels those and is uplifted by their intense presence. Arunachala is Supreme Stillness it self. One does not feel stillness. Stillness is Nothingness. Nothingness is everything.

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The Maharshi encouraged all of his devotees to make the nine-mile circuit, even those who were infirm, knowing for certain that the spiritual benefits of giripradakshina far outweighed any physical hardships.

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Arunachala Mahatmyam says:

"By seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation."



Through Divine grace i, along with my mother and a Sai sister was able to visit Tiruvanamalai and perform the Giri pradakshina last Thursday, 25th Oct. In my conversation with Dr Srikant before leaving, he had suggested that i go into an inner communion with the various Siddhas within the holy mountain and also with the Devi of the mountain, who i understand is its presiding diety. 

On Thursday morning as i woke at 4 for my meditation, i was surprised by the effortlessness with which i was able to still myself just thinking of the Arunachala. My mind didn't rebel, as if it ceased to exist. My attempts at connecting with God in various forms seemed unnecessary as the feeling of Oneness overwhelmed me. I could have continued, i think for hours but for the fact that we had to begin out Giripradakshina by 6 and so i got up. While doing the circumambulation of the sacred mountain an inspiration occurred to me to carry and spread the blessings of the mountain to fellow souls. 

During the journey, i found myself a large rock of the mountain and seated myself on it to be in contact with the mountain and while so in contact wrote the following : 

" Om Namah Shivaya

Beloved Shiva, my Supreme Atma Self, Dear Siddha's, Dear Devi, in contact with Thee i invoke Thy blessings - Bless that whosoever may read this, understanding the glory of this sacred Arunachala; may receive Thy grace of enlightenment and eternal freedom in the Self.

Om Guru
Om Sairam. "

Dear Reader, having read the above and if it be your sweet will - then keeping in mind the sacred promise given above that - "by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation" i suggest you to close your eyes for one minute and put all you mind, thoughts and heart on thinking of the Arunachala mountain that is nothing but the Supreme Shiva, your Supreme Self.


The sacred Arunachala


May all blessings be yours...


Samastha Loka sukhino bhavantu..
My mother, the Sacred Arunachala & i
Beautiful Peacocks amply found around there
 




















Related Posts -


An Encounter at Neelkanth


Tapasviji - A timeless Mahatma


Why should I be spiritual?


Understanding Meditation -1


Mothering God - Harbans Ma


On the spiritual path

14 comments:

  1. Such beautiful pictures and messages! Thanks for posting! Hari

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  2. Only now I get the meaning of the words 'Arunachala Shiva' in the Manasa Bhajore bhajan. Thank you so much!

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  3. Thanks. Yes, the first song declaring avatarhood, Manasa Bhajare has Arunachala Siva for this reason. Give me your email address. I may have something to share.

    Krishna

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  4. Aum Namah Shivaya !!! Aum Sai Rama !!!

    Samaara Sai...

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  5. Awsm ..!!! ... :-) ..... LOVE this blog a lot.... thank you soooo muccchhhh for the blessings you wrote sitting there....really very sweet of you to remember the fellow beings who will read this blog.... thanks tonssss...if God will allow or if karmas will allow, then would love to go there.... :-)

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  6. Thank you for this big blessing. Sai Ram

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  7. Thank you for sharing and spreading the knowledge of Arunachala with so much of love for the fellow souls... God Bless!

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  8. By honoring the teacher the student honors himself, thank you.

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  9. It was lovely reading your blog post. When it comes to Arunachala Hill, Thiruvannamalai town is located at the base of this beautiful hill. Thiruvannamalai has a number of accommodation options across each category, including luxury, mid-range and low budget for its guests. Click here to know more about hotels in Thiruvannamalai.

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  10. Thanks for the excellent presentation of Sacred Arunachala. Would you allow us to use the Arunachala images in our yoga education website. Thanks, Krishna.

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    1. Dear Krishna,

      Please do.. Please note some pics from above are not my own but taken from the net. :)

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  11. Thanks for the post and the blessings. They were powerful. I tried meditating after thinking about Arunachala and I must tell you that the effects were awesome. Was easily able to achieve the stillness which takes much practice and very difficult for me(i have a non stop monkey mind) except during visits to jeeva samadhis. I'm thoroughly enjoying the stillness. Thanks much.

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