Monday, 31 December 2012
Sunday, 30 December 2012
Om Namah Shivaya
According to the legends, Lord Parasurama created the land between Gokarna and Kanyakumari. Lord Parasurama the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu was the son of Sage Jamadagni and Renuka. As a mark of repentance for Kshatriya Nigraha sin, Parasurama meditated at Gokarna and invoked Lord Varuna (the Lord of the Oceans). Parasurama asked him for a boon. To absolve himself of the sins he had committed, he wanted to donate some land to the Brahmins. There was no land available because he already donated the whole land he obtained by the 21 round Kshatriya Nigraha to Sage Kashyapa. Lord Varuna told Parasurama that he would give him as much land as he wished. He told him to fling his Parasu (axe) from where he stood at Gokarna. The land from Gokarna till the point where the axe landed would be given to him was the boon that Lord Varuna promised him. The throw of the `axe' from Gokarna to Kanyakumari created Kerala. Parasurama donated this land to the Brahmins and settled Brahmins there in 64 gramams or villages.
32 out of the 64 gramams are in the Tulu speaking region (in between Gokarnam and Perumpuzha) and the remaining 32 gramams are in the Malayalam speaking region(in between Perumpuzha and Kanyakumari) in Kerala. Those in Kerala listed in the Keralopatti, the narrative of Kerala history are
1. Payyannoor 2. Perumchelloor (Talipparambu) 3. Alatthiyoor 4. Karanthol 5.Chokiram (Shukapuram) 6. Panniyoor 7. Karikkau 8. Isaanamangalam 9. Thrussivaperoor 10. Peruvanam. 11. Chamunda (Chemmanta) 12. Irungatikkootal (Iringalakkuda) 13. Avattiputhur (Avittathoor) 14. Paravoor 15. Airanikkulam 16. Muzhikkalam 17. Kuzhavur 18. Atavur 19. Chenganatu(Chengamanadu) 20. Ilibhyam 21. Uliyannoor 22. Kalutanatu. 23. Ettumanoor 24. Kumaranalloor 25. Kadamuri 26. Aranmula 27. Tiruvalla 28. Kidangoor 29.Chengannoor 30. Kaviyoor 31. Venmani and 32. Neermanna (Niranam)
After the creation of these gramams, Parasurama had consecrated 108 Shiva temples and 108 Durga temples for the well-being and prosperity of the people in Kerala . Among these 216 temples, the Lord Shiva of Gokarnam Mahabaleswara Temple in the north and Goddess Kumari of Kanyakumari temple in the south were considered as the protectors of Kerala. The first Shivalaya created by Parasurama was the Thrissivaperoor Vadakkunnatha Temple and the last one was the Thrikkariyoor Mahadeva Temple.
The names of these temples were given in the famous 108 Shivalaya Nama Stothra. This stothra is written in Malayalam and is anonymous. There are many temples with the same place names. Also some old names do not exist or their names have changed. So I have included temples with the same place names as a single group in this 108 shivalayas. So in this list you can find more than 110 Shiva temples in Kerala. It is clear that this stothra was composed in Thrissur region of Kerala because 64 temples were located in this region(9 in Palakkad district, 43 in Thrissur district and 12 in Ernakulam district). District wise distribution of rest of the temples are - 4 in Thiruvanathapuram, 5 in Kollam, 3 in Pathanamthitta, 6 in Alappuzha, 11 in Kottayam, 1 in Idukki, 7 in Malappuram, 4 in Kozhikkode, 1 in Vayanad and 5 in Kannur. Now 2 temples are in Karnataka and one is in Tamil Nadu. The full version of this stothra is given below.
108 Shivalaya Nama Stothra
Sreemad Dakshina Kailasam Sree Perooriraveeswaram
Sucheendram Chowaram Mathoor Trippangott atha Mundayoor
Sree Mandhamkunnu Chowalloor Panancheri Korattiyum
Puramundekkatt Avungannoor Kollooru Thirumangalam
Trikkariyooru Kunnapram Sree Velloor Ashtamangalam
Iyranikkulavum Kainoor Gokarnam Eranakulam
Paarivaloor Adattum nal Parippil Chathamangalam
Paraparambu Trukkooru Panayooru Vyttila
Vaikom Rameswaram randum Ettumanoor Edakkolam
Chemmanthatt Aluva pinne Thirumittakkottu Cherthala
Kallattupuzha Trukkunnu Cheruvathooru Ponganam
Trukkapaleeswaram moonnum Avittathoor Perummala
Kollathum Kattakampala Pazhayanooru Perakom
Athampally Ambilikkadu Cheranellooru Maniyoor
Tali nalum Kodungalloor Vanchiyoor Vanchuleswaram
Panjarkulam Chittukulam Alathoor atha Kottiyoor
Truppalooru Perumtatta Truthala Thiruvallayum
Vazhappally Puthuppally Mangalam Thirunnakkara
Kodumboor Ashtamikkovil Pattanakkadu Thashtayil
Killikkurussiyum Puthoor Kumbhasambhavamandiram
Someswaram cha Vengaloor Kottarakkara Kandiyoor
Palayoorumahadeva Chelloor atha Nedumpura
Mannoor Truchaliyoor Srumgapuram Kottooru Mammiyoor
Parampum tali Thirunavaya Kaarikkodu Cherthala
Kottappuram Muthuvara Valappaya Chendamangalm
Thrukkandiyoor Peruvanam Thiruvaloor Chirakkalum
Ipparanjava noottettum bhakthiyothu padikkuvor
Deham nasikkiletheedum mahadevante sannidhow
Pradoshathil japichal ashesha duritham kedum
Yathra yathra shiva kshethram tatra tatra namamyaham
Legend says that all these 108 shivalayas were built by Parasurama. But in the legends of many temples we cannot see such a connection. There is no dispute that these hymns which we have been singing for years have influenced the devotees minds.
The 108 great Shiva temples in ancient Kerala were
1. Dakshina Kailasam Thrissivaperoor Vadakkunnatha Temple
2. Udayamperoor Ekadasi Perumthrikkovil Mahadeva Temple
Peroor Kaipayil Shiva Temple
3. Raveeswarapuram Temple Kodungalloor
Iraveeswaram Mahadeva Temple Kudamaloor
4. Sucheendram Sthanumalaya Perumal Temple
5. Chowara Chidmbareswara Temple
6. Mathoor Shiva Temples
7. Trippangott Shiva Temple
8. Mundayoor or Mundoor Shiva Temple
9. Thirumandhamkunnu Mahadeva Temple
10. Chowalloor Shiva Temple
11. Panancheri Mudikkode Shiva Temple
12.Koratty Annamanada Mahadeva Temple
Thrukkoratty Mahadeva Temple
13. Puramundekkat Mahadeva Temple
14. Avanoor Sreekandeswaram Mahadeva Temple
15. Kolloor Mookambika Temple
16. Thirumangalam Mahadeva Temple
17. Thrikkariyoor Mahadeva Temple
18. Kunnathu Mahadeva Temple
19. Velloor Perunthatta Mahadeva Temple
20. Ashtamangalam Mahadeva Temple
21. Iranikkulam Mahadeva Temple
22. Kainoor Mahadeva Temple
23. Gokarnam Mahabaleswara Temple
24. Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple
25. Pazhoor Perumthrikkovil Mahadeva Temple
26. Adattu Mahadeva Temple
27. Parippu Mahadeva Temple
28. Sasthamangalam Mahadeva Temple
29. Perumparambu Mahadeva Temple
30. Trukkoor Mahadeva Temple
31. Panayoor Paloor Mahadeva Temple
32. Vytila Nettoor Mahadeva Temple
33. Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
34. Rameswaram Mahadeva Temple Kollam
35. Rameswaram Mahadeva Temple Amaravila
36. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
37. Edakkolam Kanjilassery Mahadeva Temple
38. Chemmanthitta Mahadeva Temple
39. Aluva Mahadeva Temple
40. Thirumittakkod Anchumoorthy Temple
41. Cherthala Velorvattom Mahadeva Temple
42. Kallattupuzha Mahadeva Temple
43. Thrukkunnu Mahadeva Temple
44. Cheruvathoor Mahadeva Temple
45. Poonkunnam Mahadeva Temple
46. Trukkapaleeswaram Mahadeva Temple Nadapuram
47. Trukkapaleeswaram Mahadeva Temple Peralassery
48. Trukkapaleeswaram Mahadeva Temple Niranam
49. Avittathoor Mahadeva Temple
50. Kodumon Angadikkal Perumala Tali Maha Shiva Temple
Parumala Valiya Panayannarkavu Temple
51. Kollam Anandavalleeswaram Mahadeva Temple
52. Kattakambala Mahadeva Temple
53. Pazhayannoor Kondazhi Trutham Tali
54. Perakom Mahadeva Temple
55. Chakkamkulangara Mahadeva Temple
56. Kumaranalloor Temple
Enkakkad Veeranimangalam Mahadeva Temple
57. Cheranelloor Mahadeva Temple
58. Maniyoor Mahadeva Temple
59. Nediya Tali Mahadeva Temple
60. Kozhikkode Tali Mahadeva Temple
61. Thazhathangady Tali Mahadeva Temple
62. Kaduthuruthy Tali Mahadeva Temple
63. Kodungalloor Mahadeva Temple
64. Vanchiyoor Sreekandeswaram Mahadeva Temple
65. Thiruvanjikkulam Mahadeva Temple
66. Padanayarkulangara Mahadeva Temple
67. Truchattukulam Mahadeva Temple
Kadungalloor Chittukulam Mahadeva Temple
68. Alathoor Pokkunni Mahadeva Temple
69. Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temple
70. Truppaloor Mahadeva Temple
71. Perunthatta Mahadeva Temple
72. Truthala Mahadeva Temple
73. Thiruvalla Thiruvatta Mahadeva Temple
Thukalassery Mahadeva Temple
74. Vazhappally Mahadeva Temple
75. Puthuppally Changankulangara
Puthuppally Thrukkovil Mahadeva Temple
76. Anchummoorthy Mangalam Mahadeva Temple
77. Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple
78. Kodumbu Mahadeva Temple
79. Ashtamichira Mahadeva Temple
80. Pattanakkad Mahadeva Temple
Mattannoor Mahadeva Temple
81. Uliyannoor Mahadeva Temple
82. Killikkurussimangalam Mahadeva Temple
83. Puthoor Mahadeva Temple
84. Chengannoor Mahadeva Temple
85. Someswaram Mahadeva Temple
86. Venganelloor Mahadeva Temple
87. Kottarakkara Mahadeva Temples
88. Kandiyoor Mahadeva Temple
89. Palayoor Mahadeva Temple
90. Taliparamba Rajarajeswara Temple
91. Nedumpura Kulasekharanelloor Mahadeva Temple
92. Mannoor Mahadeva Temple
93. Trussilery Temple
94. Sringapuram Mahadeva Temple
95. Kottoor Karivelloor Mahadeva Temple
96. Mammiyoor Mahadeva Temple
97. Parabumthali Mahadeva Temple
98. Thirunavaya Mahadeva Temple
99. Karikkode Kanjiramattam Mahadeva Temple
100. Cherthala Nalppathenneeswaram Mahadeva Temple
101. Kottappuram Mahadeva Temple
102. Muthuvara Mahadeva Temple
103. Velappaya Mahadeva Temple
104. Chendamangalam Kunnathoor Tali Mahadeva Temple
105. Thrukkandiyoor Mahadeva Temple
106. Peruvanam Mahadeva Temple
107. Thiruvaloor Mahadeva Temple
108. Chirakkal Mahadeva Temple
courtesy of vaikhari.org
Thursday, 27 December 2012
This ritual is performed mostly by Namboothiris authorised for the purpose. Literally meaning "song in praise of the son born during a hunting trip", this sacred and colourful ritual is seen confined to the northern parts of central Kerala - Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. Vettakkorumakan (Vettekkaran, for short) deity is found in most Namboothiri Manas or in common temples where there are a number of Namboothiri homes in the neighbourhood. In northern Malabar, the ritual takes the form of Theyyam with a lower level of rituals (without Sathwika Pooja). Vettakkorumakan diety at the Kota Temple in Balussery near Kozhikode district is considered as prime center of all Vettakkorumakan dieties in Kerala.
The deity worship is done either as the son of Kirathan or as his "Vapuss" (body), with a difference in the base hymns (Manthrams).
In order to teach a lesson to Arjuna, who had become too proud of his abilities, Siva and Parvathy go in disguise as tribal hunters to where he was doing penance (Thapas). A boy is born to the couple during the hunting trip. The boy becomes extreamely naughty and disturbs the peace of the people including saints. Based on their request, Mahavishnu also disguises as a hunter and humbles the boy, gives him a dagger (Churika) and, when eventually pleased, and blesses him.
This ritual is performed in order to get peace of mind. Symbolically, the various elements in the story can be related through "Yoga Saasthram", and "Kundalinee" to the state and workings of the mind.
Performed during the early part of the night, it begins with "Moolakkal Paattu" (also called Mullackal Paattu, by mistake), which is symbolically invoking the deity from its base position, outside the environment of house, with appropriate rites and accompanied by drums and music. After this, the oracle (Velichapaadu - mostly Namboothiris, in this case) carries the idol to the temple riding an elephant and accompanied by the drumming and music with special lyrics. The oracle now represents the deity and wears a red dress (Thattuduthu Pattuchutty) and red flower garland.
The oracle performs a peculiar dance with the accompaniment of drums. This is called "Eedum Koorum". Having two specialist drummers (Maaraars) ensures correct method of drumming (Chenda rhythms similar to the one in Thaayambaka or Thodayam in Kathakali). Usually he completes at least two "Eedu" and three "Kooru".
The specialist artist (Kallattu Kurup, a sub - caste) would have by then completed a large colourful picture of Vettakkorumakan with colour powders (white, yellow, red and green) in Thekkini (a southern room or hall in the Mana). The oracle then slowly steps around (Kalapradakshinam) this figure in special rhythms, completing at least seven rounds (representing seven "Kundalinee" cycles) and then leaves the venue. The Kurup sings a number of songs in praise of the god, after which the oracle returns, cuts the cordon around the figure with dagger, enters on to the figure and dances (Kalam Kaanuka). Later he goes to the pond, bathes, returns, cuts the hanging decorative palm-leaves (symbolic of cutting the forest, removing the dirt in the mind) with the dagger and slowly and rhythmically erases the figure.
The final item is for the oracle to break unhusked coconut by throwing them on a stone slab. Anywhere from three to twelve thousand coconuts may be broken continuously in a single sitting. Again, symbolically, this is supposed to be a form of surrender of the mental propensities and is done for the purpose of eliminating all troubles and problems of the family. The coconut represents head and the throw represents surrender. The fifty ganglias (controlling the fifty mental propensities) namely "Moolaadhaaram" (4), "Swaadhistthaanam" (6), "Manipooram" (10), "Anaahatham" (12), "Visudhi" (16), and "Aajna" (2), with each performing inside and outside the body, totally make up 100 instances. These 100 instances when performed in the ten different specific directions make the total instances one thousand. These thousand instances when performed in 12 difference zodiacs (Raasi) escalate the total figure to 12,000. This performance is known as "Pantheeraayiram" (twelve thousand). Believing that these 12,000 coconuts carry the mental problems of worshipers, they usually donate coconuts for this purpose.
Most of the authorised Namboothiri families to perform this colourful rite, exist even today. Some of the Namboothiri families authorised to perform this rite, for the benefit of others, are the Pariyaarath (near Kaadampuzha in Malappuram dt.), Erandapurathukaadu (near Pattambi in Palakkad dt), Orambrath(near Wandoor in Malappuram dt.), Kandamangalam, Vallivattam and Kalaasseri (all in Kozhikode dt). Non-Namboothiri castes performing this rite are Kaarol Panicker and Nairs.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Thursday, 13 December 2012
Monday, 10 December 2012
Our temple at Payyan Kottam at Aroli, Kannur is a Lord Vettakkorumakan (Shivan) Temple.
May ALL PAYYANS BE BLESSED!!!!!!!
With the NEW FACE-LIFT underway, it is hoped that after completion, it will be patronized daily.
Sunday, 9 December 2012
Lord Vettakkorumakan or Vettekkaran is a popular deity worshipped in North Kerala. Some devotees believe that the deity is Kirathamoorthy or Lord Shiva in the form of a hunter. Others consider Him as the son of Lord Kiratha (Shiva in tribal hunter form) and Goddess Kirathi (Parvathi in tribal huntress form). There is another view that Lord Vettakkorumakan is a form of Lord Ayyappa. It's a fact that most of the Vettakkorumakan temples are situated in Malabar region where as most of the Ayyappa temples are situated in Travancore - Cohin region of Kerala. The legend of Vettakkorumakan is connected with the Kiratharjuneeyam story in Mahabharatha.
During the fifth year of their exile, Arjuna went to the Himalayas to do tapas to obtain the Pashupata Astra, the divine weapon from Lord Shiva. Arjuna did penance for years. Lord Siva was deeply impressed by the austerity of Arjuna and decided to test his courage and devotion. Shiva appeared before Arjuna, assuming the form of Kiratha (hunter), with Parvathi also beside him, dressed as Kirathi (huntress). He causes an asura to disturb Arjuna's penance in the shape of a large wild boar. Incensed at the boar, Arjuna chases it, and shoots an arrow at it to kill. At the same instant, another arrow from the bow of Kiratha also hits the boar. The hunter and Arjuna, from the pride of warriors, argue about whose arrow killed the boar. This leads to an intense duel between the two. Whatever weapon Arjuna cast was countered back by the hunter. Finally, he took up the best of his weapons, which was broken into two! Arjuna took up his sword. It broke into pieces on the shoulder of the foe, as if it was striking steel, or rock. There was no weapon left with Arjuna, everything was swallowed by the wild man.
Arjuna, who feels ashamed at this defeat, turns to the Shivalinga, that he has been worshipping during his penance, and offers it some flowers in prayer. Only to find that the flowers have magically appeared on the body of the hunter instead. Arjuna could not understand, again. Perhaps the wind was blowing in that direction and the flowers were blown by the wind towards the hunter who was standing nearby. But, continually, every flower that he offered at the Shivalinga that he was worshipping moved away from that image and fell again and again at the feet of the hunter. Arjuna was surprised. All that he offered, leaves, flowers, hastily moved away from that place and adored the feet of the wild hunter who was tauntingly laughing at his victory over Arjuna. Arjuna realizes the hunter's identity, and falls at hunter's feet. Immediately the hunter and the huntress vanished and they appeared in their true forms of Shiva and Parvathi. Shiva gave him the Pashupata Astra and tells him that he shall be at his disposal even in the future, whenever it was necessary. After giving Arjuna the Pashupata the divine couple wandered in the forest in the same form for some time. During this period they had a son born of extraordinary effulgence and that is Vettakkorumakan.
The boy was very mischievous. Although he killed many Asuras during hunting, he also gave endless trouble to the Devas and Rishis by the free use of his bow and arrows. Unable to bear his mischief they first approached Brahma who expressed his helplessness, as the boy was the son of Lord Shiva. Then they besought the help of Shiva Himself who however dismissed them by saying that he being a boy would be naturally naughty and he would be all right when he grew up. As a last resort they approached Lord Vishnu who took the form of an old hunter and went to the boy.
Vishnu appeared before the boy with a golden churika. The churika was so beautiful that it attracted the boy and he begged for it. Lord Vishnu said him that he will give the churika under one condition. He should behave in a responsible manner by giving up his bow and should protect the people instead of harming them. The boy accepted the conditions and obtained the Churika from Lord Vishnu. Later Shiva send him to Kerala to protect the land. Vettakkrumakan crossed several mountains and forests and rivers and reached North Kerala where he first reached at Balussery and later visited other places. Keralites welcomed him and started his worship.
Vettakkorumakan was the Paradevatha of Chirakkal, Neeleswaram and Kottakal royal families. The most famous Vettakkorumakan temple is the Balussery Vettakkorumakan temple.
Vettakkorumakan Pattu is a special ritual performed to please Lord Vettakkorumakan. Pantheerayiram thengayeru (breaking of 12000 coconuts continuously in a rythmic motion) is a unique ceremony performed for Vettekkaran pattu. Vettakkorumakan Pattu ritual is almost similar to Ayyappan Thiyyattu.
Friday, 7 December 2012
Sri Balagangadharanatha Swami, our Hindu of the Year, dedicates a mammoth new temple in Karnataka, South India
Built on the picturesque adi-chunchanagiri hills, 110 kilometers from Bangalore, the us$21 million Lord Kalabhairava temple is an impressive granite structure 14 years in the making, with over a hundred sculptors and thousands of laborers involved. The equal of many great temples of India, though not quite complete, it was consecrated in mid-February, 2008.
The temple was built by Sri Balagangadharanatha Swami, revered spiritual guru of Karnataka, for his favorite Deity, Kalabhairava, a form of Lord Siva. It is located at the ancient Adichunchanagiri monastery, an ancient matha of the Natha Sampradaya. Situated deep in the arid hills of Karnataka State, the monastery's many buildings cling to the massive rock outcropping that overlooks the plains below. Established 1,500 years ago, the huge edifice, with its rock caves, meandering corridors, Sanskrit college and first-rate guest facilities, has become the region's spiritual hub, and a powerful social force as well. Swamiji is the monastery's 71st pontiff.
Bhairava literally means "terrifying." As Kalabhairava, "Terrifying Lord of Time," He oversees the march of time. Adi Shankaracharya wrote that Kalabhairava indicates kalakalam, "death to death" and bhuktimuktidayakam, one who gives worldly happiness as well as liberation. This is the form of Siva as the fiery protector. He carries and is represented by the trident, an implement often enshrined as guardian at the entrance to Siva temples. Lord Bhairava's mount is a dog. The new temple is unique in being the first major sanctuary at which Kalabhairava is enshrined as the main Deity.
The dedication ceremony
When I arrived on the evening of February 16, the day before the consecration of the temple towers and the Deity, the whole area was engulfed in festivities. Competing with the fanfare of human chatter, vehicles horns and police whistles was the loud and resonant chanting of Vedic hymns by 50 pundits. Homas and yajnas with Ganesha, Shanmukha, Siva and Parvati invoked into 1,008 kalasas, decorated water pots, were underway at the yagasala, a temporary ceremonial area erected outside the new temple. These fire rituals, called yajna, were to stretch through the day into the evening and late night, concurrent with other consecration rites.
That morning, the priests had all paraded from the yagasala to the temple, carrying their ritual implements for blessings. Then they walked back to conduct the day's chanting. The forty-by-forty foot yagasala held the usual complement of homa pits, some round, some square, some triangular or eight-sided. At each such offering place, designed to mimic the form of the cosmos, a team of five or eight priests presided, offering their chants into the sacred fire to build the spiritual edifice that would inhabit the physical temple nearby. Nearby, forty swamis, mostly of the Natha Sampradaya, sat in silent conclave, gathered around Sri Balagangadharanatha Swami. Natha sannyasins are known for their massive earrings, and these orange-robed monks were adorned with a two- to four-inch ring of bone or metal pierced through the cartilage of both ears.
Later, musicians and dancers ushered the swamis to the homa platform, surrounded by the surging crowd of guests, locals, villagers, streams of sadhus and attention-seeking politicians--it was chaotic! The purnahuti, the final ritual pouring of ghee into the sacred fire, was performed in the presence of Balagangadharanatha Swami late in the evening.
Now it is past midnight and all is quiet. I venture into the new temple, knowing that tomorrow it will be impossibly crowded. Four majestic Chola-style gopurams, entrance towers, beckon us. Three are 57 feet tall; the main east entrance looms 100 feet into the sky.
The grandly impressive 172 granite pillars display superb craftsmanship. Into their faces are carved the 64 forms of Bhairava, each 4.5 feet in height. Twelve hundred skilled artisans from all over India have labored over the past 14 years to produce this traditional marvel, under the able stewardship of Muthiah Sthapati, a traditional temple architect from Tamil Nadu.
Sthapati flew in to personally guide the final days' events. On February 16, two dozen priests joined him in installing a four-foot Shakti murti in a side shrine, and in enlivening Kalabhairava's vahana, a graceful dog that looks down a gauntlet of eight eight-foot-tall black granite murtis that guard the entrance to the sanctum of their Lord. Nearby, workers were frantically completing the floor and preparing to install the flagpole, or dvajasthambam. They worked all night to complete these preparations, finishing just in time for the dawn ceremonies.
Devotees stream into the area even at this late hour. They come from all over Karnataka, neighboring Andhra, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Kalabhairava is the family Deity to millions. There's a feeling of pride and joy among the devotees as they step into this grand new temple for their Lord.
The administration has a daunting task to provide the visitors with accommodation, food and information. The celebrations, which began on February 11 and continued for 22 days, were packed with pujas, homas and cultural activities. Each day more than 100,000 people congregated here.
"Sahasrachandi Homa is being performed every day for one month," explains Shekarswamy, spokesperson and chief administrator of the Matha and BGS Group of Institutions. "Athirudra Mahayaga, which is rare and elaborate, is also being performed. This yajna needs about four hundred ritviks (Vedic Pundits), and they have been brought from all over India," Besides rituals, cultural and literary activities were scheduled at a marathon pace. Hundreds of performers of classical arts presented a variety of cultural programs, including a day of poetry. A Dharma Sammelan brought together over 40 religious heads for three days to discuss key religious issues.
On February 17, Swamiji's 64th birthday, various homas as prescribed by the Agamas commenced at 5:30am and concluded at eight with the purnahuti ghee offering. At 9:10pm, the chosen auspicious moment, Mahakumbhabhisekam (ritual ablution)of the Rajagopuram, entrance tower, and Vimanagopuram, central tower, were performed (photos, page 28-29). amidst Vedic chanting, temple drums and horns, and the clamor of the thousands of devotees witnessing the historic blessing.
Focus now moved to the main shrine inside the temple. There was no restraining the crowds; the event and celebration that belonged to them all. Only a small portion were lucky enough to make it into the temple to witness the Kumbhabhisekham of the finely chiseled 10.5 feet tall main Deity, Kalabhairava, and other accompanying Deities. Even for those inside the temple, it was not easy to see inside the sanctum. As specified in Agamic tradition, nine gems were placed under the Deity as part of the consecration rituals. After worship amidst Vedic chanting, the Deity was bathed with 108 pots of spiritually charged milk. The presence of the holy monks further heightened the spiritual atmosphere.
Back and forth the crowd moved, between the yagasala and the temple. It was an ancient scene--devotees vying for a glimpse of the Lord or the chance to touch the swamis' feet, even for an instant. In the midst of all this, the taciturn founder of the temple reigned with a powerful presence that belied his quietude. A guru to millions, and having built 27 formidable institutions, he yet remains uncannily humble and unassuming. It reminded me of the saying of Yogaswami: "The hen lays one egg and cackles endlessly. The turtle lays 1,000 eggs and remains silent. Be like the turtle, not like the hen."
The day concluded with Swamiji's birthday celebrations, attended by a plethora of dignitaries: sadhus, politicians, academicians and other people of importance. The staff and pundits of the ashram showered the pontiff with bushels of flowers of all kinds.
For centuries, Adichunchanagiri Matha has maintained a small shrine for Kalabhairava. With the construction of this huge temple, Swamiji has ensured that the Deity will be central to each devotee' pilgrim's experience at this ancient monastery. PIpi
In Swami's Own Words
Hinduism Today: What inspired you to build this temple?
Adichunchangiri is a Panchalinga Kshetra that follows the Saiva Siddhanta lineage under the Natha Sampradaya. Its existing Kalabhairava temple was a small one. I prayed to Him and started with a grand plan for the first major temple in India with Bhairava as the main Deity. The beauty, energy and vibration here is unique. This temple that will live on for centuries.
What temple renovation work are you engaged in and why?
A temple is a place of importance to people. Going to the temple, celebrating our festivals, hosting the annual temple festival, all this leads to increased spirituality, which is essential for the well being of people. This can happen only if there is an attraction to the temple. If a temple is dilapidated, no one will go. This is the reason we are taking up renovation of temples. When we started building this temple, neighboring villagers asked us to renovate the temples in their villages. When I went to Ujjain six years back, I found that the Mahakaleshwar temple there, which was constructed in the period of Raja Vikramaditya and is one among the 12 Jyotir Lingas, was in a dilapidated condition. I sought the permission of the government and had it renovated.
What are your programs for reconversion to Hinduism?
We have throughout schools, colleges and hospitals addressed the need for education and health care among hundreds of thousands of villagers. It is now time to focus on spirituality and to bring people into the fold of bhakti. It is just not about building or renovating temples. We have taken up the task of bringing people who have converted into other religions, especially Christianity, back into the fold of Hinduism. They have left--with or without reason--and they became outsiders to both religions. They may have been deceived by society, by their own family or their trusted ones. People may have abandoned them; maybe it was poverty. We are making them realize that leaving the religion was not the answer; finding solutions to their problems is the answer.
What is lacking in us Hindus?
We have to have pride in ourselves. We should not feel low about ourselves economically, in education or by caste. We should feel we are equal to all. Our Vedas have always spoken of these values: "Aham Brahmasmi, tattvam asi." "God is in me." This is not an attitude of arrogance, but of deep understanding.
What are your thoughts about technology and youth today?
Technology has brought negative effects on our children. They don't know how to mingle with people, how to respect elders, how to relate to those around them, how to see the world. They have developed a kind of laziness and lethargy. The material world is all that they know. They are moving away from Divinity and not connecting to the superconscious, which is the ultimate. Technology also has a shelf life, what after that? The joy that spirituality brings is unknown to many.
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Shiva is one of the primary gods in the Hindu religion, which is widely practiced in India. Like many Hindu deities, he has a complex and dualistic nature. Many practitioners of Hinduism focus their worship on Shiva and his many aspects, in a tradition called Shaivism. Since he is such an important member of the Hindu pantheon, some people outside of this religion are vaguely familiar with him.
Various forms of Hinduism have been practiced for thousands of years, with the oldest beliefs and teachings of the religion being found in a series of sacred texts known as the Vedas. Originally, Shiva appears to have been worshiped in the guise of Rudra, an older god who was in charge of storms, winds, and hunting. Rudra was sometimes known as “The Terrible,” in a reference to his wild and savage ways.
Like Rudra, Shiva is a very destructive god, capable of wreaking havoc and burning away impurities. But he is also a god of creation, and considered a god of truth, goodness, and beauty. Many people consider him to be a very auspicious god, as well as a god of paradoxical ideas. Many statues, for example, depict him with both female and male attributes, enforcing the concept of Shiva as a very dualistic and sometimes confusing figure in Hindu mythology. In addition to being a creator and a destroyer, he is also associated with dance, the arts, and wisdom, and he is a respected figure in the yogic tradition.
In most depictions of Shiva, he has a third eye, matted hair, and a crescent or horn on his head. The river Ganges also plays a role in Shiva's iconography, since the god is closely associated with the Ganges, and snakes may appear wrapped around him as well. He carries a trident in some images, as that is his weapon of choice, and his body is often naked and smeared in ash. When he requires transportation, Shiva rides a white bull named Nandi.
The primary family of Shiva consists of the goddess Parvati and their children, Ganesha and Skanda. He is also associated with other goddesses and gods in the Hindu pantheon, such as Vishnu and Kali. His first consort according to Hindu mythology was Sati, a goddess of loyalty, truth, and long life. According to legend, Sati immolated herself because her father disapproved of her marriage to Shiva, and she was reincarnated as Parvati.
courtesy of wisegeek.com
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Lord Siva is an important God in Hinduism, including in the Trimurthis. In the ‘Trimurthis’, Siva has the duty of destroying or ‘Samhara’. Siva is believed as the supreme God. Siva is referred as consciousness as per Sakthisam. Siva has many more other names as Rudhra, Mahadeva, Parameswara, Neelakanda. Siva is worshipped mostly in the form of ‘Siva Linga’. Siva is usually portrayed as immersed in deep meditation or the famous Natraja form. His famous dance is known as ‘Thandava’. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Siva’ means kind or ‘The pure one’. The main feature of Lord Siva is his third eye, which situates in the middle of his forehead. He uses his third eye to burn desires to ashes. His appearance is also different from other devas. He is often shown garlanded with a snake around his throat. ‘Tri soola’ or trident is his main weapon. A small drum named as ‘Damaru’ is always attatched to his trident. Lord Siva and all attendants live in Mount Kailasa in Himalaya Hills.
His dress is the skin of cheetah. He usually applies bhasmam on his forehead and also wears half moon in his head. River Ganga devi is also resides in Siva’s hair, which has a shell like structure. Thus he got the name ‘Gangadhara’. Its believed that the blue color of Siva’s throat is because of the poison which he drank during the ‘Palazhimadhanam’. Thus he got the name ‘Neelakanda’. Devi Parvathi is the wife of Lord Siva. Their combination is usually known as ‘Ardhanareeswara’,half man and half woman. Lord Siva is easy to be pleased and easy to be angered. It is told that his anger is like a fire. Lord Siva’s vehicle is Nandhikeswara.
The main offering to Lors siva is Dhara. The main feature of siva temples is, one should not circumambulate in full inside the temple. It is because of “Somarekha” placed in the position.
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
We will be delighted if anyone could email us at
with the old pictures of this temple, or any interesting article of our Payyan temple, so that others could also come to know of. We will publish them in this blog for everyone to READ.
Thanking you in advance for your assistance.