Wednesday, 7 December 2011


There are 3 main days for worshiping Lord Shiva. Worshiping him on these 3 nights will get us Moksha. They are 1. Maha Shivarathri 2. Thiru Karthikai 3. Thiruvadhirai (his birth star).
THIRU KARTHIKAI festival is considered as one of the OLDEST, ANCIENT FESTIVALS OF TAMILNADU, spaning back to 2500 BC. This has reference in all Tamil Sangam literatures like Puranaanooru.. in detail.
1.       Once Sri Parvathi closed both the eyes of Lord Shiva, while in Mt.Kailash. All the worlds went dark for a while. To get the light back, Lord Shiva opened his third eye and reactivated the entire worlds. Sri PAarvathi apologizes to the Lord. The Lord says that Sri Parvathi has to do thapas in Kanchipuram, and then in Thiruvanamalai and finally she will be able to get integrated with the Lord, on his left half of his body, as Shiva Shakthi. The Karthikai star of the Karthikai month is the day when Shiva gave darshan as Shiva Shakti. That’s why, even today, on Thiru Karthikai day, the Idol of Ardhanareswarar is brought out up to the Altar of the temple. He gets Maha deeparadhanai and he goes back in a few minutes.
2.       On a full moon day in a Karthikai (Tamil) month at Vedaranyam temple, a rat in the sanctum sanctorum accidentally climbed up the Vilaku (Oil lite Lamp) and pushed the wick by mistake. That was done at the right time, when the wick was about to get extinguished. Since the rat had let the vilaku glow, the rat got blessed and in its next birth, it was born as Mahabali Emperor. He came to know about his previous birth incidence and he asked his people in his kingdom to celebrate Thiru karthikai function every year, which we continue doing even now.
3.       This is the day when Shiva won over Thiripuram. Hence called Thiripuraandhaya.
 Lingothpavar Idol
4.       Once Bhrama and Vishnu had a quarrel, on who is more powerful between them. They come to Shiva. Shiva says, you both of you travel and find my Head and Feet. Whoever returns first will be declared as winner. Bhrama takes his swan vehicle and flies up to see Shiva’s head, while Vishnu takes his Varaha vehicle and moves down to see Shiva’s feet. Shiva stood as a huge pillar of fire growing much fatser than the speed in which Vishnu, Bhrama were traveling. This is represented in Lingothpavar idol, wherein, we can see both Vishnu and Bhrama also in the idol.  On his way, Bhrama saw a Screw pine flower (Thazhampoo) falling down freely. He could guess that it would have fallen from Shiva’s hair. The thazhampoo told that it had been travelling down for > 20,000 years and that its very difficult to see Shiva’s Keshaadhi paadam. Bhrama requested the screw pine flower to be a witness and endorse the lie that Bharama has seen Shiva’s head. When they tell Shiva the lie, Shiva gets upset and curses both the flower and Bhrama. The curse was that the screw pine flower will not be used for worship in Shiva temples any more, and that Bhrama will neither have Puja nor have any major temple in Earth. Shiva who stood as a huge pillar of fire cooled down as an Igneous rock, which is the present day Thiruvanamalai. This also happened on this same Thiru Karthikai day.
5.       Bringhi Maharishi is a very ardent Shiva devotee. But he didn’t accept the divinity of Sri Parvathi and refused to worship her. Sri Parvathi wanted to make the Rishi understand that Shiva and Shakthi are integral part of the same Divinity. So, she went circumventing the Arunachala Mountain. She was the 1st to do the Giri Valam. ( Lord Shiva is also believed to do the Giri valam on 2 days in a year – the day after the Thiru Karthikai day, then the 3rd day of Pongal. On an occasion, Shiva asked Sri Parvathi to sit closer by when the Rishi was circumventing Shiva. But the rishi wisely took a form of a beetle and came in between the gap between Shiva and Sri Parvathi. Now, Shiva had no other alternative, other than making Sri Parvathi as an integeral part of his body and gave darshan to Bringhi Maharishi as Ardhanareeswarar. This also happened on a Thiru Karthikai day. Bringhi Maharishi did meditation at the mount near Meenambakam (Chennai), and the mount was named as Bhringi malai, and later on got wrongly pronounced as Parangi Malai.     
On Thirukarthikai day, at4AM, they light the Bharani Deepam. Its ideal is that the Lord manifests himself in all 5 forms / act of God ( Padaiththal, Kaaththal, Azhithal,Maraiththal, Aruldhal) or Bhrama, Vishnu, Rudran, Maheswaran and Sadasivan. Its also called Kala deepam. The 5 kalas are 1. Pradhista Kala, 2. Nivarthi Kala, 3. Vidya kala,. 4. Shanti Kala 5. Sandhyadheetha kala. It also represents the 5 faces of Shiva, but seen as 1. Aghoram 2. Sathyojaadam, 3. Vama Dhevam, 4. Eessaanaam 5. Thathpurusham. 
Geologists say that this ,mountain is 350 Crore years old.  In Kridha Yugam it was a mountain of Fire. In Thredha Yugam it was a mountain of Emerald. In Dwapara Yugam it was a mountain of lusture and Gold, says mythological stories. The circumference of the Octogonal range of mountain is 14 Kms. There are 8 Lingams in this Giri Valam route (circumventing route around the mountain).
Of the pancha Bhoodha sthalams, Thiruvanamalai is regarded as Agni Sthalam. I had experienced this during my last visit, when I got the opportunity to go into the sanctum sanctorum. It was so hot, really hot inside. But at Unnamalaiyar Shrine ( Sri Parvathy), it was so cool. Tuesday is the day for Agni. So special worships are offered on Tuesdays.
Circumventing the mountain gives the following benefits.
1.Monday – Can reach Indra Loga after life time.  
2. Tuesday – Can remove debts and bring in prosperity. Can liberate from births
3. Wednesday – Can get mastery in Arts and Skills. Can get Moksha
4. Thursday – Can get enlightened like a Jnani.
5. Friday – Can reach Vishnu Loga after life time
6. Saturday - Equivalent to worshiping Nava Grahas.
7. Sunday – Can reach Shiva Loga after life time.  
8. New Moon day – Removes all the sorrow and gives moral strength. Also gives Mukthi. On New moon days men, women can wear Saffron dress and Red dress respectively. On full moon day, men and women can be in White and Green dress respectively.
Every full moon day, about 15 lakh people circumvent this mountain in the night. During a full moon day, we get fully exposed to the 16 Chandra kalai shower of the Full Moon. Moon is related to Mind. So doing Parikrama gives us courage of mind, stability, devotion, concentration. There are lots of Sidhars and Holy masters in this place, doing tapas. Though they had shed their physical body, their Light bodies, Subtle bodies are around us. Their deeksha can be a great boon for spiritual aspirants. This place s considered as Mukthi Sthalam. Vishwamithra, Pathanjalai, Vyakrapadhar, Agasthiyar, Sanandhanar have worshiped the Shivalingam here. Ramana Maharishi, Seshadri Swamigal, Yogi Ram Surat Kumar, Guru Namachivayar, Guhai Namachivayar, Arunagirinadhar ( he got into spiritual line more after coming here), Virupaaksha devar, Eessanya Jnana Desikar, Deiva Sihamani Desikar (700 years back), Paanipathra Swamigal, Ammani ammayar, Vannach charabam Dhandapani swamigal,Irai Swamigal,Ramalingar, Adikku oru malar, Badhrachala Swamigal.. are a few names of hundreds of Holy master who live(d) in this Mukti sthalam. Idaikaatu Sidhar , one of the 18 main sidhars has attained Samadhi here. ( He is the disciple of Konganava Sidhar)
There are 360 Holy Theerthams in and around Thiruvanamalai. The benefits of worshiping a few of the therthams are as follows: There are 8 lingams to be worshiped in the Parikrama route (Girivala paadhai)
1.       Agni Theertham – to get salvaged from curse of a woman
2.       Indra Theertham – to get salvaged from Bhramahathi dosham
3.       Yama Theertham – gives good health
4.       Nirudhi Theertham – win over enemies
5.       Varuna Theertham – Removes Navagraha dosham
6.       Vayu Theertham – Removes debt and poverty
7.       Kubera Theertham – Gives wealth n prosperity
8.       Ashwini Theertham – Gives the blessings of Lord Shiva.
When Devi was fighting Mahishasuran, she , by mistake , left off the Shivalingam from her hand and it broke off. As a remedy, she did puja to Lord Shiva on Thirukarthika, by lighting lamps. From then on, the concept of lighting lamps for Thiru Karthikai is on.
1 Wick – 1 face                  = Normal benefits
2 Wicks ( 2 Faces)              = Unity in Family
3 face                                   = Boon for New kids birth
4 face                                    = Wealth enhancement
5 face                                    = Full Prosperity in all aspects.
1.       North facing wick – Huge prosperity and happiness
2.       East Facing wick – Removes all obstacles
3.       West Facing wick – Brings in closeness within siblings
4.       South facing  - SHOULD NOT light south facing. Will lead to diseases, debt and sins.
1.       Rahu Dosham = 21 lamps
2.       Sani dosham = 9 lamps
3.       Guru Dosham = 33 lamps
4.       Marriage dosham = 21lamps
5.       Puthra dosham = 51 lamps
6.       Sarpa dosham = 48 lamps
7.       Kaala Sarpa dosham = 21 lamps
8.       Kalathira Dosham = 108 lamps.
9.       Dosham in Janma Raasi  = 12 lamps
Doing Vastra dhanam on Thiru Karthikai will remove Pithru dosham. Somavar vridham in the month of Karthigai will remove the intensity of past sins.
Its good if we can light a minimum of 27 lamps. ( 4 in Portigo, 4 in Back yard, 5 in the entrance decorated with lamp and kolam, 4 in Veranda,  2 each IN Door step, Lamp pit, Front door frame, puja room, 1 in Kitchen, 1 as Yama Deepam outside )
     Timimg for this year = 18.09 PM on 8.12.2011.
By 6PM, on the top of 2668 feet high mountain, the deepam is lite. A brass container 5.5 feet high and 5 feet wide is used. 2000 litres of Gheee and 1100 mts of cotton wick is used for lighting the Vilaku. Its visible for close to 45 KMS. It will continue to be buring for 11 days. There will be live telecast of the same from 4pm in Tamil TV channels.
     Oblation = Nel Pori urundai, for Lord Shiva.
May the blessings of Lord Shiva, Sri Parvathi and Lord Murugan be with all.
“ The Atman is the light: The Light is covered by darkness: This darkness is delusion. That’s why we dream. When the light of Atman drives out our darkness. That light shines forth from us, A Sun in splendor, The Revealed Bhraman “   - Bhagavad Gita – 5:15-16


Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Shiva is love. Anbae Shivam
Its always nice to appreciate and understand the actual meaning behind the forms of Gods that we worship. Lets see the symbolic representation of Lord Shiva.
 1. Triambak : 3 eyes - Sun, Moon, Fire symbolizes Light, Life and Heat thats required for living organisms to exist. 3rd eye also symbolizes Knowledge, wisdom (Omniscience). The 3rd eye neither desires nor shuns
 2. Vyomakesa : If sun, moon are his eyes, then, the whole sky and the powerful wind forms his hairs
3. Tiger : Tiger is the desire that will kill us. Shiva has killed it and wears its skin as apparel, showing his full mastery over desire
4. Elephant : Elephant is a powerful animal. He wearing elephant skin represents, he has completely subjugated all Animal Instincts
5. Mundamala : The garland of skulls and ashes of funeral pyre smeared all over his body , symbolizes that he is the lord of Constructive Destruction. The garland also represents the revolution of ages again and again, and successive appearance & disappearance of human races.
6. Meditation : He enjoys in the enjoyment of the bliss of his own self.
7. Ganga : Symbolises he is Cool headed. Ganga is a purifying agent. It represents redeeming power, constantly purification of thoughts. Also Ganga represents the Nature’s force that can overrule the human mind. Shiva has control of that power also.
8. Crescent Moon: Months are calculated based on waxing & waning of moon. He has shown that even the powerful time is a diadem (ornament) to him. Mastery of Time Management. He is the perennial source of power that helps the waning moon to wax. Moon also denotes mind. He has mastered the mind.
9. Snakes: Venomous snake around his neck represents Danger of death.  Coiled snakes represent Kundalini sakthi.
10. Halahala poison:  He has conquered death and also saves us as Mrintyunjaya. He took the poison to save the worlds. He drinking venon,Shows his sacrifice for his people
11, Trishul: Shows him as the Universal ruler of 3. It can also be taken for the 3 tasks – Creation, Preservation, and Dissolution. It shows that he is the master of all the above 3. Also it represents the Sthula Shareer (Physical body), Sukshma Shareer / the mind that controls the body, Karana Shareer / Karmic links responsible for rebirths
12.  Damaru: (Small drum):  During the cosmic dance as Nataraj, Siva sounded the damaru for 14 times. It gave birth for the 33 Beejaksharas , from where mantras evolved.
13. Rosary : Shows that he is master of spiritual practices.
14. Khatvanga: ( a magic wand with a skull fixed at 1 end): Shows that he is an adept in Ocult science too
15. Kapala ( Skull cap) : It shows that he is the destroying power of evils
16. Half closed eyes :  Withdrawal from worldly things
17.Icy mountain as back drop: (a). Purity around. (b) Withholding of all heat
18. Linga form: A central / level mind, strong and alert and araised by wisdom, and not by wordly stumuli. The vertical shaft represents Purusha. The horizontal base represents Prakriti.
19. Hooded serpent over the linga / around his neck : Stillness but still Alertness of Mind. Cobras hood expands when it is still.
20. Rudraksha : Shiva’s eyes. The fruits are blue in  colour, so as the color of the Lord. It’s a symbol of celibacy and continence. Shiva stings the seeds of rudrasksha around his neck, not allowing them to fall on the ground and grow as a plant. He has stopped the germination process. So It’s a representation of celibacy .
21. Varanasi : The river takes a northward bend at Kashi, rather than flowing down towards the low lying south. Means, the mind of Shiva is detached from the worldly pleasures and  moves upwards (towards moksha, liberation)
22. Deer on hand: Represents the human mind that is always frightened and restless. He is in control of the restless mind.
23. Holy ash: He is smeared with Holy ash. It represents Atma swaroopam. By burning this mortal body, we get ash. Ash cant be further burnt. Its not further destructible. Same is soul. Soul cant be burnt by fire. Its one with GOD. We should think about this AHAM BHRAMASAMI when we apply the holy ash.
24.  Master  of 3: Tripurantak. 3 worlds. They are 1. Me 2. Mine 3. Not Mine. 1. Me:  my body & mind 2.  My belongings, relatives, assets, knowledge, karma.. 3. Not mine: Things other than 1 and 2, that surrounds us. Shiva destroys the Tirupuram using bow and arrow (pinaka. Hence called pinakapaani). Vishnu is the arrow. The shaft of  the bow is Mount Meru. The bow is Ananta Seshan. The wheels of the chariot are sun & moon. Bhrama is the charioteer. Te 4 Vedas are the horses driving the chariot.
25. Ardanareeswara : This removes the divide between Purusha and Prakriti.
26. Turtle under Mahameru : Shiva withdraws from all sensory pleasures like a turtle pulls itself inside its hard shell.
27. Jaladhara over Lingam : The Pot represents the Goddess who keeps Shiva awake.
28. Nandhi : Bull represents Wild, undomesticated power / drive.
29. Neelakanta : Shiva drinks the poison which got formed when Devas and Asuras were churining the ocean for Panacea.  Before Shiva drank it full, Parvathi stops it at his neck level by pressing his neck. The venom stops at his neck making him blue necked ( Neela kanta). It also says , we are all mortals. Also it says, Even if we are all dead, Prakriti (Shakti) will always survive, and owing to that fact Purusha (Shiva) also will also survive endlessly.
30. Cosmic Dance (NATARAJ): It represents constant Change. One step changes to other step and goes on and on. What is created in a dance is changed for the next dance and so on. Dance requires Time, Space and matter. Dance also traverses time. His left foot is above the ground, (Kunchidapadam) representing samsara, the impermanent world that evokes fear in us. His right foot is grounded. He dances with 1 foot. The right foot represents Spiritual reality. The left foot represents Material relality that is transitory. Under  his foot is the demon which represents Ignorance and forgetfulness. His right palm is upraised – the Abhaya mudra – saying – don’t fear. His left hand is below the right hand and is in a posture as if its watching the left leg, drawing attention to the moving leg. The other 2 arms represent the 2 options. The rattle drum represents disturbances / distractions. We can be like monkeys amused by the rattle drum and doing all useless meaningless things till the end. The other hand has the fuel less fire which is generated by  introspection. We can meditate, contemplate on us and see the hero and the villan in us.  The heros, the villans, the victim within us is all due to Maya and fear and ignorance within us. Shiva will destroy these and liberate us. The outer Wheel or the circular frame represents the cycle of life – continuous creations and destructions.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

9 DEVIs to be Worshiped on the 9 Days of Navarathri.

                                                    DAILY WORSHIP - 9 DAYS OF NAVARATHRI

During Navarathri, Devi manifests as Ichaa Sakthi for 1st 3 days and Kriya & Jnana Sakthis for the next 3 days. The ideology of Kolu is to show that Devi exists in all forms of life, plants, animals, birds, Common man, Sages and Divine people, Devathas, Other forms of Gods and as Devi.

Going by the mythology, after Shiva burnt Kaman (God of Love) from the ashes raised an asura named Bandasuran. He was creating trouble to all. To kill him, Devi wages war against him and his allied forces for 9 days. On the Dasami day - the 10th day, Devi wins over these negative forces and its celeberated as Vijaya dasami.

Do we have the asuras Sumba, Nisumba, etc as physical forms?? May be / May not be. But they are actually the negative elements that reside within us. We need to seek the support of Devi and join in the war against our own negatives.

Lets see the forms in which we have to worship the Devi in the next 9 days starting today.

DAY 1 : Today Devi kills Madhu , Kaidapa in the day 1.
Today we worship Devi as BALA THRIPURASUNDARI.

Oblation for the day : Sarkarai Pongal
Flower of worship   : Red colour flowers
Devi's Bija Mantra   : " Aiym Kleem Sow
                                    Sow, Kleem, Aiym
                                    Aiym, Kleem, Sow”.


Wishing u all a blissful Navarathri - starting from today. As a part of Navarathri musing, wish to write about the 9 Mandalas , 1 per day for the next 9 days.

Hope you can visualise this Sri Chakra Mahameru as a 9 floor Palace of Lalitha Tripurasundari. We worship the Formless, omni present Goddess, as if she is residing in this palace.

Lets see 1 Mandala / Stage every night for the next 9 days. This forms the part of the  9 steps of Puja to reach Devi

NIGHT - 1 ( Pradhamai)                       Mandala 1 = BHUPURAM

 Bhupuram is the outer most / bottommost Square base of the Yanta. Lets take the Top View of Sri Chakra.

Bhupura is the bottom of the Yantra. It can be considered as the Feet of Devi. There are 3 Rekhas of  Shaktis has to be worshiped with White, Red,Yellow flowers.  The 1st Rekha Sakthi is from the Ashta Maa Sidhis ( Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Ishita, Vashita) & the  Sarvakama, Budhdhi Sakthis stay at Bhupura. We need to worship these 10 sakthis using White flowers. Sadhaka has to get sidhi in this 1st step of Puja before moving into the 2nd Rekha sakthis.

The 2nd Rekha Puja is for Devi & the Sapta Kanyakas. This 2nd step represents the Knee of Devi. The Sapta Madhas are Brahmi, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi,Indrani & Chamunda. After these 7, we need to worship Maha Lakshmi. We can use Flowers / Kumkum / Akshadha for the worship of these Sakthis.

The 3rd Rekha Puja is for 10 Dikpalakas or the Mudra Sakthis. They are also called as Prakada Yogis. This is the top line of the 3 lines (Rekha). This Rekha is equivalent to the Thigh of the Devi. The 10 Mudra sakthis are Kshobini, Draavani, Sarvaakarshini, Vashankari, Unmaadhini, Sarvankusha, Khechari, Sarvabija, Sarvayoni & Trikhanda. The top most step is called Trilokya mohini. 

The mantra for this Mandala is AM, AAHA, SAUHU.

Monday, 5 September 2011


Worship of Serpents had been there across all parts of the world since ancient times. Snakes had been worshiped by Hindus, Buddhist, Jains for ages. Even in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, the worship of Snake had been in vogue in ancient period. The Egyptian king had the symbol of cobra’s hood in his crown, even their Gods and Goddesses. (eg. Osiris). There are similar instances from Babylon and Mesopotamia. Greece worshiped snakes as god for protection. They believed that the slain soldiers will be reborn as snakes. Even its believed that Athens was guarded by a snake in 5th century BC. Its also their national symbol. In Ancient Rome, people believed that while felling a tree, if a snake is killed, its considered as bad omen, and God also moves out of that place. Australians and the Mayans also worshiped Snakes. Excavations in  Mexico  have lots of pots and utensils with Snakes symbol embossed on them.  In Africa Pythons are being worshiped even today and they worship it as God for Knowledge.
In India worship of serpents is there from pre historic period. In U.P, Naga Panchami is observed even now. In Punjab, people draw pictures of Snakes on the wall and worship. In Bihar, ladies take fast for 3 days and worship Serpent God. In W.Bengal, Manasa Devi is considered as the head of all Serpents. In a place called Subramanya in Karnataka, Snake is the worship deity. In Andhra in Laepakshi, there is a 6 feet high snake idol that’s worshiped.
In Kerala, worship of Cobra is of paramount importance. There are close to 16,000 temples ( Sarpakkaavu) in Kerala, across all villages. Prominent among them are Manaarshaala, Vettikaadu, Paambummekaatu  mana. In Manaarshaala, even today, a lady remains as Spinster , through out her life,  and does daily puja for this deity.
In Tamilnadu, in Thiruverkaadu, Devi is believed to have appeared initially as Cobra. In Thiruchengode, there is a 60 feet long cobra statue for worship. In Nagerkoil, we have a temple dedicated exclusively for Nagaraja. The name of this town is named after this temple only.  If we look at Valmiki Ramayan ( episode 67, sloka 46-49), its mentioned that Nagas lived in Mahendragiri mountain area ( 20kms  from Nagerkoil) and worshiped Serpent god.
Going  back to mythology, long ago, a lady was cutting grass in this area. She was surprised when she found blood oozing out from her sickle, as she accidentally hit a stone. She went and brought the nearby villagers and from then, a small temple was set for  Nagaraja. ( I believe this story because, we have a similar story in our family. Our ancestors who had earlier migrated from Kanchipuram to Kanyakumari more than 1000 years back have a similar story. When a lady was cutting off cactus plant in a field, red blood started oozing out. After checking with astrologers it was found that their family deity (Devi) from Kanchipuram has moved along with the ancestors when they moved to Kanyakumari and stayed in that cactus for quite sometime. Later a temple was built at that place.)

  During 1516 to 1535, Boothala veera Sree Veera Udhaya Marthanda Verma  was ruling this area with head quarters as  Kalakkaadu. He was suffering from Leprosy. He came to this temple every Sunday and he got cured. From then on, every Sunday, this temple is crowded with devotees. Even today, the main priests of this temple is from the “ Paambummekaatu  Illam” family of Nambuthiris from Kerala, who worship Nagaraja, generation after generation. They even rear Snakes like Infants. 

Another attraction of Nagerkoil is the Nagalinga  flower of the Cannon-ball tree (Couripita gynensis). The combination of its 6 petals, fleshy disk, stamen, and the reduced styles are so marvelously coinciding with a Shivalingam being protected by a 5 hooded Nagaraja. 
Behind the Sanctum sanctorum, there was a dense growth of a herb ( Oda valli). Recently temple officials removed them, as they found lots of snakes were living there. After that, they tried to regrow the herb. Till date it hasn’t grown again. Earlier every devotee was given 1 leaflet of this  herb as Prasadam. Every leaf had different taste it seems.  Latest Science has discovered that the venom  of Cobra can be used as a medicine to Leprosy! What was believed earlier by our ancestors are now been proved as science by modern science.  
Lots of Cobras are there near the temple area. Wiith in 1 mile area from the temple, there s no history of any1 being killed by the venom of a snake bite.Page 48, Volume 11 of Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics, published in the U.S , has taken note of this point.
Inside the temple, we get to see lot of Jain inscriptions, including Mahaveer Jain & Parasvanath – the 23rd Thirthankara. In 1968, when they were cleaning the temple pond, they found a Durga idol and it has been installed on the right side of the temple. The Devi is like Vishnu Durga. We have deities for Lord Muruga & Idumban. So Kandha Sashti is also a main day of worship here.                  

( We can see symbols of Snakes on all sides of the walls of the pond )
( Even on the outer walls of the temple, we see idols of snakes – 100s of them placed all round. While I was standing behind the Anantha Krishnan Deity, behind the temple, got the darshan of Garudan ( as seen in the picture). I was thinking that why do people call Nagaraja as Krishnan. That was a lesson to my wrong thought. Krishna manifests in all forms. God is one. Forms only differ. The Garudan was circumventing the temple for more than 10 minutes before it flew eastwards )
There is a strong belief that this serpent was Krishna's erstwhile  enemy Kalia. Its been believed that Lord Shiva is being installed in between these 2 deities, mainly to avoid any possible conflict between Lord Krishna & the erstwhile Kalia. ( Im convinced about this logic, because, during Narasimha avatar, after Lord Narasimha was very ferocious even after killing Hiranyaksha . Lord Shiva takes the form of Sarabeshwar and hugs Narasimha to absorb all his heat and anger. Might be, a similar logic applies here also.)
In mid 18th Century, King Marthanda Verma of Venad kingdom  ( South Travancore) had lot of enemies. One day he was taking rest in the South side building of the temple. Knowing this, his enemy went up to kill him. His sword missed target as he was interfered by a cobra in between. The king woke up in the meantime and caught his enemy. From then on, the South Nada ( South Entrance) is called as Maha Meru Maaligai.
Once upon a time, a pair of Snakes lived in this place. Mahibalan killed them. During death they were listening to the chanting of Parasvanath. By virtue of that, they got rebirth as the King and Queen of Snakes in the underworld. Later , a Gandharvan named Samwaran was travelling across the sky. He was disturbed by the chanting of Parasvanath. So he made heavy rain fall to submerge him. The king cobra ( Dharnendra) raised its hood over Parasvanath and protected his tapas from the rain. As rain continued, water level raised. To prevent Parasvanath from sinking, the Queen Cobra ( Padmavathy) became a Lotus flower and gave seat to Parasvanath. Samwaran couldn’t succeed in his effort.  We get to see 2 huge snake statues in the temple, depicting this story.
When the temple was first constructed Nagaraja told in the dream of the king of Kalakkadu that his roof should be only a thatched roof. So the Western side roof is still a thatched roof. Every  year, when  they remake the roof, they see a snake in it.
The main diety in the sanctum  sanctorum is installed on water. Water keeps oozing slowly and the sand from this basement is given as Prasadam to devotees. 6 months the sand will be black and for next 6 months, it will be normal sand. For centuries together, they are taking up sand as prasadam and giving to devotees. But there is no crater created in that spot from where sand is being continuously taken as prasadam . The level of the basement of the sanctum sanctorum is remaining the same. This is still a grerat puzzle and miracle. There is neither any Peetam nor any roof for this sanctum sanctorum.
During the 8th century, this area was referred as Kottar only. Thirugnansamndar has mentioned about Kottar being a main centre for Jains during his period. Till the 16th Century mid, this was a Jain temple only.

There are 2 huge 6 feet high snake statues  in the temple. Scholars have done research of the same and declared that male snake will be carved smaller in size and female snake is generally carved  bigger in size. Seeing the southside snake, they confirm that the main diety here is Nagarani only. Looking at the inscriptions of Jains, its mentioned as “ for Nagar and Nagarajar”. Its inferred that Nagar means Queen Cobra. The place Nagerkoil also has got its name from Nagar ( Nagarani ).
Till 1589 (Kollam era 764), the diety on the left is named as Nagarajar. Between 1589 to 1644, it was named as Thiru Anantha Aalwaar. From 1644AD, its named as Anantha Krishnan. None of the inscriptions have any mention of a Krishnan deity here. Even the dwajasthambam ( flagmast) has Koormam on its top, as seen in Mahameru. Since its not Garudan on the flagmast, its told that the deity is not Krishnan and its only Nagarajan.
So the main sanctum sanctorum deity – the 5 hooded Cobra is Nagarani only. The Ananthakrishnan is actually Nagarajan. In between these 2 deities we see a beautiful Shiva lingam deity. Here Lord Shiva is in the form of Vaayu ( Air ).
During the 7th, 8th Century, Jainism was spread across Kanyakumari district and in the Kongu area ( Coimbatore, Erode belt). Right from those days, in the Tamil month of Aavani ( Aug – sep ), devotees used to come to this Kottar ( Nagerkoil ) to worship Nagar & Nagarajan. The 60 feet snake inscription in the Thiruchengode hills, Jain temples in Perundurai, Vijayamangalam, Vellode, Thirumoorthimalai, all in Erode district shows the penetration of Jainsm in Kongu area. Even in Kongu area, worship of Nagar is famous even now. People from Kongu area have taken active role in constructing parts of this temple in Nagerkoil.
Percieved  Benefits for devotees:
1.       Boon for childbirth
2.       Remidy for Skin diseases
3.       Remidy for Sarpa Dosham
1.Annual function : 10 days in the Tamil month of Thai ( mid Jan), Thai Poosam.
2. Every month’s Aayilyam                                                                                                           3.Every Sunday
4. Kandha Sashti day – for the Murugan deity
5. Sundays of Tamil month - Aavani ( Mid Aug – Mid Sep )
 People who travel towards Kanyakumari may have a darshan at this cute little temple.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA !                                                              OM NAMO NARAYANAYA !

Sunday, 17 July 2011


In an effort to recollect the greatness of the 18 Sidhars, will be writing about 1 Sidhar / week.


Thirumoolar is one of the main Sidhars of the 18 Sidhars. He comes under the  'Thiru  Kailaaya lineage' ( Lord Shiva à Devi Parvati àNandhi àThirumoolar.). He had great liking for Sage Agastya. So he moved from Kailash towards Kanyakumari (Podhigai Malai). He reached Chidambaram and was greatly devoted to Lord Nataraj.
One day, he was crossing the river side of Cauvery. He saw a herd of cows crying around a dead body. Ot was the dead body of Moolan – a shepherd, who use to take care of these cows. Seeing the pains of the cows, the Sidhar shed his body and moved into the body of Moolan by Parakaaya pravesam ( soul moving from one body to another). Seeing Moolan alive, the cows merrily grazed and went off  to their respective houses in the evening. Moolan’s wife thought that her husband is back and asked him to come in. He explained the story to her and to the villagers. He shed the body and again rentered. This made them to belived that Moolan is dead. The Sidhar went in search of his original body. But he couldn’t see that. With out options, he moved on with Moolan’s body. He reached Thiruvavaduthurai and wrote Thirumandiram .
Legend of Arasa Maram: ( FIG TREE )
Once Thirumoolar was crossing Suryapuri. The country was sad on the demise of its king Surya Varma. The Queen Sangamitra was in a devastated state of mind. People in the country were grieve struk. Seeing this Thirumoolar thought that he will get into the body of the king to keep the people away from the pain. He reached his ashram and told his disciple Jnanadevan that as per his Karmic connections, he has to be part of the royal family’s story for some time and will come back. He told that he will shed his physical body and will get into the physical body of the king for some time. Till he comes back, he asked his disciple to safe guard his original body. Jnanadevan safe guarded Thirumoolar’s body in a cave.
The king got alive as soon as Thirumoolar entered into his body. Life went on normal for all. The queen could see lot of changes in the behavior of her husband. One day she asked for the reason. Thirumoolar thought he shouldn’t hide it and explained the full story. He told that , if she wants, he will leave the body immediately. The Queen wanted to retain her husband alive.
One day he asked Thirumoolar – “ Sage, Im worried that, ur divine body will be affected by having relationship with a normal person like me.” Thirumoolar told that his physical body will not be affected by such acts. He told that his body can be burnt only by burning him on a Solar eclipse day with 7 different chemicals and told the secret of it. The queen was selfish and wanted to destroy the original body of Thirumoolar, that’s lying in the den. She ordered the tribal near the den to destroy the body of Thirumoolar that was lying in the den. The tribals did so and gave the ashes to the queen.
Meanwhile Thirumoolar at Suryapuri could understand the full story with his Jnanadrishti. He moved out and started tapas under a big tree. After a long tapas, he woke up and saw a dead body near by. It was a Bhramin’s body who passed away due to wrong practice of Raja Yoga. He wanted to give salvation to that Bhramin. He wanted to shed the body of the king and move into the Bhramin’s dead body. He hid the King’s body in a big hole of the tree under which he was meditating. He closed the hole. Since the tree gave shelter for him to meditate long, he told that, henceforth that species of tree will be worshiped by all.  Since a king’s body was hid inside the tree, it was named as Arasamaram ( Arasan – king in Tamil, maram – tree)   
 The life of Thirumoolar continued in different physical forms. He is believed to have lived for 3000 years. He wrote 1 song / year and wrote 3000 songs in Thirumandiram.
Karuvur Sidhar constructed a temple in Chidambaram at the Samadhi of Thirumoolar. Its believed that the Original Samadhi was at Thiruvavaduthurai.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Bala is the basic step in SriVidya Upasana. Here we see Devi as a girl child (Bala). Sidhars call it as Vaalai Vazhipaadu.

Many of us do Bala mainly as a Mantra Sidhi exercise to move up the next levels of Sri Vidya towards Maha Sodashi.. But the bigger picture behind Bala is taking control on one's Prana Sakthi.

When we sleep, the Pranan rests at Visudhi chakra.( near our throat). When it stirs thoughts, it becomes dream. After these thoughts are settled, we get into sleep.By Yogic powers we can reach a stage beyond this day - night differentiation.  When they attain 'Madyama Jagradam' or 'Yoga Nidra', they go beyond the control of time ( day , night transition).

When we take control of our Mind, Body, Pranan, Thoughts, Words, Actions, then Pranan has no other go other than to move inwards towards Visudhi Chakra. In this process Visudhi Chakra takes control of Ajna Chakra. So now Prana Sakthi doesnt go below the stomach area and is forced to move upwards only. We win over hunger and Thirst and can mediate for days continuosly.

Prana flows in and out of the body. In ward flow of Prana is controlled by Bala & outward by Ganapathy. Inb the seas we see that the wave hitting the shore has lesser force than the force of the wave that is receeding back. So, the objective of Bala worship is to shift the Prana from an Exgress stage to Ingress stage. Once we reach this level, we can feel that we got Sidhi of Bala.

The Bija Mantra of Bala has -  '  Aiym Kleem Sow ' invokes Sarawathi, Durga & Lakshmi respectively
Ganapathy Mantra " “Aum shrim hrim klim glaum gam ganapataye vara varada sarva janamme vashamanaya svaha” helps to control the 5 senses.

Combination of Bala and Ganapathy worship makes us get control of our Prana and senses. We take control of our body and mind and win over the materialistic world. At this stage, we get the Darshan of Bala Tripurasundari. After that we move to the next levels like Panchadasi, Shodasi and Maha paduka.

Still, its really a great experience to be an Upasaka of Bala, as you relate her as a 9 year old child and worship. She will be with you, the moment you tell her name - Bala.