THIRUKARTHIKAI DEEPAM FUNCTION @ THIRUVANAMALAI & @ HOME:
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.
MYTHOLOGICAL STORIES ABOUT THIRUKARTHIKAI FESTIVAL:
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.
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.
LIGHTING LAMP @ HOME:
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.
NUMBER OF DEEPAMS & ITS BENEFITS:
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.
LIGHTS @ HOME :
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
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA !