EXPERIENCES WITH SWAMIJI DURING HOLY ARUNACHALA GIRI VALAM – Shri. M. RAJAGOPAL

Experiences with Swamiji during

Holy Arunachala Girivalam


OM SATHGURU SRI SESHADRI SWAMIGAL THIRUVADIKKAE

The Holy Arunachala also referred  to as Thiruvannamalai has long been regarded as Lord Shiva Incarnate in the form of Shiva Lingam and bestows divine Grace on all the faithful worshippers irrespective of caste and creed. Our Swamiji , Sathguru Sri Rajalingal Swamigal   has circumambulated the Holy Arunachala Hundreds of times and has recounted to His shishyas,  Divine Experiences enroute the Girivalam (also called Giri Pradakshina or circumambulation)). Swamiji explained to us that during the Brahma Muhurtham time – 3.00 A.M to 5.00 P.M,  various  Devatas, in their customary worship of Lord Shiva, pass the route of Giri Prdakshina (anti-clockwisw direction)and bestow their blessings on the devotees .

Shishyas from Bengaluru  – Sri. Santosh  and Smt. Vaishnavi;  & from Mumbai/ Pune – Sri. M.Rajagopal and Sri. A.K. Murty were fortunate enough to accompany Swamji during the Girivalam Scheduled on 3rd and 4th April 2010. We are pleased to share with the Avathar  Seshadri  Bhaktha Samajam Members our wonderful and divine experience attained thanks to the grace of Guruji, Sathguru Sri. Rajalinga Swamigal.


Preparation for the Parikrama (Girivalam)

We woke up early in the morning about 02.00 A.M  took our bath and after prayers, joined Swamiji at the appointed time 03.00 A.M at Thamarai Nagar, closest to Seshadri Swamigal Ashram and Ramana Maharishi Ashram. Forehead smeared with Vibhuti, Barefooted, with clean veshti and bare chested we set forth with an austere beginning.     Swamiji instructed us to keep the Mind steadfast in the Bhakthi and all of us chanted our Guru Mantra ‘OM SATHGURU SRI SESHADRI SWAMIGAL THIRUVADIKKAE’.   Swamiji explained to us that Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal being an Avathar of Lord Shiva  resides within our SELF  and accompanies us in our passage of Life  – removing all obstacles and making  us realize the True Purpose of our Birth.  Thus disciplined, we were of a single goal of obtaining Lord Shivas Grace during the Girivalam.  Swamiji kindly explained to us the sanctity of Girivalam, Arunachala Mahima and identified wonderful moments all through the trip.  The Eight directions of Arunachala  have been identified along the perimeter road leading to Girivalam  and Shiva Temples have  been installed  as per the Agama Sastras. We paid our respects to the Eight  directions  of Lord  Shiva. Following directions were explained to us by Swamiji.

SOUTH Direction  -YAMA LINGAM

SOUTH WEST Direction-  NIRUTHI LINGAM

(CENTRE – SURYA LINGAM)

WEST Direction-  VARUNA LINGAM

NORTH WEST Direction- VAYU LINGAM

NORTH Direction – KUBERA LINGAM

NORTH EAST Direction-  EASANYA LINGAM

EAST Direction- INDRA LINGAM

SOUTH EAST Direction- AGNI LINGAM

We  started   receiving the aroma of  Arali Flowers fragrance and permeated us for a  long  time. We learnt that these aromas were generated from the Holy Arunachala and we felt the presence of our Master and Lord Sathguru Srt Seshadri Swamigal beckoning us to Lord Shivas Land. The scents were punctuated with scents of wild flowers which lifted our spirits and made light of the exertion during the walk.

More blessings were in store for us all through the Parikrama. Exactly as our Swamiji explained to us rarest of the rare fragrances associated with celestial worship engulfed us, although for fleeting moments.  Swamiji informed us by His Gnana Drishti that all Devas were performing their worship of Lord Shiva at this moment and step by step different Abhishekhas (Ablutions) were being performed for Lord Shiva.  The First of the offerings started with the ceremonial bath with Sesame Oil followed by Shikhakai wash ( Soap Nut Powder).  As the Lord is Vast,  yet reaches out to His children in every possible way,  all of us partook of the scents emanating  from the Lord.

Swamiji identified different facets of Arunachala wherein, we were able to see the various Manifestations of Lord Shiva by signifying the  peaks  such as  ‘ARUNACHALA – The Father  with  UNNAMULAI – The mother, LORD KARTHIKEYA – The God Of Warfare & Protector, LORD GANESHA – The God of Success and Wisdom and finally LORD SHIVA HIMSELF in His Universal Form.  We were delighted to see the peaks in successive formations during the Parikrama. Swamiji explained to us the significance of Gauthama Rishi, during the Parikrama.  Gauthama Rishi was ordained to worship Lord Shiva and pass on the blessings to the true devotees of The Lord.

Gautama said:

I worshipped the Lingas installed by sages and bathed in all Tirthas. Finally I had darshan of Arunagiri, the Linga in the form of the famous Hill Arunachala. I prayed: Lord Arunachala the Supreme Self! By merely looking at Thee one obtains the merit that accrues by following all the dharma. One need not practice austerities thereafter. Even Devas wish to dwell in this abode of Thine. This is the only place in the world where one can see a Linga in the form of a Hill. This form constitutes three kinds of powers (Sakthi).

Sonachala (Shiva) said:

Make it clear to all that Arunachala (Annamalai) in this physical form, composed of earth, is truly Shiva. I shall describe to you the Lingas on the earth, which are in the subtle form. You may worship ME in accordance with the Agamas and with the power of your austerities.”

Saying this, Sambhu revealed HIMSELF to me as Shiva. On seeing this Linga adorned with all kinds of ornaments, I felt that the goal of my life has been attained.

Lord Shiva said:

I listen to the prayers of devotees at that spot and grant the boons desired by them. I pardon all the faults of those who adore ME. Gautama! You must examine the Agamas and prescribe the methods of worshipping ME. Let special poojas be conducted on full-moon days. Let thousands of Chathrams (Choultry) supply free food on that day. Let everyone make gifts according to his ability.”

Gowri seeks the advice of Sage Gautama

Gowri repents Her act of slaying the Demon Mahishasura!

Parvathi went to the Maharshi Gautama and said:

This devotee of Shiva was killed by ME. I am therefore overcome by sorrow. O! Sage! You do know Dharma! I wanted to protect the Devas. While fulfilling my promise, although for the protection of the Devas, I have committed an act of Adharma. This Linga which was around his neck clings to MY hand. How shall I expiate the sin of killing a devotee of Shiva?”

Gautama who was well versed in the Dharma of Shiva replied:

Gowri! Do not fear that You erred by having killed a devotee of Shiva. Mahisha could not be conquered by the Devas not because he had the good fortune to possess the Linga, but because he had to be killed only by you, the beloved of Shiva.

It is said that a Linga worn without proper initiation, will bring ruin upon the wearer. He swerved away from the virtuous path by his evil counsels. In any case, the sight of this Noble Hill, is a sure means to expiate all sins.”

We were treated to the Full blessings of Lord Shiva in His Astral form through additional fragrances appearing in sequence as if it were to take place as part of The Celestial Offerings to The Lord. We had long whiffs of Rose Flowers, Lavender Flowers, Champaka (Shenbhagam) and Tulasi.  The Aromas were followed up with the fragrance of Homam to the Lord with dried Cow Dung    (Varali ) and Ghee.The Lord wanted us to witness the complete Pooja in its unique form by giving us the Camphor Offering for a very long spell.

Incidentally, several devotees too passed our way and many of the ladies identified that Arati appeared to be performed near by, giving the Fragrance of Karpoora (Camphor) ! How could we explain to them that in reality celestial offerings were in progress at the realm of The Lord Himself in the Universal form of Lingam in the visible (Uruva Nilai) and Invisible Form (Subtle State).


All Poojas  have their Finale with Theerthams and Prasadams being partaken of by the True Devotees.  We were all treated to the Theertha Prasad consisting of Pancha Kavyam .  This was followed by the Aroma of Sarkarai Pongal complete with the flavor of cows ghee and all the condiments and spices . All of us were instantly transported to a blissful state, where nothing needed to be seen; but had to be experienced in the company of our Pujya Guruji Sathguru Sri Rajalinga Swamigal.  We all had our senses in their places; but it was The Guru and Master – who had tuned the Senses to receive the Lords Gift during the Girivalam (Circumumbulation)

Is this the Heaven or The Earth ?   – We all seem to be in between, thanks to the sweetest play of our Master Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal and our Guruji Sathguru Sri Rajalinga Swamigal – We have just been witness to the Divine Experience so Gracefully and Bountifully Endowed on us  by the Lord Shiva in The Form of The Holy Arunachala.


This rare experience is not Privy or exclusive to a few devotees. This feast is open to one and all – Come with a True Heart, Open Mind, Bhakthi to the Lord Shiva and Deepest reverence to Sathguru Sri  Seshadri Swamigal. We are grateful to Sathguru Sri Rajalinga Swamigal for giving us the True Eyes, True Mind, True Senses and above all Good health and the opportunity to witness the Celestial Experience.

August 2017
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