Parvathi’s Penance

Om SathGuru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

On one occasion Parvathi asked HER Lord:

“Won’t you tell ME what the moon and sun are?” Shiva replied, “The two lights are but my Eyes.” Thinking that HE was testing HER, the mother of Karthikeya went behind HIM and, without any warning, closed HIS eyes.

The momentary closure meant eons of darkness for the Gods. All of embodied life behaved as if born blind. Order and organization broke down in the absence of the Eye-energy. In what was a trice for HIM, the Lord opened the Third Eye on HIS uncovered forehead. The Destroyer turned a Life-giver. As Gowri (Parvathi) drew HER hands back, the three Eyes shown like the three Vedic fires, (dakshina, gaarapatya and aahavaneeya) powering the ‘unplanned’ power-cut.

When Parvathi begged for forgiveness, Shiva replied, “You are ever taintless and beyond Karma. However, if you desire to set an example of purification, go to KANCHI (Kanchipuram) which is greater than Kasi, Avanti, Dwarka, and Mathura.”

Parvathi, wrought by guilt, took it upon Herself, to perform penance, and soon left for Kanchi. She made a Lingam of sand, by the river Kampa and worshipped it day and night. The Lord willed a flood in order to test HER devotion. She embraced the Linga in protection unmindful of HER own fate in the spate. Later Manmatha (the God of Love) installed it as the Ekambaresvara (Ekambaresvarar Temple, Kanchipuram), which bore the imprint of HER breasts and bangles.

Then Shiva’s voice was heard from the sky, “Let the Linga which has been worshipped by you remain here for the welfare of the world.”

I MYSELF abide on earth as an Effulgent HILL known as ARUNACHALA (Annamalai) which grants the prayers of devotees. You may go there and with the guidance of Sage Gautama, continue to practise your aausterities near his ashram. I shall later reveal to you MY form of Effulgence.”

Gowri (Parvathi) at HER Lord’s bidding came to Arunachala (Annamalai-Thiruvannamalai). As a result of worshipping the motionless Linga in such a rigorous manner SHE became emaciated.

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