The Holy KARTHIGAI DEEPAM Festival

Om SathGuru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

The Holy KARTHIGAI DEEPAM Festival at Arunachala

Goddess Gowri requested Sage Gautama to kindly expound to HER the greatness of the festival of light at Aruanchala.

Gautama revealed:

“I shall describe to YOU the Glory of that which liberates people from all sins and bestows all prosperity. In the month of Karthika, on the day of the star Kritika during Pradosa (13th day of waxing moon) the fortunate ones who perform Giri-Pradakshina (circumambulation) are not born again. All karmas are destroyed on performance of Giri-Pradakshina.

He who worships the ‘Deepam’ lit atop the Hill derives countless blessings. A person residing elsewhere may light lamps in front of any shrine of Lord Shiva, atop His Temple towers, or on peaks of other Hills, and he will be blessed!

Whatever may be the attitude of the devotee, the mere lighting of the lamp on this day with any type of oil available confers great merit on him.

He who has darshan of this light on Arunachala Hill acquires the merit of having performed great charity and of having bathed in the sacred rivers. Who can express in word the benefits enjoyed by the one who has darshan of the peak of Arunachala (Annamalai) with the beacon light glowing?”

 

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Annadaanam

Om SathGuru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Sanaka requested to be enlightened about the benefits derived from conducting an Annadanam (an offering of rice, to the poor) at Arunachala.

Brahma replied: “There is no better deed equal to annadana in the three worlds! Annam (rice), is the basis of Prana (Life-breathe). Hence, one who provides Annam gives away his Prana. It is for this reason, that one who desires his own welfare should offer Annam to the needy and the poor. If Annadaanam is performed at Arunachala, he attains great merit and becomes the ruler of all the worlds.

Even an offering of money or jewellery, in the form of charity cannot equal the merits of Annadanam, at Arunachala.

Sage Narada once met the ruler of Dravidian country, Chitrakethu on earth. Chitrakethu welcomed him. Narada observed that although Chitrakethu’s father Singadvajan, gifted away all riches of the world, he had not performed Annadanam. He was of the opinion that he alone who had fed the poor and the needy, would receive the divine ambrosia. The King then, decided to perform annadanam.

Narada informed him that the merit one obtained by feeding a million people elsewhere on earth could never equal that of feeding a single human, in Kasi. The merit gained by feeding just one poor man at Arunachala, will out-weigh that, of feeding a million, at Kasi!

Particularly, if this was done on a Dwadasi day, it would be equal to the merit obtained by feeding the poor throughout the year. Chitrakethu then performed annadanam everyday at Arunachala. By this act of the son, the father in the celestial region received nectar and in due courses passed on to the various upper regions and finally merged in Shiva.

One should endeavour to perform annadana, particularly at Arunachala, for it not only benefits the person who does it, but also bestows great spiritual merit upon his kith and kin.

October 2017
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