The Beginnings of the Shrine of Arunachaleshwara

Om SathGuru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

The Beginnings of the Shrine of Arunachaleshwara

Gautama again begged Shiva thus: How can name and form be attributed to THEE who can’t be described even by the Agama? Where is the Temple for THEE? Or how is one to be built? In what manner ART THOU to be worshipped? How is one to make people believe that ever so many celestial beings (Devas) always abide in Thy presence? THOU must kindly explain all this to me.

When I prayed thus, Lord ordered Vishwakarma as follows:

“You must create a Divine and Noble town named Arunachala. You must also build in it a Divine Temple adorned with jewels. Lord Shiva said: Gautama! You must worship Arunachala Hill, which appears as a lustrous and immeasurable Linga on earth, for the welfare of the entire world. Let MY power (Shakthi) which is inseparable from ME and sustains the glory of this temple be installed on MY northern side and worshipped as Apithakuchambal (Unnamulai Amman). Since Bala Ganapathi is the bestower of all prosperity, let HIM be well adorned and worshipped in front of ME.

Nataraja who is fond of dancing, Amriteswara and Parashakthi should also be worshipped. Let the Goddess, who allays suffering and obstacles, be installed on the southern side, and Skanda who carries the weapon known as Sakthi, on the north east. I should be worshipped in the innermost shrine (Moolusthana), Dakshinamurthi in the south. Maha Vishnu in the form of Agni in the west, Brahma in the east, and in a separate shrine. On the northern side, Goddess Unnamulai Amman (Apeethakuchambal) should be well adorned, accompanied by all Devas and surrounded by the Dikpalakas.The Kings should protect this place without violating MY commands.”

The Discord between Brahma & Vishnu

Om SathGuru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Sage Vyasa once said:

“The holy men of Naimisaranya asked Suta, “Please tell us about the greatness of Arunachala. Suta described the glory of Arunachala. Sanaka asked the same question to Brahma. I shall repeat what Brahma narrated to Sanaka.”

The sins of those who listen with faith to this narrative will be destroyed.

Sitting on the lotus, Brahma meditated on Sambhu (another name of Lord Shiva) and was immersed in bliss. In this state he had a vision of Shiva as HE had formerly revealed HIMSELF as a Column of Light. Brahma emerged from HIS trance and noticed Kumara Sanaka standing in a worshipful attitude.”

You have made me remember the ancient yoga of Shiva. Now I shall describe how Shiva, the Ocean of Grace, manifested as Arunachala, the Light of Consciousness.

From the supreme Effulgence (which is the Eternal Shiva), Vishnu and I were born in accordance with HIS desire both of us manifested spontaneously. Once out of egoism, we engaged in an argument and started a fight.

Seeing the terrible rage into which we had fallen while quarreling, the Lord reflected:

Why should there be destructive fight between these two, as to who is greater? If I do not reveal MYSELF immediately to both and stop their fight, the world will cease to exist. Each creature consider itself superior to every other creature. The ignorant that can’t realize and concede equality or superiority of another must necessarily suffer defeat an fall. I shall reveal MYSELF in a definite form somewhere in the world so those even a mean human being can attain ME the moment he thinks of ME (Lord Shiva).”

Having so decided, the Eternal Shiva manifested HIMSELF as a column of fire before us. There arouse a voice in the air: Children, why do you fight? The form of Sambhu has now appeared before you as a Column of Effulgence. He who finds out the beginning or his end of it is the greater of that two.

To discover the limits of Sambhu in the shape of beginning less and endless Column of Fire, one of us decided to trace the beginning and other the end. For this purpose Vishnu in the form of a huge boar began to dig the earth vigorously to find the lower end. I took the shape of a swan and soared swiftly to find its summit. Vishnu bored in the earth and went beyond, but found that the Column of fire went still lower.

Even after seeking for millions of years it was not possible to find out the source of that beginning less Column of fire. Vishnu was weary and tired and HE was forced to return. Vishnu praised Shiva and meditated upon HIM, and by the grace of the Lord, He regained the surface of the earth.

The splendid Effulgence of Shiva in the form of a Linga of Light rose higher and higher.

Siddhas who found ME trying to reach the immeasurable top of the Supreme Effulgence and exclaimed: HE is still putting forth HIS efforts even when the body is about to fall, the ego does not fade away. Even though His wings are broken and weary and HIS eyes dim, HE is bound by the vain delusion that HE can discover the limits of the limitless Effulgence.

Vishnu who became similarly despondent, regained good sense by Shiva’s spontaneous Grace, and retraced HIS steps.

If a finite desire to realize the Effulgence that which is the origin of Brahma and the Devas, he should within himself and meditate on Shiva, the Supreme Self, who will give him knowledge so that his ego will vanish.

On hearing these kind words I became humble and began to reflect thus: My salutations to the Siddhas who have fixed their minds upon Shiva. I shall turn MY minds inwards and realize this Effulgence of Shiva which appears in front of ME.

Even the great Vedic Mantras do not throw light on HIS reality. He who worships the Eternal Shiva, who is the Lord worshipped by the Devas as this Column of Light of Consciousness, realize Shiva, and serves as boat to cross the ocean of samsara.

Shiva HIMSELF stands as the ARUNA HILL in order to grant the devotee the fruits of HIS penance, that the HILL destroys all sins and that one obtain Liberation by merely uttering ‘ARUNACHALA’ once. Knowledge of Shiva can be attained only through Shiva’s Grace, not through the Vedas, nor austerities, nor dips in holy waters.”

August 2020

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