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Nataraja Chidambaram He is realizable and worship-worthy for the world. He wears the crescent moon and Ganga on his matted hair. Having the form of splendor, He dances in Ambalam
(Chidambaram). Let us adore and worship His Lotus feet adorned with anklets. --Verse 1.
Siva is the Primordial Being, the middle and the incomprehensible limitless Principle beyond the beyond. He is Effulgence and Supreme knowledge. He is the Origin of all. He is the One pervading all. He is the male and the female. He abides and dances in Thillai (Chidambaram). Praise to His sacred Feet. --Verse 350.
He is splendor beyond imagination (beyond the apprehension of the senses). He is of the form of compassion. He is of wondrous appearance. He is the essence of Vedas. He abides as Ether Consciousness and in Tiruchitrambalam (Chidambaram). I praise the sacred Lotus feet of Him who performs the most beautiful dance. Verse 351.
Chidambaram = Cit + Ambaram = Consciousness + Ether, sky, or atmosphere = Ether Consciousness: this is the Sanskrit version. Chidambaram = Cit + Ambalam = Consciousness + Hall = Hall of Consciousness: this is the Tamil version. Nataraja: Nata + Raja = Dance + King = King of Dance. Ambalavaanan: Ambala + Vaanan = Hall + Resident = Resident of the Hall = Siva as the presiding deity at the shrine in Chidambaram.
I was blessed to have been a resident of Chidambaram in the 1950s for two years when I was a student in Annamalai University. I visited the temple many times not really knowing the greatness of Lord Nataraja. But who does really know him?
This link takes you on a movie-tour of the Chidambaram temple with English titles
Chidambaram is a temple town of great antiquity going back to early Christian era. Sankara visited the town and temple. Periyapuranam was composed in the thousand-pillared hall. Four Saiva Saints (Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikkavacakar) worshipped at the temple. Today Sambandar stands (as a stucco statue) at the South Gate, Appar at the West Gate, Sundarar at the North Gate and Mannikkavacakar at the East Gate. The gates are the entry points in the towers or gopurams. Together with domed Chit Sabha, the five structures represent the five faces of Siva. Other names for Chidambaram and the Nataraja temple are as follows: Name Explanation Name 4:Chitrambalam Explanation Hall of Consciousness Name 7:Koyil Explanation (The)Temple 1:Puliyur Tiger Town 2:Vyaghrapuram Tiger Town 5:Pundarīkapuram* 3:Perumbarapuliyur Great Ether Tiger Town 6:Hridyakamalam Purndarikam* = (White) Lotus Tiger. Puram = Hrdya = heart. Kamalam = Town. Lotus Town, Tiger lotus. lotus of the heart. Town 9:Ponnambalam (pon = gold) Golden Hall Tree, Excoecaria agallocha
Prof. Ananadanataraja Deekshidar of Annamalai University (my almamater) mentions a few other names for Chidambaram: Booloka Kailas (Kailas on earth) Jnana-akasa (Akasa = space, spiritual ether jnana = wisdom). He further states, "Some temples are famous for Moorthi (Idol), some for Thirtham (water), and some for Sthalam (place). Chidambaram is famous in all three: the Nataraja as Moorthy, Sivaganga as Thirtham and Chidambaram as Sthalam." akasa space, ether from a-kas to shine, be brilliant Nataraja with consort Sivakami to his left, Vishnu-Govindaraja on his snake bed to his right, Nandi, his bull mount in the bottom center, Vyaghrapada (Tigerfoot) to the immediate right of Nandi, Patanjali, the famous expounder of Kundalini Yoga to the Bull's immediate left, Apasmara Purusa-Muyalakan under the Lord's foot. (Tanjore painting)
Saint Manikavasakar entered the temple through the east gateway. Situated on the proper left side of the Nataraja this gopuram invoked the feeling of love, tenderness and softness to His beloved. This sentiment is mirrored in Manikavasakar‘s compositions. Through the south gateway the soul approaches the Lord directly, as only a child can do. It was the child-saint-poet Jnanasambandar who related himself to the Lord and goddess as a child and son and entered the temple through the south gateway. Siva faces the South Gopuram with two flapping flags at the summit. South Gopura was completed before 1272 C.E. The western gateway symbolises the place of the friend, on the Lord‘s right-hand side. Through this gateway entered saint Sundaramurti. One who enters the temple through the north gateway follows the Lord from behind. This is the place of the slave. Saint Tiruvanukarasar entered through this gate, and we find this sentiment and attitude throughout his work. The east gateway is Tat Purusha, or the Lord Himself. It is also called the Sthulalinga, or Totality of the Form of God, the images within the temple being the minor forms that take their
powers from the greater source. Sthulalinga = Sthula + Linga = Gross material + Linga or Linga in material form. Ethereal form is invisible, while material form pleases the eyes and makes an imprint on the mind. When the gods go in procession, they are not carried through the main entrance itself, but use an alternate entrance at its side in deference to the greatness of Lingam. Lingam is ontologically superior to Nataraja, who is only Isvara, or manifest Brahman. SIVAHEIRARCHY. West and East Gopuras are believed to have been completed by 1250 C.E. It is said that the temple was built around 7th Century C.E. depicting Kundalini Chakras and Saiva Siddhanta philosophy (Kundalini Power Primer in Saiva Siddhanta) It must be emphasized that the temple Gopuras are on the side of a rectangular perimeter, asymmetrically placed except the South Gopura, which is in line with Chit Sabha. Nandikesvara, the Chief Attendant of Siva with bull face, is responsible for the security of the temple and the premises. He is also the Gurunatha of all the Munis including Upamanyu. His guards (Paritam) are in charge of the Chit Sabha security, Bhutas in charge of the 2nd Prakaram or courtyard, Pisacas in charge of the 3rd Prakaram Kali, and stern and angry Kulis in charge of the next prakaram and Bhairavas in charge of what is beyond. Five layers of security were put in place for the temple and the city by Nandikesvara; the above entities are invisible and mythical. If you do not believe in mythical beings, read Joseph Campbell making a perceptive remark on myths in his book Myths of Light on page 9. As soon as you start talking about mythology, you must not take the terms concretely that's the mistake of the whole JudeoChristian tradition.12 Read myths as newspaper reports by reporters who were there and it doesn't work. Reread them as poems and they become luminous. The temple town is known as Tillai after the forest shrub (excoecaria Agallocha). Vyagharapada, Son of ascetic Madhyandina Rishi of Ganga River-fame, worshipped two Svayambhuva Lingas, one under a Banyan tree and the second near a Lotus Tank in Tillai. (Svyambhuva Linga = natural outcropping of obelisk, having the shape of Lingam). It is also said that wherever Ganga water fell from the head of Siva, it became a Lingam and a Tirtham (place of pilgrimage). The gods including Brahma and Vishnu came to Chidambaram to witness the Ananda Tandavam and set up Lingas in their own names for worship by the Sivaganga tank. The four Gopuras are four Vedas the house is effulgent with five walls and five Halls, which represent the kosas or sheaths. The Lord dances in Bliss Sheath. The Halls and Chakras correspond to the sheaths as depicted in the table. Kosas, their origin, and their connections Entity Annamaya Pranamaya Manomaya Vijnanamaya Kosa Kosa Kosa Kosa Vital Air Sheath & Mind Food Knowledge Sheath Sheath Sheath Ether Raja Deva Nrtta Kanaka Sabha Anandamaya Kosa Bliss Sheath Chit Sabha
Sabha Sabha Sabha Earth, Water and Anahata Fire. and Ajna Lower Visuddha Chakra three Chakras Chakras
Nada and Sahasrara Bindu Chakras Chakra
Prakaram 3rd 2nd 2nd Inner Inner Courtyard, Prakaram Prakaram Prakaram Prakaram Prakaram Walkway Brahma Vishnu Rudra Sadasiva Mahesa shines Saiva shines in shines in shines in shines in the in the sheath of View Food Breath the Mind sheath of Consciousness. Sheath. Sheath. Sheath. Bliss. Saiva view is expressed by a real-life sage-poet, Umapati Sivacharya (around 1300 C.E.) in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. Svayambhuva Lingam is the Form-Formless (Rupa-Arupa) representation of Siva. For details and explanation of Alinga, Linga, and Lingalinga, go to The Red Mountain. A devotee wanted to offer to Siva-Lingam Vilva leaves and flowers which bees did not visit, trample and defile, whose nectar they did not imbibe, in whose nectar they did not drown; he prayed for and obtained from Siva, feet, claws, and eyes of a tiger so that he could climb the trees like a tiger very early in the morning before swarm of bees came to the flowers, and gather flowers untouched by bees. The devotee was called Tigerfoot (Vyaghra-pada). Tigerfoot also had eyes on the paw so not to miss any pluck-worthy flowers. Chidambaram also goes by the name of Puliyur (Tiger Town) to honor Vyaghra-Pada (Tiger Foot). Puli (Tamil) = Vyaghra (Sanskrit) = Tiger. Tigerfoot married the daughter of Rishi Vasistha who gave him a son, Upamanyu, expounder of Saivism. The nature-born svayambhuva Lingam along with Uma-Parvati is housed in Mulasthana (Root Place) within the temple complex with Ardha Mandapam in front of Mulasthana. Ardha Mandapam for good reason also houses Vyaghra-Pada (Tiger Foot) and Patanjali. Ardha + Mandapam = Half + Hall attached to Gargbhagraham (inner Sanctum). Gargbhagraham = Garbham + Graham = Womb + House or habitat = Inner Sanctuary or Sanctum. Students of Hinduism regard the Sanctum Sanctorum as the Womb of the universe and the passage that exits from the Sanctum is analogous to birth passage. The whole universe proceeds from the Womb and passage. This is especially true in the portrayal of mother Goddess by Saktas.
Chidambaram is the heart of the Virat Purusa, anthropomorphic form of Siva. The temple is a breathing and living representation of Purusa with a heart and circulation and nine gates (nine apertures of the body). Nine stupas represent nine apertures: two nostrils, two eyes, two ears, one mouth, one anus and one genital aperture. The 21,600 gold tiles represent 21600 respirations in a 24-hour period. The temple has five prakaras (walkways cum courtyards) concentric in its configuration representing five Mahabhutas (Great elements-- Water, Fire, Air, Earth and Ether. The innermost prakaram is under the Golden Roof accessible only to the priests.
Siva Purana translation by Prof. Shastri, Śiva Purāna, Mohanlal Banarsidass pub. Book one C18.75-77 75-77. The word Śiva signifies him who controls everything and whom none can control, (Śiva Vaśī) just as Siṁha signifies the creature who attacks other animals and whom other animals cannot attack ( Siṁha = Hiṁsa). The word Śiva is given another interpretation. The syllable, Ś means Permanent Bliss. The letter "i" means Puruṣa (the primordial male energy), the syllable "Va" means Sakti (the primordial female energy). A harmonious compound of these syllables is Śiva. The devotee shall likewise make his own soul a harmonious whole and worship Śiva. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The eight forms of Siva : "When the life-principle became manifest it had no name, so it cried. Prajāpati asked the reason and being informed that the child wanted a name, first gave him the name Rūdra, then Śarva, Paśupati, Ugra, Aśani, Bhava, Mahādeva and Iśāna, This was the conception from which the purāṇa writers developed the Aṣtamūrti conception of Śiva. The fact is that the eight forms of Siva symbolize the five gross material elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth, two opposite principles of Prāṇa and Apāna (heat and cold represented by the sun and the moon) and the principle of mind (मनस) which is the eighth.
= piccāṭaṉaṉ = Beggar = Siva in the guise of a Beggar.
The Rishis of Tillai were an arrogant bunch, intoxicated with self-importance because of facade of scholastic erudition and distinction, which gave them a lapse in memory of their origin from Isvara. The Rishis also felt that they can control gods by Mantras, magic and rituals. Siva and Vishnu, the Gods of the universe hatched a plan to teach them a lesson. The story goes like this: Siva fell back to his old usual (cunning, clever, cupidinous and transcendent) physical and mental pose of a mendicant-beggar. Vishnu, as usual, assumed the physical and mental attributes of Mohini of incomparable divine beauty, which he had done previously to fool the dasypygal
Daityas and deprive them of Ambrosia. Siva was of a handsome physique; he was like a centripetal magnet for women. His eyes were radiant like the rising moon. He was decked out in the best of jewels of Suras and Asuras (gods and demons). Jeweled sandals graced his feet; a white dhoti (a wrap around the waist) shone as the sun dazzled on it. Holy fragrant ash and sacred thread adorned his body. A bhuta (attendant) was by his side with a pot of ash for the Lord's use on demand. He brandished a white skull-bowl on his left hand and a drum on his right. His head was like a bud on vine of his neck; his petal lips parted with a blossom of a smile; dalliance of his brilliant eyes cast a spell and delusion on the world of beings. The drops of hot sweat on his cosmic forehead reflected the moon on his crest. The bees graced his wavy locks in serpentine rows. He was of coral color and moved like a coral mountain. Vishnu, as Mohini, was as much radiant as Siva. Both of them headed for Daruka forest, the place of blissfully married Rishis. The consorts of Rishis (Rishipatnis) fell head over heels in love with the couple. Beat of the drum, jingle of the anklets, joyous face and petal-soft smile of Siva drew the women out of their hermitages; the women were receiving a million suggestive glances, as they gave alms to mendicant Siva. Passion sprang, welled up and brimmed over from the heart, mind and soul of the Rishipatnis. They were without self-awareness arranging their tresses, and fussing with flowers; the girdles, guard, and shawls dropped from their perches. The radiance of his smile invited sweet words from the Rishipatnis who openly asked for divine pleasure of embracing him. Some were out of cooked rice and brought grains of rice in their lotus-like palms where the fire of love and passion cooked the rice. They in utter confusion put their alms on the ground thinking it was the bowl, sprinkled the ground with petals and flowers, as they were looking at his lotus face. Some women were cocksure that he was a lover from their past. Some thought that Kama, God of love, made his appearance without his consort Rati. A few had the courage to ask Siva, "Why are you in a hurry? You just came for alms. Your departure is like a setting sun leaving us in darkness. I drink the nectar of your beauty and grace; it kindles fire in my forlorn heart. Make my heart's wish come true. I see you, I pine, I wither, I waste; look at my bangles, they drop off on their own. What have you done to me?" One woman held Siva back from going on his way. As Siva held his begging bowl, they held their firm breasts to lead him to their hermitage. Some poured forth their heart, "Do what you want, where you want, when you want, here on the ground, anywhere is home with you around. We will go with you where you take us. Take us to another forest, if you please. One Rishipatni said, "Please don't go anywhere. Come to my house, I have plenty of alms." Some danced, some sang and danced for joy. They walked beside him; some were hugging close to him some pressed their tresses, their garlands, and their jewels against him. The Rishipatnis, having thus been deluded and deceived by the Maya of Siva, made a spectacle of their womanly wiles in front of the trident-bearing Siva who laughed long and hard. Vishnu stood there by Siva's side like an unchaste woman in the eyes of Rishis who were intently looking at Mohini. The Rishis did not like it one bit and grew angry with the mendicant and Mohini for upsetting the status quo and becoming the cynosure of Rishipatnis. Immediately they put their heads together, cooked up some magic to inflict punishment on the duo and decided to raise a sacrificial fire from which they produced tiger, deer, axe, Mantras, globe of fire, serpent and dwarf Asura one after another and dispatched them one at a time to attack mendicant Siva. Siva, the Lord of the
Universe, the Supreme Ruler, the Yogin of Yogis, the Supreme Master of Yogic feats, was amused with the puerile antics and every trick, gag and feint of reckless Rishis. The ferocious tiger jumped out of the sacrificial fire and pounced on Siva on all its paws and claws with intent to sink its teeth into the jugulars of Siva in a wink and trice, he caught the tiger by its belly and peeled the skin of living tiger with nail of little finger with surgical precision and wore it on his waist. He cast the carcass at the feet of the Rishis. That should have taught a lesson to the vain Rishis who gained supermundane yogic feats and powers through Tapas. With the skinned dead tiger at their feet, they became angrier, adamant, and foolish and sent a ball of fire to Siva in their vain attempt to incinerate him. Siva caught the ball of fire with his left hand and held it aloft for all of them to see. Still the Rishis were clueless as to the identity of the handsome visitors. The Rishis failed to notice the blue throat of Siva because he disguised himself as a mendicant. If they only noticed it, they would not have flaunted their yogic powers wantonly and vainly on mendicant Siva. The Rishis would not give up; their fiery anger and pride were burning inside. They raised a serpent and sent it hissing to Siva. Siva just caught hold of the snake and wore it like a Mala (garland) around his neck. They did not yet run out of their facile and yet futile tricks; they raised an Asura-Titan (Apasmara Muyalakan), short on memory and long on brawn, and sent him to Siva. Siva dwarfed the Titan by his yogic power, bounced him like a ball with his foot and pressed him down under his right foot. Short on memory = forgetfulness of soul of its origin from Isvara (Siva). Another version of the episode tells that the hispid Rishis (with angry erectile hairs = horripilation) were fuming and frothing in their mouths and sent tiger, deer, axe, Mantras, globe of fire, serpent and dwarf Asura all at once to attack Siva. You know now what happened to them. The Rishis came to realization that they were witnessing Siva and Vishnu and immediately begged for forgiveness. Siva performed Ananda Tandava (Dance of Divine Bliss) for them. Siva and Vishnu, having taught a lesson to the Rishis, left the Daruka forest. The above piece is an extract from Chidambara Mahatmya, as told to Sesa by Lord Vishnu. Siva sits on the tiger skin and meditates. There are several reasons for this. The tiger head attached to the skin with staring eyes represents an alive ego, hatred, greed and hunger, which should be overcome and sublimated before one can approach Siva. There is another version in Skanda Purana as to how the Lingam came to be worshipped by gods and men. Sati, Siva's consort died of internal combustion from excessive heat generated by Tapas because Daksha in his ignorance did not invite Siva and Sati for the celebrated Yagna. once Sati died, Siva lost all interest and wandered into the forest naked in the land of Anarta (present Northern Gujarat) with a skull as the begging bowl. That forest was chockfull of Sages and their wives, who saw the wandering naked Siva and wondered aloud among themselves with comments like: "Only that lady is blessed who can freely and confidently embrace all the organs of the noble-souled sage." Their eyes blossomed out wide following every movement of the new sage. Some were running here and there aimlessly in utter preoccupation of their minds. To attract His attention, they employed all feminine ingenious ways to catch His attention: Some wore collyrium only on one eye. Some knotted only one side of their tresses. They ignored their children. With all these mental tumult of the Rishipatnis, Siva was walking up and down the walkways seeking alms. The Sages seeing their wives ogling Siva were raging with anger. They cursed Siva so that his penis will fall on the ground, which happened immediately. Siva ran to
the nearest cave and hid himself in a fetal position. The fall of the penis had dire consequences. The mountain tops came tumbling down, the oceans rose, and meteors came shooting down. The gods were struck with fear. Vishnu and the gods came running to four-faced Brahma of Great Erudition and Mantras and eulogized and gave Him an earful of complaints. He looked at the trembling gods and human beings and by divine vision he saw the cause of this misfortune. (In the temple Gopuras, Siva is carved in stone as a beggar. The Yogin of yogins loves to beg for food with a saunter, and a trudge as day goes by, carrying his skull-bowl which reeks of rotting food inviting the hawks to take a swoop for a plunder. He wears barks for clothes and begs the snake to shed its skin for his use. Between beggings, interludes are spent in dancing with fire. Having jackals as his audience, he stages his dance in the burning ground. The ash smeared on his body and the russet matted locks fly all around him as he spins. The moon that he wears on his crest shines his handsome face and the ground. His music and songs are enchanting and the women are beside themselves as they witness his dance, his smile, and his handsome frame and listen to the music. The earth shakes and the palmyra fruits fall to the ground. Sometimes he is accompanied by Munis and his Spouse. He loves playing Vina. Sometimes he wears elephant skin, sometimes silk on his waist. when he discards his reeking bowl, the smell of sandal paste on his body is telling. This universe is his; his swagger and jaunt are telling and unmistakable. Why does he beg? He owns this cosmos, why beg? Begging is atonement for cutting one of the five heads of Brahma who told a blatant lie that he found the upper end of Fiery Lingam. He begs from the wives of Rishis as he makes his way from Daruka forest to Varnasi [Benares] to obtain absolution. ) Adisesha, the serpent (bed of Vishnu), heard about the Ananda Tandavam from Vishnu, and by celestial grapevine and very much wished to see the Dance. With Vishnu's permission and offering prayers to Siva, Adisesha descended to earth as Patanjali, the son of Anasuya and Atri, and the expounder of Kundalini Yoga. Another story goes like this: Sesa left his son in charge of his portfolio, takes a composite chimeric form (Patanjali, see below the half serpent and half man image), burrows into the subterranean region of Nagas (snakes), and climbs up a conduit leading to Chidambaram, which was said to sit on the top of a mythological mountain. Patanjali is depicted in East gopuram as having a head, upper torso, and hands of a human, from the navel down a body of snake with tail hanging in front, and from the shoulder up, a protective hood with five snake heads. It appears that Adisesha (Patanjali) did not really give up his serpentine body but assumed a form of upper half man and lower half snake (Composite Chimera: part man, part snake in this instance). Patanjali is famous as the author of his namesake Sastra, Patanjali Sastra, which deals with Kundalini Yoga.
Patanjali: credit: exoticindia.com Skanda Purana I.ii.33.21-22 identifies Lord Siva-Nataraja as Srikantha who swallowed and retained the Halahala poison which was destructive to the Cosmic Egg. Siva-Nataraja, having become concerned and distressed by the impending danger to the Cosmic Egg performed the Tandava Dance of misery. In Greek mythology, you heard about Centaurs, part horse and part man living in the mountains of Thessaly and Arcadia. The Centaurs were driven by animal passion. They were the draft animals for the chariot of wine god Dionysus driven by Eros, the god of love, which spoke
of their proneness to inebriation and debauchery. Some Greek mythologists are of the opinion that the centaurs were the creation of imagination, living in the mountains and forests. Centaur is a composite of a human being in the front and of a body and legs of a horse. Centaur was man from waist up, and horse (animal) from waist down and backwards. They used tree limbs as weapons. One of the Centaurs, Chiron, broke the mold of his race, and became a wise physician. Chiron taught medicine to Asclepius, son of Apollo (god of prophesy, truth and healing) and nymph Coronis. Zeus, the king of gods, equal to Indra, the chief of gods, wielder of thunderbolt, afraid that Asclepius (Danvantri of Hindu mythology) would confer immortality to all men (Ambrosia-Amrta of Hindu mythology) sent a
thunderbolt to Asclepius and killed him. Note some commonality between Zeus and Indra, and Asclepius and Danvantri. Danvantri took charge of Ambrosia, nectar of immortality, obtained from Milk Ocean. Temples were built for Asclepius and people slept in the temple premises in the hope that Asclepius would heal them in their dreams. Asclepius is portrayed as a bare- and broad-chested muscular physician, sporting a long cloak, and a staff with a serpent coiled around it. Caduceus, a superficial variation of the authentic icon of medicine, consists of a winged staff with intertwined serpents, and is the magical wand of Hermes or Mercury, "the god of roads, commerce, invention, cunning, and theft." It is hoped that the physicians are aware of what their symbol stands for, which does not speak well of them. Patanjali = Pata + Anjali = fall + apposed palms in salutation. He and Vyaghra-pada set up their hermitages at Tillai in Chidambaram. Siva decided to give them Darsan (live appearance), but Kalika Devi, the resident goddess would not permit that to happen. Kali just moved into the forest of Tillai after defeating and killing Sumbha and Nisumbha. Some sources say that she and her minions terrorized the neighboring villages and towns. Another version of this depicts Kali and her companions were disrupting worship of Siva in the pine forest of Tillai. The devotees submit a complaint to Siva against Kali. Siva and Parvati decided that Kalika (Kali) Devi had no right to inflict her unfair will on others. They invited Kalika Devi for pas de deux (actually it was a Dance contest) in the presence of devotees and it was decided that the winner would be the ruler of Tillai. In his famous dance at Nritta Sabha (Dance Hall), Siva's right ear ring fell on the dance floor and in a fluid movement of Dance, he picked it up with his right foot and appended it
on his right ear by carrying the right foot to the earlobe in balletic feat and grace and no one noticed it at all. You can see the earring hanging from the big toe of the right foot. It is suspected that this balletic move exposed his genitalia for public view. That dance was Urdhva Tandavam (High Dance) (inset: credit exoticindia.com), which involves the straight-line raising of the foot above the head in balletic grace. (West and East Gopura depict Urdhtandavamurti raising his right foot well above his crown.) Kali (Bhadrakali) being a goddess would not perform such balletic move of raising the foot to the earlobe because it would mean an immodest move by a woman in the dance . Thus, Siva became the god of Tillai. This dance took place in Nrtta Sabha (built by Kulottunga III ) of Chidambaram and Ruby hall (Rathna Sabha) in Tiruvalangadu; there is a bronze of Kali and Siva doing the dance of Urdhatandava. Urdh-tandavamurti sculptures are seen in south, west and east gopura in Chidambaram. In Nrtta Sabha, an image of Kali keeps company with Urdha-tandava Siva. There is a Kali temple about a mile north east of Nataraja Temple, where Kali sports four heads, representing four Vedas. There is also a Sarabha shrine in Nrtta Sabha; this is the king of birds (Sarabha-Siva) that killed Man-lion Narasimha close to Urdhatandava and Kali. There had been amity between Siva and Vishnu all along Siva declared many times that He and Vishnu are one and the same. But there have been a few fatal encounters with Siva, when Vishnu was in the form and incarnation of Turtle, and Narasimha. Vishnu had been defeated by Siva a few times: Boar and Vamana. Tandavam: Leaping, jumping. Tāndu: leap or jump. Anandatandavam (Leaping for Joy Dance): Ecstatic dance of Siva, as exhibited in the shrine at Chidambaram. This dance of Lord Nataraja is the dance of creation, maintenance, sublation, obscuration and grace. The drum stands for creation, abhaya stance for maintenance, the fire for destruction, the left foot standing on Pasmarapurusa for obscuration and the raised right foot for Anugraha or revealing Grace.
(You heard about and might have seen Radio City Music Hall Rockettes perform eye-high kick which is anatomically a straight-leg movement forwards and upwards without dislocating the head of the femur from the socket; what you see when the leg is up, is the high heel with the sole and the back of the knee. Lord Nataraja's sky-high forward and later sideways movement involves medio-lateral rotation of the head of the femur to a complete range of 180° in its socket and later a medial and inferior dislocation of the femoral head out of the socket when the right leg is held up, the patella (knee cap) and the dorsum of the foot (instead of the sole) are facing the spectator; it is quite a feat. When he brings the leg down there is a spontaneous reduction of dislocation in a fluid movement.) Lord Nataraja performed Ananda Tandavam in a Sabha (Hall) for Tiger Foot (Vyaghra-pada), Patanjali, Rishis, devotees and Sivakamasundari. The assembled devotees begged Siva to stay in Tillai and continue performing his Dance. His dance was captured in a bronze idol of Nataraja in Chidambaram. Nataraja = King of Dance, Lord of Dance. He is the Lord of Tandava and not Tarantism, a maniacal uncontrollable desire to dance precipitated allegedly by the bite of Tarantula. He performed his Cosmic Dance in the hall of Consciousness (Chit Sabha, the main shrine or Chitrambalam) with his left foot raised. It is the Dance of creation, maintenance, destruction, veiling and grace (Pancha Krityas, five acts of Siva). Three Saktis (Iccha Sakti, Jnana Sakti and Kriya Sakti) worship at the feet of the Lord of Dance in Chit Sabha. He willed (Iccha Sakti) to alleviate the suffering of Jivas, the individual life-souls, save, bring them back and offer refuge at his feet; he creates this world with that purpose in mind. Jnana Sakti is the knowledge that reposes in him and creates this world because Iccha Sakti by itself is not executory. Kriya Sakti is creation itself. Sivakamasundari standing beside him is Iccha Sakti. Sivakamasundari in a separate temple is Jnana Saksti Durga in a separate temple serves as Kriya Sakti. As it is obvious, the Saktis are his consorts; he has one consort with different names, manifestations, functions, and divine duties. Three consorts of Siva representing three Saktis create problems for Siva in the mind of the poet. Sivakamasundari in Chit Sabha standing beside him expresses jealousy and rancor because Siva dared to come to her in the morning to Chit Sabha, after spending the night with Jnana and Kriya Saktis. The daughter of Mountain expresses her vexation, saying "You don't need me, no one wants me. Go back to the riverside to cohabit with my companions, Jnana and Kriya Saktis. You sport with them all night long and have the audacity to show up here in the morning." The Lord of Dance appeased her. Para Sakti is in charge of all five functions of the Lord: creation, maintenance, dissolution, veiling and grace She creates out of Maya, the Tattvas: Pure, Pure/Impure, and Impure Tattvas. The Lord performed Anandatandava for the first time in Daruka forest after Amsa (part manifestation) of Parvati killed a demon in the forest. Siva Nataraja performs a wide repertoire of dances of which seven are the most important: Ananda Tandavam1, Sandhya Tandavam2, Gauri Tandavam3, Tripura Tandavam4, Kali Tandavam5 (Urdhva Tandavam), Muni Tandavam6, and Samhara Tandavam7. All dances are performed by the Lord to please Uma-Parvati, consort of Siva Nataraja. Every now and then, Siva takes Parvati on an aerial ride on his mount Nandi through length and breadth of India, shows her the golden peak of Kedara, Kasi (Benares or Varnasi), Kanchipuram, Arunagiri, Svetaranya, Vedaranya and comes back to Chidambaram, his home base.
Tripuram: The aerial cities of gold, silver, and iron burnt by Siva. Sandhya Tandavam: The main guest for this dance performed at Kailash is Gauri, the consort of Siva. Other invited participants are Veena-playing Sarasvati, flute-playing Indra, singer Lakshmi, Mridangam-playing Vishnu, and Cymbal-playing Brahma. The invited guests are the Gandharvas, Yakshas, Patagas, Uragas, Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Amaras, and Apsaras. Sages, Rishis, Holy Men and devotees have not seen this dance. Tirumular mentions the five dances of Siva in verse 2723: Sivananda Dance, Sundara Dance, Golden Dance, Golden Tillai Dance, and Wondrous Dance. Verses 2724 to 2803 describe these dances in detail. Sivananda Dance: The Lord performs this dance with Sakti in the vast endless space beyond the Sun Mandala, the sphere of the sun which stands for one of his Saktis, Jnana. Vedas and Agamas, Gita (melody), seven universes, five gross elements, all the worlds, and Nada Sakti are the fellow participants in this Dance of knowledge and Bliss. Panchakrityam (five functions, Creation, Sustenance, Destruction, Veiling and Grace) unfolds as he dances. He created during this dance five elements, and worlds of Bhoga (enjoyment), Yoga, Time, Mukti (liberation), passions and thirsts. The Supreme Siddha, Lord Siva, danced in five Suddha Tattvas. See TATTVAS-36 for details. Mular says that Devas, Asuras, Humans, Siddhas, Vidyadharas, the Trinity, 33 gods, seven Rishis, and all creation, both mobile and immobile, danced along with Nataraja. Sundara Dance (Beauty Dance): The dark-blue-throated Lord performed this dance for his consort Uma in the arena beyond the seven universes. At the beginning of the dance, the worlds come into existence and at the end of the dance, they come to an end. In the forest of Devadaru, the Lord of Dance destroyed the challenging Rishis. Tillai (Chidambaram) and Alavanam are the other places he performed this dance. He dances all through the cosmos. He also dances in Susumna Nadi; once he enters this Nadi, he never leaves. Go to Kundalini Power for more details. He dances in Jnana and Yoga. He dances nine dances for nine Saktis; he dances in the thoughts of his devotees; by his dance, he delights the Jivas and Saktis; he dances in the forests. He dances in five Saktis, five forms of Siva, eight muktis, eight siddhis, eight Siva states, and eight suddhies. He dances in Chit Sabha that is the heart of the temple-town, nation, world and universe. At the feet of dancing Siva lie seven clouds, seven oceans, seven bodies, seven Sivasuns, seven appetites, seven Santis (appeasement). Golden Hall Dance: Five faces adorn Siva facing south, east, north, west, and skyward. South (Right) Aghora Destruction and regeneration East (front) Tatpurusa Supreme Spirit North (left) Vamadeva Healing and sustenance West (back) Sadyojata Creation Skyward Isana Grace
Siva also has a hidden sixth face (Tamasa face) which has the color of Nilakanta (blue throat) caused by poison Kalakuta from the Ocean of Milk. Kaalakuuta / kalakuta = Ambassador or emissary of Death. He is also known as Shitikantha (peacock-throated). The Lord with five
faces dances in five elements under three conditions: Formless (Arupa), Form/formless (RupaArupa), and Form (Rupa). His original and intrinsic state is one of formlessness (Arupa) which is called Sivam. His act of love for the souls manifests in a form, Mahesvara; the intermediate state between form and formlessness is Sadasiva. When you consider Suddha Tattvas (Siva, Sakti, Sadasiva, Mahesvara and Suddha Vidya Tattvas), Mahesvara is engaged in obscuration and Sadasiva confers Grace. What Mahesvara conceals, Sadasiva reveals. Those who witnessed the Golden hall Dance attain the feet of the Lord. Mular says that he sat still like a picture under the influence of Siva as he danced the Dance of Jnana. Tarparan ( That Supreme; Tatpara / Supreme Being) dances in the hearts of the Jivas--individual souls. The devotees lose control over their emotions, dance, sob, feel fear, lose consciousness and fall in a faint, upon witnessing the dance. Desire and sorrow leave them; thoughts become pure and steady; Prana (breath) finds its way up the Nadi in yoga; senses gain reins on them; heart seeks and finds bliss. Such is the power of witnessing the Dance. The Lord dances with Kali, demons, world, water, fire, wind, and sky; he dances day in and day out in the temple. He dances in the spinal column (Axis Mundi or Stambha), and the Nadis, Ida, Pingala, and Susumna. Golden Tillai Dance: He dances on a stage made of five elements; seven worlds are his abode; Kundalini Sakti is the sacred dancing hall. He is the Supreme Light that danced in ecstasy. He dances with Sakti. The primal Supreme Lord danced Fire in his hand, danced his sacred matted locks, danced in exhilaration and joy, he danced the moon on his crest, he danced the dance of Nadanta in union with Nada. There are seven universes, 21 worlds, 108 religions to show the path to God. His supreme sacred feet danced with his other half, the Sakti. He dances in four states of Bliss: Nada, Nadanta, Natana and Natananta (Sound, edge of Sound (be-all and end-all of Sound, Beyond Sound), or silence dance and edge of Dance, be-all and endall of Dance, Beyond Dance, Sacred Dance). Nadanta exists in Svadhisthana, Manipura, and Visuddha Chakras at the level of pubis, navel, and throat. Nada exists in Anahata or heart plane. He dances in all the Chakras, Mandalas and beyond: Muladhara, Svadhistahana, Manipura, Anahata, Ajna, and Sahasrara, Fire, Sun and Moon Mandalas or spheres. He dances in Veda, on the top of the Fire of Kundalini, in Bodha (Pure Consciousness), with celestials, in sacred temples, and with the three Gods and Minis. Nadanta Dance is a Dance in the void, beyond the limits or edges of sound (be-all and end-all of sound), where there is deafening silence, where the air, the fire and the world are dead, and where the beginnings of movement (Nada = Sound) and Light (Bindu) take place, where Siva and Sakti transform from pure Consciousness and Supreme Power and tone down to Suddha Tattvas, Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas, and Asuddha Tattvas of the material world. Nadanta Dance forms the basis for Saiva Siddhanta philosophy where tetralogy consisting of Siva, Sakti, Nada, and Bindu play exclusive roll in the unfolding of the universe; this is evolution. Involution is the inverse order where the Tattvas (building blocks) involute backwards into Nada and Nadanta, the latter being the Void, Sunya or black hole, where only Siva and Sakti exist, having become the repository of all Tattvas in their subtle state. (Para Sound or transcendental Sound (Nada Tattva) originates from Siva Tattva, the First of the Suddha Tattvas and remains there in its most subtle state. (See file, Tattvas-36, for details on Tattvas.) Para Sound (Para Sabda) stays unmanifested in Kundali Sakti according to Tantras.
Pasyanti or visual sound originates from Sakti Tattva (Kundali Sakti), the 2nd of the Suddha Tattvas. Since Pasyanti sound is visual, Sakti Tattva is also known as Bindu Tattva, Bindu for Light. Creation is Sound and Light Show and therefore, Nada and Bindu are two sides of the same coin. But Nada is recognized as the origin of Bindu. While the coin is minted, Nada is the first stamp on the coin and Bindu is the 2nd stamp.) He declared, "I am the religion, I am the Guru, I am the six ways to liberation. I chose Chidambaram temple in South to do the Dance Inimitable." He dances in limitless vast spaces; his effulgent dancing feet rise to heavens and reaches five-lettered Nada's point, though they descend to bless his devotees. The dances are very many; the foot movements are many; the songs are many; the sounds of jingling anklets are many; seek them all in your heart; you are freed from rebirth for ever. As Prana radiates from your heart to your limbs and sense organs, he dances on the stage of nine gems; he is the sacred Guru; he is the Red Ruby dancer; he danced in ecstasy on all stages. Wonder Dance (Arbuda Dance): He dances in the form of Guru as he dances in formless form as Tiripurai. She is Uma dancing in form-formless state. It is said that Siva merges with Uma and performs Wonder Dance. Uma comes out of the body of Siva-Uma composite entity and later goes back to merge with him. Siva dances before Uma holding beads, drum, fire, goad, rope, spear, skull, and wearing moon and Ganga. He is Sadasiva, when he dances in his form/formless entity. He is also Gurupara (Supreme Guru). Mular says that Prana rises from inside the head 12 inches above the head to reach Dvâtasântam (Dvatasantam / dvadasanta), which is the mystic center and where the Lord of Nadanta dances. Dvadasanta. There are Âdhāra centers in the body and NirÂdhāra centers are Sahasrara Chakra and above. Adhara = support. Niradhara = without support centers above the sixth Chakra. There are six Adhara Centers in the body: Muladhara, Svadisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddhi, and Ajna each one presided by a deity, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Mahesvara, Sadasiva, and Apara Bindu. Adhara yogam is accomplished by Kundalini yogi who ascends all the six centers to reach the seventh Sahasrara center in the crown presided by Paranada where he unites with Siva. Kundlini yoga is Adhara yogam. Beyond Ajna center, Sahasrara Chakra and other centers are the Niradhara centers without any apparent support reaching it as a group is Niradhara yogam. Jnana and Prana ascend beyond the seven centers and course through eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh sthanas (posts), presided respectively by Parabindu, Paranada, Parasakti and Parasiva. Beyond these eleven centers is the 12th and furthest ultimate point of yogic journey (the Ultima Thule), Dvadasanta. This journey from Sahasrara chakra to the 12th point in space is Niradhara Yogam which is the state of the soul, when it loses its selfconsciousness, attains Sivahood and remains without any attachment. Reaching Dvadasanta Siva (Paraipara) in Jnana form is Bliss. (Please note that there are several variants of the theme in different texts.) Many other texts say that this center is 12 inches above the crown as opposed to the above description. Realization from the 8th to 12th is progressively deeper and the 12th is ultimate experience (ultima Thule). Dvādasāntham / Tvādasāntham (Tamil)
1. (Yoga.) A mystic centre which is believed to be 12 inches above crown
2. (Yoga.) The 12th and last stage of experience of the soul in yoga practice Lightning, wind, nimbus clouds, rainbow, sky and thunder arise in the external space; in the internal space, he is Light itself; he is of the form of Light and stays hidden in the body; he is also the effulgent radiant rays of the six Chakras. The Lord dances for those devoid of delusion and envy (mamaya). The Lord stands in five elements, spreads in eight directions, rises up and down, transcends human intelligence and is divine Bliss. The dancer merges with Sakti, stainless Bliss, and pure Jnana the dancer merges with his consort in dance. The Lord and Sakti, which took half of his body, danced, which I (Mular) witnessed; he danced for the Jivas shrouded in Maya; he stands as redemption, while he dances his eternal dance. The astral space between the eyebrows within the forehead is Chidambaram where he dances; there you will find mantra OM, if you focus your eyes; you will find Dancing Siva there, if in earnest you look for him. He dances on the seven stages of the vast universe, many Tattvas, Sadasiva, Susumna Nadi, Sâthavi (absolute goodness as sakti), Sambavi (Parvati, as the Sakti of Sambhu, Siva), and Kundalini. The astral flower and its four petals in Muladhara Chakra lights up the entire dance stage and blossoms into 100 petals and many universes in the vast space. There are seven crores (1 crore = 10 million) each of universes, various life forms, oceanhugging continents, and Lingas these are the temples, where the Lord performs his cosmic Dance. The vastness of space is his body; demon Muyalakan is the darkness in the space; the eight directions are his flailing arms; his three eyes are Sun, Moon and Fire; he dances in the space stage, which is his Cosmic Body. The dance stage is his creation, his holy feet, Water and Fire Mandalas (spheres), and five letters (Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya). He performs the Pândaranga dance at the end of dissolution of the universe. Pândaranga = Pânda + Ranga = Whiteness + dance Stage = Dance of Siva when he destroyed Tripura --in one of his eleven dances. The pipes are playing; the drums are reverberating with beats; humming of Aum hymns pervades the air; the feet are dancing. "That is the Lord, dancing," so say the Ganas and Bhutas (attendants of Siva). Tripurai is in flames; Lord Siva performs his Pandaranga dance - the Dance of dissolution. The devas (celestials) near and far, the holy devotees of ocean-hugging world continents drank the dance of the sacred lotus feet of Siva with their eyes thus soaking in bliss; they attained final beatitude (Gathi). As tamarind elicits salivation, the dance elicits tears of joy in the spectators; they melt in love of Lord of Dance; Light of Bliss rises in the hearts. The nine (six chakras, the sun, the moon and the fire) danced the sixteen (the sixteen petals of Visuddha Chakra lotus) danced six loving faiths (Vaishnavas, Saivas, Saktas, Sauras, Ganapatyas and Kaumaras; the worshippers of Vishnu, Siva, Devi, Sun, Ganapathy and Kaumara (Skanda, Kumaran, Murugan (Shanmuga -six faces, or Kartikeyan) danced Seven melodies (Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da, and Ni) 28 rhythmic beats and the Love dance. He danced the Ananda Dance (Dance of Bliss). Ananda = Ân + anta = No + limit = Bliss. The Lord descended as the Supreme Light. A, U, and M, and Na, Ma, Si, Va, and Ya became 360 rays (360 days). He danced in the three pasas (bondages), the dance of Mohanta (elimination of confusion of mind, mental darkness). When the creator dances, the created worlds dance with him; he dances in our thought and heart. The tattvas danced; Sadasiva danced; thoughts danced; Siva-Sakti danced; the Vedas danced; the Lord danced the Dance of Ananda. He danced in Chidambaram in his form, formless, and cosmic
form for Tiger foot and Patanjali Rishis. Vyaghrapada = Tiger foot. Siva danced ;Sakti Danced; Tattvas danced; he danced inside the Truth, Vedanta-Siddhanta. Nadanta is the end of Nada (Sound); Bodhanta is the end of Bodha (knowledge, be-all and end-all of knowledge) Vedanta is the end of Vedas. Vedangas are the limbs, extensions or auxiliary to the Vedas. Vedanga consists of six parts: 1. Siksa (knowledge, art, skill correct pronunciation and articulation, 2. Chandas (prosody), 3. Vyakarana (Grammar), 4. Nirukta (etymological interpretation), 5. Jyothisa (astronomy), 6. Kalpa (rituals and rules for ceremonial sacrifices). Here is a list of apparently contradictory qualities of Siva which the devotees in love and devotion praise. Many of them reveal the multi-faceted sides of Siva. Siva, the Supreme God of contrasts and confluence. Siva is all sweetness in his form with innumerable gunas and yet He is the Immutable above Gunas (Niskalatattva = Tattva without parts or prakrti). His substance and seat are Tamasa Guna and thus he is Tamogunamaya (replete with Tamoguna). Though seated on the throne of Tamasaguna, he is effulgent like a silver mountain. He is the Supreme Guru, the Guru of all Gurus endowed with spiritual knowledge (Brahma Vidya). His habitat is cremation grounds, though He owns the whole universe. He is Maharudra of destruction and ocean of peace in one Being. He is the Sadhaka of all Sadhakas, austere and yet he is all Joy, Mercy and Love. He is Virūpāksa, having eyes not conforming to usual appearance and form. His eyes are dreamy-looking, ptotic*, and slanting from inside outwards, giving the appearance of having been stoned with bhang**. ptotic* = half-closed or droopy eye lids. bhang** (bang), n. 1. a mild preparation of marijuana made from young leaves and stems of the Indian hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, drunk with milk or water as a fermented brew or smoked for its hallucinogenic effects. (RHD) As you notice here, in day to day language, it is insulting to say that a person appears stoned with Bhang. In this instance, Siva is characterized as queer-eyed and dopey-looking. It is not an insult but a portrayal of his appearance. He is the owner of the half of the body of the daughter of the mountain (Parvati; AdrijA = mountain-born), though He is One Unity. That is the portrayal of Ardhanarisvara. He is companionless though he seeks companionship with Parvati. He is the Supreme Exponent of Vairagya and A-Kāma, though he appears always coupled with his consort (Yugala form = coupled form). He confers Kaivalya unasked to all souls in Benares. He is the Grantor of the fruits of action (Karmaphala) to the whole Universe. Though he is the most wrathful, He is easily appeased. He is white in complexion with blue throat.
White Siva (Exoticindia.com) click to enlarge zp10_small.jpg
Notes July 2009: Definition of Blue Dog Democrat: They walk like a Democrat but bark like a Republican. Everybody knows that Siva has a blue throat hence the name Nilakantappa-- the one with blue throat. He swallowed the poison from the churning ocean to save humanity and gods. His spouse Parvati choked (?) His neck so that he did not have to swallow the poison and die. The poison stayed in the throat and changed the neck from white to blue color. The democrats who are fiscally conservative are named Blue Dog democrats and the Blue Dog Coalition
was formed in 1994. The normal Yellow Dog was choked blue by the left-leaning democrats so much so the Dog turned blue, meaning that the Blue Dog Democrat is a democrat outside but has some qualities of a Republican in the inside. Some democrats wrested the legislative seats from the Republicans by becoming a Blue Dog Democrats. They walk like a Democrat but (quack, rather) bark like a Republican. He is the savior of the three worlds, though he swallowed the deathly Halahala poison coming out of the milk ocean. And yet he is the destroyer of the Universe. Though he indulges in adorning himself with serpents, he is the Lord of dispassion. He sports the moon on his head, though it is covered by matted hair. Though He carries the axe and trident and appears to project fear and dismay, He dispels fear and confers Bliss. Though He is stepped on and trampled under the feet of Devi and He is prostrate at Her feet, He is the Grantor of Moksa or liberation. Siva is Sava (dead) without Sakti; Sakti without Siva has no consciousness. Mahabhairava is Joy incarnate, though he drinks wine of joy. He broadcasts Abhaya Mudra (fear-not pose of hands), though He is Bharaiva (frightful Being) Himself. He shows five faces, though he is thousandheaded. He shows three eyes, though they see in all directions. He is Digambara (naked) robed in space, though he is Space Himself. He shows eight forms (Ashtamurti--the five elements plus the sun, the moon and the ascrificing priest), though he is of infinite forms. Go to Siva's eight forms. He is knowledge and its preceptor. He is the liberator and the Liberation. He is the Lord of Kailas and Kasi, though He is the Lord of the Universe. He is the Lord of the Spirit world and Bhutapati (the Lord of beings). He is Pasupati, though he destroys the Pāsas of Pasus. Pasas (Pāsas) are the bonds which keep the ignorant man bound to Samsara. The bonds are pity, ignorance, shame, family, custom and caste. (page 303--Principles of Tantra Part II by Sir John Woodroffe.) He has fire in his forehead third eye and holds Ganga in his matted locks. He is the destroyer of Daksa's Yajna, though He is the Yajnesvara (Lord of Yajna). Go to SIVA'S FURY DAKSA. Devi's death at Daksa's Yajna caused grief in Siva, though He is above Moha and MAyA (infatuation and delusion). He is the son-in-law of the King of mountains, though he is the Lord of the Mountains and is beyond any relationships (Akula). He is self-born. He fathers Heramba (Ganesa), though He is attributeless Parabrahman beyond all causes. He is the Linga, the source of the origin of the universe. He is YogaNidra though he is attainable by Karma, Jnana and Yoga. He is the cause of Yoganidra (Yoga sleep), the Sakti that brings about involution and unity with Siva. Yoganidra is meditation sleep, which facilitates a full deployment of mental powers in a Yogi. He is the refuge of all his devotees, though he is the destroyer of the three worlds. He is the companion of the Bhaktas (devotees), though he is attainable by Jnana Yogis well versed in the spiritual knowledge. He holds the hands of the poor and the helpless, though he is the Lord of the Universe. He is the revealer of Mantras, though he is the object of worship by Mantras and Yantras. He is Rajarajesvara (King of kings) in the devotee's heart, though he is the Isvara (the Supreme Ruler or Controller) of the universe. Here is the story of how Lord Siva came to wear a sliver of the moon on his hair. Soma (Moon) married 27 daughters of Daksa, the twenty-seven lunar asterisms. He was so much in deep love and devotion to his fourth wife Rohini that others complained to their father Daksa who cursed him to be childless and suffer from consumption (Tuberculosis). His health and body waned, which made the wives pity him and asked their father to repeal his curse. Daksa refused and modified the curse so that there would be gradual waning alternating with waxing but no disappearance.
Here is another version. Vishnu in the form of Mohini separated the gods from the demons. The purpose was to let the gods imbibe the nectar of Immortality and con the demons out of their share because they did not deserve the nectar. One of the Daityas (Rahu) got wise, disguised himself as an Aditya (god), sat between the sun god and moon god, and drank the nectar. The Sun and the moon gods knew a Daitya if they saw one even in the dark and immediately reported him to the Lord, who sent his spinning discus to slice his head off his neck, as he was drinking the nectar. Since Rahu tasted the nectar but before he had a chance to gulp it down, the discus cut off his head with the result that the head survived and the body died! (Now you know where the expression 'Talking heads' came from!) Lord Brahma accepted the Daitya Rahu‘s head as a planet. This painting shows the head of Rahu without his body. He was naturally angry with the sun and moon and therefore he tried to swallow the sun and the moon which explains the solar and lunar eclipses. The Adityas (the gods) were always serving at the feet of the Lord and therefore the Lord gave them the nectar of immortality. The Daityas were not the devotees of the Lord and never sought him and therefore they never had the chance to imbibe the nectar. Yet another version of why the moon waxes and wanes. Soma (Moon) performed a sacrifice and became powerful, so much so the he took away Tara, the wife of Brihaspati, the preceptor of gods. Brahma‘s entreaties did not persuade Soma to part with Tara. Soma impregnated Tara according to later admission by Tara. Indra and gods sided with Brihaspati, while the Danavas and Daityas joined the Soma camp. A war broke out between gods and demons. Siva sliced Soma into pieces and wore a sliver of him on his hair acquiring the name Chandrasekhara (the moon-crested one). Siva devoured Sukracharya (grandson of Bhrgu), the high priest of the demons and released him through his urinary passage. Tara gave birth to Budha (the planet Mercury). Sivananda is the Bliss of Siva; Sadasivananda is without end in all; he dances Siva Natana; he is the Nada Brahman (Brahman of Sound). He, by his hand gesture, signals "Si" inviting his devotees to come and merge with him. "Va" signal removes fear in Tapasvins. "Ya" signal invites the celestials. Na signal comes from fire-holding hand. Ma signal emanates from his planted right foot thus. Hhe dances his entire five-letter mantra: Na, Ma, Si, Va, Ya. Entity The soul‘s journey to Grace Limbs Na Veiling or Tirodhana Left posterior hand holding the blazing fire Ma Mala or impurity The right planted foot is Ma. Si Lord Siva The right posterior hand that holds the drum is Si Va Arul or Grace The right anterior hand, offering grace is Va Ya The Jiva or individual soul The left anterior hand offering refuge is Ya
Panchaakshara (Five Syllables) Body Parts@. letter,
assigned to body part, is contemplated.
is Na. Tirodhana the feet
Dynamic Panchaakshara of Nataraja. Siva‘s five functions in Nataraja stance
Fire in the hand
The Universe the abdomen or navel Right foot on Muyalakan
Lord Siva the shoulders
Revealing Grace The mouth or face outstretched hand
The Jiva The eyes or the head. left anterior hand, dispelling fear
Destruction (left posterior hand with flame).
Concealing Grace, planted right foot.
Creation, right posterior hand with the drum.
Revealing Grace, left anterior hand pointing down to left foot--Jiva's refuge
Maintenance (Sthiti), right anterior hand with supinated upright palm. (A-bhaya mudra—fearnot symbol) [high-five position of palm] Akasa or ether Akasa and Sadasiva
Five Elements Muladhara triangleKundalini AUM Perpetual Bliss Jnana (knowledge) Pure Joy Tandava dance of dissolution merges in Agamic Mantra Pati-Pasu-Pasa Triangle Siva and Sakti A and U The dance letters of Siva‘s rhythmic dance steps.
Earth Earth and Brahma
Water Water and Vishnu
Fire Fire and Rudra A (Siva) Bliss Knowledge Pure Joy Si
Air Vayu and Rudra U (Sakti) Bliss
Bliss Knowledge Pure Joy
Pure Joy Va
A (Sadasiva) Pati A (Srim) Body of Siva
U (Sadasiva) Pasu U (Krim) Body of Siva A
Five groves@@ Five hoods of snake@@ Five finger@@ five Cupid's arrows@@ Soul caught between malas on one hand and concealment and Grace on the other hand.
Na is Mala
Ma is Mala
Si is Siva's concealment
Va is Siva's Grace
Ya is the soul
Mular elaborates on the Dance of Siva in Tantra (fourth Chapter) as follows: 884: I worship thee I praise thee His wisdom is my refuge. He is always in my thought I seek relief at the Holy Feet of the Lord. I explain Siva yoga. I recite the One Letter (AUM) which is Lord Himself. 885: By one Letter (A), he became the world by two Letters (A,U), he became two--Siva and Sakti by three Letters (A,U,M), He became the effulgent Jyoti (Jyoti = light = Jnana = wisdom). By Letter M, Maya made its appearance. Comment: go to files: 1) Om Namasivaya. 2) Yogi rides the Sound Waves of OM
Prof. Shastri. Translation of Siva Purana, Book one, page 148: Jyotirlingas are twelve in number: (I) Somanātha at Somanath Pattan, Gujarat, (2) Mallikārjuna or Srīsaila (on a mountain near the river Kṛṣṇā) , (3) Mahākāla, Mahakalesvara (at Ujjain), (4) Omkara Mandhata on the Narmada, (5) Amaresvara (at Ujjain) ,(6) Vaidyanatha also called Naganatha (at Deogarh Bengal), (7) Ramesa or Ramesvara (on the island of Ramesvara ); (8) Bhima Sankara (in the Rajamundrv district), (9) Visvesvara at Benares, 10) Nageshvar on the banks of the Gomati, (11) Gautamesa, also called Varnesvara (not located), (12) Kedarnatha in the Himalayas. You may notice there is no concurrence in various descriptions. The Lord carries many names for His one aspect. Some listings are out of sequence. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
886: Chitrambalam is where Devas live Chidambaram is where Devas live Tiru Ambalam is where Devas live The Great Hall of the South (in the Temple at Chidambaram) is where Devas live. Comment: The Sabah or the Great hall in the Temple at Chidambaram is where Lord Nataraja dances Tandava, which is witnessed by Devas, Sadakas, Siddhars, Rishis, and devotees. It is the Hall of Consciousness (Chit Sabah). Tirumular calls AUM as one-letter Mantra, representing Tandava, the Divine Dance of Siva. Tandava is derived from Tandu, a dancer and servant of Siva. Any act performed by Siva is a dance. He is Mahanata. Maha + Nata = Great + Dancer. Nataraja = Dance/Dancer + King = King of Dance or Dancers. The dances are named according to his acts (creation, maintenance, destruction, veiling and Grace), places (Chidambaram), and competition (Urdhva), 25 Lilas (acts of play). The most celebrated dance is the ‗Tandava‘ in Chidambaram. Chidambaram = Chit + Ambaram = Mind or Will + Sky or Space.) If you are a Seer or Rishi full of Brahma and Siva Jnana and Devotee of Siva Nataraja, you can witness the Ananda Tandavam in your inner vision of divine eyes (Divya Caksus), so say the learned ones. End of comment. Chidambaram = Cit + Ambaram = Consciousness + Ether, sky, or atmosphere = Ether Consciousness: this is the Sanskrit version. Chidambaram = Cit + Ambalam = Consciousness + Hall = Hall of Consciousness: this is the Tamil version. Chidambaram is a temple town of great antiquity going back to early Christian era. Sankara visited the town and temple and Periyapuranam was composed in the thousand-pillared hall. Four Saiva Saints (Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikkavacakar) worshipped at the temple. Today Sambandar stands (as a stucco statue) at the South Gate, Appar at the West Gate, Sundarar at the North Gate and Mannikkavacakar at the East Gate. The gates are the entry points in the towers or gopurams. Together with domed Chit Sabha, the five structures represent the five faces of Siva. 887: In the Golden Hall it is a wonder dance the dance is Bliss itself it is sacred dance of Anavarta (eternal) Tandavam that dance is Pralaya (the Great deluge) dance. It is samhara (dissolution) dance. Comment: Siva dances Arpuda, Ananada, Anavarta, Pralaya and Samhara Dances in the Golden Hall. End of comment. 888: Tandavam is that one-letter word (AUM) Tandavam is Anugraha act (of the Lord) Tandava Dance stands alone as the Highest of Dance in the Golden Hall. Anugraha = grace. 889: He is the Supreme Light he stands as all Tattvas he stands as Akāram and Ukāram he is the Supreme Light of Tattva Dance he is himself the earthly support of all. Akāram and Ukāram: Letter A and letter U.
890: He is the highest Paramaparan in every corner of the worlds. In the realm of Fire he is NaMa-Si-Va-Ya in the realm of sun, he is Va-Si-Ya. In the sphere of Yoga, he is Va-Si. Comment: Spheres of Muladhara, Fire, Sun and Moon are the progressively higher centers of Kundalini yoga. Siva is the resident deity in all the centers. In the plane of Muladhara (Kundalini, fist plane), he stands as Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya--Na for earth and Brahma, Ma for water and Vishnu, Si for fire and Rudra, Va for Vayu and Rudra, Ya for Akasa and Sadasiva. NaMaSiVaYa has contextual meanings: Tirumular says that anagram Mantra, Na-Ma-Va-Si-Ya stands in the sphere of Fire VaSi-Ya stands in that of Sun and Va-Si stands in the sphere of Moon, which is the source of nectar of eternity, which the Yogi imbibes. . Chanting Namasivaya drives away the fiery snake of Pasa--bondage. Sivaya Nama is the Sukshma (subtle) Mantra, chanting which eight thousand times reveals the subtle path of Sushumna, destroys karma, and gives the bliss of Siva. For a detailed presentation of AUM (OM) go to POTPOURRI. End of comment. 891: Siva and Sakti are A and U (of AUM). They are supreme and beyond thought. They contain in them the sacred Dance of Siva, transcending human understanding. They are Siva Gati and pure joy. Siva Gati: Refuge at the feet of Siva. 892: Pure Bliss is three (syllables, Si,Va, Ya). The two (Si, Ya) are unitary one in Jnana. The Pure Bliss, Si,Va, Ya, not many know. Those who who know this Bliss will discover (vision) the Ananda Tandava (Dance of Bliss). 893: Masters of many arts and letters recite two letters (A and U). Omkara subsides in five letters (Si, Va, ya, Na, Ma.) The Samkhara Dance (of dissolution) subside in them. This (SIVaYa) residing in (the Muladhara genital) Triangle ascends to other Adharas or Chakras. 894: They (Si and Va) are Sadasiva they are imperishable Agamas. They offer Siva Gati (refuge of Siva) in a manner that the tree is the refuge of bees. They are the sacred Dance they are the sacred text of Agamas. They are the pristine purity of sacred Dance Hall. 895: They (the letters) are Pati, Pasu, Pasam and Agamas of stainless purity. They are the Tirotayakam Bliss. (Bliss of obscuration, on of the attributes of Siva). The pure letters are Anavam, Mayai, and Kamiyam (Ego, Maya, and Desire). The pure letters are the site of Sacred Dance. Tirotayakam = Tirodhana (Sanskrit). Comment: Maintenance includes obscuration or veiling in Sakala Avastha dissolution includes Grace in liberation of the soul. 896: He stands as the head of his own Self he stands himself as his own mountain he stands as his own Self he stands as the Lord of himself. 897: Standing as Talaivan (Headman, Lord, God) is the Supreme Lord of Dance. Standing as Talaivan is Sar-Pāttiram (Worthy recipient for gifts, virtuous person). Standing as Talaivan is the
Lord blossoming of Jnana flower. Standing as Talaivan is the Lord whose feet is beyond compare. 898: The sacred feet of incomparable Lord are the eight letters. The feet of incomparable Lord are (letters) two and five. The feet of incomparable Lord are letters fifty-one. The feet of incomparable Lord are seven thousand. 899: The seven thousand (Mantras) become twenty (plus) thirty (fifty), later swells into seventy million. The seven thousand Mantras beyond thought and calculation subside in the life of seven and two (Mantras). Comment: According to Dr. B. Natarajan, seventy million is a less likely than seven terminal word endings of Mantras: Nama, Svata, Svaha, Vamshat, Vashat, Hum, and Phat. OM Sri Maha Ganapataye namah. (Namah=Salutation.) 900: There are seven thousand Mantras those Mantras have no power. This Mantra is of Siva's holy frame and form. All Mantras take this color and nature. 901: He is by himself in his Dance he stands as A and U. He hums to the Dance of Tattvas. His dance is incomparable in all the worlds. 902: The Dance in two letters is pleasing and joyous. The Dance in two letters is Naman's Dance of dissolution. The Dance in two letters is scorn-free Mantra (Mantra leading to Bliss.) The dancing Siva Lingam transforms Copper-Jiva into golden Siva. Naman = Death, Time personified. 903: Chanting Sivaya Nama turns copper into gold Chit Para turns copper into gold. Chanting "Srim" and "Krim" turns copper into gold. It is the sacred Hall where copper turned into gold. Comment: Chit Para = Intelligence Supreme. It is existent in Sivaya Nama Mantra. Srim and Krim are the Bija (Seed) Mantras of Siva and Sakti they are derivatives of Sanskrit letters. Seed Mantra naturally connotes that other Mantras grow from the seed Mantras. 904: Draw Tiruvambala Chakra draw Tiruvambala Chakra with six lines twice, (six vertical and six horizontal) make twenty-five squares Meditate on them. 905: Chant as follows: Sivaya nama, Sivaya Nama If you chant thus, there will be no more birth. With his Grace, you can witness his eternal Dance. Copper (that is Jiva) turns into gold (that is Siva). 906: Do not chant this Mantra loud Say it sotto voce (or in silence). Golden Mantra in its radiant glow turns your body into gold and in due course of time you will see the Golden Feet of the Lord. 907: You will witness the Golden Feet you will bring forth distinguished children. The Golden Feet will turn copper into gold (jiva into Siva). As you witness the Golden Feet, your body will
turn into a holy one. You shall witness the Dance of the Golden Feet as your thoughts dwell on the Mantra. 908: It is easy to transmigrate into any body. Goodly Madavār will grace you by her presence. As you chant the Mantra, the fiery snake of Pāsa will take leave of you. Chant the Mantra it is the secret of Sacred Dance. Madavār = woman in this context it is Sakti. 909: As you chant the Sukshma (subtle) Mantra eight thousand times, the Sukshma Path shall come into view. The subtle Karma will come to ruin you shall enjoy the Sukshma Siva Ananda. Ananda =bliss. 910: Anandam, Anandam: thus you chant. Anandam, Anandam: A,E,U,I, O (A,E,I,O,U, the lifevowels) are the source of Anandam Anandam, Anandam, they become the five-letter Mantra. Anandam, Anandam, it resides in Hum, Hrim, Hum, Sum, and Aum (the five seed letters). 911: The two-letter (A, U) Mantra is the body (of the Lord) Chant it Sotto Voce. You undergo transformation, as the two-letter Mantra pervades your body. The two-letter body of the Lord becomes five letters: U, A, I, E, O (that are Jiva or individual soul). The two-letter body of the Lord become five letters, I, O, U, A, E that are Siva Dance. 912: The Dance is SiVaYaNaMa. The dance that is I, U, A, E, O, become Sivaya Nama the Dance, that is I, U, A, E, O, become SiVaYa Nama the Dance letters I, U, A, E, O become NaMaSiVaYa, the Supreme goal. 913: He dances as one he dances as two (with Sakti) he dances in three, (Sun, Moon and Fire). He danced in seven worlds he danced on one foot he danced in nine (Saktis). He danced on a stage that is Space he danced the Dance of Ruby. The priests of Chidambaram. The priests of Chidambaram are a hereditary bunch and some are wealthy by Indian standards. A true priest has to undergo Diksa to qualify for his function. His body, mind, and soul have to undergo purification. It starts with external purity internal purity involves involution and absorption of matter into Bindu, the progenitor of Tattvas or Kalas. The final beatitude comes from eradication of all malas (impurities) particularly Anava mala (impurity of the soul). When that happens he attains Nirvana state. The priest has to ascend from the Earth Tattva to Bindu Tattva to attain Nirvana and blossom out as Spirit. As he ascends, he sheds matter and acquires a higher Spirit or Consciousness. This ascent is well described and documented by Kundalini Yogis. Siva's Pure Consciousness is like a diamond and human consciousness is like a common stone. Once the priest becomes a Diksita, he is equal to Siva. This part is described in great detail in Lingapurana Part two, Chapters 19 to 24. <<<<Bindu.htm>>>> for details
Bindu Sakti--Light Energy Nada and Bindu are two saktis (power). Naada (Nada) is sound and Bindu is dot, or point. Nada and Bindu are the progenitors of Tattvas, the building blocks of the universe. Nada is Sakti and Bindu is Siva (Siva-Sakti) Nada is action and Bindu is static Nada is white and Bindu is red. There are three saktis: Iccha, Jnana and Kriya. Iccha Sakti gave rise to Maya which in union with Bindu gave rise to three Mayas or major Tattvas: Suddha, Suddha-Asuddha and Asuddha Mayas. This is the Ma-Kaara mode of Bindu, where diversity finds expression. (AUM is AKaara, U-kaara, and Ma-Kaara.) Sakti's U-Kaara mode is revealed in creation (churning out objects and beings) here, the sakti is operative in Prakriti Tattva, the first of the Asuddha Tattvas/Mayas and the 13th down the line among the 36 Tattvas. The world is fully awake with A-Kaara state, meaning that all Tattvas down to the last Tattva #36, earth, are manifested. Nada is high-born in the sense it arose from Para. In their subtle state they do not have a physical dimension. As they evolve in a linear or cascade fashion, the product acquires a supranormal quality (Pure Consciousness), can acquire a human character as desire or ego, take on a physical dimension such as an eye, can glide on airwaves as sound, or can become earth itself. (When all these entities involute, they collapse (INVOLUTE) into a point, Bindu. That is interesting for we are told that the universe came from a point or dot, the size of a grain of sand.) Nada and Bindu are all aspects of this universe, known and unknown. Even gods came from these entities. Nada in its original intent was an act like the union of two entities with a resultant product: Sodium combining with Chloride is Nada or Mithuna (union). Here "Nada is Mithuna of Siva and Sakti", according to Woodroffe. "Nada is action", where there is a form (Rupa) to the action (Kriya) of power (Sakti), Kriya-Sakti-Rupa. The product in this case is Bindu (Para-Bindu or Supreme Bindu). Para Bindu is a drop, a particle or a dot. It is Light, it is space, it is devoid of decay. Bindu (derived from Parabindu) is one compact, superdense powerpack (Sakti), ready for blossoming out into the building blocks of the universe in an orderly fashion AND NOT WITH A BIG BANG. Maya Sakti brings about blossoming, actualization and unfolding of this universe from Bindu in this cosmic choreography. Para Bindu resides in Sahasrara or thousand petalled Lotus, the seat of Isvara. Empty void (sunya) is in Para Bindu and is Nirguna Siva. Jiva and Kundali are part of Para Bindu. In Sahasrara, the seat of Para Bindu, Sakti of Nirvana, and kalas of Nirvana and Ama and fire of Nibodhika reside. Kalaa / kala generaly means "part." 36 Tattvas, categories, products or building blocks came out of Supreme Bindu. Some were Pure products, some were Impure products and some were half Pure and half Impure: Suddha Tattvas, Asuddha Tattvas and Suddha-Asuddha Tattvas. Maya, born of Bindu, is identified as Asuddha Bindu hence, there is no confusion, when one passage reads that Bindu is the cause of Tattvas and another passage says that Maya is the cause of Tattvas. Mular says Maya arose out of Iccha Sakti and Maya in union with Bindu gave rise to Suddha, Asuddha, and Prakriti--Verse 399. Suddha Tattvas: 1-5 (5) 1. Siva Tattva, 2. Sakti Tattva, 3. Sadasiva Tattva, 4. Isvara or IsaTattva, 5. Suddha Vidya Tattva(m).
The five gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra-Siva, Sadasiva, and Mahesvara were born when Anava Sakti united with Bindu. SuddhaAsuddha Tattvas: 6-12 (7) 6. Maya: material cause of asuddham (impurity) 7. Kaala: Time: determines the duration of soul's experiences. 8. Niyati: destiny which makes soul's experience correspond to the fruits of its own karma. 9. Kalaa: variable aptitude of the soul to spiritual knowledge. 10. Vidya: Soul's ability to discriminate. 11. Raaga: Soul's desire to experience the world. 12.Purusa: Sakalar class soul having all three malas, Maya, Anava, and Kanma . mala = impurity Asuddha Tattvas: 13-36 (24) 13. PrakrtiTattva, 14. Buddhi, 15. Ahamkara 16. Manas, 17. hearing, 18. tactile sense, 19. vision and color, 20. tasting, 21. smell 22. speech, 23. grasp, 24. ambulation, 25. evacuation, 26. procreation, 27. sound, 28. palpation, 29. form, 30. taste, 31. odor, 32. ether, 33. air, 34. fire, 35. water, 36. earth. Dīksâ, Diksa or Diksai is initiation of a disciple into the mysteries of Saiva religion it consists of three stages: Samaya-diksai, Viceta-diksai, and nirvana-diksai (initiatory rites, second or middle step in initiation, which gives the disciple special privilege of making Puja to Siva, and Third and last step, which helps the disciple free himself from the bonds of existence and attain emancipation--Tamil Lexicon). As fire destroys cotton and reduces it into ashes, Diksai reduces all Malas into ashes and obtains liberation. Mantras destroy prarabdha karma and guarantees no rebirth, as fire roasts seeds and renders them unproductive. The earth Guru, on behalf of Siva, transfers all the five elements and the soul on to the rope, equal to the height of the disciple. Now the parts (kalas, elements) are marked in color on the rope. Next day, the Guru, separates the symbolic constituent parts of the rope and casts them in the order in which Nivrtti takes place. Nivrtti Marga is involution backwards (upwards) to Siva Consciousness of the Jiva from its last Tattva, Earth the latter Tattva gets reabsorbed into the former one until all 35 Tattvas are reabsorbed into Siva Tattva. See TATTVAS-36 for details. Earth is reabsorbed into Water which is reabsorbed into Fire and so on through all 35 Tattvas, kalas or parts. This is known as Saantiy-atiita. The fire of Yoga destroys all kalais or Tattvas until the state of Sivahood is reached by the soul the matter gradually perishes in fire as spirit evolves. The elements and matter burn in effigy of rope. Saanti-y-atiita / Santiyatita = Santi + Atita = Quietism + edge, limit = Quietism, be-all and end-all. That is Nirvana. Once the disciple goes through these rituals, the disciple becomes a Guru. Consecration of Guru is known as Acarya-abhiseka, which is the culmination of initiation of a Sadhaka or priest into Guruhood. Abhiseka may involve music, riding a palanquin, lamps, chanting of Vedas, singing and dancing. Diksa is the essential element in the liberation of the soul, because Diksa, causing destruction of Anava Mala, by the grace of Siva brings about liberation.
Chidambaram Nataraja Temple has five Sabhas (halls). Chit Sabha, Deva Sabha, Kanaka Sabha, Nritta Sabha, and Raja Sabha (Chitrambalam, Perambalam, Ponnambalam, Nritta Sabahai, and Raja Sabhai). Chit Sabha consists of stone floor, sandalwood pillars, walls and roof beams, gold-gilded copper tiles and rectangular arched roof (Sikaram). Deva Sabha, also known as Perambalam (Great hall) where the Panchamurtis administer Grace to the devotees. Kanaka Sabha, also known as Ponnambalam (Golden Hall) is in front of the Chit Sabha. Here Spatika Linga receives six daily pujas, while Ratnasabapati gets Abhishekam (ritual ablution). Sanskrit Spatika = Tamil Patika = Crystal; Patika Lingam = Crystal Lingam. Nritta Sabha is located to the south of the flag post of Lord Nataraja. This is where Urdhava Tandavam took place. Raja Sabha is the thousand-pillared hall. The highlights of this hall are MAnikkavasakar made a mute to speak, Sambandar received vision of the Tillai hereditary Brahmana priests of the temple as Siva Ganas (servants), Umapati Sivam made the flag rise on the pole by singing Kodik-kavi (flag poem), SEnthanAr made the stuck temple car move by singing "Pallandu," and Sekkhizar composed and published his magnum opus here on the verbal cue "Ulakelam" (the world over) from Lord Nataraja's heavenly voice.
Chit Sabha, Hall of Consciousness, is the main shrine where the Lord performed Ananda Tandavam. The presiding God is Lord Nataraja Siva in his dancing stance performing Ananda Tandavam. ChitSabha or the Hall of Consciousness houses Nataraja and his consort Sivakami, the latter representing Siva's Will or Iccha Sakti. Other Saktis are Jnana and Kriya Sakti thus, his consort is his Will, Jnana and Kriya. Chitsabha shrine is a hut made of wooden pillars and a roof with golden tiles and two curtains, red inner (enlightenment) and black outer (illusion), in front of which are housed Lord Nataraja and Sivakami. The Rahasya curtains represent the Aroopa (formless) form of Siva and Parvati. Curtains measuring 1.5m high and 3.5m wide covers the background of both Lord Nataraja and the Chidambara Rahasyam. The Chit Sabha also houses Ratnasabhapati (Ruby Nataraja), Spatika Lingam of Chandramauleevara, Bhairavar, Siva's Padukas, golden sandals, Balinayaka murthi and the severed head of Brahma (in the form of Lingam/ mukhalingam) which was cut off for lying to Siva. Go to <<<<FIERY LINGAM>>>> for details. Patanjali's Puja Sutra forms the basis for rituals in worship. Though Agamas are the primary source of Mantras, the Brahmanas pride themselves as having come from a Vedic tradition in North India and use Vedic Mantras. Chit Sabha, the Hall of Consciousness, is the Consciousness of the universe. The Lord of Dance is Pure Consciousness that resides not only in the Hall of Consciousness, but also in the heart of every being. Heart is considered as the seat of Consciousness in a human being. It is said that such a Great Lord resides in a small hall in such manner that he also resides in the nook of the heart. Ramana MahaRishi is of the opinion that spiritual heart is not the same as the anatomical "fleshy" heart and is located in the right side of the chest. Nadis, the land of India, and the Chakras. In the Chit Sabha resides Lord Nataraja. It is the heart of the universe and the seat of Consciousness, which exists in the nook of the heart of every being. The Sabha itself is the body of the Lord. The land mass of India is compared to Mother and the Nadis run through the length of India. Susumna Nadi runs through Chidambaram Ida Nadi runs through Sri Lanka Pingala Nadi goes through Himalayas. Go to <<<<Kundalini Power>>>> for details on Nadis. Temple towns of India are the equivalents of the Chakras in the body: Varanasi, the Ajna Chakra Kalahasti, the Visuddha Chakra Chidambaram, the Anahata (heart) Chakra Arunachala (Tiruvannamalai), Manipura Chakra Jambhukesvara, the Svadhisthana Chakra and Tiruvarur, Muladhara Chakra. To the right of Siva Nataraja is the Chidambara Rahasyam (the Secret of Chidambaram), representative of Akasa or Ether graced by a garland of Vilva leaves, a favorite of Siva, and Yantra behind the leaves. Quote from David Smith, page 256, The Dance of Siva. "Again, Kane, in his long list of pilgrimage sites (very weak on South India) in his authoritative study of Dharmasastra, says that the Cidambaram temple 'contains the "air linga" i.e. no Linga is actually visible but a curtain is hung before a wall and when visitors enter the curtain is withdrawn and the wall is exhibited'"
Siva is Sunya, worshipped by Yogis the yogic path is very difficult to follow to reach Sunya. Those who want to enjoy worldly pleasures should worship the visible and palpable Linga. (Skanda Purana I.ii.33.25-34 Go to <<<<OM NAMASIVAYA>>>> for explanation of Yantra. This is symbolic of creation proceeding from Pure Consciousness of Siva to 36 spiritual and material Tattvas. Go to <<<< TATTVAS-36>>>>>. Curtains of Chidambara Rahasyam are lifted and lamps are waved in ceremonial worship for the devotees to look into the Secret that empty Space is God. Ether stands for Pure Supreme Consciousness. Curtains represent Siva and Parvati. When the curtains are parted, a whole new world comes into view, ignorance dissipates, the Light of Wisdom dawns, SatChitAnanda manifests, and the Lord is the form of Void. Siva and Parvati receive an ensemble of gods
The Lord is endowed with three Saktis: Iccha Sakti, Jnana Sakti and Kriya Sakti in that order. They are Will, Knowledge and Action. Man also has these three saktis in a different order: Knowledge, will, and action. Anyone can have a will but will without knowledge leads to futile or faulty action. The Lord has the Will to act because he has the Knowledge. Surya Mandala is Jnana Sakti Moon Mandala is Kriya Sakti Fire Mandala is Iccha Sakti. These Mandalas are described in Kundalini yoga. Parvati in various names and forms represents all three saktis, one form and name ascribed to one sakti.
Source: Thirumanthiram Pati (Sorupam) is its own self (Pati in situ) and uncreated. It has no beginning, middle, or end is beyond creation, maintenance, destruction, obscuration (or grace) (five functions) is Sat-CitAnanda (Being, Consciousness, and bliss) is void (sunya) in Parabindu, which is Nirguna Siva without any attributes does not possess a gross or subtle form and is pure, all-pervasive, and transcendent. Joseph Campbell explains what transcendent is. In Occidental theology, the word transcendent is used to mean outside of the world. In the East, it means outside of thought. He is Sivam and Parasivam he is beyond thought, word and comprehension. When Sivam showers Grace, he becomes comprehensible and manifests five functions. Pati in his Tatattam
state is manifest controller (Siva Isvara) of the five functions as mentioned earlier. Tatattam as opposed Sorupam, causes Pancha Kiruttiyam, five functions. In Tattatam form, Pati forms a trilateral relationship with Pasu and Pasa. Tattatam = Tadastha in Sanskrit = The aspect of God which causes pancha-kiruttiyam, opposite to Sorupam. In his Tattatam state, he has three forms: Arupam, Rupa-Arupam and Rupam. Arupam is formlessness or an invisible state which is amply manifested in Chidambaram by Akasa (Ether) he is the Void Void is his form that forms the core of Chidambara Rahasyam (secret), the abode of Akasa Lingam in Lord Nataraja Temple. Nataraja, Somaskanthar Chandrasekarar and other visible forms portray his Rupa (form) state. Leaping fire takes forms of infinite variety, changing moment by moment: that is form-formless state. Siva Linga also belongs to the Rupa-Arupa state. Based on Arupam, Iccha, Jnana and Kriya (Formlessness, Desire or Will, Knowledge, and Action), Siva goes by three names: Sattar (Ilaya Sivan, Arupa Sivan), Yutti-Yuttar, and Piraviruttar. Sattar and Ilaya Sivan are the other names for Arupa Sivan meaning that he is formless his pure power is in potent unmanifest form he has no intentions, plans, or inclinations to create cosmos his power is undifferentiated without any palpable entity he is Nishkala (without parts or attributes) He is Niskriya (no activity) and his body is pure Consciousness. The opposite of Niskriya is Sakriya, the one full of actions. Yutti-Yuttar: The name means that he is a logician or sophist. He is the embodiment of skills and knowledge to create cosmos. He is NOT just Nishkala anymore, he is Nishkala-Sakala (Siva without and with parts and attributes). He is Nishkala because he has masses of unmanifest energy without parts, he is Sakala because he has parts and Pasus (individual souls in bondage waddling in malas - impurities). Nishkala-Sakala is a transitional state between His Unmanifest (Avyakta) to his manifest state of many forms (Sakala). His energy or Consciousness shows differentiation in five Suddha Tattvas: Siva Tattva, Sakti Tattva, Sadasiva Tattva, Isvara Tattva, and Suddha Vidya Tattva. Siva Tattva: He is Para Sakti, Nishkala-Sakala Siva, Sat-Cit-Ananda, and Cosmic Dancer after Mahapralaya (dissolution of the universe). He originates Para Nada and Nada, from which Bindu originates Bindu is the progenitor of Prakritic Asuddha Tattvas. Of the five tattvas mentioned here Siva Tattva is Pure Consciousness the other succeeding four take their birth from Siva Tattva in a father-son linear fashion with step-down dilution of Consciousness. Sakti Tattva: He is Paramesvara, the Supreme Soul, Nataraja (personal God), and Androgynous Ardhanaresvara. He is a Cosmic Dancer after Pralaya (dissolution). He is endowed with Kriya Sakti, Action Energy. He is the Light of lights (Bindu).
Sadasiva Tattva: His energy has the revealing power (Anugraha) and Grace in conferring of liberation. He is Sadasiva, he is ever auspicious. He has Jnana and Kriya Sakti. He has five faces. For details go to SADASIVA.htm. Isvara Tattva: He obscures and conceals Grace. In him knowledge translates into action. He is Para Bindu. Go to Bindu.htm. Suddha Vidya Tattva: He is pure Knowledge and his portfolio includes creation (Brahma), maintenance (Vishnu), and destruction (Rudra-Siva). Pure knowledge is by no means Pure Consciousness. Piraviruttar: Pira-viruttan means he who exercises Pra-Vritti. Pra-vritti = moving forward, advance, manifestation, activity, function, prosecution of. Piraviruttan is Tamil spelling. Piraviruttar is honorific way of addressing God. This belongs to Suddha Vidya Tattva. The Consciousness compared to Siva Tattva is less, but activity (creation, maintenance, destruction) has enhanced. He is Sakalan here for he has many parts, attributes, and action saktis (powers) he is Mahesvara whose subsidiary manifestations are Brahma, the creator Vishnu, the maintainer and Siva-Rudra, the destroyer. Pati has nine archetypical forms: Siva, Sakti, Nada, Bindu, Sadasiva, Mahesvara, Rudra-Siva, Vishnu and Brahma, who range from Nishkala, to Nishkala-Sakala and to Sakala. Sakti and Siva, Nada and Bindu form the Quadplex, essential in the manifestation of universe and beings. I name this quadplex as Tetralogy (four entities) of Saiva Siddhanta. Sadasiva as Yutti-Yuttar confers Grace and liberation eventually ending in Para mukti (Supreme liberation, likeness to Siva) to Vijnanakalars who are in advanced stage of ripeness (Sakti-nipatam). These blessed souls are Anusadasivars, Vittiyesurans, and Rudras who enjoy Divine Bliss in Sadakiya Tattuvam, where knowledge and action are in balance. Anusadasivar = Souls enjoying Divine Bliss in Sadakkiya (Sadasiva) Tattuvam. Vittiyesurans = learned scholar, one who possesses Vidhi, knowledge. Sakti-nipatam: settling of Divine Grace in the soul when it is ripe. The Point of no return The back of Chit Sabha carries as much secrets as Chidambara Rahasyam. That is where Yogis go and never return. Yogis attain Samadhi in Chit Sabha. The event is portrayed here. Jnāna of Yogis is self-knowledge and according to Chāndogya Upanishad 8.4.1 to 3, knowledge of the Self is liberating. Self is a bridge over which neither day, nor night, nor old age, nor death, nor sorrow, nor well-being, nor ill-being crosses. The one-way bridge separates the night of miseries of existence at the entry point from the day of effulgent bliss at the exit point: it is the Brahma-world, a world of illumination free from evil all the maladies of the world such as ―blindness and wounds‖ stay behind. Those who know this sacred knowledge of the self enter the Brahma-world (behind the Chit Sabha) and are forever free from all miseries of existence. This one-way bridge on the River of Samsāra separates the phenomenal world from the Real there is no toll, and the password is Self-knowledge. Hazardous materials of the phenomenal
world have no permission to go on the bridge to the other side, the land of the Real, known only to the Yogis. Kanaka Sabha, the Golden Hall, is in front of it, south of Chit Sabha and that is where Ritual worship is performed. Both Chit and Kanaka Sabhas are on elevated platforms, the former is 1 meter above the latter platform silver-paneled doors with five steps representing Panchakshara (five syllables) Mantra Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya, are placed at the entrance of both shrines. The granite platform of the Sanctuary represent Mount Kailash and thus is called Parvatam (Mountain), which is worshipped on special occasions. Govindaraja Perumal occupies a place to the southwest of Nataraja, facing East. Kanaka Sabha is a misnomer in technical terms because the roof is made of gilded copper and not gold, but its spirit rivals gold. The roof of Kanaka Sabha is lower than that of Chit Sabha. Kanaka Sabha houses Nandin, Ruby Nataraja, and Crystal Lingam which was a gift to the priests from Siva himself. Bronze Nataraja and Sivakamasundari of 1930 vintage are housed in a glass enclosure in a Mandapam adjoining the front of the Kanaka Sabha. Vishnu Shrine is placed southwest of Kanaka Sabha in the same innermost courtyard. There are two shrines for Vishnu-Govindaraja. The earlier Vishnu is lying in Yoganidra on a couch of coils of Sesa snake with five heads, with his head (face) in the north as a sign of submission to Siva and his feet in the south. A second latter Vishnu is in repose with his feet in the north and head in the south, as a sign of independence. Remember that the dual Vishnu shrine is southwest of the joint shrine of Cit Sabha and Kanaka sabha. Arcakars (priests, followers of Vaikhaanasa Agama) perform rituals here Dikshitars do the Siva rituals at other locations. Arcakars and Dikshitars are poles apart, though they are only a few feet away from each other. Achutadevaraya built the Vishnu Shrine in the 16th century. The second courtyard has three features: Deva Sabha northeast of Hall of Consciousness, Linga Shrine (Mulasthana), further north of Hall of Consciousness, and Nritta Sabhaa, south of Kanaka Sabha. The third courtyard is huge and has four gopuras. To the north of the second courtyard are from west to east Sivakamasundari shrine, hundred-pillared Hall, temple tank and thousand-pillared Hall. There is story behind the Ethereal Siva. There was a real-life sage-poet by name Umapati Sivacharya (around 1300 C.E.) in Chidambaram. He was a devotee of Siva, and meditated on him very intensely. One day when the hereditary priests opened the door to Chit Sabha, the Lord of Sabha and Ambika were not there. They convened a meeting of the temple priests and came to a conclusion that the Lord of Dance remained in the place as Space or Ether in Parabrahman state without attributes, and that someone had exercised gravitational pull on the Lord of Sabha and Ambika. This, they conjectured, was the magnetic attraction of Siva to a devotee. The Lord spoke to them, " I am in the hermitage of Umapati. You will find me in a jeweled box along with Uma. You must invite Umapati and honor him in the Jeweled Hall before the Chit Sabha. Put him on a throne. Be seated in front of him during the morning milking and listen to his Purana in Tamil each verse is nectar. Once the first word comes out of his mouth, I shall enter the Sabha and assume a visible form. Go and fetch Umapati." The Brahmanas rushed to the hermitage, uttered the incredible story, beseeched him to come to the temple and recite his poem. Umapati ascended a throne carried by the Brahmanas to the Sabha, where he faced east, paid tribute to the Lord of the Sabha with hands held high in apposition, meditated on the Lord and recited his poem. The Lord of Dance entered the Sabha to the delight of everyone. This episode went to confirm that the Lord of Dance was Ether itself.
There are other images in Chit Sabha such as images of Ratna-sabha-pati (Ruby-Hall-Lord = Ruby Lord of Sabha, form of Lord in Ruby), Sphatika Lingam (Crystal Lingam), Chandramaulisvara and others. It is the belief that Ruby that came out of the sacrificial fire was a present to the priests. The Lord gifted the Crystal Lingam for worship to the devotees the crystal Lingam is made from the foam of Amrtam (Nectar / Ambrosia) derived from the moon on the Lord's crest, and like a diamond, exceeding the luster of the moon, sun, fire, lightning, and the stars. Mular eulogizes Lingam in Chapter Seven of Tirumantiram: Verse 1712: No one knows what Lingam is. Lingam is eight directions. Lingam is 16 Kalas. Lingam is the manifest world. V1713: His first manifestation in this world is Sakti. He came in Sakti form in this world. His sakti's attributes manifested in this world. It is Sadasiva (Lingam) who conceived and created this world. V1718: Manifest Lingam is Vimana (arc-like roof of the shrine). The resident Sadasiva is the subtle lingam the altar is Bhadra Lingam. V1721: Brahmins worship crystal Lingam. Kings worship gold Lingam. Vaishyas worship emerald Lingam. Sudras worship stone Lingam. V1726: Man's (human) form is Siva Lingam. Man's form is Chidambaram. Man's form is Sadasivam. Man's form is Sacred Dance of Siva. V1758: The Sakti's pedestal (of Lingam) contains Atma Tattvas central part, the Vidya Tattvas upper part, the Siva Tattvas Sakti's Soul, Sadasiva himself. Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Mahesa, five-faced Sadasiva, Bindu, Nada, Sakti, and Siva are the nine aspects of Lingam which gives grace as (in the form of) Supreme Nandi.
Kala: The Lord wearing the moon with 16 Kalais (Kalas) confers a vision of himself to those who are steady in the practice of breath control, channeling the Prana through Susumna Nadi. (Kalaa = Kala = Kalai) Kala approximately means "parts." Siva is Niskala, meaning he has no parts, he is whole, he is undivided, he is absolute or Nirguna Brahman--Brahman without attributes. Another synonym for Niskala is Niskalatattva (Tattva without parts or contaminating matter, Prakrti). Nirguna Brahman = Supreme Narayana (Adhi Narayana) = Parasambhu Siva. Siva is also Sakala, meaning he has many parts--Tattvas, universe, and beings. Umapati figures again in the disappearance of Casket with the Lingam from its premises. It is the trick the Lord played to teach a lesson to the high-born hereditary priests numbering 3000. Umapati was forbidden to enter the Lord's chamber, because he became the disciple of ThiruJnana-Sambandar. They looked everywhere panic was the order of the day, they went to the storage place nowhere it was found. The priests went back to the Chit Sabha for worship. An old man stood up and his voice boomed across the Hall of Consciousness. "I am the Lord of Dance. On my command, the box with Linga is with my dear devotee Umapati. You may bring it back here." Umapati served as the priest for Linga worship, after its arrival to the temple. Siva does not take incarnations. He appears at critical moments and soon disappears once the task is accomplished. The endogamous priests, known as Dikshitars, claim that they are the progeny of the priests who came to Chidambaram along with the Kashmiri king, Simhavarman II (550-575 C.E.) who in the hope of curing his leprosy, took a dip in the tank near the Nataraja-Siva Temple and obtained a cure.
Siva is Formless, Formless/Form, and Form: the first is Akasa Lingam, the second is Crystal Lingam, and the third is Image of Lingam. The south-facing Siva defies death for himself and his devotees. Yama, god of death, treats Siva's devotees with deference. Sanskrit Yama, Tamil Yaman, Persian Yima, Nordic Ymir, and Canaanite god Yam are one and the same god. Mulanathar, a form of Siva, is housed in 2nd prakaram (courtyard). The outermost prakaramwalkaround- houses Sivakami, consort of Siva. Deva Sabha, Hall of gods, is where festivals and meetings are held. It is in the second prakaram. It serves as a house for festival gods, and images of Panchamurtis (Somaskandar, Parvati, Vinayaka, Subramanya, and Chandikesvara and other deities. Daily worship here is not open to the public. The Temple priests (Dīksitars) hold conference on the steps. Kanaka Sabha, hall of Gold, is where the bejeweled Nataraja is housed with a roof made of 17,500 gilded gold tiles representing the number of breaths a person takes in a day, 12.15 breaths per minute, 729 breaths an hour and 17,500 breaths in 24 hours. Nritta Sabha, the Dance hall, is held aloft by 56 pillars of engraved dancing figures. It is in the second prakaram in the south side of the perimeter. It is in the shape of a stone chariot (Ratha) and two horses. This is where Urdhva Tandava took place. It houses Urdhvatandava Siva and Kali. Siva (Murti) destroyed (Samhara) two demon cities (Tripuras) therefore, the Lord is known Tripurasamhara Murti. He descended later in front of Chit Sabha from his horse-drawn chariot with sun and moon as the wheels. This landing of Siva gave the other name to Nritta Sabha as Edir Ambalam (Opposite Hall). Raja Sabha, the Hall of Kings, is rock-solid thousand-pillared hall, where Chola and Pandya kings celebrated their coronation (Chola) and victory . The pilgrims, devotees, visitors, and meditators assemble here only twice in a year. Its thousand pillars correspond to thousand petals of inverted lotus of Sahasrara Chakra of Kundalini Yoga. Nataraja and Sivakamasundari dance here during the Chariot festival.
Kanaka Sabha (Ponnambalam or Golden hall) in Chidambaram is where Lord Nataraja performed Nadanta Tandavam(1). In the famous stance, the left leg is raised in a frozen dance pose in the idol. In Madurai temple, the idol is covered with plated silver and the Lord's right leg is raised this dance is known as Anada Tandavam(2), Dance of Bliss performed in Velliambalam (Hall of Silver). In Himalayas, Siva dances the Evening Dance, Pradosha Tandavam(3) for Parvati to alleviate the suffering of his created beings. Siva sports only two hands in this dance and has no Asura (Apasmara purusa, Muyalaka) under his foot. There are Dance Halls scattered around India. 1: Kanaka Sabha (Hall of Gold) at Chidambaram. 2: Rajata Sabha (Hall of Silver) at Madurai.
3: Ratna Sabha (Hall of Rubies) at Tiruvalangadu. 4: Tamra Sabha (Hall of copper) at Tirunelvelli. 5: Chitra Sabha (Hall of pictures) at Kutralam. There are other halls too. There are other halls too. Coming to hierarchy of the temple, priests are expected to honor Gurus starting from Sveta, one's own Guru, Ganesa, Uma, Skanda, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, the latter being the foremost of all Gurus. Brahma was one of the historians (story tellers) in Linga Purana. He relates this story of Sveta to Nandin (Nandikesvara), the chief attendant of Siva. Sveta was a cave-dwelling Brahmana Sage of ripe old age. Time came to him in the form of Death (Yama) Sveta recognized the dispenser of Death and at once meditated on three-eyed Siva. Sveta pointed to Linga and asked the Death Dealer what possibly he could do to him in the presence of Linga, the creator of Devas, including Yama. He asked Time in the form of Death to take his trip back to his quarters, because he was the Eater of Death, who fed on men and drained their life forces. In ordinary parlance, it would have sounded like this, " Get out of here, before I call Siva.." He added, "I am Death of Death, who feeds on men. Since you are dead, there is no dying for me." Having heard defiant retort, Death bared his fangs, turned red in his face, roared like a lion, whirled his noose menacingly, clapped his hands many times, and bound Sveta, devotee of Siva-Rudra, with his ropes. Death grew bold and spewed out venomous words, "You are bound. What can your Linga ( Siva-Rudra) do now? Where are your devotion, worship, your beneficial fruit of karma? I am here but where is your Linga? I have no one to fear." Suddenly, Siva with his retinue consisting of His Consort Uma, Nandi, and the ganas (attendants) appeared in front of Sveta and Time as Death. He roared with laughter that scattered the clouds. The sight of Siva killed Yama, who fell dead at the feet of Sveta like a stick. Sveta roared louder than thunder and along with other Devas, paid obeisance to Siva and Uma. Nandin derided Yama for his stupidity. Siva disappeared soon, having saved his devotee from Death's noose. (The above episode appears in Linga Purana, Chapter 30.) Here is an excerpt from Psalms 18.5 to 18.8 and 18.16 to 18.19 and find some similarity with the above episode. A Psalm of David to the Lord.
5 The cords of the grave are coiled around me
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it. 16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. 19 He brought me out into a spacious place he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Real-life sage-poet by name Umapati Sivacharya (around 1300 C.E.) in Chidambaram was the pupil of Sveta, child-saint-poet Sambandar, Vyasa, and Siva. Upasana, the Puja rituals. The cardinal features of Upasana (Puja) are as follows: 1) Bhutasuddhi: Cleansing Bhutas or gross elements of the subtle body. 2) Nyasa: By the power of Sound and Mantra, he invokes the spirit to descend on his body. 3) Pranayama: Breath Control. 4) Dhyana: meditation. 5) Chantless mental worship. 6) Japa or chanting of Mantra.
Once body is cleansed and purified, the divine enters the body of the priest, who is Siva himself except that he does not wear matted locks, sport a moon on his crown, have a third eye, and divine lady on his side. The priest has to destroy his papam (sin) next he purifies his subtle body by Pranayama (breath control). He goes on to purify the five elements in his body (bhutasuddhi). The priest activates the Kundalini fire in Muladhara Chakra and takes it through upper Chakras to Sahasrara Chakra for union with the spirit. This rise of kundalini fire power destroys the gross and subtle body, as it were, of the priest. Now the spirit has descended on his body (of the priest) devoid of any worldly taints. The priest is now an ethereal body, devoid of Sthula and Suksma Sarira, and occupied by the spirit thus, the priest has acquired Divya Sarira (divine body). The deity has taken residence in his spiritual heart. For the divine spirit to spread all over the body and organs, he performs Nyasa. (Nyasa follows Butasuddhi.) Nyasa is impressing of the body with fingers and mental appropriation or assignment of various parts of the body to the tutelary deities, according to Monier-Williams. Consider it as a painless form of acupuncture (digital pressure) that infuses divine power where the fingers apply pressure. Here you do not use Acus (needle) but digits come in handy for application of touch and pressure. Digital application (Nyasa) is accompanied by chanting of Mantra and visualization of specific Devata or Bija (seed) Mantra. Sequential touching of the body parts in geographic progression depends on the type of Nyasa. Once Nyasa is complete, the priest transfers the divine in him to the idol, which is known as Avahana (invitation). By Mudras (gestures), he infuses life into the idol (Pranapratistha). Once the worship is over, the god is dismissed from the idol (Visarjana or Udvasa) and Samhara Mudra (expressive gesture of dissolution). Visarjana = discharging, dismissal. Udvasa = leaving empty, uninhabited. The idea of invitation and dismissal of divinity with regards to the idol sounds apparently ridiculous because god is everywhere and he does not need invitation or dismissal. Avahana and Visarjana are confirmation of his presence everywhere. Some points: After the deity is bathed, dressed, decorated and jeweled, the priest keeps all articles near him. He performs ritual acamana, or purification of the mouth before he utters the mantra. He makes a samkalpa (intention) for welfare of any of the entities of the world: that is the purpose of worship. Consecration of water follows by invoking in it the seven holy rivers of India. This Arghya (water offered reverentially to gods or devotees) is used wherever water is necessary for rituals. The priest, Dvadasanta, Niralamba, absorption, and Amrta. The five faces of Sadasiva represent five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Ether. Our body represents five elements: From the foot to the knees, it is earth from the knees to the navel, it is water from the navel to the throat it is fire from the throat to the mouth it is wind from the mouth to the crown it is ether. We are stuck in the mud up to our knees, standing in navel-deep water, roasted by fire in our upper body, fanned by the wind on the face and tortured by Ether. Of all the five elements, Ether is the most subtle and earth is the least subtle. All elements are necessary to constitute this physical body. From the most gross earth to the most subtle Ether, the subtler element controls the one below and Ether is the master of all. They represent all states of matter: Solid, liquid, gas, plasma. Ether is the orchestrator of all elements and also the root or
Stem substance. Water controls earth since it can erode earth; Fire controls water because it can evaporate it; Air controls the fire because it can boost the fire or blow it away; Ether controls the Air because Air abides in Ether. From Ether to Earth, they form a lineage right down the line. Since Ether is the most powerful progenitor of all things physical on this earth and the world, we are its slave; the sense organs exist because of the progenitor substance Ether. Go to Akasa (Ether) POTPOURRI ONE. The function of Ether is Sound if you control its function you attain liberation from all elements that serve Ether. Mantra is the cure for the oppressor substance, Ether. Sound exists in unmanifest Para form to manifest Vaikhari form, articulate speech. Sound <<Click to go to Sound>>>. The first Sound in the Universe is Pranava, OM. In this day of hurly-burly, eat-onthe-go, TV, and other distractions, Kirtana, or Chanting or singing the glory of the Lord is the most efficient tool for the Kaliyuga man to obtain liberation. Or you can use one of the Mantras. Go to Mantra for details. You can chant OM as a generic Mantra, which has no affiliation to any group or religion. Om is older than the universe and religions. Go to >>>POTPOURRI ONE>>> and scroll down to AUM. Dvâtasântam (Dvatasantam / dvadasanta) is the mystic center 12 inches above the crown. Dva = two. Dasa = ten. Anta = edge. two+ten+edge = twelve inches above the edge. This is called Niralamba (a place that hangs without support). What it means is that the mind is disconnected from the world. The Spirit is hanging in a weightless state without the burden of the body. Above the Sahasrara plane is Niraalamba pradesam, a place without support. It is a state where jiva exists without support, props and such. Niralamba = hanging without support. Just imagine the moon hanging out there in space. It means that the mind, having attained realization of the Brahman, is free from connection with material world. Some of the other terms express equivalent state: Samadhi, Unmani, Manonmani, Paramapada, Advaita, Jivanmukti, Niralamba, Amanaska, Advaitama, Niranjana, Sahaja, Sunya, Sunya-asunya, Amaratvam, Jivan Mukti, Parama Pada, laya, Tattva, Suddha Sattva, and Turiya. Dvadasanta is the place where Yogi or priest attains absorption into Siva with the resultant production of Amrta ( nectar), which spreads to the rest of the body upon the return of the Yogi or priest to a lower center. Unmani is a state when mind ceases to exist; in other words the manasness of the Manas or mind ceases to exist. Unmani is mandatory state for Yogi; no Unmani, no Yogi. When Unmani state is attained, the Citta is free from the mind (that keeps it attached to the world) and floats freely in ether. Imagine the free-floating astronauts; the Yogis are "Ethernauts with no fear of cosmic radiation. Siva is worshipped in many forms: Ether, Water, Air, Fire, Earth, the Soul, the Sun and the Moon. He presides over these entities. Sarva Earth form Bhava Water form Rudra Pasupati Soul, Wind/Air Ether /sky Fire form Yajamana form form form Ugra Bhima Isana Sun form Mahadeva Moon form
Sarva is the Lord of Earth who holds the entire universe of mobile and immobile beings (trees).
Bhava is the Lord of Water, which is essential for all living entities. Rudra is Lord of Fire, which is the heat in the body, the earth, the sun and other elements and which carries oblations to the gods. Ugra is the awesome, formidable, fierce, and ferocious force that keeps the inner and outer universe pulsate autonomously. Bhima is the Lord of Space that includes firmament, and pervasive space in all entities. Where ever there is space--between atoms or inside atoms--, that is Bhima. It differentiates elements from one another. Pasupati is the Lord of Pasus (individual souls) and breaks the bonds or ties that keep the soul from its centripetal march towards the Lord. Isana is the Lord of Sun who "moves in an arch" in heaven and illuminates the universe. Mahadeva is the Lord of Moon which offers nectarlike rays and sap to beings and plants, assuring satiety and fullness to the universe. He is also the Great Soul or Atman which is more pervasive than all other forms. Another source tells that moon forms the left eye of Narasimha, one of the Avatars of Vishnu. Because of his divine effulgent form, he is the favorite of all ages. Soma-Sava is a great YAgam performed to honor the moon, who in return gives milch cows to humanity, thorough-bred breed of horses, and intelligent, learned, brave Satputras who observe all religious vows. Watering the roots of a tree carries the sap to the branches which blossom and bear fruits in like manner, worship of Siva sustains and develops this universe. Here is a variation of the same theme. Eight physical forms of Siva = Eight Lingas = Earth, water, Fire, Air, Ether, the Sun, the Moon, and the sacrificing priest. The earth form = Sarva Water form = Bhava Fire form = Rudra wind form = Ugra Sky form = Bhima Yajamana form = Pasupati Moon form = Mahadeva Sun form = Isana. Bhima: He is worshipped in his formless form (Ether) in Chidambaram Chidambara Rahasyam (the Secret of Chidambaram) is the abode of Akasa Lingam, Lingam of formless limitless space. In this abode, the representative objects are the five silver-plated steps leading to the shrine and standing for five letters of Namasivaya, Na-Ma-Si-Va-ya, a Prabha or arch, and a Vel (spear) with golden Vilva mala (a garland of Vilva leaves, Aegle marmelos) It has a curtain (depicting Arupam, formless form of Siva and Parvati) at the entrance, which is lifted for Arati, waving of lamps. Many Lingams: Configuration of various Lingams are based on the Bhutas or elements: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water and Sky or Ether. The idea is that Siva exists in all elements thus he exists in your body.
Element Fire Earth Wind Water Sky or Ether
Lingam Fire Lingam Earth Lingam Wind Lingam
Place Tiruvannamalai Kanchipuram Kalahasti Jambukeshvar Water Lingam (Trichy) Sky Lingam Chidambaram
When the curtain to Chit Sabah (Hall of Consciousness) in Chidambaram is drawn, what you see is an empty space representing Sky Lingam this is the Chidambara Rahasyam (the Secret of Chidambaram) the Lord exists in all the apparently empty spaces from the atom to the vast spaces of cosmos thus, he is the Cosmic Dancer. The Red Mountain of Tiruvannamalai is the Fire Lingam.
Siva's heroic nature is described by Tirumular in Tirumantiram, Tantra Two as follows: Eight Heroic Deeds of Siva, 0339-0346 Click<<<<Tantra Two>>> for more 1: The killing of Antaka: Antaka, more ferocious than the God of Death and endowed with divine boons, harassed men and gods the celestials lodged a complaint with Siva, who destroyed him with his trident. 2: Beheading of Daksa and xenograft with goat's head: and Daksa was the son of Brahma and challenged the Lord‘s authority. The Lord cut his head off and put a goat‘s head in its place, which should serve as an object lesson and stop others from challenging his universal authority. The Lord‘s feet are all-pervasive and life-sustaining. 3: Brahma minus one head and Mal bled into Brahma's skull: Brahma and Mal (Vishnu) challenged his authority SivaBhairava cut off one of the five heads of Brahma and asked Achuta (Vishnu) to fill the Brahma's skull-bowl with his blood (through Ugra (Ghora) manifestation Bhairava). Vishnu obliged instantly to the orders of Bhairava and slit the artery in his forehead and drained the blood into the bowl, held by Bhairava. Vishnu fainted and fell to the ground from low blood volume and shock, before he could fill the bottomless bowl. Bhairava picked him up, resuscitated him, revived him back to health and let him go. Bhairava went to other gods and extracted payment with blood from them for their arrogant behavior. Bhairava went to Kanchipuram and upon command from Siva distributed the blood among Siva's Ganas (attendants). Siva made him the resident guardian Deity of Kanchi. Upon Siva's divine edict, all worshippers of Bhairava would be absolved of their sins. Thus Siva put all gods in their place. Brahma's head is placed on the right side of Siva for all people to see and Brahma is allowed to partake remnants of offerings made to Siva. Bhairava is seen as the bronze idol in Chit Sabha in the form of Svarna-kalabhairava. His accoutrement and weapons consist of drum, trident, noose, skull, and a dog. He is the destroyer of all sins of those who die the town. Dog is the incarnation of Kundoraran, an attendant-Gana of Siva, who has a pot belly, and is short in stature. 4: Jalandhara's hideous passion for Parvati, resulting in death: Jalandhara was a titan and the son of Varuna. He received
a boon that he would not be killed by anyone. Comment: Jaladhara was very arrogant for he knew that no one could kill him. He found a match in an inanimate object to be his killer. He (Jaladhara) had an eye on Parvati, the consort of Siva and sent a messenger-scalawag Rahu to persuade Siva to give up Parvati for Jalandhara, for Siva, being an ascetic and frequenter of cremation grounds, would not deserve or need a consort. Like a reflex, thunder and flash emanated from Siva‘s third eye. Soon a leonine being with a whip-like tongue and fiery eyes appeared in front of the messenger Rahu. He had the appearance of the man-lion avatar of Vishnu, Narasimha and was ready to devour Rahu, who begged Siva that he being a Brahmin and messenger did not deserve to die and he sought his protection from Siva‘s eye-born manlion. Siva, out of compassion, asked his gana (servant) to leave Rahu alone. Jaladhara, coming to know of Rahu‘s failure to bring Parvati, went to battle Siva, who drew a line around him in a circle, which transformed itself into a wheel. Siva persuaded him to lift the wheel up to his neck, which, being a test of his strength, would make him eligible to fight with him. Jalandhara lifted the wheel up to his neck the wheel spun on orders from Siva and severed his head. That was the end of Daitya Jaladhara. End of Comment. [Ugra: powerful, mighty, terrible. one of the eight elemental forms of Rudra, four being ghora and the other four being Saumya: Ghora aspects, Ugra , Rudra, Sarva, and Asani and Saumya (pleasant) aspects such as Bhava, Pasupati, Mahadeva and Isana. Ghora: Terrible. Aghora: Not terrifying. the southern face of Siva, representing dharma, buddhi, and tattva. Aghora epithet is given to Siva to propitiate him. Rudra: Red one, Red flashing one, Red Roarer, Red Crier. Rud = Red, Cry. The students from the west advance the following opinions on Siva. Vedic Rudra was a Storm-god and the Lord of Cattle (Pasupati) and later was identified as Siva. Siva is the product of major inflow of Pre-Vedic Non-Aryan belief systems into Vedic and post-Vedic Aryan belief systems in the process of assimilation, Siva was born. The Red Flashing One of Non-Aryan tribes became the Auspicious Siva of both Aryan and non-Aryan cults. Rudra-Siva maintained his Ghora and Saumya aspects. Ugra is powerful, mighty and terrible. Sarva is a wielder of lightning (and thunder) and destroys enemies with it. He is an archer with dark hair. Asani strikes with thunderbolt,
lightning or meteorite and terror and fear in the hearts of enemies. Bhava is god of cattle and men, owner of earth, heaven and sky, a protector from jackals, and a destroyer of those who do not offer sacrifices and despise gods. Bhava is becoming in that after destruction, there is new beginning. Pasupati: Pasu is a domesticated animal (typically a cow), while Mrga (Tamil: mirugam) is a wild animal. All animals having lingam or yoni (genitalia) are Siva's creatures. He is the chief or Lord of animals. In Saiva Siddhanta context Pasu refers to the individual soul, who may have the quality of an animal or human depending upon the classification of humans by Tantrics into three types: pasu (animal), Vira (hero) and Divya (divine). Mahadeva: He is the great God. Isana is the god of progeny.] 5. Destruction by fire of Tripura: The Primal Lord wears the sacred River Ganga on his crimson matted locks. The ignorant say that he destroyed three cities, but what he destroyed was a triad of malas: Anava, Karma and Maya. 6. Killing of Demon Gajasura: The celestials lit sacrificial fires, which rose to the heavens out of which came an elephant, Gajasura which attacked Siva on orders from the celestials. Siva peeled the skin of the elephant and wore it as raiment. Siva made the same sacrificial fires to consume them. The kundalini fire rose from Muladhara up the spine to Brahmarandara, and destroyed god of Death himself. That happened in Kadavur. 7.Saving of Markandeya: Mrikandu Muni, a devotee of Siva was asked to make a choice between a stupid son with a long life and a gifted son with a short life of 16 years. He chose the latter and when the boy was destined to tryst with his destiny at the altar of Siva Lingam, Yama came to take his life. Markandeya was praying and the noose of Yama landed around Markandeya and the Lingam he embraced, out of which emerged Siva himself in fury and thunder. Siva killed Death, but later revived him back to life under the stipulation that the youth (Markandeya) would live and remain sixteen for ever. 8. Kama's end: The Lord was seated in yogic meditation. Kama came along to disturb his meditation, but was destroyed by Siva. Comment: Siva, the destroyer, was in meditation for sometime, which resulted in the increase in the population of earth and a heavy burden on Mother Earth. The gods sent Kama (god of love) to shoot flowery Harshana (one of the five erotic arrows) on Siva and disturb his penance at the precise moment he woke up to receive his Divine Consort Parvati. He also by his magical power created an ambience of spring in the air, earth, and trees, conducive to love. Siva woke up from meditation, took one look at Parvati, and could not stop enjoying and articulating his appreciation of beautiful features of Parvati, who, in the privacy of Siva‘s presence, lay bare gracefully, with sidelong glances. Siva felt like two persons, one imbibing the beauty of Parvati and another Yogi of all yogis bent on control of the senses. He felt that if seeing is great pleasure, embracing must offer even greater pleasure. Suddenly it dawned on him that he was stung by Kama ‘s arrows and bitten by love. How could that happen to a Yogi of yogis, who have complete control over their senses? The Paramayogi Siva addressed Parvati in a loving manner and wondered aloud to her, how he became a victim to Kama and how that downfall is harmful to his excellent reputation as the Lord of Vairagya (desirelessness). He advised Parvati, in a spirit of detachment, not to sit by his side on the couch, and looked around for he felt uncomfortable in being aroused. He felt that the Vairagin and Yogi (in him) was associating with a wife of someone else such was the depth of his Vairagya. Kama continued to shoot the arrows at Siva with no effects. Siva's anger was coming to surface. A fire
rising from the third eye of Siva incinerated Kama into ashes. That incident happened in Korukkai. End of comment. Linga Puranam. Siva, Why the Phallic Form. (based on Sivapuranam, Chapter 12) The sages were curious why Siva assumed the phallic form. Siva Purana in the words of Suta tells the following episode. Daruvana forest, near Badrinath, is where the devotees of Siva meditate on him. Once the chief Brahmana sage goes deep into the woods to collect twigs for sacrificial fire. Siva is wont to test his devotees by any means that he could devise. A stark naked man smeared with ash all over his body is walking around holding his phallus and doing all unimaginable activities and tricks with it. His intent is noble and doing good to the forestdwelling sages pleases him most. Some Rishipatnis (the wives of sages or Rishis) are frightened to look at a man with wayward phallus performing antics. Other wives of the sages, fascinated, excited, and impressed by the newness of the show, gather around him. Some actually embrace him and some hold his hands. There is a gleeful melee among the wives to get close to him. The jingle and the jangle attract the attention of the blissfully married sages, who come close to their wives and the man whose only wear is ash. They see the Ash-Man perform unimaginable and perverse antics with his phallus, fume and froth and challenge him, "Who are you?" The AshMan does not answer; it is for them to find out who he is on their own. They lay a curse on him, "You, pervert. You violated the Vedic injunctions and moral path. Let your phallus fall to the ground." Suta continued his story of Avadhuta. (Avadhuta: One who has shaken off from himself worldly goods, feeling and obligation, a philosopher. The highest form of renunciation.) The sages have power in their words; the phallus at once falls to the ground. It burns the ground where it falls and the self-propelling phallus starts moving leaving a burning trail; almost everything is burnt in its path. It goes to the netherworld, later to heaven, and back to earth; it cannot stay in one place. The occupants of earth, netherworlds, and heavens are panic-stricken; the sages go into grief; the gods enjoy no peace or joy. The sages and gods rush to Brahma and relate to him the story of wayward itinerant phallus with a trail of raging fire. Brahma, the Vedic Scholar, at once sees the hand (phallus) of Siva and his Maya at work. Brahma pulls them by the scruff and tells them that they violated the first etiquette of serving a guest (Avadhuta Siva) in midday. That violation bestows on them the onerous sin, which will dog them as karma. Brahma comes to a shrewd conclusion that the wandering phallus should be immobilized first. The anxious sages ponder on the question of pinning down the ambulating phallus. They have no idea and beg Brahma to offer some suggestions. The Vedic Scholar puts his four heads together and comes to another brilliant suggestion: The sages must find a suitable trap or cage for the meandering phallus. The sages rake their brains for ideas; none popped up in their sagacious mind. They look at Brahma, the Grandfather of the worlds, in a supplicant manner. Brahma tells the sages that they must propitiate goddess Parvati, offer prayers and beg her to transform Herself into a vaginal passage to receive, fixate and contain the wayward fiery phallus. Now the sages are not sure about the procedural elements in intromission, immobilization and containment of the phallus in its natural passage. Again Brahma comes up with the solution. He makes the following suggestions:
1. Act with love and devotion to goddess Parvati, the consort of Siva. Aim at pleasing her. 2. Draw an eight-petalled mystic diagram (yantra) of lotus and place a pot in the center of it. Pour waters from Tirthas (holy places by the holy rivers) along with sprouts and sprigs of barley and Durva grass (Panicum Dactylon). 3. Vedic Mantras should be chanted and the pot, thus infused and invoked, becomes sanctified. Remember Siva and offer prayers to the sacred pot. 4. The phallus must be cooled and appeased by dousing it with water. Chanting of Satarudriya Mantras along with sprinkling of water will immobilize and stabilize the restless phallus. Satarudriyam: A Vedic hymn addressed to Rudra or Siva in his hundred aspects. Satam = sacred vessel, that which is perpetual, eternal. Sata-Viryam = Bermuda grass. 5. Parvati in the form of birth passage and an auspicious arrow will constitute the pedestal in which the phallus will be installed with the chanting of Vedic Mantras. (The pedestal correlates anatomically to the pudendum, and lingam to the phallus. The allegorical elements represent the pedestal and Lingam; the anatomical pudendum and phallus stand for the creative force of Sakti and Siva. There is no prurient or deviant suggestion in this representation, according to devotees of Siva. From this entity only the universe of beings and matter originate through 36 Tattvas. ♂ ♀: If you wondered where circle and arrow came from, now you know their origin. The circle is the pedestal or pudendum; the lingam is the phallus and the arrow, power, vigor, and manliness.) 6. Please, propitiate, and worship Lord Siva with fragrant scents, sandal paste, flowers, incense and food. Fall prostrate at his holy feet, sing sacred hymns, play musical instruments, utter Svastyayana mantras and glorify the victory of the Lord. Svastyayana: mantras recited for good luck. 7. Say the prayers to the Lord as follows: "You are the Lord of gods; you are the delighter of the universe; you are the creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe; You are Akshara, the imperishable." This will bring stability, prosperity, restoration of balance, and happiness to the universe. The sages follow these rituals and Lord Siva expresses his delight. Siva suggests that only Parvati can be the receptacle for his phallus, as no other woman can fit the role and this will make his phallus quiescent. Upon directions from Siva, the sages and gods take Brahma to Parvati and offer her their salutations and worship. Parvati obliges and accepts to conform to the request. This is how the phallus comes to be known as Hatesa and Siva-Siva. The worlds become one happy place. Lingam will offer liberation to the devotees. Lingam is Li and Gam meaning to dissolve and go out, meaning that Lingam is ultimate Reality in which everything dissolves and from which everything takes its origin. Siva is Yogin of Yogins, who has supreme control over his senses. How do we explain his dalliance and dawdling? He is the Soul of the universe and all beings are the individual souls who take origin from him. Therefore, it is the compulsion of the homing device of the soul to seek out Siva and merge with him. This merging takes a story form in Puranas, where two opposite polarities come together and present as Linga embedded in a pedestal, from which the whole universe of matter and beings emanate and in which they
subside. Ancient Greece is known for the festival of Demeter and Persephone and female devotees carrying phalli made of dough and live snakes in procession as icons of generation and regeneration. Tantrics practice codified mantra-driven rituals of sexual intercourse within the confines of marriage. David Smith quotes Kanta Puranam (12th Century) that Siva did have a physical relationship with the Rishi's wives and they instantaneously gave birth to 84,000 boys who on the advice of Siva became ascetics. This is an allegory of merging of the individual souls with the Supreme Soul, Siva and the resulting product is liberation. Swami Vivekananda explains the origin of Siva-Linga in a lecture at the Paris Congress in 1900. A German Orientalist, Gustav Oppert, reduced whole concept of Linga worship in its association with Salagrama-Silai (sanctified natural stone image of Siva) as mere phallism. Swami, in his erudite rendition of the history of Linga origin, says that Atharva Veda Samhita identifies Skambha (Sacrificial Post, Axis Mundi) with Eternal Brahman. The bull that carries the sacrificial twigs for such an event becomes the mount of Siva also. The Skambha over time becomes Linga which later is associated with Siva-Linga. Swami raises another possibility: Vishnavas pick up the idea of Stupas from Buddhists and associate stones with Salagrama-sila. The association of Salagrama-sila with phallus comes after the fall of Buddhism in India. Siva Lingam and Salagrama-silai have nothing to do with sex as much as Holy Communion in Christianity has nothing to do with cannibalism. Some Scholars regard Rudra as a Dravidian god of thunder and lightning, and Indra as the Aryan counterpart. Rudra means ―Red and flashing One.‖ Rudras or Maruts are the sons of Rudra. When Maruts enter, they raise a ruckus, flash there lightning, roar like a lion, unleash their thunder, and wear robes of rain. Rudra wields 100 weapons and is Pasupati, the Lord of the cattle. Rudra is later known as Siva, who was born of Brahma and is in charge of dissolution of the universe. Lord Siva is part of the Hindu Holy Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. Siva‘s image appears usually (in the temples) in the form of Linga, which has at least two meanings: 1. Li, to dissolve and gam, to go out 2. Sign The meaning has significance in that what leaves the body after death or dissolution and is involved in transmigration of the soul is Lingasarira or subtle body. Linga also means ―Sign.‖ The sign stands for transcendental power and generative principle. MERU is a mountain, considered as the epicenter of the universe and the abode and playground of the gods. Ganga River gracefully falls from its high point and runs down in four directions. Brahma's city of gold graces the summit, surrounding which there are eight satellite cities Krishna and Vishnu have abodes on Mount Meru. Deep below the base of the mountain are the seven netherworlds, and the mountain is supported by and balanced on the seven manifold heads of snake Vāsuki, whose movement causes tremor of the mountain. At Pralaya or dissolution, his fiery breath consumes the whole creation and universe. (Mount Meru is the Himalayas and the tremor felt is from the manifold head of the snake [of a South Asian subcontinent thrusting] under the Himalayas.) As Olympus is the mythical abode of the greater Grecian gods, Meru is the abode of Hindu gods.
The British discovered some Indus Valley seals (dated C.2000 B.C.) depicting a Supreme Persona with three faces and a tumescent phallus sitting in a Yoga posture on a low platform. Two graceful gazelles face each other in front of him along with a circle of animals surrounding him: a tiger, an elephant, a rhinoceros and a water buffalo. Other seals show bulls. He wears a trident-like crown with a pair of horns at the base which curve towards the center, enclosing the crown. This personage is regarded as the prototype of Siva, who is the Yogin of Yogins, and consort of Kali. The image impels one to say that Siva is the Lord of animals (Pasu, also means individual souls). He has his trident at all times by his side. The phallus stands for Lingam, the Rupa-Arupa representation of Siva, who as Mahesvara has three faces. Bull (Nandisvara) is his mount. Buddhists like to view this personage as Buddha with two gazelles, three-jeweled headwear. Another seal shows worshippers and two serpents with raised hoods on either side of the meditating Yogin. Joseph Campbell explains the meaning of Bull, Moon, snake and sun. In the mythologies of the world, the horns of the moon and the bull are equated. The celestial moon wanes and dies and waxes and resurrects the power of life over death shows in the waxing of the moon. Moonlight gives the sap in the plants according to Hindus. The bull represents the conquest of life over death. Students of Siva and Nandi (Bull) say that the Bull is the theriomorphic form of Lord Siva. Snake has the same power of life over death in that death comes in the form of slough and life comes when the snake emerges from the slough thus the bull and the moon and the snake are equated. Its amphibious life in water and on earth indicates its ease of movement; its flicking tongue is fire and heat; the earth and water, its habitat, are essential elements in life, providing nourishment. Dravidian Yogis were known for austere penances, meditation, detachment and renunciation (Yoga). The Aryans were known for sacrifices, and pacifying and panegyrizing gods. It took about 800 years for the Aryans to catch on that the Dravidians had something special that they did not even think of: Yoga and meditation. Intermarriage and social interaction over years helped syncretize and come up with a system of philosophy and practice that is seen to this day. Campbell believes that renunciation, the sine quo non of Yoga system and an earlier tradition, was unique to the Dravidians of Indus Valley that became the central tenet of early Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The Dravidian Yogi was seeking peace, solace, and god within himself, while the Aryan priest, the cousin of the Greeks, was seeking gods in the elements, fire, water, earth, sky, ether, clouds and thunder. The Yogi was drawing on his inner strength, while the Aryan priest was drawing his strength from outside. The Yogi renounced all, while the Aryan priest sought (by his sacrifice) health, wealth, happiness, children, and kine from his gods; thus, Sanatana Dharma is a syncretic religion peculiar to the Indian subcontinent, both Dionysian and consumptive on the Aryan side and renounciation on the Dravidian side. The fire sacrifice to the gods gave the Aryan his fulfillment. The inner fire (Tapas) of the meditating Yogi gave him peace and bliss. Matter and spirit come together in Sanatana Dharma. While the Brahmin priest's attention was engaged in exoteric rites, the Ksatriyas began thinking about the inner man. That was the time (timeless) Upanishads started surfacing on the horizon of Indian thought. It was not the priest, but the king who thought deeply about the inner man and the outer world. That is why Kundalini Yoga is Raja Yoga. One such king was the Buddha, who is considered as incarnation of Vishnu. Go to YOGI and Kundalini Power for more details.
Here is a statement from Joseph Campbell that says that Siva originated in an alien land and migrated to India. It is disconcerting and ego-deflating since we are Siva devotees, we will swallow our pride and ego and listen to what Campbell says in his book, Myths of Light, page 57.
Just how old are these images? Also, are they native to India? This is a very deep and very interesting question and problem. As we said, the earliest dates that we have for the culture world in India connect with the Dravidian culture in the Indus Valley, from the period of around 2500 to 1500 B.C. This is the period, just to the west, of ancient Akkad, Sumer, and the Mesopotamian city--states--the period of Sargon and Hammurabi. In Egypt it is the end of the Late and beginning of the Middle Kingdom. Most interestingly, it is the period of the great palace period in Crete. It is worthwhile to note that Siva's symbols are the trident, the bull, and the lingam. These are exactly the symbols of Poseidon, who was, understandably, the principal divinity of ancient sea-bound Crete. It seems clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that both of these worlds, Crete and India, received their civilization from the much older high civilized domain of the Near East. The archaeological record in Iran, Syria, and Turkey goes back thousands of years earlier than 2500 B.C. We have evidence of a recognizable civilization at Catal Huyuk in Anatolia (modern Turkey-- my note) going back as far as 8000 B.C..--at least five millennia prior to Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. This is almost as many years as mark the time from India's first civilization to the present. And these divinities that are worshiped today in India, and whose Implications have been developed in these glorious philosophies, have their roots back there. India has continued and developed an inspiration with respect to a poetic image, to the order of the world, that traces its roots back to the first of the great high cultures. End of passage. My note: When the west sees something, a person, mother of languages, or even gods unique to India, at once they lay a claim to it, find some tenuous connections outside of India or assign its origin to some alien land and people. If there is something good, it must have their imprint in it; there is no way, it can be purely Indian. If it is good, it cannot be Indian; it has to be from somewhere else. We have been brainwashed long enough by the uninvited foreigners coming as invaders and occupiers. When it comes to caste, it is special to India and unlike anything seen anywhere else and a despicable legacy, which it is. In genetics and language, we are listed as Indo-European. Why do they have to append that European eponym to us? Is it because it is good or bad? Are we not proud of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan culture, customs, religion, genealogy? Of course, the "Aryan invaders" introduced the caste system in India. Indians are beginning to question the Aryan invasion theory. It is the opinion of the west that ancestors of Italians, Greeks, Germans, English, Celtic, Iranian, and Hindi-speaking North Indians originated in Central Asia and dispersed to the west into Europe, east and south into India. Why did the Aryans not carry memories of their existence outside India. There is no spoken or written records of them in Rg Veda, the first and the most ancient composition of the world. Even Dravidians and Tamil, civilized race and fine language, before the "arrival of nomadic
Aryans," came from somewhere outside India. Can you believe that? Yes, it is true that we all originated in Africa and moved out and on the way to the new place, we lost, gained, modified, and augmented some anthropomorphic features of our African progenitors. The cranial structure of the whites and Caucasoid races (Indians) changed; the whites acquired light skin; the Indians acquired the brown skin and the Asiatics retained and augmented the faint orange-colored skin of their African ancestors, in addition to the epicanthus. Consider this statement. After the centrifugal African wave, we borrowed everything from people around Euphrates and Tigris river region: their genes, their language, their customs, their religion, their gods. How true and valid are these statements? India is not our land, but a land of immigrants, as America is! Siva Lingams according to Linga Purana Chapter 74 Brahma the creator of the universe under the Lordship of Siva asked the celestial architect, Visvakarma, to design and make Lingas according to specifications. Sapphire was wrought into a Linga and given to Vishnu for worship. Ruby Linga was the object of worship for Indra. Visvaras worshipped Gold Linga. The following deities worshipped Lingas made of a particular material. Vasus Magnetic Linga Soma Pearls Ganas All metals Nilarudra Ash Linga Manonmani Scents Pisacas lead Linga worship sustains the mobile and the immobile world. There are six types of Linga with forty-four subtypes. 1st type 2nd type 3rd type 4th type 5th type 6th type Momentary Rock Jewels Metals Wood Clay type (Ksanika) 4 subtypes 7 subtypes 8 subtypes 16 subtypes 2 subtypes 7 subtypes Vayu Brass Ananta Coral Camunda Sand Lakshmi Bilva tree Saraswati Jewel Linga Asvins Earth Daityas Iron Linga Mothers Sand Guha cowdung Durga Gold Varuna Crystal Raksasas Iron Linga Nairrti Wood Sages Kusa grass Mantras Ghee Adityas Copper Guhyakas Three metals Yama Emarald Vamadeva Puspa Linga Vedas Curds
Each material of which the Linga is made and consecrated has special powers which the devotee and worshipper enjoys. Jewel Linga fortune Rock Siddhis Metals Wealth Wood Earthly joys Clay Siddhis
Root of the Linga harbors Brahma, middle Vishnu, and top Rudra, Mahadeva and Sadasiva, who is Pranava. The pedestal of the Linga is the Goddess with three gunas. The following is an extract from Lingapurana translation by The Board of Scholars of Motilal Banarsidass Publishers (page 368-369). The person who worships the Linga is eulogized by Indra, Brahma, Agni, Yama, Varuna, Kubera, Siddhas, Vidyadharas, the king of serpents, Yaksas, Danavas and Kinnaras with the sounds of the divine drum. He is a meritorious soul. shining brilliantly with splendor he gradually occupies and passes through Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah and Mahar worlds and then beyond Janaloka he shall go on to Tapas and Satya, illuminating them with his own brilliance. He shall unhesitatingly pierce the cosmic Egg by means of the large sword deposited in the holy path wherein the Lingas had been installed. 26-30. After eschewing the Lingas of rock, or of jewels, or of metals, or of wood or of clay or of the momentary type he shall establish his entire body in the Linga. The man who installs the splendid Linga white as the kunda flower or cow's milk, in accordance with the injunctions, along with Skanda and Uma undoubtedly becomes Rudra embodied in human form. By touching him or seeing him men attain great bliss. O leading brahmins, his merit cannot be mentioned by me even in hundreds of yugas. Hence one should install the Linga in the above manner. Linga is full of bliss, purity, auspiciousness, and imperishability. Linga is of two types: External and internal. External Linga is visible to the naked eye and is the Linga of the external or gross man, who cannot conceive anything that does not appear before his eyes. The internal, subtle or spiritual Linga is perceptible to the Yogin. Sivalinga is Niskala for the spiritual man and Sakala for the gross man. Siva is indivisible like ether, which can be contained in a pot or present everywhere. Though ether is one, the pot make it look as many. The sun is one but appears as many in manifold water mirrors, like lakes, puddles.... Man, animal and plant are made of five elements, though they have myriad forms in their Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, and individuals. All this plus whatever you see, hear, do not see, do not hear and anything else perceived or not perceived by the senses is Siva. There is nothing he is not. The difference between individuals is mere illusion. This illusion is a dream which is not real but gave all the experiences. The physical body of Siva is of three types: Niskala, Niskala-Sakala, and Sakala. Yogins worship and meditate on Niskala form some the Niskala-Sakala form others with their families the Sakala form. Sakala form is the visible form. Siva is also the goddess, whom the Saktas worship. Some
regard Siva as One some as two (dvigunam--Purusa and Prakrti) some as Trigunam (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra). Worship of seated Siva with Uma and Skanda -by making the idol-makes the devotee Siva-like, traveling in aerial cars to many worlds of Uma, Kumara, Isana, Brahma, Prajapati, Janarloka, Maharloka, Bhuvarloka, Meru and the abodes of Devas. He attains SAyujya (union) with Siva. Siva created Vishnu from his left side Brahma right side Prakrti left side cosmic intellect from Intellect Cosmic Ego from his own Ego, the origin of Tanmatras sense organs from his own sense organs the earth from the base of the foot water from his genitalia fire from navel the sun from the heart the moon from the neck and the soul and heaven from the middle of the eyebrows and forehead. When Siva is worshipped in his dancing stance-by making the idol- along with the daughter of the mountain with his thousand arms or four arms, surrounded by Bhrgu and goblins, mothers and sages, bowing Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Soma and other Devas, the devotee receives blessings equal to 10 million times the benefits obtained and accumulated by doing all Yajnas, penances, gifts, pilgrimages and visits to Devas. He goes to Siva Puram, the Mythical City of Sivapura built on the peak of Kailasa in Himalayas. Once his sojourn ends with the dissolution of all living beings, the next creation brings him back to earth as a mortal. When Siva is worshipped-by making the idol- in the form Ardhanariswara (half male, half female) with four arms giving boons, the devotee experiences all the joys of Sivaloka and receives the power of Animaa (ability to assume a minute form), the appropriate knowledge lasting as long as the moon and stars and liberation. The Sakala (one with attributes) and divinely splendid body of the lord is worthy of being conceived by all men. But the Niskala (attributeless) body of the lord can be conceived only by the yogin, is all pervasive and remains in the heart of the yogin. Worship of Siva has merit whose depth depends on the type. The highest form of worship is Dhyanayajna. Dhyana (meditation) confers perfect knowledge. Japayajna (sacrifice as Japam: derived from Jap = to murmur or whisper chanting or repeating mantras or name of a deity.) is superior to thousands of Tapoyajnas which are sacrifice in the form of austerity. Tapoyajna is superior to thousands of Karmayajnas (sacrifices dominant in holy rites). Holy rites, austerity, chanting, and meditation are sequentially superior. In Dhyanayajna, Siva himself appears in the vision of the Sadhaka. History and mythology of Chidambaram: Chidambara Mahatmyam (CM) CM is a collection of local legends and myths and history of the hereditary priests who came to Chidambaram from North India. King Hiranyavarman took a bath in the Siva Ganga tank, the waters of which cured his leprosy. He expressed gratitude by bringing 3000 Dikshitars, who previously moved to the North. Patanjali wrote the manual of temple rites which do not follow the Saiva Agamas.
Naimisa forest takes after the eponymous Nimsar on the left bank of Gomati River in Uttar Pradesh. Naimisha means a moment, twinkling or winking of eye and therefore connotes time, a second or fraction thereof, 2/5ths of a second necessary to wink the eye. The forest was so named because the Asuras (anti-gods, A-suras) were defeated in a twinkling by Sage Gauramukha. The wheel of Virtue broke and instead of spinning all over, it found its permanent place here. This is the most famous forest where all the Puranas were narrated. The forest were full of a variety of trees, flowers, birds and beasts. It was known for Champaka tree (Michelia champaca), pools and lakes. The forest was teeming with people of all four castes, forest dwellers, ascetics, Gurus, hermits, cows and cattle. The people grew barley, chick peas, beans, pulses, sesamum, sugarcane, paddy, and vegetables. They held sacrifices. Romaharshana, a Suta (rhymes with Soota) born of a Ksatriya father and a Brahmana mother arrived at the forest. Romaharahana = Roma + harahana = hair + bristling a person whose hair bristles or stands erect obviously Romaharshana is hirsute. He is one of the greatest sages, a pupil of the Mahabharatafame Vyasa and the narrator of the Puranas. Romaharshana is also know as Lomaharashana. Loma = hair. Suta had six disciples: Agnivarcas, Akrtavrana, Sumati, Mitrayus, Samsapayana and Savarani. Suta praised the 3000 sages and compared them to Sarasvati and Brahma in their knowledge and study of Vedas. The sages were known for their generosity, intelligence, Siva worship, devotion, and smearing Vibhuti (Sacred Ash) on themselves as a sign of Siva devotion. Vibhuti also refers to halo and the eight Siddhis of Siva: Anima, Laghima, Prāpti, Prakāmya, Mahima, İśitva, Vaśitva, Kāmāvasāyitā. Ash in Sivapurana
Bilva/ Vilva / Bael tree (Aegle marmelos.)
There are several sources for making the Ash. Simultaneously chanting the mantras, burn the cow dung of Kapila (brown) cow along with Asvattha, palasa, Vata, Aragvadha or Bilva. The resulting ash is called Sivāgnija. Alternately the twigs can be burnt in Darbha grass fire chanting Siva Mantra. The ash is sieved through a cloth strainer and the powder is put in a pot (metal, wood, earth or cloth or silk bag). Ash prepared by Vaidk devotees can be used by all, while Tantric Ash is used only by Tantrics. Ash is called Bhasma meaning that which is honored or adored controlling the essence of the whole universe. The ash represents the essence of the sacred plants. Siva destroys the universe periodically and the resulting ash is the essence of the destroyed universe, which he smears all over his body. The essence of each element constitutes parts of his body: the principle of Akasa is his hair, Fire his heart, waters his hips, the Earth his knees and so on. The tripundraka (three parallel ash marks on the forehead) constitutes the essence of Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and
Rudra. The red Tilaka (dot) constitutes the essence of Mahesvara. Siva means the One who controls everything and whom no one can control. S in Siva is eternal bliss; I Purusa, the primordial male energy; Va Sakti, the primordial female energy. Ash is applied on the body and latter in stripes on the forehead. A round dab of ash on the forehead of the disciple is the mark of Siva, applied by the devotee himself or the Guru; it purifies the devotee. The devotee must regard the Guru as Siva or Lingam. The father brings the son into the world in a physical form and drowns him in the ocean of Samsara, while Guru helps him cross the ocean. The Naimisa forest sages wanted to know about Sage Vyaghrapada (literal meaning = Tigerfoot). His name, before he was popularly known as Tigerfoot, was Madhyanthana, whose father had the same name. Tigerfoot, a devotee of Siva, was well-versed in Vedic texts and learnt Panchakshara mantra from his father. The sages asked Madhyanthana Sr. earnestly about the means of attaining to the feet of Ambikapati Siva. Ambikapati = Goddess Ambika's husband, Siva.) He answered it as follows: The seasons (Ritu) and the year are divided into 6 parts instead of 12 months. If a Sadaka performs meditation and worship during winter, rainy, and spring months eclipses of sun and moon on the top of the mountains in Siva temples and thick jungles on the banks of the rivers in verdant gardens abounding in fruits and flowers and eats only fruits, roots, and leaves from the jungle, he will attain and enjoy Brahmaloka, but will return to Samsara (birth and death) on earth again. He will not achieve Sayujya with Siva, which entails merging with Siva and no return to this earth. Here is a table explaining the seasons. Solstice Northern Zodiac Kumbam and Meenam (Aquarius & pisces) Mesh and Rshaba Ritu (season) Sisira Months condition
Magha and Phalguna = Mid cold, chilly, frigid JAN to mid MAR Chaitra and Vaisakha: mid MAR to mid MAY
(Aries & Taurus) Mithuna &Karkataka Grishma (Gemini & Cancer) Simha & Kanya Varsha (Leo & Virgo) Thulam & Vrischika (Libra Sharad & Scorpio) Dhanu & Makram Hemant (Sagittarius & Capricorn)
Gyaishtha & Summer, Hot Ashadha: mid season MAY to mid JUL Sravana & Bhadra: mid JUL Rain, Monsoon to mid SEP Asvina &Kartika: mid SEP to mid Autumn mid NOV Margasirsha & Pausa: mid NOV Winter to Mid JAN
Madhyanthana Sr. continued his advice. If a Sadhaka wants union with Siva, which ensures merger with Siva and freedom from birth and rebirth, when he worships to Parama Siva (Supreme Siva). Offering prayers to other gods is unnecessary. To a question by his son, he said that Siva is omniscient and the auspicious places for prayers, meditation and worship are Kailasa in the Himalayan mountains and the Svaymabhu Lingam (natural Lingam and not an artifact) in the Tillai forest in Chidambaram. Notes: Bhakti (personal devotion), temple worship and ritual are important elements in Siva worship. Sambandar eulogizes the Brahmins of Tillai as the guardians of virtue, conquerors of cosmic evil, tenders of sacrificial fire and repository of sacred texts. The devotees of Siva are affectionately known as and call themselves Adiyar (the footman or the one who serves at the foot of Siva). Adimai and thondu are some of the qualifications of a Siva devotee. Adimai - slavery to Siva and his devotees. Thondu = service to god and men. The Saiva poets of even Brahmana caste did not discriminate against the lower caste Saiva poets or devotees. God is open to access on four paths: Chariyai, Kriyai, Yogam and Jnanam. Go to TANTRA and Siva-Ashtamurthy for more details. The first three are important paths though Jnanam is the most important, capable of giving Paramukti. Paramukti is supreme Mukti or liberation (release) after death, while mukti while living is Jiva mukti. The file Siva-Ashtamurthy uses the analogy of a ladder consisting of four steps, the bottom being Chariyai and the top Jnanam. In each step the soul relates to Siva in a different manner: slave, son, friend, and likeness. Service Chariyai Relation with Siva Slave Kriyai Son or child Yogam Friend Jnanam Likeness to Siva
Chariyai is manual work of a devotee in the worship of Siva: collecting flowers, keeping the temple clean and the like. Kriyai is ceremonial and ritual acts based Agamic prescription. Yogam and Jnanam are higher forms of worship. Yogam is contemplation on Siva, the devotee wanting to be and becoming one with Siva. Jnanam is the most difficult and hard to obtain. It is not the mundane knowledge but Siva Jnanam, the knowledge that truly knows the oneness of Pati and pasu. The four paths start with the physical, going to the metaphysical and ending in the transcendental Siva Jnanam. The stepladder pattern of ascent from one to another is a measure of spiritual intelligence of the devotee.
Siva and Parvati on the Bull--Tanjore painting
Siva and Padma Puranas write on Rudraksa wearing, mantras and benefits. You will notice many differences, especially the recited Mantras. Rudraksa seeds are derived from the tree Elaecarpus ganitrus Roxb that grows in Himalayan Tibet and India and Indonesia. From Siva Purana about Rudraksa Rudraksa = Rudra +Aksha = Rudra + eyes = Rudra‘s eyes. The most favorite seed of Siva is Rudraksa. It sanctifies, and destroys the sins by sight, contact and prayers. Siva describes the origin of Rudraksa. ―I have been doing penance for many thousands of divine years (one divine year = 12 earth years). I opened my eyes to help this universe and tear drops rolled down from my eyes and fell on the earth. Rudraksa plants grew from these tear drops. They were given to the devotees of Vishnu according to their Varna. They grow in Gauda, Mathura, Lanka, Ayodhya, Malaya (western ghats), Sahya (mountain range), Kasi. They have the ability to destroy the sins. They are of four types and colors: White Rudraksa for Brahmins, Red for Ksatriyas, Yellow for Vaisya, and black for Sudra. All of them are auspicious. Rudraksa beads confer upon the wearer benefits, worldly pleasures, and liberation. Rudraksa of the size of Emblic Myrabalan (Amla size >2.3cm) is the best among them. The one with natural hole from pole to pole is the best. The one that has the hole drilled is the middling. If one wears eleven hundred Rudraksas, he assumes Rudra rupa (Rudra form). Words cannot describe the benefits derived from wearing 1150 beads. A coronet of 550 beads is worn by a devotee. A pious man wears three circular strings in the manner of Sacred thread, each string having 360 beads. One should use three beads on the tuft and six in each ear. A rosary of 108 beads should be worn around the neck. Three arm bands of 11 Rudraksas should be worn on the arm, elbow and wrist of each hand. Three Rudraksas should grace the sacred thread five Rudraksas should be worn around the hips. Such a person is worthy of worship like me. Such a person should be addressed, ―Upon your sight, all sins are destroyed.‖ Even women and men of all Varnas and Asramas can wear Rudraksa. The sins of those who wear the Rudraksa have their sins wiped out: morning sins are destroyed by afternoon so on and so forth. A Rudraksa of one face is Siva Himself and destroys the sin of Brahmin slaughter by sight; that of two faces is Isa Himself and satisfies all desires. One of three faces confers enjoyment one of four faces is Brahma Himself and wipes out the sin of manslaughter sighting and touching
it fulfils four objectives in life. One with five faces is Rudra Himself and confers salvation and expunges all sins from adultery and eating forbidden food. Wearing Rudraksa of these faces confer these advantages. Six faces kartikeya seven faces Ananga eight faces Vasumurti and Bhairava lives a full life and becomes Siva with trident. 13 faces Visvedeva 14 faces The Highest Siva nine faces Ten faces Bhairava. Presiding deity is Jnardana Durga of 9 forms. attains the fruits of all desires.
expels sin of poor man turns Brahmin slaughter. into a Lord 12 faces on the hair of head All 12 Suns are there
Eleven faces Rudra Victory is guaranteed
good fortune and destroys all sins auspiciousness
These are the Mantras specific for Rudraksa of various faces. Face Mantra one face Om Hrīm Namah Rudraksa 2 faces Om Namah 3 faces Om Klīm Namah 4 faces Om Hrīm Namah 5 faces Om Hrīm Namah 6 faces Om Hrīm Hum Namah 7 faces Om Hum Namah 8 faces Om Hum Namah 9 faces Om Hrīm Hum Namah 10 faces Om Hrīm Namah 11 faces Om Hrīm Hum Namah Om Kraum Ksaum Raum 12 faces Namah 13 faces Om Hrīm Namah 14 faces Om Namah Another auspicious procedure is wearing one bead on the tuft, thirty on the head, 50 around the neck, 16 around the arm on each side, 12 around each wrist 500 on the shoulders 3 strings of 108 beads each worn as the sacred thread. He who wears all these 1000 beads and performs rites punctiliously is worthy of worship like Rudra.
A votary of Siva should not eat meat, garlic, seasoning herbs, pork and refrain from drinking liquors. The sight of a devotee with the garland of Rudraksas drives out evil spirits, ghosts, Pisacas, witches, charms and spells. Siva, Vishnu, Devi, Ganapati, the sun and other gods are pleased with the devotee with Rudraksa garland. Rudraksa garland and ash please Siva. If Mahadeva is worshipped without Rudrakasha and ash, his desires are not realized. Padma Purana says the following in Chapter 59. A Rudraksa without a mouth (face), one eaten by an insect, broken one, one derived from conjoined berries are to be avoided. A Rosary made by a person for himself either in a loose or separately-tied fashion is recommended. The one strung by a Sudra or lower classes is impure. Mantras in praise of Vishnu, Siva, Ganesa, or the sun on a clean surface, at the root of a tree, a cow pen, or in a house muttered with the Rosary are beneficial. Use of Rosary with muttering of Mantras in praise of goddess in a vacant house, cremation ground, and crossroads gives success. Rudraksas were formed from the drops of perspiration of Siva, when he killed demon Tripura in Kritayuga, who was hiding in the intermediate zone between earth and heaven. When Skanda asked Siva its benefits, He answered, "Merit upon seeing Rudraksa increases by 100,000, by wearing 100 million, and chanting the hymns billions." Wearing Rudraksa on one's body cancels out all impious acts and erases all sins. If an animal chokes and dies on a Rudraksa it receives Rudrahood, what about human beings? Just holding Rudraksa absolves the holder of all sins. Notice the differences between Siva and Padma Purana. Wearing Rudraksa with various mouths (faces) destroys sins as follows. one mouth (face) 2 mouths Siva Vishnu 3 mouths Fire Prarabda karma is destroyed. Absolves one of absolves the sin of Brahmanacide and Brahmanacide killing cows homicide of a woman are excused. No diseases in the goes to Kailasa goes to heaven abdomen never defeated 6 mouths 7 mouths 8 mouths God Vinayaka worn on right arm equal to Ananta Himself born never defeated like resistant to poisons intelligent adept in Kartikeya virtuous sins of adultery letters sins of Parvati the giver of with his teacher's adultery with his boons acts like his wife expunged teacher's wife mother expunged 4 mouths Brahma himself adept in religion and secular knowledge 5 mouths Rudra's son honored by gods in front of Siva over millions of kalpas
Lord of beings 9 mouths
Sovereign emperor 10 mouths
Bhairava Himself sin of killing millions absolved serpents perish honored like Indra in heaven he is Ganesa Himself.
God-like pleasure enjoys heaven in all three worlds 11 mouths wears it on the topknot equal to merit of thousands of horse sacrifices millions of sacrifices equal to a gift of 100,000 cows to a Brahmana. 12 mouths 13 mouths 14 mouths
worn around his neck fire and fulfills all desires diseases do not sin of killing of wear it on one's affect him the sin father, mother, head he is the of Killing siblings or teacher darling of gods endangered species is expunged. (elephants) is destroyed. eternally lives in Heaven
Equal to Hara
Equal to Rudra
These are the accompanying mouth- or face-specific Mantras chanted while wearing the Rudraksas. The merits without recital of hymns are mentioned before; the merits obtained while wearing and reciting the mouth-specific mantras are beyond numbers and imagination. ekamukhi = one mouth; Vaktra = face 1 mouth Om Rudra ekavaktrasya 2 mouths Om kham dvivaktrasya 3 mouths Om ambum trivaktrasya 4 mouths Om hrīm caturvaktrasya 5 mouths Om hrām pancavaktrasya 6 mouths Om, hrūm sadvaktrasya 7 mouths Om hrah saptavaktrasya 8 mouths Om kam astavaktrasya 9 mouths Om jūm navavaktrasya 10 mouths Om aksam dasavaktrasya Om srīm 11 mouths ekadasavaktrasya 12 mouths Om hrīmdvadasavaktrasya Om ksom 13 mouths trayodasavaktrasya Om nrām 14 mouths caturdasavaktrasya A man who wears Rudraksas of all mouths is equal to Siva Himself. He who dies while wearing a rosary of Rudraksas or just one Rudraksa becomes the follower of Siva, Sakti, Ganapati or the sun. He who recites the Mantras to himself or for others or listens to such Mantras or causes others to listen to them becomes free from all sins and goes to heaven.
Here is a table that explains the Rudraksa seeds, the faces between the rills, the associated deities and the benefits.
Different Mukhi Rudraksha; the God / Goddess and the benefits face between the rills (trenches) One Face Lakshmi rupam; Goddess Lakshmi. Rarely available. Two face Ardhanarisvara: Androgynous Siva-Sakti. Three Face Sarasvati, Goddess of learning; Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesa-The Triad. Four Face Brahma, the Creator. The four-faced Brahma. Five Face Rudra, God of destruction; Six Face Kartikeya, son of Siva, Warrior god. Seven Face Saptarishi (Seven Rishis). Ganesa, god of beginnings; Ashta Vasus. The eight Vasus are the personifications of natural ph Eight Face the Pole-star, Soma for moon, Dhava or Dhara for earth, Anila for wind, Anala for fire, Pratyu Nine Face Durga has Tejas of all gods. Ten Face Vishnu, God of maintenance; Krishna Eleven forms of Siva (SB 3.12.12). Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahaan, Siva, Rtadhwaja, U Eleven Face and Dhrtavrata. Twelve Face Vishnu or Sun whose chariot passes the 12 points of the Zodiac. Thirteen Face Visvadeva (Indra) and lesser gods provide fortune and happiness. Fourteen Face Siva: This bead is worn on the forehead, the location of Ajna Chakra. It is not uncommon for the nuts to be powdered, mixed with milk and taken internally to cure diseases. Vibhuti: Vibhuti = Vi + bhūti = Apart + existence, manifest, reveal = Apart from existence = Holy ash. It is said that Siva applied ash from Sacrificial fires from Vedic times and thus the practice began among the votaries. There are several instances of the people rising from death after a Sadhu or holy man sprinkled ash on the dead body. Roman Catholics and Ashes Ash Wednesday (Day of Ashes), marking the onset of Lent (spring) is the Roman Christian tradition of 40-day period of fasting and penance and wearing ash from burnt palm fronds of previous year‘s Palm Sunday celebration of triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The followers partake the sufferings and sorrows of Christ. Blessed ashes stand for mourning and penance and thus the observant remains in sackcloth and ashes, which are sprinkled over the head since Mosaic times. Num 19:9-10, 17. 9“A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of
the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin. 10The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he too will be unclean till evening. This will be a lasting ordinance both for the Israelites and for the aliens living among them. 17“For the unclean person, put some ashes from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water over them. As in Hindu religion, ash is a reminder of death and our (soul's) mortality. The priest puts on the forehead the sign of the Cross with the ashes, using his thumb and saying, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." People may use ash bought in the religious store. The Biblical act for repentance is to wear ash and sackcloth, sit in dust and ashes and sprinkle dust and ashes on one's forehead. Fasting and wearing ash have survived to this day. People are encouraged to abstain from meat during the whole period of 40 days. Ash from the dead bodies was worn in primitive times to remind us about the impermanence of life on earth and the reality of death. Ash as a symbol of nothingness brings home the point that all objects that give a feeling of I and Mine in the world eventually come to end; greed and possessiveness have no place in the world. Ash is the remains of the body and what remains after the body is the immortal soul. To be attached to the impermanent body and not to the eternal soul is the paradox of mundane living. Body is burdened with impurities (Malams) while the individual soul by itself is pure. Ash is pure and has undergone test by fire; thus, all impurities should be rendered into ash. All matter (Panchabhutas) is perishable revealing the underlying eternal Parmatman. Siva smearing himself with Ash is the reminder of impermanence of the five elements and the underlying eternality of Brahman, (who is the hypostasis of all that exists). The Stars (dots) and Stripes, and colors The forehead mark is white, red, or black most of the time. Three horizontal white ash stripes (Vibhuti, Tripundaram) on the forehead along with the red dot below the stripes (see picture) are the mark of Saivites; three vertical stripes (Namam) the sign of Vaishnavites; black Pottu (dot) the sign of the black moon and the premarital virgins with sexual purity. Red Pottu (Kum-Kum) is the sign of a happily married women. Red mark is worn by men also, worshipping Mother Goddess (Saktas). Votaries belonging to Mādvachārya sect wear sandal paste vertical line on their forehead instead of red line. Guruvayurappan (Lord Krishna in Guruvayur in Kerala) is seen with the U mark on his forehead, made of sandalwood paste and saffron. Preparatory rites involve using of sandalwood paste and its distribution to the votaries as Prasadam at the end of ceremony. Sandalwood paste is used on various parts of the body for Sandhyavandanam and postUpanayanam worship. Vadakalais wear U Namam; Tenkalais wear Y Namam. Horizontal and Vertical Markings The distinctive head markings (namas) identify the sects of Hinduism. Shaivites apply bands across their foreheads (left). Vaishnavites, adherents of Vishnu, wear three vertical lines (right).
Happiness in tranquility (credit: kamat.com)
A Muth and its Swamiji are the nucleus of cultural, spiritual and philanthopic activities Shown above: Picture of Swamiji of Shirali Muth Tranquil physiognomy Eight Vibhuti stripes on body
Forehead, neck, three in each arm. Credit Kamat.com Namam and its locations
Vaishnavite priest, credit: kamat.com
Heaps of vermilion Note his Sandal paste marks on Visuddha and Ajna Chakras Kum-Kum Vendor, Credit: Kamat.com
Giggles and smiles Black Pottu (dot) averts evil, curious or jealous eyes. Black Pottu on the forehead of young girls, credit: Kamat.com
Scintillating ebullience Red Pottu (dot) of married women credit Kamat.com
Grace and dignity in loss: Woman sans vermilion (Widow) Credit (kamat.com) Sacred Ash are of three types: Karpam, Anukarpam, and Upakarpam. Karpam is the ash made from cow-dung caught as it drops by hand and prepared according to Agamic rites. Anukarpam is the ash made from the cow-dung picked up from the pasture lands. Upakarpam is the ash prepared from the ashes left behind after forest fires and the ashes in the brick kiln. These marks teach the devotee of all sects that he should remove the triads from his system. (Tri = three) They also indicate the opening of the eye of wisdom in Bhrumadhya (spot between the eyebrows. Bhrū = Brow; Madhya = mid point. Sanskrit Bhrū is cognate with brow; now you know the British and Europeans won't know what to call the arched cluster of hairs above the eyes until taught by the Sanskritist. Same is true with tri or three. The origin of words and numerals: The view of Devabhāṣya School (Sanskrit language revealed by devas). Here is a story of the word Bhrū. A Sanskrit scholar, an European and an Englishman were linguists 5000 years ago. (Later, somebody called them, Indo-Europeans) They were brewing a
liquid concoction by boiling some unnamed leaves brought by the Sanskritist and enjoying its bouquet, aroma and flavor. The Sanskritist from India was dubbed later to belong to DevabhAsya School claiming that Sanskrit is the origin of the so-called Indo-European languages. DevabhAsya = Divine revelation, made visible by the divine. They were the first ones to name parts of the body precisely, sitting by the fireside. (Greeks, you are alpha and omega of Human Anatomy; Joseph Campbell says that Greeks are the cousins of Indo-Aryans.) They (man-men-manas = thinking animal-thinking animals-mind) were thinking up words. There was a brisk wind. A louse from the head of the Sanskritist jumped and landed on the eyebrow of the European. The brisk wind carried several flakes of the Sanskritist's dandruff and deposited them on the Englishman's head. The Sanskritist saw a head louse taking a stroll on the left eyebrow of the European. The observant Englishman said, "that little walking thing of your color (pointing to the Sanskritist- dubbed as Brown Aryan) is taking a stroll on the arch of hairs above the left eye of this (man, pointing to the European) from up there, (pointing in the direction of Europe)." The European saw three lice taking a straddling unsteady walk between the hairs on the head of the Sanskritist, and said, "this (man) has louse, louse, louse walking on head between the hairs." The Sanskritist and the European saw white flakes and scales on the hair of the Englishman and said, "this thing on your hair is like this (pointing to the white color of the Englishman)." They all went to the doctor for consultation and treatment. They had problem explaining what the problems were. The Sanskritist ( the Brown Guru) came to the rescue and said pointing to the eyebrow, "We call this BhrU." All practiced the intonation of the word, BhrU. They could not get it right the first few times. They were forcing the wind by the closed lips and vibrating the lips 10 times a second. Eventually they got it right. The Sanskritist continued, "Tri", pointing to the three lice and counting louse, louse, louse with his fingers. They got that right, right away. They were stuck as to what to call the silvery scales. The Sanskritst ran out of patience and asked the Englishman, " Man (Manas-thinking animal), What is your NAma". All including the doctor blinked their eyes and looked blank. The Sanskritist pointing to himself said, "Mama nAma PujAri." All got the idea instantaneously. The Englishman said, My nAma (name) is Daniel Druff. All agreed to call those flaky white silvery scales, DanDruff. The Sanskritist continued to speak, "Now that we know that the doctor and the Englishman do not have louse on them, they have SUnyA (empty = 0) louse." Sunya became ciphr, sifr, cipher, zero, zilch, Nada, Null by the time, it spread around the world. How could you spread nothing around the world? That is the beauty of zero of Devabhasya School. That is how the words, Man (manas -thinking), Name (NAma), Three (Tri), Brow (brU), Zero and Dandruff entered Indo-European languages. The doctor recommended applying the same brew they were drinking to the scalp for the dandruff, and on the lice. They were cured. NAma = name; Manas = (Mind) Man; BhrU = Brow; Tri = three. Fibonacci says the following about Hindu numeral system, mistakenly called Arabic numerals today. There, following my introduction, as a consequence of marvelous instruction in the art, to the nine digits of the Hindus, the knowledge of the art very much appealed to me before all others, and for it I realized that all its aspects were studied in Egypt, Syria, Greece,
Sicily, and Provence, with their varying methods; and at these places thereafter, while on business. Mark Twain says, "India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only."
1. Mummalam (three impurities: Anava Malam, Maya Malam, and Kanma Malam—I-ness and mineness; illusion; selfish acts. 2. It brings relief from three miseries of human existence: Exogenous misery, endogenous misery and theogenous misery (Adhibautika, adhiatmika, Adhidaivika). 3. It depicts the transcendence of rising above the three gunas: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. The forehead is an important locus in the body by which a person distinguishes himself by his Jnanan (spiritual wisdom). That glabellar locus (Bhrumadhya) is the 6th locus in Adhara Yogam of Kundalini, Ajna Chakra, by which a man transcends and rises from the secular to the spiritual sphere. As the person acquires external and internal purity there is no need for demonstrative signs on his body like ash stripes. External purity and the advent of internal purity have begun. Siva has taken an abode in his heart, a sign of internal purity. Such a devotee becomes the temple of God and becomes the man of the universe, treating all equally. Three Strikes and You're Out If you are convicted of Ego, Ignorance and Bad Karma, You are out and cast into the world of misery of birth and rebirth. With three strikes against you, you are taken for a ride of life and death in the ever-revolving metempsychosis. You could get out of this Ferris Wheel of life and death by reducing Ego, Ignorance and Bad Karma into ash, earning the three stripes, and showing off your rank by applying the ash on the forehead as three stripes, which are a badge of honor. You may even flaunt your good conduct by wearing the badge of three stripes on nine parts of your body: forehead, two upper arms, two elbows, two wrists, neck and chest. The stripes indicate the removal of Ego, Spiritual Ignorance and Bad Karma. Ego comes between you and the next person and also between you and God. An aspirant cannot approach God with the feeling of ego, "I" and "mine." There is only one "I" in this world and that is the "I" of God. You, He, She, They and That (matter) are parts of God. Removal of spiritual ignorance is the beginning of the descent of Jnanam (spiritual knowledge and wisdom) into your soul--Saktinipatam). The eradication of karma is known as Irruvinaioppu, meaning that both good and bad Karmas are brought to naught (equilibrium) individually. If one has ten good karmas and five bad karmas, it does not mean a positive balance of good karmas would preclude his birth into this world. Having a load of Karma means life on earth, whether it is good or bad. Good karmas lead to good fruits and good life and bad Karma gives bad fruits and suffering in this world. Null Karma is the object and that is Iruvinaioppu, which guarantees no birth.
Siva's temple in Tiruvaiyaru is eulogized as the place of five tirthas (holy waters): Surya Tirtham, Chandra Tirtham, water in the foam in the mouth of Nandi, Kavir River, and Water from Ambal's breast milk. Here Nandi is known as Adhikara Nandi. Bhakti is a mental state and not a stickler to codified rituals and ceremony. A hunter becomes the forest priest. Here is a real life story of a hunter offering worship to Siva. A hunter was trudging the forest floor for a game. On his weary path, he came across an unattended Lingam covered in dust, leaves and debris of forest. He was not a man known for niceties and codes of worship. He knew what Lingam was, and the need for offering worship. He cleared the leaves and used his footwear to do a fine job of removing the dust and debris from the Lingam. Siva the omnipresent Lord felt exhilaration throughout his Body and enjoyed each rub, slap and stroke as if they were massage therapy. The hunter not satisfied yet with the dusting wanted to wash the lingam with water. He knew his topography and dashed to the nearest river he always used for bathing and drinking. He did not have a vessel to carry the water; he did the next best thing by carrying the water in his mouth. He spat the water out of his mouth on to the lingam, which amounted to ritual ablution. Siva accepted the unconventional ablution with utmost satisfaction as if a codified ablution was performed with accompaniment of Namakam and Samakam (Vedic hymn addressing Siva and Vedic hymn praising Siva. He was hungry and felt that Lingam also must be hungry. He had no stored food on hand and so went on his stealthy way in the forest to bring a game as food for him and Lingam. Soon enough he heard a grunt and saw a wild boar digging the forest floor with his snout, unaware of its lurking mortal enemy. A stone flew out of the hand of the hunter; down and dead was the wild boar. He ripped the flesh with his bare hands and sampled it for palatability. The test was a pass. Soon he was on his way to the Lingam to serve the meat, which Siva accepted with relish. For Siva, it was nothing less than the special fare served to Him in the form of PanchAmrta (A mixture of five delicious substances usually plantain, honey, sugar, ghee, grape used for anointing idols) and pancha-patciya-paramAnnam ( = A sumptuous feast with dainties of five kinds. Siva did not consider the hunter's use of foot wear, saliva-stained water for ablution and game meat as offensive and accepted his Supreme Bhakti stand on its own merit before Him.
Saiva Siddhanta believes that there is a chasm between Pure Consciousness of Siva on one hand and Maya, Tattvas, and matter on the other hand. This chasm can be traversed by Sakti; there is no physical connection between Siva and matter; all apparent connections are through the intermediation of Sakti. Yes, He is Water, Air, Fire, Ether and Sky. Let me explain this apparent contradiction. Siva has three levels of perfection: Supreme Siva, Parasakti and Parameshvara. Parameshvara has the connection with matter through Sakti. Supreme Siva is Atattva (Not THAT, not matter). Atattva is NOT mutable, while Tattvas (matter) are mutable. Supreme Siva, 1st perfection, The following are other epithets. SivaLinga, Absolute Reality, Paramatman or Supreme Atman, Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without attributes or ParaBrahman, Brahman without Parvati), A-Tattva (Beyond Tattva), Niskalatattva = the Tattva without Kala or Prakriti. Niskala (No Kala [parts] = No manifested Sakti), Niskriya (No action = actionless), Asabda (No sound = beyond sound = unmanifest sound), Amanaska (without Manas or mind), Nir-vikalpa Samadhi (absence of differentiation; union; absorption, nondual state between Yogi and Brahman). Siva is Niskala, meaning he has no parts, he is whole, he is undivided, he is absolute or Nirguna Brahman--Brahman without attributes; undifferentiated Brahman. As you see here, there is no connection between 1st perfection and matter.
Horizontal relationship among other entities and sects Nirguna Brahman = Supreme Narayana (Adhi Narayana) = Parasambhu Siva = Brahmamayi (Here you get an instance where attributeless undifferentiated Brahman becomes Clinical Brahman [Saguna Brahman, Brahman with attributes] who can be any of the following depending on the sect of the worshipper: Vishnu of Vaishnavas, Siva of Saivites, or Devi of Saktas (worshippers of Mother Goddess.) Their common ontologic superior is genderless non-sectarian undifferentiated Para Brahman or Nirguna Brahman. Parasakti: 2nd perfection, Sakala (many forms; consisting of parts as opposed to Niskala), Saguna Brahman (Brahman with attributes, Sabda Brahman or Sound Brahman, Sakala Siva with attributes and actions, Saguna Brahman with maya Parvati), Sat-Chit-Ananda (Sachidananda, Being-Consciousness-Bliss), Sa-vikalpa Samadhi (Duality between object and Subject [Yogi and Brahman], differentiation.) Paramesvara: 3rd Perfection, Paramapurusa (Supreme Purusa), manifest Brahman --clinical Brahman, Siva-Sakti. This is where Siva, who maintains the portfolio of destruction, has connection with matter through Sakti. The Supreme Paramasiva (Parabrahman Siva) lives in Satyaloka. Sambhu lives in Maharloka. Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra, Vishnu, and Brahma, whose abodes are Tapoloka, Janaloka, Svarloka, Bhuvarloka and Bhurloka, preside over the five elements respectively: Earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Paramasiva is the abiding place of all Devatas. SivaLinga: How do you represent an entity that has no form, and is beyond attributes and imagination? Lingam is that aniconic Icon. It is the rounded, elliptical, aniconic image usually set in on a circular base, or Pitha, according to Lexicon in Dancing with Siva by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. Sivalinga is Parasiva (Supreme Siva beyond all forms and qualities. The base (Pitha) represents Parasakti. AnAdilinga = Anadi + Linga = without beginning + Linga. Also it is known as swyambhu or self-existent. Anadhilinga is supernatural Linga-shaped outcroppings as a natural formation from the earth. These are not fashioned by human hand. Anadi Lingas are present at Vaidyanatha, Tarakesvara and Chandrasekara (Chittacong). Alinga, Linga, Lingalinga
the "form" - the anthromorphological form as an idol of Lord Nataraja, called the Sakala thirumeni. the "semi-form" – the semi-anthropomorphological form as the Crystal linga of Chandramouleswarar, the Sakala nishkala thirumeni. the "formless" – as the Space in Chidambara Rahasyam, an empty space within the sanctum sanctorum, the Nishkala thirumeni.
Alinga - A = not + Linga = mark. the Non-Mark, the entity which cannot serve as mark for inferring the existence of something else; the causa finalis. Epithet of the fundamental material substance, the causa sui.--Indopedia definition. Linga is Mark and the Mark of male is Phallus; thus Linga means phallus; that is the sign of Siva. The question comes up why Lingam is the way it looks. Let me explain. If there is smoke, there is fire. The smoke is the sign that fire is present. When you see Washington Monument, you think of Washington, though the monument does not look anything like Washington. The monument, everyone decided, should be stupendous and elegant to honor the First President of the young nation. Just like Washington Monument is an abstract form of President Washington, Linga is an abstract form of Siva and a generative principle. Siva, according to Saivites, is the First God; He is the Father of all beings; He is the First One to say, "Aham" meaning I, the First I in the Universe. There was no one else in the universe except His Sakti (Power by His side). Thus, Siva and Sakti is a unitary force from which the First I (through Sakti) became He, She, and It, which cover everything in the Universe; I or One became many. Lingam is an obelisk well grounded in a labial vestibular pedestal and the aniconic form (Niskala) of Siva. The three white stripes, sandalwood, red dots, and the serpent at the base of the lingam have significance. The serpent represents Sakti-Kundalini. Alinga is One without Mark.: The Great Supreme Vyaktam (manifestation) is beyond the ancient atma Mahan, which is beyond intelligence, the essence of the mind; the latter is beyond the mind, which is beyond the senses. Beyond avyaktam is the entity who is all-pervasive and devoid of any mark (alinga). Knowing him brings liberation and immortality. Linga consists of prakrtic elements such as buddhi, ahamkara, manas, indriyas and Tanmatras (intellect, ego, mind, sense organs and subtle elements); the Supreme is not tainted with these factors; therefore, it is not subject to samsara. Linga status marks manifest Isvara, while Alinga status carries no marks and is unknowable; it is avyaktam, primordial, undifferentiated, unmanifest, noumenal state. Eyes have never seen this form. He can be known by (spiritual) heart, mind and (spiritual) wisdom. Mental focus helps apprehend Reality. When the five senses (vision, hearing, taste and speech, touch and grasp) and the mind come to a standstill and the intellect does not stir, that is the highest state (Paramam). When the prakrti-bound senses and the mind come to an arrest, the spiritual world that lies beyond the grasp of the senses comes into access. This is yoga; it needs control of the senses; distractions make yoga come and go. Another view: The three qualities of the insentient and the sentient, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas assume an ontological status in Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra under the aegis of Mahesvara for creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the universe. Mahesvara pervades them all, and in their roles, they are called Alinga, Linga, and Lingalinga. He is Pradhana (primordial unmanifested matter), Bija (the seed), and Yoni (the womb). Prakrti, the unmanifest matter, wakes up to become manifest and fecund upon the glance of the Lord Mahesvara. The Linga and the icon:
SivaLinga is attributeless Nirguna Brahman. It is point of coalescence and condensation with no mass, where all Tattvas merge into transcendental Singularity. Nataraja is the Saguna Brahman, the clinical Entity with attributes and the wielder of all Tattvas and Prakrti. Siva sports three forms in another variation of the same theme. : 1) Sakala Thirumeni, 2) Sakala Nishkala Thirumeni, and 3) Nishkala Thirumeni [1) சகல திருமேனி, 2) சகல நிஷ்கல திருமேனி, 3) நிஷ்கல திருமேனி = 1) the Form: Anthropomorphic Sacred Body of Siva in the form of an idol, Nataraja or the Lord of Dance 2) the Form-Formless: Semi-anthropomorphic form, the crystal Linga of Chandramoulisvarar, 3) the formless, as the Space, "Akash-Lingam" (= Ether Lingam) or the vacant space in Chidambara Rahasyam in the inner sanctum in Chidambaram. Threefold Siva: Some others look at Siva in three forms: Mahesa, Sadasiva, and Nishkala Siva. Mahesa is Sakala form, having body parts, a clinical form; Sadasiva is Misra rupa (mixed form), both with and without attributes; Nishkala (Nirguna) Siva has no form or attributes and is full of Bliss; therefore, it is called Ananda Rupa (Bliss form). In Dance festival (Nritotsava = Nrit +Utsava = Dance Festival), it is the (Ananda Tandava) Bliss Dance by Nishkala Siva. Many Lingams: Configuration of various Lingams are based on the Bhutas or elements: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water and Sky or Ether. The idea is that Siva exists in all elements; thus he exists in your body, whether you know it or not. Thus you body is sacrosanct. Element Fire Earth Wind Water Sky or Ether Lingam Fire Lingam Earth Lingam Wind Lingam Place Tiruvannamalai Kanchipuram Kalahasti Jambukeshvar Water Lingam (Trichy) Sky Lingam Chidambaram
When the curtain to Chit Sabah (Hall of Consciousness) in Chidambaram is drawn, what you see is an empty space representing Sky Lingam; this is the Chidambara Rahasyam (the Secret of Chidambaram); the Lord exists in all the apparently empty spaces from the atom to the vast spaces of cosmos; thus, he is the Cosmic Dancer. The Red Mountain of Tiruvannamalai is the Fire Lingam. Linga Worship by gods and others, Linga material, and their respective mantras. Skanda Purana Chapter 13 tells that anyone who abandons worshipping of Siva, abandons the nectar from his hand and chases a mirage. This universe is Siva and Sakti marked with Linga and Bhaga; they are Rudra and Ambika, the Father and the Mother; anyone abandoning them and
making offerings to manes has less merit. Verses 144b-194 indicate the beings, the Lingas they worship, and the mantra japas. This is not a full list--listed 58/100. The Mantras constitute Satarudriya (100 names of Rudra or Siva). Visvakarman, the celestial carpenter, is the designer and manufacturer of Lingas of disparate material for the Devas to worship. The god who worships Siva--the First Vertical Column. The material that goes to make Linga--the Second vertical column. The name of Siva (one among many) that the god worships--the third vertical column.
Sanaka Saptarishis Indra Krishn a Darbha (black) Linga Linga
Fire god Sapphire Linga
Sukra Ruby Linga
Hataka linga Jagatpradhan a
Adamantine Copper Pearl Linga Linga Linga
Visvayonika Visvatman Visvasrj Jagatpati Visvesvara Visvakarman
The Guhya Mother Raksasas Jaigisavya s s Golde three Silver Brass Bell-metal Lead Brahmarandh n metal iron Linga Linga Linga Linga Linga ra Linga Linga Linga Jagatam Sambh Svayambh Bhutes Bhutabhavyabhavodbha Isvara Yoga Yogesvara Pati u u a va Kuber Visvedev Wind Vasus a as god
Nimi Dhanvantari Linga s in his Gomaya linga two eyes Sarvalokesvaresvar Sarva a
Gandhravas Raghava Timber Linga Lapis Lazuli Linga
Emeral Crystal d Linga Linga
Sarvasresth Jagajjyesth Paramesvar Lokatryamkar Vasistha a a a a
Bali Linga of Jasmine plant Taralinga Sangamavrta Manasa Linga gleaned Linga grains Lokatriyasrita Jagannatha Sadurjaya Kamamrtyujaritiga Jnanatman
Maricipas Flower Linga Jnanagamaya
Kapila Valukalinga Varada
Devas Gold Linga Sitikantha
Kama Saci Viswakarman Vibhisana Jagary Linga Salt Linga Prasada Linga Dust Linga Ratida Babhurukesa Yamaya Suhrttama
Yogins all-pervasive Lepya Linga Linga Harinetra Sthanu
Humans Urvasi all kinds of red lead linga Linga Purusamnaman Priyavasana
Siddha Yoginis Dakinis Sandalwood Mamsa-Linga Linga Sahasraksa Midhusa
Manus Anna Linga Girisa
Agastya Rice grain Linga Susanta
Valmiki Valmika (ant hill) Ciravasi
Daityas Dasnavas Black mustard Wind Linga Linga Ugra Dikpati
Clouds Nira (H2O) Linga parjanyapati
Skanda Stone Linga Senanya
Yama Black iron Linga Dhanvin
Mandhata Sugar Linga Bahuyuga
Cows Milk Linga
Birds Sky Linga
Earth Merulinga Dvitanu
Pasupati Sacred Ash Linga Mahesvara
Padma Srngi Linga Dhurjati
Brahmalinga Visa Linga Jyestha Sankara
Sages Knowledge Linga Cirasthana
Goddess Siva Mercury Linga Tryambaka
If one wants Purusarthas (virtue, wealth, love, and liberation), Hara-Siva should be worshipped. He brings all three worlds to his devotee.
Siva is Sunya, worshipped by Yogis; the yogic path is very difficult to follow to reach Sunya. Those who want to enjoy worldly pleasures should worship the visible and palpable Linga. (Skanda Purana I.ii.33.25-34) Skanda Purana i.II.33.27... says bathing Linga in pure water, the whole universe from Brahma to a blade of grass is propitiated. Bathing Linga with Pancamrita is tantamount to bathing and propitiating the Pitrs. Offering seasonal flowers in worship of Linga is worshipping the whole universe. If a talented man offers Naivedya to Linga, it is tantamount to feeding the whole universe. Whatever is offered to linga in worship, large or little, brings joy to all. As Agni is the all-devouring mouth of Devas, Linga is the mouth of all worlds. Installation of Linga in a temple gives logarithmic benefits with each successive construction. Constructing a rounded pinnacle on top of the temple gives a place in the world of Rudra till the end of Kalpa for him and 21 generations in his family. Go to TATTVAS-36 Siva as described by Sivaraman in his book Saivism in Philosophical Perspective, page 47. The Destroyer-God is not the mere deity of destruction who has a co-ordinate function and existence along with the deities of creation and preservation. The term hara denotes the Supreme Being in a general as well as in a unique sense.28 Literally, of course, hara is one that destroys, and yet its application extends not to any destroyer nor again to a mere destroyer but only to a specific one to whom it belongs uniquely. Siva, the Supreme, who is indicated suggestively by the name of Hara is not to be identified with 'rudra' to whom belongs the office of limited dissolution. Siva is maha-mdra, not guni-rudra.29 He is the universal Destroyer of whom rudra and other deities are only the operative aspects. The Saivagamas make this crucial distinction in univocal terms. They say thht Srikantha-rudra, the agent of periodic dissolution (avantara-pralaya) is but a mature soul belonging to that group or class of Pasus which, though bound are not bound as we the earthly souls are, but whose bonds are snapped at the time of final Dissolution About Siva Himself it is said that He is pati, the Lord of the bound (pasupati) who freely descends and assumes the states of laya, bhoga and adhikara and take on the respective forms of Siva, sadasiva and Mahesvara and performs the respective functions of dissolution, governance and creation of all the realms of existence including the realm of speech. As referred to Siva the Agent par excellence, differences of the functions of sristi Sthiti, and samhara do not imply a difference in the cause of the functions: Siva, sadasiva and Mahesvara are functional differences belonging to the same unity behind them, whereas, with reference to the intermediary agencies, their differences involve differences of agents also. In the Saiva hymns too the same distinction is drawn at innumerable places. Siva's 'office' of Dissolution is not co-ordinate with the offices of the trinity, including that of rudra. The entire universe with its creators, conservers and destroyers is under Siva's control 'even as dried leaves whirl under the control of a stormy wind. He is the Creator of the creator. He is the God that sustains the sustainer of creation. He remains hidden from what He sustains. Confounding Siva with one of the trinities is, therefore, a species of theological heresy of con founding God with
creature, the transcendent with the non-transcendent, the Ever Free with the Bound, and comes in for a vehement condemnation at the hands of the Saiva hymnists. Here is more information on Siva as found in his book. In Saiva hymns, Siva is not one of the trinities. He is above them and behind them and the latter know Him not. He is the indwelling spirit in them. He transcends all Tattvas. he performs all cosmic functions through his intermediaries like Rudra, Brahma, and Vishnu and more. Destruction is dissolving relations and conditions and making it free from the phenomenal.
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