Personal Note: Avoid Amavasya days…it’s considered very special for visiting Santhana Mahalingam. You will have thousands of people in the hill and you can never walk fast, even if you can! Go on a simple weekend. Crowd will be 100 – 200 max, but you will have a very good and peaceful darshan. They say in Aadi and Thai amavasyas, there will be at least 50000 people. I cannot imagine the plight of the hill on those days. Strictly avoid these two days.
Well. The first time I went to this hill, it took me exactly 6 hours to reach the top. When I completed 25% trek, I started thinking, “Have I done a mistake by coming to this hill? The path is totally different from our regular roads!” After 50%, I thought, “Yes, I made a mistake. Did Shiva ask me to come here to see him? I could have played and listened to Sri Rudram at home only…gross stupidity.”After 75%, I thought, “Very Sorry Shiva…don’t mistake me…this is the last time am coming here. Who will walk all the distance to see you again like this…uh?”
Still, the next day, when the minibus to Watrap moved, trust me, when I turned back to see the hill one last time, the thought flashed, “WHEN WILL I COME BACK TO SEE YOU AGAIN???”
What changed my mind? The very existence of suyambu lingams ”Sundara Mahalingam” and “Santhana Mahalingam”? Presence of suyambu “Irattai Lingams”? pleasant water falls? smell of flowers? Or was it the courtesy of people there, who served food to me, without even bothering who am I, and will I give them money in return? I would definitely say, above all these, it was the smiling beauty “Anandhavalli” who sits and blesses people at the top of Santhana Mahalingam temple!
Let’s walk inside the forest range gate in Adivaram now…
Once we enter the forest range gate, we will walk in normal river sand path for a while, close to 7 minutes in normal speed. In between, we will walk on small rock stones also. I have seen every time, that the alignment of these has changed from the previous time. Strange! People say this is because of heavy rains and flow of water.
When we walk inside, to the left there are some waterfalls, but we need to climb down a bit, and walk inside. Whenever there is water, I have see people refreshing there.
After a brisk walk, when we think the place is close to deserted, we have “Aseervadha Vinayagar!”
“Vakra thunda Mahaa Kaaya!
Soorya Koti Sama prabha!!
Nirvighnam Kurume Devaa!
Sarva Karyeshu Sarvadhaa!!”
Oh Lord, with twisted trunk, huge body, brightness resembling millions of sun, Please remove all obstacles in all my work, always!
I prayed him sincerely, when I went for the first time. More than the trek and darshan, I was bothered more to return down safely. After all I have a son to bring up 🙂 Coconuts, camphor packets and “Arugam pul Maalai”, are available in case you need them.
Immediate compound is another temple complex, which hosts “Shri Rajayoga Thanga Kali Amman!”
Once we move over a small rock, and walk a couple of mins, we see “Sri Karu-pana Swami” and “Sri Pechi Amman Sannidhi”. “Saptha Kannis” and a very small lingam is present in this sannidhi.
To know who these deities are, and why and how they came to Sathuragiri, we need to go Yugas back. An interesting incident happened, which followed installation of these deities in this holy hill!
Sidhdha of Sidhdhars – Sri Kaalangi Nadhar & Thaila kinaru !
In the ancient “Sirungeri kingdom”, there lived a famous business man “Vaama Devan” in a village called “Vaalai puram”, who for long time, wished to construct a Shiva temple. He invited super specialists in Aagamas and started constructing one. Shiva wanted to test his bhakti, so slowly, he lost all his wealth. Once he became poor, he visited many kings and rich people in the neighboring kingdoms and asked for money to continue constructing temple. But, by the will of God, he was unable to channelize money for temple construction. When roaming around, he found a Rishi, prostrated before him and asked for money. Smilingly, Rishi told, “Son, I am after all a Rishi. Construction of temples can be carried out only by kings, super rich people and by people who know Rasavadham technique(science of turning any material to gold). Go to Sathuragiri, and find Rishi Kaalaanginatha who is an expert in Rasavadha. He will give you enough Gold to construct temple.”
Vaama devan felt happy. He prostrated several times before Rishi for showing the way and travelled to Sathuragiri, where he finally met Sage Kaalaanginathar!
Before continuing on Vaama devan story, let’s see about Kaalaanginathar!
He is Sidhdha of all Sidhdhas (“Sidhdharukellam Sidhdhar”). Lives for many yugas now. “Kaalaangi-nathan” means, if someone inserts a very sharp sword in his body, it will enter and exit his skin, without any blood wound. Further, there will not be any trace of sword entry. Has been a Guru for numerous Sidhdhas. “Nambi malai sidhdhar”, is believed to have been instantiated by this great Guru (information courtesy : siththanarul.blogspot.com). His “Jeeva peedam” is in “Kanchipuram, Ekambareswar temple”. Don’t search there frantically, there is no separate shrine. “Mahaguru Agasthiar Nadi” says that the Sidhdha resides in the Moola lingam. In sathuragiri, when we come from Periya Mahalingam to Sundara Mahalingam shrine, via Nadu kaatu Nagar sannidhi, we can see slim waterfalls, in a very long distance. Nearby this, is “Maha Sidhdhar Kaalaanginathar’s cave”. I was blessed; I should say, to know this! A visit to this cave will take 2 days for sure 🙂 we shall move from this great Guru for a while, and return back later to see his prowess.
Now that Vaama Devan prostrated before Sidhdhar and told his need, Guru wanted to actually test his truthfulness. So he remained silent. Vaama devan, on the other hand, became a disciple to this Maha-Guru, and did service to him for close to a year.
One day, Guru called Vaama devan and asked him to collect waste vessels from neighboring villages. Before he returned to the hill, Maha Sidhdhar made “Rasavadha thailam” (oil) with many herbs and 32 different pashanas(poisons).
On his arrival, a huge fire was created and they dropped all the vessels inside. Once vessels became red hot, Kaalaangi-nathar added few drops of the thailam in the fire and all vessels turned GOLD!!!Taking blessings from Greatest Sidhdha Kaalaangi-Nathar, Vaama devan left with enough riches to complete construction.
Happy ending to Vaama Devan’s story 🙂
Maha-Guru Kaalaangi Nathar peruman was worried that some “Tantriks” might use “Atharvana veda” to steal remaining thailam, once the news goes out. So he,
1) made a stone well beneath ground surface and poured the thailam into it, and closed it with a stone lid out of his Tapo-balam.
2) cursed the well, that it should always remain hidden from others.
3) installed “Varahi” as “Pechi-ammai” in Northern front by Mantras and Yantras.
4) installed five-faced “Aanandha Rudra moorthy” as “Bhairava” in Southern front by Vedha mantras recitation.
5) installed “Manonmani” as “Kali devi” in Eastern front by Moola-mantra recitation.
6) installed “Aghora Veera bhadra” as “Karu-Pana Swamy” in Western front by Moola-Beeja-akshara mantras and Tantras.
After these “Aavahanams”, much relieved Kaalaangi-Nathar, instructed “Karu-Pana swamy” to accept all “Bali” given by humans, who come here to pray Mahalingams.
Kaalangi Nathar Peruman, after this, to safe-guard the hill instantiated the following deities in the adivaram:
1) “Thoni-Parai Karu-pana swamy” in South.
2) “Muneeswara swamy” in North.
3) “Pandarathu Iyyanar” in West.
4) “Malayandi swamy” in East.
After this Sidhdhar peruman went into forest again for Tapas.
Thoni-Parai Karu-Pana Swamy:
One final word on this very powerful deity. “Karu” means foetus and “Panam” means money. This deity is meant to bless both child to childless couple and money to people who pray for it. Very powerful, I have realized once.
Once we move out of this sannidhi, we have three lingams, which are believed to be “Sidhdhar peedams”. Information is not available on these peedams. In the main peedam, there was an old woman, who told there was Goddess also there in a small stone.
It takes just 30 mins, from the time we reach the adivaram, to pray all these deities and get ready to trek on the hill.
Prayed here, and left for the long walk!
Let’s walk, again, in Part 3!