Siva Peruman Thirusabhai – Thirukailayam:
“Akhilanda koti Brahmanda Nayaki” Parvathi Devi was seated with “Ashta deva deva, Mahadeva deva, Akhilanda koti Brahmanda Nayaka” Shiva in Kailaya thirusabhai, surrounded by Devas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Garudas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushaas, Rishis, Munis and Sidhdhas as usual. All were praying Shiva and Parvathi, when a very great and revered Maharishi, Bringhi, entered the Thirusabhai. There are hidden text meanings in some Sidhdhar works, that Bringhi Maharishi became Maha-Sidhdhar Bogar, who installed Nava-pashana vigraham in Palani hills.
Kailayam started witnessing an unusual scene 🙂
Being an ardent devotee of Shiva, Bringhi Maharishi prayed Him alone, and like a person who doesn’t seem to care about the Goddess there, Maharishi, took a form of a small bee, went pradhakshina around the Lord thrice, and got his form back. This irked Goddess a lot.
She asked Lord Shiva, “Swamy, why did this happen? When the entire devas and other clans were worshipping both, why did Bringhi Rishi alone do this? Whether his behavior of omitting Me just?”
Shiva smilingly replied, “Devi, whoever wishes for “Ishta-Kamyartha Moksha” (attaining desires of life, and then moksha), pray both of us together. Bringhi has already conquered all of his senses. He wishes only for “Moksha”, and for that purpose, he prayed only me, and did pradikshana only around me, since I only can give moksha to a soul!”
Parvathi Devi turned towards the Rishi, and asked him, “Maharishi! I accept you want moksha and not Ishta-Kamyartha Moksha. But then, why do you hold your body, nerves and blood, which are my forms? Shouldn’t you hold only your soul which represents Lord Shiva in every living creature?”
Bringhi Maharishi, even without answering Devi on Her question, just sat down before God and Goddess, with his Tapo-Palan, stripped off all muscles, nerves and blood, and retained only his soul. He tried to get up with his soul alone, but couldn’t since he didn’t have energy (Shakthi part) with him. Seeing him fall down, Shiva gave him a stick to walk with, with which Maharishi got up and left immediately to his Parnashala.
Seeing this, Parvathi Devi was terribly upset. Being very angry on this incident, She decided, being a part of Shiva alone will solve this problem, and also that she has to do Tapas for the same. She thought for a moment, decided Sathuragiri as the spot for Her Tapas, and came down to Sathuragiri. She appeared and sat down under a “Kallala Tree” (Tree under which Dakshinamurthy is present in all temples).
In that time period in Sathuragiri, there was a huge deficit of rain, and there was a fate of famine for 12 continuous years. Sathuragiri was completely dry, and the Sidhdha clan was waiting for the normal rains to return. They didn’t want to intervene in the normal natural cycle and create rains. Now that Devi came down to the forest, heavy rains came by themselves, complete forest came to flushing green, and was full of scent of flowers and fruits. This surprised the Sidhdha clan, since it was abnormal, and they came out of their meditation, across the forest to see, who has come.
Under the Kallala tree, was seated Parvathi Devi, on seeing whom, the clan was way too happy, and offered huge prayers to Her. Finally, Sattamuni Sidhdhar and Vanmeegi Sidhdhar inquired Goddess on the purpose of her visit.
Goddess told them that she desires “Vaama-Bhagam” (Left half of the Lord) of Shiva peruman, and has come there to do poojas to Him. Complete Sidhdha clan was very happy, and started serving the Mother on Her pooja. On a Purattasi – Sukla Paksha – Dhasami thithi day, Goddess did Pradishta of a Shiva Lingam under a sandal tree by Her own hands, and did poojas to it for 21 days, till Amavasya thithi of Aippasi month.
Lord Shiva appeared on Ippasi – Amavasya thithi, on Nandhi deva in form of Rishabha, and offered Devi to ask a boon. Goddess Parvathi, on this, uttered many mantras, slokas to appease Shiva, and finally asked for being the Left-half of His body, which Lord Shiva gave, and He took the name, “Ardha-Nareeswarar” He then blessed Sattamuni, Vanmeegi Sidhdhar and others in the clan, and left for Kailash with Devi Parvathi again. Before going Lord Shiva made a condition though….
“This Lingam’s pradhishta was done by none other than Devi herself. The prime aim of Devi was to get left-half of my body. In other words, to unite Herself with Me. Only Rishis shall do pooja for this Lingam henceforth. Or people who want Moksha shall do pooja to this Lingam. In case, shall normal humans do pooja to this Lingam sincerely, they will lose their family interests, and also other materialistic liking and I shall bless them with Moksha!!! ”
This Lingam, which Shiva quoted so high, and has been installed by none other than Parvathi Devi herself, is Sri Sri Sri Santhana Mahalingam!!!
Now, you have just entered this supreme temple complex, and see a direction board to Sattamuni Cave to your left!!!
Respected as one of the top 18 of the Sidhdha clan. His cave forms the first block in the Santha Mahalingam temple complex, which we saw in last post. His importance is clearly shown, by the very fact that, he taught the pooja-vidhi to Goddess Parvathi, with which She got “Vaama-Baagham”. And the pooja is still celebrated by most of the Brahmins with great respect, and also by many other communities, “Kethara-Gowri Vratham”
Though his cave is now surrounded by modern constructions, once you peep through the entrance, you will see a real cave 🙂 His jeeva peedam is believed to be in Sattanathar Koil, Sirkhazhi.
There is a 6 feet pit near it, with wood and fire, symbolically representing, where we will end up 🙂 You can sit and meditate if you like and can do, in normal days, when there is no crowd. On crowded days, you are not allowed so.
18 Sidhdhars Sannidhi – Another Mysterious Experience:
When we come out of the Sattamuni cave through the other entrance, we have 18 sidhdhars sannidhi.
Two rows of 9 sidhdhas each, starting from Thirumoolar piran in first row, and ending with Idai-kaadar Sidhdhar in second row. There will be a special pooja done here, on every year Margazhi Full moon day, to pray to them.
Even otherwise, seeing their assembly is quite divine.
Though there is a board which specifically says not to photograph this sannidhi, I tried taking a snap, to show it to my father, and also put it in this blog, so that people who really cannot walk can see it. Surprisingly, a black shade came in the photo, and the sannidhi became dark, on a quite sunny day. It appeared as if there was a sheet covering the sannidhi.
Seeing this, I was a bit surprised, afraid, after which I went to the sannidhi, prostrated before them for a permission, came back, sat in the same place, and took this one. Though it is bright, it appears shaky!!! Definitely, one more mystery, which I came across in the hills!!!
Next in line is the sannidhi of Vinayaga Peruman. Nothing specific is there in the sthala puranam. We pray Him, and move next.
Sri Sri Sri Santhana Mahalinga Swamy:
Next in the temple is Ellam Valla Em-Piran, Sri Sri Sri Santhana Mahalinga Swamy. Out of age, the sandal paste Lingam has turned black and appears as a stone Lingam. Nevertheless, very feel of it getting created and installed by Parvathi Devi, makes it special. There are many sites with clear photos of Lord, but one from my camera here 🙂
அவனை ஒழிய அமரரும் இல்லை!
அவனன்றிச் செய்யும் அருந்தவம் இல்லை!!
அவனன்றி மூவரால் ஆவதொன் றில்லை!
அவனன்றி ஊர்புகு மாறு அறியேனே!!
There is no Deva besides Him!
There is no hard done Tapas without Him!!
Trinity cannot do anything without Him!
I couldn’t find way to Moksham without Him!!
says ThiruMoolar Piran. We stand praying Him, and move further in the temple.
Next sannidhi is Lord Subramanyam’s who is named Santhana Murugan, to be rhythmic with Santhana Lingam. This has no specific Thiru-vilayadal of Murugan, but to have entire family in one stage, they have kept it 🙂 This is a Noodhana-pradishta.
Next we see the water falls, Aagaaya Gangai, which is believed to have been brought down by Parvathi Devi, to do pooja to Santhana Mahalingam, when She installed it. This is a snap taken on Periya Karthigai day of 2012. Now, it’s completely dried 😦
We see this, take a step, and we have my most favorite Aanandha Valli Ambal sannidhi!
Aanandha Valli Amman:
Let’s see why She came to Sathuragiri first, before talking about the present sannidhi. Parvathi Devi in Her form became Ardha-Nareeswarar and left, so this is not Her!
Do you remember, when we read about Thaila-Kinaru, I had said, we will see much about Maha-Sidhdhar Kaalangi-Nathar peruman in future posts? This is the time, again to see him!
A quadruple of Sidhdhars, Brahma muni, Satta muni, Kaalangi peruman, Sundharanandhar, once decided to elevate their souls, though already they were Sidhdhas! They wanted to pray Goddess Parasakthi, who stood in divine ladder even above Brahma.
They started their pooja on Purattasi – Amavasya, and did aavahana of Goddess in a Kumbham, decorated it, and performed Yagam, Japam, Thapam and Vratham for 9 days. On the 9th night (Navarathri), they completed their poojas, did shodasa upachara before the Kumbham, chanted many mantras, and finally prostrated, to symbol end of their pooja.
BOOM!!! Totally unexpected, was the appearance of Parasakthi, from the Kumbham, where the aavahana was done. In fact, the Goddess was so pleased with their poojas, that she appeared as a too beautiful girl. Sidhdhas wept in joy, that Ambal accepted their poojas, and prostrated multiple times before Her, and got too many boons. One was that, Aanandha Valli Ambal should stay in Sathuragiri, to bless people who come and pray Her!
Currently known as Santhana Maha Devi, much due to imagination of someone who named other sannidhis also, I take profound pleasure in presenting Her photo to you, before saying about Her!!!
Meaning of Aanandha-Valli:
The last stage, after becoming a Sidhdha, is called Parama-Aanandha nilai in Tamil, which is a state of eternal pleasure / ecstasy. Since this form of Ambal blesses souls with this, Ambal is called Aanandha Valli amman.
அவளை அறியா அமரரும் இல்லை!
அவளன்றிச் செய்யும் அருந்தவம் இல்லை!!
அவளன்றி ஐவரால் ஆவதொன்று இல்லை!
அவளன்றி ஊர்புகும் ஆறறி யேனே!!
There is no Deva without knowing Her!
There is no hard-done Tapas without Her!!
Nothing is achievable by the Five Lords without Her! (Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheswaran, Sadhashivan – Pancha Krutya Parayana, says Lalitha Sahasranama)
I don’t know a way for Moksham without Her!!
says ThiruMoolar Piran.
What to say about Her??? Every time, whenever I go and stand before Her, She is there, with a divine smile in Her face. All pain in the strenuous trek goes off in a whisker. And the pleasure of reciting Sahasranamam in front of Her, is great!
It’s Her, who gave me the darshan of Maangalya-Dhaaranam, though I don’t feel myself fit for it. I should say, this Sannadhi is closest to my heart of all sannidhis in Sathuragiri!!!
Sit for some time, but beware of the monkeys…there are many…As pleasant breeze crosses you, you will definitely feel out of the world in this place.
Come down, and you have the Navagrahas.
Pray them and and get ready to leave the hills, major portions of Sathuragiri trip is over!!!
We walk down, thinking of the trek, the ultimate grace of Shiva, Parvathi, Gurunathar Agasthiyar Peruman, Maha-Sidhdhar Kaalangi Nathar, Sidhdhas, who are continuously making this world, a place to live peacefully by their Tapas.
We cross Pala-Adi Karuppa swami, thanking Him for His grace to allow us inside the sacred hills, Nadu-Kali amman, Vana-Durga, and walking down, Rettai-Lingam in Ramadevar Vanam.
And it has taken us 1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins, to reach the shop, where we need to get 15 steps down to reach Gorakkar Guhai!!!
Details of Gorakkar cave, and an interesting person there, in next post!