We have reached the place, where we have to deviate a bit for darshan of Gorakkar cave. We climb down close to 15 steps to reach a clean stone area. It’s a beautiful place to sit and meditate. Also if there is a water stream, keep your legs for a couple of minutes. Your legs will definitely feel fresh. But it is bit difficult to climb down. Since the steps are not man-made, they are wide apart, and also a bit steep. You are most likely getting pain in your knees now. In case you don’t, thank God 🙂
Before seeing the Gorakkar cave, some insights on what I have read elsewhere about this Maha-Sidhdhar.
Maha Sidhdhar Gorakkar:
Lord Shiva and Parvathi were talking in a river bed, in Kailash. Lord Himself was explaining the meaning of Pranava to Devi. A fish in the nearby river, which was swimming near the shore, heard it, and turned into a Rishi. Rishi walked to Lord Shiva and Devi, and prostrated before them. Happy, Shiva named him “Machendra Nathan”. Since he was instantiated by Lord Shiva Himself, Rishi had big prowess and started visiting many places. In one such journey, he walked inside a village. People rushed outside their homes to get his blessings, and as per tradition, the Rishi didn’t see the faces of women folk there. Rather he blessed everyone “Dheerga Sumangali bhava!” and was walking ahead.
In that village, there was a widow lady, who also came out to get Maharishi’s blessings. As Lord would dictate, without seeing her face, Rishi blessed her “Garbhavathi Bhavathu!” giving her some sacred ash, and left the village. The lady was too afraid, that since she was a widow, the village might punish her in case she becomes pregnant. Hurriedly she went to the backyard of the home, where wooden logs are stored, threw the ash there, and came satisfied into her home. Later she forgot this whole incident. 8 years passed by.
Machendra Nathan, came across the same village in yet another journey. This time, he willingly stopped before the home, where he had blessed the lady with a child. Lady came, and being too frightened, told the Rishi what happened the other day. Rishi told her, “Don’t worry. Show me the place where you put the sacred ash.” The lady took him to the wood store in her home.
Maharishi called “Gorakka!!!”. Answer came from the logs, “What???” Maharishi said, “Come out!”
The logs got displaced, and a boy of 8 years came out of the logs. Though Rishi prevented him, the boy followed him, till Rishi took him as a disciple. And thus Gorakkar became a great Sidhdhar. He has learnt from Bujandar peruman, Gurunathar Agasthiyar and many other great Sidhdhars, and has also written many books to help humans. Very famous work is “Chandra Rehai 200”
His jeeva peedam is in Vadakku-Poigai-Nallur, near Nagapattinam.
Having learnt about him, we stand in front of his cave.
This has very good looking and small vigrahas of Shiva, Ambal and Nandhi, with the great Sidhdhar himself.
The old lady in this photo is too special, and is respected a lot by the local people. Once when I visited the hill, on seeing me carefully for some time, she told me thus…
“Meiyanai-poiyan, poiyan poiyan poiyan poiyan endru ethanai murai kooritalum Iruthiyil meiyan thaanada vetri peruvan!!! Athaa thaan ivarum paadirukar (pointing to the Sidhdhar).” She hit me in my head with her palm, and said “Nee nalla varuva da…elunchi Po…”
Literally she meant, “Even if a liar says you a liar, liar, liar, and liar multiple times, will the person win against the truth? Sidhdhar has sung it in a song…Get up and leave now. You will come good in life!”
I didn’t understand the context at that point of time, but many people, who regularly visit her were visibly very happy at what she told me…”Ammave sollitanga….thairiyama ponga” were their words. I came down the hill fast; as it was becoming dark, and totally forgot it…and I should say frankly, I have started realizing the true meaning of her words now after many months…
Don’t miss to see her and get her blessings, if you visit Sathuragiri!
The first time, without knowing anything, I took her permission to take photo, and she agreed. I asked what your name is, and she replied “Pichaikaari!” Should I even tell that I cleared the place immediately? 🙂
In a couple of minutes walk from Gorakkar Guhai, there is another cave, where there is another Lingam installed. It’s called Pathanjali Lingam. So far by what I have seen in Sathuragiri, the way to this Lingam is the toughest, with water pouring on the way on all 3 sides, and the rocks are highly slippery. The first time when I went, I was very afraid to go there, telling others from CIT that I have a 1.5 yrs old son, so I don’t want to take any risks (Eppadi yellam samalikka vendiyatha irukku 🙂 )
When I was sitting idle watching others on the opposite rock, suddenly 2 people came there…they were wearing Sabarimala attire, and inquired me as to why I didn’t go to have darshan of the Lingam. When I said am afraid, one of them told me, “I promise you, whatever happens, I will bring you back here…Come sir”…I was totally out of mind at that second, went with him, crossed the rope clad rock, went to the opposite slippery rock, and had darshan of the Pathanjali Lingam, all by myself. When I turned, I slipped and fell into the stream of water nearby. Not once, but thrice…even if my head had gone 2 inches down, in that speed of fall, I would have got “Kabala Moksham” there itself 🙂 finally the person who promised me, took me on his shoulders, swam across the stream and left me safe on the other rock…
I didn’t even see his face properly, just cleared off the area, thanking him. In case you know to walk catching a rope, go and have darshan of this Lingam. In one of our visits, Bala, one in our friend’s group was courageous enough to go there and take this snap…Have a darshan…its said, that disciples of great Sidhdhar Pathanjali peruman installed this Lingam and were doing pooja for a long time.
Come back to our original path and continue walking down the hill. It takes another one hour to come to our adivaaram, crossing Kona-thalai vassal, Vettum paarai, vazhukku paarai, and thanking Thoni parai Karupana swami, Pechi amman, and finally Aseervadha Vinayagar for a safe return!
Totally tired, but with lot of happiness, we stand in the same adivaaram, forest range gate.
Last Mini bus at 6.30 pm is ready to take us out to Watrap!!!
Wait Wait…before boarding it; decide when you are going to be there !!!
This is the last part in Sathuragiri Trip travelogue. Though I plan to write a couple of parts more, it will be on other deities on this most sacred hill, at later times. Currently, I only have information on Vana-Kali and Periya Mahalingam, but not complete way and trip details to “Thavasi Paarai”. I have not visited it yet. I also felt, writing on other temples has been stopped by me for too long period now.
With all humility I should say, I never intended to write this series. I actually wanted, and literally started writing on “Maruthuva-Malai”, when again and again thoughts came flashing on Sathuragiri. I couldn’t concentrate on writing on the other temple, so that I started writing this one.
I started in a totally unplanned way, thinking that I shall be writing 3 or 4 parts maximum on this hill. What is there other than 11 km walking stretch was my view. But once I started writing and inserting photos in between, I thought why I shouldn’t write briefly about each installed deity. If at least one person reads it with interest, my purpose will be solved.
So, what started on 5th June 2013, ends today, 30/8/2013, with a happiness and satisfaction, that I have written one of the most detailed blogs available as of today on internet regarding this holy hill.
Jokes Apart! This is one trip, which I would say; each Shaivite should take in his / her life.
Vaagarthaaviva Samprikthou, Vaagartha Prathipaththaye!
Jagadhap-pitharam vanthey, Parvathi-Parameshvarou!!
Just like how a word and its meaning cannot be separated,
I pray Parvathi and Parameshvara, who are together, for eternity!!
says Valmiki, in opening his Ramayana.
Let’s conclude with these lines here!