Archive for December, 2012

December 31, 2012

Prayers for Contentment , Health and conviction to follow our Dharma.

In this English Calender year 2013, may Bhagawan Bless us all with Contentment , Health and Conviction to follow our Dharma in-spite of the lure by western ideals.



December 28, 2012

Today is Thirvadirai Festival – Ardhra Darsanam Festivel – For Bhagwan Shiva

Info on Ardhra Darisanam.

Based on Shri Raman’s email forward and Mahesh’s Sage of Kanchi blog.


Arudhra Darshan 2012 – Lord Shiva Ardra Darshanam

Arudhra Darshan, also known as Ardra festival, is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tamil Calendar and it celebrates ‘the cosmic dance’ of Lord Shiva as Nataraja.

In 2012, the date of Arudhra Darshan is December 28. Arudhara Darshanam is observed on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Margazhi (Margali Masam).

Arudra festival is celebrated with fervor in Lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia and in other parts of the world by Tamil speaking population.

Arudara Darshanam festival is of great importance at the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu and marks the conclusion of Margazhi Brahmotsavam.

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva as Nataraja represents – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. Arudra Darshan celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.

It must be noted here that Arudhra, Ardra, Arudhara, Arudra, Arudara are the different spellings used in English language to mention the festival.

Significance of Ardhra Darshanam


One of the eight fasts (vrata) of importance in favour of Lord Siva, according to Kanda Puranam, is Thiruvathirai fast. Those, who perform it, are expected to arise from bed before dawn, complete their daily ablutions, go to the Siva Temple, witness the anointing ceremonies, light ghee lamps, offer their prayers, view the Nadarajah’s procession and fast without food until the next day when they can partake meal with Saivite devotees after their early morning ablutions and Siva worship. Patanjali, Vyakrapada and Munsishesha rishis are said to have followed this fast and obtained benefits according to puranic stories.

ARTHIRAI: Only two out of twenty-seven stars are honoured with title “Thiru”. They are Athirai and Onam, which are assigned to Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu respectively. The Saiva world surprisingly has assigned a birthday for the Primordial. Athirai seems to have been assigned to Lord Siva from very early times according to literary evidences (Kalitthogai; Paripadal). Athirai is also called Chemmin, meaning red star. The word Siva too has the meaning of a red person. Those who gave Siva a peerless position also assigned one of the biggest stars to him.

MARKALI THIRUVATHIRAI: The last day of Thiruvembavai is the tenth day, which falls on Markali Thiruvathirai. According to an old verse of Paripaddal, girls on Markali Thiruvathirai find out from elderly women how to perform the rites for Ambavadal and then start off the rites bathing in cold water before dawn and praying that the world become cool with sufficient rains in their ceremony.

The Bhagavada Purana also refers to a Karthiyayini fast performed in Markali by girls similar to the above one. The ceremony conducted by girls in favour of the Mother Goddess became extended to Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu irrespective of gender and age in later times. This “Markali bathing” is referred to in some ancient poems (Narrinai; Ainkurunury; Kalitthogai) as “Thai bathing” because after the full moon in mid Markali we get part of Markali and part of Thai, there giving license for both terms. Saivites recite the twenty verses of Thiruvembavai sung by Saint Manikkavasagar daily for ten days ending on Markali Thiruvathirai. Vaishnavites recite the thirty verses of Thiruppavai sung by Saint Andal, one daily for the whole month of Markali. The divine charioteer, Lord Krishna observed that he is Markali of the calendar months and Thiruvathirai of the stars in Bhagavad Gita.

ARDHRA DARSHAN: Saivites hold Markali Thiruvathirai as one of the most holiest days of Siva. Saint Thirugnana Sambandar singing to Poompavai asks whether she is going away without witnessing Athirai (Thirumarai). It is significant that one of the six anointing ceremonies of Lord Nadarajah takes place on this day. Further Lord Nadarajah comes out in a procession of this day to give Darshan to his devotees.

In Sanskrit ‘Arthirai? is called ‘Ardhra?and the Thiruvathirai anointing ceremony is called Ardhra Abisheka and the Thiruvathirai viewing as Ardhra Darshan. It is held as a great achievement to be able to view Nadarajah’s procession on Markali Thiruvathirai in Chidambaram. Saivites from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) used to go in boats to Vedarniyam (Thirumaraikadu) and then to Chidambaram for this ceremony annually in olden days.

Travel restrictions between India and Ceylon put an end to this annual Saivite trek from Ceylon. However lands and properties donated by Saivites in Ceylon to Chidambaram Nadarajah bear testimony to the attachment of Ceylon Saivites to Chidambaram and its Lord. There is a great festival in the ten days ending on Markali Thiruvathirai in Chidambaram. This will be followed by the anointing ceremony in the early hours of Markali Thiruvathirai. Then it will be followed by the procession of Lord Nadarajah with his consort to bless the multitude of devotees.

Chendanar of Cheppurai sang the Thiru Pallandu decade so as to get the chariot, which stuck in the mud to move on a Thiruvathirai procession in Markali (Thiru Pallandu). His only decade forms one of the five hymns recited in Siva Temples even today. Nandanar’s ambition to get Arudhra Darshan saw no bounds. He was forced to go on postponing his departure day after day due to his subservience to his Master thereby earning for himself the name of Thiru Nalai Poovar. His story is the theme of a musical drama by Gopala Krishna Bharathi in the late 19th century. The hermits of Darukavanam, due to their arrogance, overlooked the peerless Lord Siva, paying no heed to the path of knowledge, followed the pathway of Karma (action) and performed a huge fire ceremony.

The gracious Lord took the form of a beggar to enlighten them when he dropped in at the doorsteps of the hermits smitten by his Grace forgot what they were doing and followed him one after another. The hermits became furious and brought one of the five dreadful creatures to destroy the Lord. Lord Siva destroyed all of them and stood upon one of them (Muyalagan) and performed a Tandava dance enlightening the hermits who was the Lord of the universe. This darshan is said to have taken place on the Markali Thiruvathirai. Therefore viewing the procession of Nadarajah on this day is said to be very beneficial.

THIRUVATHIRAI KALI (MASHED FLOUR): Cendanar of Naukoor, a disciple of Paddinattu Adigal, used to eat only after feeding some Saiva devotees. Due to a constant bad weather he could not get together all the essentials for a proper meal. He had no option but to mix water with flour and prepare a mashed paste. Lord Siva understood his predicament. He wanted the people to know how sincere his devotee was to him. Therefore he disguised himself as a Siva devotee and visited Cendanar’s hut and enjoyed what was given to him as food. The temple attendants saw the premises scattered with the mashed paste the following morning. Inquiries led to an understanding of Cendanar’s piety and he was thereafter bestowed with all due respect. This incident took place in a Markali Thiruvathirai. This is why Thiruvathirai Kali forms an important prasad on this holy day.

Ardhraa Darshanam (Kanchi Periyava Upanyasam) –39 minutes — in Tamil

Aani Thirumanjanam Of Lord Natarajar Pt.1

Aani Thirumanjanam Of Lord Natarajar Pt.2

December 20, 2012

Quote From Kanchi Mahaswami on Sun and Shadow

Quote From Kanchi Mahaswami on Sun and Shadow

“If we walk facing the sun, shadow will follow you without you even knowing about it.

We should have a goal that is prescribed by the shasthras. If we follow the goal (you walk towards the sun), money & status will follow you (like shadow without leaving you even if you donot want it).

Instead if you turnaround and follow the shadow, you are walking against the sun .You will never be able to catch the shadow and the shadow will eventually leave you, just like money and status will leave you after some time.

What is the point of turning away from Sun, (the noble goals prescribed by Shasthras) and going behind shadow (money & status) “

Please forgive if there is an error in translation


Dr Veezhinathan talks about Mahaperiyava (3 minutes in tamil)

December 10, 2012

Importance of intonation of Vedic Mantras – Kanchi Mahaswami

Importance of intonation of Vedic Mantras – Kanchi Mahaswami

You must not go wrong either in the enunciation or intonation of a mantra. If you do, not only will you not gain the expected benefits from it, the result might well be contrary to what is intended.

So the mantras must be chanted with the utmost care. There is a story told in the Taittiriya Samhita(2. 4. 12) to underline this.

Tvasta (the divine carpenter) wanted to take revenge on Indra for some reason and conducted a sacrifice to beget a son who would slay Indra.

When he chanted his mantra, "Indrasatrur varddhasva. ", he went wrong in the intonation.

He should have voiced "Indra" without raising or lowering the syllables in it and he should have raised the syllables "tru" and "rddha"(that is the two syllables are "udata").

Had he done so the mantra would have meant, "May Tvasta’s son grow to be the slayer of Indra".

He raised the "dra" in Indra, intoned "satru" as a falling svara and lowered the "rddha" in "varddhasva".

So the mantra meant now: "May Indra grow to be the killer of this son (of mine)".

The words of the mantra were not changed but, because of the erratic intonation, the result produced was the opposite of what was desired. The father himself thus became the cause of his son’s death at the hands of Indra.

The gist of this story is contained in this verse which cautions us against erroneous intonation.

Mantrohinah svarato varnato va Mithya prayukto na tamarthamaha

Sa vagvajro yajamanam hinasti Yathendrasatruh svarato’ paradhat

What was the weapon with which Tvasta ‘s son was killed? Not Indra’s thunderbolt but the father’s wrongly chanted mantra.

December 1, 2012

SOME POINTS on UPANAYANA – Excerpts from the ‘Upanayana’ chapter from the book THE GREAT HINDU TRADITION

(Excerpts from the ‘Upanayana’ chapter from the book THE GREAT HINDU TRADITION. This book was released by Swami Dayananda Saraswati at Chennai. This book has chapters on Vedas, Rituals, Sastras, and Hundreds of FAQs on our culture and anushtanams)

Upanayana should not be postponed for silly reasons. Recently I
came across a family who had postponed their third son’s

upanayana as they had been told that three Brahmacharis should
not live at a time in a house. This is incorrect.

Similarly in another peculiar case, the boy’s Bahamopadesa was
postponed because the position of boy’s planets according to his

horoscope were not conducive. This is also not acceptable. It is
against Dharma Sastras to postpone upanayana on any such

After performance of his upanayana a person should compulsorily

do Sandhyavandana. Dharma sastra is categorical on this point:
it clearly says that a Brahmin who does not do Sandhyavandana
is impure and unfit for any Vedic karma. This is the pivotal karma.
People who complain of not having time to do the full

It should be understood that there is no alternative to
Sandhyavandana. Going to a temple or attending a bhajan or any
other form of devotion does not exempt one from
Sandhyavandana. Bhakti marga is truly great, but cannot be in

lieu of this key karma.

Look at the different facets of this simple and beautiful ritual:
• It is an upasana
• It is a Yoga
• It is a dhyana
• It is one sure way of viewing one’s own soul
• It has great health benefits

• It can lead to prosperity
• It is a prayer for the well-being of the whole world
• It is a nitya karma