Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

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There are about 400 pages of information on Girivalam on this website.

Ulaganathan P.: (#3): Pancha Mukha Darshanam of Arunachala

'Pancha Mukha Darshanam' is a spot where the five faces of Arunachala Siva are revealed to us. It is on the girivalam route where the girivalam path joins the town again. At this spot, you will see many people facing the hill and meditating.

Lord Vishnu can be seen in a reclining posture in Sri Rangam and in Thiruvananthapuram. In Tiruvannamalai, we can see Lord Arunachala in a reclining posture. When we look at the four hill tops amidst the vast expanse of hills silhouetted against the clear sky, it is so easy to see that Lord Siva is in Yoga Nidra.

What is the difference between our nidra and the yoga nidra of the Lord? In Yoga Nidra, the Lord remains in total awareness even though there is no movement. The Lord is not in deep slumber like us, covered in the darkness of ignorance. God is Light. Ignorance and darkness are an anathema to the very name of God. That is why we associate Him with the light of ‘Karthigai Deepam’. He is but a witness to all that happens around us. He is aware of the good and the bad. He neither approves nor disproves our actions now. He witnesses now without judging us. Judgment He reserves for the future.

We talked about Pancha Mukha Darshanam. After counting the four hill tops, I used to wonder where is the fifth mukham or face of Lord Siva. Now my doubt is answered. In Rudra mahamantram, Lord Siva is said to be having five faces. They are 1) tatpurusham 2) agoram 3) satyajotham 4) vamadevam and 5) eesanam. The one which faces the east is tatpurusham; that facing west is satyajotham; the north is vamadevam; and the east agoram. All these four faces refer to the four Vedas. That is why the four hills of Arunachala are revered as the four Vedas. But, where is fifth face—eesanam?

It is that face which is visible in the form of Jyoti. Eesanam is nothing but the ‘deepam’ that is lit atop the hill during the festival of Karthigai. We have the darshan of the four faces of Lord Siva in the form of the four hill tops and the fifth face in the form of the ‘deepam’. Kanchi Paramacharya has explained this pancha mukha tatwam of Lord Siva in the September 16-30, 2009 issue of Kumudam Bhakti.

It is bliss to meditate upon the pancha mukham tatwam of Arunachala. It is blessed still to witness- nay merge with- Arunachala, during girivalam.

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