Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

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

Ramesh Krishnamoorthy: Lesson in Surrender: Part 2

From before I started on the pilgrimage till after I finished Girivalam, I felt the power of Arunachala pulling me. I wanted to get to Tiruvannamalai sooner than later. Most of the time, I was in bliss repeating the mantra – Arunachala Shiva. But there were times when my mind was in real turmoil. Those were times when I was not surrendered to His will and was trying to arrange things my way.

At the bus station, I got on a bus to Tiruvannamalai. The bus started after a long delay. I kept thinking about the sacred Hill. Many hours later, all of a sudden, I saw a peak, "Ha! have I reached?" I thought. But no.

The bus had reached Ginji, a fort near Tiruvannamalai. I asked a boy near me 'how long more to Tiruvannamalai?' He said '45 minutes'.

Arunachala's magnetic pull

My mind started racing again when the bus took a turn and straight ahead I saw the peak. A person asked his Guru, "How will I know if I have attained enlightenment?"

The Guru replied 'will you question 'how will I know if the Sun has risen?'

Similarly, without a doubt, I knew I was looking at Arunachala and a voice inside me said “That is right, here I am. See, how I pulled you here?'.

Arunachala, indeed, pulled me to him like a magnet. With eyes wide open, I kept looking at the mountain in wonder. My mind was becoming lighter and lighter. There was total silence, not a thought. Even the bus engine's sound resembled worship.

It stopped near a statue. I got down and started walking towards the Mountain, when I realized I had to take a different route to the temple.

When I spotted the temple Gopuram, I hastened my walk and went in via the East tower. I left my footwear outside. It is only while coming out that I felt the real heat of the sun. I thought, “let "me" start Girivalam after sipping a sugar cane juice.”

Just as I thought that, the strap of my shoulder bag gave way. It dawned me immediately. Did I think "let me start"? No, "O Lord Arunachala, please let me start!"

Everything is HE

Just when I surrendered, I got an idea that the strap can be pierced with the iron clamp which hangs there with the bag. I was good to go. Here was the amazing lesson I learned.

The Great God Arunachala Shiva takes care of everything for me. It is all His deeds. Everything. All I need to do is remain silent, repeat the mantra and witness them. That is all. Nothing happens by ourselves. EVERYTHING IS HE. He showed me this very clearly. And the Girivalam had only begun. "How many more lessons was He going to teach me?"

I was standing in the shade of a small cart as it was terribly hot and my feet couldn't stand it. I distributed coins to the Sadhus and removed my shirt. With a great sense of pleasure, I smeared the Vibuthi all over myself. It was a blissful moment.

Start of Girivalam

I entered the East Gopuram to start the Girivalam. I took photos of the temple pond inside the Prakaram and had darshan of Ganesha and Brahma Lingam. The lingam looks like the head of Brahma on all four sides.

Then I proceeded towards the South Gopuram darshan of the Mount. This darshan is called as 'The Eka Munikal Koombu Mukha Darshan. It reminds us of promises we may have made and of our commitments.

I arrived at the Indra Lingam, which is the first of Ashta Lingams. It is beautiful and was installed and worshipped by Indra Himself. While coming out, there was another lingam on the left and Hanuman to the right. I worshipped them both and continued on my Girivalam.

The ground was very hot as I am not used to walking bare foot. This was a real test. My legs started moving fast. But I didn’t want to walk fast. How could I, when Sri Ramana Maharishi has said that one should perform girivalam like a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy and a can of oil on her head. Again, I surrendered to the Lord saying 'Please show me the way.'

Lesson in 'want' and 'need'

The next second, I saw a small pool of stagnant water. This is the miracle of Arunachala. If you have a question or a doubt, He will answer immediately. There is a great difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’. 'Want' is optional while 'need' is essential. Lord Arunachala fulfills the 'need', that too immediately!

I learned an important lesson in the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’ while stepping in the pool of water. Later, on the Girivalam route I found straw soaked in water, marvellous! I kept on and said 'Dear Arunachala, I don't think I will be able to do Girivalam myself. So, please help'.

I had a good darshan of Karpaga Ganesha, the Lord who bestows everything like the holy tree Karpaga in Indra Loka. While on the way to Agnilingam, I found Kamakshi Amman & Ekambareshwara temples and a Subramanya temple where Sage Arunagirinathar sang Thiruppugazh, his famous verse in praise of Lord Muruga.

Further on, I found Agni Vinayagar, and Agni Theertham and hundreds of darshans of Arunachala Mountain. The Agasthiar ashram website says we will need a satguru to understand them.

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