Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

On the side panel is a list of contributors. We recommend reading by writer as we don't want you to miss out on anyone's experience.

If, however, you would like to read from the very beginning, please scroll down to the bottom of each web page and hit 'older posts', till you find the very first post.

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

Ulaganathan P: (#7): Karthigai Deepam -- a beaconing light

I am not sure if I have any thing special to say every time I blog here. But, I enjoy this opportunity to remember the name of Arunachala every time I write. As I do girivalam I feel humble and as I remember Him also I feel small. Over many years, I have attempted many sadhanas for my spiritual development. But now, for me, there is no better sadhana than remembering the name of Annamalai. As Ramana Maharishi has said, the mere thought of Annamalai will give us mukti.

On Kartigai Deepam day, when you look up at the Arunachala mountain for a glimpse of the Lord in the form of jyoti, that is when sadhana begins. The fire within us is kindled. Man became distinguished from animals when he stopped crawling on four feet and learned to walk upright. The upright position is the quintessence of human development. And that is the significance of witnessing the deepam on top of the hill.

Karthigai Deepam is preceded on the previous day with 'Bharani Deepam', when the whole temple and the path up the hill is decorated with lamps. To my mind, this signifies the preparatory austerities and sadhana, before the final enlightenment takes place. In the parlance of a yogi, if the karthigai deepam could signify the meeting of sakti with siva at the Ajna chakra, the 'Bharani deepam' symbolizes the raising of the kundalini through various intervening chakras. Bharani deepam brings to devotees earthly happiness and the karthigai deepam brings to devotees, the commencement of the spiritual journey. I feel, Annamalayar takes care of all our needs, mundane and spiritual, when we totally and unconditionally surrender to Him and accept all that befalls us as His gift. The Bharani merges in Karthigai, as Sakti merges with Sivam at Ajna chakra. Once we partake in the grace of Karthigai, the earthly desires wither away.

In my childhood, long before I had heard about Arunachala, our humble village homes, would be lit with tiny earthen pots filled with oil. On three days, Karthigai poornima and a day preceding and following it, we would light up our homes. At night, the boys would light bundles of hay at one end and swing them around their body. Late in the night, they would make a heap of hay and burn it. It is called 'Chokkapanai'. It was all light... light every where. It was much later that I realized that the prime source of the light was Annamalai.

And it is here that I come year after year for purification and enlightenment.

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