Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

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



I have done Girivalam at all times of the day. One day I started at 10 p.m. Just after midnight, I saw lights in the temple of Sri Rajarajeswai which is before Adi Annamalai. I went in and saw two persons. One is the priest and the other is a devotee, a white man at that.  The devotee had sponsored a particular Pooja and the priest was doing it. It was past midnight. I did not stay for the whole Pooja.

Easanya Lingam in Tiruvannamalai
Another day, during daytime it was around 11 a.m. Past Kubera Linga the road ends i.e. we have turn right to continue Girivalam.  I had heard of Eesanya Linga but did not know it's exact location. I turned right and was walking.  After a 100 yards somebody tapped my on the back. I looked and saw a tall man much older than me, white veshti, sacred thread on his chest. 

He asked “Are you doing Girivalam?"
I said, “Yes.”

He said, “You have to back track and take a slight deviation (he showed me which way to go). He said, “Follow the road and you will see Eesanya Linga.  Then turn right you will come to the main road.” A few seconds later I turned back but the old man was not there.  I looked around, he was nowhere. In fact I did not see him during my Girivalam.  He had disappeared.  Arunachaleswarar did not want me to miss Eesanya Linga.

It is a great feeling, particularly at night when you catch a gentle breeze from the hill.  I used to go around bare chested and barefoot because one day I met a sanyasi coming in the opposite direction. 

He asked, “Are you going round the Hill?”

I said, “Yes.”

He said," Just cover your body from waist to knees, expose as much as you can, nothing to fear, over a period of time you will learn slowly the mystery of the Hill.”

One day the ashram manager asked me to take some three visitors from Chennai to Skandasram and then to Virupaksha cave and then down to the main road.  Their car will be waiting to take them back to Chennai.   I told them what I know about the Skandasram, Virupaksha cave and a few other caves and small shrines.  One of them said, “Next time we will spend a few days and learn as much about the Hill as we can.” 

I said, “I will tell you what somebody told me. The person said, “Dear friend, if you spend the rest of our life here, you will never fully know about the Hill.”

A couple of years ago , I met a lady from Israel in Tiruvannamalai. I said to her, "Dear me, you have come from the land of Jesus Christ. What brings you here? Doesn't the dirt, filth and beggars upset you?

She replied, "You see that HILL. There is only one HILL of this kind. If you want to have sight of this HILL, you must come here." She also said, "This is my first visit and I have already been here for three months."

Nearby there was Frenchman. He said that he has been here for 15 years. Looking at the Hill with folded hands he added, "I hope I will die here at the feet of Arunachala."

Some years ago, I would go to the ashram around 6 p.m. feeling very tired. But once I started walking, somehow I could finish Girivalam as usual and not feel tired. I can say with certainty that for me, at my age, to be able to take care of myself without outside help and without major medical problems, it is because of Arunachala and all the Girivalams he has allowed me to do. There are innumerable medicinal plants on the Hill and breathing the air full of these herbs, has had a very positive effect on my body. Different people, different ages, doing Girivalam at different times have had different experiences. I can’t pinpoint which Girivalam had what effect on me. All I can say is I am as healthy as I can be for my age. I do have problems which is to be expected.  So many body parts have worn out which cannot be replaced. If major problems crop up, all I can say is what Bhagawan said, “This body needs an excuse to go. Hence this problem has come.”
From last month NO Girivalam on foot, only on scooter, that too not very frequently.  Even that takes me 4 to 5 hours since I stop at all the shrines and repeat a small prayer. 
I have no complaints.  I have had a good life.  Whether I achieve Moksha or Mukti or Nirvana or self-realisation or whatever you call it, is irrelevant. Arunachala has allowed me to live near Him for so long. What more can I ask for?  My only prayer is that I am able to take off while I am still healthy. I don’t want to become bedridden .

I will stop here and continue in a few days - Devraj

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