Thiru Annamalai, an abode of Shiva in the form of Arunachaleswarar, supposed to bless the devotees with salvation by mere remembrance of the place (Ninaithale Mukthi Tharum Thiruthalam). Thiru Annamalai has the honour of sheltering saints such as Thirugnana Sambandar, Thirunavukkarasar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar, Arunagirinathar and Ramana Maharishi.
According to the puranic legend, the Annamalai Hill was Agni (fire) during Krithayugam, was Manikkam (Emerald) during Threthayugam, was Pon (Gold) during Dwaprayugam and rock during Kaliyugam. On the request of Thirumal and Bramha by their devout prayer, Shiva who was in the form of a fire column took the form of a Shivalingam (Phallus) at the foot of the where the Arunachaleshwarar Temple is located.
The Sanctum of Annamalaiyar in the temple is believed to be more than 2000 years old, while, there are recorded evidence of development works dating from 870 AD, carried out by Chola, Pandya and Vijay Nagara kings. The Raja Gopuram (Main Tower) is 217 feet in height with 11 storeys and is the second tallest temple tower in South India.
I started my journey along with Shiva my cousin, at 12:30 PM on Thursday and reached Thiru Annamalai at 4:00 AM. After a wash and change, we commenced our walk at 5:30 AM and somehow, I was successful in initiating and pulling him into a topic on some metaphysical debates like, Whether Buddha is God or Not? Is there any fact in Metaphysical Concepts? Or something related to Spirituality, to mute him from humming the romantic Tamil film songs and to blind my eyes to the clinging sound of the anklets. On successfully completing the 14 KMs at 8:00 AM, we had our breakfast and slept till 4:00 PM only to be woken by a relative, Veeramani, who is supposed to take us into the sanctum.
Now, I feel that my nerves seem to be rejuvenated and the spondylitis that was diagnosed last week seem to be cured by the Acupuncture therapy and the Muscle relaxation treatment rendered by the 14 KM bare-foot walk. The prayer (an expression of gratitude) and meditation (state of being no-mind) has helped me regain my hopes of resuming the daily walk and meditation and freed my mind off the clutter. OM Namashivaya!
Sunday, April 16, 2006
In the recent months significant amount of negative force has been building around me and I had to push myself too much to even keep my routine. Repeated resolutions taken on many occasions and festivals had only left depression and insomnia as company. Being occupied with writing and reviewing the Requirements and Design for some applications that would never make sense to my life, I have failed to review myself. I realized that, a self appraisal – not on my profession, but on every cell of my being is required at this juncture. To be engrossed in introspection without getting lost in dreams and hallucination requires direction from within, which I have always found while meditating or traveling or to be precise on pilgrimages which is a combination of both. Hence, I resolved to celebrate the Tamil New Year at Thiru Annamalai. In this sacred place, I have always the felt the vibration that helped me find the direction. Moreover, it has been nearly 2 years since I walked a kilometer at a stretch and the Girivalam (walk on the 14 KMs circumambulation path) definitely motivate me to resume my daily jogging and walking.
After a bath, we went to the temple accompanied by Veeramani, who took us directly into the sanctum of Kalyanasundareshwarar as well as the Unnamulaiyaar temples and were allowed to sit while the Pooja was being performed. The “Om Namashivaya” chanting filled the air and soon I unconsciously joined the chanting and soon was lost into it and was filled by the light of divine grace. We spent almost 3 - 4 Hours in the temple and then headed to the Ramana Ashram, where we spent an Hour in meditation as it was the day on which Ramana Maharishi attained Samadhi. Started at 11:00 PM from Thiru Annamalai and reached Chennai at 2:30 AM.