Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Sri Kalahastheeswarar

KALAHASTI is a town in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. It has a temple dedicated to Lord Siva, and is famous throughout India as a sacred place and a place of pilgrimage. This religious centre, which is situated between two steep hills, called Sripuram and Mummidicholapuram, is said to have formed part of Seshasaila or Mount Meru, in the ancient days.

Kalahasti is situated near the pilgrimage town of Tirupati and is visited by thousands of pilgrims. Kalahasti temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, (of the nine grahams or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme).

Historical Reference

The historical reference to this temple occur in the works of Nakkeerar, a Tamil poet in 3rd Century BC during the Tamil Sangam Dynasty. He called it as Southern Kailash.Nakkeera composed hundred stanzas to praise Srikalahasteeswara.

The hill adjacent to temple has still carvings in Pallava style. The Cholas renovated the old Pallava temple in 11th century. Kulottunga Chola I constructed the Galigopuram, the main entrance facing south and Kulottunga Chola III constructed few other temples. In 12th Century A.D., King Veeranarasimha Yadavaraya built the present Prakaras, and the four Gopurams connecting the four entrances.

According an inscription of Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire dating back to 1516 A.D., he constructed the Hundred Pillared Mantapam and the other tall Galigopuram that faces west to east. In 1529 A.D., King Achutaraya of the Vijayanagara empire got his coronation performed here, before he celebrated in his capital City.

The Legend

Lord Shiva disguised as Vayu (Air) observed that The Spider (SRI), Cobra (KALA) and Elephant (HASTI) worshipped Him very devotedly. So Lord Shiva made them to relieve from the curse and attain salvation, hence this place is called Srikalahasti. Many more Tamil Saivite saints like Sambandar, Appar, Manikkavasagar, Sundaramurti, Pattinathar and Sri Ramalinga Swami of Vadalur have also visited this place

The name of the place comes from three animals, Sri (spider), Kala (snake) and Hasti (elephant) who worshipped Shiva and gained salvation here. A statue that shows all three animals is situated in the main shrine.
The legend here is similar to that of the Jambukeswara temple at Tiruvanaikka. Shiva is said to have given salvation to a spider, elephant and a serpent who were ardent devotees of the Shiva Lingam located here. The spider is said to have attained salvation in Kritayuga (the first of the four yugas in the Hindu tradition), while the elephant and the snake were devotees in Treta Yugam, the succeeding aeon. The elephant's devotional outpouring was a source of disturbance to the serpent's display of devotion and vice versa, resulting in animosity between the two, until Shiva's intervention gave both the devotees their liberation.

Kannappa Nayanaar, a hunter is said to have been a great devotee of Kalahasteeswarar. Legend has it that he offered his own eyes to the Shivalingam, and for this reason earned the name Kannappan (his original name being Thinnan), and the distinction of having his statue adorn the sanctum. Nakkiradevar, Indra, Rama, Muchukunda and others are believed to have worshipped Shiva at this temple.

The Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and Linga Purnas have a mention about Srikalahasti. The Skanda Purana says that Arjuna visited this place, worshipped Kalahastiswara and met the sage Bharadwaja on the top of the hill. It is believed that Kannappa (also known as Bhakta Kannappa), a tribal devotee has worshipped Siva at Srikalahasti. Tamil saints Nayanars like Appar , Sundarar and Sambanthar praised the deity in their hyms tevaram.
Brahma, the Hindu God of creation, is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva and bathed in the swarnamukhi river to get rid of "sisuhathya patakam" (the sin of killing children).
The river Swarnamukhi got its name from a belief that gold was found in its stream. Swarna means gold and Swarnamukhi means gold faced in Sanskrit.

Architecture: The huge west facing Kalahastiswara temple is built adjoining a hill, and on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. At some points, the hill serves as the wall of the temple. The temple prakarams go after the contour of the adjoining hill and hence the temple plan is rather irregular. North of the temple is the Durgambika hill, south is the Kannappar hill and east is the Kumaraswamy hill.

Krishnadevaraya built a huge gopuram, a few feet away from the entrance to the temple. The entrance to the temple is crowned with a smaller tower. There is an underground Ganapati called Pathala Vinayagar, shrine in the outer prakaram, while in the innermost prakaram are the shrines of Shiva and Parvati.

The present structure of the temple is a foundation of the Cholas of the 10th century, as testified by inscriptions; improvements and additions were made during the subsequent years of the Chola rulers of Tamilnadu and the Vijayanagar emperors.

Significance: This ancient temple dedicated to Shiva is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams (temples celebrating Shiva as the embodiment of the primary elements), air being the element in case here, the other five temples being Tiruvannamalai (Fire), Chidambaram (Space),Tiruvanaikkaval (Water) and Kanchipuram (Earth) respectively.

Festivals: Maha Shivaratri which occurs in the Tamil month of Maasi (Feb 15 through March 15) is one of the greatest festival seasons here, and the celebrations are marked by processions of the deities. The fifth day of the festival in the month of Maasi coincides with the Maha Shivaratri.

Om Namah Shivaya !



Thiruvasagam meaning – Beautiful words or holy words. It’s a collection of poems, praising Lord Shiva, by the great devotee and saint Manikavachagar. The exact period of this poetic treasure is not know, but it is estimated to be 1100 years. Sivapuranam is the first section of Thiruvasagam. 

" The Shiva Purana has twenty-four thousand shlokas. These are divided into six samhitas or sections."
The names of the sectiosn are -
1 - Jnana Samhita,
2 - Vidyeshvara Samhit,
3 - Kailasa Samhita,
4 - Sanatkumar Samhita,
5 - Vayaviya Samhita and
6 - Dharma Samhit.

Each samhita is further subdivided into chapters (Adhyaya).

Jnana Samhita has Seventy-Eight Chapters,

Vidyeshvara Samhita Sixteen Chapters,
Kailasa Samhita Twelve Chapters,
Sanathkumar Samhila Fifty-Nine Chapters,
Vayaviya Samhita Thirty Chapters and
Dharma Samhita Sixty-Five Chapters.


Namaccivaya vaazhga ~ nadhan thal vazhga
imaippozhudhum en ~ne~njjil ~nI~nggAdhAn thAL vAzhga kOgazhi ANda kurumaNidhan thAL vAzhga , Agamam Agi~nindRu aNNippAn thAL vAzhga , Egan anEgan iRaivan adivAzhga

Long live lord's name 'namaSivAya'! Long live lord's feet!
Long live the lord's feet that do not leave my heart even for a moment!
Long live the feet of the guru (master) who enslaved me in
Long live the feet of the sweet lord who is the Agamas.
Long live the only one! Long live the many formed! Long live the lord!

vEgam keduththANda vE~ndhan adi velga
piRappaRukkum pi~nj~njaganthan peygazhalgaL velga
puRaththArkkuc cEyOnthan pU~nggazhalgaL velga
kara~ngguvivAr uLmagizhum kOngazhalgaL velga
sira~ngguvivAr O~ngguvikkum sIrOn kazhal velga

Victory to the king who stilled my fleeting mind!
Victory to the anklet-worn feet of the lord wearing head ornaments who cut off my cycles of birth!
Victory to the beautiful feet of the one who is far away (unreachable)
for those who do not have bhakthi (devotion)!
Victory to the feet of the king who rejoices in the minds of those who worship with folded hands!
Victory to the feet of the king who uplifts those who worship with bowed heads!

Isan adi pOtRi e~ndhai adi pOtRi
thEsan adi pOtRi sivan sEvadi pOtRi
~nEyaththE ~nindRa ~nimalan adi pOtRi
mAyap piRappu aRukkum mannan adi pOtRi
sIrAr peru~ndhuRai ~nam thEvan adi pOtRi 15
ArAdha inbam aruLum malai pOtRi

Hail the feet of god! Hail the feet of our father!
Hail the feet of the radiant one! Hail the red (lotus like) feet of Siva, the auspicious one!
Hail the feet of the blemishless one who is established in love!
Hail the feet of the king who cuts off the ever-changing births!
Hail the feet of our lord in beautiful thirupperu~ndhuRai!
Hail the mountain (called Siva) that bestows the forever-enjoyable (i.e. eternal) bliss!

sivan avan en si~ndhaiyuL ~nindRa adhanAl
avan aruLAlE avan thAL vaNa~nggic
ci~ndhai magizhac civapurANam thannai
mu~ndhai vinaimuzhudhum Oya uraippan yAn 20
kaN ~nudhalAnthan karuNaik kaNgAtta va~ndhu eydhi
eNNudhaRku ettA ezhilAr kazhal iRai~njji

Siva is fully established in my mind. Therefore, with his grace, I bow to his holy feet.
The god with an eye in the forehead came as my teacher and looked at me with his eyes of grace.
Having received his grace, I worship his beautiful feet that are beyond imagination and set out to
narrate the ancient Siva qualities (thathvas) to my heart's content, destroying my old karma in the process.

viN ~niRai~ndhum maN ~niRai~ndhum mikkAy, viLa~nggu oLiyAy,
eN iRa~ndhu ellai ilAdhAnE ~nin peru~njjIr
pollA vinaiyEn pugazhumARu ondRu aRiyEn

You fill the heavens, the earth, and even beyond. O the radiant one (i.e.
jyOthisvarUpi)! You are beyond thought and you are limitless. I, the
one with a past of many evil deeds, do not know how to praise you.
pullAgip pUdAyp puzhuvAy maramAgip
pal virugamAgip paRavaiyAyp pAmbAgik
kallAy manidharAyp pEyAyk kaNa~nggaLAy
val asurar Agi munivarAyth thEvarAyc
cellAa ~nindRa ith thAvara sa~nggamaththuL 30
ellAp piRappum piRa~ndhu iLaiththEn, emberumAn

I have repeatedly taken countless births as various non-moving things
such as rocks, grass, small plants, tress, etc. and various moving things
such as worms, various animals, birds, snakes, humans, ghosts, gaNas,
terrible demons (rakshasas), sages, devas, etc. O lord, I am tired of all
this endless cycle.

meyyE un pon adigaL kaNdu indRu vIdu utREn
uyya en uLLaththuL O~nggAramAy ~nindRa
meyyA vimalA vidaippAgA vEdha~nggaL
aiyA ena O~nggi Azh~ndhu agandRa ~nuNNiyanE

O the truth! I have achieved liberation (mukthi) by reaching your golden
feet. O the truth, who resides in my mind as the praNavam ('Om')
helping me achieve the good state. O the one without blemish! O the
one riding on a bull! O the tall, deep, wide, tiny one who is addressed by
the vedas as the lord!

veyyAy, thaNiyAy, iyamAnanAm vimalA
poy Ayina ellAm pOy agala va~ndharuLi
mey~nj~njAnam Agi miLirgindRa meyc cudarE
e~nj~njAnam illAdhEn inbap perumAnE
a~nj~njAnam thannai agalvikkum ~nal aRivE

O the hot one! O the cold one! O the one without blemish - you are the
life in all! You came (as my guru) and blessed me by removing all the
falsehood, O the bright flame of true knowledge! O the lord of eternal
bliss, I have no knowledge! O the good knowledge who removes my

Akkam aLavu iRudhi illAy, anaiththu ulagum
AkkuvAy kAppAy azhippAy aruL tharuvAy
pOkkuvAy ennaip puguvippAy ~nin thozhumbil

O the one who has no creation (i.e. beginning), limit (of duration of
existence), or end! You create, maintain, and destroy this entire
universe. You bestow your grace. (By your grace) You remove (my
births) and make me enter your service.

nAtRaththin ~nEriyAy, sEyAy, ~naNiyAnE
mAtRam manam kazhiya ~nindRa maRaiyOnE 45
kaRa~ndha pAl kannalodu ~ney kala~ndhAR pOlac
ciRa~ndhu adiyAr si~ndhanaiyuL thEnURi ~nindRu
piRa~ndha piRappu aRukkum e~nggaL perumAn

You are like the fragrance of the flower. You are far away (for those
who have no bhakthi). You are very near (to your devotees). O the
inner meaning of the vedas, you are beyond words and the mind! (This
can also be translated as "O the inner meaning of the vedas, you are the
one who remains when changes leave the mind - i.e. when the mind is
stilled in meditation it is merged in God").
O lord, you are the in the minds of the devotees giving them sweet bliss
- like the delicious mixture of fresh milk, sugar, and ghee, and cut off
their cycles of birth.

~niRa~nggaL Or ai~ndhu udaiyAy, viNNOrgaL Eththa
maRai~ndhiru~ndhAy, emberumAn

Our lord, you have five colors (i.e. the five elements - earth, water, fire,
wind, and space). You remained hidden when devas were worshipping

valvinaiyEn thannai
maRai~ndhida mUdiya mAya iruLai
aRam pAvam ennum aru~nggayitRAl katti
puRam thOl pOrththu e~nggum puzhu azhukku mUdi,
malam sOrum onbadhu vAyil kudilai
mala~nggap pulan ai~ndhum va~njjanaiyaic ceyya,
vila~nggu manaththAl, vimalA unakku
kala~ndha anbAgik kasi~ndhu uL urugum
~nalam thAn ilAdha siRiyERku ~nalgi
~nilam thanmEl va~ndhu aruLi ~nILkazhalgaL kAtti,
~nAyiR kadaiyAyk kida~ndha adiyERkuth
thAyiR ciRa~ndha thayA Ana thaththuvanE
I am hidden by the darkness of mAya (ignorance) caused by my strong
karma. I am bound tightly by the rope of good and evil. I am enveloped
on the outside by skin that covers all the filth and worms inside my
body. I am stuck in this hut of nine entrances that keeps leaking waste.
These five senses are conspiring against me. I am a dog-like lowly
person with an animal-like mind that had no deep love for you.
O the one without blemish! Yet, you came on this earth and blessed me
by revealing your holy feet. O the embodiment of all knowledge, you
showed a greater love than a mother would on this lowly person who is
inferior even to a dog!

mAsatRa sOdhi malar~ndha malarccudarE
thEsanE thEnAr amudhE sivapuranE
pAsamAm patRu aRuththup pArikkum AriyanE
~nEsa aruLpuri~ndhu ~ne~njjil va~njjam kedap 65
pErAdhu ~nindRa peru~nggaruNaip pErARE
ArA amudhE aLavilAp pemmAnE
OrAdhAr uLLaththu oLikkum oLiyAnE
~nIrAy urukki en AruyirAy ~nindRAnE

O the flower-like (gentle) flame of blemishless light!
O the radiant one! O the sweet immortal nectar! O the one in sivalOka!
O the great one who saves me by removing the bondage of attachments!
O the great river of mercy who never leaves my heart and destroys all
my evils with loving grace!
O the forever sweet immortal nectar! O the lord of infinite greatness!
O the light who remains hidden in the minds of those who do not seek
O the one who melted my heart and merged inseparably into my life!

inbamum thunbamum illAnE uLLAnE 70
anbarukku anbanE yAvaiyumAy allaiyumAm
sOdhiyanE thunniruLE thOndRAp perumaiyanE
AdhiyanE a~ndham ~naduvAgi allAnE
Irththu ennai AtkoNda e~ndhai perumAnE
kUrththa mey~nj~njAnaththAl koNdu uNarvAr thamkaruththil 75
~nOkkariya ~nOkkE ~nuNukkariya ~nuN uNarvE
pOkkum varavum puNarvum ilAp puNNiyanE
kAkkum em kAvalanE kANbariya pEr oLiyE

O the one who does not have pain and pleasure! O the one who has
You are the devotee of your devotees! You are everything yet you are
not those things!
O the radiant one! O the darkness! O the uncreated great one!
You are the beginning, middle, and the end of everything yet you do not
have them!
O the great one, our father, who pulled me and enslaved me as his
You are realized by those with deep understanding of the true
knowledge! You are difficult to be seen with eyes (too large?).
You are too subtle to be researched.
You do not go anywhere, do not mix with anything else, do not come
from anywhere. (i.e. God is everywhere and in everything). You
are source of all good.
You are our protector. You are the great light difficult to see.

AtRinba veLLamE aththA mikkAy ~nindRa
thOtRac cudar oLiyAy sollAdha ~nuN uNarvAy 80
mAtRamAm vaiyagaththin vevvERE va~ndhu aRivAm
thEtRanE thEtRath theLivE en si~ndhanai uL
UtRAna uNNAr amudhE udaiyAnE

O the blissful flood in the river (of good path)! O father!
You are the great light. You are the subtle experience that cannot be
described in words.
In this ever-changing world, you come as various things and are finally
understood as the consciousness. You are the distilled (pure)
You are the spring of delicious nectar of immortality in my mind. You
are my master (i.e. I am your slave).

AtREn em aiyA aranE O endRu endRu 85
pOtRip pugazh~ndhiru~ndhu poygettu mey AnAr
mIttu i~nggu va~ndhu vinaippiRavi sArAmE
kaLLap pulak kurambaik kattu azhikka vallAnE
~naL iruLil ~nattam payindRu Adum ~nAdhanE
thillaiyuL kUththanE thenbANdi ~nAttAnE

Our lord, I cannot bear anymore to remain in this ever-changing body.
You can get rid of the physical body, filled with the 5 devious senses, of
those devotees, who keep worshipping you by saying "O siva,
save me". You destroy all their falsehoods and they become
established in the truth. They do not come again to take on
another birth full of karma.
O lord, you dance in the middle of the night (i.e. at the end of each cycle
of creation).
O the dancer in the cidhambaram! O the one in the southern pANdya

allal piRavi aRuppAnE O endRu
sollaRku ariyAnaic collith thiruvadikkIzh
solliya pAttin poruL uNar~ndhu solluvAr
selvar sivaburaththin uLLAr sivan adikkIzhp
pallOrum Eththap paNi~ndhu.

O the one who cuts off this birth of suffering! I seek refuge in you.
Saying all these, praising the one who cannot be described, I sing this
song under his holy feet.
Those who say this song understanding its full meaning will reach
sivalOka (i.e. siva's abode). There they will be praised and
worshipped by many other devotees (who are already there) and
remain at the feet of siva


Readers are free to correct the errors in words, or meanings. We have made our best to upload the correct version translated by V. Subramanian. 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Sri Panchamuga Sivalaya

I want to write about this temple near my house ( Mogappair , Chennai ), and its significance and what a blessing to stay close by....

I visited this beautiful temple, Panchamuga Shivalaya, which has the statue of Lord Shiva with five faces, and his consort Goddess Parvati as Kameswari. I have not seen such a temple or depiction of Lord Shiva. I have heard that Pasupathinath in Nepal has four faces, but this is the only temple in the world, which shows the statue of Lord Shiva with five faces.

As per Vedas, Lord Shiva has six faces, four faces facing the four directions and one face facing above the sky, and the other face facing below the earth. The face below is called Atho Muga, and its not shown in idol worship, as it implies, that the Lord is in deep meditation thinking about his consort. This sixth face or Atho Muga is not visible. Each of his face, his distinct colours, so six colours, six Neivaidhyams, and it represents Six gunas. Lord Shiva, embodiment of Parabrahma with five krias, appears in a unique form with five faces known as ‘ Eesanam’ ‘Thathpurusham’, Aghoram’, ‘Vamadevam’ and ‘Sathyojatham’.

Na ma shi vaa ya - popularly called as panchAkshara mantram. This is shiva's mantra. This has five syllables as shown above.

Shiva is said to be the embodiment of the five elements or pancha bhuta. Sky(Akash), Wind(Vayu), Fire(Agni), Water(Jhalam), Land(Prithvi) are five in numbers. They are the five indriyas of Shiva. Sky is his ears, Wind is his body or skin, Fire is his eyes, Water is his tongue, Land is his nose. If we closely analyse these elements are associated with the 5 senses.

Akash – Sabda (Hear), Wind – Sparsha (Feel), Fire – Roopa (See), Water – Rasa (Taste) and Land – Gandha (Smell). The sky is space where only sound is present.
Wind can be felt.
Fire can be seen.
Water can be tasted.
Land can be smelt.

To co-memorate this we have the pancha bhuta sthala.

1. Akash - Chidambaram
2. Wind - Kaalahasti
3. Fire - Tiruvannamalai
4. Water - Tiruvaanaikkal
5. Land – Kanchipuram

Lord Shiva is called Lord Kameswara and Goddess is called Kameswari. Its such a divine place, and the temple follows SriVidhya Upasana. Morning starts with Ganapathy Homam everyday and ends with Uchista Ganapathy Homam in the evening each day. I felt the presence of Almighty, when i visited this place. As they say, everything done in a proper way, be it abhisekham, neivaidhyam, or even everyday poojas - maybe a simple offering of a flower, but everyday continuously, will definetely show you the spiritual power, and presence of god. Its not like other temples, where temples are opened and closed for money or for any fashion, but i felt the Divinity at this place, and how god speaks to us, if we really pray from all our heart.

Its a must see, and people must learn the divine aspects of pooja's, prayers, so they can pass to the next generation to create a peaceful world.

Om Namah Shivaya !