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History of Karthigai Deepam Festival

karthigai deepam

The Karthigai Deepam festival is a South Indian festival and it has been celebrated by the South Indians, throughout the world.

Karthigai is the 8th month of the Tamil calendar and it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Karthigai month.

It is not the newly developed culture, rather it has been in the tradition of the Tamilians that many ancient Tamil literatures include the evidence of Karthigai Deepam celebration. Agananooru, Karnarpadu, Jeevagachintamani and literature dated back to 2500 BC describe this festival.

The two major Hindu deities, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, had an argument about their superiority. Each of them was pompous about their strengths and started to fight. When they went to seek out for a conclusion from Lord Shiva, HE modified HIS form and became a huge spark of fire and ordered Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma to find the top and bottom of this massive flame.

In the form of a wild boar, Lord Vishnu went down to look the end part of the colossal blaze, while Lord Brahma took the swan form and tried to fly above the blaze, with the intension to view the crown of the fire. Unfortunately, both of them failed in their endeavors.

Karthigai Deepam Festival at Thiruvannamalai

 

Lord Shiva, the blazing fire pillar, settled there as Thiruvannamalai hill, proving his supremacy in this Earth. Thiruvannamalai means Holy Fire Hill and hence, this day is celebrated as Karthigai festival. 1000s of visitors go round the hill, on this full moon day, with the hope that Lord Shiva will remove their hurdles.

lights festival

Apart from Lord Shiva temples, the Karthigai Dheepam festival has a special meaning in the Lord Murugan temples, as well. Lord Shiva created 6 divine sparks in the Saravana Poigai and the sparks were converted into 6 babies. The babies were fostered by 6 Karthigai Pengal (Divine Angels). On the day of Karthigai Deepam festival, Goddess Parvathy blended all the 6 babies to become a single boy, Lord Karthigeya (Lord Muruga), to massacre Surapadman. Therefore, the day is glorified by lighting 1000s of lights in Lord Murugan temples.

The reason for lighting Karthigai Dheepam is also connected to the day, when Lord Murugan enlightened Lord Shiva ,regarding the inner meaning of the chanting ‘OM’. Chanting the mantra OM removes the worries, quarrels, bad temptations, anger and fear. Hence, the day is celebrated as the day of enlightenment.

Inner meaning

Lighting an earthen lamp is the usual practice and it symbolizes that our ego (wick) is burnt with oil (divine power), so that the worldly illusions disappear and we attain enlightenment. The flame of a lamp can blaze not just the ego, but protect our home against evil forces and eyes.

Even now the Hindu devotees worship for power and intelligence to win success in all their endeavors, in an honest way, on the Karthigai Dheepam festival.

Lighting lamps on Karthigai Deepam festival brings prosperity and abundance to the home. It removes the fear and creates ultimate success.

Although the latest wax cup candles have replaced the traditional earthenware lamps filled with oil, the celebration spree has not reduced.

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History of Palani Murugan Temple

 

palani murugan temple

 

Arupadaiveedu

arupadaiveedu

Near the picturesque Kodaikanal hill, lies the transcendent Palani hill, where the Lord Thandayudhabani temple is nestled.

It is one of the 6 Holy Abodes of Lord Muruga, which includes Thiruchendur Subramaniyaswami Temple, Swami Malai Karthikeya Temple, Tiruttani Subramanya Temple, Pazhamuthircholai Solaimalai Murugan Temple and Thiruparangundram Subramaniyar Temple.

History of Palani Murugan temple

palani-murugan-temple

Sage Agasthiyar wished to remount the Sivagiri and Sakthigiri hills to the Southern part of India. Under his order, Idumban, his solemn disciple carried both the hills in a Kaavadi, that is, two hills hanging on the ropes, on either side of a wooden bar’s edge. Being tired, he wanted to take a rest and placed the Kavadi on the earth.

palanimurugantemple

At the same time, the famous Sage Naradha visited Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathi. They were at Mount Kailash with their sons, Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. Narada was a sage, who often tumult among the Devas, for a Divine goodness. He gave a mango, which was very distinctive that the person who ate the mango would gain the absolute wisdom, to Lord Shiva.

palani murugan temple

 

Since both the sons were nearby, the Divine Couple wanted to share the fruit among Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga. However, the sage refused it, as the extraordinary mango had to be consumed by a single person or otherwise the power of the fruit may be diminished. Eventually, there arose a question of who should take the fruit. To decide the winner, a contest was held. According to the challenge, both the sons had to go round the earth and the one who came first was eligible to acquire the fruit.

palani temple

Lord Murugan enthusiastically accepted the challenge, as he had a flying vehicle, the peacock. On the other hand, Lord Ganesha, who had a rat as his vehicle, planned in a smart way to win the contest that HE went round Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, saying that HIS parents were his world. Pleased by his gesture and respect, HIS parents gave the fruit to Lord Ganesha.

 

When Lord Subramanya reached Mount Kailash, HE was startled to look at the fruit on his brother’s hand. Feeling deceptive, HE left the mountain and reached today’s Palani hill, where HIS parents rushed to pacify him. They called HIM – ‘Gnana Pazham neeyappa’, which means that Lord Murugan himself is a bundle of wisdom and that is the reason the hill is called Pazhani.

In the meantime, Idumban wanted to move the hill, but could not, as Lord Murugan had taken abode on it. Eventually, every devotee, who carries an offering in a Kaavadi, gets his wishes fulfilled. Before visiting Lord Muruga, the devotees offer obeisance to Indumban, who is at the hill entrance.

The idol of Palani Murugan was created by Bogar, a powerful Sidhdhar, with the Navabashanam (a concoction of 9 poisonous substances). Creation of Navabashanam is still a million dollar question, as even now there is no alchemist who can prepare such a blend of 9 poisonous substances, which carries the miraculous cure to various patients. The abishega theertham of Palani Murugan cures different diseases.

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Facts about Thiruvannamalai Temple

 

annamalaiyar templeLord Shiva has his largest dwelling in Thiruvannamalai, in the name of Annamalaiyar temple, which dates back to 1000s of years and has a mention in the oldest Tamil literatures like Thevaram and Thiruvasagam.

When Lord Brahma (the Creator) and Lord Vishnu (the Protector) entered into a quarrel to ascertain who was the most powerful, Lord Shiva entered into the scene to evaluate their power.

Annamalaiyar temple

To assess their strength, He announced a contest, where the winner is the one who could spot his crown and his feet. After announcing the contest, HE immediately transformed into a Big Spark of fire, which stretched from the Heaven to the Earth.

While Lord Vishnu took the form of Varaha and excavated deeper into the land to locate Lord Shiva’s feet, Lord Brahma became a swan and flew high in the sky to spot the crown of Lord Shiva.

flowers

At the end, both of them failed in their exploration. Although Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat, Lord Brahma asked to the Thazhambu (a flower), which fell down from the crown of Lord Shiva, to give witness against truth.

The flower accepted to lie and listening to the false witness, Lord Shiva became furious because a flower in the crown of Lord Shiva took 40 thousand years to reach the ground, since Lord Shiva is in a boundless form.

Lord Brahma

Therefore, HE cursed Lord Brahma would not be worshiped in any temple in the earth and the Thazambu would not be used for any prayers. Lord Shiva, who was in the form of fire, cooled down and became the Annamalai hill.

Pancha Bhoota Stalam Temples

The Lingam in this temple is Agni/Jyothir lingam, one of the Panchabootha lingams.

During the Krithayugam, the Annamalai hill was in the form of fire (Agni); in the Threthayugam, it turned to be an Emerald hill (Manikkam); in the Dwaparayugam, it was a Golden hill (Pon); and in the Kaliyugam, it became a solid rock hill. Lord Shiva’s Shivalingam can be worshipped in the foothill of Thiruvannamalai, in the name of the Arulmigu Annamalaiyar Temple.

Another famous legendary story of Thiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar Temple says that Goddess Parvathi playfully closed Lord Shiva’s eyes, at the Mount Kailash and hence, the entire world went into darkness. Along with other Rishis, she meditated for years that Lord Shiva reappeared in Thiruvannamalai hill and became the light of the world.

 

lord shiva temples is considered as the iconic symbol of Lord Shiva himself and it is the first place, where Lingothbavar originated and followed in various other temples of Lord Shiva.

Arunchaleshvara Temple from the Red Mountain Tiruvannamalai

Situated in an area of 25 acres, the temple magnificently stands with 9 huge towers and nine wide prakaras. In the With Ashtalingam (8 Lingam temples), surrounding the hill, it is in the shape of octagonal.

Every lingam is related to Navagraha and hence, believed to bring plenty of benefits, related to that respective Planetary Logos. Tamil Month of Karthigai, Karthigai Deepam festival has been splendidly celebrated for 10 days in this temple and lakhs of devotees visit the temple to go round the hill.

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Mystery Behind 4 Heads Of Brahma

Lord Brahma

Lord Brahma is the creator of the world, in the Hindu mythology. Lord Brahma is called Prajapathi, which means a deity of the Vedas. HE was a self-born God, who is commonly depicted with 4 heads and 4 arms, in a red skin tone.

 Unlike other Hindu deities, HE holds a Vedas, a lotus, a rosary, a spoon and a water pot, in HIS hands.

maasaraswathi

goddess saraswathi

He had 3 wives – Saraswathi, Gayathri and Savithri. All of them are Goddess of Education, Wisdom, Science and Vedas.

According to the Hindu legend, Lord Brahma had 5 heads and the reason why lost his 5th head is mysterious even now.

When Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma wanted to test and prove their strength, Lord Shiva took a form of huge fire pillar, which stretched from the sky to the earth and asked them to view his crown and the feet. Although Lord Vishnu tried to reach the end to see the feet, in the form of a wild boar, it was impossible. So, he accepted his failure and surrendered to Lord Shiva.

On the other end, Lord Brahma tried to reach the crown of Lord Shiva, in the form of a swan. Alike Lord Vishnu, HE could not attain the peak, yet he wanted to prove that HE was the greatest and asked a flower falling from the crown of Lord Shiva to misspell that HE had the Dharshan of Lord Shiva’s crown.

Listening to the false fib of the flower, Lord Shiva was in a rage and cut the fifth head of Lord Brahma.

Immediately, Lord Vishnu intervened to protect the life of Lord Brahma and God Brahma was pardoned, yet not worshiped in any other temple, until now.

As in another legend, Lord Brahma was pleased by the penance of Manmada and Radhidevi and gave them 3 arrows, which had the power to arouse romance even in a strong willed person. Manmada, the God of Romance, tested one with Lord Brahma himself.

At this time, God Brahma was creating 10 men and a woman, named Satarupa. Being aroused by the arrow, he was attracted towards Satarupa. Annoyed by the infatuated gaze of God Brahma, she moved to his left and a new head appeared on the left to stare at her.

When she ran in all the 4 directions, 4 heads appeared to amorous at her. Suddenly she sprang above his head and instantly, the 5th head appeared above all the 4 heads. To escape from his starring, she sought the help of Lord Shiva.

Satarupa is considered as the daughter of Lord Brahma, as HE was the one who created her. Therefore, Lord Shiva was furious by the act of the creator of the world and severed the 5th head.

In the depiction of Lord Shiva, HE usually carries a human skull in his hand and this is nothing but the skull of Lord Brahma.

It is to show that the morality of the world has to be maintained and the one who is against it will confront with substantial penalties.

hindu temple

Significance of the Navaratri festival in Hinduism

Maa Durga

The Hindu Navaratri festival is celebrated with much grandeur and pomp all over India, but with different rituals. As the name implies, Navratri has nine nights of celebrations and it is dedicated to the Hindu Goddesses Maa Durga.

First 3 days

To start with, the Hindus worship Goddess Durga, who is all powerful to remove the vices and evils. On the first day, she is worshiped as Kumari, in the childhood version; on the second day, Parvati, the youthful incarnation of Shakthi and on the third day, women worship her as Mother Kali.

4th day

It is believed that Mother Durga destroys all the vices like ego, lust, fear, anger, jealousy, pride etc., so that the devotees are moved forward to obtain spiritual wealth from Goddess Lakshmi, the angel of prosperity and wealth, on the fourth day.

5th to 8th day

navaratri festival

To enrich the wisdom of a person, 4 days are allotted to pray Goddess Saraswathy, the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge. All the learning materials of the students are dedicated to HER and kept under HER feet for her blessings, while the adults put forth all their money making tools, financial statements, and pray for her favour and protection.

On the day of Vijayadasami (8th day), the parents enroll their children in a school so that they master in their education.

maa durga festivals

Plenty of mythical tales are behind this 9 days celebration. Some believe that it is the story of victory of Goddess Shakthi over the demons, while a few says that Lord Rama prayed to Goddess Shakthi for 9 days before the war with Raavana.

navaratri festival in india

Similarly, the celebrations in the North India are different from the South Indian Navratri. Usually, the North Indian ladies go for severe fasting and they participate in dancing events. On the other hand, the South Indian homes celebrate Navratri in the name of Golu, where they set up decorated wooden steps and arrange dolls in the odd number steps. The top most steps include the dolls of deities and the remaining are packed with various other dolls or sets of dolls that depict the divine stories of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

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Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

kalika durga temple

Although the Vidyaranyapura Kalika Durga Parameshwari temple was erected by Sri Ramu Sastry, in the year of 1988, it is very famous among the Bangaloreans, as the mere visit of the Supreme Goddess in the form of Sri Durga Parameshwari is highly powerful to remove any problem of the devotees that they start to live a prosperous and happy life.

With the 108 feet high main Gopuram, the temple looks magnificent and includes the sanctum sanctorum for 9 physically manifested incarnations of Goddess Durga, which may include Shailaputri, Chandraghanta, Brhmacharini, Kushmanda, Kartiyaayini, Skandamata, Kaalratri, Siddhidhatri and Mahagauri.

navadurga

Along with the unique combination of 9 avatars of Durga Maata(Nava Durga), we can also pray to Lord Mahaganapathy, Lord Subramanya Swamy, Lord Nartaka Krishna and Lord Narasimha Swamy.

The temple also includes exclusive chambers for Lord Shaneeshwaran and Navagrahas. Each of them is placed in a different sanctum sanctorum.

Apart from the above said, Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari temple includes Goddess Yakshini, who immediately fulfills the wishes of the devotees, who write their wish on a paper and tie it on the goddess.

kalikadurgaparameswaritemple

To add to the divinity, the entire temple is filled with sculptures, portraying the mythology related to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Since its origination, the doors of the temple had been flung open every day, without fail.

The temple is known for different types of exclusive poojas offered to the Goddess. Every other day, the devotees are blessed with hot and very delicious free noon meal, after completing the Maha Mangalarathi. The meals include Sambar, Rasam, Buttermilk and Rice.

Since visiting this temple and glimpsing the Maha Durga brings the sense of empowerment to easily solve their life problems, plenty of devotees from various regions of Bangalore gather in the temple to immerse in the MahaAbishekam on the Sunday.

kalikadurgatemple

The strong vision of the founder of the temple to spread the power of Divine Mother is getting established that since its origination, the temple has witnessed an incredible progress in respect to infrastructure, poojas and services, which please the devotees. Although it had a humble opening, the fruits of its massive growth have been enjoyed by the devotees.

 

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History of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple

Thirchandurumurugantemple

Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is a Temple situated in Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu dated 2000 years back. The temple is one of the 6 Abodes of Lord Murugan and situated near the sea of Bay of Bengal where the other 5 temples are situated in Mountains.

Veera Mahendrapuri was ruled by Surapadma, an asura, who was the son of Rishi Kashyaba. Since the sage focused on stringent meditations, his sons grew up as Asuras.

However, Surapadma was a sincere devotee of Lord Shiva and he spent most of his time to meditate on his favorite deity.

LordMurugatemples

As a result of his determined adoration, Lord Shiva gave him a boon, according to which Surapadman could neither be killed nor be defeated by anybody in this world, except the offspring of Lord Shiva born without Shiva’s unification with any woman.

The boundless boon of Lord Shiva made Surabadman very arrogant that he conquered all the 3 mythical worlds – The Heaven, The Earth and The Hell. All the Devas were taken as prisoners and were tortured. The heavenly immortals were assigned to perform menial tasks.

Eventually, they surrendered to Lord Shiva take actions to relieve them. At their request, Lord Shiva exhaled 6 different sparkles by opening his third eye. These sparkles reached the Saravana Poigai, the divine lake, where the divine sparkles transubstantiated into 6 babies.

To take care of these babies, Lord sent 6 Karthika houris. Later, the divine couple went to Saravana Poigai, where Goddess Shakthi fondly merged the babies together to become Lord Karthikeya or Subramaniyan or Murugan, who protect his devotees with 6 faces and 12 arms.

Lord Aarumuga (another name of Lord Subramanya) grew up mastering the tactics of war and was exceptionally handsome that he became the chief commander of the Gods.

As per the word of Lord Shiva, he marched to Tiruchendur with his army to release the Devas from the cruel bondage. Veerabahu, his lieutenant, was sent to meet Surapadma as an emissary before the war, to free the Devas.

As it failed, Lord Murugan set out for a war. Despite losing his brothers, Surapadma refused to surrender and the war continued for 5 days. Finally, Lord Karthikeya’s Vel killed Surapadma.

At the request of Surapadma, Lord Murugan turned him to be a peacock, which became the vehicle of the Lord. Overwhelmed by the spirit of Lord Karthikeya, the Devas celebrated the grand success in Thiruchendur, the Southern tip of Indian subcontinent. Even now, lakhs and lakhs of devotees reach Tiruchendur to join the divine celebrations.