Monday, 18 November 2013

Lord Siva as Vayu Lingam in Srikalahasti

Srikalahasti:-


The unique Shiva Linga here is located in picturesque soundings with the Dakshina Kailasa mountain at the back and the north flowing river Swarnamukhi in front.

Srikalahasti derives its name from His ardent devotees :-
1 . Spider called sri 
2 . Serpent called kala & 
3 . Elephant called Hasti 
From time immemorial countless gods, sages, saints, sinners and other devotees worshiped here and attained salvation. This holy place continues to draw thousands of devotees seeking fulfillment of their desires.

Realising the omnipresence and the omnipotence of the supreme, one will revel in Ananda. The eternal bliss can be achieved only through implicit faith humble submission and absolute devotion to the Almighty.

Everyday men in distress, men seeking knowledge and wealth and men imbued with wisdom flock to this sacred place and return with contentment.

The Vayu Lingam located in the temple, represents the element wind. The other four elements of Earth are Agni, Vaayu, Aakasam, Jalam and Prithvi. This temple is known for performing Sarpadosha (Rahu Ketu) Nivaarana Pooja. This temple was originated in the 12th century by the Chola King, Rajarajendra Chola.
In this temple during the Kalahasti Temple Festival, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kalahasteeswara. A lamp burns inside the inner sanctum that constantly flickers despite the lack of air movement inside.
One can see the Vayu-Linga inspite of the doors being closed. The sanctum also has no windows, the lamp flames keep moving despite no air movement. The color of the linga is white and is considered Swayambhu – self manifested. Lord Siva, the destroyer among the Trimurties. The remaining two among the three Murties (also known as Trimurties) are Brahma and Bishnu.
The linga, here, is one of the Panchabhuta lingas (made up of the five elements) - wind, water, fire, earth and ether. The linga at Srikalahasti is Vayulinga or one made of wind.

There is a lamp burning inside the inner sanctum that constantly flickers despite the lack of air movement inside. The vayu-linga can be seen moving despite the doors being closed. The sanctum has no windows, the lamp flames keep moving despite no air movement. The linga is white and is considered Swayambhu - self-manifested.

Kalahasti is surrounded by two hills. The Durgamba temple on the north hill and the shrine of Kannabeswara on the south hill, in memory of the Sage Kannappa, who offered an eye to the Lord. There is also a temple dedicated to Subramanya on one of the hills. A river flowing in the north washes the foot of the temple. The main linga remains untouched by human hands, even the priests do not touch it. Abhishek (bathing) is done by pouring a mixture of water, milk, camphor and panchamrita. Sandal paste, flowers and the sacred thread are offered to the utsava-murti, and not the main linga. It has an enormous, ancient gopuram over the main gate, which is 36.5 metres (120 feet) high and the entire temple is carved out from the side of the hill. King Krishnadeva Raya built this temple in1516. The temple is very ornate with elaborately designed pillars, altars, etc.

According to ancient Tamil sources Sri Kalahasti has been known as the ‘Kailas of the South’ for slightly more than two thousand years and the small river on whose banks it sits, the ‘Ganges of the South.’ Kailas is perhaps India’s most revered spiritual symbol. It is the abode of Shiva, from whose head, according to legend, the Ganges is said to flow. Shiva, ‘that which is auspicious at all places, times and in all circumstances’ is a symbol of the Self and the Ganges flowing from his head represents the spiritualized or awakened mind. A mind sourced in Spirit is a river of immeasurable power and life-giving goodness. The claim that Kalahasti is the ‘Kailas of the South’ simply means that the small hill near the temple is to be taken as the spiritual equivalent of the Himalayan Kailas. Likewise, the small river flowing in a northerly direction beside the temple is to be taken as the mighty Ganges.

The God Dakshinamurthy whose name means ‘the one facing south’ and whose idol (murthy) is installed in the Kalahasti Temple, sits in the North and faces south. East often represents the dawning of wisdom, the sun being another common Self symbol.

SriKalahasti got its name because in days of yore a spider (sri), serpent (kala) and elephant (hasti) elephant worshipped Shiva with great devotion. A spider lived in the inner sanctum and worshipped the Lord by weaving elaborate temples and images of Shiva. One day a breeze came up and caused the altar fire to destroy the spider’s offerings. It became angry and was about to gulp down the flame, (realize the Self) endangering its (ego’s) life. Appreciative of its devotion, Shiva appeared and granted the spider a boon. The spider requested moksha, release from the cycle of births and deaths. Accordingly it became one with Shiva, the Self.


Legend:-

There is a legend that Lord Shiva was worshipped by a snake, spider and an elephant. The spider (Sri) built the web over it to protect it from the sun and rain. The snake (Kala) would placed a gem on the Lingam and perform worship. The elephant would get water with its trunk and bathe the lingam (perform abhisheka). Each of these devotees had offered prayers in their devotion and worshipped the Lingam. Lord Shiva granted salvation to all these three devotees. Sri, Kala and Hasti put together becomes the name of this temple Srikalahasti.

The marks that correlate the legend are still visible on the Lingam, which is a swayambhu (natural). The main lingam is shaped like an elephant trunk, with tusks on each side and a figure of the spider at the bottom. If you look at the lingam from above it looks like a snake with five hoods.

In the sanctum sanctorum of this temple is a hanging lamp that always keeps swinging with a flickering flame though there is no visible inlet for wind. No one knows where the wind comes from is a mystery. The presence of vayu devata cannot and should not be mistaken for anything else!

The Kalahasti Sthalapuranam states that when Brahma the creator began to perform penance in the presence of this lingam, Lord Shiva left Kailash and took his abode in this idol. It didn't matter anymore that our yatra to Kailash Manas Sarovar did not materialize this year. I was simply elated that yena kena prakarena I got to see the Lord of my heart!!!



Significance of the temple:-


This temple is also known as the Rahu-Khetu kshetra. The Rahu-Khetu Sarpa dosha nivarana pooja is performed in this temple and devotees who have any of these doshas or other problems like no children or unmarried men and women can participate. It is believed that after performing this pooja whole heartedly, all the problems in life will be solved.

The temple architecture is a treat to the eyes for all those who visit Srikalahasti. A huge white architecture with three lofty gopurams speaks volume for its construction that dates back to Krishnadevaraya and Chola dynasty. Srikalahasti Temple was built by Chola Kings including Todaman Chakravarti. Historically, the temple was constructed in parts by different kings of Chola Dynasty. It is the Chola Dynasty which is credited for renovating and embellishing the temple with intricate sculpture and art. Kulottunga Chola, the great Chola King, contrived and built the beautiful gopurams, located at the entrance facing south, during the 11th century AD. In the late 12th century, Veeranarasimha Yadavaraya festooned the temple with outer Prakaras and four other gopurams connecting four entrances.

The Mantapams and Galigopurams facing east were developed by the Vijaynagar rulers in 16th century. Finally, the Natukottai Chettiars of Devakottai gave a final touch to the temple in 1912 by contributing 9 lakhs of rupees.The tower built by Krishnadevaraya in 15th century over the main gate stands at an imposing height of 120 ft. Alongside, the hundred pillared Mantapam (hall inside temple) is another architectural splendour that Srikalahasti is famed for. The Prakara or the compound and four gopurams were built by Veeranarashimha Yadavaraya in 12th Century. The Mantapam or 100 pillared hall was contrived and built by Krishnadevaraya during 1516 AD.

In the centre of the bustling street and bazaars on the sides, Srikalahasti Temple stands elevated with an architecture enwrapped in old world charm. Estimated to be a 1000 and more years old, during a recent repair work, the Shiva temple reflects oodles of culture and antiquity in look.

Sculptures of sage Kannappa, Shakti Vinayak and Saivaite bronze figures are quiet old and the exact date of these idols are known till date. Even the lingam of the temple dates back to more than 1000 years. An inside view and study of the pillar and carvings in the temple prove its antiquity beyond 1000 years.


Srikalahasti Temple:-

                                 SriKalaHasti temple is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalam and , represents the Vayu Sthalam . This temple is located in Chitoor district in Andhra pradesh. Sri Kalahasthi temple is situated 36kms away from Tirupathi and it is the only shrine for the God of Vayu . This temple was constructed by the Chola King, Rajendra Chola . Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and worshipped as Kalahasteeswara. Goddess Parvathi devi is worshipped here as Gnanaprasunambika. 
                                  
                          This temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, (of the nine grahams or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme). Sri Kalahasti Temple is also famous for performing poojas for Sarpa, Rahu, Ketu Doshas.
The temple is considered as the Kailash of the south or Dakshin Kailash.

                         Vishwakarma brahmin Sthapthis was the one who sculpted this temple. This temple features an enormous, ancient Gopuram over the main gate. The entire temple is carved out of the side of a huge stone hill. The temple is surrounded by two sacred hills, The Durgamba temple is found on the northern hill, while Kannappa Nayanar temple on the southern hill. It is found on the banks oif the river Swarna Mukhi.


                         The Lingam here is swayambu , and it is white in colour. The Main lingam is untouched by the human beings , even by the priest. Abhishekam is done by pouring a mixutre of water , milk, camphor and panchamrita. Sandal paste , flowers, and the sacred thread are offerred to th e Uthsava murthi , not the main Lingam.


                         There is a lamp inside the inner sanctum that is constantly flickering despite the lack of air movement inside. The air can be observed even when the priests close the main deity room, which does not have any windows. When all the lamps in the sanctum glow steadily, one can notice two lamps flickering now and then, proving the Lord's inhalation and exhalation.


                         

                         This ancient Sri Kalahasti temple dedicated to Lord Siva is one of the five Panchabhootha stalams (temples celebrating Lord Siva as the embodiment of the five primary elements), air (wind) being the element in this case; the other elements being water at (Thiruvanaikaval), fire at (Annamalaiyar Temple), earth at (Ekambareswarar Temple) and space at (Chidambaram Temple) that Siva embodies.


Importance  of This Srikalahasti Temple:-



The Srikalahasti Temple is additionally related to Rahu and Kethu (of the 9 grahams or celestial bodies within the Indian astrological scheme). The river Suvarnamukhi takes the northerly course at SriKalahasti virtually laundry the west wall of the celebrated Srikalahasti Temple. Within this terribly massive temple, located between 2 steep hills Sripuram and Mummidi-cholapuram, is that the Sivalinga set to represent the part of Vayu.

This Srikalahasti Temple is taken into account because the Kailash of the South or Dakshin Kailashi. Saivaite saints of the primary century herb concerning this temple.



What is sarp dosha puja :-

Sarp dosha occurs if a persons planets fall on one side of Rahu (head of a snake )and ketu (tail of a snake ) or if the moon is in the eighth house from rahu .There are several other methods in which this dosh occurs and it requires an astrologer -a real good one (I would say a super specialist) to diagnose such dosh.Sarp dosh or Kal Sarp Dosh results in
* unhappy or no marriage* spouse prone to fighting* endless struggles in life* No children* Lack of peace of mind* Enmity in family or society etc.



Teerthas :-

Sahasra Linga Teertham, from the Kalahasti it is about 5 miles far
Narada Teertham
Harhar Teertham
Mayura Teertham
Suka Teertham
Kalinga Teertham
Bharadwaja Teertham
Markandeya Teertham
Tatwa Prakasa Teertham
Manikarnika Teertham
Brahma teertham
Saraswati Teertham

Gnana Prasunambika Devi:-


There are many alternative legends connected to the glory of the Srikalahasti Temple. Distinguished among them is of Parvati WHO was cursed by Lord Shiva to discard her natural object and assume the human type. To induce free off the on top of curse Parvati did an extended penance here. Happy along with her deep devotion Lord Shiva once more restored her body – 100 times higher than her previous natural object and initiated varied mantras together with the Panchakshari. Sequent of this, Parvati gained and came to be called Shiva-Gnanam Gnana Prasunamba or Gnana Prasunambika Devi.

Gnanakala  of Srikalahasti Temple:-

Cursed to become a ghost Ghanakala prayed at Srikalahasti for 15 years and when singing Bhairava Mantra over and over Lord Shiva restored her original kind.


Devatas  prayed:-

Mayura, Chandra and Devendra were additionally free of their curses when taking bathtub within the stream Swarnamukhi and prayed at Srikalahasti.

Markandeya prayed:-

To Bhakta Markandeya, Lord Shiva appeared in Sri Kalahasti and preached that a Guru alone may build esoteric teachings and, so he’s Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.

Kannappa prayed:- 

At Srikalahasti Temple, Lord Shiva tested the unshakable devotion of Thinnadu (Later became Bhaktha Kannappa) before the sages gathered at SriKalahasti. together with his divine power, Lord Shiva created a tremor and also the roof first-rate of the temple began to fall. All the sages ran far from the scene except Kannappa WHO lined the linga together with his body to stop it from any harm.

                                            Kannappa Placed his Eyes to this Lingam


In another incident, Kannappa plucked out one in every of his eyes and placed within the eye of Linga that was oozing with blood and tears. once the tears and also the blood were still trickling from another eye, Kannappa set to remove his second eye and placed one of his feet on the spot of the correct eye of the Shiva Linga. Before he may pull out his second eye with the arrow, Lord Shiva appeared and restored  his eye whereas granting him a boon to occupy an area near him.

According to Hindu Sivananda’s book, 63 Nayanar Saints, pg. 44, some Saivite traditions believe that Kannappa was the reincarnation of Arjuna. Arjuna, loved Shiva for seeking the Pasupatha Astra and didn’t acknowledge Him within the style of a hunter. Thus, in keeping with this tradition, Arjuna had to change state as a hunter and love the Lord before attaining final liberation.

Places to be seen:-

Sri Durga Temple
Hillock
North from temple
Sri Subrahmanya Temple
Hillock
East from temple
Sri Kannappa Temple
Hillock
South from temple
Sri sukabrahmashram
Close to the Main temple
Sri Pancha Mukeswara Temple
Adjacent to Main Temple
South from temple
Sri Dakshina kali Temple
Approximately 06 km
South from temple
Sri Veyi Lingala Kona (Hills)
Approximately 08 km
South from temple
Sri Varadaraja Swamy Temple
0.5 KM from Main temple
Sri Mutyalamma Temple
1 KM from Main temple towards Court road
Sri Chakreswara Swamy Temple
1 KM from Main temple towards Court road
Sri Dharmaraju Temple
2KM from Main temple towards Sullurpet Road
Sri Shiridi Saibaba Temple
2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Main temple towards Sullurpet Road
Sri Neelakanteswara swami Temple Urandur
1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) form Railway station
Gudi Mallam
Approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi)
South from temple
Thala Kona
Approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi)
West from temple (Via Tirupati)
Pallikondeswara Swamy Temple
Approximately 100 km
East from temple (Via Nagalapuram)
Thondamanadu sri venkateshwara swamy temple built by thondaman chakravarthy brother of sri padmavathi ammavaru(brother-in-law to sri venkateswara swamy) and Temple is located 10 km away from sri kalahasthi, good transport facility is available and this is only temple where u can see swamy will be sitting along with sri lakshmi devi and padmavathi ammavaru.
kodandaramaswara kamashidevi temple lord siva Bokkasampalem village
8 km form srikalahasti main temple is located in bokkasampalem village near thodamanadu.

it has an historical place, there is available aptourism rooms.temple located 0.5 km away from thondamanadu sri venkateshwara swamy temple.

Festivals of Srikalahasti Temple:-

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 the Shiva Linga of Srikalahasti Temple is considered to be one of the five important Lingas. According to Hindu mythology the five lingas represent the five great elements namely – Water, Fire, Ether, Air and Earth, established in the five great ‘Kshetras’. At Srikalahasti Temple Lord Shiva is worshiped as Vayu Linga of the wind God. A flame present in the Garbhagraha of the temple flickers even though no wind can enter the shrine.

Darshan Timings:-

Rituals of the Temple



S.No 

 Seva 

 Timing 

 1
 Suprabatham

 5-30 AM

 2
 Sarvadarshanam        

 6-00 AM

 3
 Pradhama Kala Abhishekam

 7-30 AM

 4
 Dwthiya Kala Abhishekam

 9-00 AM

 5
 Ucchi kala Abhishekam

10-30 AM

 6
 Rudhra Homam

11-00 AM

 7
 Chandhi Homam        

11-00 AM

 8
 Nityothsavam

11-00 AM

 9
 Nithya Kalyanam

11-30 AM

10
 Prodhosha Kala Abhishekam

 5-30 PM

11
 Nirajana Manthra Pushpam

 7-00 PM

12
 Ekantha Seva

 9-00 PM

13
 Temple Closing time

 9-00 PM (every day)
 9-30 PM (on Saturday to Monday)

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 am to 9 pm and on other days fom 6 am to 9.30pm.

How to reach:-

Air:-
The nearest airport from the place is the Tirupathi which is at the distance of 60 kilometers from Srikalahasti. Tirupati is connected to Madhurai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Taxis are available to connect to the temple directly to Kalahasti.

Road:-
 There are many such state owned buses that are available from the nearby town like Vijaywada, Tirupati, Bangalore, Chennai and Nellore. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is operating number of buses from the city.

Railways:-
 Tirupati is the railway head that is connected to almost all the major cities of the country as well as from the state. From Renigunta railway junction there, a traveler can proceed to the Srikalahasti (45 meters) through Erpedu.



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