Author Topic: The facts about Kanchipuram  (Read 5632 times)

Subramanian.R

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The facts about Kanchipuram
« on: February 23, 2009, 10:30:42 AM »
Kanchipuram about 80 kms from Chennai, is famous for its various
temples.  Puranas say that among the towns, it is the best. It was
the capital of Pallava Kingdom and particularly Mahendra Varman.
Like Tiruvarur, it is also said that one who is born in Kanchipuram
attains mukti.  Kanchipuram is also famous for Kanchi Kama Koti Peetam, where Sankara after establishing 4 maths in India, finally stayed in Kanchipuram and ascended the throne of All-Knowledge,
Saravajna Pitam.  Tamil poets praise Kanchipuram in their works.
All the three Tevaram saints have visited Kanchi and sang decads.
Manikkavachagar, though there is no record about his visiting Kanchi, had mentioned it in his Tiru Por Chunnam, the Song of Pounding bathing powder.  Sekkizhar who hails from Kanchi has sung
its glories in 110 verses while narrating the story of Tiru Kurippu Thondar Nayanar.  There is also a Sthala Puranam on Kanchi in Tamil verses by Chidambara Swamigal. 

When Uma playfully held her hands and closed Siva's eyes, the worlds stopped functioning.  For this picadillo, Uma wanted to perform tapas and dhana in Kanchipuram, as per advice of Siva.
She went there, stood on a needle's end and performed severe penance, in front of a fire.  She was eating only dry leaves.  She made a linga from the river sand and did poojas.  When flash floods came in Kamba river and the sand Linga was about to be dissolved,
she embraced the Sivalinga with her breasts and hands.  Even today, in Kanchi Ekambaranatha Swami temple, the Siva linga made of sand, is having the niche of breasts and bangles!  Since the Siva Lingam is made of sand, there is no abulations with water and millk.
There is only application of punugu, sandal, camphor and kasturi.  The abulations is only for the base, the avadai, the femal symbol.  Flowers are adorned.  Kamakshi on completion of her penance, did a lot of dhana.  Arunagiri Natha says that she performed 32 types of dharmas, right from feeding the poor and hungry, conducting marriage of young girls, giving medicine for the sick, giving clothes for the needy, feeding animals, running pata salas for children, sponsoring Vedic sacrifices etc., After tapas and dharmas, she is asked by Siva to come to Arunachala for her reunion with Him.

Kamakshi Amma Temple has got only one shrine for Kamakshi.  There is no Siva shrine.  Siva is in Kanchi Ekambranatha Swami temple.  Skanda temple, called Kumara Kottam, is in the midway between the temples.  It is therefore said that Kanchi is a place of worship for family people, for family prosperity and health, because Siva family is there in different temples in the same town.  There is a large Vishnu temple also called Varadharaja Swami Temple. It is sung by Azhwars.  There are more than 20 temples, small and big in Kanchipuram.  In and around there are 70 Siva and Vishnu temples.


A famous Sri Vaishnava scholar and poet Prativati Bhaynagaram Annaranga Chariar lived in Kanchipuram recently.  He lived upto 100 years.  He would defeat anyone in religious debate.  He was not prostrating anyone in life excepting Kanchi Varadharaja and Kanchi Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swami, the pontiff of Kanchi Kamakoti Math.

When Ravana attempted to pull Kailash and was punished by Siva in Kailash, he was asked to go to Kanchipuram and pay his retribution.

Arunachala Siva.   

DRPVSSNRAJU

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Re: The facts about Kanchipuram
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 02:38:10 PM »
Dear Subramanian,
                        What is esoteric significance of Maha Siva Ratri?Only you can tell.
pvssnraju

Subramanian.R

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Re: The facts about Kanchipuram
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 03:33:05 PM »
Dear Dr. Raju,

I shall write whatever I know.  Thrayodasi is the auspicious day
for Siva like Ekadasi for Vishnu and Sashti for Muruga.  In the kumbha  month, after the Thrayodasi, on Chaturdasi day, Vishnu
and Brahma prayed to Siva, who stood as emerald mountain.  The
holy effulgence on this day, condensed into a emerald mountain.
This is the night of vigil for devotees since Siva is always vigilant,
never closing any one of His two eyes, the third eye being never opened excepting for destruction.  This vigil was disturbed by Uma by playfully closing His eyes once and she had to come to Kanchipuram for penance and reunion later at Arunachala.  On this day of the year, the devotees keep awake at night and pray to Siva.  This again is a sort of penance, just as fasting on Ekadasi, Sashti etc.,  This is of course, subject to one's health and other worldly duties.  Jagran is symblic of our wakefulness to attain godhead.

In another folklore, one hunter who was chased by a tiger; he climbed over a tree and the tiger was waiting even at night for him to fall down in sleep so that it could devour him.  He, with great difficulty suffered sleeplessness and kept vigil.  In order to while away the time, he plucked the leaves and dropping them.  It so happened, there was a Siva linga, at the foot of the tree. The leaves were bhilva leaves and it was a Sivaratri night.  The story ends that he got liberation.

In Karnataka, where Veera Saivas are in large numbers, Sivaratri
is an important day.  It is a day of solemnity and not celebration.
They fast, go to Siva temple and keep vigil at night.

In my experience, I find keeping awake is more difficult than fasting and I have never succeeded in both.  I go to bed at my usual time chanting Arunachala Siva for sometime till I get my sleep.  This morning, I submitted jasmine and bhilva leaves to the Nataraja metal icon that I have got in the home altar, Unnamulai-Annamalai photo with Hill at the backdrop and to Bhagavan Ramana.  I listened in the afternoon Arunachala Pancharatnam and Arunachala Padigam from the tape.         

Arunachala Siva.

DRPVSSNRAJU

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Re: The facts about Kanchipuram
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 09:57:20 PM »
Dear Subramanian,
                        I want share my views on this subject with you.What you have posted is wonderful and i want to add few more points

which are complimentary to what you have written.

On this 14th day of krishna paksha of this month,owing to special planetary conjunction,the spiritual practices done on this day are

considered to be especially auspicious and beneficial.It was on this day Siva manifested in the form of huge column of fire.

On Siva Ratri devotees observe fast(thoughtless state of mind) and keep vigil(centred in pure consciousness) all the night.

Hymns in praise of Siva like Siva Mahima stotra of Pushpadanta and Ravana's Siva Tandava Stotra are sung with great devotion.

Guru Gita in which Siva instructs Parvati on how to attain liberation while living in the physical body is recited.

By repeating Panchakshari Mantra "Om Namah Shivaya" with perfect devotion,we are calling the name of our own self.One who meditates

on his own inner self is considered to have worshipped all Gods and Goddesses.

Siva lingam represents conscious column of light.The lower part of Siva lingam is sakti and the upper part Siva.

The story of the hunter is an allegory.His name is Suswara(one with a melodious voice) and his native place is Varanasi.

Vara means forehead and Nasi means nose i.e point midway between eye brows in which Ajna Chakra is situated which is a nexus of

ida,pingala,sushumna.He indulged in hunting(action in nonself) and was caught in it's darkness surronded by prowling animals

which are nothing but Arishad vargas.He kept night long vigil(rooted in awareness) and with the help of Bilva stack which has three

leaflets representing ida,pingala,sushumna tried to throw away animalistic Arishad vargas there by unknowingly offered his Kundalini

power to it's source of Pure conscious being who is nothing but Siva and got realised.Suswara represents the whole humanity.
pvssnraju

Ganesh_b01

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Re: The facts about Kanchipuram
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2009, 12:44:04 AM »
 :) just my humble opinion. Shivarathri always falls on the Chaturdasi day of Krishna (Dark) Paksha or waning phase of the moon. The next day being Amavaasya. I feel its the dilution of the dualness into nothingness (amavasya). On the 14th day there is a small moon presence which is the sense of I'ness after all the austerities performed so long during the Uttaraayana and Dakshinaayana. This great day by staying awake the whole night the I gets merged into the Amavasya.

Amavasya is completely pure without any attributes.

People who long for Liberation do the Giri Pradakshinam on the Amavasya day and people who wish to enjoy the worldly life in their varnaashramas do the Giri Pradakshinam on the Pournami day (full foon day)

Shiva also stands for Pralaya, Death etc... all these events like death, pralaya according to our Shastras are considered as 'Mangalam' or auspicious events. Pralaya is dissolution of the world and merging back into where it came from. similarly on this Shivrathri day the I merges into Itself Siva.

The sound of Damaru in Sivas hand is one of the primordial sounds just like Aum, both sounds if carefully observed will begin with 'hmm...' and end with the same 'hmm...' humming sound from and into silence.

Prostrations to Bhagawan


Subramanian.R

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Re: The facts about Kanchipuram
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 11:07:16 AM »
Dear Dr. Raju,

Excellent.  Siva = Pure Consciousness = eternal vigil.  Fasting =
removing the contamination of the mind.  Thank you, doctor.

Dear Ganesh_b01,

Excellent explanation. Thank you.

I think the Forum, after a long break is really shining.

Arunachala Siva.