Author Topic: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018  (Read 270 times)

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 45300
    • View Profile
Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« on: January 02, 2018, 08:38:04 AM »
Today is Ardra Darsanam.  Today,  Nataraja performs His Cosmic Dance. It is celebrated
in all Siva Temples where Nataraja is there.  It is also celebrated in the Asramam where there is Natraja idol in the Mother's temple.

The form of Nataraja - the supreme dancer - has been hailed as the highest concept of
art.

Angikam bhuvanam yasya
Vachikam sarva vangmayam
Acharyam chandra taradi
Tam namah satvikam Sivam.

Whose limbs are the universe, Whose word is the essence of all language. Whose
ornaments are the moon and stars - To that Virtuous Shivam, we bow down!

Saivagama Tantras, the ritualistic sacred texts of Sadhana or devout single pointed
worship, devised an artistic form in which all human devotion can be directed - Nataraja,  the supreme dancer.  The form of Nataraja has been hailed  as the highest
concept of art.  Ancient Saivites were known to practice a dance drama at the famous Nataraja Temple of Chidambaram.  In the holy month of Margazhi (December - January) in Tamizh Nadu, on the day with the asterism Tiru Adirai, the Arudra festival is especially important to Lord Nataraja in all temples, particularly Chidambaram.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 45300
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 09:03:53 AM »
Among the five elements, the subtlest space whose essence is sound, is represented
by the Akasa Lingam in the temple dedicated to this concept, Chidambaram.  Lord
Nataraja personifies the descent from the subtlest as an act of creation and also the
ascent from the grossest as an act of dissolution.  Ananda Tandavam- the Blissful dance - is the dance of Nataraja of Chidambaram.  Tirumoolar in his Tantra Tirumandiram refers to it as 'Nadanta' posture-  the pinnacle of meditative bliss - even beyond the realm of unheard sound or Shiva Vyapti, the ultimate!  The dance hall is Chit Akasha, the hall of Supreme Consciousness.   

On this holy day, one extols Lord Siva, performing five most important functions to keep the world spinning in rhythmic tandem.  They are creation, protection, dissolution, veiling the truth and showering of grace.  Lord Nataraja's cosmic dance with his consort Sivakami represents these Pancha Kriya dances.  Arudhra or Tiruvadirai is considered the favorite star of Lord Nataraja, though the Lord never takes birth.  He appeared to the holy saints Patanjali and Vyagrapada on this day.  Maha Vishnu asked Adi Sesha to go to Chidambaram for tapas.  The Lord appeared on Tiruvadirai day and danced in Chidambaram.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

     
     

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 45300
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 09:17:13 AM »
Iyal,Isai Natakam - form the three fold components of the most ancient languages of Tamizh.  In temple rituals, Geeta (music), Vadya (instrumental music) and Nritya (dance) were the three prominent Upasanas at the culmination of the sixteen Upacharas. Since all festivals were religion based, music and dance had been important factors in the celebrations.  Skanda Purana describes that when the sun shines in the Dhanur constellation, the day of Tiru Adirai Vrata arrives for which Rudra is the Devata.
It is in conjunction with the full moon, Poornami. One gets up early in the morning on this day to worship the dancing Lord.

The worship on Tiru Adirai is of the southern face of Siva Lingam by Abhishekam,
offerings and ghee lamps.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 45300
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 10:39:44 AM »
The festival of black paste called Krishna gandha utsavam is held which is unique on this day.  'Kriyakramadyotika'  by Aghora Shivacharya us a ritualistic text, most popular in Tamizh Nadu and followed by a large number of temples.  The Karanaagama gives the process and purpose of this practice.  Sandal paste and the herb Agaru's paste is mixed with jaggery proportionately.  To the heated up and burnt mixture is added cow's ghee and made into a black paste for use in the festival.  It is be believed in Saiva Siddhanta doctrine which has given the famous dictum - Anbe Sivam or God is Love, that all living beings are covered with three kinds of Malas or impurities namely, Anava / finiteness, Karma / past deeds and May /illusory actions,  further classified into gross and subtle impurities.  The gross impurity is placed at the feet of Adi Guru Nataraja.  The black paste represents the impurities which are obliterated while the dance assumes the Aghora form.  After the removal of black paste, the deity is given a bath, all as part of of the Nritta festival.  Nataraja is called
Nritta Nayaka.  The Nritta performed by the Lord is called the Aghora dance.

The holy bath given on this day to the deity is the most meritorious among the six days in a year that they are performed.  In Thillai i.e.Chidambaram, a ten day festival is held during Tiru Adirai.  On the tenth day, at dawn, Maha Abhishekam is done to Lord Nataraja and goddess Sivakamasundari at Raja Sabhai. A special Tiru Abharanam - Sacred Jewels Alankaram, with nine precious gems is done to Sri Nataraja's Pancha Murti. 

The abhishekam of Nataraja in the thousand pillared hall is a great event. It denotes
creation (Srishti). The food offering is preservation (Stithi), Sandal as Krishna Gandham smeared on Him is dissolution (Samhara).  A black cow is brought before Him as obscuration (Tirobhava) and finally the Dipaaradhana Arti which all people witness  is grace (Anugraha).  These separately considered, are the activities of the deities Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheswara and Sadasiva.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
   

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 45300
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 10:55:47 AM »
Lord Nataraja and Goddess Sivakami would bless devotees with Arudra Darsanam and enter Kanaka Sabha - Golden Sabha.  Tiruvachakam hymns of Tiru Empaavai by Mankkavachagar are chanted.  Sambandhar had sung in the Tevaram about how
Tiru Adirai was celebrated at the Kapaleeswara Temple.  Appar wrote 10 hymns in
Tevaram  in the name of Tiru Adirai Padigam which describes the importance and celebrations of Tiru Adirai.  On the day of full moon, the chariot procession takes place.
The Arudra Naivedyam made for Lord Nataraja on this day is Tiru Adirai Kali, made of
rice, jaggery, moong dal, coconut, cardamom and ghee to go with Thalagam or Ezhu Koottu, made out of seven vegetables including root vegetables primarily. In Kerala,
Tiru Adirai Kali group dance is performed by women on this day.

Out of 27 Nakshatras, Tiru Adirai (Arudra) is dear to Siva, and Tiru Onam (Sravana) to Vishnu.  Both Vaikunta Ekadasi in honor of Vishnu and Arudra Darsanam in honor
of Siva (Nataraja) signify an integration of Saivism and Vaishnavism, both occurring closely one after the other in Margazhi.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 45300
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 12:16:22 PM »
Ignorance crushed:

Unification takes place the Yogi's heart and brings about the cessation of all activities
of the mind.

Nataraja literally means the Lord of the Stage. The idea is that the world is a stage,
a puppet show which presents the vision of life and activity through the power of all
pervading  Atman or God, the unseen Lord of the Stage.  The Atman or Self being the real teacher of the human mind.  Nataraja is meant to represent the Guru, unseen but to foster growth from within.  When we see the eyes of Nataraja we are reminded of the Shambavi Mudra of Yoga in which the eyes are open but the vision is turned inward. 

The little drum holds the cause of the world, i.e. the sound (Shabdha Nishtam Jagad -
through sound the world stands) in his hand. The deer on the one side is the mind
that jumps from one thing to another.  Nataraja wears the skin of a tiger, standing for
ahankara or egoism.  On his head He wears the  Ganga, symbolizing Chit Shakti or wisdom which is most refreshing and the moon represents the ethereal light.  One foot crushes Maha Maya, the endless illusion which is the cause of birth and death.
Ignorance due to bondage with the world is like a demon that has to be crushed and that is what the Lord does in His Nritta.

Symbol of Wisdom

The Mayalaka or Apasmara at the feet of the Lord personifies this truth.  The other foot is raised upward and represents the Turiya state, which is beyond and above the three states of waking, dream and dreamless sleep,  overcoming Maya. The right
hand represents the idea of peace and blessing indicates the glorious privilege of wisdom.   In one of the hands, is held Agni (fire), i.e the purifying flame of Truth.   
The left hand gracefully flows across the right giving the place for Shakti in the dance duet. 

The place of dance, the theater, is Tillai Vanam or the body of the individual as well as of the cosmos referred to as a forest on account of the multitude of its components.
The platform in that theater is the cremation ground, the place where all passions and the names and forms that constitute the vision of the world have been burnt away; Pure consciousness devoid of attachment. He holds the serpent (Kundalini Power) showing that He is the Master of Yoga.  The Vayus are in perfect harmony. The Chakras are in total balance.

Contemplating on this magnetic image, the unification takes place in the Yogi's heart and when it does, it brings about the complete cessation of all activities of the mind.
Nataraja indicates the mystery of transcendence of that harmonious state with the dancing posture.  " I shall show the highest vibrating Cosmic Self and take you there,"
proclaims Nataraja with His anklets...


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
       
 
 

Balaji

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 01:43:05 AM »
Very nice information Mr Subramanian Sir regarding Arudra Darisanam

photo Sri Ramanashramam, Lord Natarajar and Goddess Sivakami
Om Namo Bagavathe Sri Ramanaya

Jewell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6362
  • Love,always love and only love
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 02:16:06 AM »
Indeed very nice post,dear Sri Subramanian Sir! I was inspired with it. And so beautiful photo,dear Sri Balaji!
Thank You!!!

With love,



Omneity is He who is rare to be comprehended
    And expressed in words by all the worlds;
    In His crest rest the crescent and the flood;
    Limitless is His effulgence;
    He dances in the Ambalam.
    We hail and adore His ankleted flower-feet.

Sekkizhar
from Invocation - (paayiram) of Periya puranam

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 45300
    • View Profile
Re: Ardra Darsanam - 02.01.2018
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 03:42:00 PM »
Nandan Story and other songs:

If it is Adirai, it has to be Chidambaram.  So says the compositions.

***

Nowhere  is Tiru Adirai more famous than at Chidambaram.  Muthuswami Deekshitar's
'Ananda Natana Prakasam' does not specifically mention Tiru Adirai but it does describe the Lord as one who displayed his dancing foot to Patanjali and Vyagrapada.

Colloquially known as Arudra Darsanam, the festival is an old one, being mentioned
in the Tevaram.  It is customary to also associate it with salvation being granted to Nandanar, the outcast devotee who yearned for visiting Chidambaram.  Because he kept postponing his planned pilgrimage, he was known as Tiru Nalaip Povar (he that goes tomorrow).  But he does make it, and there merges with the Lord. 

It is believed that this happened on Tiru Adirai.  What is interesting, however, is that the Periya Puranam of Sekkizhar does not say the event took place on this day. In fact
the story of Tiru Nalaip Povar is rather cursorily dealt with in the work.

It was left to the 19th century composer Gopalakrishna Bharati to create a grand opera out of the story.  From a dramatic point of view it makes perfect sense -- the
climax happening on a grand festival day.

To Bharati this shrine was special and it was natural that its greatest event be a part of the story.  That the composer as a regular at Chidambram during Tiru Adirai and other festival in summer  -- Ani Uthiram -- is clear from the song  'Piravada Mukti Tarum'.  Have I not come to your shrine on Ani Uthiram and Margazhi Tiru Adirai, he
asks.

Another song, 'Maravaamal Epadiyum' has Bharati joining the procession around four streets and then entering the sanctum of Kanakasabha via the Deva Sabha on Tiru Adirai day.  'O Lord, I have come to see you on Tiru Adirai day..' goes another song
(Tiru Adirai Darisamathirukku.  'Please glance me and say speak that I will not have any rebirth', it continues.

That Nandanar wants to go to Tillai on Tiru Adirai day is established in several songs.
'Margazhi Madam Tiru Adirai Naal has Nandan begging to be let of his master to enable him to go to Chidambaram because the festival of Tiru Adirai is fast approaching.  In another song, Maadu Thinnum Pulaiya, the landlord asks Nandan
if a meat eating outcast like him ought to even dare think of the holy day in Margazhi.

A song in the same opera has Nandan stating that the sinners who have not yet seen
the Lord of Chidambaram on Margazhi Tiru Adirai have achieved nothing in life.
Another song, set in the Lavani format has Nandan speak of the qualities of devotees
of Chidambaram.  His journey to Tillai is described in another song -Kollidakarai Ponan
Nandan.

Lakhs of devotees descend on Chidambaram on this day, challenging the town infrastructure. For those unable to go, a reading of Gopalakrishna Bharati's Nandan
Charittram is a good alternative.  It helps to understand why the event is so important
from a devotional perspective.  And the language is delectable with its varying meters and wonderful prosody.  Of course, hearing it performed is even better.

Arunachala Siva.