Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Sri KalaHasthi--The Vayu Linga of Lord Shiva

            Sri Kalahasthi temple of Lord Shiva belongs to the pre-historic times of Vedic land when the lord Shiva himself came to earth for his devotees. It is one of the temples of Pancha Bhoota, enshrining one of the elemental lingas the vayu( Air) Linga. Only temple for the Lord of Wind in India.  It is located in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh very near to tirupathi and on the banks of river Swarnamukhi. SriKalahasthi Temple is named after the three ardent devotees of lord shiva—they were the Spider (Sri), the serpent (Kala) and the Elephant (Hasthi). This is the only temple which is kept opened on Lunar and Solar Eclipses.

            My visit to this piligramage place helped me in exploring more interesting aspects. In simple words, I entered the temple on a wrong day hence there is no crowd. I made my time to spend more on the temple architecture on the three Gopurams. This temple is constructed during pallava period and the hundred pillared manatapa is built by krishna devaraya during 16th century.

                  Inside the temple premises you can listen continuous chanting of OM NAMAH SHIVAYA, which makes us forget of who we are even. It occupies 100% percent of your mind slowly when I slowly moved ahead towards the temple. The front yard have a very big cradle under another gopuram (roof), Beside it you can see puja being performed to the cow—Hindu’s consider Cow as a sacred animal and believe that doing Puja will give wealth, health and prosperity. Moving ahead is the entrance of the ancient temple, the doors are so big and the temple architecture is magnificent. Cameras are not allowed--- I know I shall be missing more memories without my cam.

            On left side of the entrance, rituals are performed for the Rahu Kethu KalaSarpa Dosha Nivaarana – Ofcourse there are three other places for performing the same pooja in the temple. 

           Astrologically, when all the planets are sandwiched between Rahu and Ketu, it is deemed to be Kala Sarpa. If the planets are moving towards Ketu, it is Kala Sarpa yoga and If the planets are moving towards Rahu, it is Kala Sarpa dosha. If the ascendant or Moon is not in the axis and all the planets are in between Rahu and Ketu, it is also Kala Sarpa yoga, even though the planets are moving towards Rahu. Many people performs this Pooja first and then goes for darshan. Pooja is started only after the Rudrabhishekham is started in the temple. It is believed that after performing pooja one will be blessed for children, wealth, property, gain, and prosperity. Those who wish progeny, success in endeavors, worldly enjoyment and the final emancipation shall attain it by performing this Pooja/Rituals.

            We followed a line to reach the Lingakara, Lord Shiva. There is a Sun God statue just beside the door and it’s amazing, hope most of you miss it in a hurry to see the main deity. Finally, I stepped inside and it was an amazing feeling to see the Lingakaara Shiva. I’m sure I could not explain the immense feeling of watching the main Linga. It was there where lord appeared for the devotees. The Shivalinga inside the sanctum is white and is considered Swayambhu, or self-manifested. It has a plinth and is seen in the shape of the trunk of an elephant with tusks on either side or like that of the spider at the bottom. When seen from the top, the Shiva Linga looks like that of a snake with five hoods. The lamp inside the inner sanctum continuously sparkles, even without the air movement inside. The main Sivalinga of Sri Kalahasti Temple is not touched by human hands, even by the priests. A mixture of water, milk, camphor, and Panchamrita is used for Abhishekam.

            The serpentines made of copper and silver (Rahu and Kethu) which are from the pooja of Rahu Kethu Kala Sarpa Dosha Nivaarana are dropped in the main Hundi here. 

               Moving ahead is the temple of Gnanaprasunambika ( goddess Parvathi) consort of Lord Shiva. The statue of Goddess Gnana Prasunambika Devi- the flower of divine knowledge, assumes great importance here, as this is considered one the 108 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Shakti. It is said that the skull fell here at Srikalahasti Temple. According to the legends, the Goddess is a representation of Santana Lakshmi.

            On the right you can see the Bhaktha Kanappa point where the devotee’s will have the Gopuram view.


            Sri Kalahasthi is named after the three devotees who sacrificed themselves-- the Spider (Sri), the serpent (Kala) and the Elephant (Hasthi). Story is Hasthi used to clean the shiva Linga everyday with water and prays lord with Bilva leaves. Kala unknowingly cleans the linga by removing the leaves and places its precious gems to pray the lord. 

        This raises a dispute between them on one day when they came to know who is removing their offerings. Snake enters the trunk of elephant to punish it. Elephant runs amok and hits the head and trunk against the Linga and dies. Snake also dies due to the hit. There was one more devotee Sri- Spider which weaves the web around the deity to protect from rain, sun, dust etc.,  One day lord decides to test the spider for its promotion and hence raises fire on web. Spider doesn’t wish to leave the web and Linga with fear to death and dies protecting the Linga. Lord appears and grants Moksha for all the three.

Bhakta Kanappa

            Bhaktha Kanappa was a hunter who was called Tinnappa before he became a saint, and he lived in the forest hunting animals. One day he goes for a hunt on the favourite day(shivaratri) of lord shiva. He finds nothing to eat and getting exhausted he reaches the downhill where he finds the Shiva Linga. He remains without food on entire day and makes a vow that he will share his food with him when he finds food to eat. He understands the power of lord and starts praying him. As vowed he places the flesh and cleans the Linga with water filling in his mouth. Lord gets delighted of his sincere prayers. 

                 One day to test his devotee lord drops blood from one of his eye, thinappa thinking someone has harmed his lord without any hesitation removes his eye and places as a substitue to lords eye. Immediately oozing of blood from that eye stops and it starts from the other eye, Thinappa feels sad for his lord and starts to think how he can place his second eye when he becomes blind. So he with his foot, marks the place of lord’s eye and replaces his eye. At that time the Lord, pleased with the strength of his devotion, gave him Darsan and restored his eyesight and also gave him the name "Kannappa," that is, one who gave his eyes to the Lord. Pleased with his devotion the Lord also ordained that be should be near the Lingam permanently.

*****~~~~~~~~~~OM NAMAH SHIVAYA~~~~~~~~~~~~*****

1 comment:

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