Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thiruvaadhirai: Significance Of Arudraa Dharshanam – Celebration Of The Cosmic Dance Of Lord Shiva

Thiruvaadhirai is one of the famous vradhas celebrated. This is the Thiruvaadhirai Nakshaththram in the month of Marghazhi (Maargasira). Thiruvaadhirai is considered as the Nakshaththram of Lord Nataraaja. Though the Lord never takes birth and hence no Nakshaththram to celebrate, on Thiruvaadhirai He appeared to the holy saints Pathanychali and Yyaagra Paadha.

Once when Mahaa Vishnu was lying down on the great serpent Adhi Seesha, Adhi Seesha felt Mahaa Vishnu was quite heavy that time. He asked Mahaa Vishnu what was the reason. Mahaa Vishnu said that he was remembering and enjoying the Dance of Lord Shiva. The answer developed the desire in Adhi Seesha to see the Great Dance of Lord Shiva. He asked Mahaa Vishnu how his desire could be fulfilled. Mahaa Vishnu asked him to go to Chithamparam and do "tapas". Adhi Seesha came to Chithamparam and prayed the Lord for a long time.

There was another muni and devotee of Lord Shiva in that place, called Viyaagra Paadha. He prayed to God to get the legs of tiger, so that he can pluck flowers early in the morning to offer to the God, before any bee touches the flower. He was also praying God to see His Great Dance for a long time. Pleased with their prayer the God appeared on the Thiruvaadhirai day and danced in Chithamparam.

The Nataraaja image of the Lord is prayed with great devotion this day. In Chithamparam and other temples it is celebrated as Arudraa Dharshanam. In this festival Abhisheeka (holy anointing) of Lord Nataraaja takes place early in the morning and then He comes around the town. A sweet called ‘kaLi’ and multi vegetable ‘thALakam’ are offered and eaten to celebrate this great joy of seeing the dance of the Lord.

There is an anecdote about how ‘kaLi’ came to be the prasad on this day. A devotee called Sendanar had the habit of eating only whatever was left of the food offered to the Lord and then distributed among other devotees. On Thiruvadirai day in a Marghazhi, he could offer to the Almighty only some ‘pittu’ and ‘kaLi’. With much regret that he could get nothing better, he offered these to the Lord. As he stood a little later in Nataraaja’s sanctorum, the Lord effected a shower of ‘pittu’ and ‘kaLi’ on Sendanar, in recognition of his deep devotion. Since the day of that miracle, ‘kaLi’ is the special offering to Lord Nataraaja on Marghazhi Thiruvadirai.

In Sirghazhi in Tamil Nadu, this day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Saint Thiru Gnana Sambandar and the day when that saint, while a baby, was breastfed by Parvati. In Thirupperundurai, the day is observed as the birthday of Saint Manickavachakar. Karanagama says we should worship the Divine Dancer on Thiruvadirai in exquisite Marghazhi.

Arudraa Dharshanam is observed in the Tamil month of Marghazhi (December – January). It is essentially a Shaivite festival and celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Lord Nataraaja form. Arudraa signifies the golden red flame and Shiva performs in the form this red-flamed light.

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. Arudraa Dharshanam celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.

It takes place on the full moon night in the month of Marghazhi and this is also the longest night in a year. The festival is mainly observed in the Tamil speaking world. The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva is enacted on the day. Most of the temples around the world with Lord Nataraja as deity perform the Arudraa Dharshanam.

Bhattar - Shaivam.Org - HinduBlog

қαvї - கவி

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