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Five faces of shivam are Easanam,Thathpurusam, Agoram, Vamadheyam, Sathyojatham. Meikanda Shasthram says three types of worship. *Arupa {Niskala} - formless[empty]. *Rupa {Sakala} - means forms of worship,fully manifested[Natarajar]. *Rupa Arupa {Niskalasakala} -formless form[Sivalingam]. Sarvam Shiva Mayam

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy

The Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy

Introduction: In the books which treat of Saivism, there is a reference to four schools, viz., the Nakulisa-pasupata, the Saiva, the Pratyabhijna and the Rasesvara.

Saiva Siddhanta is the philosophy of southern Saivism. It owes its origin to no single author. It is midway between Sankara’s Adwaita and Ramanuja’s Visishtadwaita. Its literature consists chiefly of: (1) the twenty-eight Saivite Agamas, (2) the collection of Saivite hymns known as Tirumurai compiled by Nambi Andar Nambi, (it contains Tirumanthiram of Tirumular; the Thevaram of Appar, Sundarar, and Sambandar, and the Tiruvachagam of Manickavachagar), (3) the collection of the lives of Saivite saints, known as the Periyapuranam, (4) Meykandar’s Siva-jnanabodham, (5) Arulnandi’s Sivajnanasiddhiar, and the works of Umapati. Tirumular’s work Tirumanthiram is the foundation upon which the later structure of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy was built.

The central doctrine of the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy is that Siva is the Supreme Reality, and that the Jiva or the individual soul is of the same essence as Siva, but not identical. Pati (God), Pasu (soul), and Pasa (the bonds) and the thirty-six Tattvas or principles which constitute the world, are all real.

The Saiva Siddhanta system is the distilled essence of Vedanta. It prevailed in Southern India even before the Christian era. Tirunelvely and Madura are the centres of the Saiva Siddhanta school. Even now, Saivism is a very popular creed in South India. It is a rival school of Vaishnavism.

Characteristics of the Supreme Reality: The Supreme Reality is called Siva. He is infinite consciousness. He is eternal, changeless, formless, independent, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, one without a second, beginningless, causeless, taintless, self-existent, ever free, ever pure, and perfect. He is not limited by time. He is infinite bliss and infinite intelligence. He is free from defects, the all-doer, the all-knower.

Lord Siva is the God of Love. His grace is infinite. His love is infinite. He is the saviour and Guru. He is engaged in freeing the souls from the thraldom of matter. He assumes the form of a Guru out of His intense love for mankind. He wishes that all should know Him and attain the blissful Siva-Padam (the state of Siva). He watches the activities of the individual souls, and helps them in their onward march. He liberates the individual souls from their fetters or bonds.

The Five Activities of the Lord: The five activities of the Lord are: Creation, Preservation, Destruction, Veiling and Grace. These, separately considered, are the activities of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheshwara, and Sadasiva.

Siva, Shakti and Maya: Lord Siva pervades the whole world by His Shakti. He works through Shakti. Shakti is the conscious energy of the Lord Siva. She is the very body of Lord Siva. The potter is the first cause for the pot. The stick and the wheel are the instrumental causes. The clay is the material cause of the pot. Similarly, Lord Siva is the first cause of the world. Shakti is the instrumental cause. Maya is the material cause.

Shakti is not the material cause of the universe, because She is of the nature of consciousness (Chaitanya). Siva is pure consciousness, but matter is pure unconsciousness. Shakti is the intermediate link between the two.

Shakti is the reflex of Siva. It has no independent existence. Siva assumes this form out of His great love for mankind. Siva wishes that all should know Him.

Evolution of the Tattvas from Suddha Maya: The world undergoes evolution for the benefit of the souls. The whole process of creation is for the sake of the salvation of the souls. The world is real and eternal. The world of matter and souls forms the body of the Lord.

The Saiva Siddhanta analyses the universe into 36 Tattvas or principles, as against the 25 of the Sankhya. The 36 Tattvas arise from Maya, the material cause of the world. Suddha Maya is Maya in its primal state. From it arise the five pure principles called Siva Tattva, Shakti Tattva, Sadasiva Tattva, Iswara Tattva, and Suddhavidya Tattva. Siva functions through these five pure principles.

Maya evolves into the subtle principles, and then into the gross. Siva Tattva is the basis of all consciousness and action. It is undifferentiated (Nishkala Suddha Maya). The Shakti of Siva starts her activity. Then Siva becomes the experiencer. Then He is called Sadasiva, known also by the name Sadakhya, Who is not really separate from Siva. The Suddha Maya becomes active. Then Siva, the experiencer, becomes the ruler. He is then Iswara, Who is not really separate from Sadasiva. Suddhavidya is the cause of true knowledge.

The bonds that bind the soul (Anava, Karma, Maya): Souls (Pasu) are by nature infinite, all-pervading, eternal, and all-knowing like Lord Siva (Pati). Yet they think that they are finite, limited and little-knowing, ignorant, and temporary. This is due to the bonds (Pasa), viz., Anava, Karma, and Maya, which are called the three Malas or impurities. Anava is the impurity which makes the all-pervading Jiva think itself to be atomic (Anu). It produces the erroneous notion of finiteness. The second impurity or bond is Karma. The soul acts in certain ways on account of its limitation, and does good and evil actions. Karma brings about the conjunction of the soul with its body. The results of the Karma have to be worked out in the world. There should be worlds and bodies, in order to experience the fruits of actions and acquire knowledge. These are provided by Maya, the third Mala or bond. Maya is the material cause of the world. The soul gets experience and limited knowledge through Maya.

The soul learns, by long experience, that this Samsara is full of pains and is transitory, and that he can attain eternal bliss and immortality only by attaining Sivatva or the nature of Siva or God-realisation. He develops Vairagya (dispassion), and Viveka (discrimination between the Real and the unreal, the Permanent and the impermanent).

Discipline and grace culminate in Jnana. Jnana is the supreme means of salvation or the attainment of the final beatitude. Karma and other means are only subsidiary to it. They are auxiliaries.

The attainment of Sivatva or Siva-nature does not mean complete merging of the soul in Siva. The liberated soul does not lose its individuality. It continues to exist as a soul in God. Sivatva is the realisation of an identity of essence in spite of difference. The soul attains the nature of Siva or God, but it is not itself Siva or God.

Three orders of Jivas: The Siddhantins divide Jivas or Pasus into three orders, viz., Vijnanakalas, Pralayakalas and Sakalas. Vijnanakalas have only the Anava Mala (egoism). Maya and Karma have been resolved. Pralayakalas have been freed from Maya alone, in the stage of Pralaya. Sakalas have all the three Malas.

The Malas affect only the Jivas, and not Siva. Those who are freed from the Malas or impurities attain Sivatva or the nature of Siva. They are the Siddhas or perfected beings.

The way to the attainment of Sivatva or God-realisation: You must free yourself from the three bonds, if you want to attain salvation. You must annihilate Maya, which is the root of all sins. You must destroy all Karmas which produce rebirth. You must remove the erroneous notion of a finite self.

The three bonds can be removed only through rigorous Tapas and proper discipline, the help of a Guru, and, above all, the grace of Lord Siva. Charya (observance), Kriya (rites), and Yoga (Yama-Niyama) constitute the discipline. When the aspirant practises in right earnest Charya, Kriya and Yoga he obtains the grace of Lord Siva. Then the Lord instructs the soul, reveals Himself and illumines him. Then the soul realises its nature as Siva.

Guru Puja

It is customary to observe the day on which these saints attained the Lord’s Feet, as a holy day. Given below are such days in respect of the Four Great Saivite teachers, with their respective holy days, according to the Tamil Calendar. Pray, fast and study their lives in these days.




Sundaramurthi Swamigal

Chitrai Sadayam

Vaikhasi Moolam

Ani Makham

Adi Swathi

Saiva Siddantham Philosophic Text





Arul nandishivam

Irubaa irupathu

shivanyna sitthiyaar

Umapathy shivam



vina venpa


nenjuvidum thuthu



sangarpa nirakaranam

Meykanda shivam shivanyna boatham download translated pdf
Manavasag kadanthar unmai villakkam
Thiruviyalur uyyavanthadeva nayanar thiruvunthiyaar
Thirukadavur uyyanvanthadevar thirukalitrupadiyaar

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Umapathi Shivachariyaar

Umapathi Shivachariyaar

This great shaivite philosopher came in the tradition of the priests of thillai in chithambaram in thamiz land. He was a well learnt scholar in both samskritam as well as thamiz. The choza king realising his scholarhood gave him pearl palanquin, a drum band to go around him and a day torch light. In one of the days of the month vaikachi he was returning after worshiping the Dancing lord. That time the great shaiva sidhdhanthic philosopher meygandar(1) was teaching his students the splendid philosophy. one of his students informed him about the passing of umapati chivachchariyar by the street. Then the teacher of sidhdhanthic wisdom remarked patta kattaiyil pagarkurudan pogiran parungal (on the dead wood goes there the day-blind, see!). These words kindled the thoughts of Umapathi Shivachariyaar who was eagerly looking for a philosophical guide. He fell on the feet of meykandar. The later to accepted him as his disciple considering his maturity.

There happened one day an event that exhibited the marvelous devotion he had for his guru meykandar. They were walking across the weavers' street. The master meykandar took from one of them the cellulose (kanychi) kept for the cloths and drank it. While he was drinking it, some of it dripped through his elbow. The ardant disciple Umapathi Shivachariyaar drank that, which was dripping through the master's elbow. everybody was surprised to see this devotion on guru. The priests of thillai excommunicated him from the priestly community since he drank the remains of what meykandar drank, as it is considered against the discipline of priestly people. From then on he started living outside thillai in a place called korravan kudi.

like the deed of the Supreme Grace, Which gave a letter addressed to the king cheraman perumal(2) for the benefit of the devotee pana baththiar, the Dancing lord gave a letter addressed to this devotee for perran chamban asking him to initiate perran samban and liberate him. The devotee taking the order of the lord on his head, gave perran samban mukthi. later in the presence of perran chamban's wife and the king, he also gave mukthi to a mulli plant. once in the temple flag hoisting festival, when the flag was not rising, he sang kodikkavi and made it rise on the pole.

This scholarly philosopher has written many sidhdhanthic scriptures. he has written eight of the fourteen reverand sidhdhanthic texts. They are

1. chivappirakacham
2. thiruvarutpayan
3. vina venpa
4. porrip paqrodai
5. kodikkavi
6. nenychu vidu thUdhu
7. unmai neri vilakkam (There is an opinion that this is not this authors work.)
8. chankarpa nirakaranam

apart from these he has written thamiz books (These indicate the high reverance this devotee had on thirumurais)

* koyil puranam
* thirumurai kanda puranam
* thiruththondar purana varalaru
* thiruththondar purana charam
* chekkizar puranam
* thiruppadhik kovai
* thiruppadhikak kovai
* thevara arulmuraith thiraTTu
* nyana achara saththira panychakam

He has also written commentary in samskritam for the paushkaragamam. Hailing the enchanting dance fo the Supreme lord at thiruththillai he has composed two works in sanskrit namely naTaraja dvani mantra sthava and kuJnchitaghri sthavam.

From the verses of the chankarpa nirakaranam, he has written it is found that his period was 14th century.

Marainyana sambandhar

Marainyana sambandhar

marainyana sambandhar is the third santhanak kuravar.(1) He was the disciple of arulnandhi shivachariyar.(2) He was born in thiruppenakadamin the tradition of vedic chanters in parachara gotram. At the age of seven, upanayana ritual (initiation to vedas) was done to him. Subsequently he learnt the vedas and shivagamas. In pursuit of a guru he went to arulnandhi shivachariyar. He gave shiva diksha to marainyana sambandhar and guided him in the path of wisdom of Lord shiva.

He went to thillai (chidhambaram) and lived the life of worshipping the Glorious Dancing Lord. umapathi shivacharyar was well renowned but was seeking a real guru who could open up sources of Supreme wisdom. maRai nyAna sambandhar became the guide who opened out those eyes of springs of wisdom for umapathi shivam(3). On a Avani uththiram day he got the liberation at thirukkalanycheri west of chidhambaram.

Arulnandhi Shivachariyaar

Arulnandhi shivachariyar

This shaivite philosopher came in the tradition of Adhi shaivar in a town called thiruththuRaiyUr in thamiz land.As he had well learnt the scriptures vedhas & AgamAs in the childhood itself he was called sakalAgama paNditar. His was the family that had been the traditional gurus to the family of meykaNdAr(1), a great shaiva sidhdhanthic philosopher. But eventually meykandar became aruL n^an^dhi shivAchAriyAr's guru. In fact the name arulnandhi shivam was given by meykaNdAr only. His original name is not known, to that extent the name blessed by the guru stood amongst the devotees. He is also being referred to as chanbaiyar thalaivar, which could mean that he spent some of his life time in sirkazi.

His period could be derived as 13th century, as that was the period of meykandAr. arulnandhi shivachariyar wrote two philosophical texts. They are:

1. shivanyana siddiyaar
2. irupa irupaqthu

He reached the Transcedental Feet of Lord shiva in the pusam day of purattasi month

Meikanda Shivam


meykandar is the composer of the very renowned text of shaiva sidhdhantha - shiva nyAna bOdham.(1) He was born at thirup pennagadam in thirumunaippadi state in the tradition of shaiva peasant. His parents achchuthak kalappalar and his wife did not have a child for a long time. So he appealed to his guru sakalAgama paNDidhar(2). He worshipped the Lord shiva, brought the holy thirumuRais and put a thread inside the thirumurai palm leaf book (kayiRu chArththal). The song that came was peyadaiya piriveydhum.. in thiruvenkattuth thiruppadhikam(3). As per that he asked achchudhak kalappalar to go to thiruvenkadu and having bath in the mukkuLam there worship the Lord at that abode. So did the kaLappalar many times singing that glorious song of thirunyana sambandhar. One day the Lord appeared in his dreams and said that appreciating his determined devotion on the Lord and sambandhar devaram, he would be blessed with a splendid son like sambandhar. Very soon his wife delivered a son. They named him as svethavanap perumal, in the name of God at thiruvenkadu.

As the young child was growing once, his maternal uncle took him to his house at thiruvenainallur. The boy was playing in the streets. That time the fourth agachchandhanak kuravar - paranchodhi munivar(4) was going in the sky-way towards podhikai hills. When he was flying on the thiruvenai nallur airspace he got stopped. Wondering what happened he realized the presence of the blessed kid playing in that street. The gracious saint came down, gave the child shiva diksha and the name meykanda shivam, taught him the cryptic essence of sacred shivanyana bodham.

Enlightened prodigy meykanda shivam composed the essence of that sacred knowledge in the form of sutras (aphorisms) in thamiz. This is the shiva nyana bodham available to us(1). This is a base text for many of the later compositions on shaiva sidhdhantha done by other santhAna kuravargaL. He also did a vArthikam (elaboration) for the same. His fame started spreading and many became his disciples. Hearing this the guru of their family sagalagama pandidhar came to thiruvenai nallur to see the child. While the whole town went to salute him, meikandar was sitting with his students explaining the nature of Anava impurity. So sagalagama pandidhar came himself to the place of meikandar. Standing with pride he questioned meikandar, "What is the form of Anava impurity ?" meikandar without speaking a word pointed his finger towards sagalagama pandidhar. That great scholar petrified for a moment realized at that moment the superior knowledge ! He saluted the prodigy and asked him to accept him as a disciple. The kulaguru was becoming the disciple of the child ! meikandar gave him diksha name as arulnandhi shivam and accepted him as one of the prime students.

Apart from arnandhi shivam, some of the other renowned disciples of meykaNDAr were thiruvadhikai manavasakam kadandhar (5) and chitrambalanadigaL. Totally there were forty-nine students for meikandAr. He period was 1232 ACE. He reached the Divine Feet of God in aippasi swathi.

Bhaktheswara Viratham

bhakteshvara viratam
(Told in bhaviShyottara purANam )
mantras to perform this pUja (pUja vidhAnam)

This vrata has been explained in the bhaviShyottara purANam. This vrata is told for the women without any caste creed restrictions to perform. This vrata could be started in the month of kArthikai (mid Nov to mid Dec). sUta paurANikar told the devout R^iShis assembled in the naimichAraNyam the greatness of this vrata.

Once pArvatI requested The Greatest Divine Lord, to tell about an austerity, which would bring the boons of prosperity, fertility and health and good being of husband and offsprings. The Lord replied that bhakteshvara vratam would be the answer for that. The Merciful Lord further explained that the lady who wishes to observe this vrata, in consensus with the husband, should start on the waxing moon period (shukla paxam) of the month kArthikai. Having completed the morning duties and bathed early in the morning, well dressed up in colorful dress, wearing turmeric and tilak, should make the Ishvara out of sandal, pArvatI out of turmeric and nandi out of sand. These forms would have to be hailed with the shiva mantras. After the sunset, either at home or at a temple, in a place washed with cow-dung and nicely decorated, install these divines. Since the devotee worships the Lord out of sincere devotion, this vrata is called bhakteshvara (Lord of devotion) vrata. Perform the meditation - installing rituals (Please refer to the link above - pUjA vidhAnam, for the same). It is suggested that a perforated plate (jalladai) be made out of bamboo and wound 33 times with golden fiber. This has to be placed over the sweet pancake (appam) made of lentil (dhal), ghee, sugar and flour on the ground. Over the bamboo plate a dosa has to be kept, over which sugar and ghee to be put. Make a lamp out of raw rice flour and light with ghee and place it over the dosa. Offer this to the Supreme gaurI bhakteshvara svAmi with love. Later donate off this offering praying for the well being of the donor and the receiver. Similarly in the next month (mArkazi - mid Dec - mid Jan) perform the pUja, this time with two such dosa and two flour lamps. The following month with three such things. Thus this vratam to be done till 33 times.
Glory of this vratam

A king by name chandra pANdiyan was ruling from the city madhurai that stood on the bank of river kR^itamAla. He was a valorous and good-valued king and with his wife kumudvati. They had no offsprings. They did austerities staying in the forests, renouncing the sensual distractions, meditating on the Great yogi Lord shiva chanting the Holy Five Letters. The Gracious Lord shiva appeared with pArvatI and asked the king what boon he wanted. The king saluted the Lord and asked for a child. The Lord conveyed him that because of the bad deeds done in the previous births, he did not have an offspring. But the Lord Who does not withdraw blessing the devotees, provided him to choose a child either long living girl who would soon become a widow or a brilliant boy who would live for very short period. The king chose the second one. The Lord gave the boon. Soon the queen gave birth to a boy who was named Ishvara pANdiyan. The brilliant boy grew up learning well and was in the age well suited for marriage. There lived a king mitrasaha, a devotee of the Lord of matted hair, good in heart, who ruled from alahapuri. He and his wife got a girl kalyANi out of observing the bhakteshvara vratam. These two parents agreed for the marriage of their children and it happened in a ritualistic way. The brides parents along with the bride observed the bhakteshvara vratam before sending them off to the groom's place. At her husband's place, when the newly wedded girl was in the bed room, the death came to take away the life of her husband. The devoted girl was firm that she was living the life blessed by the boon of bhakteshvara vratam and pleaded to the mR^ity~njaya to save her husbands life. The Lord came out as a serpent from the light nearby and bit the death. The death fell off. The Lord blessed the devotee kalyANi and gave her husband a long life. Later on the pleading of devas the God resurrected the death. Coming to know about this marvel the parents of the groom felt very happy and they also started observing this great vratam.

Thirukarthigai Viratham

Thirukkarthigai Virtham

Thirukkarththikai is one of the auspicious vratas observed by the devotees. It comes in the kArththikai star in the month of kArththikai (mid November to mid December). Throughout the month lamps are lit in the front of the house in the evening and the morning. On the Thiruk kArththikai day the whole house is decorated with the oil lamps. ThiruvaNNA malai is famous for Thirukkarthigai.

Once Brahma and Vishnu due to the ego started arguing with each other " who is the greatest". Both claimed to be the greatest, instead of doing their duty. At that time the God appeared in the form of fire and told them whoever finds the top or bottom of the fire is the greatest. Brahma took the form of Annam (a bird) and tried to find the top of the file pillar. Vishnu took the form of VarAha( giant pig) and tried to see the bottom of the pillar. As the God has no limit in His size or power, both of them could not see either top or bottom of the fire. When their ego went down and they prayed the God, He appeared before them. The day in which the God appeared as a pillar of fire is Thiruk kArththikai.

This vradha indicates the non measurable infiniteness of the God and shows that the God is the light that will drive away our ignorance. Lamps are lit in the houses to pray His "Jyothi Swarupam".
kArthigai festival
Reference to kArthikai in thirumuRai:

வளைக்கை மடநல்லார் மாமயிலை வண்மறுகில்
துளக்கில் கபாலீச் சரத்தான்தொல் கார்த்திகைநாள்
தளத்தேந் திளமுலையார் தையலார் கொண்டாடும்
விளக்கீடு காணாதே போதியோ பூம்பாவாய். 2.47.3

Reference to kArthikai in sangam literature:

"..... மதி நிறைந்து,
அறுமீன் சேறும் அகல்இருள் நடுநாள்:
மறுகுவிளக் குறுத்து, மாலை தூக்கிப்,
பழவிறல் மூதூர்ப் பலருடன் துவன்றிய
விழவு..... " - akan^AnURu 141

"அருவி ஆன்ற உயர்சிமை மருங்கில்
பெருவிழா விளக்கம் போலப் " - akam 184

"நலமிகு கார்த்திகை நாட்டவர் இட்ட
தலைநாள் விளக்கின் தகையுடைய ஆகிப்" - karnarpathu

Rishaba Viratham

vRiShabha vratam

This is one of the eight great austerities. In the time when the Sun is in the R^ishhabha rAsi, that is in the month of vaikAsi (mid May to mid June), on the eigth moon day (ashhTami) in the growing lunar phase (shukla paxam) this vratam is observed.This vratam is described in the skandha purANam.

Getting up early in the morning, the devotee should think and salute the paramEshavara with His consort umA on the bull. Later taking bath being purified, on should start the worship. Could do the worship to the R^ishhabhArUDar(1) form made in gold or silver. The Lord should be anointed with the substances like panychAmR^itam and other holy things with the converging mind on the Lord. Offering to the Lord the rice and derived offerings like pAyasam on should pray to the God. Then to the kind hearted devotees of Lord shiva material should be donated. Worshiping the Lord in the Lord shiva temple and making offerings there should return home in that happiness. Later along with the devotees, eat the rice, sugar-rice, fruits and sweets without spoiling the intent of the austerity. Listen to the glories of Lord shiva until late evening and then sleep on the bare floor relaxedly. The following day after saluting the Lord, donate the idol to a sincere love hearted of Lord shiva.

One who observes this vratam flawlessly would get long life, wealth, wisdom, health and the eight great treasures. vishNu pleasing the paramashivam got lots of treasures and the garuDa(one in the eagle family) as his vehicle. Indra got the elephant called airAvatam, the dEva of fire got the goat, dEva of death the buffello, niruthi got human, dEva of water got crocodile, dEva of air got the deer, kubEra got airplane pushhpaka vimAnam, IshAnar got the ox that resembles the justice, sun got the chariot of one wheel and seven horses, moon got the special ruby airplane as their vehicles by observing the vrata worshiping the R^ishhabhArUDhar. The mahaR^ishhitold once to the king of maharAshhTra vishvasena the things that happened, happening and would happen. The astonished king asked how the mahaR^ishhi got to know these details. The sage told him that it was because of the glory of vR^ishhabha vratam. The king also observed the austerity and got to know these. The king santushhTa worshiping through this vratam got the eight great attainments (ashhTa mahA sidhdhi) and got the moxa. vidhrutha king roamed around with the body in the seven down worlds and the worlds of braHma, vishhNu and Indra, transpiring the knowledge of this vrata to his sons, observing this vratam for a long time, became shiva yOgi. Such glorious is this vratam.

ஆத்தமாம் அயனு மாலும்
அன்றிமற் றொழிந்த தேவர்
சோத்தமெம் பெருமான் என்று
தொழுதுதோத் திரங்கள் சொல்லத்
தீர்த்தமாம் அட்ட மிமுன்
சீருடை ஏழு நாளுங்
கூத்தராய் வீதி போந்தார்
குறுக்கைவீ ரட்ட னாரே. 4.50.2


Sula viratam

sula viratam is one of the eight maha vratam. The day when the Sun shines in the makara rAsi that is the thai(pushya) month new moon day is called the shUla vratam day. On that day the observer of the austerity should pray the Lord holding three headed spear (sula) accompanied by Goddess shakti, after getting up. Then the worship of the God with anointment (abhishekam) and offerings (naivedyam) etc should be done with devotion. Then should worship in the abode of Lord shiva. Donating to the devotees of Lord shiva who wear rudraksha beads should be done. Only one time meal should be taken along with the devotees.

Observing this sula vratam would get one the victory over all the enemies, free from the terrific diseases, boon of having offspring and the prosperities. Finally the devotee would get the union in shiva. By observing this vratam mahavishnu killed the cruel daemon kalanemi. parashu rama killed karta viryarjuna after observing this vratam. maha vishnu got rid of a worst head ache because of glory of this vratam. brahma got relieved from his highly painful stomach pain. The highly powerful Lord virabhadra(2) explained the greatness of this vratam to bhanu kambha.

Panguni Uthiram

kalyana vratam (panguni uththiram - Holi Festival)

kalyana vratam is one of the eight auspicious vratas. When the Sun is shining in the Pisces sign(mIna rAsi) that is in the month of paN^guni (mid of March to mid of April) on the uththara naxaththiram on the Moons growing face (shukla paxam), this vratam is observed. This is the day Shakthi married Lord Shiva after a great austerity in the Himaalayas, as the daughter of Himavaan. It is also observed as the auspicious day when Lord Muruga married devaseenaa. This vratam is explained in the skandha purANam.

In the morning after getting up, the observer of the vratam should meditate on the charming Lord shiva in the wedding posture with umA. After taking bath and through with other required deeds, should worship the Lord. The golden idol of the God and Goddess ( who can afford to) should be anointed devotionally with holy substances. Then decorating them should make the wedding ceremony of the Goddess with the God. Making the nice and sweet offerings to the divine Parents, should salute them. Inviting the spiritual people who think of good to all the creatures, who have learnt the vEdas and who are devotees of Lord shiva, along with their wives, should host them a feast. Later should go to the shiva temple, worship, circumambulate three times and prostrate in front of the Lord. In the night should dine along with the kind hearted devotees of Lord shiva and eat the sweet dishes like fruits and pAyasam. Should sleep on the dharbai grass. The next morning after regular deeds, should donate the golden idol of God and Goddess to disciplined love hearted people who are the devotees of Lord shiva. Should eat only once that day.

Observing this vratam will get one the great boon of shri Lord sha.nkara's delight. It would bring much joy and comfort in life, lead to the abode of Lord shiva and give the liberation. mahA vishNu got wedded to laxmi sincerely observing this vratam. brahma wedded saraswati, indra wedded indrANi, moon wedded the 27 stars, sage agastiya wedded lobhamudra observing this vratam. The two daughters of vishhNu namely amR^itavalli, saundaryavalli were married to the six faced Lord as devasEna and vaLLI. The daughter of vedAN^ga R^ishhi called sukesi got married to nandi devar.The two daughters of sage satyapUrNar pUrNa, pushhkaLai were wedded to mahA sAsthA. kAma got rathi, sIta got rAma, jAmbhavati got kR^ishhNa, sage saupari got many princess' and so many more benefitted all in the glory of this vratam. The man who observes this vratam will get the girl he likes and the woman gets beautiful man as her husband. The couple who observe this will get good offspring. Anybody who observes with devotion will get His grace.

This auspicious vrata of wedding of shrI pArvatI paramEshvara is celebrated as the festival of colors - Holi.(2) Just preceding this festival is kAmadahanam on which day kAma - the divine of desire/lust is burnt off by the Supreme, as the cupid tried to misadventure his lust inducement on the God Itself. On the request of divines and pArvatI Lord brought him back to life, during this celebration.

The story of this holi and panguni uttira kalyANa vrata is available Flash movie.

References to panguni uththiram in thirumuRai:

1. மலிவிழா வீதி மடநல்லார் மாமயிலைக்
கலிவிழாக் கண்டான் கபாலீச்சரம் அமர்ந்தான்
பலிவிழாப் பாடல்செய் பங்குனி யுத்திரநாள்
ஒலிவிழாக் காணாதே போதியோ பூம்பாவாய். 2.047.7

2. ஆராய்ந் தடித்தொண்டர் ஆணிப்பொன் ஆரூர் அகத்தடக்கிப்
பாரூர் பரிப்பத்தம் பங்குனி உத்திரம் பாற்படுத்தா
னாரூர் நறுமலர் நாதன் அடித்தொண்டன் நம்பிநந்தி
நீரால் திருவிளக் கிட்டமை நீணா டறியுமன்றே. 4.103.2

3. மத்தமா களியானை யுரிவை போர்த்து
வானகத்தார் தானகத்தா ராகிநின்று
பித்தர்தாம் போலங்கோர் பெருமை பேசிப்
பேதையரை யச்சுறுத்திப் பெயரக் கண்டு
பத்தர்கள்தாம் பலருடனே கூடிப் பாடிப்
பயின்றிருக்கு மூரேதோ பணீயீ ரென்ன
ஒத்தமைந்த உத்திரநாள் தீர்த்த மாக
ஒளிதிகழும் ஒற்றியூ ரென்கின் றாரே. 6.45.5

4. வேதம் ஓதிவெண் ணீறு பூசிவெண்
கோவணந் தற்ற யலே
ஓதம் மேவிய ஒற்றி யூரையும்
உத்திரம் நீர் மகிழ்வீர்
மோதி வேடுவர் கூறைகொள்ளும் முருகன்
பூண்டி மாநகர் வாய்
ஏது காரணம் எது காவல்கொண்
டெத்துக்கிங் கிருந்தீரெம் பிரானீரே. 7.49.7

5. வென்றி விடையார் மதிச் சடையார் வீதி விடங்கப் பெருமாள் தாம்
என்றும் திருவாரூர் ஆளும் இயல்பின் முறைமை திருவிளையாட்டு
ஒன்றும் செயலும் பங்குனி உத்திரமாம் திருநாள் உயர் சிறப்பும்
நின்று விண்ணப்பம் செய்தபடி செய்து அருளும் நிலைபெற்றார் 12.1885

6. செறி புன் சடையார் திருவாரூர்ப் திருப் பங்குனி உத்தரத் திருநாள்
குறுக வரலும் பரவையார் கொடைக்கு விழாவில் குறைவறுக்க
நிறையும் பொன் கொண்டு அணைவதற்கு நினைந்து நம்பி திருப்புகலூர்
இறைவர் பாதம் பணிய எழுந்து அருளிச் சென்று அங்கு எய்தினார் 12.3200

References in Sangam literature:
......உறந்தை ஆங்கண்,
வருபுனல் நெரிதரும் இகுகரைப் பேரியாற்று
உருவ வெண் மணல் முருகு நாறு தண் பொழிற்
பங்குனி முயக்கம் கழிந்த வழிநாள் அகம் 137

மதுரை ஆவணி அவிட்டமே, உறையூர் பங்குனி உத்திரமே,
கருவூர் உள்ளி விழாவே என இவையும்...... இறையனார் களவியல் உரை - நக்கீரர்

kedara gauri viratham

Significance of kedara (gauri) vratam - Deepavali
History of deepavali

KedhAra Gowri vradham familiarly known as dIpAvaLi (Diwali) is celebrated throughout India in a grand manner. Without Caste creed, rich - poor differences people obeserve this festival. Infact very few people know that it is one of the important Saivite vratas. Brungi rishi is a great Shiva bhaktha. When he prays to Lord, he prays only to Lord Shiva and ignores Shakti. Angered by his act Shakti devi removed the energy from his body. He was not able to stand. He prayed to Lord Shiva. God gave him a stick to support his body. Shakti wanted to become part of Lord's body. She observed the kedhara virata, one of Gods favorite viratas. Pleased by Her austerities God gave the left part of His body to shakti and became ardha narishwara(1). The vrata is then called kedhara gauri virata since Gowri observed it.
When observed

This kedhara vratam is observed for twenty one days starting from shukla paxa aShTami (Eighth moonday in its growing phase) in the month of purattAchi (mid Sep to mid Oct). The final day (dIpAvaLi) also should be observed in great devotion.
How to observe this vratam
mantras to perform this pUja (pUja vidhAnam)

Install Lord kedhArIshvara svAmi in a filled pot (kalasham). Make a roof (manTapa) above the kalasham. Make vrata threads - 21 fibers having 21 knots. The 16 courtesy worship has to be done for 21 days starting from the purattAchi shukla paxa dasami to aipachi amarapaxa chaturdashi (dIpAvaLi) or amAvAsya. On the culmination day (21st) in a clean decorated area devotionally install the kalasham over the grains spread in a banana leaf and offer various food and fruits to the Lord as offering and donate to others.

The glory of this vratam is very splendid as shri gauri devi observed this vratam in full devotion and got to be in half the body of Lord Shiva !! viShNu became Lord of vaikunta observing this vratam. braHma got hamsa vehicle, the guards of the eight directions got rid of the bane they got from braHma, bhagyavati and puNyavati got lots of wealth all due to the glory of this vratam. One who observes this vratam with devotion pleases Lord shiva.

Shiva Ratri Viratham

Shiva ratri vratam

Shiva rathri is one of the most auspicious vratas for the devotees of Lord shiva. The purANas explain the grand significance of this vrata.
History of shivaratri

Once when everything in all the worlds got reduced into Lord shiva, in that darkness of nothing present, the mother pArvati worshipped Lord shiva in the Agamic way with great devotion. The parameshwar pleased by Her prayer blessed Her. She asked for the benefit of all the creatures that in future whoever worships the Lord on the shiva rAtri day with devotion, they should be blessed and should be given the ultimate liberation. The pashupati granted that showing way for all of us to get blessed easily.

When Brahma and Vishnu fought between themselves as "who is the greatest", Lord Shiva appeared before them as a pillar of fire. They were not able to find the starting and end of that pillar. This day is Thirukkaarthikai.(1)

Then Brahma and Mahavishnu repented for their mistake and prayed to Lord Shiva for forgiving their sin worshiping the shiva li.ngam which is the form of the flame. In the night of Shiva rathri Lord Shiva appeared before them and blessed them. Devotees pray the God throughout the night of Shiva rathri by performing Abisheka, chanting and other holy deeds.

Every month in Krishna paksha chathurdhasi (fourteenth moonday) is called masa Shiva rathri. The one that comes in the month of "Masi" (mid February to mid March) is called Maha Shiva rathri. This is considered as the most important vrata by the devotees.

There are many incidents told about the greatness of this day. Once a hunter in a jungle after searching throughout the jungle, was quite tired and could not get any animal. In the nightfall a tiger started chasing him. to escape from that he climbed a tree. That was a Bilva tree. The tiger sat under the tree waiting for him to come down. The hunter who sat on a branch of the tree was quite tense and didn't want to sleep. He was plucking the leaves and putting down as he was not able to be idle. Below the tree there was a Shiva lingam. The whole night went on like this. God was pleased with the Upavasa (hunger) and the Pooja the hunter and the tiger did even without knowledge. He is the peak of the grace. He gave the hunter and the tiger "Moksha".

In a Shiva temple on a Maha Shiva rathri day the lamp kept in the altar was very dim. That time a mouse which came take its prey touched the flame. Due to the heat it moved its head immediately. In the process it kindled the lamp and the altar was illuminated well. Lord Shiva, pleased by this deed made the mouse Mahabali, the renowned asura king.

There are many incidents like this told in our Puraanas. If we do the vrata with pure devotion and love there can be no doubt about getting the Grace of the Almighty.
When is shivaratri observed

ska.ndha purANam describes about four shiva rAtris. The first one is nitya shivarAtri (daily shivarAtri - every night). The second one is the mAsa shivarAtri which is observed on the kR^iShNa paxa chaturdasi (fourteenth moonday on the moons diminishing phase). The third one is the mAga prathamAdi shivarAtri which is observed for the thirteen days starting from prathama titi in the month mAga (mAsi) and on the chaturdasi night the Lord is worshiped throughout the night.

The fourth one is observed on the mAsi (mAga) month kR^iShNa paxa chaturdasi. This is the one observed in a widespread manner. It is also called mahA shivarAtri.
Way of observing shivaratri

Getting up early in the morning one meditates on the Infinitely Auspicious, ornated with thousands of splendid garlands, Who is in the form of the holy symbol of shiva(mahA li.ngam). Bathing and staying clean the worship of Lord shiva in the form of shiva li.ngam is done in the four jamas of the night (four equal time intervals of the night). (Note that the li.nga worship is explicitly mentioned for this vratam as this is the time the God out of Its grace for the benefit of pashus appeared in a formless-form that is a symbol (li.ngam) from Its true nature of formlessness.)

Uma maheswara Viratham

uma maheshvara viratam
When observed

This is one of the ashta maha vartams told in skandha puranam. It is observed on the full moon day when the sun is shining in the vruchchika rAsi that is in the month of kArthikai(Mid Nov to Mid Dec).
Way of observing

Getting up early in the morning on that full moon day, finishing the daily duties, one worships the form of shri umA maheshvara made of gold or silver, with various sacrad materials of worship and offerings. Later going to a temple one anoints the pArvati-paramEshvara with panychAmrutam (fruits mixed with sugar) and other substances, salute with offerings and tAmbUlam, pray the Lord making the gestures of salutations. Coming back home donating to the love hearted devotees of Lord shiva, one eats with them only once that day or may eat fruits and sweets along with them. The idol of the Lord umA maheshvara is given to a shivanyAni.

One who observes this vrata sincerely, would get the material benefits of the world. Afterwards would get the liberation too. A sightless muni called dhiraNabin^dhu observing this vrata got beautiful eyes. A lady by the glory of this vratam revived her dead husband, gave birth to a child and got to reach shivalOka. viShNu following this vratam in kR^iShNAvatAram got many children. braHmA got married to gAyatri, sAvitri, indra got the son jayantan, vaShiShTar received kAmadEnu for doing his yagnya, gautamar got the son sadAnanta mahaR^iShi, janaka got the daughter sIta. A dumb minded person called sudharman, mocked by the people about his stupidity, observed this vratam in devotion. By the Lord's blessing he got the grace of goddess sarasvati and he became a pundit. The king sindhusenan was chased away by the enemies. He observed this vratam as per the advise of saint agastiyar. On the Lord's order kubera won back the kingdom for him and handed over to him. This vratam gets to the observer the wealths and takes to the path of liberation.

Thiruvadhirai Viratham


Thiruvaadhirai is one of the famous vradhas celebrated. This is the thiruvaadhirai nakshaththram in the month of Maarkazi (Maargasira). Thiruvaadhirai is considered as the nakshaththram of Lord n^ataraja. Though the Lord never takes birth and hence no nakshaththram to celebrate, on Thiruvaadhirai He appeared to the holy saints pathanychali and vyaagra 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.

When observed

ska.ndha purANam describes about this vratam. When the sun shines in the dhanur rAsi that is in the month of mArkazi, in the day of thiruvAdhirai for which rudra is the devata this vratam is observed.
Way of observing

In the morning of thiruvAdhirai one gets up early in the morning and salutes the Dancing Lord. After bathing goes to the abode of Lord shiva and there worshiping the Lord by abhishekam and offerings, lights up the ghee lamps to illuminate the abode. Fasting for the whole day, the next day saluting the Three-eyed Lord serving food for the devotees one has the food.

munychakEchar, vyAgrapAdhar and the serpant kArkOtakan observed this vratam and saw the blissful dance of the Lord. Saint vyagra pAdhar got austerous upamanyu as his son. A brahman called vipular observing this vratam went to kailash with the body by a splendid divine carrier and returned back. Later he got liberation. As the Lord is dancing blissfully and gracefully on this day this vratam is considered quite auspicious to please the God.
Glory of TiruvAtirai

References to Adhirai in thirumuRai:

பாடலன் நான்மறையன் படிபட்ட கோலத்தன் திங்கள்
சூடலன் மூவிலைய சூலம் வலனேந்திக்
கூடலர் மூவெயிலும் எரியுண்ணக் கூரெரிகொண் டெல்லி
ஆடலன் ஆதிரையன் ஆரூர் அமர்ந்தானே. 1.105.1

தாளால் அரக்கன்றோள் சாய்த்த தலைமகன்றன்
நாளாதிரை யென்றே நம்பன்றன் நாமத்தால்
ஆளானார் சென்றேத்தும் ஆமாத்தூர் அம்மானைக்
கேளாச் செவியெல்லாங் கேளாச் செவிகளே. 2.44.8

ஊர்திரை வேலை யுலாவும் உயர்மயிலைக்
கூர்தரு வேல்வல்லார் கொற்றங்கொள் சேரிதனில்
கார்தரு சோலைக் கபாலீச்சரம் அமர்ந்தான்
ஆதிரைநாள் காணாதே போதியோ பூம்பாவாய். 2.47.4

ஞாலத்தார் ஆதிரை நாளினான் நாடொறுஞ்
சீலத்தான் மேவிய திருமழ பாடியை
ஞாலத்தான் மிக்கசீர் ஞானசம் பந்தன்சொல்
கோலத்தாற் பாடுவார் குற்றமற் றார்களே. 3.28.11

ஆதியன் ஆதிரையன் னனலாடிய ஆரழகன்
பாதியோர் மாதினொடும் பயிலும்பர மாபரமன்
போதிய லும்முடிமேற் புனலோடர வம்புனைந்த
வேதியன் மாதிமையால் விரும்பும்மிடம் வெண்டுறையே. 3.61.1

ஊர்திரை வேலையுள் ளானும் உலகிறந் தொண்பொரு ளானுஞ்
சீர்தரு பாடலுள் ளானுஞ் செங்கண் விடைக்கொடி யானும்
வார்தரு பூங்குழ லாளை மருவி யுடன்வைத் தவனும்
ஆதிரை நாளுகந் தானும் ஆரூ ரமர்ந்தஅம் மானே. 4.4.6

முத்து விதான மணிப்பொற் கவரி முறையாலே
பத்தர்க ளோடு பாவையர் சூழப் பலிப்பின்னே
வித்தகக் கோல வெண்டலை மாலை விரதிகள்
அத்தன் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.1

நணியார் சேயார் நல்லார் தீயார் நாடோ றும்
பிணிதான் தீரும் என்று பிறங்கிக் கிடப்பாரும்
மணியே பொன்னே மைந்தா மணாளா என்பார்கட்
கணியான் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.2

வீதிகள் தோறும் வெண்கொடி யோடுவி தானங்கள்
சோதிகள் விட்டுச் சுடர்மா மணிகள் ஒளிதோன்றச்
சாதிக ளாய பவளமு முத்துத் தாமங்கள்
ஆதி ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.3

குணங்கள் பேசிக் கூடிப் பாடித் தொண்டர்கள்
பிணங்கித் தம்மிற் பித்தரைப் போலப் பிதற்றுவார்
வணங்கி நின்று வானவர் வந்து வைகலும்
அணங்கன் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.4

நிலவெண் சங்கும் பறையும் ஆர்ப்ப நிற்கில்லாப்
பலரு மிட்ட கல்ல வடங்கள் பரந்தெங்குங்
கலவ மஞ்ஞை காரென் றெண்ணிக் களித்துவந்
தலம ராரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.5

விம்மா வெருவா விழியாத் தெழியா வெருட்டுவார்
தம்மாண் பிலராய்த் தரியார் தலையான் முட்டுவார்
எம்மான் ஈசன் எந்தை எனப்பன் என்பார்கட்
கம்மான் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.6

செந்துவர் வாயார் செல்வன் சேவடி சிந்திப்பார்
மைந்தர்க ளோடு மங்கையர் கூடிம யங்குவார்
இந்திர னாதி வானவர் சித்தர் எடுத்தேத்தும்
அந்திரன் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.7

முடிகள் வணங்கி மூவா தார்கண் முன்செல்ல
வடிகொள் வேய்த்தோள் வான்அர மங்கையர் பின்செல்லப்
பொடிகள் பூசிப் பாடுந் தொண்டர் புடைசூழ
அடிகள் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.8

துன்பம் நும்மைத் தொழாத நாள்கள் என்பாரும்
இன்பம் நும்மை யேத்து நாள்கள் என்பாரும்
நும்பின் எம்மை நுழையப் பணியே என்பாரும்
அன்பன் ஆரூர் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.9

பாரூர் பௌவத் தானைப் பத்தர் பணிந்தேத்தச்
சீரூர் பாடல் ஆடல் அறாத செம்மாப்பார்ந்
தோரூர் ஒழியா துலகம் எங்கும் எடுத்தேத்தும்
ஆரூ ரன்றன் ஆதிரை நாளால் அதுவண்ணம். 4.21.10

மூவகை மூவர் போலும் முற்றுமா நெற்றிக் கண்ணர்
நாவகை நாவர் போலும் நான்மறை ஞான மெல்லாம்
ஆவகை யாவர் போலும் ஆதிரை நாளர் போலுந்
தேவர்கள் தேவர் போலுந் திருப்பயற் றூர னாரே. 4.32.5

ஏற்று வெல்கொடி ஈசன்ற னாதிரை
நாற்றஞ் சூடுவர் நன்னறுந் திங்களார்
நீற்றுச் சந்தன வெள்ளை விரவலார்
வேற்றுக் கோலங்கொள் வீழி மிழலையே. 5.12.2

வேத நாயகன் வேதியர் நாயகன்
மாதின் நாயகன் மாதவர் நாயகன்
ஆதி நாயகன் ஆதிரை நாயகன்
பூத நாயகன் புண்ணிய மூர்த்தியே. 5.100.1

பொடிநாறு மேனியர் பூதிப் பையர்
புலித்தோலர் பொங்கரவர் பூண நூலர்
அடிநாறு கமலத்தர் ஆரூ ராதி
ஆனஞ்சு மாடுமா திரையி னார்தாங்
கடிநாறு பூஞ்சோலை கமழ்ந்து நாறுங்
கழிப்பாலை மேய கபாலப் பனார்
மடிநாறு மேனியிம் மாயம் நீங்க
வழிவைத்தார்க் கவ்வழியே போது நாமே. 6.12.4

அரைசே ரரவனாம் ஆலத் தானாம்
ஆதிரை நாளானாம் அண்ட வானோர்
திரைசேர் திருமுடித் திங்க ளானாந்
தீவினை நாசனென் சிந்தை யானாம்
உரைசே ருலகத்தா ருள்ளா னுமாம்
உமையாளோர் பாகனாம் ஓத வேலிக்
கரைசேர் கடல்நஞ்சை யுண்டா னாகுங்
கண்ணாங் கருகாவூ ரெந்தை தானே. 6.15.7

மாதூரும் வாணெடுங்கண் செவ்வாய் மென்றோள்
மலைமகளை மார்பத் தணைத்தார் போலும்
மூதூர் முதுதிரைக ளானார் போலும்
முதலு மிறுதியு மில்லார் போலுந்
தீதூர நல்வினையாய் நின்றார் போலுந்
திசையெட்டுந் தாமேயாஞ் செல்வர் போலும்
ஆதிரை நாளாய் அமர்ந்தார் போலும்
ஆக்கூரில் தான்றோன்றி யப்ப னாரே. 6.21.6

பூதியனைப் பொன்வரையே போல்வான் றன்னைப்
புரிசடைமேற் புனல்கரந்த புனிதன் றன்னை
வேதியனை வெண்காடு மேயான் றன்னை
வெள்ளேற்றின் மேலானை விண்ணோர்க் கெல்லாம்
ஆதியனை ஆதிரைநன் னாளான் றன்னை
அம்மானை மைம்மேவு கண்ணி யாளோர்
பாதியனைப் பள்ளியின்முக் கூட லானைப்
பயிலாதே பாழேநான் உழன்ற வாறே. 6.69.3

தொண்டர்க்குத் தூநெறியாய் நின்றான் றன்னைச்
சூழ்நரகில் வீழாமே காப்பான் றன்னை
அண்டத்துக் கப்பாலைக் கப்பா லானை
ஆதிரைநா ளாதரித்த அம்மான் றன்னை
முண்டத்தின் முளைத்தெழுந்த தீயா னானை
மூவுருவத் தோருருவாய் முதலாய் நின்ற
தண்டத்திற் றலையாலங் காடன் றன்னைச்
சாராதே சாலநாள் போக்கி னேனே. 6.79.1

அங்கமே பூண்டாய் அனலா டினாய்
ஆதிரையாய் ஆல்நிழலாய் ஆனே றூர்ந்தாய்
பங்கமொன் றில்லாத படர்ச டையினாய்
பாம்பொடு திங்கள் பகைதீர்த் தாண்டாய்
சங்கையொன் றின்றியே தேவர் வேண்டச்
சமுத்திரத்தின் நஞ்சுண்டு சாவா மூவாச்
சிங்கமே உன்னடிக்கே போது கின்றேன்
திருப்புகலூர் மேவிய தேவ தேவே. 6.99.2

திங்களூர் திருவா திரையான் பட்டினமூர்
நங்களூர் நறையூர் நனிநா லிசைநாலூர்
தங்களூர் தமிழான் என்றுபா விக்கவல்ல
எங்களூர் எய்தமான் இடையா றிடைமருதே. 7.31.6

ஆதியன் ஆதிரை யன்அயன் மால்அறி தற்கரிய
சோதியன் சொற்பொரு ளாய்ச்சுருங் காமறை நான்கினையும்
ஓதியன் உம்பர்தங் கோனுல கத்தினுள் எவ்வுயிர்க்கும்
நாதியன் நம்பெரு மான்நண்ணும் ஊர்நனி பள்ளியதே. 7.97.1

ஆரார் வந்தார்? அமரர் குழாத்தில் அணியுடை ஆதிரைநாள்
நாராயணனொடு நான்முகன் அங்கி இரவியும் இந்திரனும்
தேரார் வீதியில் தேவர் குழாங்கள் திசையனைத்தும் நிறைந்து
பாரார் தொல்புகழ் பாடியும் ஆடியும் பல்லாண்டு கூறுதுமே. 9.திருப்பல்லாண்டு.12

References to thiruvadirai in sangam literature

ஆதிரை முதல்வனிற்கிளந்த நாதர் பன்னொருவர்" (பரிபாடல். 8:6-7)

அரும்பெறல் ஆதிரையான் கலி 150, 20

மன்னிய நாண்மீன் மதிகனலி என்றிவற்றை
முன்னம் படைத்த முதல்வனைப் - பின்னரும்
ஆதிரையான் ஆதிரையான் என்றென் றயருமால்
ஊர்திரைநீர் வேலி உலகு முத்தொள் க.வா.

ஞாயிறு காயா நளி மாரிப் பின் குளத்து,
மா ஆருந் திங்கள் மறு நிறை ஆதிரை
விரிநூல் அந்தணர் விழவு தொடங்க,
புரி நூல் அந்தணர் பொலம் கலம் ஏற்ப,
‘வெம்பாதாக, வியல் நில வரைப்பு!‘ என 80

அம்பா ஆடலின் ஆய் தொடிக் கன்னியர்,
முனித் துறை முதல்வியர் முறைமை காட்ட,
பனிப் புலர்பு ஆடி, பரு மணல் அருவியின்
ஊதை ஊர்தர, உறை சிறை வேதியர்
நெறி நிமிர் நுடங்கு அழல் பேணிய சிறப்பின், 85

தையல் மகளிர் ஈர் அணி புலர்த்தர,
வையை! நினக்கு மடை வாய்த்தன்று.
மையாடல் ஆடல் மழ புலவர் மாறு எழுந்து,
பொய் ஆடல் ஆடும் புணர்ப்பின் அவர், அவர்
தீ எரிப் பாலும் செறி தவம் முன் பற்றியோ, 90

தாய் அருகா நின்று தவத் தைந் நீராடுதல்?
நீ உரைத்தி, வையை நதி!

மார்கழி மாதத்தில் திருவாதிரை நட்சத்திரம் அன்று வேதமோதும் அந்தணர்கள் சிவபெருமானிற்கு திருவிழா செய்யத் தொடங்கினர்.
முப்புரி நூல் அணிந்த அந்தணர் பொன்கலத்தை ஏந்தி சென்றனர்.
அம்பா ஆடல் செய்யும் கன்னிப் பெண்கள்- முதிய அந்தணப் பெண்கள் வழிகாட்ட அதிகாலையில் நீராடினர்.
அதிகாலையில் நீராடிய இளம்பெண்கள், மார்கழியின் குளிர் வாட்ட, கரையில் வேதமந்திரங்கள் கூறி வளர்த்த வேள்வி அக்னியின் அருகில் சென்று தங்கள் ஈர ஆடையை காயச் செய்தனர். அந்தணர் வேத வேள்விகளால் மழை தொடர வைகை நீ பெருகுகிறாய்.

இவை மார்கழி மாதத்தின் பாவை நோன்பின் தொன்மையையும் திருவாதிரை பண்டிகை கொண்டாடுதலின் வழமையையும் மெய்பிக்கின்றது.

somavara viratam

somavara viratam

One of the name of Lord shiva is soma - saha uma. For the Lord someshvara Who wears the soma, the moon crescent on the matted hair, on the somavara day (Monday), this festival is observed.
When observed

Though all Mondays can be observed as vrata there are speacial mondays when it is much more emphasised to observe like the shravana somvar and karthikai somavaram. According to skandha purana, on the Mondays of the month kArthikai (mid Nov to mid Dec) this vrata is observed.
Way of observing

Getting up at the dawn one meditates on the Supreme shiva. After taking bath and having done the morning twilight salutation, praying the Auspicious and Graceful Lord shiva, worships the couples who are devotees of the Lord, chaste and loveful as the Divines couple pArvati-paramEshawara themselves. Saluting those couples, offering them feast, the observer of this vratam eats only one time food that day. If unable to do the worship, then one would go to the temple and salute and pray the umA-maheshwara. Anointing the Lord with panychAmR^itam and other pleasent substances, hailing the Lord offering bilva leaves, not being money-minded offering the nice food materials to the Lord, sharing the food with the kind hearted devotees one eats the food. One may fast also completely.

One who observes this vratam would get to enjoy many pleasures in this world and finally would reach the kailAsham. The moon observed this vratam and got his "moonness". He saluted the Lord gauri- shankara and requested that this vratam be called soma vAra vratam (One of the names of the moon is soma. One of the name of Lord shiva with goddess umA is also soma) and whoever follows this vratam should get their wishes materialised by the grace of the Lord and finally should get the liberation. God granted the boon.

Long ago a princess called simanthini was observing this vratam regularly. Then two young boys cunningly came as if they were a married couple. The princess worshiped them. The young boys really became male and female couple ! The austerous sage vashishta got the chaste arunthadhi as his wife. One gets blessed by the shiva-shakti on observing this vratam sincerely.

பைங்கண்வாள் அரவணை யவனொடு பனிமல ரோனுங்காணா
அங்கணா அருளென அவரவர் முறைமுறை யிறைஞ்சநின்றார்
சங்கநான் மறையவர் நிறைதர அரிவையர் ஆடல்பேணத்
திங்கள்நாள் விழமல்கு திருநெல்வே லியுறை செல்வர்தாமே. 3.92.9

Friday, May 29, 2009

Books on saiva Agamas (tantras)

Books on saiva Agamas (tantras)

Title Author / Editor Publishers Language


ஸ்ரீமத்-அகோர சிவாசார்ய பத்ததி 2ம் பாகம் அகோர சிவாசார்யர் சிவநெறிக் கழகம், பிள்ளையார்பட்டி. grahndham
சிவாலய ப்ராயச்சித்தங்கள் R. ஸ்ரீதரன் "Swarnapuri", Plot No.T-7, ICrs, 46th St., Nanganallur, Chennai-61. தமிழ்
சிவன் திருவடிவங்கள் சிவ. திருச்சிற்றம்பலம் கங்கை புத்தக நிலையம், 23 தீனதயாளு தெரு, தி.நகர், சென்னை - 17. தமிழ்
சிவபூஜா விதியும் விளக்கங்களும் சிவஸ்ரீ தத்புருஷ தேசிகரவர்கள் கலாக்ஷேத்ரா பப்ளிகேஷன்ஸ், 84, கலாக்ஷேத்ரா ரோடு, திருவான்மியூர், சென்னை - 41. தமிழ்
The Saivaparibhasa of Sivagrayogin Trans. by S.S. Suryanarayana Sastri University of Madras Sanskrit - Eng Translation
The Great Tantra of Ajita Trans. by N.R. Bhatt, Jean Filliozot, pierre-Sylvain Filliozot Indra Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New Delhi Sanskrit - Eng Translation
ஆதிசைவர் மரபும் சான்றோர்களும் சிவஸ்ரீ ந. இராமநாத சிவாச்சாரியார் குடவரசி அம்பாள் டிரஸ்ட், திருக்கோலக்கா தமிழ்
Sivajnanabodha Dr. T. Ganesan Sri Aghorasivacarya Trust Sanskrit - Eng Translation
The Pancavaranastava of Aghorasivacarya R. Sathyanarayanan, S.A.S Sarma, T. Ganesan, S. Sambandhasivacarya Institut Francais De Pondichery Sanskrit - Eng Translation
Makutagama Dr. Rama Ghose Shaiva Bharati Shodha Pratishthanam, No. D.35/77, Jangamawadimath, Varanasi - 221 001 Sanskrit - Eng Translation
Candrajnanagama Dr. Rama Ghose Shaiva Bharati Shodha Pratishthanam, No. D.35/77, Jangamawadimath, Varanasi - 221 001 Sanskrit - Eng Translation
Paramesvaragama Dr. Rama Ghose Shaiva Bharati Shodha Pratishthanam, No. D.35/77, Jangamawadimath, Varanasi - 221 001 Sanskrit - Eng Translation
Matangaparamesvaragama De Bhatta Ramakantha Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit
Rauravottaragama De Bhatta Ramakantha Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit
Sardhatrisatikalottaragama De Bhatta Ramakantha Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit
Ajitagama De Bhatta Ramakantha Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit
Mrgendragama De Bhatta Ramakantha Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit
Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit - Eng Translation
Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit - Eng Translation
Bhatta Ramakantha's Commentary On The Kirana Tantra
Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery Sanskrit - Eng Translation
Instt. Francais D'Indologie, Pondichery English
ஆகம தீஷா விதி தி.ரா. தாமோதரன் (பதிப்பாசிரியர்) சரசுவதி மகால் நூலகம், தஞ்சாவூர் தமிழ்
வீராகமம் Dr. சி.கோ. தெய்வநாயகம் (பதிப்பாசிரியர்) சரசுவதி மகால் நூலகம், தஞ்சாவூர் தமிழ்
நடராசப் பெருமான்
திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
சைவாநுட்டான விதி வாலையானந்த சுவாமிக்ள் திருநெல்வேலி தென்னிந்திய சைவசித்தாந்த நூற்பதிப்புக் கழ்கம் லிட்., 154, டி.டி.கே. சாலை, சென்னை - 18 தமிழ்
மகா கால சம்ஹாரர்
திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ், Sanskrit & English
திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ் & Sanskrit
சிவாலயத் திருமேனிகள் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A.(Mphil)., M.A.(His)., M.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
தட்சிணாமூர்த்தி எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A., B.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
கலியாணசுந்தரர் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A., M.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
ஸ்ரீ சோமாஸ்கந்தர் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A., B.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
படிமத் திருக்கோலங்கள் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A., M.A., M.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
பைரவர் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A., M.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
லிங்கோத்பவர் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A., M.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
சண்டிகேஸ்வரர் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி, M.A., M.Ed., திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803 தமிழ்
மயமதம் கே.எஸ். ஸூப்ரம்ஹண்ய சாஸ்திரிகள் (பதிப்பாசிரியர்) சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலையம், தஞ்சாவூர். தமிழ் & Sanskrit
பார்த்திப பூசா விதி திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803. தமிழ்
தில்லை நடராசப் பெருமானின் ஆறுகால அபிடேக விளக்கம் மா. சிவகுருநாதபிள்ளை திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803. தமிழ்
சைவகால விவேகம் எஸ். நாராயணசுவாமி (பதிப்பாசிரியர்) திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம் சரசுவதி மகால் நூல்நிலைய ஆய்வுமையம், திருவாவடுதுறை - 609803. தமிழ்
ஸித்தாந்தப் பிரகாசிகா ஸ்ர்வாத்மசம்பு ஸ்ரீ அகோரசிவாசாரிய டிரஸ்ட், சென்னை. தமிழ் & ஸம்ஸ்க்ருதம்
ஸ்ரீ அகோரசிவாசாரிய டிரஸ்ட், சென்னை. தமிழ், க்ரந்தம் & ஸம்ஸ்க்ருதம்
சைவ சமய நெறி ஆறுமுக நாவலர் (உரையாசிரியர்) ஸ்கந்தகுரு வித்யாலயம், 66, சன்னதி தெரு, திருப்பரங்குன்றம், மதுரை - 5. போன் : 0452 - 2482945 தமிழ்

Books of saiva thirumurai

Books of Saiva Tirumurai

Title Author/Editor/Trnsltr Publishers Language


மாணிக்கத்தேன் விரிவுரை : - நீதியரசர்
ச. மோகன்
பழனியப்பா பிரதர்ஸ், 'கோனார் மாளிகை', எண்.14, பீட்டர்ஸ் சாலை, சென்னை - 14. தமிழ்
Periya Puranam Transltn:- G. Vanmikanathan Sri Ramakrishna Math, 16, Ramakrishna Math Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 4. English
பன்னிரு திருமுறை வரலாறு
முதற் & இரண்டாம் பகுதி
க. வெள்ளைவாரணன் அண்ணாமலை பல்கலைக் கழகம், அண்ணாமலை நகர், சிதம்பரம். தமிழ்
திருத்தொண்டர் புராணம் (பெரியபுராணம்) உரையுடன் (7 volumes) C.K. சுப்பிரமணிய முதலியார் க. மங்கையர்க்கரசி, "சேக்கிழார் நிலையம்", 480, வைசியாள் வீதி, கோயம்புத்தூர் - 641001 தமிழ்
சேக்கிழார் அடிச்சுவட்டில் (அறுபத்துமூவர் வரலாறும் யாத்திரையும்) சோ. சிவபாதசுந்தரம் வானதி பதிப்பகம், சென்னை - 17 தமிழ்
திருஞானசம்பந்தர் தேவாரம் (வரலாற்று முறை) முனைவர் கு. சுந்தரமூர்த்தி சிவகாசி சிவனடியார் அறநெறிக் கழகம், சிவகாசி தமிழ்
Tiruvaachakam T. N. Ramachandran International intt. of Tamil Studies, C.P.T. Campus, Tharamani, Ch - 113 Tamil Text and English Translation
Panniru thirumurai (only text - 9 volumes) - Thirupananthal Mutt
Panniru thirumurai (With explanation) (thirumuRais:1-11, 14 Volumes) - Dharmapuram Adhinam
Panniru thirumurai (With explanation) - Vardamanan publishers
Agatthiyar devara thirattu - Thirupananthal Mutt
Vidhiyai velvathu eppadi - Thiruvavadudurai adinam
Thiruvaasagam Chid bhavanandar -
Hindu Testament of Love (Thiruvasagam Ratna. Ma. Navaratnam Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Thiruvaasagam (moolamum, pozlipuri) K.T.Neelakantan -
Thirumurai kanda puraanam - Thirupanandal mutt
Thiruthondar purana saaram - Thirupanandal mutt
Periyapuranam - English translation Vol 1 & 2 T N Ramachandran Thanjavur Tamil University
thirumuRaith thiyAnam - varthamAnan padhippagam, T Nagar, Chennai

Books Saiva siddantham

Books and Publisher of Saiva Sidhantam

Title Author Publishers

Shaiva Siddhanta

சிவபோகசாரமும் சொக்கநாத வெண்பாவும் தருமபுர ஆதீன ஸ்தாபகர் ஸ்ரீலஸ்ரீ குருஞானசம்பந்தர் தருமபுர ஆதீனம்
சித்தாந்தப் பிரகாசிகை ஸ்ரீமத் மாதவச் சிவஞான முனிவர் திருவாவடுதுறை ஆதீனம்
The concept of God in shaiva siddantha Dr.S.N.Kandaswamy Shaiva bharathi shodha pratistanam,Varanasi
Thirumuraigalil saiva siddantam
Thiruvavadudurai adinam
Meikanda charittirangal (With explanation) (14 Texts)
Thiruvavadudurai adinam
Meikanda charittirangal (Only text)
Siddanta saasthiram (nos:14)
Saiva siddanta perumanram
Thugalaru bhodam
Thattova prakasham
Shivajnana paadiyam
Shaiva siddanta shastra varalaru
Thanjavur tamil university
Asta prakaranam
Shivaagama siddanta paripaalana sangam
Asta prakaranam
Shivaagama siddanta paripaalana sangam
nyana saram
Sarasvati mahal library, Thanjavur
siddhanta niccayam thirunavukkarasu desikar Sarasvati mahal library, Thanjavur
tattuva vilakkam kazik kannudai vallal Sarasvati mahal library, Thanjavur
thiruneri viLakkam kazik kannudai vallal Sarasvati mahal library, Thanjavur

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Temple Worship Procedures

Temple Worship Procedures

Temples are the connecting points of high importance in our religion and culture. The absolute necessity of the temple worship is stressed throughout by the great saints of the religion. It is not very difficult to realize the important role they play in cultivating the spiritualism in people. It is the place for collective worship. Given these significant roles of the temples it is required to have some discipline to be followed in the temples for having the real expected out of the worship. Here are a few one can follow to set that harmony. Most of these are in general applicable to all Hindu temples though a few are specific to shaivite temples.

  1. Going to the temple with a clean body. Legs and hands shall be cleaned at entering the temple.
  2. Going to the temple adorned with holy symbols like the Holy Ash, Rudraksham.
  3. Taking something to offer to the Lord. It is an offering out of devotion. It would be nice if the offering is the one required in the worship.
  4. Not to enter the temple with foot wear.
  5. Prostrating in front of the flag column (dwajastaMbham) (towards the North) on entering the temple.
  6. Not to prostrate anywhere else in the temple.
  7. not to prostrate to anybody else in the temple premises.
  8. Taking the permission of nandi dEvar mentally before entering His abode.
  9. Saluting the elephant headed Lord enter the Lord's abode.
  10. In Lord shiva's abode, engage the mind in the thinking of the God. Avoid any gossip. Temple is not the place for gossiping. Can sing or chant His names loudly and sweetly if it would not disturb others. Otherwise it could be done internally without making noise.
  11. The Holy ash given as the blessings should be worn saying "shivAya namaH". It should not be spilled on the ground or wasted.
  12. It is normally a procedure to offer something to the priest whose whole life should be in the service of the Lord.
  13. Circumambulating the Lord saluting the Goddess and the deities in the temple. The circumambulation would be done at least for three times. On special occasions like pradoshham the are special circumambulation methods like somasukta pradhaxinam are followed.
  14. While in the temple either the Holy five letters or any praise could be chanted.
  15. Before coming out of the temple go to the place of sandikeshwar and take permission for the materials which after worship are taken out of the temple as blessings. One must not take anything out in excess and things taken from the temple should be only as the mark of blessings. If nothing is taken it is the normal practice to wipe (rub) the hands together in his place.
  16. Should do something in the promotion of the temple physically or materially or whichever is convenient and required.
  17. On coming out of the temple, again prostrate in front of the flag column towards the north. Sit facing the north and meditate on the God chanting the Holy five letters.
  18. While inside the temple should not make the place dirty in any way or make any noise.
  19. Going to the temple at least once in a week with the family.

The mind should be focussed on the Lord like the dust of iron that stick to the magnet. A worship with such an orientation would have very good effect in us by the grace of the Almighty.

Ancient Scriptures

Seven Islands of the world (sapta dvipa)

The ancient scriptures say the earth has seven islands (compare these with the continents as we are aware of). These major islands separated by ocean and are like the petals of a lotus flower round Mount Meru according to the scriptures. These seven islands are:

  1. plaxa
  2. shalmal
  3. kusha
  4. krau.ncha
  5. shAka
  6. puShkara
  7. jambu

Nine divisions of the jambu dvipa (Asia)

The jambu dvipam which refers to the Asian Continent was divided into nine parts according to the scriptures. These nine parts are:

  1. ilavRita (Himalayan, Tibet regions)
  2. bhadrashva (Region East of Himalayas) East
  3. hari (Arabia) South
  4. ketumalam (Iran, Turkey) West
  5. ramyaka (Russia, Siberia) North
  6. hiraNmaya (Manchuria) North
  7. kuru (Mongolia) North
  8. kiMpurusha / kiMnara (Lower bounds of Himalyas) South
  9. bharata (Indian subcontinent)

Pradhosha Mahima

Pradhosha Mahima

Pradhosha pooja is one of the most important among the poojas performed to the Graceful Lord Shiva. In Shukla Paksha (15 moon days from New moon to Full moon) and Krishna Paksha (15 moon days from Full moon to New moon) the evening of the trayodasi (thirteenth moon day) between 4.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. is called Pradhosha. It comes once in fifteen moon days. Pradhosha time is especially meant for praying Lord Shiva. Praying in that time will free us from out sins and gives moksha finally (hence the name Pradhosha). During pradosha time a special type of circumambulating called somasutra pradaxinam is done.

Pradhosha Purana:

Once Dhevas and Asuras using the serpent Vasuki and the hill Mandhara were trying to get Amrutham (nector) from the Kseerabthi (milk ocean). Then the terrible poison Halahalam came up. All got frightened and pleaded to Lord Shiva for rescue. Being the peak of mercy Lord Shiva ate that poison. Then as per His order they resumed their effort to get Amrutham. They got it on Dhwadhasi (twelfth moon day). Without praying and thanking the God, by whom they got Amrutham, Devas started dancing and celebrating their victory.

On thrayodhasi (thirteenth moon day) they realised their sin of not praying the God and pleaded for forgiveness. The pleased graceful Lord Shiva forgave them and danced between the horns of the Nandhi (holy bull). That time is called Pradhosham. Whoever prays Lord Shiva in that time, Lord Shiva fulfills their wishes and give them mukthi.

During Prodhosha time anointing (Abhishekam) the Shiva deity with the following is considered fruitful.

Milk gives long life
Ghee gives Moksha state
Curd gives good children
Honey gives melodious voice
Rice powder frees from debts
Sugar cane juice gives good health
Panjamrutham gives wealth
Lemon removes fear of death
Sugar removes enmity
Tender coconut gives enjoyment
Cooked Rice(Annam) gives mejestic life
Sandal gives Lakshmi's grace

Anoint the Lord Shiva with Love, He would give Himself !!

Bilvam and flowers can be given for Shiva pooja. Please go to Shiva temple for every Pradhosham and live in His grace blissfully.

Somasutra pradaxinam

soma sutra pradaxinam


R - RiShabham
C - chaNdIchar
G - gomukhi

During the pradhosham(1) time soma sutra pradaxinam is the suggested way of circumambulating the God. In some of the temples this is followed always. A point to note here is that the gomukhi is never crossed. gomukhi is the place where the water after anointing (abhiSheka tirtam) would be flowing northwards out. By doing this way of pradaxinam one does not step over this holy water.

As per the above marked symbols this pradaxinam is to be done. First saluting the Rishabha devar (Holy Bull) go anti-clockwise and salute sandikeshwar (not crossing the gomukhi). Now return in the clockwise manner salute Rishabham and continue clockwise till the gomukhi (not cross it again). Then return in anti-clockwise direction salute the Rishabham again and proceed towards sandikeshwar. From there return back clockwise without worshiping Rishabham and reach the gomukhi. Finally return back anti-clockwise from there to salute Rishabham and continue to sandikeshwar and return back to Rishabham and worship the shiva lingam (at the altar) by viewing through the space between the two horns of the Holy bull. This is one pradaxinam. Three such times pradaxinam to be done.

If you carefully observe the curve traced by doing the pradaxinam is very similar to the periphery of the crescent. Hence this way of circumambulating is called somasutra pradaxinam.

Ten Deeds of Devotees

Ten Deeds of Devotees

In the old sayings and adages there are many references to the 10 deeds. thirun^Avukkarachar refers to the ten characteristic deeds of the slaves of the Lord. (paththu kolAm adiyAr cheykai thanE) . manikavaasagar also refers to these 10 great deeds in thiruvempavai. (paththudaiyIr ! Ichan pazavadiyIr !!).

One of the eighteen purANas ska.ndha purANam tells about the 10 explicit activities, 3 implicit activities of the devotees and also tells the 10 marks of the devotees.

Ten Explicit Activities

  1. Being adorned with Holy Ash and rudraksham
  2. Adoring the guide (guru)
  3. Praising and saluting the Lord Who holds the river ganga
  4. Chanting the names of Lord shiva
  5. shiva-worship
  6. Pilgrimage to abodes of Lord shiva
  7. Listening to the glories of Lord shiva (shiva puranams)
  8. Venerating the devotees of Lord shiva
  9. Eating in the homes of the devotees of Lord shiva
  10. Donating to the guru who is a devotee of Lod shiva

3 Implicit Activities

  1. japam (chanting - internal)
  2. Worshiping the God in the mind
  3. Realising and rejoicing the experiance of God

10 Marks of devotees

  1. Variations in the fervent voice
  2. Twitching of tongue
  3. Twitching of lips
  4. Body shivering
  5. Hair raising excitement
  6. Sweating
  7. Staggered walk
  8. Pour forth tears
  9. Weep
  10. Loosing self in the Supreme conscience

Sixteen upacharas

Sixteen upacharas

During the worship of the Lord 16 types of services/honourings are done to the Lord. Evidently these are the outpouring of love that are channalised and suggested by the Agamas.

  1. AvAhana - Welcome/installation
  2. Asana - Giving seat
  3. pAdya - Washing the leg
  4. arghya - Washing the hands
  5. Achaman - Water to drink
  6. madhuparka - Sweet (honey) mixture to eat
  7. snAna - Bathe
  8. vastra - Clothe
  9. upavIta - Offering holy thread
  10. gandha - Scenting
  11. pushpa - Floral decoration
  12. dhUpa - Incence smoke
  13. dIpa - Light decor
  14. nivedana - Offering (food)
  15. karpUra - Camphor light
  16. pradaxiNa namaskAra - circumambulation and salutation

six darshana

Six darshana

The darshanas are the philosophy schools. As against the philosophies that do not account the vedas like lokAyata, charvaka etc., these six accept the vedas. They are not necessorily contrdicting, but often extending from the one another.

  1. nyAya of gautama - Based on logic to explain the world and God.
  2. vaisheShika of kaNAda - Allied to nyAya and explains how the world is created.
  3. sAnkya of kapila - Lists down 25 tattvas (hence called so). Taken basis by the later mentioned philosophies.
  4. yoga of pata~nchali - Prescribes the yogic practices required to attain the final state.
  5. pUrva mImAsa of jaimini - It is kriya mArgar (path of action) based on the samhita, brahmana and Aranyakas of vedas.
  6. uttara mImAmsa of bAdarAyaNa - It is the philosophy school taking basis upaniShad also called as vedanta.

Shiva Glorious Characters

Eight Glorious characters of God

The Shaiva Sidhdhantha philosophy attributes eight qualities to the Attributeless Lord shiva. They are:

  1. Height of Grace
  2. Omnipotent
  3. Peerless - Superiorless - Self-absorbing
  4. Natural Sensed
  5. Omniscient
  6. Always in Chaste form as Onkara
  7. By nature, bondless
  8. Limitlessly Blissful

Rudraksha Significance

Rudraksha Significance

rudrAksh is one of the most important things for the devotees of Lord shiva. The word rudrAksha means the eye of Lord rudra (rudrAksha - rudra + aksha). The rudraksha beads are worn by the Lord and Its devotees. rudraxa beads proven to have very good positive effect in one who wears it properly is spiritually quite significant.

Puranic Importance of rudrAksham

On the request of the divines Lord shiva burnt the three daemon forts called tripurAsura who were into disruptive activities. God burnt them without even a weapon just by the smile itself ! Three daemons in those forts who were good and devotees of the Lord came out without any harm by the Lord's Grace ! At this point of time fromt he Three eyes of the Lord rudrAxas came out. Since it came from the aksha (eye) of Lord rudra (a role played by the Supreme shiva), it is called rudrAxa.

Glory of rudrAksha

skanda purANam (3) details the glory of this great ornament.

"Hearing or reading the glory of rudrAxam can drive away the sins of anybody. Be devoted or not, scholar or illiterate, whomsoever it be one who wears the rudrAxa will surely get rid of all the bad deeds. Philosophers call this as mahAvrata. There is no deed more virtuous than wearing rudrAxa. One who gets adorned in a sincere and proper way with thausand rudrAxas, all the divines will salute that person. If thausands are not available sixteen each in both the hands, one at the head top, each hand twelve, in the neck thirty-two, six each in the ears shall be worn. One who wears like that is worshipped by others as if they are Lord rudra. One who wears rudrAxas with pearl, ruby, spaTikam crystals, silver, gold, vaiDUryam (lapis lazuli), that person is rudra Himself ! One who wears the emblem of Lord rudra, the rudrAxam, them the sins do not approach as the darkness cannot approach the sun. The chanting (japa) with rudrAxa mala will yield lots of good result. The japa done without that will give the fruit only to the extent of its own glory. Thus very virtuous rudrAxa is not worn by anybody, their life gets wasted like that of the one who does not wear Holy Ash (2). The wise who keeps the rudrAxa at the head and bathes, gets the benefits of bathing in ganges, this is beyond doubt. Such rudrAxas even if only one beed is worn that person gets rid of the sin did in many births. One who anoints rudrAxa gets the benefit of anointing shiva linga (1). One, five and fourteen faced rudrAxas are adorable in all the worlds. Human who worships rudrAxa, even if he/she is very poor, will get all the wealth."

skanda purANa also refers to many stories that tell the glory of adorning one with shrI rudrAxam.

How to wear rudrakshas

rudrAxas are very Holy. One should wear them with respect and maintain their sanctity. Various ways are suggested by the scriptures on adorning oneself with them. Some of them are:

  • Adorning with thausand rudraxas.
  • 26 beeds on head, 50 over the chest, 14 on the shoulders, 12 on the wrist.
  • 16 each in both the hands, 1 at the head top, 12 in each hands, 32 in the neck, 6 each in the ears.
  • Garlands of 108, 50, 27 are boonful.
  • A single beed.

Different Types of rudrakshas

rudrAxas are in three colors. Tawny reddish (kapila) color represent sun (sUrya), white represent moon (chandra) and black represent fire (agni) eyes of the Lord from which they originated.

rudrAxas come with different number of faces. Though all rudrAxas are emblems of the Lord shiva, each type has its additional significance. Some of them are given here.

  • one face - shiva svarUpam
  • two - devadevi (shiva shakti)
  • three - agni
  • four - brahma
  • five - kAlAgni
  • six - subrahmaNya
  • seven - manmata
  • eight - vinAyaka
  • nine - bhairava
  • ten - viShNu
  • eleven - ekAdasharudra
  • twelve - dvAdashAditya
  • thirteen - shaNmukha
  • fourteen - Lord shiva

More details on rudraksham

Trees giving rudrAxa beads grow in the himalayan regions of India and Nepal. Experienced do tests to confirm the originality of the rudrAxa beads.

upanishads that hail rudraksh

  • bhasmajApAla
  • jApAla (bR^ihajjApAla)
  • rAmarahasya
  • akshamAlika
  • dakshiNAmUrti
  • rudrAkshajApAla

Form of Lord Shiva - Nature adorned

Form of Lord Shiva - Nature adorned

Why is this Lord Shiva, leaving away gems decorated crown, wears the moon as the crown, instead of various perfumes smears in ash, in place of golden ornaments puts skull garland, instead of nice silk clothings appears naked or wear skin of tiger ? Why should the Supreme God appear in such a cheap decoration ?

While the other divines appear with many cosmetics and materials that decorate them, with glaring crowns and silk, golden robes, Lord shiva appear in a form which is too simple with moon, river, snakes and skulls. This makes one wonder, why should the Supreme that commands the whole universe and has none above Him, appear in such a form ! To find an answer let us look at the ornaments of the Lord. A river, skull, feather, various leaves, crescent, snake earring, skull garlands, snakes as sacred thread, waist thread and ornaments - roughly these are the adornments of the Lord. Isn't there one thing in common across all these ? Yes, all these are non made items - they are naturally existing ones !! Neither is the moon nor the river made by someone; Nor are the skulls and feathers made by a sculptor.

Who is there to make crowns and ornaments for the Supreme That existed when none else were present and Which would exist even when all others cease to exist. The ash smeared on the Lord's form in fact indicates this ever-being of the God. Who can make clothing for the Lord standing limitless, hence He is naked. There are beautiful purANic stories about each of the Lord's ornament worn by the Lord. For example refer (1).

All these natural ornaments indicate the God's uniqueness which controls the whole nature. The moons, rivers and creatures are all ornaments to the Supreme. These are not cheap, but invaluable ornaments in deed ! To that Lord, Who made the beauties of the world, Who Itself is nothing but beauty, what decorations of us would add value other than His own creations !! Salutations to that Lord of nature, salutations to that Lord of creature.

1. daxa kandam in shankara samhita in ska.ndha purANa.

shiva lingam - A Glorious Worship

shiva lingam is the holy symbol of Lord shiva that is considered quite sacred and worshipped with devotion by the devotees. The sanskrit word li.ngam means symbol, so shiva lingam means symbol of shiva. It is considered the foremost sacred symbol for shaivaites and has been worshiped for ages. The purANas like shiva mahA purANam discuss about the superiority of li.nga worship. (1) (The Indus valley excavation is an example for the presence of this worship in olden times.)

Once the god of creation brahma and the god of protection mahA vishNu entered in an argument on deciding who is greater. When those two great gods were fighting between themselves, the Greatest of all Lord shiva who is formless and transcends everything appeared as a pillar of flame. God told brahma and vishNu that whoever finds the head or the foot of His flame form would be considered greater. brahmA took the form of swan ( ha.msam ) and set out to reach the top of the Fire. vishNu became a wild pig to see the foot of the Fire. Where are the limits for the infinite God ? They could not succeed in spite of their heavy effort. They realized their mistake and the peerless greatness of Lord shiva. The God who can never be reached by ego appears as the form of love to those who surrender to Him. Lord shiva appeared in the form of shiva li.ngam (which is the shape of flame) for their benefit. They worshiped that oldest form of Him and got blessed. The God who came to bless them from the Flame, from the li.ngam is known as li.ngodbhava (2). This incident is depicted in shiva mahA purANam (1) and many other scriptures.

As the God stood as pillar of flame, the natural adornment for the Lord is Holy Ash. (As ash would be found on the surface of the fire). As the God stood as the Luminat Flame that stood up the shiva sahasranAma hails God as Urdva retas and the shiva aShtottara as hiraNya retas. The hymn that starts nidhana pataye namaH, refers to many similarities of Flame and shivalinga.

God is formless, attributeless and omnipresent. This state is called arUpa (formless). For the benefit of the pashus, He took the form of shiva li.ngam which is neither form nor formless but is a symbol. This symbol of Him is called arUparUpam (formless form). He took many forms out of His mercy to bless all, which are called rUpams. (2). shaivam worships the God in all these three states. The oldest form that the formless God took namely the shiva li.ngam is called sadAshiva mUrtam and is worshipped in the altar of His abodes (temples). The forms that He later took which are called mAhEshwara mUrtam are worshipped in the outer circles in a temple.

This shiva li.nga worship is superior because it makes the worship simple because of the form while maintaining the truth that God is not having any definite form. There are a lot more marvelous principles behind the shiva li.nga worship which could be found in detail in standard scriptures.

Ref :
1. sanatkumAra sa.mhita (shiva maha puranam)
3. mayamatham (about the procedures of installing shiva lingam )
4. thirumandhiram - seventh thandhiram