Sunday, January 22, 2012

AARIDRA DARISANAM NIGHT—DANCE IN DEVOTION TO SIVA


AARIDRA DARISANAM NIGHT—DANCE IN DEVOTION TO SIVA


(I-DISCOURSE BY N.R. SRINIVASAN, JANUARY 2012)


Aaridra is one among the twenty-seven Nakshatras in Hindu astrology—Aswini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigaseersha, Aridra…......Revati. Zodiac Belt is divided into 27 divisions in Hindu astrology. When we say birth-star we mean the zodiac segment of zodiac belt which we call Janma Nakshatra and not the heavenly stars. The zodiac belt of 360 degrees is divided into 27 equal parts. The first segment from 0 to 13 degrees and 20" is called Aswini; the second from 13 degrees 20" to 26 degrees and 40" is Bharani; the third from 26 degrees 40" to 40 degrees is called Krittikaa; the fourth from 40 degrees to 53 degrees 20" is called Rohini; the fifth from 53 degrees 20" to 66 degrees 40" is called Mrigaseersha; the sixth from 66 degrees 40" to 80 degrees is called Aaridra, and so on. So it is clear that in Astrology Naksahtra is only one of the segments of the Zodiacal belts whereas in astronomy they are the twinkling stars in the sky.
In Hindu astrology Aaridra Nakshatram is named after the heavenly twinkling star Aaridra, what Westerners call as Betelgeuse. This is a medieval Arabic name given to this heavenly star by Westerners. It is a fascinating and consternating star that baffles all astronomical studies. It is mysterious and elusive. Though it is one of the most studied of several suns, it defies any description; it changes its brightness, size and even shape with rhythmic gusts.

Aaridra is part of the constellation Orion, shining as the brightest red star in the sky. It is guestimated to be at a distance of 600 light-years. This star is as colossal as Siva. If we think of its size as the size of a football stadium, then the Planet Earth in which we live will be just a speck of dust and the Sun would be of the size of a mango fruit. Unknowing its association with Lord Nataraaja Westerners call this a Dancing Star. Because of its blazing choreography there is no certainty how far this
is from the Earth, so also we do not know how far we are from Kailasa though Puranas point to Himalayas. Hindus will however cherish the idea that scientists call this star a dancing star remembered with awe by every Hindu on Aaridra Darsanam Night. Hindu Artists dance this night before the sanctum of Lord Nataraja in Temples or even before a Nataraja icon at homes to please and propitiate Siva. It is a night of dedication and rededication of their work that night.

Aaridra is nearing a transitional point of evolution. It will enter a super-nova stage at any time—may be tomorrow or several thousand years! Who knows when? It is a divine star. Only Nataraaja knows! When it does so, it will convert most of itself into light and cosmic rays. It will then send its energy out to the Universe in a blinding flash. When that happens, it will outshine the full moon in our sky and will be visible even during the day. When that happens Aaridra will be a small neutron star spinning incredibly fast with unimaginable density. Just a cup of matter from neutron core of this star weighs more than the Himalayan ranges predict the scientists. Hindus are very happy that in Grand Canyon four of the peaks are named Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and Brahman.

I wonder how our ancestors decided upon this name of the star to propitiate Nataraja, the dancing Siva on this auspicious night of Aaridra Darsanam. We often describe his two normal eyes as representing Sun and Moon. We glorify Siva in his Vyahriti (compliment) as Element of Fire this night and worship him as Jyotirlinga with a glowing light on the hills of Tiruvannaamalai linking it to Aaridra, which is Kailasa to Tamilians. Aaridra is known as Siva's star, a cosmic representation of His third eye, red, compact and intense.

Some religions predicted last year that the world will come to an end and that did not happen; they are still insisting that will happen soon quoting from the Holy Bible. Hinduism says Kaliyuga would last for 432000 years. We have just spent 5000 and odd years in Kaliyuga. Hindus believe the Universe is expanding. We have just seen that Aaridra star is in its formation on which most of the studies have been made. What about millions of others on which study has not been made. Many of you are perhaps know that Brahman is sometimes translated as Word which literally means, "Word that which grows great". Brahman is derived from the word brih to grow which is vridh in another form. If it is so the English "Word" is etymologically the same as Vedic Brahman. So, when the Bible says "In the beginning there was the Word", it is not difficult for a Hindu to identify it with "tad Ekam"—that One, with Brahman. It can also be inferred the Universe is expanding for Brahman is Universe.
--Adapted from Hinduism Today
The first picture of Nataraja  & stars photo was  taken by NASA. This formation of stars happens only during Thiruvadirai Nakshathiram once in a year. NASA is wondering how is this happening. And that shows  the power of God Shiva
5/29/16, 8:32:28 AM: A Vino: Thiruvadirai Nakshathiram is Lord Siva own Nakshathiram.





APPENDIX
Message from Muralidharan Iyengar for Aridra Night of 2015

As Ardra Darshanam falls on 26-Dec-2015 (Sat), I am happy to attach a rare hymn on Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu) by Sage Upamanyu. It is a beautiful 10-Stanza prayer and Sage Upamanyu assures pure and highest status for those who chant this daily.
Though Lord Shiva is popularly known as Lord Nataraja, the name equally applies to Lord Krishna too. And we have seen that these two are never differentiated by our sacred texts.

In Brahma Vaivarta Puranam, Brahma Khanda, and Chapter 10, Lord Narayana prescribes that one should pray to the Almighty in 5 forms as below:

GaNeshaM-vighna-nAshAya niShpApAya-divAkaram |
vahniM-svashud.hdhaye viShNuM-muktaye pUjayen naraH || 10-94 ||
shivaM-GYAnAya-GYAneshaM shivAM-bud.hdhi-vRRid.hdhaye |
sampUjyail labhet prAGYo viparIta-mato .anyathA || 10-95 ||

(Meaning : After Nitya karma, one must worship Lord Ganesha for removal of obstacles, Lord Surya for the eradication of sins, Lord Agni for Atma Shuddhi, Lord Vishnu for emancipation, Lord Shiva for divine knowledge and Goddess Parvati for the enhancement of intellect. One who does so gets befitting benefits and for the one who does not Vipareeta Phala (adverse effects) accrues.)

May we pray to Lord Nataraja during Ardra Darshanam with this exquisite prayer:

|| śrīcidambareśa daśa-ślokī - śrī upamanyu mahari ktam ||
Sri Chidambaresha Dasha Shloki By Sage Upamanyu

The following is a rare 10-stanza hymn on Lord Chidambaresha (Nataraja) by Sage Upamanyu. One who chants this hymn daily attains the immaculate state by the blessings of Lord Nataraja.

kpā-samudrasumukhatrinetrajaṭādharapārvatī-vāma-bhāgam |
sadāśivarudraananta-rūpacidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 1 ||
kalyāṇa-mūrtikanakādri-cāpakāntā-samākrānta-nijārdha-deham |
kālāntakakāma-ripupurāricidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 2 ||
viśāla-netraparipūra-gātragaurī-kalatradanujāri-bāṇam |
kubera-mitrasura-sindhu-śīracidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 3 ||
vedānta-vedyabhuvanaika-vandyamāyā-vihīnakaruṇārdra-cittam |
āna-pradaāni-nievitāṅghricidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 4 ||
diagambaraṁ śāsita-daka-yajñatrayīmayapārtha-vara-pradatam |
sadādayavahni-ravīndu-netracidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 5 ||
viśvādhikaviṣṇu-mukhair upāsyatrikoagacandrakalāvatasam |
umāpatipāpa-harapraśāntacidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 6 ||
karpūra-gātrakamanīya-netrakasāri-vandyakanakābhirāmam |
kṛśānu hakkādharaaprameyacidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 7 ||
kailāsa-vāsajagatāṁ-adhīśajalandharāripuruhūta-pūjyam |
māhānubhāvamahimābhirāmacidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 8 ||
janmāntarārūḍha-mahāgha-pakila prakṣālanodbhūta vivekataśca yam |
paśyanti dhīrāḥ svayaṁ ātma-bhāvāt cidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 9 ||
anantaadvaitaajasra-bhāsurahyatarkyaṁ ānanda-rasaparātparam |
yajñādidaivayamināṁ-vareyacidambareśahdi bhāvayāmi || 10 ||
|| phalaśruti||
vaiyāghrapādena mahariṇā ktāṁ cidambareśa stutiṁ ādarea |
pahanti ye nityaumā-sakhasya prasādato yānti nirāmayapadam || 11 ||
|| iti śrī upamanyu mahari praṇīta
śrīcidambareśa daśa-ślokī sampūram ||


APPENDIX


Nataraja: Symbolism Behind the Lord of Dance
Posted by The Editor | Aug 15, 2015 |  India Divine.Org

The inner meaning of this Symbol is very grand and poetic, and to enter into, and understand it, will certainly be deemed a privilege by those who are striving to realise for themselves the truths of mysticism. Before entering into the meaning itself let me digress a little in narrating the legend, which explains the occasion for Siva’s sacred dance at Chidambaram.
Vishnu arose one day from his slumber, and repaired to the Sacred Mount Kailas, there to pay reverence to the supreme Siva, Who told him, that, in the neighbouring forest of Taruka there were multitudes of heretical Rishis or devotees, dwelling with their wives, and puffed up with the pride of their learning, and, who regarded themselves as independent of His authority. It was the intention of Siva, to visit this forest, in order to ascertain the state of the Rishis there, and to teach them a lesson. He accordingly asked Vishnu to accompany Him in the guise of a woman, and the two – Siva as a mendicant, with the usual insignia including the bowl for the collection of alms, and Vishnu as His wife – entered the forest.
As soon as the two entered the Darukavana as man and wife, the Rishis’ wives were seized with an unspeakable frenzy of passion for the mendicant, while the Rishis were equally infatuated by the woman that followed Him – Vishnu in disguise.
A fierce wrath soon raged throughout the hermitage. The Rishis speedily perceived that the mendicant and his wife, who possessed such a mysterious power of attraction, were not what they seemed. They became ashamed of their ecstasies, of evil desire, and, gathering in a body, pronounced fierce imprecations upon the couple. But the Divine visitors remained unharmed. They then dug a sacrificial pit and proceeded to burn oblations, in view to ensure the destruction of the unwelcome intruders.
As a result of the sacrificial rites, a fierce tiger came out of the sacrificial fire and sprang at Siva; who, smiling gently, seized it with His sacred hands, and, with the nail of His little finger, ripped off its skin, and, wrapped it round Himself like a soft silken garment. This is the origin of Siva’s tiger-skin mantle.
Undiscouraged by the failure, they renewed their sacrificial offerings, and from the altar-fire came out a monstrous serpent, which He seized and wreathed round His neck, where it has since hung forever; and then began His mystic dance.
At last, a monster named Musalaka (the club-bearer), in the shape of a black dwarf, hideous and malignant, rushed upon Him, brandishing a club, with eyes of fire. Upon him, the Lord pressed the tip of His sacred foot, and broke his back, so that he writhed on the ground. Thus with His last foe prostrate, Siva resumed the dance of which all the gods were witnesses, while His hosts sang enthusiastic choruses.
The Rishis, parched with the heat of their own sacrificial fires, faint with the fury of their anger, and, overwhelmed with the splendor of the heavens opening around them fell to the ground as dead, and then rising, worshipped the known God, acknowledging themselves His faithful devotees.
Now entering into the vital part of the symbolism, Nataraja means the “Lord of the Stage”* [* The expression ‘Nataraja’ does not mean “Lord of the stage”; it means only ‘Master-actor’, or ‘Prince of actors’. The idea, ‘Lord of the stage’, corresponds to the Sanskrit compound ‘Nata-ranga-raja’, and not to ‘Nata-raja’. The synonyms, Natesa, Natesvara and Nataraja, indicates that the Lord is the Chief actor (=Sutradhara) in the drama of the Prapancha, that He is the Nimitta-karana of the Manifested Universe.
The idea is that the world is a stage, which presents the vision and activity of life, through the power of the omnipresent God, the unseen Lord of the stage. He represents the teacher or guru whose one of the most important functions is, to enforce his teachings by example; and this idea is the key-note to the Nataraja symbol.
The legend teaches that He subdues and wraps round Him, like a girdle, the feline fury of human passion. The guile and malice of mankind He transmutes into His necklace. One of His feet is planted over and crushes the giant – the endless illusion or monster of human depravity, while the other is raised upward to aid and comfort those who are shrouded in Maya, and enable them to realise His eternal fellowship.
The little drum in one of His right hands, expresses the idea of His being the Preceptor or Guru, and means also to indicate that He holds in the hollow of His hand the dispensation of the entire Prapancha, the cause of all the world, to be folded or unfolded at His own will. The deer on one side is the mind, because the latter leaps and jumps from one thing to another as unsteadily as that animal.
On His head, He wears the Ganges,  that is to say, the Chit-Sakti or Wisdom which is most cool and refreshing; the Moon representing the ethereal light and blissfulness of the Atman or Self. The second right hand representing the idea of Peace, indicates the blessed calmness of Wisdom. In one of the left hands is held Agni (fire), which represents the idea that the truth of the Guru’s teachings can only be fully understood on practical realisation in one’s inner experience.
The place of the dance – the theatre – is the Tillaivanam (=Daruka-vana); in other words, the body is spoken of as the Vanam (forest), because of the multitude of its components. The platform (=boards) in that theatre, is the cremation-ground, the place where all passions, and the names and forms that constitute the vision of the world, are dissolved – pure consciousness devoid of attachment to anything outside, and free from all taint of illusion.
The above are some of the leading features of the symbol*.The allegory, as interpreted above, cannot be said to be on the track of correct solution. Yet, as an attempt, it is commendable, although for real light, one should search the Agamantic classics.
The Guru teaches that Maya – the illusion of the world – should be crushed down, that the deer-like mind should be left behind, and ahankara (egoism) destroyed, and that man should ascend to the regions of pure consciousness, free from passion and deception, and enjoy the true bliss.
Viewed in the light of this inner meaning, Sri Nataraja is no more a meaningless idol, an effigy in stone or copper, but a symbol of the highest import, an incentive to pure inspiration and elevation.

Chidambara Rahasyam--The  Secret that abounds Chidambaram Temple

 


When Tamils are bogged down not understanding a thing they call it “Chidambra Rahasyam” that it is as mysterious  as the secret that abounds the famous temple in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu  dedicated to Shiva in his cosmic form of Nataraja  where he is also worshiped as one of the elements Space  or Sky as Aakaasa Linga, of which we have talked about in the past. A casual visitor to this amazing temple usually finds the sanctum where he just finds empty space and mirror hanging to which worship is offered. But he often forgets the whole temple is surrounded with mystery which needs a deep study. For this you need to be conversant with the literary work of Thirumoolar, an ancient Tamil scholar and saint, called Thirumandiram or Sacred Mantra.  After 8 years of R & D, Western scientists have proved that at Lord Nataraja's big toe is the Centre Point of World's Magnetic Equator.  Thirumoolar has mentioned about this five thousand years ago based on his spiritual revelations! His treatise Thirumandiram is a wonderful literary  composition which serves as a scientific guide which baffles all in  the  world.  



A deep study of ancient literature reveals the following characteristics that Chidambaram temple embodies:

1)  This temple is located at the Center Point of world's Magnetic Equator.

2) Of the "Pancha boothas" i.e.   Temples for five Elements, Chidambaram denotes the Sky.   Kalahasati Siva is worshiped as Wind (Vaayu Linga). In  Kanchipuram he is worshiped as    Earth (Prithvee Linga).  All these 3 temples are located in a straight line at 79 degrees 41 minutes Longitude. This can be verified using Google.  An amazing fact & astronomical miracle!

3)   Garbhagriha of Chidambaram temple   has 9 entrances denoting 9 entrances or openings of the human  body. The main temple has four entrances  protected by high walls as is usual with Tamil Nadu Temples facing all four directions.

4) Temple roof is made of 21600 gold sheets which denote the 21600 breaths taken by a human being every day (15 x 60 x 24 = 21600)

5) These 21600 gold sheets are fixed on the Gopuram using 72000 gold nails which denote the total number of Nadis (Nerves) in the human body. These transfer energy to certain body parts that are invisible.

6)  Thirumoolar states that man represents the shape of Shivalingam, which represents Chidambaram which represents Sadashivam which represents HIS dance!

7) "Ponnambalam" is placed slightly tilted towards the left.  This represents our Heart.  To reach this, we need to climb 5 steps called "Panchakshara padi " "Si, Va, Ya, Na, Mah " are the five Panchaaksharee mantras. (Namah Sivaaya)

There are 4 pillars holding the Kanakasabha representing the 4 Vedas.

8)  Ponnambalam (golden sanctum) has 28 pillars denoting the 28 "Ahams "as well as the 28 methods to worship Lord Shiva.  These 28 pillars support   64 Roof Beams which denote the 64 Arts.  The cross beams represent the Blood Vessels running across the Human body.

9)  9 Kalasas on the Golden Roof represent the 9 types of Sakthi or Energies of Parasakti

The 6 pillars at the Artha Mantapa represent the 6 types of Saastras.

The 18 pillars in the adjacant Mantapa  represent  18 Puranas.  Scriptures say it takes eighteen steps to reach the Lord. One has to climb eighteen steps in Sabari Malai or Puri Jagannath (padinettu padi)

10) The dance of Lord Nataraja is described as Cosmic Dance by Western Scientists.

  Science is propounding now what has been stated in scriptures thousands of years ago!