1 January 2020

Significance of Arunachala Girivalam 2020 Full Moon (Pournami) Dates

[The below narrative is taken from a website dedicated to Arunachala and available at this link]. 

One of the thousand and eight names given to Arunachala by Adi Shankara is giripradakshinapriya – the Lord who loves giripradakshina. 

'Be they of lowly birth, without the advantage of learning, unable to practise the virtue of liberality, it is of no account. Those who perform pradakshina of holy Aruna, the Supreme, submit to his rule and become his devotee, will excel even amongst the most excellent . . .' [Arunagiri Antadi] 

Arunachala photo taken during rainy season

At most holy places located on hills, the Deity is found at the summit of the Hill. But here at Tiruvannamalai, the Hill itself is the Deity (Lord Annamalaiyar) and one of the ways in which it is propiated and worshipped is by its circumambulation. 

In Sanskrit this going around the Hill is called 'giripradakshina' (giri=mountain and pradakshina: Prada=giver of boons; Kshi=destroyer of Karma; Na=giver of Jnana. Also, Pra-Dakshina=going around with centre kept to the right). 

'Pradakshina (the Hindu rite of going round the object of worship) is "All is within me." The true significance of the act of going round Arunachala is said to be as effective as a circuit round the world. That means that the whole world is condensed into this Hill. The circuit round the temple of Arunachala is equally good; and self-circuit (i.e. turning round and round) is as good as the last. So all are contained in the Self. 

Says the Ribhu Gita: "I remain fixed, whereas innumerable universes becoming concepts within my mind, rotate within me. This meditation is the highest circuit (pradakshina).' [Ramana Maharshi: Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi] 

In the Tamil language, this process of going around, is called 'giri valam' (giri=mountain and valam=right side), inferring that one should keep the Hill to the right when circumambulating. 

The Arunachala Puranam declares that: 

'the holy Arunachala is the primal, Adi linga. The path around its base is the sacred Yoni. Pradakshina of the Hill is therefore pradakshina of the source of all lingas! So one goes round keeping to the left-edge of the path. A mere step taken, confers the benefit of a Yaga, sacrifice; two steps, the fruit of Rajasuya Yaga; and three that of Asvamedha Yaga. Going round the hill one gains in health and vigour. The hill abounds in rare herbs sought by traditional herbalists and the breeze carries the salubrious wafts from these siddha herbs to the one doing the holy round. The dust from the feet of such a person, carried and deposited in towns far away effects immeasurable purification.' 

The Asta (8) Lingams plus the additional Surya and Chandra Lingams i.e. Dasa Lingams (10) are underlined in the above map of the 14 km outer Girivalam Arunachala pathway

The circumambulation path is 14 kilometres (8½ miles). Tradition has it that even today a number of siddhars are living on the hill. 

There are eight lingams located at the eight directions, which provides an octagonal structure to the town of Tiruvannamalai. The eight lingams are: Indra Lingam, Agni Lingam, Yama Lingam, Niruthi Lingam, Varuna Lingam, Vayu Lingam, Kubera Lingam and Esanya Lingam. To find out more about the esoteric signifiance of the Asta Lingams around the octagonal perimeter of Arunachala which reflects the geometry of a Cosmogram, go to this link here.

To learn more about the Dasa Lingams and their relevance to the geometry to both Arunachala and also Arunachaleswarar Temple Siva Sannidhi Shrine go to links on Surya Lingam and Chandra Lingam.

There are two pathways around the Hill, the outer pathway which is the most commonly travelled and which contains Temples, the Asta Lingams, Tirthams and Shrines. And the inner pathway which winds its way through the countryside at the feet of Arunachala. 

According to scriptures, the walk around the Hill should be conducted at a slow pace either in silence, reciting mantras or chanting sacred songs. As to the ritual of the spiritual round; one should abjure all thought of the opposite sex on the day of pradakshina. After bathing one wears clean white clothes, applies vibhutti and proceeds, giving alms but without accepting any. Free from fear, anger, irritation or sorrow one walks on bare feet, without using vehicles or carrying an umbrella. Without swinging one's arms about, and with a silent soft tread, one saunters like a queen in her 'tenth-month'. One bows, first to the holy Hill from each of the eight cardinal directions, and then to the Lord of that direction enshrined in the linga there. One bows mentally to the incorporeal gods and siddhas going the rounds and keeps to the side. One could keep silence of speech and mind; or one could allow thoughts to flow on to the Hill of Fire; or one could sing and listen to songs of devotional praise. 

In the company of those of lofty character, one is able to halt here and there and enjoy a feast of fruit and milk. Otherwise, simple food free of flesh can be taken. 

Certain days are regarded as particularly auspicious for circumambulation:- 

The fruit of a Sunday pradakshina is Siva's abode (enter the solar region and attain Liberation); 

that of Monday is merger in Siva-form (live happily in a world free from senility and death); 

that of Tuesday is termination of debt and cyclic death (freed from all doubts and becomes Emperor); 

that of Wednesday is divinity through skill in philosophy and art (attain Wisdom and Omniscience); 

that of Thursday is lordship over gods and god-men (venerated by all Devas and may even become a renowned Guru); 

that of Friday is lordship of the Lotus Lady (may hope to reach Vishnu's abode). 

A Saturday pradakshina confers the astronomical benefits of a nine-planet conjunction in the Eleventh House (worldly success and protection against planetary influences). 

The above effects are magnified if circumambulation is done on Sivaratri, New-year day, or during the three months, mid-October to mid-January. The fruits are believed to increase by a factor of one crore if done on the two solstices; or on the day the moon is in the Magha asterism during February-March; or during the pre-dawn hour; or during solar eclipse or Vidhipaada Yoga. 

It is also regarded as particularly auspicious to perform "Girivalam" during every Full moon day (poornima) to coincide with siddhars' movements, and the heady perfumes of herbal plants surrounding the Hill. 

Once a sadhu who went regularly around the Hill, requested Sri Ramana for a Vedantic text. A devotee casually remarked, "He only goes round the Hill. What will he do with any Vedantic text?" To which Sri Ramana retorted, "What better sadhana can there be than going round the Hill?" 

Hindu mythology also explains the significance of circumambulation, in a narrative relating that the Goddess Parvati on the advice of Sage Gautama circumambulated the Hill everyday in order to have her desires fulfilled. 

Another legend says that Sage Durvasa, who cursed two vidyadharas stated that:- 

"The curse cannot be lifted by any act except that of circumambulating the Arunachala Hill." 

He then proceeded to relate what Siva Himself had declared in an assembly of devas and others: 

"He who circumambulates with devotion the Arunachala Hill which is my form, attains a form like mine. He becomes the Lord of the entire world and reaches the highest state". 

The two vidyadharas then advised King Vajrangada who was suffering, 

"The Lord of Aruna Hill is a repository of compassion and His glory is great. Circumambulate the Aruna Hill on foot as a means of release from suffering". 

2020 Full Moon Dates

31 December 2019

2019 Karthigai Photographs

2019 repaired Cauldron before painting

Taking Cauldron to Arunachala Summit

Bharani Deepam am December 10, 2019

Ardhanishwari, Big Temple, evening of December 10, 2019

Deepam inside Big Temple, December 10 2019

Lighting of Cauldron, December 10, 2019

Cauldron on top of Arunachala, December 10, 2019

Karthigai on Arunachala Summit from distance

Karthigai background, Temple gopuram in front

Lights on Temple with Karthigai bckground, December 10, 2019

Karthigai Deepam with Gopuram in front, from distance

23 July 2018

Arunachala Suprabatham

There are a number of Arunachala Suprabathams (Waking up the God) Videos on Social Network platforms that have different music and lyrics. The version below appears without transliteration or English translation . . . so have added both below the video. 

Om enum pranavathin utporul naamavaney
Omkaaranaathamayamaana Jagadeeswaraney
Malar thaavum vandugal panpaadum
Pularkaalaiyil malar thoovi vanangugirom
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai.

You are the internal meaning and being of Om
You are Jagadeeswara and Om Kareeswara
Bees sing as they move from flower to flower
We offer our prayers to you with fresh bloom flowers
Arunachala wake up and give us Your Blessings.

Eesane, Paramesaney, Kayilai malai vaasaney
Sivagaami nesaney, Jagadeesaney
Nandhi kesane Lingesaney Thillai Nadaraajaney
Arunodhayam uthithathey
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Ishwara, Parameshwara, the Lord of the Himalayas
You are Love to Mother Sivagaami, O Jagadeeswara
Nandi Ishwara, Lingaeeswara.
You are the Lord of Chidambaram—Nataraja
Arunachala wake up and give us Your Blessings

Nanthi mathalam kotta naaradhar thamburaa meetta
Naanmarai vedhangal naadheswaram udan olikka
Naagabaranam thariththa Namachivaaya gurunaathaney
Narthanam purinthidavey
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Nanthi has started to beat the drum, Naradha to play his Thambura
All the 4 Vedas are being sung along with the music of Naadheswaram
Naga Devadhas are dancing, Namashivaya Gurunatha
All other Devas have started their work
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Aathiye paranjothiye arubathi moondru naayanmaar thozhum
Karunaimalai nithiye
Aathithan uthikka keezhvaanam sivakka
Athikaalai vanthathey
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You are the rootless one, You are in the form of fire.
All 63 Naayanars worship you
You are the kind hearted one in the form of mountain and river.
The sun is rising up and the light starts to spread
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Senjadaiyil Gangaiyudan pirainuthal tharithoney
Senjudaraai vaan sivakka muzhumathi marainthoda
Seythi solla seval koova methiniye kanvizhikka
Aathisakthi naayaganey
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You have the Ganga River and the Crescent shape moon on your head
The sky becomes red as the sun emerges
Cocks crow in the morning light
You are the Shakthi of the Universe
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Kalthondri manthondraa kaalathey munthondri
Adiyaargal kanmun thondri kanathil maraintha paramey
Kaamanai kannazhagaal vizhitherithathanaal
Kaamaari vadivam petra
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You originated before all else
You appear in front of those full of devotion and then disappear
You took the shape of Kaamaari
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Aalakaala vishathai kandathil niruthiye
Neelakandan ena peyar konda perunithiye
Mukkaalamum unarnthavaney
Kaalanai thuraththi maarkandeyanukku ekkaalamum pathinaaru
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You drank poison and stored it in Your throat
Because of that your name is Neelakandan
You know all the kalas, and got rid of time
You gave the thought to Maarkandayan to be 16 years old always
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Vethiyar othidam rudhram olikka
Devaathi devargalum tharisanam kaana thavamirukka
Vilvaarchanai seiya ninathadiyaargal kaathirukka
Vidivelli mulaithathendrey
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

All Veadhars start to sing Rudhram
All Devars await to have your darshan
All your devotees await your darshan
Those devotees awaits  to do Vilva archana to you
A new day has started
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Pittukku man sumanthu pirambadi pattavaney
Pithanaana arthanaana sithanaana ennappaney
Viragu vetti sumanthu veethiyellaam vitru
Vilaiyaadal purinthavaney
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You carried soil on Your Head. Got beaten with sticks
You were in the form of the madman, Arthanaada, my Father
You carried wood on Your Head and sold it on the streets
You showed Your playful love
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Maganidam manthira porul katru
Thaan petra maganukke seedanaana maheswaraney
Mugam aaru kondavanai guruvaaga etra unai
Jagam potrum Jagadeesaa
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You learned the lesson of OM from your son
And acted as follower (junior) to your son, Oh Maheswara
You took as Guru, your son with the 6 faces
You are the Lord of the Universe
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Panniru thirumuraigalum unmundrinai paadiya
Thirugnaanasambantharukku arul purintha eesaney
En iru karam kooppi unai thozhuthen Venneeranintha meniyaney
Un iru vizhi malara
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

12 Thirumurai sung before you
Oh, Ishwara, you gave blessings to Thirugnana Sambathar
I am folding both my hands in front of you and offering my prayers
Kindly open both Your Eyes
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Thalaiyotha payanaaga thalaikeezhaai nadanthu vanthu
Sivalogam thanai adaintha Karaikaal Ammaiyaarukku
Sivanadi thantha senjadaiyoney piraimudi kandiyoney
Sadai melathi gangai konda
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Keeping head down, she walked
She reached the Siva Logam, to Karaikaal Ammaiyaar
You gave blessings to Her and she resided at Your Feet
You have Ganga river in Your Hair
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Ainthu thirumugathinindru aagamangal irubethettu uruvaagi
Aaru mugap perumaanaal viruthaasalathil kailaasa prakaarathil sthaabithu vazhipada seithavaney
Ninpainthamizh paadalil kutram kandapin thavarai unarntha
Nakkeeranukku narkathi thantha
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

With Your beautiful face, Hindu rituals took form of 28
With the help of Murugan, at Viruthasalam you created Kailasa Prakaram
And lead everyone to worship
In your literary Tamil poem, a mistake was made by Nakkeran Poet
To let him know about the mistake in the poem, you showed your third eye
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Patralla gurupatru matriye eginum
Appar paadalil arputha porul arinthen
Sutram maranthen Sitrambalaney
Satre manamirangi enakkarulvaai
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Devotion to the Guru is important to everything else
In Appar’s songs, I learned the meaning of Guru
I forgot everything in the world, except you
Kindly shower your Blessings on me, my Lord
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Olimaaya perungadal kadakka
Meyyaana verum padagai thanthu
Narai kirai indri nanneri adaiya
Viraivaai vantharul puriya
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Knowledge is like an ocean, without boundaries
Truth is the boat, by which we cross it
To reach the shores, we need Your Blessings
Kindly come soon and shower your blessings
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Oonaagi uyiraagi valiyaagi oliyaagi
Vaanaagi kuriyaagi arulaagi nirpavaney
Boga yoga vedha vadivaai
Baagam piriyaaludan aruliya
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You are the soul of all living creatures, in all stages of their life
You own the sky, river, fire, earth and air
You are all vidhas and yogas, as their forms
You are a part of Mother Baagam Piriyaal
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Vinthaigal palapuriyum vinothamayamaanavaney
Pithaana soodalai venneeraai aninthavaney
Moovalagaalum mukkannaney in mugam kaana
Ezhulagam yenguthappaa
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You have done many miracles, as you are Supreme of all
You are our Lord, with Venneerai on your top
You are the Lord with three eyes, to all three worlds
All Devaras of the 7 worlds are waiting for you
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Kaanaatha aruvilirukkum uruvilirukkum karanamaai
Neeraanam aninthaarkku nizhal puriyum sivalingamena
Ulagariyaar paadalukkerpa aruvuruva vadivaana
Lingamaaga arul puriyum
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You are the vision to the blind, you are the knowledge to wise
You are the shadow, to all
You took all forms in the world
You are giving Blessings, in the form of Lingam
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Panjaboothangalum paramporulaagi
Prabanjathai aalukindra panchaatchara naayaganey
Paravaigalum karavaigalum pagalavan vara unarnthu
Paravasamaai unai azhikka
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You are the leader of all Panchaboothams
You are the secret manthras of Panchaatacharm
Birds, animals, Humans worship you
They all call you Parama Siva
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Agathooimai thanthu mei anbarkku arul thanthu
Ijjagam kaatharalum jagam pugazhum eesaraney
Kaarirul maraiya kathiravan thaan malara
Thevarul purinthidavey
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You give blessings to devotees with clean hearts
You are the saving God, for all the Universe
The darkness goes away, as the light rays of the Sun comes out
To give Blessings to all Devas
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Than bakthi sirappaal than iru kangalai thanthu
Thavap payan adaintha Kannappa naayanaarukku
Kaninthu arul purintha ennappaney
Enai aalum eesaney
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

With full hearted devotion, He gave his two eyes
He attained mukti, Kannapa Nayanar
You gave him eyes and blessed him
Ishwara you are ruling me
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Gnaayiru andru vazhipada pinigalai kalaibavaney
Thingalandru vazhipada aatralai tharubavaney
Sevvaayandru vazhipada piravippini theerpavaney
Buthanandru vazhipada vetrigal tharubavaney
Viyaazhan andru vazhipada gnaanam tharubavaney
Velliyandru vazhipada vishnupadham arulbavaney
Saniyandru vazhipada navagraha anugraham tharubavaney
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

They who worship you on Sunday will get rid of problems
They who worship you on Monday will get new skills
They who worship you on Tuesday will desired objects in this birth
They who worship you on Wednesday will get victory in their work
They who worship on on Thursday will get knowledge
They who worship you on Friday will get darshan of Lord Vishnu’s feet
They who worship you on Saturday will get blessing of Navagraham
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Mesharaasiyar niruthi lingathai vazhipadavum
Rishaba raasiyar indira lingathai vazhipadavum
Mithuna raasiyar eesaana lingathai vazhipadavum
Kadaga raasiyar vaayu lingathai vazhipadavum
Anugraham puriyum
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Devotees with Mesharaasiyar transit (Aries) should worship Niruthi Lingam
Devotees with Rishaba transit (Taurus) should worship Indira Lingam
Devotees with Mithuna Raasi (Gemini) should worship Eeswaraa Lingam
Devotees with Kadaga Raasi (Cancer) should worship Vayuu Lingam
Ishwara give you Blessings
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Shimma raasiyar agni lingathai vazhipadavum
Kanni raasiyar eesaana lingathai vazhipadavum
Thulaam raasiyar indira lingathai vazhipadavum
Viruchika raasiyar yama lingathai vazhipadavum
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Devotees with Shima Raasi (Leo) should worship Agni Lingam
Devotees with Kanni Raasi (Virgo) should worship Isanya Lingam
Devotees with Thulaam Raasi (Libra) should worship Indira Lingam
Devotees with Viruchika Raasi (Scorpio) should worship Yama Lingam
Kindly shower Your Blessings
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Thanusu raasiyar kubera lingathai vazhipadavum
Magara kumba raasiyar varuna lingathai vazhipadavum
Meena raasiyar kubera lingathai vazhipadavum
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

Devotees with Dhanusu Raasi (Sagittarius) should worship Kubera Lingam
Devotees with Magara Kumbha Raasi (Capricorn, Aquarius) should worship Vayuu Lingam
Devotees with Meena Raasi (Pisces) should worship Kubera Lingam
Kindly save us Ishwara
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

Padaiththal kaaththal azhiththal enum muththozhil puriyum mukkatselvaa
Neerum neruppum kaatrum boomiyum aagaayamumaana praboodha naadhaa
Swarnalingam spadigalingam maragathalingam jothilingamena
Atchayalingam naagalingam sahasralingam kodilingamaaga
Ezhuntharuliya Eeswaraney
Arunaachalaney ezhuntharulvaai

You are doing three duties of creation, saving and destroying so called mukkatselvaa
You are water, fire, air, earth, sky as panchaboothams
You are in the form of Swarna Lingam (Gold), Spadiga Lingam (Crystal), Maragatha Linglam (emerald), Jothilingam (fire)
Akshayya Lingam (Imperishable), Naagalingam (Serpent), Sahasralingam (Thousand), Kodilingam (One Crore)
Wake up Ishwara
Arunachalana wake up and give us Your Blessings

[The audio is a copyright of Siva Audio.With lyrics by M.R. Vijaya and sung by Bombay Saradha. I have added the transliteration and translation myself for devotees to chant along.]