30 September 2014

Sing to the Mountain

This video entitled, "Sing to the Mountain" makes me recall a famous saying of an Aboriginal elder at Uluru about the green ant ceremony. I am trying to find an audio of at least part of the actual green ant ceremony (which is referred to in this post). 

An observer of the green ant ceremony at Uluru writes: 

"The metallic humming of dijeridoos and the click-clack clapping of clap-sticks infuse the air with the trance of the aboriginal dream-time. Everyone here is busy learning their place. The whites are learning the ways of the aborigine. The aboriginals are learning the law of the mountain. The mountain is absorbing the interstellar beam of galactic information now arriving direct from the galaxy’s core at twenty-seven degrees Sagittarius." 

"This is the working of the ceremony to save the green ants, the aboriginal people and the dreamtime that holds the world together. The white people are too young to know this and too old to understand. Yet, you must listen to these words now and hear with your hearts, the singing of the mountain. 

The mountain sings. It sings like it has never sung before; it is singing now for you, for us, for every living creature on this beautiful Earth. The mountain sings its first and last song. The music comes from far, far away yet; it is inside you, inside the mountain, inside the trees, inside the rising sun, inside the stars, inside the little pebbles in the river, inside the kangaroo, inside the green ants, inside your mother, inside your father; the song is singing by itself inside every living thing. Now, the mountain sings to keep the world alive. When you hear the song inside your hearts, sing back to the mountain. Sing back to the mountain ... sing back to the mountain." 

[Invocation of a Chief Uluru Aboriginal Elder] 

2014 Navratri at Ramana Ashram

Every year Ramana Ashram celebrates the Navratri Festival with its beautiful types of alangarams of the Goddess. The photographs on this posting are of Sesha Sayanam on the sixth day of the Navratri Festival as celebrated at Ramana Ashram. A video of the puja was posted at this link here.

Devotees watching the puja inside the Shrine at Ramana Ashram

Each evening between 6.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. (IST) a live webcast of the Navaratri Celebrations as observed at Ramana Ashram are being posted at this link here. Such live video coverage of the Festival will continue until Vijayadasami on October 3rd, 2014.

Young boys studying at the Ashram Veda Patasala

To view earlier photographs of the Festival as celebrated at Ramana Ashram, you can visit their official website at this link here.

Sesha Sayanam, 6th Day of Navratri Festival

29 September 2014

Reunion Beat X Band, IIT Madras

Most of those who regularly visit Tiruvannamalai and Ramana Nagar will probably have met J Jayaraman, the Librarian of the Ramana Ashram Library who is in addition to other things, also a writer, editor, musician and authority on many spiritual topics. 

Ramana Ashram Library

J Jayaraman who plays a number of musical instruments has participated in several musical evenings here at Tiruvannamalai at such venues as Ramana Ashram and Arunai Anantha Hotel. 

On September 21, 2014, the Reunion Beat X Band (of which he is a member) starred as the main attraction at the “Mardi Gras 2014” function at the Open Air Theatre, IIT Madras. To find out more about the history of the Reunion Beat X Band, go to this link here

J Jayaraman

Below is a You Tube video of one of the songs played in the evening, entitled A Taste of Honey (a Herb Alpert version). 

J Jayaraman is on the drums at the back right of the video. 

Alangarams Shakti Temples 2014 Navratri

Each year Navratri commences on the first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvin. The Navratri festival or 'nine day festival' becomes a 'ten days festival' with the addition of the last day, Vijaya-dasami (day of victory) as its culmination. The 2014 Navratri started on Wednesday, September 24th and will complete on Friday, October 3rd, 2014. To view the schedule of this 2014 Festival at Arunachaleswarar Temple please go to this link here

The origin of Navratri came about when Adi Shankaracharya gave upadesa at two primary locations during the installation of a Sri Chakra at Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh) and at Koolurmugambika (Karnataka). At the time of the installations he directed women folk to worship the Goddess and seek her blessings for wealth, prosperity and long life for their husbands and overall happiness in the family. 

This Festival is celebrated in a wide variety of ways, depending on region, local history and family influences. Some see it as a way to commune with one’s own feminine divinity. A widespread practice honours the Goddess in every woman by inviting young girls to the family's home, feeding them and offering new clothes. During the Festival, women also perform tapas and selfless acts. 

Families in Tamil Nadu traditionally prepare in their homes a kolu, an exhibition of small dolls, figurines and small artifacts on a stepped, decorated shelf. At least one murti of Shakti must be present, as well as wooden figurines of a boy and a girl together to invoke auspicious marriages. To view the 2014 Navaratri Kolu Display at Yogi Ramsuratkumar please visit an earlier posting at this link here

In South India the Goddess is worshipped in three forms. During the first three nights, Durga is revered, then Lakshmi on the fourth, fifth and sixth nights, and finally Saraswati until the ninth night. Durga ("invincible" in Sanskrit) is the epitome of strength, courage and ferocity. Her devotees approach Her, sometimes with difficult penances, for those qualities and for the protection she Bestows. 

A more gentle worship is observed for Lakshmi also called Annapurna "Giver of food," Lakshmi is the Goddess of abundance, wealth and comfort. She is the ever-giving mother, worshipped for well being and prosperity. A traditional way of invoking Her is chanting the Sri Suktam. In Her honour, food is prepared and offered to neighbours and all who visit, thus strengthening community ties. On the full moon night following Navratri, it is believed Lakshmi Herself visits each home and replenishes family wealth. 

The last three days of Navratri, exalt Saraswati, the form of Shakti personifying wisdom, arts and beauty. Her name literally means "flowing one", a reference to thoughts, words, music and the Saraswati River. Mystically Saraswati is believed to be the keeper of the powerful Gayatri Mantra, which is chanted during the festival to invoke Her supreme blessings. Devotees meditate for days on this mantra alone, as it is considered the door to divine wisdom. 

Tiruvannamalai has many beautiful Temples dedicated to the Divine Mother and the photographs of this posting are of alangarams of the Shakti Goddess from the 2nd and 3rd days of Navratri of: Unnamulai at Arunachaleswarar Temple, Durga Amman Temple, Thavasu Adi Kamakshi Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple. 

Goddess at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Goddess on Kamadhenu at Durga Amman Temple

Thavasu Adi Kamakshi Temple

Goddess at Kamakshi Amman Temple

27 September 2014

2014 Navaratri Kolu Display at Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram

I made a very nice posting during the 2013 Navaratri Function of the significance of Kolu (Tamil=Golu: means “Divine Presence”) displays during the Navaratri Festival, see this link here. In this respect at that time, I visited the house of a Priest family of the Arunachaleswarar Temple to view their Kolu display and it was those photographs that I posted in the above link. 

This year I am posting photographs of the very elaborate, beautiful Kolu display at the ashram of Yogi Ramsuratkumar. If you are hereabouts, do visit the Kolu display, its really quite lovely. So much time and attention has been spent in creating beautiful displays of legends and leelas of Gods and Goddesses. 

Kolu figurines can be simple or very complicated and based upon Gods and Saints, depictions of the Epics and Puranas (i.e. Mahabharata, Ramayana, Krishna Leelas etc.), Demigods and National leaders, marriage occasions, musical instruments, shops, current affairs and scenes from everyday life; such as shops, bus stop, cars, street scenes etc. 

Historically Kolu had a significant connection with the agricultural economy of Ancient India. In order to encourage de-silting of irrigation canals the Kolu celebration was aimed at providing demand for clay that was needed for the celebratory dolls. It is believed that the tradition of Kolu has been in existence from the reign of the Vijayanagara kings. 

There are several sections at the Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram within the Kolu displays depicting the abodes, live and legends of various Gods and Goddesses. 

One section is of Lord Shiva and has beautiful models with figurines of our own Arunachala, the Amaranath snow lingam and dancing Lord Shiva at Kailash. 

Arunachala Hill with beautiful details

Amaranath Snow Lingam

Mount Kailash and Dancing Shiva

Another section is of the Ramayana with models depicting various parts of the legend. 

Section on the Ramayana

Section shows some of the tales and stories of Rama and Sita

There is a very special section dedicated to the 6 abodes of Lord Murugan. 

Those six abodes are: 

Thirupparamkunram: Located on the outskirts of Madurai on a hillock where Kartikeya married Indra's daughter Deivanai. 

Tiruchendur: Located on the sea-shore near Tuticorin. The Temple commemorates the place where Murugan worshiped Lord Siva and won a decisive victory over demon Soorapadman. 

Palani: Located south east of Coimbatore, the Temple is build on a hill top where Murugan resided after his feud with his family over a divine fruit. 

Swamimalai: Located at 5 km from Kumbakonam, the Temple is built on an artificial hill and . commemorates the incident where Lord Murugan explained the essence of "Om" to his father Lord Siva. 

Thiruthani: Located near Chennai, Murugan reclaimed his inner peace after waging a war with Asuras and married Valli here. 

Pazhamudircholai: Located on the outskirts of Madurai on a hillock with a holy stream nearby called "Nupura Gangai". 

Section dedicated to Lord Murugan

The person assigned to the Lord Krishna section has done an amazing work in depicting various leelas from the legends surrounding Lord Krishna. 

Section full of Krishna leelas and legends

With two nice butter BalaKrishnas

Another section is of the Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram. 

Beautiful wooden model of the Ashram Hall

Yogi Samisthan

Road back of Yogi Samisthan
First night of Kolu Display

All these photographs were taken on the first night of the 2014 Navaratri Kolu Display at Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram. Each year this ashram surpasses itself with its beautiful displays. Truly a work of love dedicated to their guru. 


Traditionally in the evening of the conclusion of Navaratri i.e. Vijayadasami (the day of Victory) the dolls from the ‘Kolu’ are symbolically put to sleep by laying them horizontally and Kalash (a small pot made up of silver or brass containing rice, sticks of turmeric, toor dal and a rupee coin—with coconut and mango leaves at the mouth of the pot) is moved towards the direction of the North to mark the end of that year’s Kolu Festival. 

24 September 2014

September 21, 2014 Temple Pradosham

Below are two very nice photographs of the recently celebrated Pradosham at Arunachaleswarar Temple on Sunday, September 21, 2014. 

2014 Navratri Function at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai Invitation 
The 2014 Navratri Festival

The Festival will be conducted from Wednesday, 24 September, 2014 to Friday, 3 October, 2014. All days will be celebrated in the Tirukalyana Mandapam at the Arunachaleswarar Temple each evening. 

Official Temple Programme

24 September 2014 The Goddess Parashakti moves from the Artha Mandapam to the Tirukalyana Mandapam. 

25 September 2014 Rajarajeshwari Alankaram 

26 September 2014 Gajalakshmi Alankaram 

27 September 2014 Manomani Alankaram 

28 September 2014 Rishba (bull) Alankaram and Panchamurti special abhishekam 

29 September 2014 Andal Alankaram 

30 September 2014 Saraswati Alankaram 

1 October 2014 Lingapuja Alankaram 

2 October 2014 
(i) Mahishamardini and 
(ii) Unnamulai Amman Sandana Alankaram (moolasthana of Amman in Shakti Shrine covered with sandalpaste) 

3 October 2014 Vijayadasami 
(i) morning, Parashakti special abhishekam with panchamurti and 
(ii) morning, Panchamurti Abhishekam at Moolasthana of Amman in Shakti Shrine 

11 September 2014

Relocation of Swami Nityananda primary Ashram

I have not been posting information on Swami Nityananda over the last several years. However due to recent news which will make a difference to some people in the Tiruvannamalai area, am posting the following information which appeared in local newspapers this week: 

"Swami Nityananda announced here on Tuesday (September 9, 2014) that he's moving out of his 20-acre ashram in Bidadi, on the outskirts of Bangalore and settling down in his Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, facility about 204 km away from here. 

On Tuesday morning, Nityananda told his devotees that not just him, the entire team of Nityananda Dhyanapeetham will shift to Tiruvannamalai. 

Nityananda said he would finish his current commitments in a few days, as it would require a few days to make preparations for setting up residence at Tiruvannamalai. "It is not just me who will be moving but the entire team, including accounts, publications, IT and others. The whole team will operate from Tiruvannamalai," he said. 

"Whenever legally required I will come back to Bangalore to attend proceedings. I also wanted to rest after all that has happened and I think Tiruvannamalai is the best place for that. But I will continue to do all the spiritual activities from there," he said." 

7 September 2014

Development of Arunachala Samudra Website

Thanks to the generous support of a sponsor of Arunachala Samudra, I was able to recently arrange the upload of the beautiful divination programme Arunachala Oracle. The programme is based on the same premise as the Leaf of Impartiality (utilised in India for many hundreds of years) and is a system with which one tries to access the will of Divine Providence. 

Currently I am busy researching material in respect of new uploads in the following sections of the Arunachala Samudra website: 

Arunachaleswarar Temple 
Spirit Centre 
Sacred Power 

Depending on financing, I will also introduce new visuals and graphics in the Temple and Girivalam section. Whilst enlargement and improvements continue on Arunachala Samudra, I am also working with my webmaster to make this definitive Arunachala website available in (to begin with) Telegu. 

For more information about how to sponsor the continuing development of Arunachala Samudra, please get in touch with me by email, my contact is at the top left column of this page. 

Postings on my Arunachala Blogs August 4, 2014 to September 5, 2014

Below are links and short extracts of postings on my various Arunachala Blogs from Monday, August 4, 2014 to Friday, September 5, 2014:- 

Arunachala Grace 

An Ordinary Day in a Temple Town: Video of an ordinary day at Arunachala. Many scenes from the Arunachaleswarar Temple and sadhus in the area.

2014 Ganesha Chaturthi Arunachala, Photographs: Photographs of Ganesha Chaturthi as celebrated at Arunachala.

Greenland Ashram -- Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Celebrations of Festival at Greenland Ashram. Information about progress in the development of this Ashram. Photographs.

Sri Nannagaru at Arunachala: Narrative and photographs of the August-September visit made to Arunachala by Sri Nannagaru.

Ramana Ashram Radio Channel: Information and link of new radio channel service being offered by Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai.

Dialogue on Puja Flowers: Function and importance of the part of flowers in worship.

August 2014 Supermoon at Arunachala: Explanation of the extra large moon in August. Photographs of girivalam devotees.

Pradosham at Arunachaleswarar Temple, August 8, 2014: Photographs of the August 8, 2014 Pradosham at the Big Temple, Tiruvannamalai.

Sri Nannagaru on a previous Arunachala visit: Narrative and video of a previous visit to Arunachala by Sri Nannagaru.

Greenland Ashram Update August 2014: Photographs and information about progress of development of new Arunachala countryside ashram.

NH66 Petition for Road Completion: Information about an online petition to speed up construction of the NH66 Krishnagiri-Tiruvannamalai Higway.

Walk on Samudram Lake with Bhagavan: Narrative about a Samudra walk made by Ramana Maharshi with some devotees

Arunachala Birds 

The Stately Peacock: Symbolism and legends of the peacock. Photographs, video and links.

Arunachala Land 

Zoning regulations for Tiruvannamalai apartments: Short explanation of the regulations governing apartments in this area. Photographs of new apartment building.

Arunachala Mystic 

Linga Bhairavi -- Feminised Male Aspect of the Divine: Photographs of this unusual statue. Information about its esoteric significance.

Video of Swamis and Sadhus, Arunachala: Beautiful video dedicated to the many sadhus, saints and undoubtedly also secret saints, here at Arunachala.

Life of Shirdi Sai Baba: Short narrative on the life of Shirdi Sai Baba and photograph of his statue at a Temple dedicated to this saint off the Arunachala girivalam roadway.

Swami Vellaiyananda--Life and Tales: Biography of a now deceased famous Swami of Tiruvannamalai. Photographs.

Arunachala the Greatest Monolith: Dedication to Arthur C. Clarke. Discussion about the monolith in the famous “2001: A Space Odyssey” and explanation of monoliths. Photographs. 

Goddess Mariamman and Kasi Swami, Temple Founder: Village patriarch at his small Shakti Shrine. Photographs.

Moola Mantra: Explanation of the Moola Mantra. Sanskrit and English translation. Video.

5 September 2014

An Ordinary Day in a Temple Town

The below video was shot in 2003, but is very topical, and everything looks much the same now as it does in the film. Below the film I have listed various activities and the time they appear on the video. Its a well shot film and gives an accurate idea of an ordinary day at this Temple town. 

0.00 Sadhus chanting at Ganeshan Temple, Pallakottu Tank with scenes off the girivalam roadway 

2.35 Sadhus bathing in Tank, sadhus 

3.40 Sadhus feeding Ramana Ashram 

3.45 to 5.10 Ceremony Arunachaleswarar Temple 

5.50 Creating Deepams Mahashivaratri, Arunachaleswarar Temple 

7.25 Rukku Temple Elephant 

7.45 Puja at Ramana Maharshi’s Samadhi, and Mother’s Shrine Ramana Ashram 

9.27 Big Temple 

9.30 Ladies, street scenes 

10.05 Hanuman actor performing on streets 

10.40 Bullock cart and street scenes