27 June 2006

Deepam at Arunachala

This year, the first night of the lighting of the Flame on top of Arunachala Hill, during Karthigai Deepam Festival, will be celebrated on December 3rd.

During Karthigai the image of Lord Arunachaleswara is taken out in procession morning and evening along with those of Lord Ganesha, Lord Subramanya, Goddess Unnamulai and Chandikeswara. Different vahanas (mounts for the images are used). Some of these mounts are unique features of Arunachaleswara Temple. There is the Kamadhenu-Kalpaka Vriksha (the wish fulfilling cow and wish yielding tree) and the Vrishaba (silver bull).

The processions pass in front of huge crowds of devotees lining four main streets and the finale is when the Deepam is lit on the top of Arunachala.

It is said the Deepam is lit at the precise moment when the moon rises and the setting sun is still visible on the horizon. These elements, sun, moon and fire, symbolise the three eyes of Lord Siva (who is known as Somasuryagni-lochana).

No comments: