16 July 2006

Temple Origins

To resolve a dispute between Brahma and Vishnu, Sri Siva created a limitless Pillar of Light and challenged the Gods to find the Columns top and bottom. Brahma and Vishnu both failed in their tasks and subsequently prayed to the Lord that the blazing Pillar should establish itself as a Hill, and that Sri Siva should take the form of a Lingam on the east of the Hill. They also entreated that, as a remembrance of the Fiery Column, a Jyothi should appear every year on the top of the Hill during the time of Karthigai (i.e. period of Deepam).

Brahma's and Vishnu's prayers were granted and the blazing Pillar of Light became a Hill and a Lingam soon appeared at its foot on the south east side. For the purpose of worshipping that Lingam, which is no different to the Mountain, the Gods caused a great Temple to be built around it. A sacred tank was dug and filled with a mixture of all other Tirthas (sacred watering places) to provide water for the ablution of the Lord as Lingam. And nearby, for the abode of those striving for spiritual achievements, a great city Aruna (previous name for Tiruvannamalai) was built.

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