5 August 2006


The direction of circumambulation depends on religion: Tibetan Buddhists go clock-wise while followers of Bon-Po religion go counter-clockwise. The same holds true of encircling a stupa (Buddhist hemispheric building), a chorten or setting in motion the revolving wheels, symbol of rotation and setting in motion the forces of the universal and moral law. Direction thus seems to hold an important role in many religions and this is reflected in pilgrimages. In Tibetan Buddhism as in Yogic traditions the clock wise motion is the direction of evolution.

It is enjoined by the Puranas and Saints that giripradakshina of Arunachala should ALWAYS be performed in a clockwise direction. Sadhakas are also advised to only walk on the left hand side of the road, leaving the right hand side free for the movement of departed spirits and ghosts.

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