20 August 2007

Hill Round

Whenever Sri Nannagaru visits Arunachala he will take the opportunity of going around the Hill and stopping at a few of his favoured shrines and holy places. Many of Sri Nannagaru's devotees follow him on his girivalam, thereby making the hill round a festive occasion.

The first stop of this Sri Nannagaru hillround is a Ganesha Shrine. In the below photograph devotees of Swamiji are crowding around (thereby hiding him from view) at the front of the Ganesha shrine.

Sri Nannagaru at the Ganesha Shrine

Even though Sri Nannagaru performs his hillround as a private affair, he is also courteous and friendly with many of the people following him on his girivalam. Sometimes Swamiji will take the time to stop and bless various followers.

Another favourite Swamiji stop over is Ramana's Bridge (passed Adi Annamalai Village) which is an area reputed to have been greatly favoured by Sri Ramana Maharshi when he used to perform pradakshina around Arunachala. (Sadly due to road modernization, the actual bridge where Ramana used to sit, has now disappeared).

The view of Arunachala from Ramana's bridge.

Sri Nannagaru actually performs his hillround by car. A whole convey of autorickshaws, trucks, vans and two wheelers, hotly pursue the lead car of Sri Nannagaru, vying with one another to get first in line after Swamiji's car.

Sri Nannagaru leaving Ramana Bridge and heading for Kubera Lingam.

The below photograph is particularly interesting because in it, one can see the new pavement meant for pilgrims performing pradakshina. Sadly many people believe that the material used on the pavement is not suitable because it actually makes barefoot walking quite painful. Whoops!

At the Kubera Lingam, a sannyasin sits quietly at the gateway of the Shrine.

It is Sri Nannagaru's practice to stop at Kubera Lingam and enjoy silent sitting for up to an hour. Some of his devotees, aware of this preference, go straight to Kubera Lingam for a good seat and await the arrival of Swamiji. He often gives a discourse or a spiritual talk while at this Lingam stopover.

This particular day Swami did not give a discourse and his devotees were able to enjoy a period of quite sitting at one of the famous asta lingams of Arunachala.

Performing hillround with Sri Nannagaru is a great experience and if you have the opportunity, definitely take it. Its certainly a unique and blessed way to perform Arunachala girivalam.

On August 15th, Sri Nannagaru left Arunachala for his native place Jinnuru, Andhra Pradesh. He will be returning to Arunachala around November 20th, in time for Bharani Deepam which takes place on November 24th. Swamiji is expected to remain at Arunachala at that time for up to 10 days.

For more information about this realised Master, please visit his website here.


divyakka said...

Thanks for the pics, it was as if we went on the round with Nannagaru too! You must have had a front row seat to get the great up-close pictures! ;-)

Arunachala Living said...

Well you know Divyakka I have been with Swamiji for many years - you get to know the ropes and how to get that front row seat too!