1 December 2007

Deepam Festival – Another Legend

Long ago, King Vajresan of Panchala who was childless, was blessed with a son after having darshan of the Arunachala Deepam in the month of Kartika. The son was named Shatrujith. The prince grew up to be lecherous man. He once eloped with the wife of a Vedic scholar and came to Tiruvannamalai and entered the Temple of Arunachaleswarar.

It was the day of the festival of the beacon. The paramour made a wick out of her sari and lit the lamp with castor oil. At that moment the Vedic scholar came there and in a fit of rage stabbed his wife and the prince. And in turn the prince killed him.

Since it was a gruesome murder committed in the sacred precincts of the Temple the three were about to be taken to hell by the messengers of Yama, lord of death. At that moment the messengers of Siva intervened and claimed the prince and the woman as their own and took them to the abode of Siva. Their blasphemous acts were condoned by Arunachala Himself because the wife made a wick and the prince helped her to light the lamp for the Supreme Lord.

But the Vedic scholar was puzzled, as he was held by the messengers of Yama. The prince, moved by the plight of the Vedic scholar, ordered the vessel used for lighting the Karthika lamp to release the scholar. Immediately the Vedic scholar was liberated. Thus all the three, despite their misdeeds, were taken to the abode of Siva, as the merit gained by the simple act of lighting a lamp on Kartika day in his Temple outweighed their devilish acts.

The Glory of Arunachala
[Skanda Upapuranam]

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