25 September 2008

Arunachala Sunset

I took my camera on our regular evening walk in order to take photographs of the extensive sand quarrying currently underway at Samudram. Hope to post those photos in upcoming days, but in the meantime here are some nice photos of my doggies' evening paddle during a typical Arunachala sunset.

In the below all six of them are getting their feet wet - with little Muffin (the black doggie) just about to take the plunge. All the dogs are excellent swimmers but sometimes they just like to enjoy a nice standing soak.

The next photo is of the triplet boys: Caspa, Walle and Oscar who have been with me since birth, enjoying quiet time with Victor (the German Shepherd) the latest addition to our canine family and who came to us about six months ago. He came as an abused animal from the Animal Shelter and at that time had never known much about the 'good' things in life - but now he is the most enthusiastic walker and swimmer of the group - good job Victor!

Here is the view of Arunachala from where the doggies are swimming. This aspect is almost direct South of the Hill and is one of its most famous views.

Its getting late and the sun is setting.

Just one more pretty evening at Arunachala.

And in close up (the hill in this photo is NOT Arunachala).

In the definitive scriptural work, The Skanda Purana, there are several stories of Surya, the Sun in association with Arunachala, the primary ones being:

Sun God at Arunachala
"On the advice of Brahma, Bhaskara (i.e. the Sun-God) who is a mass of refulgence but who was harassed by Asuras, devoutly worshipped the Lord of Arunachala.

After plunging into the sanctifying pure Tirtha created by Brahma, he circumbulated Arunachala, the Lord himself.

After gaining victory over all the Daityas and (the privilege of) circumambulating Meru, he gained supreme refulgence that destroys the brilliance of enemies."
[Page 34, Verses 32-34]

"Aditya whose shape was formed by Tvastr blazed with brilliance. The Lord of Planets attempted to cross Sonadri. The horses of his chariot lost their power and became tired. Due to the refulgence of Sonadri he became devoid of glory. Even with all the attempted motion of the possessor of cluster of rays (i.e. Sun), he became unable to go to the heaven. On the advice of Brahma he propitiated Arunachala. When the Lord was pleased, he obtained the path of the sky and splendid horses.

Ever since then the Sun never crosses the mountain named Sona but goes circumambulating him."
[Page 35, Verses 45-49a]

Sun God's Charioteer
"When he obstructed the flow of water at the time of the gift of the earth by Bali (to Vamana), Bhargava (i.e. Sukra) lost his eye on being prickled with the top of the Darbha grass held in his hand by Vishnu (i.e. Vamana). He went to Sonacala and performed a very difficult penance. With his soul purified, he regained his eye.

He (i.e. Aruna, Garuda's brother) was stationed on the mountain named Bhaskara. By serving the Lord of Arunachala, he became the charioteer of the Sun-God."
[Page 35, Verses 51b-53]

Circumbulation of Arunachala
"One who circumambulates on Sunday becomes liberated. Piercing through the solar disc, he shall go to Siva's city."
[Page 59, 57b-64a]

"One shall attain innumerable benefits by circumambulating Sonagiri on equinoctical days, days on which the Sun takes another transit, the transit from one Zodiac to another, on Vyatipata days and other Parvan days."
[Page 186, Verse 51]

Holy Rites for Special Attainments
"If anyone worships the Lord of Sonadri on a Sunday with red lotuses, he will surely acquire great imperial magnificence."
[Page 120, Verse 1]

"During the Solar and Lunar eclipses a devotee should piously bathe the Lord with Pancantra repeating the five-syllable Mantra of Sonanatha. During the two Ayanas (i.e. transits of the Sun) the deity should be bathed with Pancagavya. The rite of bathing with Gavya shall be performed along with the recitation of the six-syllabled Mantra.

During the two equinoxes the bathing rite of the Lord of Arunachala should be devoutly performed with milk repeating Pranava (Om)."
[Page 123, Verses 32-34]


Anonymous said...

Your dogs are beautiful and the fittest I've seen in India.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Thanks. I try to keep them perky and happy - as for the fittest - well its all those great walks they insist on - keeps me healthy too!

Rajeev said...

Very nice photos ofthe sunset,Meenakshi.The colors are nicely captured.


Eileen said...

Such a gorgeous sunset with healthy, happy kids! I wish I could come with you guys for your healthy walks in the great Indian outdoors.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Eileen, my doggies (i.e. kiddies) and I are waiting for the day you come to Tiruvannamalai and join us on one of our walks!