6 April 2009

Pathala Lingam Photographs

I have made previous posting referring to the famous Pathala Lingam at Arunachaleswarar Temple, the most recent of which can be found at this link here.

On a recent visit to Arunachaleswarar Temple with friends who were visiting Tiruvannamalai for the first time, took the below photographs of the Pathala Lingam itself.

The below is of the Pathala Lingam in the 1940s before its renovation. Its condition is similar to how it would have been during the time Sri Maharshi performed his tapas at the Lingam.

"The background of Sri Pathala lingam is connected to a mutt that belonged to the Thondaimandala Vellalas where the thousand pillared hall stands. The head of the mutt, Azhiavradam Poonda Tambiran lived here, worshipping the Sivalinga and spreading Saiva philosophy. The Sivalinga he worshipped was the samadhi of a jnani. When Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanaar wished to build the thousand pillared hall in the Temple, he purchased the mutt from the Vellalas and gave them lands to build another mutt. Inscriptions inside this hall describe this event. Not wishing to disturb the lingam, the construction workers raised the floor around it. The lingam then came to be at a lower level and was henceforth called Pathala Lingam. This shrine become the meditation place of Sri Ramana Maharsi soon after he came to Tiruvannamalai in 1896."

[Extract from “Arunachalam” by Shivani]

In the next photograph the Pathala Lingam is in the foreground and the background corner is where Ramana Maharshi sat in meditation.

“Eventually he moved into an underground cell in the courtyard of the first prakaram of the Thousand Pillared Mandapam of the Arunachaleswara Temple. The dark, sheltered spot was known as Pathala Lingam and it was here that became his place of meditation. Sitting in that dark, damp cell for hours at a stretch completely lost in samadhi, his body developed sores and worms crawled out of his raw flesh. Local urchins began to pelt him with stones. The intensity of the Swami’s tapasya started to receive attention and it was at this time that Sri Seshadri Swamigal entered Venkataraman’s life.” To read this short biography of Sri Ramana Maharshi click here.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

You must have the right friends, because I wasn't allowed to take photographs of the inside of the shrine. Maybe the person guarding the shrine that day was in a bad mood. Need to go back and check it out.