7 January 2010

Shiva at Suruttapalli

2010 is the year numerologically ruled by the number 3 (2+0+1+0). Three is the number ruled by the planet Jupiter (called Guru in Sanskrit).

The most powerful deity for 2010 is Dakshinamurti, who is a form of Shiva that is Guru or Jupiter. (Dakshinamurti is often depicted as teaching in silence, transmitting higher knowledge effortlessly to four ancient sages who were receptive to silent darshan.) To read more about Dakshinamurti and his particular relevance to Arunachala check out these previous links here and here:

At Suruttapalli (located in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh), there is a unique Temple. It is at this place that Lord Shiva is depicted drinking the poison (karma) of the world with Goddess Parvati holding his head in her lap so that the poison does not spill back out into the world. It is thought that by going there and in particular by performing puja there, that bad effects of karma may be averted.

Because at Suruttapalli Lord Dakshinamurti (Jupiter) can be found in the rare form in which his Shakti is present, it is believed that this symbolises that the Goddess is present to take hold of the pain and suffering of devotees and expiate their bad karma.

[For in-depth information and photographs of Suruttapalli please this website here]

History of Suruttapalli

According to Sthalapurana (history of the place), it is said that Asuras (demons) and Devas (Gods) decided to consume the nectar from Kseerabthi (the milk ocean) in order to live longer. Hence, they churned the ocean with the help of Vasuki (the celestial snake) and the hill Mandhara, with Gods on one side and demons on the other. Unable to tolerate the pressure, Vasuki spilled out the poison from his mouth. The Gods and demons then approached Lord Shiva to save them from the harm of poison. Lord Shiva transformed himself into Vishabhakarana Murthi and consumed the poison.

The situation was such that if Lord swallowed the poison, living creatures on the earth would die and if he did not swallow the poison, the Gods and Demons would be killed. He then started feeling a little giddy. Fearing this, his consort, Goddess Parvati placed Lord’s head in Her lap and gently pressed His neck and the poison remained thus in His throat without affecting His body.

Hence Lord Shiva got the name as ‘Neelakantha’ (‘Neela’- blue with poison and ‘Kantha’- throat) because of the accumulation of the poison in his throat and Goddess Parvati was called as ‘Amudhambigai’. On their way to Kailasa (Lord Shiva’s abode), Lord Siva feeling dizzy, rested on the lap of His wife for a while in the place where the village stands today. Hence the village got its name as 'Suruttapalli', Surutta meaning ‘Little dizzy’ and Palli meaning ‘Resting’.
[To read more about the Lord at Suruttapalli continue to this site here]

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