18 November 2010

Deepam Goddess

Deepam as celebrated at Arunachala, is traditionally connected with the Hill and Arunachaleswarar Temple, and the only other Arunachala Temple that ‘officially’ participates in the Deepam Festival Functions is the Durga Amman Koil..

Even though the flag hoisting at Arunachaleswarar Temple, which denotes the beginning of the Festival, took place this year on December 12th, the Festival, as always, was preceded by three days of functions dedicated to the Goddess Durga. Right click here, to see the full schedule of this year’s Festival.

The reason for this is believed to be because of the Goddess and the demon Mahisha:

read ‘The Fight with Mahishasura’:

In the Mahishasura legend, before fighting with the demon, the Goddess appointed four noble Bhairavis (celestial damsels) to keep watch on all four sides of Arunagiri. Ordering, that:

"Admit only those who have come to worship Arunachala and are tired, hungry and thirsty. Others should not enter. She then appointed strong men to guard the boundaries of Arunachala and continued Her penace at Her ashram."
[The Glory of Arunachala]

In accordance with the mythology of Arunachala, Durga is recognised as a Guardian of Arunachala and thus a precursor of the Deepam Festival is always a celebration of this aspect of the Goddess.

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