26 September 2011

Tripurasundari and Navaratri

To learn more about tree species in this area, visit my recent posting on my Arunachala Land Blog at this link here. One of the trees I mention in that posting is the Kadamba.

There are many legends and mythology concerning the Kadamba Tree. Probably best known in these parts are the legends associated with Lord Murugan and the deity Kadambariyamman.

During the Sangam Period in Tamil Nadu, Lord Murugan in the form of a spear under a Kadamba Tree at Tirupparankundram Hill of Madurai was referred to as a centre of nature worship.

In another mystical story, the Kadamba tree is also associated with a deity called Kadambariyamman. The Kadamba tree, which is considered the ‘sthalavruksham’ (Tree of the place) of the city that is otherwise known as ‘Kadambavanam’ (Kadamba forest).

The Kadamba tree is is said to put forth orange, fragrant buds at the roaring of thunder clouds. A withered relic of the Kadamba tree is believed to be preserved in the precincts of the Madurai Sri Meenakshi Temple. The name also means multitude. In that sense, the Kadamba forest stands for the Universe that the Devi permeates completely i.e. like a cloud that quenches the thirst for knowledge of the sages.

The Festival of Navaratri, dedicated to the Divine Mother starts on September 28th, 2011. Arunachaleswarar Temple will celebrate this Festival in evening functions at the site of the Old Marriage Mandapam near the Shiva Sannidhi. Ramana Ashram also has delightful puja functions throughout the Festival.

There are several very beautiful Temples in Tiruvannamalai dedicated to the Divine Mother, one of which, Rajarajeshwari Temple also known as Tripurasundari, is a wonderful Temple to visit, especially during Poornima, Deepam and special functions as Navaratri and Deepavali. What makes the Rajarajeshwari Temple so appropriate during Navaratri, is the presence of its exquisite and most powerful Sri Meru Chakra.

Goddess Rajarajeshwari

“Dear One, Tripura is the ultimate, primordial Shakti, the light of manifestation. She, the pile of letters of the alphabet, gave birth to the three worlds. At dissolution, She is the abode of all tattvas, still remaining Herself”

Sri Meru Chakra

Embedded below is the wonderful Sri Tripurasundari Stotram sung by the Sulamangalam Sisters, which extols the glory and attributes of the Goddess inhabiting the Kadamba Forest. The name Goddess Tripurasundari attests that the Goddess is consort to Lord Shiva who is called Tripura because he contains within himself all three forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

English Translation to Strotram:

Seek I shelter in Tripurasundari, materfamilias of the three-eyed one. Who is roaming in the Kadamba Forest, a bank of clouds to the galaxy of sages. Whose hip excels the mountain; who is served by damsels celestial, whose eyes rival new blown lotus. And swarthy like the nimbus newly-formed.

Seek I shelter in Tripurasundari, materfamilias of the three-eyed one. Who is inhabiting the forest Kadamba, Holding a Vina golden, wearing a necklace of gems priceless. A face deeply aglow of ambrosia. Through mercy bestowing prosperity, clear-eyed, the wandering one.

Arrayed we be in panoply by her Kadamba forest abode. By the garland gracing her massive bosom. By her bosom rivalling mounts. By the splendid flow of her surpassing grace. By her cheeks ruddied by wine. By her melodious musical voice. By her cloud-like blue. By her instructable play!

Seek I shelter in Tripurasundari, materfamilias of the three-eyed one. Who is in the midst of Kadamba forest; seated on the golden disc. Who resides in lotuses six. A lightning to the constant Siddhas, splendorously mocking scarlet Hibiscus with cloudless moon for her crest jewel.

Seek I shelter in Sage Matanga’s daughter. Mellifluously conversing. Vina gracing the bosom. Adorned with curly tresses. Residing in lotus. Scorning the evil-minded. Reddish-eyed from nectar. Captivating Cupid’s enemy.

Seek I shelter in Tripurasundari, materfamilias of the three-eyed one. Who bears the first flower of Manmatha. Clad in garments blue, spotted sanguine. Holding a liquor bowl. With eyes inebriated, languishing at the ends. Close-set bosom heavy and high. The swarthy one with locks dishevelled.

In japa I remember the Mother. Smeared with vermillion. Forelocks grazing the dot of musk. Looks soft and smiling. Bearing arrows, blow, snared and goad. Deluding all people. In red garland, jewels and apparel.

I salute the Mother of the World entire. Who has the celestial queen for plaiting tresses. Brahma’s consort skilful for anointing sandalpaste. Vishnu’s spouse for adorning with lustrous gems. And heavenly damsels for servant maids.

Tripurasundari Stotram

Kadambha vana charineen, muni kadambha kadambhineem,
Nidhambha jitha bhoodaram sura nithambhini sevitham,
Navamburuha lochanam abhinavambhudha shyamalam,
Trilochana kudumbhineem tripurasundarim asraye.

Kadambha vana vasineem kanaka vallaki dharineem,
Maharhamani harineem mukha samullasa dwarineem,
Daya vibhava karineem, visadha lochineem charineem,
Trilochana kudumbhineem tripurasundarim asraye.

Kadambha vanashalaya kuchbarollasanmalaya,
Kuchopamithashailaya gurukrupalasad velaya,
Madarunakapolaya madhura geetha vachalaya,
Kayapi gana leelaya kavachiha vayam leelaya

Kadambha vana madhykam kanaka mandala lopa sthithaam,
Shadambhuruha vasineem sathath sidha sowdamineem,
Vidambhitha japa ruchim vikhacha chandra choodamanim,
Trilochana kudumbhineem tripurasundarim asraye.

Kuchancithabanjikaam kutila kunthalalangrutham,
Kusheshaya nivasineem kutila chitha vidwesineem,
Madaaruna vilochanaam manasi jari sammohineem,
Madhnga muni kanyakaam, madhurabhashineen ashraye.

Smareth prathama puspineem, rudhira bindu neelabaram,
Graheetha madhu pathrikaam madhu vigurna nethranchalam,
Gana sthans baronnatham galitha soolikaam shyamalam,
Trilochana kudumbhineem tripurasundarim asraye.

Sakumkuma vilepanaam alaka kampikasthurikaam,
Samanthahasitheshanaam sachara chapa pasangusam,
Asesha jana mohineem aruna malya bhooshambaram,
Japa kusuma basuraam japa vidhow smarathembikam.

Purandara purandrikaam chikura bandha sairandhrikam,
Pithamaha pathivrutham, patu pateera charcharathaam,
Mukunda ramani manim lasadalangriya kaarineem,
Bajami bhuvanambikam, sura vadhootika chetikam.


Anna said...

Lovely video. Just lovely.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. You are so blessed to be doing what you do and live where you do.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

What you say is true. I do indeed know myself to be blessed to be here at Arunachala. Every day I say thank you to the Divine.