11 January 2012

Arudra Darshan

Arudra Darshan, also known as Thiruvathira festival, is another occasion celebrated in a grand manner on Arudra star day at Arunachaleswarar Temple during the Tamil month of Margazhi. The month of Margazhi is also known as the ‘Twilight’ in Heaven (the time that the sun is in Sagittarius), and is considered the most appropriate time in which the Gods can rest and rejuvenate. This year Arudra Darshan fell on January 8th.

It is during this auspicious period that Lord Shiva’s birthday is celebrated. The day has been given this importance as Arudra Darshan is believed to be the period in which Lord Shiva’s energy is closest to earth.

Lord Shiva is worshipped in the cosmic dance form as Lord Nataraja, and the full moon night of Margazhi is also the longest night of the year. After this date, days get longer and nights get shorter. Lord Nataraja is the presiding deity of the famed Saivaite Temple at Chidambaram, one of the famed five Pancha Bootha Sthalams, and which represents akasha (ether).

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. And it elaborately acted out and represented in most major Saivite Temples.

Dancing with Shiva

The world is seen as it truly is – sacred -- when we behold Siva's cosmic dance. Everything in the universe, all that we see, hear and imagine, is movement. Galaxies soar in movement; atoms swirl in movement. All movement is Siva's dance. When we fight this movement and think it should be other than it is, we are reluctantly dancing with Siva. We are stubbornly resisting, holding ourselves apart, criticizing the natural processes and movements around us.

It is by understanding the eternal truths that we bring all areas of our mind into the knowledge of how to accept what is and not wish it to be otherwise. Once this happens, we begin to consciously dance with Siva, to move with the sacred flow that surrounds us, to accept praise and blame, joy and sorrow, prosperity and adversity in equanimity, the fruit of understanding. We are then gracefully, in unrestrained surrender, dancing with Siva. The Vedas state, "The cosmic soul is truly the whole universe, the immortal source of all creation, all action, all meditation. Whoever discovers Him, hidden deep within, cuts through the bonds of ignorance even during his life on earth."

[By Satguru Sivaya Subrmauniyaswami]


Anonymous said...

So beautifully explained. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me the dates of this festival in December 2014?