5 May 2014

Vasantha Utsavam and the God of Love

Below is a very nice narrative of Vasantha Utsavam, the Festival celebrating the blossoming of love, describing some of the rituals and functions observed during the 10 days. I cannot vouch that Arunachaleswarar Temple observes the same schedule as below. To view the programme for the function go to my earlier post at this link here.

“Vasantha Utsavam is a ten day Festival depicting the blossoming of love. During this sacred event, Swami and Amman are gorgeously decorated with jewels. With the Temple Elephant fanning the Divine Couple with Shamara grass, they are taken with great ceremony in Mahapradakshina round the sacred Mahila Maram (trees) within the Third Prakaram – ten times every night for ten days = 100 times. 

On the third day of Vasantha Utsavam is the birth of Manmatha, also known as Kama the God of love (lust). Manmatha is depicted looking for Siva. 

At 9 p.m. on the fifth and eighth days the Temple lights are switched off so that the procession is in the dark. After going around the sacred Mahila Maram ten times the lights are switched back on to great rejoicing. 

Lord Shiva opens His third eye on the final days of the Festival and the burning of Manmatha takes place. 

During this sacred Festival the Jumbo Keswara Lingam, that is set in stone on the raised platform in the midst of the sacred trees is filled to capacity with water. Plants and flowers are placed to float inside the recess of the Lingam, appearing to make the Lingam levitate and blossom. 

Sri Appar Swami’s birthday takes place on Satyam Natchatram day. Sri Appar Swami is taken on a chariot round the Maha Veedi – Seventh Prakaram.” 

[The Light of Arunachaleswarar] 

God of Love shooting his arrow at Lord Shiva

The Story of Kama The God of Love 

“When Shakti became Parvati, daughter of the king of Himalayas, She was doing tapas for Lord Shiva. At the same time the great sages, the four sons of Brahma, Sanakar, Sanandanar, Santanar, Sanatkumarar came to Lord Shiva for enlightenment. The Lord gave them enlightenment in the form of Lord Dakshinamurti. Who are the cause as well as the energy for the whole world are into yoga, the whole world got more inclined to yoga and life sustenance was in trouble. 

Meanwhile the Devas, who were tortured by the Surapadma and his brothers Taraka, Simhamukha, knew that those demons can be killed only by the son of Lord Shiva and Shakti. Disappointed that both God and Goddess were doing yoga instead of marrying, they asked cupid to disturb the meditating Lord Shiva with his arrows in order to induce lust for Parvati. When desperation sets in, reasoning gets pushed down. Can the Supreme be induced with lust by anybody? The cupid refused since he knew that it would be fatal for him. But the other Devas threatened to curse him if he didn't obey. Saying that it is better to be killed by the God of gods than by the curses of Devas, he went with his wife, Rati, to the abode of Shiva where He was in meditation. 

The cupid shot the flower arrow on the Lord. The next moment the fire from the eye in the forehead of the Lord burnt the cupid. Undisturbed He continued His meditation. The cupid is of the reputation that his arrows never fail. But well, it can apply to others, can it be for the Almighty? His arrows were useless in front of the Lord and he too became just a heap of ash! 

Shocked by the death of cupid all the Devas realised their plots would not work out with God. They understood that only sincerity can get showers of His grace and any other pressure can have no affect upon the Lord. They surrendered themselves in front of the Lord and pleaded for mercy. The Lord forgave them and married Parvati and gave Subrahmanya for the destruction of the demons. On their request He also bring back to life Kama, however he would be visible only to his wife and not to others. Because of this reason Kamadeva is called ananga (one without limbs).” 

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