31 July 2014

2014 Fire Walking at Arunachala

A large number of devotees turned up for the Firewalking Ceremony which occurred in culmination of Adi Pooram betwixt the days of Wednesday and Thursday (July 30 and July 31, 2014). The walk itself was undertaken by devotees of the Divine Mother who had observed special procedures over the previous 30 days (including fast) in order to prepare themselves for the ‘test of devotion’. 

The Goddess is brought to the front of her Shrine to watch the firewalk

Those who participated were ordinary householders. In some cases devotees were given a mantra to recite during their fire walk. Before the ceremony the devotees prepared for the firewalk by bathing at the Brahma Tirtham.

Devotees waiting to perform 2014 firewalk

The actual ceremony occurred on the paved courtyard in front of the Unnamalai Amman Shrine, inside the compound of the Big Temple. 

Devotees performing 2014 firewalk

As to the history of the firewalk, a Tamil legend narrates the story that in Singavaram there is a Temple to Sri Ranganadha. Here a king named Kandhan, after suffering a defeat, performed a fire walking ceremony in worship of Draupadi (from the Mahabharata). Draupadi, pleased with the worship, appeared before the king and promised that whoever should worship her as he had done would remain unscathed and also obtain whatever they prayed for. From that day onwards the fire-walking festival is observed with great enthusiasm in Tamil Nadu.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since finding out about this fire walking ceremony, want very much to visit the Temple next Adi and watch it myself.