14 December 2014

Day 4 Theepal - Sri Chandikeswar: Deepam Festival December 9, 2014

Brahmotsavam is intended to teach us the way to divine self-realisation. The last of the celebratory observances during Karthigai Festival is Thirthotsavam which literally means “water festival”. Four days are allocated at the end of Deepam to celebrate the water festival at Ayyankulam Tank in front of Arunagirinathar Temple (the third oldest Shiva Temple at Arunachala). The water festival is representative of the sadhaka’s plunge into the higher realms of consciousness – and typifies an entering into samadhi... an end of religious aspiration. 

The Theepal for the Gods are floating structure made up of drums and timber and decorated with lights, flowers, religious paintings and silken buntings. Lights are installed around the perimeter of the tank and focus lights placed at strategic points. When the murtis of the Gods come to Ayyakulam Tank they are placed lovingly on a float and then the float pushes off and completes an allocated number of turns upon the Temple Tank. Devotees sit on the steps of the tank to take darshan of the God on the Theepal. Thereafter the deity of that day is taken in procession around the four Mada Streets (perimeter streets) surrounding Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

Sri Chandikeswar

This (i.e. December 9, 2014) is the fourth and final day of the Theepal observances at the Ayyankulam Tank and part of the festivities surrounding the Arunachala Karthigai Festival. The below photographs are of Sri Chandikeswar (who as one of the five panchamoorthies represents us as devotee) being taken around the streets surrounding Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

In this and other processions throughout the Festival, the Panchamurthis are: Vinayagar, Lord Annamalaiyar, Goddess Unnamulaiyar, Lord Subramanya and Sri Chandikeswarar. 

Sri Chandikeswar in Mandapam outside Temple

To find out more about Sri Chandikeswar and how he was elevated to his high position: 

”Shiva was pleased with the devotion of this boy and he appeared in person along with Parvati his consort, before the boy. Shiva embraced him and made him in charge of his ganas (devotees or followers). He was also made the steward of his household, naming him Chandikeswara.” 

Visit this earlier posting at this link here.

Arunachaleswarar Temple with Arunachala Deepam background


Itinerant Yogi said...

Hi Meenakshi, can you give a shout out on your blog for this little Android app which has some quotes from Annamalai Swami? Thanks. :)


Itinerant Yogi said...

So I guess the Deepam festival is now officially over! Peace and quiet must be prevailing now in Tiruvannamalai. And the countdown to the 2015 November Deepam officially begins. It really is like having Christmas in Arunachala. I checked out the Yogi Surat Ashram when I was there, but wasn't able to make it to catch Mookupodi Swamigal. Maybe next year :)

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Its not quite over yet -- the cauldron will still be on the Hill for a number of days. I also have several more postings on the 2014 Karthigai Deepam Festival to post.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Had a look at the Annamalai Swami app -- it looks very nice. Why not write a short narrative about Annamalai Swami and I will post it on Arunachala Grace and give a more prominent link to the app -- seems a shame to hide it away in the comment section.

Itinerant Yogi said...

Cool idea! I will! :)