5 January 2015

Nataraja Abhishekam during 2015 Arudra Darshanam

Arudra (Arudra is the name of a star and there are 27 stars in the Hindu calendar) Darshan, also known as the Thiruvathira Festival, is an occasion celebrated in a grand manner during the Tamil month of Margazhi. The month of Margazhi is known as ‘Twilight’ in Heaven (the time 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 5th. 

In this festival Abhishekam of Lord Nataraja takes place early in the morning and then He comes outside amongst his devotees. 

Abhisekham of Lord

Legends of Arudra Darshan 

Once while Lord Vishnu was lying on the serpent Adisesha, the serpent felt the Lord was getting heavier. On asking the reason, Vishnu responded that He was remembering and enjoying the great dance of Lord Siva. The answer developed the desire in the serpent to see the great dance of Lord Shiva. 

There was also a sage named Viyaagara Paadha, who prayed to God for the legs of tiger, in order that he could pluck flowers early in the morning (before any bee touched and spoilt the blooms). This sage also wished to see the dance of the Lord. Pleased with their prayers the Lord appeared to them on Thiruvaadhirai day in the form of Nataraja. 

It is during this auspicious period that Lord Shiva’s birthday is celebrated and it is when it is believed that 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. 

Arudra denotes a red flame and Lord Siva has also a name called "Semporjyoti" or "Golden Red Flame," and thus Nataraja is the manifestation of Siva as a Light. It is in the form of light the lord performs his function of five activities which are Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. 

The term 'Nataraj' means 'King of Dancers' and it is believed that the energy from this dance of bliss (Ananda Tandavam) sustains the cosmos, and when Siva is finished with this dance, the Universe will end and a new one will begin. To read more about Shiva as Nataraja, go to this link here

“Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but is also the very essence of inorganic matter . . . For the modern physicists, Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter . . . Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics." 
[Fritjof Capra] 

Shiva's dance overcoming dwarf-demon, who symbolises ignorance

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] 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful information and photographs. Thank you for bringing everything to life.