12 January 2017

2017 Arudra Darshanam and Nataraja Abhishekam

Arudra Darshan is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January). It takes place on the full moon night (along with Arudra Birth Star) and is the longest night of the year. In 2017, Arudhara Darshan was observed on Wednesday, January 11. 

It celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. The term 'Nataraj' means 'King of Dancers' (nata = dance; raja = king). 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. 

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents five activities–Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release–thereby representing the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. 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. 

In this festival at Arunachaleswarar Temple, Abhishekam of Lord Nataraja takes place early in the morning and He and the Goddess then come outside amongst  devotees. Only a few times a year is the statue of Lord Nataraja brought out of its permanent home at the 2nd Prakaram of Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

Below are photographs of the abhishekam which was performed on Lord Nataraja and the Goddess at the 1000 Pillar Hall on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.

After completion of abhiskeham the Gods are taken out of the 1000 Pillar Hall and after turning right (in front of the Murugan Shrine) proceed through the gardens to the Thirumanjana Gate (South Side) and exit Arunachaleswarar Temple on the start of circumambulation of the mada veedhis (perimeter streets) of Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

Lord Shiva as Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) performs the Tandava–the dance in which the Universe is created, maintained, and resolved. The five places where Lord Nataraja performed His Tandavam are collectively known as Pancha Sabhas meaning Five Assembly Halls of Lord Nataraja. 

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 Subramaniyaswami] 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful description of Arudra Dharisanam and blissful word of swami. Thank you Meenakshi!

Best Regards,

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Thanks Anu. Yes its a beautiful narrative about dancing with Shiva.