15 April 2018

Pradosham Abhishekam of Anuru Nandhi, Arunachala

Many devotees who visit Arunachaleswarar Temple at Tiruvannamalai do so in order to attend the bi-monthly Pradosham function. However there are other beautiful Temples and Shrines located throughout this area at which one can observe a special Pradosham.

One such place dedicated to Nandeeshwara is known as Anuru Nandhi and is located just off Dindivanam Road on the way out of town, a couple of kilometres past the railway tracks.

The bull—Nandi—is the divine vehicle of Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. He is the chief of the ganas, Shiva's attendants. Nandi means 'happy'. Nandi is more than Shiva's vahana or vehicle. As the chief of Shiva's attendants, he is also the guardian of all four-legged animals. Nandi is essential to every Shiva Temple—the sanctum sanctorum of each Temple has an image of Nandi facing the shrine (where the deity may be in a human or lingam form).

There is a story that Vrishabha Deva or Nandi was very proud of his role as the vehicle of the Supreme Lord Shiva himself. To teach him a lesson, Shiva placed a lock of his hair on the bull, who was unable to bear the weight. Realising that he had been arrogant, Nandi begged Shiva's pardon. Shiva forgave him and initiated him into divine knowledge.

Nandi completes the image of the happy family. In days gone by, people depended on the bull for transportation. The bull was thus the vehicle both for Shiva and man. He is also a symbol of how a powerful animal, imbued with Divine authority, is also a gentle and humble worker and helper to both the Gods and man.

Many devotees whisper prayers into the ear of Nandi statues. The story behind this goes that while Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were meditating, an enemy of the Lord by the name of Jalandar, abducted the Goddess. Unaware of the incident Lord Siva continued His meditation. The Gods desperate to inform the Lord asked Lord Ganesha to mediate. Ganesha attempted to bring Lord Siva out of his trance but as he was unsuccessful, approached Nandi and asked him to intervene. Nandi whispered to the Lord bringing Him out of meditation. 

This legend explains the origin of the custom of whispering into the ear of Nandi in order that he might communicate our wishes directly to the Lord.

From this vantage point, one can take darshan of both Arunachala and Parvathimalai

Beautiful and ancient statue of Lord Nandi

Abhishekam during a previous Pradosham observed at shrine of Anuru Nandhi

Aarti after Abhishekam at Anuru Nandhi Shrine
To complete this posting my dog Winnie experiencing her own "Nandi moment"

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