Sunday, June 24, 2012

World's largest Sri Chakra Mahameru!




"Yeri Kaadu" - forest around the lake, today popularly known as Yercaud, is one of the popular hill stations of Tamilnadu. Located in the Shervarayan range of the Eastern Ghats, this popular tourist spot is about 36 kms away from Salem. Apart from the various tourist attractions, Yercaud is also home to the World's largest Sri Chakra Maha Meru.



Located in Nagalore 7 kms from the Yercaud lake, this Lalitha Tripurasundari Temple houses the world's largest Sri Chakra Maha Meru.

The creation of Sri Chakra Mahameru:

It is believed that God who was One, wanted to create many forms of himself. So he first created Devi, the cosmic female force. He then created Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu from his left, middle and right portions respectively. The Devi is hence believed to be more powerful than the Trinity and is called Parashakthi. The central point or Bindu of the Sri Chakra represents the cosmic union of Siva and Shakthi. The various triangles in the Sri Chakra represent innumerable other Gods and goddesses. The Mount Meru, also called Maha Meru when viewed from the top is seen as the Sri Chakra and hence it is called Sri Chakra Maha Meru. 

Photo Courtesy: Sri Chakra Maha Meru Temple, Nagalore
Lord Shiva created 64 tantras to protect and safeguard all living things. These tantras when expanded form the Agamas. Goddess Parashakthi requested Shiva to create a simple form of worship and based on her request, the Lord compressed the essence of all the 64 tantras into one simple form and preached it to the Goddess. This is known as Sri Vidhya.

Sri Vidhya is the integrated form of worship of Ganapathyam (the worship of Ganesha), Kaumaram (the worship of Karthikeya), Vaishnavam (the worship of Vishnu), Saivam (the worship of Shiva) and Shaktham (the worship of Shakthi) and Srichakram is that unique form where all these worships are integrated and exist in one form. Sri Chakra Maha Meru is the darbar of Goddess Lalitha Tripurasundari, where all Gods and Goddesses are bestowing their hands towards her.

True to the description of the Sri Chakra Maha meru, this temple has Goddess Lalitha Tripurasundari, bestowing grace and compassion to all those who seek her, under the shade of the world's largest Sri Chakra Mahameru.


The ambience of the temple is so serene and vibrant. Built in white marble, with paved pathways, the main sanctum sanctorum has a semicircular pit filled with water in which the reflection of the Sri Chakra Maha Meru which forms the vimanam of the sanctum sanctorum can be seen. Devotees throw coins into this pit, praying for their wishes to be granted.

The Goddess Lalitha Tripurasundari is true to her name.  Lalitha means the one who plays the roles of creation, protection and destruction and Tripura means the three worlds and Sundari means beautiful. The most beautiful form in the three worlds sits there waiting to grant all the wishes of those who seek her.

Photo courtesy: Sri Chakra Maha Meru Temple, Nagalore
As the worship of Sri Chakra includes all forms of Gods and Goddesses, there are beautiful wood carvings of Urthuva Thandava Moorthy, Saraswathi and Vishwaroopa Moorthy.  Each one of them is exquisitely carved and over ten feet high.
Photo Courtesy: Sri Chakra Maha Meru Temple, Nagalore
The Urthuva Thandava Moorthy showing the form of Shiva with his right leg lifted high in the air is indeed beautifully carved and so is the idol of Vishwaroopa Moorthy which shows the Vishwaroopa form of Lord Vishnu as he appeared before Arjuna during the Gita Upadesha.

The multi-faced multi-handed Lord Vishnu with the Gitopadhesha scene below and the verse from Gita "Yatha Yatha Hi Dharmasya, Glanir Bhavathi Bharatha, 
Abyuthana madharmasya Thathathmaanam Srijamyaham, 
Parithranaya Sadhunam, Vinaashaya Chatushkrutham, 
Dharma Samsthapanaarthaya Sambavaami Yuge Yuge" ll

 is really awe-inspring. The Goddess Saraswathi with an ornate veena in hand, left leg raised in a dance posture, a peacock at her feet, looking up to her, standing on a beautifully carved lotus is another masterpiece.

The vibration in the temple is extremely strong and the ambiance ideal for meditation. One can easily concentrate in this vibrant yet serene environment. The long pathway to the temple has small fountains, with idols of Buddha and other gods in the middle.

A small pathway leads to the shrine of Guru Dhakshinamoorthy. Surrounded by glass panes, and flowering plants arranged to form a scenic background, this shrine again is a perfect setting for meditation.

This temple though only about a couple of years old, attracts a lot of people due to its serenity and tranquility.  If you happen to be in Yercaud for a vacation, do take the effort to stop by at the Sri Chakra Maha Meru Temple, Nagalore to witness and pray at the World's largest Sri Chakra Maha Meru.

How to get here:

Take a left turn at the rountana after the lake. There is enough signage in English and Tamil to guide tourists. On the way up to Shevaroy Hills the road splits in two. The one on the right takes you to the Shervarayan Temple and the highest point on the Yercaud hills. The one on the left takes you to Nagalore. The total distance of 7 km from the lake, is narrow, where road laying work is going on. One has to drive carefully being aware of the traffic coming down hill. Buses ply from Salem and Yercaud to Nagalore as well.

Nearest Railway Station: Salem

Nearest Airport: Coimbatore/Trichy

Temple Timings:

The temple opens at 6 am in the morning. 
Everyday at 6.30 am Ganapathy Homam is performed. 
At 7 am, one can witness Go pooja and 
at 7.10 am Vishwaroopa Dharishanam.
Abhishekam is performed at 7.30 am.
Uchikala Pooja at 12.30 pm.
The temple closes at 1 pm and reopens at 4 pm and stays open till 7.30 pm

Do visit here to bathe in the grace of Goddess Lalitha Tripurasundari and be blessed!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hanuman with his parents!


Ever since I started the Aalayam Kanden blog, there have been several occasions to remind me that I do not get to decide what to write about - it happens ! The last couple of months have been extremely busy for me on the personal front, with a change in job and my son's school final exams and the subsequent series of entrance tests that he had to give for his engineering admission. My husband and I have been taking turns to accompany our son to his exam centers.One such exam centre was at Padappai and since it was a Saturday we both decided to go. It was indeed a golden opportunity to visit some temple nearby. When I proposed this to my husband, he agreed and our plan was made.

The next morning, we set out early and reached the exam venue. After settling my son in, we moved out. As we passed the Saravana Icecream factory, and the Salamangalam Bus Stop we saw a board reading Jaya Durga Peetam on the other side. For some reason, my husband said, " Let us go there". I had heard a lot about Upasana Kulapathi Sri Sri Durgai Siddhar who had established the Jaya Durga Peetam. He was the saint who pioneered the Rahu Kala Durga Pooja which is now practiced by several devotees for gaining maximum benefit. It was indeed divine will beckoning us there. Without any further hesitation, we took a U-turn and drove down the road. After about half a km, we saw the temple.

On getting down, and entering the temple, we were a little taken aback to see the board reading " Private temple, Entry on permission". However, there was no one to stop us when we entered the temple.


There were no devotees around when we went in. After a few seconds our eyes adjusted to the light inside, and we were able to see a number of shrines, and a priest performing pooja . I looked around and was pleasantly surprised to see a board reading, "Anjana Devi, Vayu Bagavan sahitha Sanjeevi Anjaneya". How very cute!



There sat Lord Hanuman between his parents, the serene Anjana Devi on one side, and Vayu, on the other, symbolised by a lamp whose wick shook wildly to symbolise the presence of Vayu inside the Sanctum Sanctorum. Hanuman with folded hands, looked like an obedient child accompanying his parents on his day out. The shrine is built in such a way that only Hanuman is visible when seen directly. Another unique feature of this shrine was that the Dwarapalakas on either side of the shrine were also Hanumans. It is believed that worshipping this unique Hanuman rids one of Moola Nakshatra Dosha. I stood there enthralled for several minutes.


My husband gently nudged me to draw my attention to the other shrines.  We met Mr Nair the manager at the temple. He was happy to provide pamphlets and information about the temple, when we explained our mission and led us to meet Durgai Siddhar's wife, a compassionate lady who welcomed us warmly. She gave the contact information of her sons, Dr. Sri Sridhar and Mr. Srivatsan who take care of the affairs of the temple and lead the various spiritual events. Mr. Nair explained the significance of the various shrines briefly.


There are a total of ten shrines in this temple.

Prathyaksha Varahi:


Prathyaksha Varahi is the Goddess who grants the power of words, the one who destroys enemies. Her special day for worship is Shukla Panchami day.



Sri Dhanvantri:


Dhanvantri as popularly known, is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who cures chronic ailments and diseases.

Sri Panchakshara Ganapathy:

This shrine is the first of the two Ganesha shrines at the temple.



Lord Muruga:

Lord Muruga in this temple is seen as the consummation of the Kundalini Sakthi. He is the confluence of the Trimurthis and the Trisakthis. Worshipping him is said to bring prosperity and happiness.

Goddess Jayadurga:


Goddess Jayadurga sits in all magnificence in the main Sanctum Sanctorum. The Ishta devatha worshipped by Sri Durgai Siddhar, bestows health, wealth and prosperity to her devotees. The four arms shower the four Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.



Bhuvaneshwari - Mahamayi:

To the right as we enter the temple, is the Shrine housing the two Shakthis - Bhuvaneshwari and Mahamayi, the Goddesses who rule the world and protect and save all beings on it.

Swarna Akarshana Bhairavar:



The Swarna Akarshana Bhairavar at this temple is the Upasana Moorthy of Sri Durgai Siddhar's Guru, Sri Trikoota Sarbha Siddhar. Worship of the Swarna Akarshana Bhairava is said to remove poverty and bestow bliss and happiness. Upasana of this Bhairava can grant one the Ashta Maha Siddhis.

Raja Karuppar:

The "Padhinettam Padi" Raja Karuppanaswamy will protect his worshippers from evil spirits. The 18 steps he sits on can be worshipped by devotees.

Uchishta Ganapathy:

Uchishta Ganapathy is said to be the Supreme form of Lord Ganesha. Worshipping him in this form would help the devotees overcome all obstacles in life.

The four Gods in the center of the temple represent the four Vedas - Goddess Jaya Durga represents the Rig Veda, Lord Muruga the Yajur Veda, Swarna Akarshana Bhairava the Sama Veda and Uchista Ganapathy - Atharvana Veda. The Homakunta in the centre is also designed as a Chathur Veda Homakunta. 

Apart from these shrines, the Adhistanam (Samadhi) of Sri Sri Durgai Siddhar is also present inside the temple. It was here that I spent a long time meditating.


The temple houses the several books and slokas written by Sri Durgai Siddhar. Verses composed by him on different Gods and Goddesses are also featured near the shrines and on the walls making it easy for devotees to read and pray.



How to reach the temple:
The temple is situated in Padappai on the Tambaram - Kanchipuram State Highway. While going from Tambaram, take a left turn opposite to the Saravana Ice cream Factory. You will enter the Ashramam Salai. The temple is about half a kilometre down the road.

Address:

Jaya Durga Peetam
1 and 2, Ashramam Salai,
Padappai - 601 301

Contact Details:
Ph: 044-2717 4150, 98407 83066
99400 58809