Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pooja In Sri Kalahasthi Temple

Sri Kalasthi town in dawnSri Kalasthi town in dawn

Pooja in Sri Kalahasthi Temple.

Pandit, who guided us to the Sri Kalahasthi temple told us that performing Dosha Pooja in the temple is very good for every one. So we reached the temple by 9 am and had darshan and did Pooja in time.

Sri Kalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is one of the Panchabootha temples representing “wind”. This is the only shrine for the God of Wind in India. Constructed in the 12th century by the Chola king, Rajendra Chola.

Temple Tower called GopuramTemple Tower

There is a lamp inside the inner sanctum that is constantly flickering despite the lack of air movement inside . The air-linga can be observed to move even when the priests close off the entrance to the main deity room, which does not have any windows. One can see the flames on several ghee lamps flicker as if blown by moving air.

The linga is white and is considered Swayambhu, or self-manifested. No one touches the linga including the priest. Abisheka (holy bathing) are made only to the 'Urchavar' and not to the main deity.

Sri Kalathiswarar
Sri Kalathiswarar

The temple site where Kannappa, one of the 63 Saivite Nayanars, was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga. The Lord Siva stopped him and granted mukti.

Thinna (Later became Bhaktha Kannappa) plucked out one of his eyes and placed in the eye of Linga which was oozing with blood and tears. When the tears and the blood were still trickling from another eye, Kannappa decided to remove his second eye and placed one of his feet on the spot of the right eye of the Shiva Linga. Before he could pull out his second eye with the arrow, Lord Shiva appeared and restored his eye while granting him a boon to occupy a place close to him.

Kannapa being poor hunter he used to give meet of what ever animal he hunted that day to Lord Shiva as offering to the Lord in Pooja. Lord accepted it with love. But sages and learned scalars did not like it. They where complaining that Kannappa was polluting the holly place.

Lord Shiva tested the unshakable devotion of Kannappa before the sages gathered at SriKalahasti. Lord Shiva created a tremor and the roof tops of the temple began to fall. All the sages ran away from the scene except Kannappa who covered the linga with his body to prevent it from any damage. Then the sages recognized the devotion of Kannappa towards the Lord.

The temple is also associated with Rahu and Kethu (of the nine grahams or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme). Prayers to Rahu and Kethu here helps one to get a good life partner. Everyday there is big crowd for this pooja. Even though I am married, myself and my wife too performed the pooja to get a loving bondage for ever between us.

Temple Tower In duskTemple Tower In dusk (6.15 pm)

Other Legends:

Sri Kalahasti is named after the staunch devotees of Lord Shiva. They were the Spider (Sri), the Serpent (Kala) and the Elephant (Hasti). Appeased with their unflinching devotion, Lord Shiva gave them a boon that their names be merged with the Vayulinga and called as Sri Kalahasteeswara.

One day, the spider had built a very big and thick web around the deity to protect it from dust and weather while the snake places its gem. The elephant not knowing this and assuming that this form of pooja by Sri and Kala is a desecration by the seeming miscreants, pours water on it and cleans it up. This causes a war between the three. The snake punishes the elephant by entering its trunk and in the process kills itself while the elephant runs amok and hits its trunk and head against the shiva linga. During this struggle, the spider is squashed against the linga by the elephant's trunk and the elephant dies due to the snake's poison. Lord Shiva then appeared and gave moksha to all three of them for their selfless devotion. The spider takes rebirth as a great king while the elephant and the snake reaches heaven for satisfying all its karma.

This king continues his good work from his previous birth and builds a variety of temples that seeks to protect the underlying deity with tons of stones. It is interesting to note that all his temples, keep the deity beyond the access of an elephant. In this temple, access to the deity is through a narrow passage in the side of the building that prevents an elephant from extending its trunk over the lord from any side.

Having got the blessings of Vayu (wind) God Sri Kalahasteeswara through the special Pooja we went to Thiruthani Murugan Temple. In the next post we will meat in Thiruthani, where Lord Shanmuga with his consorts Valli and Devayani blesses the devotees with all riches in life.

Sri Kalathiswarar with ConsortSri Kalathiswarar with Consort
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