A brief observation from Sadhaka Nandinatha about a small shrine in Rishikesh and their visit to the Natha mutt there.
A small shrine exists on the steps of a ghat in front of Ganga near Omkarananda Ashram’s bathing spot in Rishikesh. The shrine is not connected to the ashram, however, it just happens to be there.
It’s Sivalingam in the centre, flanked by Ganapati and Shanmugam, with Amman and Nandi on respective sides. Perhaps this is not phenomenal, but I was surprised to see this shrine set-up all the way up here in Uttarakhand -- including Shanmugam. You always only see Ganapati included with Siva-Parvathi.
Here’s a closer look at Muruga. The other two faces are in the back.
It was interesting. There were huge promotional posters for various swamis, sadhus, sadhwis, centres, missions, etc all over Haridwar and somewhat in Rishikesh. On one of them, which was about 4 meters tall, was a large Balasubrahmanya encircled with head shots of modern saints. It was all in Hindi and we drove past it in a car, so I didn’t get to photograph it.
Another subject: Also, we met with senior swamis of the Adinath Nath Sampradaya in Haridwar. This you’ll see on TAKA sometime hopefully soon. We had a Q and A with them, and through Rajiv Malik as translator I asked if Kartthikeya had any significance in their sampradaya. The most senior swami said that, in their sampradaya, Muruga is considered to have been a contemporary of Gorakshanath and come to the planet Earth some millions of years ago. His purpose was/is to disseminate the teachings of Saivam basically. They do not seem to “worship” Him as such, but He is there in their philosophy and with a more meaningful role than simply Ganesha’s thambi. The question was prompted by one of Muruga’s names in our ashtottara for Him which we use, Haridwarna, translated something as “He who is of Haridwar,” if I’m not mistaken.
I took this photo in the room in which we had darshan with the Adinath swamis. The only depiction I’ve seen of Siva with yellow hair other than our painting. In real life, the hair was more vibrantly yellow.
This is the aforementioned head Swami of the Adinatha Natha Sampradaya in Haridwar. I can’t recall his name, but our HT correspondent Rajiv Malik is sending that to me. Very quiet and deeply content within himself.
We will do more of these photos later when we get home.
Within our Saiva Siddhanta Holy Scriptures the Saiva Agamas explain the basis of temple ceremonies and worship plus yoga and jnana. The Tirukural was considered by Gurudeva to be "the most accessible and relevant sacred text." In it are practical and helpful guidelines for our conduct in every day life. The point of family life is to gain steady improvement, forever, in self control in the midst of responsibilities in the fulfillment of family dharma. Meanwhile, not taking detachment too far but taking it in the sense of spiritually looking for happiness, not outside in other people or possessions, the world, but inside ourselves and then sharing it with family and friends. "We regard the writings of our satgurus as scripture."
Path to Siva, Lesson 20
Tirukural, Introduction and Contents
Tirukural, Chapter 15 Possession of Self-Control
"The temple enables us to feel the presence of God, Gods and devas." We use our inner eyes to see what's going on in the temple, the three worlds. In the temple we're being good dvaitists in the dimfi perspective, focused in bhakti upon God Siva. In meditation we're monists, in the shumif perspective. We claim our oneness with Siva, Sivoham, I am Siva. In surrender, shrinking the ego through devotion, we have a realization that we're not the doer, that Siva is doing it all. Siva's energy comes through our soul.