We recently celebrated Thai Pusam at the Aadheenam, honoring our beloved Lord Muruga with a powerful and piercing abhishekam in Kadavul Temple. With the mathavasi and all sincere, mindful devotees present, it made for a special event shared by all. As stated in Dancing With Siva "Thai Pusam occurs on Pushya nakshatra in January-February. During this festival we fast and perform public penance, called kavadi, seeking Karttikeya's blessings to dispel our selfishness, pride and vanity."
After the offering of fresh milk from our aadheenam cows, Muruga is offered Yogurt, fresh citrus juice, panchaamritham, Vibhuti, a select and sacred blend of herbs, rose water and more. At the Aadheenam, we typically use the panchaamritham recipe of Chidambaram Kovil--fresh bananas, ghee, milk, honey and jaggery.
After a beautiful Alankaram, the final arati is offered. It is at this point where all temple bells are rung, mantrams chanted their loudest and the focused intensity of the pujaris are at their greatest. It is here when the darshanam of the Deity pours forth, where the Lord Murugan decongests muddled karmas of the devotee, removing unmindfulness and fear and replacing them with wisdom and courage. Veils are lifted, limitations released, and minds cleared at that exact point. Om Saravanabava Om.
Om Namah Sivaya
Today is our monthly celebration of the Ardra Nakshatra at the Aadheenam. With Siva's star coming into alignment for the day, Nataraja's divine energies can easily be felt as they radiate out from Kadavul's inner sanctum. As is our tradition for this day, the monks are performing an Abhishekam to Nataraja throughout the morning.
"My God is the melter of my heart of love. Let all adore my God, the Lord of primal love, first of beings, my Siva, who again and again melts my heart. May He render me His love in foremost measure! Praise Him but once, the Pure and Holy One, and He will be your escort to heaven. He, Lord Siva, decked in honeyed konrai blooms, sits enthroned in my love, steadfast and free."
"That which is neither internal consciousness nor external consciousness nor both together, which does not consist solely in compact consciousness, which is neither conscious nor unconscious, which is invisible, unapproachable, impalpable, indefinable, unthinkable, unnameable, whose very essence consists of the experience of its own self, which absorbs all diversity, is tranquil and benign, without a second, which is what they call the fourth state--that is the Atman. This it is which should be known."
During the Maha Ardra festivities, devotees found themselves having an informal chat with the Ganapati Kulam monks. We decided to round everyone up in the same place at the same time, talk story and eat chocolate!
"When you worship God, you must not ask for anything. You must worship for the sake of love. Afterwards you can ask for your requirements." Siva Yogaswami
Today, Lord Ganesha's final day of Pancha Ganapati coincides with Ardra Darshanam. On this exceedingly auspicious day we perform elaborate Abhishekam to Lord Nataraja. Today Siva's star aligns itself with the earth, the moon, the sun and the center of the galaxy, pulling divine energies through our planet. Here's a fun piece from Hinduism today about Ardra, the Dancing Star:
Ardra is the star that names one of the nakshatras, the 27 lunar mansions of Hindu astrology. It is known as Siva's star, a cosmic representation of His third eye, red and intense. Called Betelgeuse in the West (a medieval Arabic name), it fascinates and consternates modern astronomers. Though it is one of the most studied of suns, it defies description, as it changes in brightness, size and even shape with rythmic gusto. Scientists call Ardra "mysterious" and "elusive" in their published works, informally calling this massive orb "the dancing star." Hindus might find the name apt--after all, Siva is Nataraja, King of Dance. Ardra is part of the constellation of Orion, shining as the brightest red star in the sky. Because of its blazing choreography, there is no certainty about how far it is from Earth, but the latest calculations point to around 600 light-years. Siva's star is colossal. For sake of comparison, if it were the size a football stadium, Earth would be a spec of dust, and the Sun no larger than a mango. Ardra is nearing a transitional point in its evolution. Tomorrow, perhaps, or several thousand years from now--it will enter a supernova stage. In that act, marking the height of this cosmic performance, Ardra will convert most of itself into light and cosmic rays, sending its energy out to the universe in a blinding flash. When that happens, it will outshine the full moon in our sky for months and be visible even during the day. After that, Ardra will be a small neutron star, unimaginably dense, spinning incredibly fast. Just a cup of matter from a neutron star's core weighs more than all the mountains of the Himalayas combined.
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