Saturday, February 2, 2008

CHIDAMBARA RAHASYAM

The secrets behind Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

When I visited Chidambaram Temple as a boy of twelve during a school tour , my teacher told me about Chidambara Rahasyam (secret of Chidambaram). Who will not be fascinated by that dancing Lord, Nataraja ? Since then, I have read many articles about this Secret . Each referred to one but no two was the same. I always thought that there must be a bigger secret than all I have heard.

Recently, I read something which took me nearer the truth in this pursuit of this secret of secrets. As usual, I am sharing here all that I learned upto now . Most of the statements are in numbered format and given as short as possible.

Chidambaram

Lord Shiva dances here in Chidambaram. Before we speak of the Dance , we will explore the stage that is Chidambaram.

A temple is called ‘Kovil’ in Tamil. It literally means( Ko- il) the abode of the Lord. Whenever the mere name ‘kovil’ is mentioned, it specially means Chidambaram which is split as Chit( gnana or wisdom) + Ambaram ( akasa or space) .

Structure of a typical Siva Temple

A classical Siva temple as per Agama rules will have five prakaras or circuits each separated by walls one within the other. The outer prakaras will be open to the sky except the innermost one. The innermost one will house the main deity as well as other deities. There will be a massive wooden or stone flag post exactly in line with the main deity.

The innermost prakara houses the sanctum sanctorum ( karuvarai in Tamil). In it sits Shiva, the supreme Lord.

Symbolism behind the structure of a Shiva Temple

1. The temple is so constructed as to resemble the human body with all its subtleties.

2. The five walls encircling one another are the kosas ( sheaths) of human existence .

a. The outermost is the Annamaya kosa , symbolizing the material body.

b. The second is Pranamaya kosa , symbolizing the sheath of vital force or prana.

c. The third is Manomaya kosa, symbolizing the sheath of the thoughts, the mana

d. The fouth is the Vignyana maya kosa, symbolizing, the sheath of the intellect

e. The fifth and innermost is the Ananda maya kosa, symbolizing the sheath of Bliss.

3. The sanctum which is in the prakara symbolizing the Ananda Maya Kosa sheath ,

houses the lord, seated as the Jiva within us. It is to be noted that the sanctum is an

unlit space, just as if within the heart closed on all sides.

4. The entry Gopuras are likened to the feet, as resembling a person who is lying on the

back with the toe up.

5. The flag post depicts the sushumna nadi which raises from the Mooladhar (base of the

spine ) to the sahasrar ( vertex in the head).

6. Some temples will have three prakarams. There they represent the stoola, sukshma

and karana sareeras (bodies) of a human being Some temples have only one and they

represent all the five.

Chidambaram temple and its symbolism:

Saint Thirumoolar, whose legend is intricately woven with Chidambaram, says in his thirumanthiram

திருமந்திரம்

மானுடராக்கை வடிவு சிவலிங்கம்
மானுடராக்கை வடிவு சிதம்பரம்
மானுடராக்கை வடிவு சதாசிவம்
மானுடராக்கை வடிவு திருக்கூத்தே

transliterated into English, it reads

mAnudarAkkai vadivu sivalingam

mAnudarAkkai vadivu chidambaram

mAnudarAkkai vadivu sadAsivam

mAnudarAkkai vadivu thirukkoothe

Meaning: “Sivalingam is of the form of the human body; So is Chidambaram ; So is Sadasivam ; And so is his divine dance”.

  1. The temple has the above five prakaras resembling the sheaths.
  2. Nataraja gives dharshan from the sanctum called Chit Sabha with a golden roof.
  3. The roof has 26,000 golden tiles (see picture), denoting the number of breaths of a person in a day.

  1. These tiles are fixed to the wooden roof with the help of 72,000 nails depicting the number of nadis (the invisible ducts carrying energy to various parts of the body)
  2. As the heart is to the left of the body, the sanctum in Chidambaram is also aligned slightly leftward.
  3. On top of the Chit sabha roof, we find nine kalasas (made of copper) depicting the nine shaktis (powers)
  4. The roof has 64 cross wooden reapers denoting the 64 arts.
  5. The artha mandapa has six pillars denoting the six shastras
  6. The mantapa next to the artha mantapa has eighteen pillars symbolizing the eighteen puranas.
  7. There are five steps leading to the Chit sabha from the Kanaka sabha depicting the five lettered Panchakshara mantra ( Na ma chi vA ya)
  8. The Chit sabha roof is supported by four pillars symbolic of the four Vedas.

Symbolism of Nataraja Swamy

1. Nataraja’s dance is said to indicate the five divine acts which are

a. Creation . Nataraja dances with a small drum called damarukam in one of his
right hands. Easwra is nada brahmam. He is the origin of all sounds (nadam).This is
the seed (vindu) from which the tree of the Universe emanated.

b. Protection (Operation)- In another of the right hands, he shows the ‘Abhaya
Mudra’, meaning he is the kind protector .

c. Destruction; He has fire in one of his left hands , symbolizing destruction.
When everything is destroyed by fire, only the ash will remain which the Lord has
smeared on his body.

d. The foot which is planted shows the act of hiding

e. The raised foot shows the act of bestowing

  1. Nataraja swamy has the Vigraha ( icon) of Devi Sivakama Sundari to his left . This symbolizes Ardhanareeswara , ‘ the Lord who has the female as his left half’. To his right there is a screen. When the deeparadhana – showing lamps takes place to the swamy and to the left side , the screen is removed and we see five vertical long hangings of golden vilva leaves. We see nothing behind it. Sivakami shows the Saguna Brahman (the God with a form) that is Nataraja . The Saguna Brahman leads us to the Nirguna Brahman (the God without form or the God who has formlessness as his form). This is told as ‘Chidambara Rahasyam’ by the Dikshitars , who are the traditional pujaris in the temple.

  1. Shiva’s dance is called the cosmic dance by many scholars. In Chidambaram, this dance is called ‘Ananda Tandava’

  1. Lord Maha Vishnu also saw the Divine dance. In a nearby mantapa called Chitrakoota, Maha Vishnu, gives us dharshan in his fully reclining Yoga Nidra pose on the snake bed. If one stands on a small lotus sculpted on the floor slab in front of Narayana, one can at the same time see Nataraja in his right side.

  1. Sages Patanjali and Thirumoolar also saw Nataraja’s dance in Chidambaram. Their figures are embossed on the Silver doors of the Chit Sabha.

I think you enjoyed reading the above. Nataraja Rahasyam is said to have come to Tamilnadu from the Indus – Saraswati civilization. The Saiva Agamas, which teach tantric Saivism, reveal much more than the above. Next time you visit Chidambaram, remember all this, and worship Nataraja who will grant you release from the pains of the worldly life and show you the path of Gnana.

(The pictures have been collected from the net)



31 comments:

M.R said...

EXCELLANT WORK

Kishore patnaik said...

"Kishore patnaik"

hidambaram is a lofty set of Cosmological Secrets. It is no wonder
that the phrase " Chidambara Rahasyam" is popular all over South India
to signify a deeply kept secret.

It is Fritjof Capra who has tried to capture this essence of
cosmological presentation that has been made in the Nataraj of
Chidambaram.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1857054667.cms
"Fritjof Capra catapulted Nataraja into a modern-day scientific icon
when he euphorically stated in his cult book of 1974 The Tao of
Physics that ''the dancing Shiva is the dancing universe, the
ceaseless flow of energy going through an infinite variety of patterns
that melt into one another''."

Only recently, I came across two other cosmological aspects of this
Great Temple, which shares these secrets with Egypt.

The Chidambaram connected to Egyptian cosmological influences in the
following aspects:

1.Their sphinx has been represented by us as purusha mriga .
2.The mystery of Orion is present in both pyramids & chidambaram

http://www.geocities.com/rdeekshithar/pagina1.html

However, it is not new that Temples of India are a Scriptural
representations of Cosmological effervescence. For eg., I came across
very recently in a book about the concept of Tarakka, that the ancient
monuments being reflections of Stars.

It took lots of time for me to search for this paper on the net but
somehow I could get it.

http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/DBhattacharya1.php

I invite comments from every one,

Kishore patnaik

prakash said...

great work...
but i do have one comment and one doubt...
first my comment............isnt the secret that the half seen which is the left side ,in the form of a lady.....this means that our ancestors and the gr8 scholars wwanted us to know the truth that the ONLY visible GOD in the universe is a LADY and that is mostly OUR MOTHERS....(On A Lighter Note: so much so that this defeats the colloquial theory that by meaning chidambaram rules it actully the lady in the house reins..)
my doubt now..the golden covering of the temple was done very recently and long after the temple was constructed..so many of your explanantions are in reference with this..so how do you explain when the inside inscriptions that is the ones below the gold covering are one and the same first and what if they differ.........is it just an explanation of justification and conveinience....

Venkatasubramanian said...

A very good question
The golden tiling was done by King ParAntaka Cholan, father of Raja raja Cholan in about 1000 AD. But, the temple existed before that. The Agamic masters of the chola period must have refined the work by adding these subtleties.

There is another fact. The saiva Agamas based worship and construction generally followed in other Shiva temples is not followed in Chidambaram. The procedure used was given by Patanjali himself , it is said.

Thirumoolar, whose history remains a mystery, is said to have lived between BC 6000 and BC 3000 ( he lived for 3000 years singing one song per year). and also at 6 th century Ad. He has in detail explained about Chidambaram.

Our ancestors chose to prefer anonimity, and self oblivion and we still grasp for light on our past.Though not an answer in toto to your question, this is an effort in that direction.
Venkat

Dhriti said...

Om Nama Shivaya

Great post detailing the intricies of Chidambaram. I have referenced this on my blog at
http://dhriti.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/chidambara-rahasyam/

-Dhriti

parameswaran said...

parameswaran said
I have visited the great temple many times
now I have got the explantion to understant the great temple BETTER
Thanks
Parameswaran

Venkatasubramanian said...

Jai Sri Ram
A reply from Sri Ram, was sent to me through Sri Parameswaran. I thought it fit to provide the info as it is. My reply will be posted separately.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I read with interest the information on Çidambaram as explained by ‘Venkat’. He starts by saying that he would explain the rahasya, but has never done that at the end. I still could not understand what he refers to rahasya at the end.



I saw a comment by one ‘Parameswaran’ at the end of the blog and I thought it could be you and based on that guess, I believe you are interested in this topic and therefore, I am offering some explanation on Çidambaram, some according and endorsing Venkat and some disputing Venkat.



For a lucid commentary on the Ananda Tandava the best resource to consult will be the texts by Dr Ananda K(entish) Coomaraswamy, a geologist—art historian—Indologist. He has provided the best commentary, in my opinion.



Çidambara



Basically Çidambaram is known in ancient Tamil references (e.g., Sangam period literature) as Tillaivanam, referring to the forest (= vanam) of Tillai tree, which is a mangrove species (Excoecaria agallocha). This particular taxon tillai, because of proximity to the coast, grows abundantly in this region and according to mythic references, a siddapuruşa by name Pulippaani Sithar (Vyagra-paada--Samskrit) lived in this area, who worshipped the Lord of Çidambaram. At least during the time of Pulippaani Sithar, this place was known as Tillaivanam only.



The name Çidambaram (as explained by Venkat: Çith+ambaram) came into existence much later, although we are unsure the exact time. But during the time of the 63 Nayaanmaars (= Saiva samaya leaders), this name Çidambaram existed, because in Tevaaram references to the term Çidambaram occur plentifully. And this period is certainly about the time of Mahendra Varma Pallava (6th century AD), because Mahendra Varma was converted into Saiva faith from Jain faith by the action of Tirunavukkarasar (= Appar). Of course, much contribution was made by the Çola King Raja Raja (11th century AD) and his accomplished sister Kundavai Naacchiar in contributing substantially to the repair of the ramparts of the temple of Çidambaram and also in retrieving Tevaaram -- the contribution of the naalvar, viz., Appar (Tirunavukkarasar), Tirugnanasambandar, Sundarar, and Manikkavasakar from the cellars of Çidambaram temple.



According the Saiva faith, Siva exists as five bhutas (the sky, water, land (=soil), fire, and air) and Siva is worshipped representing each of these bhutas: e.g., Tiru-aanai-k-ka (near Sri Rangam) represents Siva as air/wind. In a similar context, in Çidambaram, Siva exists as the sky (the vast empty space; we ecologists refer to this as the atmosphere, which has several layers including a vacant space [recall what the late PRK researched on, while at IIT (Powaii), on the atmospheric vacuum].



Therefore, the priests at Çidambaram explain the existence of the Lord as akaasa (the sky; empty space), when devotees seek an explanation for the rahasya. The rahasya according to them is the very existence of Lord as vacant space, an element only the enlightened can relate to, understand, and appreciate; for the less enlightened, it will be a hard phenomenon to relate to Siva as vacant space.



However, some historians challenge this theory. According to them, the name Çidambaram (until then, Tillaivanam), came into existence with the movement (migration) of certain group of people from somewhere in far north of India, to whom Venkat refers as the people from Saraswati civilization (similar to the Indus Valley Civilization). This means, those people came approximately from the present Delhi —Kanpur-Illahabad belt. However, I recall reading that the migrants were from Kashmir (the Kashmiri Brahmins – Pandits), who were Siva worshippers and because of the extensive Jain faith domination in the far north of India at that time, (4th--6th centuries). No convincing explanation exists as to why and how these Pandits (the migrants from Kashmir/Delhi-Kanpur-Illahabad belt) selected this area. Were they attracted by the serenity of Tillaivanam or did the Kollidam river attract them? Not clear at this stage.



What is clear is that the temple, which these migrants (= foreigners) created was different to those temples that were existing already in southern India in several ways:



1. They never referred to their temple (temple of the Lord of Çidambaram) as Ko-il (here I dispute Venkat). Çidambara temple is always referred as ambalam (a chaste Tamil word that exists in contemporary Malayalam); because of the golden roof, the temple is wholly referred as Pon-ambalam (because of the golden-roofed dance hall, it is Kanaka-sabhai).
2. In all the then prevalent southern-Indian Siva temples, the principal deity (= the moolavar) is always in the form of linga, whereas in the Çidambaram temple alone, the moolavar and the utsavar are one and the same pançaloha idol; during veedi-ula, the same idol is taken out in procession and the garba-griha remains empty (vacant).
3. The Brahmins, who own the hereditary trusteeship of this temple, are referred in Tevaaram as ‘tillai-vaazh-aņdanar-moovaayiravar’ specifically, which makes them special in context of the remainder of the community in southern India of that time. Given that Tirugnanasambandar (son of Sivapaada-hirudayar, Sirkazhi) was also a Brahmin (aņdanar) by birth, why the Brahmins of Çidambaram alone came to be referred as ‘tillai-vaazh-aņdanar-moovaayiravar’ remains an unanswered question. But what is obvious is that they were unique, which could mean someone different from the locals. [An ordinary analogy could be in Madras context any northern Indian migrant is a maarvaadi, whereas the person in reality could be from Gujarat and need not be from Maarvaar at all!]



I have not explained the rahasya yet; but all the above circumlocutions are necessary to set the context for explaining the rahasya (according to a few historians).



Please recall that I indicated at the beginning of this commentary that the modern priests will show to a cellar (from where the Çola King Raja Raja retrieved the Tevaaram palm-leaf notes) and refer to it as the empty space –- the metaphysical symbolism of akaasa (emptiness).



Some of the historians refer to this cellar was the chamber where the migrant Pandits used to end their lives –- usually by fasting to death -- once the life purposes on this earth were done (= completed; achieved). Ending one’s life (through either drowning in running waters or fasting to death or subjecting oneself to being eaten by wild animals) is permitted in Saiva faith (also accepted by the modern eclectic Hinduism), provided all responsibilities of that individuals have been completed. [Recall that, in recent times, Vinobha Bhave denied food and water, and thus starved to death.] Resorting to one of the identified three mechanisms to end one’s life is not a sin, whereas ending one’s life through other means (e.g., consuming poison or hanging oneself) is a sin, according to Hindu belief. This practice (i.e, ending one’s life at the completion of all obvious purposes) was prevalent in Jain faith of that time, more than in Saiva faith of southern India . The northern-Indian migrants who came to Tillaivana were influenced by some of these Jain practices and they practiced it in Çidambaram temple (in the cellar that was directly under the Garba-griha). An oversimplified explanation for this is that they believed that a savam becomes sivam in such a context. In the then existing Saiva faith (e.g., in the 4th--12 century Tamizhagam), this was an unacceptable practice. Even today, when a funeral procession proceeds on the street or road that abuts on the entrance of a temple, the priests would shut the main door/gate of the temple till the funeral procession gets past.. Under such circumstance, the migrant Pandits, who followed a ‘bizarre’ practice of dying within the temple precincts, kept it as a secret and retained it within their clan (the dikshitas of Çidambaram).



The following comment has no obvious link either to Çidambaram or to the diskhitas. The Lingayats (the Virasaivaites; from the Carnatik, which implies parts of modern Karnataka and Central Andhra Pradesh) have similar (note ‘similar’ only and not ‘same’) practices.



Will stop here; any questions, will be happy to reply



Affectionate

Ram

Shanmugam said...

As a person who has visited Chidambaram temple number of times,on careful scrutiny and watch found the garlands are hanging from a big lingam which has thousand lingams ingrained in one.Due to some people ,the Chidambaram Lingam is not worshiped and why? This needs answer. If a fact finding committee is allowed then,the answer will be known

anil said...

An amazing piece of information indeed on the well-known chidambara rahasya by Shri Ram.I have never read such an astonishing account on the rahasya anywhere.May I convey the material trusting the veracity of it to my friends and people in satsanga?Would somebody corroborate the finding?

malgudidays said...

The essence of a temple is to practice satsanga and clarify the doubts in the day to day life i.e. swadharma palan. This is the sole reason for the manifestation (swayabhuvus) of the celestial abodes on this very earth. The temples, for your indormation, are the stepping stones in the tradition of bhakthi, but not of yukthi. The tradition of yukthi involves the philosophical texts.

I can see, that you are relating two disjoint domains. Though the motives for both domains being the same i.e. of liberation, you cannot relate two different domains unless you know the paths in each domain and what is the analogy between them. Since, with all due respect to everyone, relating two domains demands having in depth understanding of at least one of the domains, one should is not qualified to comment or interpret.

krsh said...

An article that left me spellbound.I am afraid I do not possess enough words to appreciate your article and your work.Truly excellent.
Thanks for the work.

anil said...

Hello sir,earlier 3 years i saw a serial in t.v regarding chidambaram rahasyam in tht they have shoun 5 shiv lingas made of 5 different stones immersed in a well made the well water as a medicine will it belong to chidamabaram rahasyam or not is their any place in tamil nadu with this history or real lingas,plz help me in this matter,as iam very eager to know whether it is true or not.

kittymatti said...

you have a wonderfulblog. I really appreciate the effort u have taken:) very informative. thanks!

NATARAJAN said...

I would like to add the following to the discussion.

Re: Thillaivazh Andanar Moovaiyaavar:-

According to one report, Lord Shiva performed Ananda Thandava (Cosmic Dance) for Pathanjali / Vyaghrapadha on a Thai Poosam Day which was a Thrusday. This is referred to as "Thai Masathil Guru Possathil" by Gopalakrish\na Bharathi in his son "Nadanam Aadinaar". When Shiva came down to Thillaivanam to dance for his devotee, the Shiv Ganas also came with him and on the request of Pathanjali/Vaygrapatha Shiva stayed here to give dharsan his devotees in the dancing posture. The Shiv Ganas who came with Lord Shiva stayed back to perform pooja and they were three thousand in no. When they counted themselves they found one missing and lord nataraja was reproted to have stated that he is the missing person and the 3000 would incldue him. The Nataraja Vigraha has tuft just like the Dhikshitars. As they are a seperate clan even though they are brahmins, they are known as Thillai Moovayiravar or Thillai Vazh Andhanargal.

Re: Concept of Chidambara Rahasya"

I would like to add the to what has been stated by Venkat.

As Chidambaram is Akasha Ksehtra of the Pancha Bootha Kshetras, the Swmai Akasha Linga is invisible and we have to visualise the lord by his golden vilva hara. This explanation is for those less enlightened.

On a higher spiritual level less enlightened (those who dwelve in Agnana) need a form to pray to while those who have attained enlightenment (Meignana) need no form to pray to.

This is the essence of Chidambara Rahasya.

Kaushik said...

Nataraja,
U r absolutely right. Those who live in agnana need a form to pray to, and those who've attained enlightenment there is no need for any kind of idols, as they have reached the next level.
This compilation on the Chidambara Ragasiyam is awesome. Hats off!!! well done.

XKILLERX said...

Thanks for the explanation about the temple.

i was particularly interested in the song by thirumoolar.

The explanation and the song indicated one thing, that the whole temple can be related to a human being, and if god is depicted as empty space, then he is within the chidambaram temple which means within the human being.

Bala said...

Excellent Accounts given By Mr. Ram and Mr. Nataraj.

One clarification I would like to hear from any one who know is regarding the number 63 nayanmars Vs 3000 ShivaGanas.

When I visited more than 15 yrs ago, I remember a friend of ours who is close to the Dikshatar clan gave us most of the detail you both have listed and I concur.

However, I recall, one of the Dikshatar mentioning that there were 64 Nayanmars who descended to the Chidambaram for the Celestial performance of Shiva, but as they counted on a plan to exit the planet earth, there were only 63 and the one left out was Lord Shiva himself. Since he enshrined himself as the Akhasa Linga, the rest of the 63 Nayanmars decided stay behind and care for the deity.

Besides, It is believed that the Dikshatars whom we see in the temple complex are direct descendants of the 63 Dikshat families. They do take turns to perform priestly duties through out the year.

Also, the Chidambara Ragasiyam is Shiva existing in the AkashaLinga form and it is a empty space adjascent to the Karpagraha, I remember peering into the Dark empty space - and the Dikshata who guided us there said THIS is the Chidambara Ragasiyam.

=Bala

NATARAJAN said...

Re: Balas' query on 63 Naynmars vs 3000 Shivaganas.

Plese refer to my earlier post. The dhikshidars of Chidambaram Temple are descendants of Shiv Gansa and not descendants of Nayanmars.

As regads the 63 Nayanmars, They are Sivandiyars. Although the sivanadiyars (Worshippers of Lord Shiva) may be in Thousands if not in lakhs or crores, the no. 63 has its origin from Thituthondathogai of Sundaramoorthy Nayanar.

It is well known that Sundaramoorthy Nayanar treated Lord Shiva as a Friend and hence is known as Vanthondar. It is stated that a sivanadiyar sitting in the Tiruvaru Temple scolded Sundaramoorthy Nayanar for not acknowledging and respecting Sivanadiyars as he treats him on par with Lord Shiva and that Sundaramoorthy Nayanar sang a poem in which he states that he is a slave of the sivanadiyars described in the song. This song is known as Thiruthondathoogai which starts with the Words, "Thillai Vaazh Andanar tham Adiyarkum Adiyen, Thiruneelakanda Kuyavanarkum Adiyen, Illai Enatha Iyarpagaikkum Adiyen"

Sundaramoorthy Nayanar sang about 62 people in this song and adding him they made it 63 in all and these 63 are known as Nayanmars. The Periya Puranam or Thiruthondar Puranam of Sekkizhar is based on the Tiruthondarthogai.

An irony is that how Sundaramoorthy Nayanar chose the 62 people is not clear. He had included some about whom there is not much info and had also included his parents as 61 and 62 which has to be taken as his respect to his parents but he had left out Manickavasagar who is a great devotee and beleived to have lived at least 2/3 centuries before him. Thus Despite the glory of his Thiruvasagam being written by Lord Nataraja himself (Azhagiya Thiruchitrmbalamudaiyan) and his Thiruvasagam being explained by the Lord as nothing but himself and renonwned by the term " Thiruvasagathukku Urugathar Oru vasgathukkum Urugar", Manickavasagar does not find himself amongst the elite 63. The nayanmars come from different castes and are not brahmins alone. Thiruneelakanda Nayanar was a potter, Meiporul Nayanar was a Kshatriyar, Kannappa Nayanar was a Tribal (Hunter), Nandhanar was a Harijan. Thus it is not correct to conclude that the Dhikshidars are descendants of Nayanmars is not correct.

For other details, please refer to my earlier post

Subramanian said...

Very nice presentation and all commentaries on the subject

I heard that the golden vimanam over the Kankasabai is unique in temple structure and exists nowhere in any Hindu temples. It is said that the Vimanam presents grouping of one Siva Linga over the other and you see this formation only in Mt.Kailash

Comments worth reading

jaraki said...

Have anybody seen the Abishekam. It is done on an idol of Sri Nataraja in red transparent stone. The priests use to remove the idol from its pedestal which will reveal a Shivalinga which is of Manikka stone and abishekam is done to this Shivalinga also. it is usual to refer to this idol as Rathna Sabapathy.

NATARAJAN said...

In ancient days it was cutomary to have six poojas a day in all the temples. In Chidambaram puja is performed 6 times a day "Aru Kala Poojai" around 8 am, 10 am and 11.30 am in the fore noon; around 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm in the evening.

In all the six pooja times, Abishegam is performed on a Spadiga (Crystal) Linga. In the pooja performed around 10 am in addition to the abishegam for the Spadiga Linga, absiishegam is performed for Rathna Sabapathy (A Ruby Stone idol of Lord Nataraja).
Both the Spadiga Linga and Rathna Sabapathy are placed on the same pedestal.The speciality of this is that after showing Campahor Aarathi the Dhiskshidar shows the Campahor behind the idol when the full form of the lord is visible which is soemthing everyone should see for himself.

Now six pooja a day is performed only in a few temples. Many tempels managed by the HR&CE Board of the Government of Tamilnadu sport a Board stating that the temple is covered by "Oru Kala Poojai Thittam" meaning that pooja is performed only once a day. It is a shame such a Board which is spending / diverting money from rich temples to constuct Marraige Halls, Guest Houses and also use it for Kumababishegam of other imporatant temples but does not care to divert even a portion of the revenue of rich and famous temples to nearby rural tempels to ensure that pooja is performed at least twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) if not for six times a day. that is hell bent on wresting the administration of Chidambaram Temple from the Dhikshidars.

Aswathy said...

its really excellent

DrBalaji said...

Jai Gurudev!
Ii just visited the temple yesterday and the aura is too great!! Before the sanctum sanctorum opened I did a brief meditation and it was intensely peaceful.

Maheshwaran said...

What Ram is saying silly. It is pathetic that without due check he is writing anything he wants to!
1. Anyone well versed in Tamil Nadu will know that Kovil do signify Chidambaram only.
2. Yes Tillaivanam is also a name for Chidambaram temple. Infact most of the ancient and sacred temples have multiple names. This does not mean that people concoted a story out of Chidambaram. there could be thousand interpretations for name..for eg..many say Chidamabaram denotes Chitr + Ambalam (your very heart) --In most temples in South India atleast, the worshipers first pay their respects to flag(kodi maram), bali peedam and vahanam (bull, lion, peacock, elephant as appropriate for deity)and get near the sanctum sanctorum. Whereas in Chidambaram, all locals go through the side entrance (left of kanagasabai) ...some said even blood does not reach the heart straight but circumbulates...what you say for this
3. It is just not only Chidambaram which has moortham as both moolavar and urchavar for Sivan. Thiruvarur Thiagarajar is one, Sri Kalasamharamurthy is another and there are many.
4. Thinking of doing a Jain practice of starving to death in garbagraham at Chidambara Rahasyam is preposterous and worse is comparing it when temple is closed during death procession! Get the facts right before you write something..dont preach false propaganda! Chidambaram is the most important temple of Siva Worshippers. Please take care.

Anitha said...

Thennadudaya Sivane Potri!!!

Yennaattavarkum Iraiva Potri!!!

Awesome points to ponder over... Great Work

Sudeep Pradhan said...

Dear Venkatasubramanian
Can you please the exact reference to the book you read about Chidambara Rahasym?

thanks

radha said...

Excellent. I was researching Chidambara Rahasiyam, and your blog is superb.

KRB said...

Interesting ...........

G. Natarajaasivan said...

Great work so many times read and gave it my sons and daughter to read.
yellam sivan seyal sivaanugraham petru vazhaa thiyanikkiren.

Tiruchitrambalam

G. Natarajaasivan said...

Question to Mr. Venkat

Today my son asked why temples having koburam and sillaigal.

As per Thirumoolar namathu udambe kovil and he refer each and every part of our body same as Agathiyar also referred our body is kovil.

please email about this.

Chandra said...

Chandrasekaran said....
I recently visited Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram. I observed one think which has not been quoted any of the description about this temple. That is the presence of Thillai Govindaraja Perumal in the Anandasainam Posture. A quick glimpse of this reveals me one message that both the Lords, Shiva and Perumal, are present in the Temple at 90 degree to each other. And the posture of Perumal is as if HE is watching the Dance of Lord Shiva. Now Is this what the real Chidambara Ragasya ?