Scenes from Arunachala Full Moon Night – November 2009

by

We took my new camera and tripod out last night – November 2, 2009, and shot pictures on Girivalam Road of some of the activity this Full Moon night. We were in the area near Kannapa Temple, and the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam.

Also shown in this posting is the first video shoot this season by Jim Clark and Robin Moore. Jim is a video documentarist and is working on a video, tentatively named ‘Within’, that will show “the inner experience of Arunachala.” Jim was here for two months, earlier in the year, shooting, and now is back with Robin, another videographer, for another two months of shooting. This time Jim brought a crane with him so that he can get some more interesting shooting angles. This night was their first time shooting with the crane.

The Full Moon over Arunachala

It was a cloudy night. Here is the moon at about 8 PM.

20091102_868

Girivalam Road

When we arrive there are thousands of people walking around Arunachala.

20091102_872

Here is the Raja Rajeshwari Shrine, the temple of the Divine Mother. This is a popular stop along the girivalam route.

20091102_873

Across the street is a food booth. With hundreds of thousands of people walking, there are many places to eat. Some are giving out food for free. Some are booths set up just for the one day and night and maybe constitute the owner’s main income for the month.

20091102_877

One nice thing about this booth is the chairs. By now people have walked about 7 K, so are ready to sit down for a bit.

20091102_880

This woman at another food stall across the street sits alone. She has no customers, while across the street many stop and eat. She has chairs, too. But they are all empty.

20091102_886

A pineapple vendor slices a freshly cut pineapple. Rs 2 per slice.

20091102_893

Outside the Raja Rajeshwari Shrine, there is a camphor flame burning. People stop and bless themselves with the flame. Some add pieces of camphor to fuel the flame.

20091102_898

Looking into the shrine.

20091102_903

People continue to bless themselves with the camphor flame.

20091102_905

This woman sits near the gate to the shrine, selling camphor.

Across the street is the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam. There is one photo of him that is seen again and again. It is featured on the billboard (“hoarding”, in India) seen here.

20091102_914

A sugarcane juice vendor is running cane through his machine to press out the juice.

20091102_917

A man sleeps by the road. I have heard it said that Indians can sleep anywhere.

20091102_925

Popcorn, get your freshly popped popcorn.

20091102_929

People stream by constantly without a letup.

20091102_931

Up the street in the Palani Andavar Shrine, another popular place tonight.

20091102_937

The camphor flame burns outside the entrance.

20091102_938

Besides food, people need drinks. This stand sells “Lime Sodas.” This is a fresh lime atop a bottle of soda water. Squeeze the lime into the water and drink. These kind of bottles are reused. The vendor will get them recharged in town for the next use.

20091102_952

Water in small bags and bottles. Packaged water is found all along the route, so this is one time that you do not need to bring your own water for the walk.

20091102_963

A Nithyananda van, parked outside his compound. He is from Tiruvannamalai, a “local boy made good.” Some of our rickshaw driver friends went to school with him. He is one of the most popular young spiritual leaders in the country right now. His main ashram is in Bangalore. It looks like lots of money is flowing into his coffers.

20091102_1015

Outside the compound, people watch Nithyananda videos.

20091102_1014

DSC00276

below, the main sign for the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam (with the same picture).

20091102_1026

Walking into the compound. There are many, many people in here.

20091102_965

In the entrance there are tables on both side, hawking the Nithyananda wares.

20091102_985

It looks like he has his own line of healing herbal products, sold at a table by the entrance.

20091102_968

This is a giant lingam billboard. Behind it are the 1008 lingams. They do not let us take our camera beyond this point.

20091102_974

I see one reason that so many people are here. Look at this long line!

20091102_978

They are queued up to receive a free meal. I think he will serve 10 thousand or more meals tonight.

20091102_981

I walked up a path next to his compound. There are hundreds of people walking around the 1008 lingams.

20091102_998

Jim’s Nighttime Girivalam Video Shoot

There are four bags with video equipment. Two are normal suitcases filled with various video camera gear, and two are special black bags, about 1.5 feet square by 6 feet long. These carry the crane, which is assembled (and disassembled) for each use.

DSC00250

The crane is assembled and Robin and Jim are looking at the monitor to see what the camera is shooting.

DSC00213

Behind them is a crowd of onlookers. Many people stopped tonight to see what they are doing. No one has seen anything like it before.

DSC00217

The camera is hung out into the crowd of people walking by. Amazingly, no one runs into the camera.

DSC00225

Jim is at the camera end, thinking about the shooting situation and camera angles.

DSC00235

Rolling the crane to another location. Be careful so it doesn’t tip over!

DSC00242

They are now set up outside the Raja Rajeshwari Shrine.

DSC00258

DSC00259

Again, many onlookers. At the other end, often people wave, or stop and bow to the camera. Some, like the man in orange dress, are sadhus who live by the road.

DSC00271

Working to set up the right camera angle.

20091102_987

Robin seems very happy. This is his first video shoot in India, and it is quite a scene, beyond anything he has experience shooting before.

DSC00283

Jim at the monitor, with the usual crowd of onlookers.

DSC00284

Now the party is over, it is time to call it (the shoot) a night. This means that all the camera gear needs to be removed from the crane and stowed in the cases.

DSC00294

DSC00299

Then the crane must be disassembled. And each item must be handled properly, and nothing lost. There are no spare parts in Tiruvannamalai (or India).

DSC00306

The crane is like a giant puzzle, and must be assembled and disassembled in just the right sequence.

DSC00309

DSC00314

Finally it must be stowed in the cases. Together the two cases weigh about 100 lbs.

DSC00317

Jim and Robin do not have an assistant yet for the shooting, so they take turns lugging the crane cases and other gear back to their apartment, which is not too far from tonight’s shoot.

Jim and Robin are both pleased with tonight’s work. They found they could even have the crane out in the middle of the road and people (and the few vehicles on the road) would follow usual Indian traffic ‘rules’ and just flow around it.

Note about Robin

One other thing that Robin has done is a YouTube video, a rap video about bicycling called Performance. It is quite popular with more than one million hits. Here is the url: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn29DvMITu4

Advertisements

Tags: , , , ,

6 Responses to “Scenes from Arunachala Full Moon Night – November 2009”

  1. Temples and Shrines along Arunachala’s Outer Pradakshina Route. by Richard Clarke | Luthar.com Says:

    […] Inner Path Guide (Index page) Full Moon Night – 27 April 2010 Arunachala Pradakshina May 2008 – Part One Arunachala Pradakshina May 2008 – Part Two Scenes from Arunachala Full Moon Night – November 2009 […]

  2. arunachalaramanalover Says:

    This local boy after getting caught said that even Ramana Maharshi indulged in such activities in an interview. How dare this man say about my Master..

  3. Temples and Shrines along Arunachala’s Outer Pradakshina Route | Luthar.Com: HarshaSatsangh Says:

    […] Related Posts Inner Path Guide (Index page) Full Moon Night – 27 April 2010 Arunachala Pradakshina May 2008 – Part One Arunachala Pradakshina May 2008 – Part Two Scenes from Arunachala Full Moon Night – November 2009 […]

  4. reetgurth Says:

    Tx for u people support here. Whts ur comment Richard?

    • richardclarke Says:

      The comment was not meant to be offensive. That is not a disrespectful thing to say in English. Other things said about him are good. If it bothers you, sorry. No harm is meant. I do not feel any need to change my copy. Again, that is not a disrespectful thing to say in English. It is an informal expression, but that is not harmful. Perhaps you are more sensitive to comment about him than is needed?

  5. reetgurth Says:

    “He is from Tiruvannamalai, a “local boy made good.”” – I think you shoud not give remark about a Master in this manner. Whatever it is, there should be some good manner in the words we use to describe Master just how we address other Master. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: