The Gods Do Arunachala Pradakshina

by

The day after Cow Pongal, as I rode my scooter back to our house from Tiruvannamalai, I saw the two main deities of Arunachaleswarar Temple, Annamalai and his consort Unnamalai, in a chariot being pulled by a tractor, turning onto Pradakshina Road.

I had not expected this procession today and did not have my camera. I went to the house and got it. By the time I caught up, they were stopped in front of Nithyananda’s Dhyanapeetam, and puja was being offered to them.

Many people were gathered around.

20110117_14194

The priests were taking offerings from the crowd …

20110117_14196

then offering these to Lord Annamalai and Lady Unnamalai. There are already so many flowers decorating these two main deities of Arunachala.

Incense was then offered.

All the while, drummers played, and reed horns blared their scratchy notes.

Arunachala stands silently in the background.

20110117_14204

The incense is being waved at the gods.

Across the street, in front of Rajeshwari Temple, a sadhu blows a conch, the ancient horn of the Hindus.

Smoke is rising from within the crowd.

20110117_14215

It is a camphor lamp passing through the crowd …

20110117_14216         

so that all present can ‘take light.’

20110117_14218

If this procession was like others I have seen, the gods will stop several times, in strategic locations, so that people can come for darshan and make offerings and have puja with the gods. I really appreciate it that in India the gods get to come out of the temple, to bring their  blessings to all who are interested. I think that the gods like it too. It must get stuffy, staying in the inner sanctum, with all that smoking incense burned in your face.

On another note

The day after I took these photographs in front of Nithyananda’s Dhyanapeetam, there was a notice in the Deccan Chronicle newspaper that a Western man, from Canada, was assaulted by the ‘inmates’ of  the ashram there. He was taking photos inside the Dhyanapeetam. He was assaulted and his camera taken from him. The article said that some local people interceded and got the camera back for the man. The police were called in. I am not sure what happened after this.

The Deccan Chronicle is a regional English-language newspaper published in Chennai and other cities in South India.

Since I am a Western man who goes around taking photographs, and who has done so inside the Dhyanapeetam, I find this incident very disturbing. Maybe Nithyananda has a chance to recover from the disgrace that the sexually compromising videos and police charges have brought to him, but if his followers continue this kind of behavior, there is no hope for his again becoming a respected figure in India.

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “The Gods Do Arunachala Pradakshina”

  1. Udaysree Says:

    Richard, thank you for allowing the posting and your response. the 2 links go directly to material released by dhyanapeetam. i am not the author. if any further clarification is needed, please contact dhyanapeetam directly. thanks again,
    kind regards

  2. Udaysree Says:

    learn here about the Real Story:

    http://nithyananda.org/news/legal-action-against-anti-spiritual-forces-tiruvannamalai-ashram

    • richardclarke Says:

      I am allowing this post. I have no way to know if what you claim is true or not. I think that, given the claims of special spiritual status for Nithyananda, that he also bear special responsibility to behave in ways that fit the dharma, as do his followers. I read you article and frankly did not find it convincing. I see charges that do not seem substantiated. I allow the postg anyway.

  3. asksriram Says:

    Hi,
    Appreciate your post. Please write god as God.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Sriram

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: