Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Body Temple

Click on the photograph (of Sri Paramahamsa Sachchidanada Yogeeswarar) to enlarge.
Cuddapah Sri Paramahamsa Sachchidananda Yogeeswarar, born in Kanchipuram on February 16th, 1865 and attained 'nirvikalpa samadhi' on January 7th, 1957, was a great devotee of Ekaambreswara Nadha of Kanchipuram from the age of 12. It is believed that He had the darshan of Lord Ekaambreswara in the guise of a sage. The website has lot more information about His Holiness.
In His book, "Shareeradevaalaya Rahasyaardhapaarijaathamu", His Holiness Sri Paramahamsa Sachchidananda Yogeeswarar has shown His body as the temple of God. He has explained as follows:-
As per the photograph above, in the lying posture, He has stated that the elders have determined the feet to be the "Gopuram" (tower) of temple.The ten fingers outlining both the feet are the ten "Kalashams" on top of the Gopuram. As we enter the temple through the "Gopuram-Feet", we first encounter "Prajaapathi" in the form of the "Dhwajasthambam"(Prajapathi is the Supreme God Who presides over procreation and is the Protector of the Universe).
In order to dispel any doubts that may arise in the minds of the readers, His Holiness has explained why the male reproductive organ is depicted as Prajaapathi. As the Creator of women, men, elephants, horses, cows, buffaloes, donkeys, dogs, deers, other wild and tame animals, crawling creatures like snakes, tortoises, ants, bugs,worms etc. and flying creatures like innumerable varieties of birds, mosquitoes, creatures that live in water like fish, and other sea -creatures, it is but natural that the reproductive organ of the male stands for the Dhwajasthambam. The primary deity for Prajaapathi is Lord Brahma according to epics. Moreover, the navel is placed in front of Prajaapathi. This navel represents the "Bali Peetham". The Bali Peetham is where the sacrifice is performed. His Holiness has named the 10 sacrifices one must perform in this place:-
1)Desire:- Desire for somebody's wife, one's own wife, sons, daughters, wealth, accumulation of property. Narakasura had perished due to this quality.
2)Anger:-Unable to bear other's prosperity and even attempting to hinder their growth. Bakasura had perished due this quality.
3)Selfishness:-Enjoying one's own wealth greedily, not sharing even a little with anybody. Duryodhana had perished due to this quality.
4)Fascination:-For mother, children, spouse, not being satisfied with one's own wealth-trying to accumulate more and more property. King Dasharadha had perished due to fascination for son, Lord Rama.
5)Arrogance:- Excessive success and accumulation of wealth could lead one to this state, where the native does not care for the feelings of others. Karthaveeryaarjuna perished due to this quality.
6)Spitefulness:-Not being able to bear others' prosperity even though the native himself is prosperous and happy. Trying to subjugate others and their growth. Sishupala became the victim of Lord Krishna's discus due to this quality.
7)Pomposity:-Giving charity, performing "yagnas"(holy rituals) on a grand scale only to impress others. Puroorava Chakravarthi is a fine example of this quality.
8)Condescension:-Assuming oneself to be the greatest in personal and monetary affairs. Parashurama had this quality.
9) Intolerance and ill-will:-Wishing that others are as unhappy as oneself. Hari Sakshi had this quality.
10)Jealousy/Envy:-Trying to harm those who have harmed you. Poundareeka Vasudeva had this quality.
Even if men and women do not possess every quality mentioned above, they may have atleast one or two qualities out of the 10 bad qualities. Therefore, these qualities have to be sacrificed at the "Bali Peetham" (navel) to enter the sanctum santorum of the temple with a cleansed and purified heart and mind.
The process of sacrificing the bad qualities at the "Bali Peetham" is as follows:-

As we enter the temple tower (Gopuram), and past the "Dhwajasthambam", we must stand next to the "Bali Peetham" with folded hands praying fervently, "I am sacrificing all my bad qualities and tendencies here at the 'Bali Peetha'. Now I do not possess bad qualities. Now I am going to enter the sanctum santorum of the temple to have the 'darshan' of God."
After offering salutations to the "Bali Peetham" and purifying ourselves we must enter the "Moola Sthaanam" (sanctum santorum) of the temple without any thought or feeling. When we are able to enter the 'moola sthanam' totally devoid of thought or feeling, such a state is called as "Samadhi."
(To be continued.....)

As told by the yogi:-
"Samadhi is a state where the practitioner succeeds in fully controlling his mind by shutting his mind to all mundane thoughts. Therefore devotees who go to the sanctum-santorum to have the darshan of God should not seek material favours. The devotee's only wish and aspiration should be to attain the Lotus feet of the Lord. With a clean and pure heart and with a steady gaze (by not looking here and there) the devotee has to enter the sanctum-santorum of the temple. The mind becomes fickle if the devotee allows his/her gaze to wander here and there. A fickle mind invites desire.Therefore the devotees should focus there total attention and thought on God as they enter the sanctum-santorum of the temple.

At the entrance of the sanctum-santorum, the devotee will find "nandi" seatedin front of the Sivalingam(please find the arrow mark on the chest region of the author indicating the placement of "nandi" in front of the Sivalingam.

Few devotees walk right in front of "nandi" as they enter the sanctum-santorumof the temple. Such devotees are immediately corrected by the temple priest,"Please do not obstruct the "nandi". Kindly walk to the right side or left side of the "nandi". Then the devotees would want toknow the reason why they should not obstruct the "nandi".The priest replies, "I do not know the reason why "nandi" should not be obstructed.I am only repeating what the elders have preached!"The priest is ignorant, I will tell why one should not walk in front of the "nandi".

Lord Siva is a great yogi. He therefore is always immersed in yogic fire. The Siva temple was built at the time of creation. Few learned and elderly men visited the temple at that time. They stood right in front of the Sivalingam and as they viewed the Lingam through their yogic gaze they realised that the Lord was full of yogic fire. I shall tell you what those elders did to cool the yogic fire of the Sivalingam.

They instructed the temple priest to tie a vessel made out of "ragi" metal (the vessel has a wide opening, narrowing down at the bottom which has a small hole) to chains in such a position and manner so that the vessel is positioned right on top of the Sivalingam. The elders instructed the priest to keep the vessel full of water at all times, so that the water flowed continuosly in a thin line through the hole over the Sivalingam. (You may find the water flowing steadily in a thin line
in the "Body temple" diagram).
Cold water is heating and hot water is cooling .There is a famous saying, "Ushnam Ushnena Sheethalam" (heat combined with heat produces coolness). The cold water (which is heating by nature ) pouring slowly and steadily on to the Sivalingam makes contact with the heat produced by the yogic fire of the Lord. By applying cold water's heat, the temperature of the yogic fire of the Lord is instantly brought down and cooled."

(To be continued....)

"...That is why elders have always said that Lord Shiva is "Abhisheka Priya" (The One who is fond of ablution).In that manner the learned elders made sure that the water from the 'ragi' vessel was positioned on top of Lord Shiva's head which was a part of Shiva Linga before they left the temple. After a few days the learned elders went back to the temple to check ( with the aid of their yogic insight )whether the water from the 'ragi' vessel which was tied right on top of the Shiva Lingam had successfully cooled the yogic fire of Lord Shiva. They found out that the temperature of the yogic fire of Lord Shiva was brought down only to a certain degree and not fully to their satisfaction.
Following is what they did to cool down the yogic fire of Lord Shiva fully.
In the beginning when the temple was built, a 'ragi' vessel was not tied on top of the Lingam with water pouring down, neither was there a 'Nandi' in front of the Lingam. The tying of 'ragi' vessel filled with water on top of the Lingam and placing the idol of 'Nandi' in front of the Lingam were all done only after these learned religious pundits were able to assess the presence of Lord Shiva's head in the Lingam (through their yogic insight). I shall narrate the reason why these learned scholars installed the idol of 'Nandi' in front of the Lingam, please listen to me.
Bull (Vrishabham) is the vehicle for Lord Shiva. The bull grazes in the landscape outside the temple and later comes inside the temple to lie down randomly, chewing on the grass. At such a time, if Lord Shiva wants to Grace a particular devotee (who has been doing penance for several years), He comes out of the Lingam and attaining the human form He beckons the cud-chewing bull to mount the animal, speeds to the devotee whose penance had fructified, grants the devotee his desired boons, returns to the temple riding the bull, alights from the bull and reenters the Lingam. As soon as the Lord alights from the bull to reenter the Lingam, the bull once again goes out of the temple to graze and return to the temple to lie down somewhere chewing grass. I shall tell you how the learned elders instructed the bull.
They called out,
"Oh, Nandi, please come here!"
The Nandi obediently came to stand close to the elders as soon as it was beckoned. The elders then seated the Nandi right oppsosite the Lingam and placing their thumb and index fingers on its horns tried to assess the alignment between the centre of the Lingam and the middle of the Nandi's nostrils. After adjusting the Nandi's face for perfect alignment between the points between the mid-nostrils of the Nandi and the centre of the Lingam, the elders spoke to the Nandi as follows:-
"Oh, Nandi! From today onwards, please do not go anywhere and remain seated in the same position. Fan the Lord with your breath of inhalation and exhalation."
Having said thus to the Nandi, they beckoned the Pujari of the Temple,
"Oh, Archaka! From today make sure that men and women who come to the temple to pray do not come inbetween the Nanadi and the Lingam to enter the "Moola Sthaanam". Please ask them to enter either from the left or right side of the Nandi." The elders only told that much to the Pujari , without explaining the entire science behind the position of the Nandi. Thus the Pujari remained ignorant of the science behind the placement of Nandi right in front of the Lingam. The fact has been illustrated in the diagram above. I shall further explain why the Nandi is seated right opposite the Lingam.
Devotees who come to the temple place their index finger and thumb on top of the Nandi's horns to view Lord Shiva without knowing the science behind the act. The devotees are ignorant of the fact that the Nandi is seated in front of the Lingam to cool the yogic heat of the Lord by fanning the Lingam with its inhalation/exhalation process.
After some days the learned elders came back to the temple to find out through their yogic powers, if the yogic heat of the Lingam was nullified by the aid of the Nandi's breath-fanning. They were delighted when they discovered that the yogic heat of the Lingam was fully cooled and erased. The elders who were very pleased instructed the Nandi and the temple Pujari one more time to continue in the same manner and went back to their residences.
After these arrangements continued, there came a time when Lord Shiva who was residing in the Lingam felt compassionate towards a devotee whose penance had been continuing in all its intensity for several years. The Lord wanted to Grace His devotee and came out of the Lingam. As He stepped out of the Lingam, He instantly became heated in His own yogic heat as He came out of the dripping water from the 'ragi' vessel above and the fanning of the Nandi's inhalation and exhalation process. The Lord unable to bear His own heat beckoned the Holy river Ganges and tied Her up in His thick braids. Instantly cooling down He went to attend to His devotee, granting him desired boons and returned to the temple. As he stepped close to the Lingam, He released the Holy Ganges from His braids and sent Her back to Her place before entering the Lingam to be in His state of yogic self-absorption.
Now I will explain to you why only in Saivite temples Nandis are placed in front of the Lingam and not in Vaishnavite temples. Why is Garuthmantha (the Eagle-vehicle of Lord Vishnu) not placed right in front of Lord Vishnu? I will tell you the reason! Lord Vishnu is the Sustainer and does not remain in yogic self-absorption. Consequently, Lord Vishnu's body is not heated due to yogic fire. There is no need for Vishnu's vehicle, Lord Garuthmantha to fan Lord Vishnu with his inhalation and exhalation.
That is why in Vaishnavite temples the temple tower (Gopuram) comes first, then the "Dhwajasthambham", the Bali Peetham in front of the Dhwajasthambam, and the Moola Sthaanam (inner sanctorum) from the Bali Peetham and nothing else in between the Bali Peetham and the Moola Sthaanam. All the Vaishnavite temples are constructed in the above fashion. A few learned religious authorities have erected Lord Anjaneya's idol between the Bali Peetham and the Moola Sthaanam.
In Saivite temples, as we enter the temple we find that starting from the Nandi the darkness spreads around the area and the darkness increases as we reach the Moola Sthaanam. The darkness in the Moola Sthaanam where God resides is maximized and a ghee-lit lamp flickers near the Lord. We can also notice that there are no other lamps all the way upto the Moola Sthaanam where God resides.
Oh Andhra-residents of Ganjaam, Visakhapatnam, Godavari, Krishna, Nellore districts and towns, I have visited all the temples in your areas when I toured the state. Alas, I found that the Moola Sthaanams in all the temples in your areas are not dark. I had even visited the magnificent temple of Varanasi, even there the Moola Sthaanam is not dark! The Moola Sthaanams of temples in Chennapuri, South of Chennapuri, starting from Chengalput District all the way upto Rameswaram have been constructed by our ancient learned elders designed to make the area of the Moola Sthaanam pitch-dark. I fail to understand why in Andhra Pradesh the temples have not been designed to make the Moola Sthaanams dark.
Anyway, let me explain why the Moola Sthaanams of Saivite temples in Tamilnadu are pitch-dark..."

(To be continued........)

"..... The human body is the temple. The top-centre of the head, "Brahma Kapalam" is equivalent to the temple's "Moolasthaanam" (sanctum-sanctorum). The human brain is just below the "Brahma Kapalam" ( top-centre of the head region). The human brain is covered by an extremely thin layer of skin. This white and red coloured human brain is not only encircled in multiple rings but also encompassed by ultra-thin red coloured nerves.This portion is also known as the "Sahasraara Chakra." In between the brain and the "Brahma Kapalam" there is darkness. God is situated in this tiny portion of darkness which is also referred to as the "Cave of Brahma". Therefore the "Moolasthaanams" (sanctum-sanctorum) in temples are designed to be dark, to depict the presence of God in the darkness between the human brain and the top-centre ("Brahma Kapalam") of the human head.(You may refer to the diagram above.)
Many ignorant devotees have commented that temples should be designed to allow plenty of air and light into the "Moolasthaanams." Not only that, many wealthy devotees have gone to the extent of re-building new temples that allow plenty of light and air into the "Moolasthaanams" which is blasphemous. Devotees, without proper understanding of the science and relationship between the human body and the temple should not involve in the construction of temples.
Kindly listen to my personal experience:-
Chingleput District is in the state of Tamilnadu. The most holy temple town, Sri Kanchi is situated in Chingleput District. I was born in this holiest of holy places called Sri Kanchipuram. In this temple town, there is a Siva Temple in the name of Sri Ekaambareeswara. This temple was built by great scholars of yore during ancient times. The author of this article ( Yogi Sachchidananda Yogeeswarar), that is myself, had visited the temple in the year 1875, exactly 55 years ago ( the year, 1920 of authoring this religious text). In the Saivite temples which were constructed in ancient times, the darkness used to spread gradually, starting from the Nandi itself. The darkness gradually spreads and increases in intensity as the devotee proceeds towards the sanctum-sanctorum ("Moolasthaanam"). I walked in such darkness and reached the "Moolasthaanam". I found a flickering ghee lamp only next to the Shiva-Lingam and not anywhere else on the way to the "Moolasthaanam". I have already explained the reason why a "Moolasthaanam" is required to be dark (just like the darkness between human brain and the top-centre of human head or "Brahma Kapalam" of a human being which is the place of God also known as the "Cave of Brahma".)
Temples which were built by knowledgeable devotees were designed to be pitch-dark in the sanctum-sanctorum, the darkness spreading gradually from the Nandi and intesifying as it reaches the "Moolasthaanam" where it is totally pitch-dark. Many such meaningful temples were destroyed 253 years ago in communal riots.

(To be continued............)

"A community called "Naatukota Chettulu" (probably "Naattukottai Chettiars) have started renovating temples in such a way that the "Moolasthanam" (sanctum-sanctorum) is filled with natural air and light. Fifty three years ago, when I visited Kanchi Ekaambareswara Temple, the temple's "Moolasthanam" used to be pitch-dark. Such a fine temple's meaningful construction of its sanctum-sanctorum was demolished, the walls brought down to be rebuilt (which cost lakhs of rupees) by "Naatukota Chettulu" for natural air and light to enter the "Moolasthanam". The renovation happened 35 years ago. While the renovation was in progress, I visited the temple.
At that time "kalashams" (pots ) were placed approximately 40 feet away (in front of the Lingam )from the Shiva Lingam. A string of thread ran the length between the Shiva Lingam and the Kalashams, one end wound and tied around the Shiva Lingam and the other end wound and tied around a Kalasham. The life-force energy of the Shiva Lingam was extracted and directed into the Kalasham through the strength of "mantram" ("mantra balam"). When the "prana" or life-force energy of the Lingam entered the Kalasham, the connecting thread of string between the Lingam and Kalasham was removed and discarded. After this process all the poojas and worship that were meant for the Shiva Lingam was performed for the Kalasham. Kalasha-pooja continued until the renovation was completed.
Since the Shiva Lingam in the "Moolasthanam" was devoid of life-force energy or "prana" (which is now contained in the Kalasham), poojas were not performed for the Lingam. The Lingam and "Paanu Vattamu" (the blogger has no knowledge of this telugu term) were concealed carefully while the roof on top of the "Moolasthanam" and the walls surrounding the same were all demolished and brought down to renovate the ceiling and walls for the sole purpose of letting natural air and light to enter the sanctum-sanctorum or "Moolasthanam".
The renovation took place for nearly 5 or 6 years. After the renovation was completed, the covers from the Shiva Lingam and "Paanu Vattamu" were removed and the Lingam and "Paanu Vattamu" duly cleansed. Once again the "Kalashams" (pots) were placed in front of the Shiva Lingam. A thread of string connected the Shiva Lingam and the Kalasham by tying one end to the Lingam and the other end to the Kalasham. This time the "prana" or life-force energy which was initially directed from the Lingam to the Kalasham was re-directed to the Shiva Lingam (from the Kalasham) through the power of mantra ("mantra balam"). As soon as the "prana" or life-force energy was directed from the Kalasham and back into the Shiva Lingam, the thread of string was removed and discarded thereby disconnecting the current between the Lingam and Kalasham. Such a procedure is known as "Kumbabhishekam".
On May 5th, 1928 I started my tour (from Chenna Patnam-"Chennai") of mostly Andhra Pradesh and the northern part of India.
Sullurpeta, Nayadupeta, Guduru, Nelluru, Kaavali, Ongolu, Vetapaalayam, Cheerala, Repalle, Gunturu, Narasaraopeta, Vinukonda, Lankelakoorapaadu, Muppaala, Chaagantivaaripaalem, Saththenapalli, Mangalagiri, Bezavaada, Kondapalli, Madhira, Mahadevapuram, Dendukooru, Eerallapaadu, Allinagaram, Vathsavaayi, Chirunomula, Dabbaakupalli, Kambhampaadu, Penuganchiprolu, Anigallapaadu, Maagallu, Nandigaama, Jaggayyapeta, Mukthyaala, Bonakal, Naagulavancha, Khammammettu, Gadvaala, Hyderaabaadu, Palakanaama, Kollooru, Shikinderaabaadu, Maddikera, Paththikonda, Vuruvakonda, Gunthakallu, Joharaapuram, Aadoni, Bellaary, Hosapeta, Hampi, Paamarru, Kovvaada, Mahadevapattanam, Undi, Bheemavaram, Vedangi, Paalakollu, Narasaapuram (blogger's native place), Nidadavolu, SreeShanthi Ashramamamu, Rajahmundry, Kodoorupaadu, Amalaapuram, Ramachandraapuram, Kaakinaada, Saamarlakota, Peddaapuram, Thuni, Bheemavarapukota, Nakkapalli, Yelamanchili, Anakaapalli, Narasipaatanam, Chodavaram, Visaakhapatnam, Bheemunipatnam, Amanaam, Vizianagaram, Saalooru, Jayapuram, Bobbili, Paarvathipuram, Veeraghattam, Paalakonda, Raazaam, Cheepurupalli, Aamudaalavalasa, Srikaakulam, Heeramandalam, Parlaakimidi, Tekkali, Naupaada, Palaasa, Ananthagiri, Braahmanatharla, Sompeta, Ichchaapuram, Berhampuram, Askaa, Rasoolkonda, Chathrapuram, Khuradaaroaddu, Jagannaadham, Cuttack, Kharaghpur, Thaathaanagar, Chakradharapooru, Aadraa, Gaya, Kaashi, Prayaaga, Calcutta, etc. (including various districts, talukas, cities, towns and villages). I have toured all the above mentioned places and given religious lectures apart from clarifying the doubts of men and women folk on religious matters.
I have even visited all the Saivite temples in the above places and inspected whether the temples were constructed in accordance to requirements of temple-shasthras (customs).
I observed that only the Shiva temples in Andhra Pradesh were not built in the required manner.
In the temples in Andhra Pradesh, I found that there was no "Bali Peetham" in front of the "Dwajasthambam". The Shiva temple in a small village called Paalakonda (in Visaakhapatnam district) has the "Bali Peetham" in front of the "Gopuram" (temple tower). The "Dwajasthamabam" is placed only after one crosses the "Bali Peetham" . The "Dwajasthambam" should never be placed in between the "Moolasthanam" and the "Bali Peetham". I will tell you the reason.
The human feet (all the ten fingers of the feet) represent the "Kalashams" on the temple tower, the male organ is the "Dwjasthambam", the "naabhi" (navel region) is the "Bali Peetham", The "Hrudya Kamalam" (Anaahatha Chakram) between the two breasts represent the Nandi, the region in the "Brahma Kapaalam" (top of the head) is the residence of Lord Shiva . Therefore the placements in temples are not be interchanged, like the Shiva temple in Paalakonda. I could see that only in Paalakonda the placements of the "Bali Peetham" and the "Dwajasthambam" were interchanged. In the rest of the Shiva and Vishnu temples of Andhra Pradesh, there was a complete absence of "Bali Peethams". I think the natives of Andhra are not aware of the concept of "Bali Peetham". Through my religious lectures, I had educated the natives about the secrets and significance of Shiva temples.
Now I will come to the magnificent secret about the temple of Varanasi........."

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