Wednesday, December 28, 2016

950.The Abode of Anathapadmanabha.


Sanatana Dharma reiterates that Satya (Truth) is a Tattva (Principle). Hence it also guides a seeker to transcend from Sagunopasana (Ritualistic worship) to Nirgunopasana (Mental worship). Sagunopasana is the stepping stone for Nirgunopasana and Nirgunopasana is the ability to experience the Oneness. Even Vedas which advocates the Karma Khanda and Jnana Khanda prefers that the seeker excel to Nirgunopasana. 

Nevertheless Nirgunopsana never stops the seeker to adore a personal Deity. The personal Deity differs from seeker to seeker, depending on dispositions and tendencies towards a particular emotion. This made it necessary to the advent of Agamas. Agamas are set of rules in the Sagunopasana. This was to bring in discipline in the minds of the seeker.

Agamas Shastra laid down the guidelines for the construction of temples and the rituals to sanctify them. The flow chart for the daily rituals from the dawn and dusk is neatly mentioned too. The guidelines in the Agama Shastras have made it possible for us to have a glimpse of temples which are as old as a millennium.   
Of the three principal Deities, Maharudradeva and Maha Vishnu have the maximum number of temples. These temples are called Punya Kshetras (Holy Place). 

There are 108 temples dedicated to Maha Vishnu which the Alwars, the flowers of Vaishnavism praised and sange about them. These 108 temples which are called “Divya Desam” (Sacred Land) have their origin to ancient times and are referred to in Puranas.

Out of the 108 temples 106 is on this earth plane. 84 in Tamil Nadu, 11 in Kerala, 4 in Uttar Pradesh, 3 in Uttaranchal, 2 in Andhra Pradesh and one each in Gujarat and Nepal. The remaining two is in spiritual realm, one is Ksherasagara (Milky Ocean) and the other is Vaikunta (Point of No return).    

Going on Tirtha Yatra (Centres of Sacredness) has been an integral part of Hinduism and are considered quite important by the ritualistic followers of Sanatana Dharma. Those sacred places are held at high esteem by the ardent devotees who dream to travel and have the glimpse of the presiding Deity there. The pinnacle act of worship is to stand before the Deity and to see and be seen by the Deity to experience the ecstasy. 

Most importantly it is not and I repeat again it is NOT the decision of the seeker to visit any one of these Divya Desam to have the glimpse of the Deity there. The Deity has to bestow the grace for the seekers’ eye (both the physical and mental) to get soaked in the Darshana of the Deity.      

Sri Anathapadmanabha Swamy, the presiding Deity of Thiruvanathapuram has been kind enough to grant me that moment for which I had been longing for so long. I am eager to have the Darshana of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy...... Pranam. 

Om Namo Anatha Padmanabhaya Namah!      

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