I am posting this on an auspicious guruvaram (in US) and thai Friday (in India).
Almost 10 years back Shivasri Chandrasekhara Gurukkal initiated Shiva Panchayathana puja for me in Chicago. He gave me the following dhyana slokam and gave me the meaning of the sloka also.
A sloka goes like this ::
मूले कल्पद्रुमस्य द्रुतकनकनिभं चारुपद्मासनस्थं।
सर्वालङ्कारकान्तम् वरपरशुमृगाभेरिहस्तम् त्रिनेत्रं
वन्दे बालेन्दुमौलिम् गजवदनगुहास्लिष्टपार्श्वम् महेशं॥
mūle kalpadrumasya drutakanakanibhaṁ cārupadmāsanasthaṁ|
sarvāalaṅkārakāntam varaparaśumṛgābherihastam trinetraṁ
vande bālendumaulim gajavadanaguhāsliṣṭapārśvam maheśaṁ||
Seated in the lotus posture under the kalpavriksha possessing a hue of running molten gold, the Gauri (Ma Parvathi) of dazzling white colour seated on His left thigh and His naughty hands hovering secretly around the buxom breast of that Uma. He who is bedecked in all ornaments, He, carrying an axe, a deer and a percussion instrument (udukku) in His hands, having three eyes, adorning His matted hair with the young nascent moon in crescent form, and embracing his two darling sons the elephant faced Ganesa and the cute Skanda the Guha on his flanks.
I prostrate in utter self supplication and surrender before that lord of Lords, Shiva…
For quite a long time, I wanted to find a photo that somewhat resembles the meaning of the slokam so that we could meditate upon Shiva-Sakthi parivar. Almost all of the photos you find will not match the meaning of the dhyana slokam.
However, couple of years back, I posted an article. In the foreword, Swamiji had written the cover photo is used to match the meaning of the same dhyana sloka. I was still not convinced with the photo for few reasons
- Lord Shiva should not be drawn as blue; only Lord Rama should be drawn as blue. Lord Shiva should be drawn as the golden color – the color similar to sunset (Source :: Swami Dayanandha Saraswathi / Paramarthanandha Swamigal)
- The dhyana slokam says he is sitting under kalpaka vruksha.
- He should be embracing/slightly hugging ambal with his left hand
- Surya and Chandra should be there on his head
If a picture has all these, then it would fit the dhyana slokam and the panchayathana puja also.
After tiring search, I reached out to our beloved Umesh for help. I gave the sloka. meaning of gurukkal mama told and other meanings available on the web and another Lord Dakshinamurthy photo (bought from Swami Dayanandha Saraswathi Swamiji’s ashram that has the right representation of Lord Shiva). Up to this part is easy – anyone can do…Here comes the hard part….Only the blessed ones can do.. Umesh did the rest.
Umesh has been drawing mostly Periyava pictures lately although he has drawn swami pictures when he was young. Then Umesh started researching, compared several pictures, consulted his mother (she has been giving lots of inputs to him till now) and started a sketch. In his words, one and a half month was truly a great spiritual journey for him…Two days back, when he shared this photo – I was speechless…
Thathroopam is an underestimated word. Once you zoom in and start to look at each swami, you would see the details and the reality he had brought out…You can’t take yours eyes off the picture. To share the details he told me – one afternoon/evening he started drawing ambal. He has Bhuvaneswari amman picture at home. He chose to draw that same ambal here too. He called his mother and she started chanting Lalitha Sahasranamam and during that time Umesh finished the whole ambal drawing – beauty of that is he did not use the eraser once!!! As per him, the whole coloring of ambal happened without even his awareness. After finished after few hours, he realized that the whole thing was done and he couldn’t believe that he did all these….He promised me to share similar experiences!
I can’t thank Umesh for what he did here…Simply amazing! Without Periyava’s grace and without Kailasanathar’s grace (are they two different or what?!) this wouldn’t have been possible. This picture is going to be printed, framed and hung on my puja room in the next few days. If I were the kings and emperors of those days, I would have given a golden kaapu for Umesh’s hands that did such a wonderful drawing! What can a poor webmaster can do? I thanked him enough and pray Periyava to bless him with all the shreyas in life!!
Umesh – Thanks a million for your time and effort in drawing this. My 10 year search ends here! This is going to live for generations at my place – for sure!
Didn’t I say that Umesh has been painting only Periyava recently? There is Periyava in the picture – find out where it is and comment! How brilliant?!
Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara!