Many Jaya Jaya Sankara to Smt. Sunitha Madhavan for the share. Rama Rama
Maha Periyava’s visit to Chidambara Kshethram!
Today, on the auspicious occasion of Aarudra Darisanam, let us read this beautiful episode summarizing the visit of Sri Maha Periva to the Chidambaram Temple and relish in the thought of Lord Nataraja and of our own Periva as well.
On the night of Swamigal’s visit to Chidambaram, he asked the young man who does Vastra Kaingaryam ( washes and maintains Swamigal’s clothes) to come to the Sivaganga Thatagai / tank in the Nataraja temple early next morning before 5 am with his new clothes and without anyone’s knowledge. Swamigal went to the holy tank early in the morning with that young man, took a bath, completed his morning prayers and was there in front of the sanctum sanctorum before the doors were opened. The priest who had the morning duty there turned around and was shocked to see our Swamigal standing there reciting slokas.
He did not expect to see our Swamigal there unannounced and immediately sent word through the security guard to all the Dikshithars about Swamigal’s presence in the temple. Within minutes the word spread and hundreds of people hurried towards the temple. The Dikshithars prostrated before Swamigal and said they had made lots of arrangements to welcome Swamigal in an appropriate way and they were upset
because he was there all by himself, unannounced. Swamigal replied that he was eager to have ‘Viswaroopa darshan (the first puja done in the morning) of Nataraja and also that he would be visiting the temple many times every day during his stay here.
The Dikshithars took Swamigal back to his camp with all the Devasthanam honors. They requested Swamigal to stay in the temple for few days and conduct Sri Chandramouleswarer puja in the thousand pillared mandap. Welcome speech was given in Sanksrit by Upanyasa Ratnakaram C.S.Sivakamasundara Dikshithar and in Tamil by his son C.S.Sachidananda Dikshithar, on behalf of their entire community.
Swamigal stayed in the temple for about fifteen days and conducted the puja there. It is said that Adi Sankara brought back five lingams from Kailasa and of those, the Moksha lingam is said to be in Chidambaram. The Yoga Lingam is being worshipped by Adi Sankara and all the Kamakoti Acharyas. Thousands of people witnessed the puja and heard Swamigal’s upanyasams in the evenings. Members of all communities offered Bikshavandanam and pada puja.
Swamigal had darshan of Nataraja and Govindaraja every day of his stay. He arranged for special abhishekams of Chitra annam as well as Bakshana pavadai for Nataraja. Every year, special decorations are made to Nataraja and he is brought in a procession around the four Ratha streets, twice in the month of Ani for Ani Thirumanjana celebrations as well as in the month of Margazhi for Arudra darshanam. It would take the priests three days to complete the decorations.
The Dikshithars brought our Swamigal down the Panchakshara steps to the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Nataraja to have the darshan of the Lord decorated thus for the procession. Sri Swamigal had darshan of Ratnasabapathi, Moksha Chandramouleswarer lingam, Chitsabesan, Sivakamasundari and the famous Secret of Chidamabaram. His Holiness stayed in Chidambaram for a month. Before leaving the city, Sri Swamigal donated crescent moon made in gold and with diamonds embedded on the top, for Nataraja.
Categories: Devotee Experiences