Thursday, March 1, 2012

Arunachala-The Holy Mountain

Arunachala, the holy mountain has been known for centuries as a sacred, divine place.  Ramana Maharshi considered Aunachala his guru.  Numerous pilgrims, saints, and masters have visited this area.  It is so charged with spiritual energy that spiritual benefits get magnified here.  Siddhas bestow countless spiritual blessings on the devotees engaged in spiritual pursuits. 
Darma Durai selling Rudraksh and mala shell.  Rudraksha is a large evergreen broad leaved tree whose seed is used for prayer beads in Hinduism.  It is used for repetitive prayer, specifically meditation.  Trivunalmalai Website
While going up the mountain, you see many people meditating on the rocks.  I stumbled upon the Wandering Swami who had been living on the mountain for 15 years.  I kept going and saw two of the popular caves where I stopped to meditate in both. 
My host mentioned to me the “spiritual energy” that comes from the mountain and the place itself and I definitely felt this energy especially on my next meeting-meeting the wondering swami.  He has lived up on the mountain for over 40 years and he gives you a cardo
Nearing the mid point of the hill, I went into a small temple ahead to have my pooja done and I met a worshipper named Chandaswarma. We got to talking and he gave descriptions of the pictures of God’s and his family inside the temple.  He said his family is connected to Krisha from many generations ago.  He looks like a true swami and lives on the mountain, but also goes into the town on occasion.  He tells me that he performs a special yoga for some visitors involving your chakras and various rituals.  He tells me that this pooja will release your problems and create happiness in your life.  He asks if I would like to do it and I am very happy that he asks me to participate. 
What happens next is truly a spiritual moment of India.  The whole process was about a half an hour and consisted of him placing lemons and fire towards my chakras.  He cleansed my face and arms with holy water while chanting, “Om Shanti” over and over.  Throughout I focused my mind on the moment and his presence.  I felt our spirits connect and prayed that this would help relieve my disconnected feelings. He brushes me with tree branches and leaves and I try my best to internalize his words. Om Shanti Om Shanti. He squirts lemon juice and brushes holy water through my face and hair. I kept trying to focus my mind on the moment and on my experience.After it was finished, I slowly opened my eyes and brought my spirit and body into reality.  Where am I? What just happened? How do I feel?
He brought me some tea and we sat and talked about my life and spiritual connection to God.  When he looked in my eyes, it was clear he was listening to each and every word. 
He mentioned that he had a couple German girls staying with him. They had traveled to Triviunmalai for a couple days and a couple days turned into months.  It is that kind of amazing energy that makes you want to stay and work on your relationship with yourself and your higher power.  He told me I could stay on the mountain top with him and the German girls and I thought about it, but declined because my host would most likely not approve. 
The sun began to set and I told my swami that it was time for me to go.  He told me to come back tomorrow, which I did for Part 2 of my Pooja experience.   

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