Arunachaleswarar Girivalam and its Significance
Girivalam is performed around any hill. This post talks about the Girivalam performed around the Arunacala hill, Arunachaleshwarar temple, Tiruvannamalai.
What is Girivalam?
Giri means mountain, Valam means going around and also means going around with the mountain to your right side. Which means, go round the mountain clockwise.
What is the significance of Girivalam / circumambulation of Arunachala ?
It is believed that devotees who circumambulate the hill regularly have no rebirth and attain eternity.
How to perform the girivalam?
The devotee should join hands and walk slowly like a women in her 9th month of pregnancy. The devotee should pay respect in every direction. They should not touch each other while circumambulating the hill. Devotees should take bath, wear clean clothes apply scared ash and can wear rudraksha beads.
Forms of Arunacala during different yugas.
There are two beliefs that during the Krtayuga the mountain was a column of Fire. In Treta yuga it was a jewel mountain. In Dwapara yuga, golden and in Kaliyuga it is an emerald mountain.
Another school of thought
Krtayuga – Column of Fire
Treta – Mountain of Gold
Dwapara – Mountain of Iron
Kaliyuga – Mountain of Stone
What is the significance of Girivalam
Let see what Arunachala puranam has to say about the significance of girivalam.
The Arunachala Puranam states that: ‘the holy Arunachala is the primal, Adi linga. The path around its base is the sacred Yoni. Pradakshina of the Hill is therefore pradakshina of the source of all lingas!. A mere step taken, confers the benefit of a Yaga, sacrifice; two steps, the fruit of Rajasuya Yaga; and three that of Asvamedha Yaga. Going round the hill one gains in health and vigour. The hill abounds in rare herbs sought by traditional herbalists and the breeze carries the salubrious wafts from these siddha herbs to the one doing the holy round. The dust from the feet of such a person, carried and deposited in towns far away effects immeasurable purification.’
Significance of Pradaskshana on various days of the week.
Circumambulating the hill on any day is considered auspicious. However each day has its specialty
|Monday||Become one with Lord Siva and live happily in a world free from old age and death.|
|Tuesday||Cessation of debt and cyclic death (freed from all doubts and becomes Emperor)|
|Wednesday||Divinity through skill in philosophy and art (attain Wisdom and Omniscience)|
|Thursday||Lordship over gods and god-men (venerated by all Devas and may even become a renowned Guru.|
|Friday||Lordship of the Lotus Lady (to reach the abode of Vishnu)|
|Saturday||Astronomical benefits of a nine-planet conjunction in the Eleventh House (worldly success and protection against planetary influences). |
|Sunday||Enter the solar region and attain Liberation|
The above effects are overblown when circumambulated on Sivaratri day (masik or Maha), New-year day (chithirai) or during the three months, mid-October to mid-January (Aippasi, Karthigai, Margazhi). The fruits are believed to increase by a factor of one crore if done on the two solstices (when the sun is in its hightest position, as seen from the north and South pole); or on the day the moon is in the Magha asterism during February-March (Maasi month) ; or during the pre-dawn hour; or during solar eclipse or Vidhipaada Yoga.
It is also regarded as particularly auspicious to perform “Girivalam” during every Full moon day (poornima) to coincide with siddars’ movements, and the aromatic perfumes of herbal plants surrounding the Hill.
The Circumambulation path / Girivalam path
The Circumambulation begins from the Indira Lingam then follows the other lingams. These 8 lingas are known as the Ashta Lingas. We’ll see about these Lingas in the next post.
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