Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam: The Sacred Fire Pillar That Connects Heaven and Earth
Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam is a Tamil devotional song that praises the glory of Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as a fire pillar at Arunachala Hill in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India. The song describes how various gods and sages have installed eight Shiva lingams around the hill, each representing a different aspect of Shiva's power and grace. The song also invites the devotees to circumambulate the hill and receive the blessings of Shiva.
Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam means \"the lingam that shines in Arunachala\". A lingam is a symbol of Shiva, the supreme god of Hinduism, who is also known as the destroyer and the transformer. A lingam is usually a cylindrical stone or metal object that represents Shiva's energy and potentiality. Arunachala means \"the hill of fire\" or \"the hill of dawn\". It is one of the five elements (panchabhoota) temples of Shiva, where he manifests as fire. According to Hindu mythology, Arunachala is the place where Shiva appeared as a column of fire that had no beginning or end, to settle a dispute between Brahma and Vishnu, the other two gods of the Hindu trinity. Shiva challenged them to find the source and the end of the fire pillar, but they failed. They realized their inferiority and worshipped Shiva as the supreme lord. Shiva then blessed them and turned the fire pillar into a hill, which is Arunachala.
What are the eight Shiva lingams around Arunachala?
The eight Shiva lingams around Arunachala are known as Ashtalingams or Asta Lingams. They are installed by various gods and sages who came to Arunachala to worship Shiva. They are also associated with different directions and planets (navagrahas). They are:
Indra Lingam: This is the first lingam on the circumambulation path (girivalam) and has east as its main direction. It is installed by Indra, the king of gods, and is dominated by Surya (Sun) and Shukra (Venus). It blesses the devotees with long life and prosperity.
Agni Lingam: This is the second lingam on the girivalam and faces the south-east direction. It is installed by Agni, the god of fire, and is dominated by Chandra (Moon). It protects the devotees from diseases and maintains good health.
Yama Lingam: This is the third lingam on the girivalam and occupies the south direction. It is installed by Yama, the god of death, and is dominated by Mangala (Mars). It removes financial constraints and debts.
Niruthi Lingam: This is the fourth lingam on the girivalam and its direction is south-west. It is installed by Niruthi, the king of giants, and is dominated by Rahu (the ascending node). It grants health, wealth and fame.
Varuna Lingam: This is the fifth lingam on the girivalam and signifies the west direction. It is installed by Varuna, the god of water, and is dominated by Shani (Saturn). It cures water-related diseases and illnesses.
Vayu Lingam: This is the sixth lingam on the girivalam and occupies the north-west direction. It is installed by Vayu, the god of air, and is dominated by Ketu (the descending node). It relieves heart diseases, stomach problems, lung problems and general illness.
Kubera Lingam: This is the seventh lingam on the girivalam and faces the northern direction. It is installed by Kubera, the god of wealth, and is dominated by Brihaspati (Jupiter). It bestows wealth, happiness and prosperity.
Easanya Lingam: This is the eighth lingam on the girivalam and faces the north-east direction. It is installed by Easanya, a form of Shiva, and is dominated by Budha (Mercury). It gives peace of mind and wisdom.
How to worship Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam?
The best way to worship Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam is to perform girivalam or circumambulation of Arunachala Hill. The hill has a circumference of about 14 km and takes about three to four hours to complete. The devotees walk barefoot on a path that passes through all the eight Shiva lingams. They chant mantras, sing songs, offer prayers and meditate on Shiva's form as a fire pillar. They also visit Arunachaleswarar Temple, which is located at the foot of the hill. The temple has a huge Shiva lingam called Annamalaiyar or Agni Lingeshwarar, which represents Shiva's fire aspect. The temple also has a shrine for Parvati, Shiva's consort, who is known as Unnamulai Amman or Abithakujambal. The temple has many other shrines for various gods and goddesses related to Shiva.
The girivalam can be done at any time of the day or night, but it is considered auspicious to do it during full moon days (pournami) or new moon days (Amavasya). It is also believed that doing girivalam during Karthigai Deepam festival in November-December brings immense benefits. Karthigai Deepam festival celebrates Shiva's appearance as a fire pillar at Arunachala. On this day, a huge lamp called Mahadeepam or Maha Deepa Jyoti is lit on top of Arunachala Hill at sunset. The lamp burns for ten days and can be seen from miles away. Millions of devotees flock to Tiruvannamalai to witness this spectacle and perform girivalam.
What is the significance of Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam song?
Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam song is a popular devotional song that praises the glory of Lord Shiva as Arunachala. The song was composed by Sri Ramana Maharshi, a renowned sage and saint who lived at Arunachala for most of his life. Sri Ramana Maharshi was an ardent devotee of Shiva and considered Arunachala as his guru and father. He experienced the divine presence of Shiva in the form of a fire pillar at Arunachala and attained self-realization. He taught the path of self-inquiry (atma vichara) to his followers and inspired many seekers of truth. He also wrote many poems and songs in praise of Arunachala and Shiva.
Arunachalamai Vilangidum Lingam song is one of his masterpieces that expresses his love and devotion for Shiva. The song consists of eight verses, each describing one of the eight Shiva lingams around Arunachala. The song also mentions the names of the gods and sages who installed the lingams and the benefits of worshipping them. The song also invites the devotees to perform girivalam and attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The song is sung in Tamil language with a simple and melodious tune. The song is often played in temples, ashrams and radios during Karthigai Deepam festival and other auspicious occasions. a27c54c0b2