Glory of Arunachala XXIII– Worshiping Arunachala – IV


India is a country of worshipers. From, Kashmir to Kanyakumarika , there are varied forms of God , which the Indians worship. Not only the famous and authorised gods, by scriptures, like the trinities – Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma gets worshiped, but also the principle forces of  nature like – Rudra(Storm) , Indra ( King of Gods holding Vajra) Surya God (Sun), Vayu (Air) or Pavan God, Agni God (fire) , Ganga (Pure Water) and Vasundhara ( Mother earth) is worshiped. There are also minor gods like Gram Devata [ Village diety] , Sarpa Devata [ Snake Deities] gets worshiped. Surprisingly, there are thirty three crore gods which are worshiped across India. And this is only about one religion – Hinduism. There are many religions present in India, and they have their separate deities (Gods) and also there Mahatmas ( Great people). It is said that after every twenty kilometers, the whole culture of particular place in India, can be found absolutely different. Such is the diversity present in India  .

From ancient times , India has faced many inventions. Many rulers have not only tried to rule India, by weapons and invasion, but also by creating cultural hegemony of worshipping one god in one way . Cultural hegemony refers to a term where ruling class, force there values and culture, over  general people, and try to develop a unified culture, to facilitate there ruling process . Many invaders have tried this route, until present times. They destroyed the places of worships, of the religious communities, that there can be unified culture of worshiping. But they have always become a passing phenomenon, and Indians continue to be as diversified as they are. Unity and not uniformity is always the base theme of Indians.

These same diversity of worshiping, can be found in case of Arunachala too , where there many ways people worship Arunachala, and each of them are said to bring their distinct effects. However ,it is always recommended to do an worship of Arunachala,  in accordance with the method, laid down in the agamas. This glorious and divine method of worshiping Arunachala with Agamas, is worthy of being seen even by the devas of swarga. While worshiping it must be clear to all that Arunachala in this physical form, composed of earth, is truly Siva.  Arunachala said to Maharishi Gautama which Maharishi further elaborated to Mother of Universe (Gauri) that “ There are ever so many virtuous souls who, having formerly worshiped me, are now living on earth in great joy. As you, Gautama, are superior to all of them you must clearly expound the proper method of worshipping Siva”. This is the starting point where Maharishi Gautama conceived of writing Arunachala Mahatmaya for teaching the masses, on appreciating the Lord Shiva in the form of Arunachala, and learning proper way of worshiping him.

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