The Glory of Arunachala, is a part of Skanda Purana . It is found in Book I of Maheswarakanda . The Section II of Book I of Maheswarakanda is Arunachala Mahatmaya . Skanda Purana is one of the largest Purana out of the 18 puranas which exist. Written between 5th Century A.D – 11th Century AD , Skanda Purana of 81,000 verse is considered as “Shiva” as revealed to Lord Kartikaya who is the son of Shiva , who was also General of the armies of Gods.
All puranas are considered to be authored by Vyasa , however here Vyasa , who might not be a single person , but who might be indicated as a title , where many knowledgeable person have got these got these title, who authored the Puranas.
All religion be it Islam or christanity or Hinduism lay great emphasis of sanctity of certain places and enjoin pilgrimage to them. Larger rivers , mountains and forest have always been venerated as abodes of Gods . The thriving spiritual tourism industry has made the visits to these abodes possible in much easier fashion.
Ancients Sustras , Smiritis or Sastras have not attached much importance to pilgrimage however Mahabharata the great epic considered pilgrimage as more meritorious then sacrifices . Hence it was natural that Puranas vied with one another on glorifying there tirthas. Skanda purana is not one book , but a library of such Sthaala Puranas or Tirtha mahatmayas. Hence its important research, in many disciplines of ancient history.
These genre of literature which we found in Puranas, is not only very useful for deepening of our knowledge, in cultural and religious history of India, in general , but also most valuable those wants to reconstruct the development of regional history and local cults or to gain a deeper insight in various religious institution . Skanda purana is thus a mine of social , cultural , political , historical , geographical , philosophical alongwith various myths and legends and so on.
Skanda purana also gives emphasis to moral purity when it goes through describing all these subjects mentioned above and ancient Indian philosophy in a more direct and straight forward fashion with a story telling style that masses can accept and understand the highest spiritual principles . Infact , these Puranas are the sources of many Spiritual Kathas which held on different part of India and attended by the larger population of India.
The Skanda purana has special importance, as it covers the whole of India. Thus it describes the topography and cultural tradition of Arunachala in Maheswara Kanda, and also Himalayan Region of Uttarpradesh also in Maheswara kanda, alongwith Orrisa , Malawa Rajasthan , Gujrat. Reading Skanda Purana and Arunchala Mahatmaya is similar to gaining the experience of an Wandering Monk who might had to travel whole India , to gain such kind of experience. The authors of each mahatmaya , like Arunachala Mahatmaya, know there region like a palm in there hand.
The Skanda purana states that entire purana got narrated by Skanda to Bhrigu who was an Saptarishi and had special understanding of Nabagraha and there movements and how it affects human life . He was also considered the father of Vedic Astrology, which is the true form of astrology . Angirasas who are considered as fire priest, got it from Bhrigu . Cyavana got it from Angirasa and Reika got it from Cyavana , and it is thus traditionally handed down to Suta through Vyasa. The rest of the last chapters is only Phalasrutis.
The position of Skanda Purana as a Mahapurana is not diputed at all.But very nature of Skanda Purana as a library of Kshetras and Mahatmayas is basically different form other puranas like Visnu Purana or Bhagvad Purana . Though many books of Skanda Purana share the Puranic ideas about – Swarga , Pratiswarga , Manvantara but there are some ideas also missing . We have to understand the Purana is meant to make the Vedic philosophy popular and it has all the attributes to make the terse philosophical truth more acceptable to the masses. A society of Puranic India , is of utmost interest and importance . Like other puranas Skanda Puranas go to the idealistic classless society existing in Krta Yuga where there was free provision of Shelter , food , clothes and ornaments , absence of concept of Adharma . The evolution of Varnas like Kshtriyaas and introduction of performance of sacrifices appeared in Treta Yuga.
Yet , equality and moral purity or dharma has been the essence of Skanda Puranas and the same voice also continues in the Arunachala Mahatmaya or the Glory of Arunachala. Puranas as a whole , is considered as Fifth Vedas , which brought all the principles of Vedas, in application to society, so there is importance of how these wisdom relates to contemporary society and its constructs.
The Glory of Arunachala contemplates on number of spiritual principles, which are also important for modern society. The modern social construct, though lately has started recognising the importance of environment, have not given enough appreciation to the environment, so we can see the wrath of nature constantly destroying the earth in the form of Cyclones , earthquakes , global warming , extreme weather . Bhagvad Gita terms it as Adi devic problems, the problems which gets rise, when we don’t recognise the contribution of nature and relentless sacrifice of different forces of nayure, which we have always received without anything in return . We have received sunlight from our birth, wind, water, sky and also earth . However we never done any sacrifice to these panchabhootas, that we can remain with them in balance both in our microsomic body [ Individual body] and macrosomic body [ the body of earth] .
There are many sadhanas which where were told in Arunachalam Mahatmaya exactly does the balancing to our body and mind and also to the environment, and by that way brings homeostasis, and promotes a overall , health in individual level and also in collective level at the same time wellness and happiness both to individual and collective life.