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Chidambara Mahatmyam (The Greatness Of The Supreme Divine Lord Nataraja)
Chidambara Mahatmyam (The Greatness Of The Supreme Divine Lord Nataraja)
Description
About The Author

The author, E. A. Sivaraman, hails from a small village, Eramangalam, some eight miles from Palghat, which was then a part of Madras Presidency. Having lost his father at an early age, he was brought up by his maternal uncle and grandfather (who was a Vedic purohit by profession) in Rangoon, Burma (at that time a part of the British Empire). He had his entire school and college education there and had won prizes and government merit scholarships, both In the school and the Rangoon University College from which he graduated in science. By 1942 when Burma was over-run by the Japanese during the second world war, he came to Bombay along with thousands of other Indian evacuees. He worked for the U.S. Government Consulate General and retired from service in 1977 after 33 years of service as senior economist. Since 1942, he has been residing in Bombay having made this place his permanent home. His family from his childhood has been brought up as a devotee of Uma-Maheswara and he has visited many temples and religious place in the south, west and north India. After retirement, he devotes much of his time to the study of Vedic’ philosophy and rituals. His knowledge of Tamil, Malayalam and some Sanskrit has helped him in this task. Due to failing health since 1988, he now leads a quiet retired life with his wife and his eldest son and family.

Foreword

I am extremely happy to give a Foreword to the book “Chidambara Mahatmyam”. Chidambaram is a holy place. It has different names: Koil, Tillai, Perumpatrapuliyur, Vyagrapuri, Booloka Kailas, ‘Jnanaakasa’ and so on. The term Koil is common to all temples. But this term specially denotes Chidambaram. Chidambaram is the shrine for Saivites, while Thiruvarangam is the temple for Vaishnavites.

Some temples are famous for Moorthi (Idol), some are for Thirtam (holy water), some are for Sthalam (place). But Chidambaram is famous for all the three: the Nataraja as Moorthi, Sivaganga as Thirtam and Chidambaram as Sthalam.

In Saiva tradition, Lord Siva is considered to have performed various kinds of dances and hence known as Adal vallan’ in Tam ii. Among the various dances, the important seven are: (i) Ananda Tandava, (ii) Sandya Tandava, (iii) Urthva Tandava, (iv) Gowri Tandava, (v) Kalika Tandava, (vi) Tripura Tandava and, (vii) Samhara Tandava; of these seven, Ananda Tandava is very remarkable because this dance represents the fivefold functions of Lord Siva, namely creation, preservation, destruction, concealment and bliss.

Here, creation is indicated by the Drum (Thudi), preservation by the abhaya posture, destruction by pot of flames in His hands, concealment by putting Muyalaka under His right foot and grace by His raised left foot.

The four samayacharyas namely, (1) Saint Thirugnana Sambandar, (2) Saint Appar, (3) Saint Sundarar and (4) Saint Manickavachagar had visited and praised this temple through Thevaram and Thiruvachagam songs. A number of saints also had visited this temple. One of the special features of this temple is that it has five Sabhas within the temple namely, (1) Chit Sabha, (2) Kanaka Sabha, (3) Devasabha, (4) Nritya Sabha and (5) Raja Sabha.

It is believed that if a person has the darsan of supreme Lord Nataraja in Chidambaram, he is said to be endowed with the destiny of attaining the Lotus Feet of the supreme Lord.

This book elaborately deals with the greatness of Chidambaram, the significance of the Ananda Tandavam, the importance of the Siva Ganga, the unique role of various sages like Patanjali and Vyagrapada associated with the temple and the origin of the three thousand Dikshitars from their holy past. The last seven chapters explain the origin, development and the utsava of the temple in relation to the story of Simha Varman.

The author has been brought up as a devotee of Uma-Maheswara from his childhood and he has visited many temples and religious places throughout India. His knowledge of Tamil, Malayalam and Sanskrit has helped him in this task.

No elaborate work on the Chidambaram temple is available in English; so the author has taken much effort to prepare this beautiful work. He has rendered valuable service to the Saivaite- world by making this work available to the scholars not knowing Tamil. So the author has to be congratulated. No doubt this holy book will inspire not only the Saivaites of the motherland but also the foreign land. And also this book will win the admiration and the appreciation of the distinguished scholars and researchers.

May the Almighty bless Tiru E. A. Sivaraman to continue his scholarly work for many more years with prosperity and good health.

Preface

In this world among the many Panchabhoota kshetras (holy places) the one Kshetra as Akasa Kshetra is known as Chidambaram. Here, the sacred Moorthi, Thirtham (holy water) and holy place, all the three co-exist. Therefore, Chidambaram is most auspicious where the Supreme Lord Ananda Natarajamoorthi with his divine consort Sivakamasundari on his left side is always doing the cosmic Ananda Tandava (Dance) for blessing his devotees.

The greatness ‘of the Ananda Nataraja is praised by the Vedas, Puranas and various sthuthi slokas. The stupendous task of translating into English the previously published old Tam ii classic Chidainbara Mahatmyam undertaken, in order that all people not only in India but outside may benefit, by my long time friend and Siva bhakta Sri E. A. Sivaraman, is highly commendable. I pray to the Supreme Lord Nataraja that the author and all those who read about the greatness of Chidamabaram receive the fullest blessings, all prosperity and happiness in their lives. I thank Sri E.A. Sivaraman, his eldest son S.A. Narayan and all their family members for providing me an opportunity to write this Preface.

Introduction

Chidambaram, where the Nataraja Temple is located, is a medium-sized town in Tamil Nadu, 11.5 degrees North latitude and 79.8 degrees East longitude. The town is about 160 kilometres as the crow flies south of Madras city, the capital of Tamil Nadu, on the east coast of the southern peninsula just a few kilometres from the Bay of Bengal. The town can be reached by road or rail and the nearest airport is Tiruchirappalli. Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Department maintains a guest house in Chidambaram, adjoining the Nataraja Temple complex, which is on one side of the rail spur. The well-known Annamalai University is located on the other side. This educational institution, estab!ished by Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar family, is a leading centre for learning music and other branches of the fine art.

According to our ancient and mythological accounts, the Nataraja or the Divine Supreme Lord Siva in the cosmic dancing pose, depicted in Chidambaram, is the first temple of this type to be built in India many thousands of years ago. This vil1 be clear from the ensuing pages translated into English from the ‘original Tamil language version of Chidambara Mahatmyam.

The decision to translate the original Tamil version into English was prompted by the encouragement, permission and blessing from Siromani Praveena T. Duraiswamy Ratna Deekshitar, one of the senior Managing Trustees of the Temple. in his two letters, Aug. 19, 1992 and Sept. 11, 1992 addressed to me, Sri Deekshitar stated that permission and blessings have been obtained from the Supreme Lord Nataraja and his as well as his co-trustees permitting me to translate and publish the English version of the book.

I am indebted to my wife, Smt. Subbalakshmi, my eldest son, Shri S.A. Narayan and his wife, Smt. Jayalakshmy, for extending to me immense help to complete what I consider a sacred piece of work assigned in my old age with indifferent health. I wish to emphasize, however, that I accepted the task of translating into English an old Tamil book on Chidambara Mahatmyam not because of any scholastic achievement in Sanskrit, Vedic and Puranic philosophy, but as a very humble devotee of Uma-Maheswara.

Contents

DedicationV
AcknowledgementVII
ForewordXI
PrefaceXV
A Brief Explanatory NoteXVII
IntroductionXIX
1The Greatness of the Sages in Naimisaranya Forest1
2The Greatness of Chidambaram4
3Auspiciousness of Chidambaram7
4The Mahatmyam of Sivaganga9
5The Three Thousand Sages of Naimisaranya12
6Arrival of Madhyanthana in Chidambaram13
7The Story of Valkali16
8The Story of Pulkasan19
9Madhyanthana Gets the Name Vyagrapadar22
10The Birth of Upamanyu25
11Adi Sesha Hears of Ananda Tandava29
12Lord Parameswara Tarukavanam32
13Ananda Tandva in Tarukavanam33
14Adi Sesha gets the Name of Patanjali38
15Stages Patanjali and Vyagrapadar43
16Stages Patanjali and Vyagrapadar: Witness the Cosmic Dance45
17Boons to Stages Patanjali and Vyagrapadar49
18The Three Thousand Sages of Naimisaranya51
19The Story of Simha Vaman54
20Simha Varman Arrives in Tillai Varam58
21Simah Verman Gets the Name of Hiranya Varman62
22Hiranyavarman and Sage Vyagrapadar64
23Vasistha Escorts Hiranya Varman to His Kingdom65
24Hiranya Varman Crowned as the Rular of Chidambaram68
25Hiranya Varman Relates The Utsava Celebration Details71
Epilogue73
Appendix I75
Appendix II79

Chidambara Mahatmyam (The Greatness Of The Supreme Divine Lord Nataraja)

Item Code:
NAD918
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
1993
ISBN:
8172760264
Size:
9.0 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
99
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 133 gms
Price:
$15.00   Shipping Free
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About The Author

The author, E. A. Sivaraman, hails from a small village, Eramangalam, some eight miles from Palghat, which was then a part of Madras Presidency. Having lost his father at an early age, he was brought up by his maternal uncle and grandfather (who was a Vedic purohit by profession) in Rangoon, Burma (at that time a part of the British Empire). He had his entire school and college education there and had won prizes and government merit scholarships, both In the school and the Rangoon University College from which he graduated in science. By 1942 when Burma was over-run by the Japanese during the second world war, he came to Bombay along with thousands of other Indian evacuees. He worked for the U.S. Government Consulate General and retired from service in 1977 after 33 years of service as senior economist. Since 1942, he has been residing in Bombay having made this place his permanent home. His family from his childhood has been brought up as a devotee of Uma-Maheswara and he has visited many temples and religious place in the south, west and north India. After retirement, he devotes much of his time to the study of Vedic’ philosophy and rituals. His knowledge of Tamil, Malayalam and some Sanskrit has helped him in this task. Due to failing health since 1988, he now leads a quiet retired life with his wife and his eldest son and family.

Foreword

I am extremely happy to give a Foreword to the book “Chidambara Mahatmyam”. Chidambaram is a holy place. It has different names: Koil, Tillai, Perumpatrapuliyur, Vyagrapuri, Booloka Kailas, ‘Jnanaakasa’ and so on. The term Koil is common to all temples. But this term specially denotes Chidambaram. Chidambaram is the shrine for Saivites, while Thiruvarangam is the temple for Vaishnavites.

Some temples are famous for Moorthi (Idol), some are for Thirtam (holy water), some are for Sthalam (place). But Chidambaram is famous for all the three: the Nataraja as Moorthi, Sivaganga as Thirtam and Chidambaram as Sthalam.

In Saiva tradition, Lord Siva is considered to have performed various kinds of dances and hence known as Adal vallan’ in Tam ii. Among the various dances, the important seven are: (i) Ananda Tandava, (ii) Sandya Tandava, (iii) Urthva Tandava, (iv) Gowri Tandava, (v) Kalika Tandava, (vi) Tripura Tandava and, (vii) Samhara Tandava; of these seven, Ananda Tandava is very remarkable because this dance represents the fivefold functions of Lord Siva, namely creation, preservation, destruction, concealment and bliss.

Here, creation is indicated by the Drum (Thudi), preservation by the abhaya posture, destruction by pot of flames in His hands, concealment by putting Muyalaka under His right foot and grace by His raised left foot.

The four samayacharyas namely, (1) Saint Thirugnana Sambandar, (2) Saint Appar, (3) Saint Sundarar and (4) Saint Manickavachagar had visited and praised this temple through Thevaram and Thiruvachagam songs. A number of saints also had visited this temple. One of the special features of this temple is that it has five Sabhas within the temple namely, (1) Chit Sabha, (2) Kanaka Sabha, (3) Devasabha, (4) Nritya Sabha and (5) Raja Sabha.

It is believed that if a person has the darsan of supreme Lord Nataraja in Chidambaram, he is said to be endowed with the destiny of attaining the Lotus Feet of the supreme Lord.

This book elaborately deals with the greatness of Chidambaram, the significance of the Ananda Tandavam, the importance of the Siva Ganga, the unique role of various sages like Patanjali and Vyagrapada associated with the temple and the origin of the three thousand Dikshitars from their holy past. The last seven chapters explain the origin, development and the utsava of the temple in relation to the story of Simha Varman.

The author has been brought up as a devotee of Uma-Maheswara from his childhood and he has visited many temples and religious places throughout India. His knowledge of Tamil, Malayalam and Sanskrit has helped him in this task.

No elaborate work on the Chidambaram temple is available in English; so the author has taken much effort to prepare this beautiful work. He has rendered valuable service to the Saivaite- world by making this work available to the scholars not knowing Tamil. So the author has to be congratulated. No doubt this holy book will inspire not only the Saivaites of the motherland but also the foreign land. And also this book will win the admiration and the appreciation of the distinguished scholars and researchers.

May the Almighty bless Tiru E. A. Sivaraman to continue his scholarly work for many more years with prosperity and good health.

Preface

In this world among the many Panchabhoota kshetras (holy places) the one Kshetra as Akasa Kshetra is known as Chidambaram. Here, the sacred Moorthi, Thirtham (holy water) and holy place, all the three co-exist. Therefore, Chidambaram is most auspicious where the Supreme Lord Ananda Natarajamoorthi with his divine consort Sivakamasundari on his left side is always doing the cosmic Ananda Tandava (Dance) for blessing his devotees.

The greatness ‘of the Ananda Nataraja is praised by the Vedas, Puranas and various sthuthi slokas. The stupendous task of translating into English the previously published old Tam ii classic Chidainbara Mahatmyam undertaken, in order that all people not only in India but outside may benefit, by my long time friend and Siva bhakta Sri E. A. Sivaraman, is highly commendable. I pray to the Supreme Lord Nataraja that the author and all those who read about the greatness of Chidamabaram receive the fullest blessings, all prosperity and happiness in their lives. I thank Sri E.A. Sivaraman, his eldest son S.A. Narayan and all their family members for providing me an opportunity to write this Preface.

Introduction

Chidambaram, where the Nataraja Temple is located, is a medium-sized town in Tamil Nadu, 11.5 degrees North latitude and 79.8 degrees East longitude. The town is about 160 kilometres as the crow flies south of Madras city, the capital of Tamil Nadu, on the east coast of the southern peninsula just a few kilometres from the Bay of Bengal. The town can be reached by road or rail and the nearest airport is Tiruchirappalli. Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Department maintains a guest house in Chidambaram, adjoining the Nataraja Temple complex, which is on one side of the rail spur. The well-known Annamalai University is located on the other side. This educational institution, estab!ished by Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar family, is a leading centre for learning music and other branches of the fine art.

According to our ancient and mythological accounts, the Nataraja or the Divine Supreme Lord Siva in the cosmic dancing pose, depicted in Chidambaram, is the first temple of this type to be built in India many thousands of years ago. This vil1 be clear from the ensuing pages translated into English from the ‘original Tamil language version of Chidambara Mahatmyam.

The decision to translate the original Tamil version into English was prompted by the encouragement, permission and blessing from Siromani Praveena T. Duraiswamy Ratna Deekshitar, one of the senior Managing Trustees of the Temple. in his two letters, Aug. 19, 1992 and Sept. 11, 1992 addressed to me, Sri Deekshitar stated that permission and blessings have been obtained from the Supreme Lord Nataraja and his as well as his co-trustees permitting me to translate and publish the English version of the book.

I am indebted to my wife, Smt. Subbalakshmi, my eldest son, Shri S.A. Narayan and his wife, Smt. Jayalakshmy, for extending to me immense help to complete what I consider a sacred piece of work assigned in my old age with indifferent health. I wish to emphasize, however, that I accepted the task of translating into English an old Tamil book on Chidambara Mahatmyam not because of any scholastic achievement in Sanskrit, Vedic and Puranic philosophy, but as a very humble devotee of Uma-Maheswara.

Contents

DedicationV
AcknowledgementVII
ForewordXI
PrefaceXV
A Brief Explanatory NoteXVII
IntroductionXIX
1The Greatness of the Sages in Naimisaranya Forest1
2The Greatness of Chidambaram4
3Auspiciousness of Chidambaram7
4The Mahatmyam of Sivaganga9
5The Three Thousand Sages of Naimisaranya12
6Arrival of Madhyanthana in Chidambaram13
7The Story of Valkali16
8The Story of Pulkasan19
9Madhyanthana Gets the Name Vyagrapadar22
10The Birth of Upamanyu25
11Adi Sesha Hears of Ananda Tandava29
12Lord Parameswara Tarukavanam32
13Ananda Tandva in Tarukavanam33
14Adi Sesha gets the Name of Patanjali38
15Stages Patanjali and Vyagrapadar43
16Stages Patanjali and Vyagrapadar: Witness the Cosmic Dance45
17Boons to Stages Patanjali and Vyagrapadar49
18The Three Thousand Sages of Naimisaranya51
19The Story of Simha Vaman54
20Simha Varman Arrives in Tillai Varam58
21Simah Verman Gets the Name of Hiranya Varman62
22Hiranyavarman and Sage Vyagrapadar64
23Vasistha Escorts Hiranya Varman to His Kingdom65
24Hiranya Varman Crowned as the Rular of Chidambaram68
25Hiranya Varman Relates The Utsava Celebration Details71
Epilogue73
Appendix I75
Appendix II79
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