Selfless Service at Arunachala
Which is the punya boomi (holy land) that multiplies the effects of good deeds a thousand fold?
Which is the punya boomi where millions and millions of Siddhas, Yogis and Rishis are present in their
concrete or subtle forms?
Whereís the largest Siva Lingam in the world located?
Which is the punya boomi where every cubic inch of space is filled with thousands and thousands of Siva
Lingams in their concrete, subtle and Jothi forms?
The answer to all these questions is Arunachala, also known as Thiru Annamalai, 100 miles southwest of
Madras. The town of Arunachala is built around the Arunachala Hill. This Arunachala Hill is like no other; itís
the largest Siva Lingam in the world. Itís the sthoola (concrete) form of Siva.
Itís the brahmanda svaroopa (universal form) of the Universal Lord.
Itís the quintessential Jothi Lingam. Itís a divine form that must be worshipped with bakthi (love).
Arunachala, The Pinnacle of Spirituality
Arunachala the Hill and Arunachala the Lord are non different. They are one and the same. The Arunachala
Hill is that form of the Lord that is visible to our naked eyes. But every cubic inch of space in and around
Arunachala is made up of thousands and thousands of Siva Lingams in their concrete, subtle and Jothi forms.
What we see is the worldís largest Siva Lingam; what we donít see are the countless sookshma (subtle) Lingams and
Jothi Lingams. But these are visible to the Siddhas, Yogis and Rishis who flock to this place in millions. They
are the ones who truly understand the spiritual splendour and uniqueness of this divya kshetra. Millions and
millions of Siddhas, Yogis and Rishis are ever present in Arunachala in their concrete or subtle forms. Why?
Because Arunachala, the great spiritual magnet has drawn them there. Sri Arunachala draws all spiritual
seekers from everywhere unto Himself. Heís the eternal refuge of all spiritual seekers. Thereís no other place
like Arunachala for the spiritually minded.
These Siddhas, Yogis, Rishis and other great souls constantly replenish the spiritual sakthi (potency) of this place thus
maintaining it as the spiritual power center of the universe. This punya boomi has been home to great Siddhas
like Arunagiri, Gugai and Guru Namasivaya, Seshadri and Ramana Maharishi. These great souls have
deposited their punya sakthi in this place for our spiritual upliftment. In fact, the millions and millions of
Siddhas who are ever present here have been commanded by Sri Arunachala to work for the spiritual upliftment
of all of humankind.
Spiritual Upliftment at Arunachala
Caught in the web of Maya (the grand delusion of the material world), the spiritual progress of humankind is blocked by a pleasure seeking attitude which
leads to vices like dishonesty, corruption, immorality, selfishness, miserliness, jealousy, enmity, covetousness
and others. But the Siddhas are aware of our sorry state and they have prescribed a solution by which we can
become free from the grip of Maya and make spiritual progress. Whatís this solution? Charitable deeds and
selfless service performed under the guidance of a Sathguru. This is the only way to relieve ourselves from the
vices of Kali Yuga. The punya sakthi generated from these good deeds obliterates the karma of many lifetimes
and thus leads us to higher spiritual planes. This is the only permanent remedy for the ills of Kali Yuga.
But how can we reach this state of sublime spirituality? Only by absolute surrender to the Sathguru, the
embodiment of all knowledge. How can one get a Sathguru? Simple, say the Siddhas. Perform Arunachala
giri valam. Circle the Arunachala Hill as many times as you can. This spiritual exercise will lead you to your
Sathguru. Why? Because Arunachala giri valam is the foremost of all spiritual exercises, say the Siddhas. As
you go around the hill, look at the peak of the hill with every step. Each of these visions (darisanam) will be a bit different
from the previous one. Each of these visions can destroy significant portions of our bad karma.
Thus the more darisanams that we see, the more karma we get rid off. This is the reason that the Siddhas say
that we must do Arunachala giri valam whenever possible.
The Power of Charitable Deeds
If Arunachala is the foremost divya kshetra (place of pilgrimage) in the world, if a Sathguru is an absolute requirement on the
spiritual path and if good deeds must be performed for oneís spiritual upliftment, imagine the positive effects of
performing these good deeds under the guidance of a Sathguru at Arunachala! Itís the most potent spiritual
combination there is! While good deeds performed anywhere result in punya sakthi, those done in Arunachala
have their effects multiplied a thousandfold. This is because everything that we do in Arunachala is witnessed
by the numerous concrete and subtle Siva Lingams that fill every cubic inch of this kshetra (holy land). Thus every good
deed is blessed a thousand times and thus the effects of every good act are magnified a thousandfold if
performed in Arunachala.
The Universal Lord accepts the service that we render to the poor and the needy, the old and the infirm, the
blind and the handicapped as pooja (worship) offered unto Him. But itís only those who realize that even this service is
possible only through the Lordís grace who are accepted as true devotees by God. Such true devotees are the
Siddhas, Yogis, Rishis, Nayanmars and Alvars. They worshipped God with true love and they want us all to do
the same too. And the way to do this is through selfless service.
Are there special times when we should engage in these services? Every day is a good day for serving and
worshipping Sri Arunachala, but the Pournami full moon days and the Karthigai Deepam day are particularly
important, say the Siddhas. The Pournami day marks the the apex of spirituality in each month and the
Karthigai Deepam day commemorates the appearance of the Lord as a jothi sthambam, an infinite pillar of light
at Arunachala. Thus these days are particularly significant. While we must perform giri valam and good deeds
every day at Arunachala, the Pournami days and the Karthigai Deepam day are particularly important.
True to the word of the Siddhas, we at the Sri La Sri Lobha Matha Agasthiar Ashram at Arunachala, perform
anna dhaanam (giving the gift of food) on the Pournami day each month and during the Karthigai Deepam festival every year.
This is done in accordance with Siddha procedures under the guidance of the Sathguru, Guru Mangala Gandharva Venkataraman
with the blessings of his divine teacher Sri Idiyaapa Siddha.
The Ashram's Role
The Sri La Sri Lobha Matha Agasthiar Ashram
is dedicated to the spiritual upliftment of all beings everywhere. The ashramís goals and activities include:
- Conscious effort towards the spiritual upliftment of all beings everywhere
- Spreading the bakthi (love) and saranagathi (surrender) approach to God
- Establishing faith in God as the foundation of human life
- Spreading the word of the Siddhas through books and the monthly magazien, Sri Agasthia Vijayam
- Selfless service to the poor and the needy without any race, religion, nationality barriers
- Offering free medical help to the poor
- Renovation and upkeep of ancient temples
- Spreading the importance of Arunachala giri valam
- Involving one and all in charitable deeds like anna dhaanam (the gift of food), vastra dhaanam (the gift of clothes),
vidya dhaanam (the gift of knowledge), gnaana dhaanam (the gift of spiritual wisdom) in Arunachala and other places
- Offering aid and assistance to the old and the infirm, the handicapped and the helpless.
In this Pramaadhi year (mid April 1999 to mid April 2000), the anna dhaanam dates at the ashram are November 21, 1999 to November 24, 1999.
The ashram will also perform anna dhaanam at Aiyar Malai (near Trichy) from
November 21, 1999 to November 25, 1999.
In addition to this, the ashramites will also light a jothi on the Aiyar Malai Hill just like the one lit on the
Arunachala Hill, thereby spreading Arunachala deepa jothi worship procedures.
This effort of the Sathguru has received the full support of
Aiyarmalai townsfolk, those in the nearby villages and the Aiyar Malai Ratnagireesvara temple administrators.
Share It With Everyone
The Sathguru's divine teacher Sri Idiyaapa Siddha would repeatedly say that it's not enough that
we do good deeds, but we must involve others in good deeds too. This is the secret of the Siddhas.
Learning the Siddha way and following it is only the beginning. To walk the Siddha path, one must
communicate the Siddha way to everyone and involve them in good deeds and selfless service too.
This is the teaching of the selfless Siddhas of the Agasthiar lineage.
|Om Salutations to Arunachala|
|Om Salutations to Sri Agasthiar|
|Om Salutations to the Maha Guru|
|Om Salutations to the Agasthiar Lineage|
|Om Salutations to the Siddhas|