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27th and 28th Dec 2012 (India): Arudra Darishanam Festival for the cosmic dancer Lord Nataraja

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 27, 2012

ARUDRA DARISHANAM is a prominent festival conducted for the cosmic dancer ” LORD NATARAJA”. It is observed on the day when THIVADIRAI star and full moon “POORNIMA” coincides in the month of Margazhi. This Arudra Darishanam falls on 28/12/12.

The Arudra Darishanam Festival is celebrated in all shiva temples with Nataraja sannithi. But Arudra Darishanam is known for its celebrations that take place at CHIDAMBARAM. On 27/12/12 will be held  MAHARATHOTSAVAM of NATARAJAR and LAKSHARCHANAI. In Thillai Chidambaram, Maha Abhishekam will be done to Lord Nataraja and Goddess Sivakamasundari at Raja Sabhai in the early morning at around 3 am.

English: Shiva as the Lord of Dance - Sculpture of Shiva in copper alloy between - circa 950 and circa 1000  (Los Angeles County Museum of Art / source: Wikipedia.org)

English: Shiva as the Lord of Dance – Sculpture of Shiva in copper alloy between – circa 950 and circa 1000 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art / source: Wikipedia.org)

The MahaAbhishekam will be held for about 3-4 hours. Then special Thiruvabaranam (Sacred Jewels) Alankaram, Rahasiya Pujai will be done to Sri Natarajar. After Pancha Murthi Thiruveethi Ula, at around 12 pm Noon, Lord Natarajar and Goddess Sivakami will bless devotees with Aarudra Darisanam and enter Kanaka Sabhai (Golden Sabha). After all the special rituals KALI is given to the devotees as PRASADAM.

Story behind why Kali is given as Prasadham

A devotee named Sendanar had the habit of eating food after offerring it to Lord and then distribute among other devotees . Only the leftover he will eat.On the tiruvadirai day , due to constant bad weather he couldn’t get any essential items for preparring proper meal.He had no other option but to mix water with rice flour and prepare a mashed paste. Lord Shiva understood his predicament.He wanted the people to know how sincere his devotee was to him.He disguised himself as a siva devotee and enjoyed what was given to him as food.And as he stood for a while in the Nataraja Sanctrum,The Lord Showered the Kali all over the premises , in recognition of his deep devotion.Since the day the miracle happened Kali is the special offering to Lord Nataraja on Margazhi.

Legend Behind Arudhra darisanam…

Once when Mahaa Vishnu was lying down on the great Serpent Adhi sesha, Adhi sesha felt Mahaa Vishnu was quite heavy that time. He asked Mahaa Vishnu what was the reason. Mahaa Vishnu said that he was remembering and enjoying the Dance of Lord Shiva. The answer developed the desire in Adhi seesha to see the Great Dance of Lord Shiva. He asked Mahaa Vishnu how his desire could be fulfilled. Mahaa Vishnu asked him to go to Chidambaram and do “tapas”. Adhi seesha came to Chidambaram and prayed the Lord for a long time.

There was another muni and devotee of Lord Shiva in that place, called Viyaagra paadha. He prayed to God to get the legs of tiger, so that he can pluck flowers early in the morning to offer to the God, before any bee touches the flower. He was also praying God to see His Great Dance for a long time.Pleased with their prayer the God appeared on the Thiruvaadhirai day and danced in Chidambaram. The Nataraaja image of the Lord is prayed with great devotion this day. In Chidambaram and other temples it is celebrated as Arudraa dharshanam. In this festival abhisheeka (holy anointing) of Lord Nataraaja takes place early in the morning and then He comes around the town.
(Source: 27th Dec 2012 – Shri Gokulam)

Pooja ceremony by priests (Jan, 2012)…

Lord Nataraja Dance…

Dessert Dwellers – Shiva Nataraja

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