Spiritual Tourism XXV - Heavens on Earth
The Vaikom Shiva Temple
This is a huge temple and is part of the Trinity of Kaduthuruthy, Ettumanoor and Vaikom Siva temples. The aspect of Deity here is that of Annadana Prabhu, a giver of food. This is one of the oldest and largest of all Kerala Siva temples.
The main festival in this temple is the Vaikath Ashtami, which is performed on the Eighth Lunation in the Holy Month of Vrischika or Scorpio. The Night of Siva, Siva Ratri and Thiruvathira, which occurs when the Moon tenants Aridra, are also performed.
Actually the Lord Siva has a Nirvana Roopam, that is the form of Formless Being, namameesha meeshana nirvana roopam. His nature is that of the Veda, which was heard in higher states of Consciousness, Srooyathe ithi Sruthi. He is all pervading, vibhum vyapakam sarva veda swaroopam. He is without attributes, nijam nirgunam nirvikalpam nireeham. And He resides in the Sky of Consciousness, chid ananda maakasha vasam !
But then the Indian mystics gave Him the form of the ellipsoid or Linga. Arunachala Hills resemble a Siva Linga, hence He is called Arunachaleswara ! Actually His name and form are name and form of the Nameless and the Formless !
Without attributes, without
Without fluctuations mental
Without emotions and without Form
Ever liberated, Absolute is He !
Nirguno nishkriyo nithyo
Nithyor mukthosmi nirmalah
In all Shiva temples, you will find the figure of the sacred Bull or Nandi before the main Deity. This Bull represents our animal aspect. The symbolism is that we have to remove our animal aspect to have the Vision of the Lord !
By Govind Kumar