KAMESWARARAO MULA kamesh_ccmb at yahoo.co.in
Tue Feb 20 00:56:12 EST 2018

  Dear friends,                         It was the opportunity given by the lotus feet to me to visit as many temples in India and It happened to be in 'Chidambaram' during the last week to see the temple architecture and knowing the puja details there as per their sastra. 

Chid in Chid-ambaram means"consciousness", and ambaram, meaning "sky" (aakasam), itrefers to the chidaakasam, the sky of consciousness, which is the ultimate aimone should attain according to all the Vedas and scriptures. Another theory isthat it is derived from chit + ambalam. Ambalam means a "stage" forperforming arts. The chidakasam is the state of supreme bliss or aananda and LordNatarajar is the symbolic representation of the supreme bliss or aananda nataYam.Saivaites believe that a visit to Chidambaram leads to liberation and that’swhy it is called Dakshina Kailsh. Thedemon under Nataraja's feet signifies that ignorance is under his feet 
The Fire in this hand (power of destruction) means destroyer of evil 
The raised hand signifies that he is the savior of all life.The Ring at theback signifies the cosmos. The drum in his hand signifies the origin of Life. These are the main things that the Natarajarmurti and the celestial dance posture indicates and tells us how the ananda orbliss can be achieved by forgetting our self’s. Chidambaram is one of thePanchabootha Sthalas, where the Lord is worshipped in his manifestation as sky.Theothers are: the Ekambareswarar temple at Kanchipuram, where the Lord isworshipped in his manifestation as Earth, the Jambukeswarar temple atThiruvanaikaval, in Tiruchirapalli, where the Lord is worshipped in hismanifestation as Water, the Annamalaiyar Temple at Tiruvannamalai, where theLord is worshipped in his manifestation as Fire,the Kalahasti temple atSrikalahasthi, where the Lord is worshipped in his manifestation as air (VayuLingam). Idid not see any endowment department doing any administration job there and Thetemple is runned by an exclusive group of Brahmans who are learned in the Vedasand Yagnas (sacrifices) called Dikshitars. No one there instructing any body to gothere, take ticket, be come in line although every one following all the ruleson their own. Every Dikshitar once he is married becomes as of right a trusteeand archaka of the temple.A practice unique to the community is that thepriests wear the tuft of hair in front of the head similar to the Nambudri’s Brahmans of kerala rastram.
Although there are six (6) abhishekam's during the day from 8AM-9PM  each in a gap of every 2 hours for the spatiaka lingam in the Ratna Sahbapati Mandapam and it was just following the rudra, namaka, chmaka procedures in a systematic way which one can see in any shiva temples.
One of my greatest experience, I would like to share with all of your is that:I could able to see with my eyes the actual puja starts at 9PM (FRI DAY) before the temple closes for 45 mintues. The 'Utsava Murthi' was taken in a pallaki with all the priests & disciples around walking in the clockwise direction around the 1000 pillar's Raja-Sabha-Mandapam (outer circumference). I could able to see the the Nataraja dancing in the caves of the hearts of the people there and even the priests performing the final puja for their god waiting at small distances with harati, prasard, arpanam of their self for the day, wow, what an eternal natyam although there were no big chantings, shoutings were there. It was the Lord making himself free, coming out from the garbha gruha towards the people's sake and causing the eternal happiness i.e ananda among the priests, bhakta's and Tears comming automatically with bliss from the eyes of the many people there and I am not an exemption for that & to be a witness for that celestial puja.
Sri Guru Padaravindarpana MastuKameswara

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list