The first blog of Cosmic Maps would have been about one of the several energy centers nestled in the supremely energising Himalayas. But there is a lone hill in South India that is a Lingam-shapped mountain-powerhouse of spiritual energy: the holy Arunachala – the Mountain of knowledge and fire/light. ‘Aruna’, means ‘red, bright like fire’ which signifies Jnanagni; the Fire of Wisdom, and ‘achala’ signifies ‘hill’. Thus, Arunachala means ‘Hill of Fire of Wisdom’. The sacred hill, located in the temple town of Tiruvanamalai, is in the shape of a lingam thatmakes it the largest naturally-occurring lingam on the planet. Can you comprehend the spiritual vibrations emitted from a mountain-Shivling? The holy hill’s magnetic call to those on the path of awakening spread outwards in all directions to the multiverses in waves of glorious light. Such are the powerful vibrations emitted by the Hill.
Present day misconceptions about Lingams:
Today, most people are misinformed about the significance of a Lingam/Shiv Ling. To understand the significance of Arunachala, one must understand what a Lingam is in reality. Contrary to popular belief of lingams being purely symbolic, a lingam is more scientific than symbolic. In the Puranic and Vedic ages, lingams were consecrated as per the Yantra science along with recitation of mantras specific to unblock one or two specific chakras or energy vortexes, of the seven main chakras of our energy body. A consecrated lingam would induce a state of meditative stillness and a state of higher consciousness among those who sat in its vicinity. In short, lingams were spiritual routers much like our Wi-Fi routers that aspirants and devotees used, to tune inwards. However, in the last 2,000-odd years, the Bhakti movement engulfed the country as people grew more materialistic in the Kali-yug or Kali-era, and the tradition of meditation was gradually replaced by the tradition of visiting temples to pray and seek fulfillment of desires; in short the Almighty became separate from one who earlier found God within by means of Self-Realisation. Thus, Hindus grew distant from spiritual science of Vedantism and Lingams were perceived as just symbolic idols.
While religious dogma and new practices can veil the truth, the truth can not be submerged. People with reasonable perception are drawn to the hill and keep coming back purely out of their personal experiences of the overwhelming spiritual vibrations emitted by the mountain-lingam. Devotee or atheist, any person whose perception is reasonably open can feel the Grace of Divinity here. If one’s consciousness is high, one can almost feel every cell in the body vibrating as if every cell was the cosmos in itself – continually in a state of flux. Many who visited the hill never left for where they came from and synchronicity is not uncommon around this spiritual energy center.
Shiva in the form of Arunachala:
Lord Shiva in Skanda Maha Purana:
“I truly abide here on earth in the form of the named Aruncahala, for bestowing the attainment of liberation.”
Mountain of Fire (of the five prime elements):
It is one of the five naturally occurring lingams represented as the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature- earth, water, air, sky (ether) and fire. We are essentially recycled stardust comprising of five elements – earth, water, air, sky (ether) and fire. At Arunachala, Shiva or pure consciousness, is represented by means of fire that is annually lit atop the hill of Arunachala on the day of Karthigai (also known as ‘Deepam’), which usually falls in November. On this occasion a beacon light of clarified butter (ghee) is lit at nightfall on the summit of the mountain. Arunachala draws the most earnest seekers of spiritual knowledge because the fire manifestation is symbolic of knowledge that dispels the darkness of ignorance. It is the fire-Shiva temple of the Pancha Bhoota Stalam or Pancha Bhoota Stala.
Self-Realised Ramana Maharshi:
Like flowers attract bees, Arunachala has been drawing mystics, masters, yogis, truth seekers and enlightened beings from time immemorial. One jnani (jnani: one who rises over the convincing veil of maya and Duality, and perceives everything as the Self)/Self-Realised soul who left his home after he felt an insatiable urge to visit the hill on merely hearing his uncle utter the word ‘Arunachala’ is the Ramana Maharshi. Ramana Maharshi called Arunachala the spiritual heart of the world, and never left it since the day he visited the holy hill. Ramana Maharshi. The jnani urged seekers to realise the Self by means of Self-inquiry be inquiring ‘Who Am I’ (in silence). The quintessence of Ramana Maharshi’s teachings on advaita and Self-Realisation is found in a small booklet called ‘Who am I?’ which can be downloaded here for free. You can alternatively watch Ramana Maharshi’s supreme advaita teaching summed up in Upadesa Saram video that is 5:32 seconds long.
Ramana Maharshi is one of the enlightened men who’ve walked the earth in recent times, and put many seekers on the path of enlightenment and liberation. Ramana Maharshi’s teachings strike an instant cord among earnest seekers seeking enlightenment and liberation as he shunned religious dogmatic beliefs for simple Self-enquiry. His ashram, Sri Ramanasramam, is another spiritual center located at foot of Arunachala. The ashram brims with the grace of the presence of Ramana Maharshi in the form of immovable calm that can be felt by anyone who visits the ashram. Elegant peacocks, spirited squirrels and monkeys, and revered cows dot the ashram besides mystics and the spiritually-inclined. Expect synchronicity and introspection. At the time of his departure from his physical body when the sage went into Maha Nirvana, a bright light similar to that of a comet flashed and was observed above Tiruvanamalai till as far as Madras. The same was also recorded by the Madras Observatory.
Spiritual Axis of the World:
Ramana Maharshi was certain that Arunachala was the top of the spiritual axis of the Earth, and hence strongly felt that there must be another mountain corresponding to Arunachala at the exact location on the opposite side of the globe on the corresponding pole of the axis. Machu Picchu is the closest known energy center-mountain that resonates great spiritual power. The ancient Inca (Quechua) site of Machu Picchu in Peru is at the other end of the axis passing though Arunachala and the center of the Earth.
The global coordinates for Tiruvannamalai and Machu Picchu are as follows:
Tiruvannamalai: 12n13, 79e04; &
Machu Picchu: 13s07, 72w34
The geographical coordinates of Machu Picchu are not exactly opposite to those of Arunachala, but it would be unreasonable to expect it to be exact since the earth is not a precise sphere. There are striking similarities between ancient Inca beliefs and Indian beliefs. The Incas worshipped Machu Picchu as the manifestation of the Divine Mother Goddess of the Universe. They referred to Her as ‘Paachamama’, a name that bears a striking similarity to the name ‘Pachaiamman’ used as another name for Parvathi in South India.
The architecture of the temple city was astrologically and astronomically determined. Various points of the city serve as a kind of giant sextant or observatory from where specific constellations and celestial objects can be plotted and observed. A closer look at the Meru architectural topology of the city reveals a striking resemblance to the Sri Yantra/Sri Chakra architectural topology that characterises Indian temples. Both Arunachala and Machu Picchu are either ends of an axis of spiritual energy.
- Arunachala is the largest naturally-occurring lingam on the planet.
- It is regarded as the hill for those seeking liberation as per Lord Shiva’s utterances in the Skanda Maha Purana.
- Of the five elements-Shiva temples, Arunachala with the flame atop is the manifestation of Shiva in the form of agni/fire.
- Ramana Maharshi called Arunachala as the spiritual heart of the world.
- Ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu is the closest known energy center that resonates great spiritual power on the other side of the globe on the corresponding axis passing through Tiruvanamalai and the center of the earth.
- Machu Picchu’s Meru architectural topography and Tiruvanamalai’s Sri Chakra/Sri Yantra architectural topography are identical.
- For thousands of years, spiritual enegery center Arunachala has been attracting true seekers, Realised and enlightened beings alike and serving as a doorway to knowledge and liberation that transcends the space-time continuum.
Tiruvanamalai can be reached from all major cities in South India like Chennai and Bangalore by road.
Chennai to Tiruvanamalai distance: 200 kms/124 miles. Estimated travel time: 4-5 hours
Tamil Nadu State bus numbers: 122P and 122PP buses run at regular intervals between Chennai and Tiruvannamalai from 5 am in the morning till 11 pm in the night.
Bangalore to Tiruvanamalai distance: 240 kms/149 miles. Estimated travel time: 5-6 hours
Tiruvanamalai has a railway station but few train pass the station. The Tiruvannamalai Railway Station is located in the rail head from Vellore to Villupuram. Tiruvannamalai is connected by Tri-weekly Chalukya Express (Train No. 11005/11006), Tirupati-Puducherry Weekly Express (Unreserved – Train No. 7413,17414), Rameswaram-Tirupati Meenakshi Express (Train No. 16780,16779), Villupuram-Katpadi Passenger (Unreserved Train No. 56882, 56884, 56886), Katpadi-Villupuram Passenger (Unreserved Train No. 56881, 56883, 56885), Pamani Express (Train No. 17408,17407), Villupuram-Purulia Weekly Superfast Express (Train No. 22606, 22605) and Villupuram-Kharagpur Bi-weekly Superfast Express (Train No. 22604,22603). You can book trains to Tiruvanamalai on Indian Railways’ official website. Tiruvanamalai Station Code is TVM.
The nearest domestic and international airports are at Chennai (formerly known as Madras) located 200 kms (124 miles) and Bangalore a.k.a. Bengaluru city located 240 km (149 miles).