Its called the Trimurti cave

Mahabalipuram, Trimurti cave, Tamil Nadu:

Its a cave i have been missing for a while, and a long while at that. 7 years is a long time, to miss something which is so close to home!!! How could i miss it is all i ask myself right now!

but the feeling of discovering something new is great, specially when everything is so known in this little town. And a quaint little town it is. This cave is hidden, one needs to walk a little and hunt around and get there. Its hidden among rock caves, and its a complete beauty when its found!

this cave, dedicated to the trinity, has a few interesting features. it has three shrines, each dedicated to shiva, vishnu and brahma respectively. all three have flying ganas, a very shaivite symbolism. vishnu stands in samabhanga pose, stiff backed, hand resting on his hip. shiva looks half clad, brahma, well he didnt look himself.

there are three seperate entrances to each shallow shrine into the cave, the center one seems to be dedicated to shiva, though the corner one looked like they had sculpted him in the background. to be honest am still guessing here. but the interesting element is that this cave having been so well hidden that the shiva linga in the central cave still stands.

its a beautiful linga. black and clearly carved into three parts. The upper part is the "shiva bhaga" which is circular and depicts the linga in true style. The second part (lower) called the vishnu bhaga, is octagonal and the lowest half which is inserted into the yoni pitha is the brahma bhaga which is square, fitting perfectly into a square cavity in the stone floor.
the facade of this cave has a line of haras, in true dravida style of architecture. Among the dwarapalas who guard the entrances, there is a beautiful sculpture of the mother goddess, Mahishasuramardhini which looks more like an after thought to me.

a completely perfect cave... untouched by time.

1 comment:

J. C. Joshi said...

Background of the mythological story:
As per the description of mythological Brahma, the creator of life on earth, He has four faces. As per the present day ‘scientific’ knowledge, our Sun is the direct or indirect source of energy foor sustenance of life on the planet earth. It rises daily in the East and sets in the West. And, also during one year, it relatively moves between the directions North and South, i.e., between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. Thus, Brahma could be a symbolic representation of the four Cardinal directions as the boundaries of our Sun...
This could indicate how a square or a pyramidal shape could symbolicall represent Brahma…

The mythological stories also refer to Vishnu’s reincarnation, Krishna, in another era (Dwaper Yuga) and His weapon, the Sudershan Chakra. And, the scientists today describe our galaxy of innumerable stars and other Heavenly Bodies - that includes our Solar System too - to resemble a disc shaped body revolving around its centre that believably houses a ‘Black (Krishna) Hole’. The ancient Yogis, the seekers of Absolute Truth, believed Krishna to be their king or Yogiraj, the link between the perfect formless creator and the physically perfect earth-moon or Shiva-Parvati. They also believed man, the most evolved - out of the entire animal life on earth - to be a model of the universe. A structure made from the ‘essences’ of certain members of the Planetary System - or the selected few - eight in numbers indicated by Asht chakra, among the most evolved Heavenly Bodies out of the many available in the system - from his tail bone end to the head… The numeral eight (8) is associated with Krishna in many ways. He was the eighth child born on the eighth day of a particular month, who alone had a providential escape from almost certain death soon after his birth, unlike his ill fated other seven siblings, all born in the prison where his mother was confined by the then King of Mathura, a city located on the banks of the River Yamuna… The Yogis recommend eight kinds of samadhis. And, coincidentally or by design the numeral eight, written horizontally, represents infinity in Mathematics…

Regarding confinement of Krishna at the time of birth, a Black Hole is reportedly formed when a massive star dies, after it reaches the ‘Red Giant’ stage before its death and explodes due to radial force exceeding the gravitational force. However, after the force of radiatin is released, the gravitational force becomes effective once again and the debris in space, after the resultant explosion, gets compressed to such an extent that the entire matter almost gets converted into a super gravitational hole in space within the infinite void of the universe. And, just as the present day findings indicate existence of innumerable galaxies in the universe, the stories indicate a number of forms of Krishna and His consorts… This could help in visualizing how an octagonal shape could symbolically represent Vishnu…

Mahesh or Shiva, the Ardhanarishwar, or the original physical representation of the Naadbindu, the formless point like creator, could symbolically be thus represented by a cylindrical form or the Linga.