2.14.2007

Jogeshwar temple



(Click picture to enlarge)

The drum is the soul
that wakes the rhythm in the mind
the sound hits my senses
and calls for the dance
the essence hits the walls
and bounces back around
a tremor felt
to shake up the heart

The stones respond
the essence touched
the echo around
this stony corridor
the foot forward
an arched back holds
the flowering fingers
for the lord to behold

Love in my eyes
a sweeping sound
a rhythm calm but enveloping
as all winds stop
a performance unknown
a stretch of the self
to reveal through the body
grace unfelt

These stony walls
so close together
hidden presence
within the air
the reverberating sound
the multiple reflect
emotions so powerful
deep within the self

Music reveals for all to feel
a world beyond
a world unseen
sound the only way
to gather the truth
that cannot be understood
but needs to be felt

An arrangement in stone
so neat so precise
to make the rhythm elevate itself
to resound around
these vast walls of life
and bring out the aesthetics
of the hidden self

The heartaches again
the mind yarns
helplessly locked
within the cage
the mind so strong
Oh help me god
to get out of this body
my prison today.


Photo courtesy: Joshi Uncle

14 comments:

JC Joshi said...

One hears the drum-beat
Played in temples
Amidst tinkle of bells
Struck by devotees
And the chants of priests
That sound like chirping of birds.

The combined sound reverberates
Within the temple walls
Reminding some scientist
Of similar sound emitted by Saturn
(That is close to earth now)
The Heavenly Body of numerous rings
Like beautiful wheels
Held by the planet.

Reminding him also of Lord Vishnu
The ‘Sudershanchakradhari’
God of 'wise' ancient ‘Hindus’
That believably resides within
Though physical access impossible
Yet Yogis hear the sound within.

The idol one worships in temples
Perhaps therefore is its reflection
And therefore called ‘Chakra’
Believably eight numbers within
Needing to be added together
A simple addition
To reach at the real one
For He is Bholenath too!

Kavitha, Although it is said that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, there are certain natural and/ or, man-made artistic creations that every viewer would – perhaps without any exception - accept as beautiful or marvellous! The saying in Urdu, to the effect that (even the) remnants indicate that the original edifice once must have been grand!

Perhaps Jageshwar Temple - in the state that is now called Uttarakhand - in the Kumaon hills, amidst the elegant deodar trees, could be one such example, as one could perhaps appreciate just from the picture of its exterior even if one didn’t know that it believably houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas inside, ie, the Swayambhu Linga Nagesh, which as per the legend fulfilled each and every desire of Shiva’s devotees – including Adi Shankaracharya - who visited the temple in the past!

Raja Deekshitar said...

Respected Ms.Kavitha Kalyan,

Over the years I have come across your blog many times while researching on the web. I want to sincerely commend you for your unfailing commitment to educate people about the value of our civilization’s ancient traditions, especially architecture and art. You are doing a wonderful job on it, congratulations.

My name is Raja Deekshitar. I belong to the Deekshitar community of Chidambaram. Since many years I have myself been committed to spreading knowledge about the wisdom and the value of the Indian civilization. The arrival of the internet has greatly helped my research efforts because information is much more accessible and it is possible to publish the outcome of research independently.

May I draw you attention to two websites where I have published some of my research. The material I am presenting is of interest to you, and to your readers, I think.

The Sphinx is an outstanding and eye-catching mythological being that always draws the eye of people. It is popular and well known from ancient Egypt and Greece. I am honored to introduce to you the Indian Sphinx, known by the Sanskrit name of purushamriga or human-beast. In the past twelve years I have dedicated my time to uncover its importance through texts, myths, art and ritual. The Indian Sphinx or purushamriga has its own and unique artistic idiom but at the same time fulfills a very similar role as sphinxes in other civilizations. Please have a look at

www.geocities.com/sphinxofindia

Just recently I have also launched a website with new material about the history of the Shri Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. I have discovered six old photos of my temple and one of these shows a shrine which can be dated to the Early Chola period. This shrine does no longer exist in this form. The photo shines a whole new light on the history of the temple. Please visit

www.geocities.com/chidambaramhistoricdiscovery

Once you enter the home-page you can click on the photo of the Mukkuruni Vinayaka shrine (upper left) to go to the page detailing the research.

I would very much appreciate your comments. And I would like to request you to share this news with your readers. May I suggest we could link to each other’s websites?

Looking forward,

Warm regards,

Raja Deekshitar

JC Joshi said...

Namaskar, Shri Raja Deekshitarji!
Yes, I agree Ms Kavitha is doing a good job.

Thanks for the information! I could access your website on “purushamriga” and enjoyed reading the interesting article while Google search apparently couldn’t locate the other website cited by you.

Although these are perhaps not solicited, please don’t mind my taking liberty to offer my comments as one of the insignificant ‘seekers’, or believably as a temporary (‘nashwar’ or mortal) character in the thoughts of the Formless Creator that is Vishnu on Ananta in ‘Yoganidra’ or a state of ‘super consciousness’ who believably is eternal, or unborn and unending, and so on – indescribable in words!

As per the belief of the ‘wise’ ancient Yogis - with reference to ‘Creator’s Maya’ that is ‘illusion’ - I would like to point to His believable mischievous nature reflected in His re-incarnation, ie, one of the best characters, or hero, in human form in Dwaperyuga, Yogiraj Krishna. And, in the acquisition of ‘perfection’, or Supreme level, as Mahesha the best, and also the simplest among the gods with forms, or the Trimurty, ie, the Bholenath Shiva in Satyuga!

After having reached that stage nothing would have remained ‘impossible’ for Bhootanath or the Lord of the Past in the believable material universe/ world, as is communicated in the story relating to His holding the deadliest poison ‘halahal’ in His throat, or implantation of an elephant’s head on His son Ganesha’s - born from His consort Parvati - human shoulders/ the story of Narasinghavatar of Vishnu, and so on!

Respectful regards.
-JC

Aswin said...

Hi Mr Raja Deekshitar,

Thanks for the valuable info.

JC Joshi said...

Possibility of the believable ‘Maya’ or illusion and drama in human life could perhaps also be visualised with a comparison - with the belivable past and the films being produced in the make believe world of cinema in the present, although earlier, instead of the cinema, performance of drama (which also continues even today) generally based on fiction/ mythology, was used to similarly entertain/ educate the public.

Cinema was introduced in India over a century ago. The initial films were in black & white and were ‘silent’. With time, although the films still remained black & white, sound tracks were introduced. However, they generally continued to adopt - as their basic plot, like that of stories concerning Tretayuga/ Dwaperyuga - a hero (Rama/ Arjuna), a heroine (Sita/ Draupadi) and a villain (Ravana/ Duryodhana) on the then accepted concept of “Satyameva Jayate” or ‘truth ever prevails’. And, the histrionic talent of the actors was more appreciated by the viewers than the sets - as it was also being done in case of live drama performances on the stage - with the hero ultimately defeating the villain, as anticipated, to their satisfaction.

However, passage of time saw continued ‘advancement in technology’ such that the viewer today is not bothered about the plot as long as the technicolour film is a high budget one – better if it is shot in some foreign locale and with lots of fights and dance scenes thrown in (perhaps one could thus see how the basic plot of ‘Krishna dancing with cowboys and milk-maids of Gokul in Brindavan’, to a certain extent, is still retained, but in relatively a more vulgar form for some)!

In view of the above, perhaps the ancients were right that ‘truth ever prevails’ but human efficiency declines with the passage of time and the ever apparent hierarchy, on account of the 25% differential range during any Yuga, helps provide something apparently new!

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, greetings to you on the occasion of yet another Mahashivaratri!

I would like to add that, maybe, a Yogi in the apparent ‘present’ could also conclude from the loud sound (like a child loves to beat the drum) and pomp and show used in films today, having started from ‘maun’ or ‘silence’ in the apparent beginning (liked by elderly people), how the ‘present’ could, as per the ancient belief, in fact, indicate the time of the beginning of ‘Creation’ with a ‘Big Bang’ or ‘Brahmanad’ of the innumerable forms coming into existence in ‘zero time’ (also reflected in the cry of a new-born human child at any time, and sound energy related with all physical forms). And, end up with the ultimate winner of the race, ‘muni-like’ silent lone (‘adwait’) and yet the perfect immortal earth or Shiva the Yogeshwar or Trimurty as the physical model of the lone Nirakar or Formless Creator before the beginning of the Creation.

The communication is expressed by the ‘wise’ ancients in three words - “Om Namah Shivaya”!

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, in continuation of my earlier coment, Yahoo web search did lead me to Shri Raja Deekshitarji’s page titled LOST TREASURE OF CHIDAMBARAM with six phtographs of the temple complex. However, clicking on the Mukkuruni Vinayaka Shrine - as was indicated by him - didn’t open up the page that believably gives the detail of the research, depriving me of the valuable information Shri Aswin could have access to.

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, There are two reportings in Times of India this morning that particularly caught my attention because of the believable ‘ancient Hindu’ point of view – both related with ‘Down Under’ as Mahashivaratri was celebrated by ‘Hindus’ everywhere in the world on the 16th Feb.

The front page news was related to Ewa Wisnerska, a German paraglider’s ‘miraculous escape’: She was reportedly encased in ice (one of the believable panchabhootas that is water in solid form), blacked out and sucked into a tornado-like thunderstorm (related with the other panchabhootas that is air, sky, and fire that is energy) in Australia and carried to a height greater than Mount Gourishankar that is Mount Everest - and still survived! She reportedy thanked the angels for she didn’t believe in God (reflecting believably the typical 'western' view-point, perhaps)!

The other interesting item found place in the ‘Times International’ section with the heading “Drunk Aussie Catches Shark With Bare Hands”. Kerkhof reportedly was fishing off a jetty at Louth Bay when he spotted the bronze whaler shark, and reportedly said that he tried the feat because he was drunk on Vodka! When he was sobered he reportedly thought about it and said, “It’s not something I would recommend to do…I’m a bit of an idiot for doing it.” And, Hindus relate intoxicants with Bholanath the ‘Simple God’!

Anonymous said...

Kavitha, In continuation of the reported items related with Down Under, I would like to invite your attention also to the map of Australia and see if you can make out Shiva’s ‘vahan’ that is vehicle, or His bull Nandi’s head - with Cape York Peninsula reflecting its horn, Arnhem Land as its hump, and Port Philip bay as its mouth lowered, as if preparing to take Tasmania in its mouth as its food!

[The famous Darwin’s Harbour is located on the Arnhem Land and is named after Charles Darwin, an English naturalist famous for his scientific theory ‘On the Origin of Species’, and other works, thus convincing the scientific community that species develop over time from a common origin, and therefore, setting off controversy with the Church that rages till date – maybe thus indicating the ‘natkhat Nandlal-like’ mischievous nature of Shiva the Bholenath. And, ‘Shani’ that is planet Saturn, believably the 'Suryaputra' that is son of Sun is believed to be a part of Shiva too by 'wise' ancient ‘Hindus’!]
-JC

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, Thanks! As a comment after a cursory glance, I recalled what the priest at the Nabagraha Temple at Guwahati had said - that the temple was built by Brahma Himself! And, quickly adding, after reading disbelief cum surprise writ on my face, that, of course, it had been reconstructed umpteen times at the same location!

And, I am sure the architecture would reflect the practice that was believably being adopted in the past based on some historical record available for that structure, and with new tools and techniques, and therefore it might not be a true replica of the original thought, as written record cannot express the exact thought in the mind of the creator. For example, the roof of the Nabagraha Temple is dome shaped, which in the present is generally accepted as a practice belonging to the Moghul period (including the onion shaped domes of mosques in Moscow). However, the apparent dome of the 'sky' might have also inspired the ancient Hindu (and other life/ animal forms also), who believed in the Panchabhoota as the reflection of the Formless Creator in all His creations...

Anonymous said...

Extending the above-cited thought one could also visualize the earth as having an apparent circular shape and, like a plate, flat or horizontal - as per one such belief in certain thoughts even today - with the sky meeting this imaginary plate at the horizon and thus forming a linga shaped space between any apprent human form and the dome-like cover of ‘sky’. That is, a linga of energised air (reflected by the thermal layers made use of by birds/ paragliders etc to float freely) that is also filled with ‘earth’ (as dust particles) and ‘water’ (reflected by air’s humidity) to great heights with human form at its root, and thus one could perhaps realize how, besides human form, lingas made of natural ice as, for example, seen within the cave in Amarnath, or in stone at various locations, and so on, in the ‘present’, perhaps came to be adopted as symbolically representing the Formless Shiva that is ‘Bhootnath’ as the unborn and unending, omnipresent and omnipotent Creator.
- JC

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, realizing the logic behind the illusory happenings in human life’s drama, that is its apparent script, the ancients have cited the wars between the ‘Rakshashas’ and the ‘Devatas’ and either of them gaining control, ie, communicating the ‘natural’ alternate freezing and thawing of the earth.

Earth was belived to be the central figure of the physical universe. And, Earth that is Shiva is depicted both, as Tarakasur as well as Tardeo, the negative and the positive or the destructive and constructive aspects, respectively, of the planet earth and also of its other reflections, viz. planet Saturn, the slow moving planet that is related with the direction West and the Rakshashas, and Sun the life-giving Heavenly Body at the other extremity like that of a swinging pendulum with Earth remaining ‘nirguna’ that is neutral or inert at its centre.

JC Joshi said...

Perhaps it is the mischievousness of ‘natkhat Nandlal’ that is Krishna of Dwaperyuga and his supreme form that is ‘Mahesha’ the ‘Bholanath’ or ‘Simple God’ and yet super intelligent Shiva of Satyuga that is responsible for the apparent suspense or ‘Adabhuta Rasa’ that is curiosity or wonder in human life at any other time.

The mythological stories generally show Shiva in poor light such that the Rakshashas initially took advantage of His apparent large heartedness and simplicity to ultimately get trapped by Vishnu (the Formless primordial energy believably responsible for the grand drama - whose re-incanation or model in human form, in Dwaperyuga, Krishna was) in their own net! For example, demon Bhasmasur believably received boon from Him that any person on whose head he kept his palm would be turned into ashes (and today man is considered as the most destructive agent on earth). And, after receiving the boon chased Shiva Himself, who had to cut His locks and hide in a cave!

Vishnu in Mohini form (essence of Moon in human head believably responsible for achieving supreme knowledge by man - only if it is reached internally) then saved Shiva the Earth from getting destroyed by apparently making Bhasmasur place his palm over his own head (in an attempt to reach supreme knowledge while blindly copying her dance movements)!

And, Krishna in the Gita says that all wrong actions are results of lack of (overall) knowledge!
Maybe, in the present also, perhaps one can see how Bush - like Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu reportedly entering the ‘Chakravyuha’, like his father, but not knowing how to get out of it - is finding it difficult to withdraw the US troops out of Iraq, although USA had managed to come out of Vietnam earlier! And, some people today wonder why man doesn’t take lesson from History!

Krishna in the Gita advises one in Kaliyuga, that is 'present', to ‘surrender in him’ to reach Him (the supreme knowledge) - a task that believably is virtually impossible for the majority because of 'Maya' that is illusion or the 'grand design' of the Formless creator!

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, I would like to close the thoughts on Yogeshwar Shiva with the following long words.

The over 4 billion-year-old beautiful earth today, the ‘lonely planet’ was expressed by the ‘wise’ ancient ‘Hindus’ in the statements, “Satyam Shivam Sunderam” / “Satyameva Jayate,” that is, both read together communicating that Shiva is beautiful and the truth that alone ever prevails. And, other hints in the description of Shiva pointing towards Earth as the prototype of Shiva in human form conforming to the belief about man as the model of the universe or image of the (Formless) one and only God that is omnipresent and omnipotent...

Talking of ‘Maya’ that is illusion, perhaps as a communication between man and his believable Formless Creator, as a child one makes out many animal figures in the clouds in the sky as they keep on rapidly changing those forms, from one to another, with the prevailing winds (compare it with the ancient Hindu belief of a soul having to pass through different animal forms to finally appear in the human form).

Similarly, certain animal forms become apparent in the profiles of certain hills too, such as ‘Camel’s hump’, ‘Trishool’ that is trident, and so on, that apparently last over relatively longer duration.

In the make believe world, Alfred Hitchcock was famous for his suspense films. He was quite bulky and not photogenic and yet he appeared in some inauccous roles in some of his films, perhaps reflecting the character actor like role of a low-caste, Eklavaya (literally meaning ‘the loner’), in Mahabharata who indirectly achieved perfection in archery, practicing with an idol of Kaurava/ Pandava princes' Guru Dronacharya for inspiration. He proved it to them by closing the mouths of his critics (communicated through the incident of filling the mouth of a barking dog with arrows)! However, he had to lose his thumb (symbol of essence of the planet Mars as a link with Krishna, at the ‘mooladhar chakra’ in human body) for he approached Dronacharya in person and due to lack of knowledge didn’t realize it, in reality, as the hand of ‘natkhat Nandlal’ as re-incarnation of the Formless Vishnu/ Shiva!

And, we have earlier seen also the mythological story about earth having been supported by ‘Kurmavatar’, ie, as one of the believable ten re-incarnations of Vishnu, ie, the form of Tortoise comparing well with the shape of the Antarctica. And now we have seen above, ‘Australia’ in the World Atlas appearing like the head of Shiva’s vehicle, Nandi the bull!

It is of course believed by the present day scientists also that earth in the beginning was one land mass. And that it has taken the present apparent forms of continents and seas over billions of years because of continued movement of land mass over different plates formed by rocks underlying the topsoil (or the dance of Natraja Shiva in the words of ancient ‘Hindus’).