Daily News Online

Saturday, 26 February 2011






Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette


Maha Sivarathri

Significance of Nanthy flag for peace and prosperity:

Maha Sivarathri which falls on March 2nd 2011 will be observed in every temple particularly in Shivan temples and also in Hindu homes. The whole day and night will be profitably spent in temples. The night which is devoted to Lord Shiva as the term Sivarathri indicates is more important than the observances of rituals during the day.

Maha Shivarathri brings you a blissful experience of Shivashakti

At a temple the night is divided into four quarters from sunset to sunrise. Ceremonies like Abishehams, Pooja and Archanai are performed in each quarter and at the same time in a separate place, there will be continuous performances of devotional music and religious discourses to enable to devotees to pass the time in prayers and meditation without sleeping throughout the night.

The night is emphasized to signify the darkness of the world of senses in which we find ourselves, the endeavour is to pass from darkness to light, from night to the day of deliverance.

Early in the morning after Maha Sivarathri night, the slender streak of the moon in its last phase escapes from the darkness which threatens to swallow it up by union with the resplendent rising sun.

This is symbolic of the achievement of Moksha, Heavenly Bliss, illumination, liberation from Samsara or Salvation and it is in essence the realization of the object of one’s life.

In fact, Lord Shiva in his aspect of Nataraja or the cosmic dances on Maha Sivarathri day is represented as working out the infinite modes of rhythm in the process of universal creation, preservation and destruction. The small drum (Udukkai) is one hand symbolics creations, the Abayakara or the hand dispelling fear and assuring protection symbolise preservation. Fire in another hand depicts the aspect of destructions. These three fold nature of God Absolute is brought out by the dance of Lord Shiva on Mahasivarathri day.

Furthermore in every Shivan Temple there is a Nanthi (bull) which is the Vahana or vehicle of Lordshiva. It is always found facing shivalingam in the places of worship. In fact, Nanthy represents Dharma and the Hindus were told to govern their lives by the norms of Dharma which comprehends all the excellence which make for an ideal humanity.

Dharma is an internal discipline by which is given social order is protected. It is by Dharma that civilization is maintained. Therefore, Dharma may be defined as social norm or moral law. Since Nanthy or the sacred bull is said to be the vehicle of Lord Shiva, it also means that Dharma is the vehicle or Lord Shiva.

Indeed, there is a flag for every nations, every religion and every political party without any exception. They hoist these flags in all important occasions and the whole world comes to know of their respective celebrations on accounts of their flags. But, there was no such flag common to Hindus to be hoisted during festivals anywhere in the world. Realizing this Divine Service the world Saiva Councils’ (Sri Lanka) vice president, vice-president of All Ceylon Hindu Congress, Vice President of Vivekananda Society and Trustee of the Colombo Saiva Munneta Sangam “Vidaikadi” Sinnadurai Dhanabalan (JP), Secretary of the world Saiva Council (Sri Lanka) and President of the Tamil Sangam Dr Muttiah Kathirgamanathan, K Thayaparan, President of World Saiva Council (Sri Lanka Branch) and several other eminent personalities like Raja Manohari Pulendran, Subramaniam Chettiar,Trustee of the New Kathiresan Temple, Bambalapitiya have taken all possible steps to hoist Nanthy Flags at New Kathiresan Temple at Maha Sivarathri Day and distribute these flags to all the devotees and well-wishers.

Furthermore, these flags will be hoisted at various Hindu temples in Sri Lanka particularly at Thiruketheeswaram temples, Munneswaram temple, Koneswaram temple, Naguleswaram temple and Kochchikadai Sivan temple. On this Maha Sivarathri Day Nanthi flags will be hoisted in foreign countries in religious organizations and temples particularly in London, South Africa, Australia, Canada, France.

Furthermore, the World Saiva Council was established on February 29, 1992 at a public meeting of International Delegates held at the Saiva Siddhantha Peru Mandram, Mylapore, Madras with the aim to preserve, foster and promote saivaism, Saiva Siddhantam and the welfare and progress of Saiva Hindus throughout the world.

In fact Maha Sivarathri was chosen as Saiva flag day, not only because it was an important festival for the saivitees, but also because it was a rare occasion when a large numbers of devotees would congregate in temples. Further, the main purpose of conducting the sale of flags was to raise funds for development and welfare profits in Sri Lanka.

Indeed, the flag hoisting ceremony in temples particularly on Maha Sivarathri Day indicates that the descendant of Kundalani Sakthy at Moolatharam of our spinal chord should rise to the head. The flag lowering ceremony indicates that the supreme consciousness decends down from the head to the body (Creation) and reach the end of the spinal chord.

In fact, the hoisting of Nanthi flag at the top of the Rajagopurams of the temples and in other religious organizations will undoubtedly explain the principles and philosophies of Saivaism to achieve the goal of life.

Four aims of life

Our ancients have identified four aims of life for a Hindu. All human beings have an aim in life. However most of us are engrossed with the requirements of the body and our aims centre round it. The Hindu conceptions of an ideal life are called Purushathamams. It consists of Artha, Kaama and Dharma. Artha causes all our attempts to acquire worldly possessions. Kaama is enjoying them and Dharma is our duties to the society.

Moksha is the predominant aim

The Hindu Sastras like the Arthasastra, Kaamasastra and the Dharmasastra give details to be followed for the realization of these pursuits. We must remember that the concept of Moksha is the predominant aim in Hindu thought. Moksha is really liberation from ignorance. It is a fact in Hinduism that all research, teaching and writing were concerned with the supreme spiritual theme of liberation from ignorance and from the pursuits of the worldly life.

One of the ancient poets in Thamil, a woman, Avvai summarizes the four aims of life in one single verse. Roughly her verse means this: Dharma ischarity and duty.

Artha is acquisition of worldly possessions by righteousmeans, Kaama is reciprocated love and Moksha is freedom from all thesethree. The climax is Moksha. It is realized when one gives up one’sdesire for wealth, pomp and power.

Within a short span of human life the period allocated for Moksha is practically none.

From the cradle to the funeral pyre our time is fully occupied in seeking the means of acquiring wealth and enjoying them. What little time could be spared is swallowed up by social obligations and duties in the name of religion and charity. What does Moksha mean? It is not visible like property, gold or a desirable woman. Nor is it any kind of feeling.

It is really freedom from – Illusion. The first illusion is identification of the self with the body. All religions declare that the Self is not the body. However nobody seems to take them seriously. Our one pursuit in life is to keep it nice and comfortable.

The second illusion is that we will not die in spite of seeing death all around us every moment. The third is the identification of the self with the mind. The mind is compared to the antics of a monkey.

The forth illusion is that we have an abidingpersonality. Moksha is also known as Paramartha. It means the permanentobject or the ultimate reality. We must also consider this: If freedomfrom everything that we consider real is Moksha, then the religions, theirrituals, ceremonies are not of much use. So what’s required isdiscriminating and realizing truth from untruth. The moment one realizesthat there is One behind the phenomenal world and that forms and names areillusory, the aims for which we spend all our lives would be meaningless.

That does not mean that we should give up this world and live on the topof a hill. We can live in the midst of this world and ye know that this isa passing show. It’s like watching a film. At the back of our mind weknow that the film is not real but a created illusion.

Similarly it is the attitude and not the change of place or mode of life that matters. If at all we should identify ourselves with something like body, mind or ego, let us at least know that we are not any of these. As Avvai says the only correct vision is to see the One behind everything. That would give eternal peace.

Universal wisdom

Swami Vivekananda:

Three religions now stand in the world which have come down to us from time prehistoric - Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism.

They have all received tremendous shocks, and all of them prove by their survival, their internal strength. But while Judaism failed to absorb Christianity and was driven out of its place of birth by its all-conquering daughter, and a handful of Parsees is all that remains to tell the tale of their grand religion, sect after sect arose in India and seemed to shake the religion of the Vedas to its very foundations, but like the waters of the sea-shore in a tremendous earthquake it receded only for a while, only to return in an all-absorbing Hood, a thousand times more vigorous, and when the tumult of the rush was over, these sects were all sucked in, absorbed and assimilated into the immense body of the mother faith.

From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu’s religion.

Where then, the question arises, where is the common centre to which all these widely diverging radii converge? Where is the common basis upon which all these seemingly hopeless contradictions rest? And this is the question I shall at tempt to answer.

The Hindus have received their religion through revelation, the Vedas. They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. It may sound ludicrous to this audience, how a book can be without beginning or end. But by the Vedas no books are meant. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times. Just as the law of gravitation existed before its discovery, and would exist if all humanity forgot it, so is it with the laws that govern the spiritual relations between soul and soul and between individual spirits and the Father of all spirits were there before their discovery, and would remain even if we forgot them.

The discoverers of these laws are called Rishis, and we honour them as perfected beings. I am glad to tell this audience that some of the very greatest of them were women.

Here it may be said that these laws as laws may be without end, but they must have had a beginning. The Vedas teach us that creation is without beginning or end. Science is said to have proved that the sum total of cosmic energy is always the same. Then, if there was a time when nothing existed, where was all this manifested energy? Some say it was in a potential form in God.

In that case God is sometimes potential and sometimes kinetic, which would make Him mutable. Everything mutable is a compound and everything compound must undergo that change which is called destruction. So God would die, which is absurd-Therefore, there never was a time when there was no creation.

If I may be allowed to use a simile, creation and creator are two lines, without beginning and without end, zoning parallel to each other. God is the ever-active providence, by whose power systems after systems are being evolved out of chaos, made to run for a time, and again destroyed. This is what the Brahmin boy repeats every day:

‘The sun and the moon, the Lord created like the suns and the moons of previous cycles.’

And this agrees with modern science. Here I Stand and if I shut my eyes, and try to conceive my existence, ‘I,’ ‘I,’ ‘I’, what is the idea before me? The idea of a body. Am I, then, nothing but a combination of material substances? The Vedas declare, ‘No’ I am a spirit living in a body: I am not the body. The body will die, but I shall not die. Here I am in this body; it will fall, bull shall go on living. I had also a past.

The soul was not created, for creation means a combination, which means a certain future dissolution. If then the soul was created, it must die. Some are born happy, enjoy perfect health with beautiful body, mental vigour and all wants supplied.

Others are born miserable; some are without hands or feet; others again are idiots, and only drag on a wretched existence.

A large number of devotees participated in the annual chariot festival of the Sri Karumari Nagapoosani Amman Temple at Rambaikulam, Vavuniya. Picture by T Vivekarasa, Vavuniya spl corr

The Annual Kodisthamba Punarurtharana Balalaya special pooja for the Iyyappa Swamigal took place at the All Ceylon Iyyappa Devasthanam, Aluthmawatha, Colombo 15 on 16.02.2011. Here head of the Sabarimalai Thanthiri, Rev Brammashri Kandaru Maheswara Swamy (from Kerala, India) and Devasthana Chief Priest Rev Melshanthi Vishnu Mamboothiri Jeyakumar on pooja. A section of the devotees are also in the picture. Pictures by A Maduraveeran

The ‘Palkudam Bawani’ (The Holy Milk Procession) of Arulmigu Sri Muthumariamman Kovil, Kotahena, Colombo 13 took pace on last February 18, 2011. Here the devotees go in a procession from Kotahena Sri Varatharaja Perumal Kovil to Mariamman Kovil.

The well-known social worker K Osakar Rajah donated some valuable religious books to the Shri Sithi Vinayagar Kovil attached to the Shri Vipulananda Tamil Maha Vidyalayam, Dematagoda, Colombo 9 recently. Here the kovil Chief Priest and Secretary of the Vidyala Hindu Society, Balachandra Sarma, accept the consignment.

To mark Sivayoga Swamigal Pooja Day, a special Theeparathanai Pooja and the Koottu Pirarthanai (a joint prayer program) was organised to remember him by the Sivayoga Swamigal Trustees Fund on 17.02.2011. It was held at the Saraswathi Hall, Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4.


Tender for the Capacity Expansion of the GOSS Magnum Press
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
Donate Now | defence.lk

| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sport | World | Letters | Obituaries |

Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2011 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor