Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter Solstice: December 21—The Great Conjunction

Significance of Solstice

"In any given year, the winter solstice, the still point, is the most powerful time of the solar cycle. It is the conception point, the moment in which the plans for the entire year are generated from the sun to the earth. It is the parallel point to each new moon which carries and expands the original solar wave's energy through the thirteen succeeding cycles of the year.

There are four points during the year in which the archetypal energies of the sun "come through" to us to bring consciousness along step by step. These four points are the solstices and the equinoxes.

Each of these moments, which last three days, are "neutral force" channels of tremendous power. They are literal doorways to the infinite, alchemical cauldrons in which we can bathe ourselves with unconditional love and pure spiritual energy, and into which we can place our intentions. They are "time-outs" from normal reality.

Whatever gets cooked in the winter solstice cauldron becomes the blueprint for the entire year which is reaffirmed and brought along to completion by the other three central points. If we carefully align with the intentions of the universe during the winter solstice we can be picked up by the rising tide of spiritual energy and carried forward, supported by the power which spirit has brought to earth at the moment of the "rebirth of the sun" when it joins with the earth.

The sun and moon are always in a changing relationship with each other and the earth, the cauldron in which we are always being alternately "cooked" and "cooled" by them. At the winter solstice; the sun, yang, spiritual, masculine energy is at its lowest ebb, pausing before it pulses forward just like the tide having flowed out to sea pauses, and then begins to aggressively move out toward shore once more. This alignment of the sun with the most inner and contracted (yin) point in its cycle is the same as the moment of the new moon in which the sun's yang and moon's yin move into perfect alignment with each other and the earth, joining and harmonizing their energies with their combined force.

As we step into the solstice we should not carry into it with us anything from the past and instead let the purity of the Oneness fill us and allow the spirit to decide what is in our highest good. As human beings we have goals, things we want to create, states we wish to experience. All that can be placed into this great moment with great passion as our heart's desires and released in trust. "

[By Alexander]

The Great Conjunction


The Solstice is a time where the veil between dimensions is thin. It is also a time where we are more open and connected with the energies of the Earth.


In 2020, December 21st, stands out as being a potent day, not just because of the Solstice, but also due to a very rare alignment taking place this year known as the Great Conjunction. The great conjunction occurs every twenty years or so, and is when both Jupiter and Saturn align at the same degree of the zodiac. The great conjunction represents a changing of an era, and a time where we shift our way of viewing the world. As our world view changes, so too does society and the way we choose to approach things. 


While the great conjunction happens every couple of decades, the 2020 alignment opens the door to an even bigger cycle. For the last 200 years, Jupiter and Saturn have been aligning only in earth signs, but this year, on December 21st, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will align in the air sign of Aquarius.


The great conjunction is a key point on this transition into the Age of Aquarius, and is destined to bring many ‘Age of Aquarius’ themes into our lives. The great conjunctions now switching to air signs will give us a focus towards the collective, and a more community-based approach. Humanitarian efforts will be important, and technology will be favored. We will see more things created online than in the physical world. 


December 21st, 2020 is a good day to get clear on what you wish to focus on, and to connect with your own spirituality and heart-focused intentions.



The Christmas Star

The year 2020 will end with a special astronomical event: the closest great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 397 years. On December 21, the two planets will almost touch in the sky. As Jupiter and Saturn will rendezvous just a few days before Christmas forming what will look like a single bright object in the sky, the 2020 great conjunction is sometimes also called the “Christmas star” or “Bethlehem star.”


The December 21, 2020 conjunction will be the closest great conjunction since July 16, 1623. At the great conjunction of 1623, Jupiter and Saturn were slightly less than 0.1 degrees apart. However, this event would have been difficult—although not impossible—to observe since the two planets were near the Sun.


The last time that the two planets were easily observable when separated by less than 0.1 degrees was almost 800 years ago, during the great conjunction of 1226.


To watch an online streaming video of the Great Conjunction of 2020, go to the video below. 




To read more about the esoteric and spiritual opportunities of this time, visit this link here.



Thursday, September 24, 2020

Video of Vibhutti Siddhar: Arunachala Girivalam


Recently found this fascinating video on You Tube of a sannyasin residing off the Arunachala Girivalam roadway. The Swami popularly known as Vibhutti Siddhar is becoming increasingly well known to both local and visiting devotees to Arunachala. 


Will give updates when I get more information on Vibhutti Swami, who currently maintains complete silence (mouna). His ashram (residence) is located almost diagonally opposite the beautiful Raja Rajajeswari Temple off the Girivalam Roadway. 



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2018 Kathiri Veyil at Siva Temples, Tiruvannamalai

Kathiri Veyil is the period when the Sun or Surya passes through the star Krittika. The period is considered to be the peak summer season. In 2018, Kathiri Veyil in the Tamil Calendar started at 11.05 a.m.,  May 4, 2018 and will continue until May 28, 2018. As its the peak summer season the period is considered inauspicious and therefore some refer to it as Agni Nakshathra dosha. 

The passing of the sun through 3rd and 4th quarter of Bharani Nakshatra and the four quarters of Krittika and the first quarter of Rohini Star is the period of Agni Nakshatram.

Popular superstitions for this 21 day dosha (inauspicious period) are;  journeys made through this time will be unsuccessful, money given will not be returned and disease/illness will not be easily cured.

Some believe it better to avoid the observance of auspicious events during this period. In addition, things to be avoided are the construction of; new ponds or wells. The making of new gardens, cultivation of fields and the planting of trees, bushes and saplings. 

When the peak of the summer season, better known as kathiri veyil or agni nakshatram commenced at 11.05 a.m. 4th May, 2018. a thara pathiram (vessel) filled with rose water was set on top of the linga at Temples dedicated to Lord Siva to reduce the intensity of the sun rays and heat in the sanctum sanctorums.

The Lingam with thara parthiram in the below photos are that of the Temple of Lord Thondareeswarar at Tiruvannamalai. 

Gandharva Kanyas: Vasantha Urchavam 2018

Vasantha Urchavam is a ten day Festival depicting the blossoming of love. During this sacred event, Swami and Amman are gorgeously decorated with jewels. They are taken with great ceremony in Mahapradakshina round the sacred Mahila Maram (trees) within the Third Prakaram—ten times every night for ten days = 100 times.

The third day of Vasantha Urchavam celebrates the birth of Manmatha, also known as Kama the God of love (lust). Manmatha is depicted looking for Siva.

At 9 p.m. on the fifth and eighth days the Temple lights are switched off so that the procession is in the dark. After going around the sacred Mahila Maram ten times the lights are switched back on to great rejoicing.

Lord Shiva opens His third eye on the final days of the Festival and the burning of Manmatha takes place.

During this sacred Festival the Jumbo Keswara Lingam, that is set in stone on the raised platform in the midst of the sacred trees is filled to capacity with water. Plants and flowers are placed to float inside the recess of the Lingam, appearing to make the Lingam levitate and blossom.

[Extract from The Light of Arunachaleswarar]

Each evening for the first nine nights of this Festival, Lord Somaskanda (a form of Siva/Pavarthi) is brought to the Paneer (Rose-water) Mandapam in the 3rd prakam. During this function the Gods are showered with flowers by the Gandharva Kanya enactd by the celestial nymph in the form of a puppet.

The Kanya puppet comes many times to the Paneer Mandapam and showers buckets of flowers onto the Gods. Afterwards ten processional rounds around the Makila Trees takes place, accompanied by musicians and singers. At the completion of each round, the Gods dance in front of a mirror and then remain seated under the Paneer Mandapam while receiving two floral showers from the Gandharva Kanya.

During the Vasantha Utsavam Festival, the appearance of the Gandharva kanya (celestial virgin nymph) represents the expression of desire and the virtue of union which is further emphasised by the flowers, fragrance and music of the ritual.

Gandharvas are celestial beings and also musicians. In Hindu mythology, the Gandharvas are demi-gods, who are somewhat less powerful than the Devas.

They are sometimes said to reside in the Swargaloka, but some sources put their abode as Gandharvaloka. Their father is sage Kashyapa and their mother is Arishta, a daughter of Daksha. They specialise in dance and music, and are also skilled in dark magic.

They are the guardians of Soma, the divine nectar of immortality and teacher of the Moon who is also called Soma. The Gandharvas are attributed with a mystical power over women and the right to possess them. They are invoked in traditional Hindu marriage ceremonies and in the Brahmin tradition, the bride who is to be married is supposed to belong first to Soma, to Gandharva and to Agni before becoming the wife of a human being. A Gandharva marriage is a love marriage (not an arranged one). The wives of the Gandharva men are usually celestial damsels, apsaras. 

The Puppeteers in charge of the pulley system on adjacent gallery

The Gandharva Kanya on her way to the Gods

Nearing the Gods on their palanquin at the Paneer Mandapam

Adorning the Gods with flowers

Each evening of the 9 nights, the Gandharva Kanya is beautifully and differently dressed

Puppet in White and Gold nearing the Gods with her bucket of flowers

Another evening, and another dress for the Gandharva Kanya

A Kanya dressed beautifully in blue

The Kanya puppet in close-up

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2018 Chithirai Festival at Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar’s Ashram

A beautiful marriage function between Lord Siva and Goddess Meenakshi will take place at Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar’s Ashram. The Festival starts Friday April 20, 2018 and culminates with the marriage of the Gods on Sunday April 29, 2018

Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar Swamigal

A   L   L      A   R   E     W   E   L   C   O   M   E

Villupuram District, Gingee Taluk, Sethavari Village, Nallanpillaipetral
Arulmigu Sri Meenakshi Sokanatha Peruman Temple
7th year of Chithirai Festival Invitation

P  R  O  G  R  A  M  M  E

Friday April 20, 2018 

Morning 4.30-6.00 a.m. Flag Hoisting 
Evening 3 p.m. Lord Ganesha Procession 

Saturday April 21, 2018 to Saturday April 28, 2018

Each Evening 3 p.m. Special abhishekam and procession

Sunday April 29, 2018

Morning 9.00 a.m. Seethavari Village brings marriage necessaries for the bridegroom Lord Sokanda Peruman

Morning 9.00 a.m. Naalanpillaipetral Village brings marriage necessaries for the bride Goddess Sri Meenakshi Ambal

Morning 11.00 a.m. Marriage between Sri Meenakshi Ambal with Sokanda Peruman 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sri Siva Mona Siddhar Swami—Visit from Western Devotees

Below are recent photos of a group of devotees from Russia visiting Sri Siva Mona Siddhar at his Ashram.

Huge Siva statue on top of the Temple

Group entering Temple
Puja at the Siva Lingam

Sri Siva Mona Siddhar Swamigal

Meeting with Swamiji in the 18 Siddhar Hall

After interview, the group sang bhajans in the Hall

The group taking meals inside the Ashram canteen
The new Sani Shrine at the Ashram

Beautiful statues and decoration at the newly consecrated Sani Shrine

Photograph with Swami before leaving the Ashram

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sri Siva Mona Siddhar Swami—18 Siddhar Meditation Hall

Recently visited Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar at his Ashram near Nallan Pillai Petral Village, which is located under 25 kms from Tiruvannamalai. Its good to see how quickly the Ashram is developing and the number of daily visitors and devotees increasing to take his darshan and blessings. The below photographs are of Swami giving interviews in the Meditation Hall of 18 Siddhars. 

The location of Swamiji's Ashram is: 

Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar 
Dharma Paribalana Trust Sethavarai, Nallan Pillai Petral Village & Post, 
Gingee Tk 
Villupuram Distrct, Tamil Nadu 

I have a number of postings of Swamijji on Arunachala Mystic. To read how he developed powers of healing and prescience (foresight) go to this link here

To read several letters to Swami from devotees, visit an earlier posting here

For more postings of Swami and his Ashram use the search function on this blog. Just type in Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar.

Arriving at Swamiji's Ashram

Giving interviews in 18 Siddhar Hall

Paintings of the 18 Siddhars on walls of Hall

Family at interview with Swami

Sri Siva Mona Siddar Swami
With Programme for Festival
Entry to Ashram. 24 foot Siva statue on roof of Temple

Ashram in unspoiled hilly countryside
Area surrounding Ashram
Peaceful, silent area

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Day Sri Seshadri Swamigal left Tiruvannamalai

In his 40 years at Tiruvannamalai, there was only one occasion that Sri Seshadri left this place, and that was only for just one hour. The story goes like this:

In the village of Seelaippandal, a Dikshidhar was doing puja in the house of one T.S. Jagadeesa Iyer.  He was considered as a “Guru” and the people in the house showed immense affection and regard for him. But because of his past karma, the thought of dishonesty grew in him. On two occasions he stole a hundred rupee note and a gold necklace weighing 8 sovereigns from the house and buried the same beneath the sanctum of the village deity. Three months elapsed. Even though a thorough search was conducted in the house, the lost articles could not be found.

Jagadeesa Iyer used to reside at Sannidhi street in Tiruvannamalai and when he had work visited Seelaippandal by horse drawn cart six miles distant. Once when he was on his way to the village, Sri Seshadri Swamigal asked if He could accompany him in the cart. Jagadeesa Iyer replied “This is Your vehicle. Please get in and we shall go”.

On the way Jagadeesa Iyer mentioned to Swamiji about the theft in his house. Swamiji replied that the stolen articles would be found that day. As soon as they reached Seelaippandal, Swamigal said, “The thief is in your house. The thief is in your house. There is a dog. I am leaving” and with these words He hastily left the house and returned to Tiruvannamalai on foot.

After Sri Seshadri Swamigal left Seelaipandal, the village officials gathered at Jagadeesa Iyer’s house and disclosed that the Dikshidhar had been seen digging at the sanctum of the village deity and it looked suspicious.Then they persuaded the Dikshidhar to come and made him confess.

The entire village crowded near the temple of the village deity. The Dikshidhar called, “O! Goddess! Even though I had taken refuge under You, You betrayed me! See what I will do to You”. He then tore the idol from its foundation and retrieved the cash and jewellery that had been buried underneath. Jagadeesa Iyer was content that his stolen property had been returned.

Young Sri Seshadri Swamigal