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........ HILL TEMPLES OF MURUGA

Palani, the sacred hill has been the object of pilgrimage for centuries. The custom of making pilgrimage to sacred spots is a very ancient one and is not confined to any one country or religion. The Egyptians tread the hot sands to the oracle at Thebes.

The ancient Greeks marched to Delphi to hear the counsel of Apollo, the Mexicans journeyed to the quetzal temple with reverence. To Buddhists. Kapilavastu and Benares were holy places to which they thronged year after year. To Christians the very name of Jerusalem will send a thrill through their frame.

Pilgrimages were enjoyed by our Sastras and in Mahabharata there is even a separate chapter called Tirtha Yatra Sargam. The convention of pilgrimages was instrumental in proliferation of temples - the adobe of Gods.

They were inspired not only by piety but also by a sense of aesthetic beauty. Naturally the apportioned places of beauty like Kurunji to Muruga their charming god. Even the Gods of Beauty Manmata and Rati were painted in his temple at Tiruparankunram.

Legends of Muruga are countless, though the Saiva Agamas have listed 64 exploits as Subramania Parakrama. They named him Muruga, Kumara,etc. each pregnant with meaning linked with beauty.

Murugu in tamil means beauty and Kumaran means young. This eternally young and beautiful god was called Muruga.The worship of Muruga is very ancient. In Bhagavad Gita Krishna equates himself with Senani(Muruga). The demon Taraka was killed by Muruga when he was only six days old. The devas consecreated him as senani-general. The story of Kumara is so sacred that Kalidasa was inspired to pen Kumara Sambhava, a great classic.

When we near any Muruga temple, the chorus 'Arohara' is heard far and wide. What does that term signify? A band of colored light seen in the sky in the regions of north pole is called aurora bore eslis. Legends and Upanishads in our land describe god as an effulgent light. Any effulgence that have no shape is called aurora and that is what the devotees of Muruga loudly chant Arohara, an expansive form of Arora.

It is not correct to say that religion is not scientific. There is an old proverb, "Science without religion is blind and religion without science is lame, "and Palani temple is the finest example of a proof of that proverb. The idol is made of some herbs that will cure some incurable maladies. To stand near the sanctum will confer benefits both physical and spiritual.

 

 
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