What's The Real Secret Behind Chidambaram Ragas yam!?

Chidambaram Nataraja (Shiva) Kovil lies in the heart of Chidambaram, a renowned temple town in Tamil Nadu. The temple is located 78 km south of Pondicherry, and it’s around 235 km from Chennai, the capital city of the southern state. The temple is also called the Thillai Nataraja temple.

Holiest Temple

This is one of the five holiest Shiva temples, each of which represents one of the five natural elements. Chidambaram is believed to represent ‘akasha’ (ether). The temple complex occupies more than 50 acres. The ancient and historic temple is dedicated to Shiva Nataraja and Govindaraja Perumal. Thus it is one of the few temples where both Shaivism and Vaishnavism co-exist.

Meaning of Place

The word Chidambaram probably comes from the words ‘chit’, meaning “consciousness”, and ‘ambaram’, denoting “sky”. It may refer to the chidaakasam, the sky of consciousness, the ultimate aim of a person, according to the Vedas and Hindu scriptures. Another theory argues that it comes from chit + ambalam. ‘Ambalam’ denotes a “stage” for performing arts. Chidakasam is a state of supreme bliss or Ananda, while Natarajar represents the supreme bliss or aanandana tanam. According to Saivaites, a visit to Chidambaram can bring liberation.

Temple Legend

Legend says that Shiva was strolling in the ThillaiVanam (a forest of Thillai,a species of mangrove trees, with the botanical name of Exocoeriaagallocha). One can see them even now in the Pichavaram wetlands near Chidambaram. A few sages who believed in the supremacy of magic lived in this forest. They believed that they could control even God with their rituals and ‘mantras’. Shiva came here in the form of ‘Pitchaiandavar’, a simple mendicant, and sought alms. With him was his consort, Mohini, an avatar of Vishnu. The sages’ wives were enchanted by the handsome mendicant. On seeing this, the sages became furious and invoked serpents through magical rituals to attack the medicant. But Shiva took the serpents and wore them as ornaments. Then the sages invoked a fierce tiger, which Shiva skinned and wore as a shawl around his waist.

The frustrated sages then summoned all their spiritual strength and invoked a fierce demon called Muyalakan. The Lord stepped on the demon’s back and performed the ÁnandaThaandava (the dance of eternal bliss), thereby revealing his true form. The sages surrendered their egos before him, realizing that their magic and rituals were powerless before him.

This temple was probably built in the 10th century when Chidambaram was the capital of the Chola kingdom. A most curious fact about this temple is that it is believed to hold a grave secret; called ‘Chidambara Ragasiyam’.

What is Chidambara Ragasiyam?

For centuries, it is believed that a secret lies hidden in plain sight inside the temple. There is a space within the temple, which is covered by a curtain that is unveiled only during special poojas. Behind the curtain, there are golden vilvam leaves which supposedly denote the presence of Shiva and Parvati. This is referred to as Chidambara Ragasiyam. The presence of Shiva and Parvati is not visible to normal people, but it is said that some devout saints can see their true forms. However, no official reports of such occurrences are known to exist. The curtain denotes Maya or illusion, which prevents us from seeing the divine presence with our own eyes. Some say that the Chidambara ragasiyam refers to the Shivalingam, which exists here in the form of space, and cannot be seen by commoners. Whatever the interpretation, ChidambaraRagasiyam will never be revealed, claim legends. This is because the secret varies for each individual, and its true meaning is a matter of individual perception.

Final Thoughts

The temple is one of the five Pancha Bhootha Sthalams in south India. Though it is said to have an ‘Akasha Lingam’ (a Shivalingam which represents space), no physical lingam is present here, unlike the other four Pancha Bhootha Sthalams.

Read more : https://www.astroved.com/astropedia/en/festivals/arudra-darshan