ଶ୍ରୀକପାଲୀଶ୍ଵରାଷ୍ଟକମ୍ Lyrics in Oriya:
Shri Kapalishvara is the name of Lord Shiva who is the presiding deity at the ancient temple of Shiva in Mylapore, Chennai – the capital of
the State of Tamilnadu. His consort has the name Kalpakambal. Ashtakam (ଅଷ୍ଟକମ୍) means a poem consisting of eight verses. In this case
the verses are in praise of Shri Kapalishvara. He is praised here with qualities referred to in the vedas, puranas and also as the Infinite
Supreme Being. This shows that it is the Supreme Being that appears as Kapalishvara in the temple in Mylapore as any god in any other temple.
The following symbols are used in the explanations that are given below.
(1) – SA :- Saiva Agama. (2) – SP :- Shiva Purana. (3) – SAN – Shiva 108 Namavali.
(4) – SL – Shivanandalahari of Shri Shankaracharya. (5) – VS – Vishnu sahasranama.
(6) – BG – Bhagavad Gita. (7) – SS – Siva sahasranama (From Padmapurana)
with the commentary by late H.H. Sri Parasivendra Saraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.
The vedas (Taittariya Upanishad, Anandavalli) declare that the Supreme Being is beyond reach of senses and mind. ୟତୋ ଵାଚୋ ନିଵର୍ତନ୍ତେ। ଅପ୍ରାପ୍ୟ ମନସା ସହ। For this, reason His qualities cannot be adequately portrayed by anyone. The Shiva Mahimmna stotram (22) puts this up in
a graphic manner. The poet says that even if the blue mountain were to be a lump of ink powder, the ocean the ink-pot, the branch of the
heavenly tree Parijata be pen, the earth itself the writing leaf, and by taking these Saradha the Goddess of Learning writes for eternity,
even then His virtues cannot be fully described.
ଅସିତଗିରିସମଂ ସ୍ୟାତ୍ କଜ୍ଜଲଂ ସିନ୍ଧୁଃ ପାତ୍ରଂ
ସୁରତରୁଵରଶାଖା ଲେଖନୀ ପତ୍ରମୂର୍ଵୀ ।
ଲିଖତି ୟଦି ଗୃହୀତ୍ଵା ସାରଦା ସର୍ଵକାଲଂ
ତଦପି ତଵ ଗୁଣାନାମୀଶ ପାରଂ ନ ୟାତି ॥
The quesion then is, why should one take up the futile job of writing a stotram in praise of the Lord knowing full well that it can never be
done satisfactorily? The same author of Mahimna Stotram provides the answer right at the beginning of the work.
ମଧୁସ୍ପୀତା ଵାଚଃ ପରମମମୃତଂ ନିର୍ମିତଵତ-
ସ୍ତଵ ବ୍ରହ୍ମନ୍ କିଂ ଵାଗପି ସୁରଗୁରୋର୍ଵିସ୍ମୟପଦମ୍ ।
ମମ ତ୍ଵେତାଂ ଵାଣୀଂ ଗୁଣକଥନପୁଣ୍ୟେନ ଭଵତଃ
ପୁନାମୀତ୍ୟର୍ଥେଽସ୍ମିନ୍ ପୁରମଥନ ବୁଦ୍ଧିର୍ଵ୍ୟଵସ୍ଥିତା ॥
He says that the Lord has given out the wonderful vedas which are sweet as the nectar. So, even the hymns composed by Brihaspathi, the learned guru of the devas will be insignificant to the Lord. This being so, I have ventured to praise You because the act will purify my speech.
Our puranas repeatedly say that chanting the Lord’s names and singing His glories destroy one’s sins. One need not worry about the level of
his learning to start in this endeavour. Sage Narada pointed this out to Sage Vyasa and advised him to write about the glories of the Lord.
ତଦ୍ଵାଗ୍ଵିସର୍ଗୋ ଜନତାଘଵିପ୍ଲଵୋ ୟସ୍ମିନ୍ ପ୍ରତିଶ୍ଲୋକମବଦ୍ଧଵତ୍ୟପି ।
ନାମାନ୍ୟନନ୍ତସ୍ୟ ୟଶୋଽଙ୍କିତାନି ୟଚ୍ଛୃଣ୍ଵନ୍ତି ଗାୟନ୍ତି
ଗୃଣନ୍ତି ସାଧଵଃ ॥BH(1-5-11).
The composition may be replete with faults. Yet, if each vesre speaks of the Lord’s glory , such a work alone will be liked by noble souls. They
will hear it, sing it and repeat it to the listeners. Because of this reason scholars and poets continue to write hymns in praise of the Lord.
The temple of Shri Kapalishvara is many centuries old. The Lord here has been sung by several Tamil saints known as Nayanmars. The famous composer Papanasam Sivan lived in Mylapore near the temple and was an ardent devotee of Kapalishvara. He had composed many songs in praise of the Lord and Devi Kalpakambal. Originally, the temple was situated on the sea shore. But it was badly damaged by tidal waves that battered the structure in the second half of the 16th century. It was later moved to the present location where a magnificient temple has come up. There is a large tank before the temple which is used for the float festival.
Being a major temple devoted to Lord Shiva all the important festivals associated with Lord Shiva are observed punctiliously. The temple is very popular and attracts a large number of devotees even on normal days. It includes locals and tourists from from all over India and abroad too. The crowds are particularly heavy on weekends, Fridays, on important days such as pradoshams (on the Trayodashi days) and Sivaratri.
In the passages that follow there may be statements that will appear to eulogise Lord Shiva as the Supreme Being and place other Gods on lower pedastals. These statements may cause some confusion or displeasure to some. There is no need at all for such feelings. Our puranas always resort to this kind of statements in which one form of God is praised as the Supreme Being and others are shown as an inferior to that particular deity. This is just to glorify that particular form. The intention is never to slight any deities. All puranas are particular in stating what is said in the vedas – that it is the one Supreme Being which appears as different Gods and in essecnce all are one and the same. The Lord says clearly in Gita that He receives worship offered to God in any form.
ୟେ ୟଥା ମାଂ ପ୍ରପଦ୍ୟନ୍ତେ ତାଂସ୍ତଥୈଵ ଭଜାମ୍ୟହମ୍ ।
ମମ ଵର୍ତ୍ମାନୁଵର୍ତନ୍ତେ ମନୁଷ୍ୟାଃ ପାର୍ଥ ସର୍ଵଶଃ ॥ BG(4-11).
We see in some movies that one actor plays the roles of the hero and also other characters. The hero frequently fights with others (played by
same person). And finally some event reveals the fact that all of them are born to the same lady and are brothers. They hug each other in great
joy and live happily ever after. Similarly. the one Supreme Being alone appears in various forms. So, essentially all forms depict the same Being.
Shri Kapalishvara in the sanctum in the temple is in the form of a lingam. The form has esoteric significance. The word lingam means a sign or emblem that characterises an object. ଲିଙ୍ଗ୍ୟତେଽନେନ ଇତି ଲିଙ୍ଗମ୍। The Agama texts, however, interpret the word to describe the Supreme
Being from which the universe emerges (ନିର୍ଗଚ୍ଛନ୍ତି) and into which it finally merges. ଲୟଂ ଗଚ୍ଛନ୍ତି ଭୂତାନି ସଂହାରେ ନିଖିଲାନି ଚ। ନିର୍ଗଚ୍ଛନ୍ତି ୟତଶ୍ଚାପି ଲିଙ୍ଗୋକ୍ତିସ୍ତେନ ହେତୁନା ॥ The Supreme Being is without parts and form. (ଅରୂପ). However this form is not easily understood or suitable for worship by most people since they have intense attchment to their bodies. Krishna says this clearly.
ଅଵ୍ୟକ୍ତା ହି ଗତିର୍ଦୁଃଖଂ ଦେହଵଦ୍ଭିରଵାପ୍ୟତେ ॥ BG(12-5).
Considering this problem that will face many, our shastras provide three concepts of the Lord. That is, sakala (one with form, rupa, like
Nataraja, DakShinamurty etc., ), nishkala (one without form, arupa) and sakala-nishkala (one with and without parts or specific form,
rupa-arupa).The lingam belonga to the third category – a combination of form and formlessness. It is thus extremely suitable for worship.
Its form is made of mantras and hence it is said that the Sivalinga is constituted of vidya or mantra deha. The three chapters of the Shiva
linga, namely the square base, the octogonal column and the upper part relate respectively to Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preservator and
Rudra the annihilator.
ବ୍ରହ୍ମା ଵିଷ୍ଣୁଶ୍ଚ ରୁଦ୍ରଶ୍ଚ ତ୍ରିଖଣ୍ଡମିତି କଥ୍ୟତେ ।
ଊର୍ଧ୍ଵଂ ତୁ ଶିଵଭାଗସ୍ୟାତ୍ ଵିଷ୍ଣୁଭାଗସ୍ତୁ ମଧ୍ୟମଃ ।
ବ୍ରହ୍ମାଭାଗସ୍ତ୍ଵଧଃ ପ୍ରୋକ୍ତଃ ଶାସ୍ତ୍ରଜ୍ଞୈର୍ଲିଙ୍ଗକୁମ୍ଭୟୋଃ ॥
Thus the lingam represents the Supreme Being that embodies in itself the triad of gods. One of the names of Shiva is
ଲିଙ୍ଗରୂପୀ – ଲୀନମର୍ଥଂ ଗମୟତୀତି ଲିଙ୍ଗମ୍। ତଦ୍ରୂପୀ ଲିଙ୍ଗରୂପୀ ।
ଅଵିଦ୍ୟାତିରୋହିତ-ଜଡପ୍ରପଞ୍ଚସ୍ୟ ଗମକତ୍ଵଂ ପ୍ରକାଶାତ୍ମକସ୍ୟ ଚୈତନ୍ୟସ୍ୟ,
ତଦ୍ରୂପୀ ପରମେଶ୍ଵରଃ ଇତ୍ୟର୍ଥଃ। ତଦୁକ୍ତଂ ସ୍କାନ୍ଦେ –
ଅଥାତଃ ସଂପ୍ରଵକ୍ଷ୍ୟାମି ଶିଵଲିଙ୍ଗଂ ସମାସତଃ ।
ୟସ୍ୟ ଵିଜ୍ଞାନମାତ୍ରେଣ ଵିମୁକ୍ତୋ ମାନଵୋ ଭଵେତ୍ ॥
ଶିଵ ଏଵ ସ୍ଵୟଂ ଲିଙ୍ଗଂ ଗମକମେଵ ହି ।
ଶିଵେନ ଗମ୍ୟତେ ସର୍ଵଂ ଶିଵୋ ନାନ୍ୟେନ ଗମ୍ୟତେ ॥SS(653).
Now we will say a few words about some important days observed in the temple. These days may be divided into two types – festivals and
vratams. Their purpose is the same, that is to make strong the remembrance of the Lord and bring us close to Him. Festivals like Deepavali and Dusserrah are marked by celebrations. The vratams, such as the Ekadasi and Shivaratri are marked by fasting, devotion, austeriry and observance of vows.
We are familiar with the story of the churning of the ocean by devas and asuras to obtain the Amrit or nectar. It is said that they used the
mountain Manthara as the churning pestle and the snake Vasuki as the rope. The asuras held the snake near the head and the devas the tail portion. As they started churning the snake suffered intense agony and vomited its venom. It was very potent and threatened to engulf the world. The devas ran to Lord Shiva and prayed to Him to save them and the world. Shiva, who is the embodiment of compassion took pity on them and consumed the venom. All the devas who gathered at that time felt immense relief and worshipped the Lord in gratitude without taking any food. This was the Ekadasi day. The Lord was pleased with their worship and distributed the Amrit to them. On the following day ( that is, on the dwadasi) the devas finished their puja early in the morning and had their food. On the next day, that is on trayodasi, the Lord who was pleased with their devotion performed a dance in the evening. Devi Parvati was watching the dance along with the devas. This dance performance lasted for one yama (ୟାମ) or three hours. The period came to be known as pradosham. This is a vratam and devoted exclusively for the worship of Lord Shiva.
If the pradosham falls on a Saturday then it becomes specially auspicious. The pradosham is auspicious as on that occasion all the gods and devas assemble to have the darshan of Lord Shiva and witness His dance. So, by visiting the temple on that occasion one can have the benefit of having the darshan of Lord Shiva as also all gods. Some verses from Shiva Puranam that talk about the glory of pradosham are given below. Rough translations of the verses are also given.
ଶଂଭୁରେଵ ତଦା ପୂଜ୍ୟୋ ନାନ୍ୟେ ଵିଷ୍ଣ୍ଵାଦୟସ୍ସୁରାଃ ।
ୟତ୍ତତ୍ର ସର୍ଵେଽପି ସୁରାସ୍ତିଷ୍ଠନ୍ତି ଶିଵସନ୍ନିଧୌ ॥
ଅତସ୍ତସ୍ୟାର୍ଚନଂ ପୂଜା କଥାଗୁଣଗଣସ୍ତଵମ୍ ।
ତନ୍ମନ୍ତ୍ରସ୍ୟ ଜପଶ୍ଚୈଵ କର୍ତଵ୍ୟୋ ମୋକ୍ଷକାଂକ୍ଷିଭିଃ ॥
ଦାରିଦ୍ର୍ୟଦୁଃଖତାନ୍ଧାନାଂ ଏତଦ୍ଦିଵ୍ୟାଞ୍ଜନଂ ସ୍ମୃତମ୍ ।
ଋଣାର୍ଣଵନିମଗ୍ନାନାଂ ଉଡୁପୋଽୟଂ ସୁତାରକଃ ॥
On that occasion (evening of pradosham day) Lord Shiva alone is to be worshipped,and not other devas like Vishnu. For, all of them are there in the presence of Lord Shiva. So, one who seeks liberation should do His puja, listen to stories that narrate His glories and chant His mantra. Those who are severely afflicted by poverty and sorrow will get relief by this. This will serve as a boat that will help those who are immersed in ocean of debts.
ପ୍ରଦୋଷେ ପାର୍ଵତୀନାଥେ ମହତ୍ତନ୍ଵତି ତାଣ୍ଡଵମ୍ ।
ଵାଗ୍ଦେଵୀ ଵଲ୍ଲଵୀନ୍ଧତ୍ତେ ମୃଦଙ୍ଗଂ ଗରୁଡଧ୍ଵଜଃ ।
ରମା ଗାନକଲାଂ ବ୍ରହ୍ମା ତାଲଂ ଵେଣୁଂ ଦିଵସ୍ପତିଃ ॥
ସର୍ଵେ ଚାନ୍ୟେ ସୁପର୍ଵାଣଃ ସେଵନ୍ତେ ତଂ ମହେଶ୍ଵରମ୍ ।
ପୁଣ୍ୟକ୍ଷେତ୍ରଂ ସମାସାଦ୍ୟ ମହାଲିଙ୍ଗଂ ନିଷେଵ୍ୟ ଚ ॥
ପଞ୍ଚକୃତ୍ଵା ନମସ୍କୁର୍ୟାତ୍ ସାଷ୍ଟାଙ୍ଗଂ ଭକ୍ତିପୂର୍ଵକମ୍ ।
ପାଂସୂନାଂ ଅଙ୍ଗଲଗ୍ନାନାଂ ଏକୈକସ୍ୟ ନମସ୍କୃତୌ ॥
ଦିଵ୍ୟଵର୍ଷସହସ୍ରଂତୁ ଶିଵଲୋକେ ମହୀୟତେ।
During pradosha time Lord Shiva dances along with Parvathi Devi. Sarasvati Devi plays on veena. Vishnu plays on mridangam. Laxmi Devi sings and Brahma plays on cymbals. Indra plays on flute. All gods witness the glorious sight. One should reach a holy shrine and worship Mahalingam by prostrating to Him five times. By saluting thus one gets to live in Shivaloka for as many years as the dust particles that had stuck to his body.
ଦର୍ଶନଂ ଵନ୍ଦନଂ ଲିଙ୍ଗପ୍ରଦକ୍ଷିଣଞ୍ଚ ତର୍ପଣମ୍ ।
ପ୍ରଦୋଷେ ଋଣମୁକ୍ତେଃ ସ୍ୟାତ୍ ଭଵତୂଲମହାନିଲଃ ।
ଭୁକ୍ତିର୍ମୈଥୁନମଭ୍ୟଙ୍ଗଂ ହରିଦର୍ଶନକୀର୍ତନେ ।
ଵ୍ୟର୍ଥାଲାପଂ ପ୍ରଦୋଷେ ତୁ ଵର୍ଜୟେଦ୍ଵୈଦିକୋ ଜନଃ ॥
Having darsan of Shivalingam, circumambulating It and performing tarpanam will pay off the five obligations one is born with. One should not indulge in eating, sex, oil bath, darsan of Hari and idle gossip during pradosham.
ଵିଷ୍ଣ୍ଵର୍ଚନଂ ସଦା କାର୍ୟଂ ପ୍ରଦୋଷସମୟଂ ଵିନା ।
ତତ୍ରାପି ନରସିଂହଂ ତୁ କୀର୍ତୟେଦ୍ଦର୍ଶୟେଦ୍ଭୁଧଃ ॥
ଏଵଂ ପ୍ରଦୋଷସମୟେ ପୂଜାଂ କର୍ତୁମଶକ୍ନୁଵନ୍ ।
ଗତ୍ଵା ଶିଵାଲୟଂ ପଶ୍ୟେତ୍ ଭକ୍ତୋଽଭକ୍ତୋଽତଵା ଶିଵମ୍ ॥
One should worship Lord Vishnu always except on pradosham days. It is beneficial to have darsan of Lord Narasimha and worship Him on
pradosham time. One who is unable to do puja etc., as said above during pradosham can get the benefit by having a darsan of the temple of Lord Shiva.
It is said here that one should not have darsan of Vishnu on pradosham days but it does good to have darsan and worship Narasimaha. The reason is that Narasimha is Shiva only and not different from Him. The following quote from Nrisimhapurvatapani upanishad states this clearly.
ଓଂ ଋତଂ ସତ୍ୟଂ ପରଂ ବ୍ରହ୍ମ ପୁରୁଷଂ ନୃକେସରି ଵିଗ୍ରହମ୍ ।
କୃଷ୍ଣପିଂଗଲ-ମୂର୍ଧ୍ଵରେତଂ ଵିରୂପାକ୍ଷଂ ଶଂକରଂ ନୀଲଲୋହିତଂ
ଉମାପତିଂ ପଶୁପତିଂ ପିନାକିନଂ ହ୍ୟମିତଦ୍ୟୁତି-ମୀଶାନଃ— ॥
The pradosham day occurring in the Magha month (11th in the Hindu calendar) is very special and is celebrated as Shivaratri. This is
the day when Lord Shiva revealed His glorious form to the gods to show that He alone is the Supreme Being. He appeared to them in the form of infinite effulgence. He told them that they all can derive benefit by worshipping Him. Accordingly the gods offered special puja to Him. Lord Shiva was pleased with their worship. He added that the day will be known as Shivaratri and will be a very auspecious one.
ଦିନମେତତ୍ ତତଃ ପୁଣ୍ୟଂ ଭଵିଷ୍ୟତି ମହତ୍ତରମ୍ ।
ଶିଵରାତ୍ରିରିତି ଖ୍ୟାତା ତିଥିରେଷା ମମ ପ୍ରିୟା ॥
Later the infinite form transformed Itself Into a lingam. The Lord said that whoever fasts on that day or worships Him will get all that
is good in this life and will escape rebirth. He also said that the lingam will get installed in all the temples and the place where the
lingam appeared first will be known as Arunachalam. Aruna means red – the colour of the flame. Achalam means mountain. Shiva in this place is known as Arunachaleshvara.
ଭୋଗାଵହଂ ଇଦଂ ଲିଙ୍ଗଂ ଭୁକ୍ତିମୁକ୍ତ୍ୟେକ ସାଧନମ୍ ।
ଦର୍ଶନ-ସ୍ପର୍ଶନ-ଧ୍ୟାନାଜ୍ଜନ୍ତୂନାଂ ଜନ୍ମ ମୋଚନମ୍ ॥
ଅନଲାଚଲ-ସଂକାଶଂ ୟଦିଦଂ ଲିଙ୍ଗମୁତ୍ଥିତମ୍ ।
ଅରୁଣାଚଲମିତ୍ୟେଵ ତଦିଦଂ ଖ୍ୟାତମେଷ୍ୟତି ॥
This have occured in Tiruvannamali where the lingam in the temple is known as tejolingam (ତେଜୋଲିଙ୍ଗମ୍।). The event is celebrated as an
annual festival in that town. A big lamp is lighted at the top of the hill behind the temple to mark the event. Thousands of people gather to
witness the light.
Shivaratri day is celebrated with great deal of fervour in Shiva temples all over the country. This is a vratam and so is marked by pujas, fasting
and offering prayers throughout the night. After having bath one should wear vibhuti, necklace of rudrakSha beads, worship the Lord with bilva leaves, chant thr sacred panchakShara mantra and visit Shiva temple and participate in the pujas that are done throughout the night. Fasting is prescribed as an aid to curb the wandering tendency of the mind so that it can concentrate on the job on hand – in this case the puja of the Lord. This is known to us for long. Shri Krishna mentions this in Bhagavad Gita (2-59).
ଵିଷୟା ଵିନିଵର୍ତନ୍ତେ ନିରାହାରସ୍ୟ ଦେହିନଃ।
Some verses from the Shiva puranas that extol the important day are given here with rough translation.
ମାଘକୃଷ୍ଣଚତୁର୍ଦଶ୍ୟାଂ ଉପଵାସୋଽତିଦୁର୍ଲଭଃ ।
ତତ୍ରାପି ଦୁର୍ଲଭଂ ମନ୍ୟେ ରାତ୍ରୌ ଜାଗରଣଂ ନୃଣାମ୍ ॥
Fasting on the chaturdashi day in the fortnight following the full moon day in the Magha month (ie) on Shivaratri day is not something that is
easily got by everyone. Still more difficult to get is the possibility of keeping awake duringthe night on that day.
ଅତୀଵ ଦୁର୍ଲଭଂ ତତ୍ର ଶିଵଲିଙ୍ଗସ୍ୟ ଦର୍ଶନମ୍ ।
ସୁଦୁର୍ଲଭତରଂ ତତ୍ର ପୂଜନଂ ପରମେଶିତୁଃ ॥
It is very difficult to have darshan of the Shiva lingam. Still more difficult is a to get a chance to worship the Lord.
ଲଭ୍ୟତେ ଵା ପୁନସ୍ତତ୍ର ବିଲ୍ଵ-ପତ୍ରାର୍ପଣଂ ଵିଭୋଃ ॥
Even in performing that worship to that omnipresent Lord the good fortune to offer bilva leaves to Him is got only by the fructification of good deedes done in innumerable births.
ଵର୍ଷାଣାମୟୁତଂ ୟେନ ସ୍ନାତଂ ଗଙ୍ଗାସରିଜ୍ଜଲେ ।
ସକୃଦ୍ ବିଲ୍ଵାର୍ଚନେନୈଵ ତତ୍ଫଲଂ ଲଭ୍ୟତେ ନରୈଃ ॥
What merit one earns by taking bath in the river Ganga for ten thousand years is got by worshipping Lord with the bilva leaves on Shivaratri
ଅତ୍ରୋପଵାସଃ କେନାପି କୃତଃ କ୍ରତୁଶତାୟତେ ।
ରାତ୍ରୌ ଜାଗରଣଂ ପୁଣ୍ୟଂ ଵର୍ଷ-କୋଟି-ତପୋଧିକମ୍ ॥
Fasting on the night of Shivaratri is equivalent to performing hundred vedic sacrifices. Keeping awake on that night is superior to austerities
performed in ten million years.
ଏକେନ ବିଲ୍ଵ-ପତ୍ରେଣ ଶିଵ-ଲିଙ୍ଗାର୍ଚନେ କୃତେ ।
ତ୍ରୈଲୋକ୍ୟେ ତସ୍ୟ ପୁଣ୍ୟସ୍ୟ କୋ ଵା ସାଦୃଶ୍ୟମୃଚ୍ଛତି ॥
Nothing in all the worlds equals the merit one earns by offering one bilva leaf to the Lord on that holy day.
ଅହୋ ବଲଵତୀ ମାୟା ୟେନ ଶୈଵୀ ମହାତିଥିଃ ।
ନୋପାସ୍ୟତେ ଜନୈ-ର୍ମୂଢୈଃ ଅତିମୂର୍ଖୈରିଵ ତ୍ରୟୀ ॥
OH! great is the power of maya. Ignorant people do not observe Shivaratri which is so glorious. This is just like the ignorant people not caring
to study the vedas.
ଉପଵାସୋ ଜାଗରଣଂ ସନ୍ନିଧିଃ ପରମେଶିତୁଃ ।
ଗୋକର୍ଣଂ ଶିଵଲୋକସ୍ୟ ନୃଣାଂ ସୋପାନ-ପଦ୍ଧତିଃ ॥
Fasting on Shivaratri day, keeping awake during that night, visiting the temple of the Lord, the holy place of Gokarna constitute the steps
for one to reach the abode of Lord Shiva .
THE SUMMER FESTIVAL:-
The summer festival (March-April) lasts for ten days. It attracts huge crowds from in and around the city of Chennai. We can have
the darshan of the Lord riding on the bull Nandi on the fifth day. One of the Lord’s name is ଋଷଭାରୂଢଃ.The bull or rishabha (ଋଷଭଃ) represents dharma which showers all desired results like dharma. artha kama and also gives purity of mind that helps in pursuing mokSha. The commentator says :- ଵୃଷ ସେଚନେ ଵର୍ଷଣାତ୍ ସର୍ଵକାମାନାଂଵୃଷଭଃ, ଧର୍ମରୂପତୟା ସର୍ଵକାମପ୍ରଦତ୍ଵାତ୍, ତମାରୂଢଃ; ଵୃଷଭଵାହନଃ ଇତ୍ୟର୍ଥଃ।SAN(40). The Lord also has
the bull as the mark in His flag. Because of this He also has the name ଵୃଷାଙ୍କଃ।SAN(39).. This shows the great importance the Lord
attaches to dharma.
On the seventh day we have the car festival when He goes round the streets in a car. It is very popular and attracts huge crowds. It is said that
one who can have the darsan of tha Lord in the car will escape rebirth.
ରଥସ୍ଥଂ ଵାମନଂ ଦୃଷ୍ଟ୍ଵା ପୁନର୍ଜନ୍ମ ନ ଵିଦ୍ୟତେ । The car represents the body.
ଆତ୍ମାନଂ ରଥିନଂ ଵିଦ୍ଧି ଶରୀରଂ ରଥମେଵ ଚ ।
ବୁଦ୍ଧିଂ ତୁ ସାରଥିଂ ଵିଦ୍ଧି ମନଃ ପ୍ରଗ୍ରହମେଵ ଚ ॥
says Katha Upanishad (1-3-3).
The Self within the body is the charioteer, the one who rides in the chariot. The ଵାମନଃ or dwarf mentioned herein refers to the Self, Supreme Being, the size of the thumb, who resides in the body, in the small chamber of the heart of everyone. The Katha Upanishad says
ଅଙ୍ଗୁଷ୍ଠମାତ୍ରଃ ପୁରୁଷୋ ମଧ୍ୟ ଆତ୍ମନି ତିଷ୍ଠତି ।
ଈଶାନଂ ଭୂତଭଵ୍ୟସ୍ୟ ନ ତତୋ ଵିଜୁଗୁପ୍ସତେ ॥
Even though the Self is all pervading, It is conceived as a dwarf residing in the heart to facilitate meditation on It.
Another important festival is the day when the 63 saivaite saints, known as Nayanmars are taken in a procession and the Lord follows His
devotees. A popular Tamil poet Avvaiyar has said in one of her poems that a devotee of the Lord is greater than the Lord Himself as he has
the Lord enshrined in his heart! This will remind us of what Sri Krishna told about His devotees to His friend Uddhava in the Uddhava Gita.
ନିରପେକ୍ଷଂ ମୁନିଂ ଶାନ୍ତଂ ନିର୍ଵୈରଂ ସମଦର୍ଶନମ୍ ।
ଅନୁଵ୍ରଜାମ୍ୟହଂ ନିତ୍ୟଂ ପୂୟୟେତ୍ୟଙ୍ଘ୍ରିରେଣୁଭିଃ ॥
He said that He invariably follows His devotees. This festival is celebrated on the eighth day.
On the ninth day one can have the darshan of the Lord as ଭିକ୍ଷାଟନଃ a mendicant going around the streets with a begging bowl. The question
now arises as to why the Lord is reduced to state of nothingness? Puranas tell that Lord Shiva took on the role of a beggar with a disheveled
appearance to teach a lesson to some sages who were staunch adherents of the path of karma and ignored the higher path of jnana. They were proud of their of achievements in this path that got them some supernatural powers also.The beggar was extremely handsome. On seeing Him many of the men and women in the ashram precinct lost their balance and started following Him. When the sages saw this they were furious. They cursed him and let loose some demons created by their spiritual power. But their attempts to harm the beggar utterly failed and they felt humiliated. They surrendered to the Lord.
The ten days festival concludes with the wedding of the divine couple (Lord Kapali and Devi Kalpakambal). The function is celebrated with
great deal of enthusiasm by the people as they consider it as a marriage happening in their own house. Everyone brings presents to the bride
and groom in the form of silk sarees and silk dhoties etc. Many offer pieces of jewellery. They also bring sweet and savoury items prepared
specially for the occasion. Thus the marriage turns out to be a memorable occasion. After the function gets over the devotees are given prasad
offered to the divine couple. The wedding signifies the union of the Jivatma and Pramatma who were never separate, but felt separated due to
the veil of avidya or nescience. The Lalithasahasranamam describes Devi Lalitha as କାମେଶ-ବଦ୍ଧ-ମାଙ୍ଗଲ୍ୟସୂତ୍ର-ଶୋଭିତ-କନ୍ଧରା। Devi’s
neck shines with the Mangalya thread tied by the Lord who, therefore has the name ଅମ୍ବିକାନାଥଃ = ଅମ୍ବିକାୟା ନାଥଃ ପତିଃ। ଇଦଂ ଚାର୍ଥତଃ
ଶ୍ରୁତି-ପ୍ରସିଦ୍ଧଂ ନାମ। ନମୋ ହିରଣ୍ୟ-ବାହଵେ ହିରଣ୍ୟ-ଵର୍ଣାୟ
ହିରଣ୍ୟ-ରୂପାୟ ହିରଣ୍ୟ-ପତୟେଽମ୍ବିକା-ପତୟ ଉମା-ପତୟେ ପଶୁ-ପତୟେ
We also have the float festival (in January-February) when the Lord goes round the tank in a float.This symbolises the fact that the Lord Siva,
like a boatman, goes in a boat or raft, scours the ocean of samsara and looks for people who are struggling in the ocean and seeking His help
to come out of it. So Siva has these names .
ସଂସାରାର୍ଣଵ-ମଗ୍ନାନାଂ ସମୁଦ୍ଧରଣ ହେତୁଃ –
ସଂସାରଃ ଜନନମରଣାଦିସମୂହଃ ସ ଏଵାର୍ଣଵଃ, ସମୁଦ୍ରଃ ଅପାରତ୍ଵାତ୍,
ତତ୍ର ମଗ୍ନାନାଂ ସର୍ଵଦା ଦୁଃଖନୁଭଵିତୄଣାଂ,
ତେଷାଂ ଦୁଃଖନାଶନେ ହେତୁଃ କାରଣଂ ଵେଦାନ୍ତମହାଵାକ୍ୟଜନ୍ୟ-
ଵୃତ୍ତ୍ୟାରୂଢଃ ସନ୍ ସଂସରପାଶଵିଚ୍ଛେଦକରତ୍ଵାତ୍ ॥
ଜ୍ଞାତ୍ଵା ଦେଵଂ ସର୍ଵପାଶାପହାନିରିତି। ଶ୍ରୁତିଃ ॥SS(408) and
ଵିଷୟାର୍ଣଵମଗ୍ନାନାଂ ସମୁଦ୍ଧରଣସେତୁଃ –
ଵିଷୟଶବ୍ଦେନ ଵିଷୟାନୁଭଵରୂପସଂସାର ଉଚ୍ୟତେ॥ ସ ଏଵାର୍ଣଵଃ
ସମୁଦ୍ରଃ ଵିଷୟାର୍ଣଵଃ, ତସ୍ମିନ୍ ସଂସାରସମୁଦ୍ରେ ମହତି,
ଅନାଦାଵନନ୍ତେଽପାରେ ନିରାଲମ୍ବେ ଵିଷୟେନ୍ଦ୍ରିୟଜନିତସୁଖଲଵଲକ୍ଷଣଵିଭ୍ରମେ,
ମହାପାତକାଦ୍ୟନେକନିରୟଗତେ, (ଦୁର୍ଵାରଵାରିଚରଗର୍ଭେ) ହାହେତ୍ୟାଦି-
କୂଜିତାକ୍ରୋଶନୋଦ୍ଭୂତମହାର୍ଣଵେ ମଗ୍ନାନଂ ସମୁଦ୍ଧରଣେ ସମ୍ୟଗୁଦ୍ଧରଣେ
ସେତୁରିଵ ସେତୁଃ ।
ତ୍ରିରୁନ୍ନତଂ ସ୍ଥାପ୍ୟ ସମଂ ଶରୀରଂ
ହୃଦୀନ୍ଦ୍ରିୟାଣି ମନସା ସନ୍ନିଵେଶ୍ୟ ।
ବ୍ରହ୍ମୋଡୁପେନ ପ୍ରତରେଵ ଵିଦ୍ଵାନ୍
ସ୍ରୋତାଂସି ସର୍ଵାଣି ଭୟାଵହାନି॥ ଇତି ଶ୍ରୁତିଃ ॥SS(477).
This will bring to our mind the verse from the popular Karavalamba stotrAm wherein Shri Shankaracharya beseeches Lord Laxmi Narasimha to extend His hand and pull him out of the fearsome ocean of samsara.
ଦୀନଂ ଵିଲୋକୟ ଵିଭୋ କରୁଣାନିଧେ ମାମ୍ ।
ଲକ୍ଷ୍ମୀନୃସିଂହ ମମ ଦେହି କରାଵଲମ୍ବମ୍॥(୧୦) ॥
Every individual is struggling in the ocean of samsasra, but does not know how to reach the shore. Also he does not have the abilty to know
the means. In such a precarious situation the kindly acharya tells us that reaching out to the Lord is the only way. One struggling in the
sea for a long time swallows the bitter water, feels weak and faint. In the same way one caught in the ocean of samsara takes in the poison of
pleasures and pains through the senses and is befuddled. The acharya herein gently reminds the Lord that saving someone caught in the sea
is not something new to Him. On an earlier occasion He had rescued Prahlada who was bound to a big slab of stone and thrown into the sea
by saying ପ୍ରହ୍ଲାଦ-ଖେଦ-ପରିହାର-ପରାଵତାର। The kindly Lord is one who is capable of helping us to get out of samsara and administer the required treatment. He is renowned in the vedas as the foremost and devine physician. Shri Rudram says this.ଅଧ୍ୟଵୋଚଦଧି ଵକ୍ତା ପ୍ରଥମୋ ଦୈଵ୍ୟୋ ଭିଷକ୍। Krishna says that He will lift up those who have exclusive devotion to Him from the ocean of samsara. Gita (12-7).
ତେଷାମହଂ ସମୁଦ୍ଧର୍ତା ମୃତ୍ୟୁସଂସାରସାଗରାତ୍ ।
ଭଵାମି ନ ଚିରାତ୍ପାର୍ଥ ମୟ୍ୟାଵେଶିଅତଚେତସାମ୍ ॥
There is a separate temple inside the main temple for Devi who bears the name Kalpakambal. It is said that She took the form of a peacock and worshipped the Lord here to demonstrate the power of devotion. Peacock is called mayil in Tamil. Thus the place has come to be known as Mailai or as Mayilapuri and as Mylapore.
Kapali is one of Shiva’s names. (No.24-Shiva 108 namavali). Kapala means a skull. Siva wears a garland of skulls. Each skull in His garland is
said to be that of one Brahma, the creator god after Brahma’s demise at the time of resolution or pralaya. Brahma is only the name of the post, like that of the President or the Prime Minister. When the post is vacated by the occupant another suitable person takes up the post and the work of creation continues. This period is known as କଲ୍ପଂ kalpam. At the time of Kalpam, Shiva withdrws the creation within Himself and releases it at the beginning of the next Kalpa. Krishna says this in Gita-(9-7).
ସର୍ଵଭୂତାନି କୌନ୍ତେୟ ପ୍ରକୃତିଂ ୟାନ୍ତି ମାମିକାମ୍ ।
କଲ୍ପକ୍ଷୟେ ପୁନସ୍ତାନି କଲ୍ପାଦୌ ଵିସୃଜାମ୍ୟହମ୍ ॥
Brahma has a very long life according to our calendar. We may get an idea about Brahma’s longevity from the following figures. 360 human years = 1 year of devas. 12,000 years of the devas = The duration of 4 yugas. 2000 such periods = One day of Brahma. Brahma has a life of 100 years made of such days and is equal to 432 million years of mortals. Thus, it is very very long as per our reckoning. Still, Brahma has a finite life only, however long it may be. It has an end. So, every one, including Brahma, is absorbed by Lord’s Prakriti and released again.
Shiva wearing a garland made of skulls of Brahmas indicates that Shiva is beyond time, is eternal and lasts even after other lesser gods like
Brahma who are in the grip of time meet their end. Shri Nilakanta DikShita explains this in his Shivatattvarahasyam as follows. SAN(24).
କପାଲୀତି – କପାଲଂ ବ୍ରହ୍ମକପାଲଂ ଅସ୍ୟାସ୍ତୀତି କପାଲୀ। ଏତେନ
ଅନେକ-ବ୍ରହ୍ମାତ୍ୟୟ-ଦର୍ଶିତ୍ଵ-ଲକ୍ଷଣଂ ସନାତନତ୍ଵମୁକ୍ତଂ ଭଵତି ।
Now we are faced with a peculiar problem. What can we ask of Kapaleeshvara, who Himself goes around with a begging bowl (kapalam or skull) in His hand? Shri Shankaracharya too faced this problem and had come out with an ingenious solution. He had seen that wandering beggars usually keep with them dogs, monkeys and such small animals. They make the animals do some simple tricks, entertain the people and collect alms. He says that he has a monkey called his mind that is very frisky, mischievous and uncontrollable. He beseeches the Lord to tie it with the cord of devotion and take it with Him. Please look at this entreaty that is addressed to Kapali.
ସଦା ମୋହାଟଵ୍ୟାଂ ଚରତି ୟୁଵତୀନାଂ କୁଚ-ଗିରୌ
ନଟତ୍ୟାଶାଶାଖାଵଟତି ଜ़୍ହଟିତି ସ୍ଵୈରମଭିତଃ ।
କପାଲିନ୍! ଭିକ୍ଷୋ! ମେ ହୃଦୟ-କପିମତ୍ୟନ୍ତ-ଚପଲଂ
ଦୃଢଂ ବଧ୍ଵା ଶିଵ ଭଵଦଧୀନଂ କୁରୁ ଵିଭୋ! ॥ SL (20).
Thus, the hymn that follows is about the Infinite Supreme Being who appears as Kapali for the benefit of devotees and who is none other than Lord Shiva. Devi Kalpakamba is His Maya shakti also known as Prakriti. The Supreme Being associated with maya is known as Ishwara or Maheshwara. This is said in the Svethasvaropanishad as: ମାୟାଂ ତୁ ପ୍ରକୃତିଂ ଵିଦ୍ୟାନ୍ମାୟିନଂ ତୁ ମହେଶ୍ଵରମ୍ । Maya has names as Parvati, ShivA, Uma etc. Shiva means auspiciouness. SS(18). ଶିଵୋ ମଙ୍ଗଲରୂପଃ।
ନିର୍ମାଷ୍ଠ-ନିଖିଲ-ଦୁଃଖାନୁଷଙ୍ଗ-ପରମାନନ୍ଦ-ରୂପ ଇତ୍ୟର୍ଥଃ ।
So is also Devi Kalpakamba who has the name Mangala (meaning auspicious). The following popular verse from Saptasloki Durga says this clearly.
ସର୍ଵମଙ୍ଗଲମାଙ୍ଗଲ୍ୟେ ଶିଵେ ସର୍ଵାର୍ଥସାଧିକେ ।
ଶରଣ୍ୟେ ତ୍ର୍ୟମ୍ବିକେ ଗୌରି ନାରାୟଣି ନମୋଽସ୍ତୁ ତେ ॥
Thus, by saluting them whose very names spell auspiciousness, one is bound to get all that is good in life here and hereafter. The following
popular verse says this.
ୟଃ ଶିଵୋ ନମରୂପାଭ୍ୟାଂ ୟା ଦେଵୀ ସର୍ଵମଙ୍ଗଲା ।
ତୟୋଃ ସଂସ୍ମରଣାତ୍ ପୁଂସାଂ ସର୍ଵତୋ ଜୟ ମଙ୍ଗଲମ୍ ॥
The Kaivalyopanishad (7) says:-
ଉମାସହାୟଂ ପରମେଶ୍ଵରଂ ପ୍ରଭୁଂ
ତ୍ରିଲୋଚନଂ ନୀଲକଣ୍ଠଂ ପ୍ରଶାନ୍ତମ୍ ।
ଧ୍ୟାତ୍ଵା ମୁନିର୍ଗଚ୍ଛତି ଭୂତୟୋନିଂ
ସମସ୍ତସାକ୍ଷିଂ ତମସଃ ପରସ୍ତାତ୍ ॥
that one, by meditating on the highest Lord who is allied to Uma, supremely powerful. three eyed, has a blue neck and tranquil reaches
Him who is the source of all, the witness of all and is beyond darkness (ignorance or avidya).
This is said in the following verse also.
କଲ୍ପକାମ୍ବା-କପାଲୀଶୌ ଭକ୍ତରକ୍ଷଣ-ତତ୍ପରୌ ।
ତୟୋଃ ଅନୁଗ୍ରହୋ ୟତ୍ର ଵର୍ତତେ ତତ୍ର ମଙ୍ଗଲମ୍ ॥
॥ ଶ୍ରୀ କପାଲୀଶ୍ଵରାଷ୍ଟକମ୍ ॥
କଲାଧରାର୍ଧ-ଶେଖରଂ କରୀନ୍ଦ୍ର-ଚର୍ମ-ଭୂଷିତମ୍ ।
କୁବେର-ମିତ୍ରମୂର୍ଜିତଂ ଗଣେଶ-ପୂଜିତଂ ଭଜେ ॥ ୧॥
ଭଜେ ଭୁଜଙ୍ଗ-ଭୂଷଣଂ ଭଵାବ୍ଧି-ଭୀତି-ଭଞ୍ଜନଂ
ଭଵୋଦ୍ଭଵଂ ଭୟାପହଂ ସୁଖପ୍ରଦଂ ସୁରେଶ୍ଵରମ୍ ।
ରଵୀନ୍ଦୁ-ଵହ୍ନି-ଲୋଚନଂ ରମା-ଧଵାର୍ଚିତଂ ଵରଂ
ହ୍ୟୁମା-ଧଵଂ ସୁମାଧଵୀ-ସୁଭୂଷିଅତଂ ମହାଗୁରୁମ୍ ॥ ୨॥
ଗୁରୁଂ ଗିରୀନ୍ଦ୍ର-ଧନ୍ଵିନଂ ଗୁହ-ପ୍ରିୟଂ ଗୁହାଶୟଂ
ଗିରି-ପ୍ରିୟଂ ନଗ-ପ୍ରିୟା-ସମନ୍ଵିତଂ ଵର-ପ୍ରଦମ୍ ।
ସୁର-ପ୍ରିୟଂ ରଵି-ପ୍ରଭଂ ସୁରେନ୍ଦ୍ର-ପୂଜିତଂ ପ୍ରଭୁଂ
ନରେନ୍ଦ୍ର-ପୀଠ-ଦାୟକଂ ନମାମ୍ୟହଂ ମହେଶ୍ଵରମ୍ ॥ ୩॥
ମହେଶ୍ଵରଂ ସୁରେଶ୍ଵରଂ ଧନେଶ୍ଵର-ପ୍ରିୟେଶ୍ଵରଂ
ଵନେଶ୍ଵରଂ ଵିଶୁଦ୍ଧ-ଚିତ୍ତ ଵାସିନଂ ପରାତ୍ପରମ୍ ।
ଵିରୁଦ୍ଧ-କର୍ମ-କାରିଣଂ ସୁଶିକ୍ଷକଂ ସ୍ମରାମ୍ୟହମ୍ ॥ ୪॥
ସ୍ମରାମ୍ୟହଂ ସ୍ମରାନ୍ତକଂ ମୁରାରି-ସେଵିତାଙ୍ଘ୍ରିକଂ
ପରାରି-ନାଶନ-କ୍ଷମଂ ପୁରାରି ରୂପିଣଂ ଶୁଭମ୍ ।
ସ୍ପୁଅରତ୍-ସହସ୍ର-ଭାନୁ-ତୁଲ୍ୟ ତେଜସଂ ମହୌଜସଂ
ସୁ-ଚଣ୍ଡିକେଶ ପୂଜିତଂ ମୃଡଂ ସମାଶ୍ରୟେ ସଦା ॥ ୫॥
ସଦା ପ୍ରହୃଷ୍ଟ-ରୂପିଣଂ ସତାଂ ପ୍ରହର୍ଷ-ଵର୍ଷିଣଂ
ଭିଦା ଵିନାଶ-କାରଣ ପ୍ରମାଣଗୋଚରଂ ପରମ୍ ।
ମୁଦା ପ୍ରଵୃତ୍ତ-ନର୍ତନଂ ଜଗତ୍ପଵିତ୍ର-କୀର୍ତନଂ
ନିଦାନମେକମଦ୍ଭୁତଂ ନିତାନ୍ତମାଶ୍ରୟେହ୍ୟହମ୍ ॥ ୬॥
ଅହଂ-ମମାଦି ଦୂଷଣଂ ମହେନ୍ଦ୍ର-ରତ୍ନ-ଭୂଷଣଂ
ମହା-ଵୃଷେନ୍ଦ୍ର-ଵାହନଂ ହ୍ୟହୀନ୍ଦ୍ର-ଭୂଷଣାନ୍ଵିତମ୍ ।
ମୃକଣ୍ଡୁସୂନୁ ସଂସ୍ତୁତଂ ହ୍ୟଭୀତିଦଂ ନମାମି ତମ୍ ॥ ୭॥
ନମାମି ତଂ ମହାମତିଂ ନତେଷ୍ଟଦାନ-ଚକ୍ଷଣଂ
ନତାର୍ତି-ଭଞ୍ଜନୋଦ୍ୟତଂ ନଗେନ୍ଦ୍ର-ଵାସିନଂ ଵିଭୁମ୍ ।
ଅଗେନ୍ଦ୍ରଜା ସମନ୍ଵିତଂ ମୃଗେନ୍ଦ୍ର ଵିକ୍ରମାନ୍ଵିତଂ
ଖଗେନ୍ଦ୍ର-ଵାହନ-ପ୍ରିୟଂ ସୁଖସ୍ଵରୂପମଵ୍ୟୟମ୍ ॥ ୮॥
ସୁଗୂଡକାଞ୍ଚିରାମକୃଷ୍ଣ ୟୋଗିଶିଷ୍ୟ ସଂସ୍ତୁତମ୍ ।
ମହାପ୍ରଦୋଷ ପୁଣ୍ୟକାଲ କୀର୍ତନାତ୍ଶୁଭପ୍ରଦଂ
ଭଜାମହେ ସଦାମୁଦା କପାଲି ମଙ୍ଗଳାଷ୍ଟକମ୍ ॥ ୯॥
କପାଲି ତୁଷ୍ଟିଦାୟକଂ ମହାପଦି ପ୍ରପାଲକଂ
ତ୍ଵଭୀଷ୍ଟ-ସିଦ୍ଧି-ଦାୟକଂ ଵିଶିଷ୍ଟ-ମଙ୍ଗଲାଷ୍ଟକମ୍ ।
ପଠେତ୍ସୁଭକ୍ତିତଃ କପାଲି ସନ୍ନିଧୌ କ୍ରମାତ୍
ଅଵାପ୍ୟ ସର୍ଵମାୟୁରାଦି ମୋଦତେ ସୁମଙ୍ଗଲମ୍ ॥ ୧୦॥
ଇତି ଗୂଡଲୂର୍ ଶ୍ରୀରାମକୃଷ୍ଣାନନ୍ଦ ୟତୀନ୍ଦ୍ର ଶିଷ୍ୟ
ଶ୍ରୀ ରାମଚନ୍ଦ୍ରେଣ ଵିରଚିତଂ
॥ ଶ୍ରୀ କପାଲୀଶ୍ଵରାଷ୍ଟକଂ ସମ୍ପୂର୍ଣମ୍ ॥