Friday, 21 September 2018

Travelogue of Rameswaram: Where Sita proved her purity by entering in a burning funeral pyre

Rameswaram is city of Rama,it is the place where Sita proved her purity by entering in fired funeral pyre by orders of Lord Rama, after rescuing her from the clutches of the demon king Ravana. According to legend, after killing Ravana Lord Rama returned with his consort Goddess Sita to India first stepping on the shores of Rameswaram. 

This is my third travelogue in this series related to Rameswaram, Pamban Bridge, and Dhanuhkodi. Pamban Bridge is the entry point of Rameswaram. Do you remember a scene of film Chennai express: Shahrukh Khan with Deepika Padukone having a ride over Pamban Bridge with a song.....? 

“Kashmir tu main kanyakumari 

Fifty-fifty har situation mien hissedari”

Since then beauty of Pamban Bridge and Rameswaram was freezed in my dream. On googling I found that this Pamban Bridge is in Rameswaram.
Incidentally, last year on a trip to Hyderabad, at  Agra Cant Railway station ,I purchased book “Agni ki udan-Wings of Fire” Autography of AP J Abd-u-l kalam,Former President of India. I finished this book in 25 hours journey of Hyderabad.

Very interesting to know that: Rameswaram was native place of APJ Abdul Kalam. His father was a boat owner and imam of a local Masjid, Who owned a ferry that, took Hindu pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and the now uninhabited Dhanushkodi.
So one fine day I reached Rameswaram. There were plenty of autos available outside station.Hired an auto for advance booked hotel Teertham (Tamil Nadu Tourism Corporation Hotel).

Hotel Teertham is standing just at one side of Arab Sagar at a short distance 
from Agnee Teertham Mandir. After dinner in dinning hall of hotel, other members slept. I took my camera and walked to Agniteertham Mandir. It was dark late night but, many devotees were sill there to perform religious rituals.I clicked some shots and soon back to my room.

So next early morning after getting fresh and charging energy with breakfast in dining hall of Hotel,We were ready with my Canon 600 D, to roam on streets of Rameswaram. Naturally first place of visit was Agni Teertham Temple.

Thousand’s of devotes were in this area, many of them were busy in holy dip in soft and calm water of sea; some were busy in ritual’s and pujas. Eastern Sky was painted pink by rising Sun. 

Pandits and pujaris were blowing Conch with controlled breath, the primordial sound of "Om" emanates from it. This eternal sound is the origin of all Vedas. All knowledge enshrined in the Vedas is an elaboration of the omnipresent sublime sound of Om. It was this sound that was chanted by the Lord before manifesting the cosmos. It represents the creation and the Truth behind it.

Agni Theertham Temple in Rameswaram

The eastern sea shore opposite to the Ramanathaswamy temple is named as Agni Theertham. Every day thousands of pilgrims took bath in this holy sea .Holistic rituals such as prohithams, yangnya( yaham), tharpanam (ritual for the ancestors who were dead) has been performed in the shores of Agni Theertham.

Mythical story of Agni Theertham:

After rescuing his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana, Lord Rama told her wife Sita in a suspicion tone. “Sita I’ve rescued you from my enemy Ravan, and I’ve done my duty and satisfied the demands of honor, you may have been touched by the Ravana, and how I can know that you are pure” and he distrust her purity.

Sita got angry over Rama because of his suspicion and told to the Rama’s brother Lakshman that “Lakshman!, put a funeral pyre!  I intend to enter into the flames” .Lakshman put a pyre in order to respect the words of his brother’s wife, Rama neither stops her nor did he say anything to her. Sita enters into the flames of fire.

Instead of burning her into ashes, fire god Agni appeared before Lord Rama and said “Ram! Sita is pure, chaste and Sinless, you took her to your abode Ayodhya with you and rule the country with her”.

Because of touching a chaste, pure and sinless women fire god Agni got a sin; He prays to Lord Shiva and took a bath in the sea in Rameswaram to vanquish his sin.  The place he diminishes his sin by took a bath is called as Agni Theertham.

After a visit of Agni Teertham Temple and Arab Sagar, our next destination was Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple which is at a distance of 1.5 Km from here

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the sacred Char Dhams temples of India. This holy shire is honored pilgrimage center due to its close association with Lord Rama and famous epic Ramayana. It is a place where, Lord Rama worshiped the Shiva Lingam and makes it one of the prime 12 Jyotirlingams. The devotees have to cover the Pamban Bridge to cover this coastline of Tamil Nadu. 

Mythical story of Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple--According to the Ramayana, Rama, the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, prayed to the god Shiva to absolve him of the sin of killing a Brahman, committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Sri Lanka. Ravana is believed as a great grandson of Brahma, and also he is a son of Brahman. 

As advised by by rishi agashthya Rama decides to install a shivalinga on the shore of Rameswaram and perform the rituals mentioned by saint to wash off the Brahmahatti dosha. The auspicious time for performing the rituals were fixed, Rama sent Hanuman to The Mount Kailas to fetch a Shiva Linga. The time moves on, the auspicious time for the installation of linga was getting nearer; But Hanuman was not yet reached.

After the rituals had completed Hanuman returns from Kailash with two Lingas. He is disappointed that the ceremony is already over. In anger, he tries to uproot the sand Linga with his tail, but he can’t able to did so, He fell in the ground with his tail broke (the place he fell in the ground with damage in his tail is called as Hanuma kund.

Rama pacified Hanuman and installed a Linga brought by Hanuman from Kailas to the left of Ramalinga, and ordered that all pujas be first performed for this Linga, called Vishwalinga. This priority in puja is followed till today. 
The second linga brought by hanuman is installed near the Hanuman Temple inside Ramanathaswamy temple and referred by the name “Athma linga”. The linga installed by Rama is called as Ramanathaswamy, and the moolavar, main deity of the temple.
After performing the rituals and taking bath in the Teerthas Rama with his crew flew to Ayodhya by pushpaka vimana.
House of Kalam
Located at the Mosque Street in Rameswaram, this was the house where APJ Abdul Kalam, son of Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma was born. His father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and Ashiamma a housewife. The son of this boat owner grew up to become one of India’s most respected scientists and later, a revered President. The place just oozes with inspiration and exudes an indomitable, totally insurmountable wave of positivity and determination.. 

Photography is not allowed inside the house. This place is absolutely worth the visit, mainly for the vibe it gives you - that if a man from such a humble, small hut in a remote area of India can make it to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and anything on earth is possible through sheer sincerity, hard work and determination!
Here I am ending this “Travelogue of Rameswaram: Where Sita proved her purity by entering in a burning funeral pyre”. Actually Rameswaram is a holy city famous for temples; the land of Lord Ram.It has nothing special food to mention. So finally we were back to home with a trip to cherish forever with camera full of memories.

Written with help of Wikipedia and materials available on net, photographed and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram.

1 comment:

Anurag K said...

Tamil Nadu is famous for its culture and tradition. Festivals celebrated here are very colorful and bright. Even the dressing styles and the art forms are also very different. Temples which have an age old tradition are the main attraction of this place.People visit here either for pilgrimage or to enjoy the culture of this place. Food available here are exceptionally tasty and delicious. I really appreciate you for sharing vast details about Tamil Nadu. Refer panseva for more information.