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Devi Parvati performing penance at Arunachala

(Ref: Skanda Purana - Arunachala Mahatmya - 4 to 9)

Devi KamakshiMeditation: I meditate on Devi Parvati performing penance at Arunachala after listening to its greatness from sage Gautama (after completing her penance at Kanchipuram).

Lord Shiva telling Devi Parvati to go to sage Gautama at Arunachala: After Her penance at Kanchipuram, an incorporeal voice told Her about the legend of Arunachala mountain, and instructed Her to go to sage Gautama and listen to the greatness of Arunachala. And thereafter to perform penance at Arunachala.

Devi Parvati leaving the Linga of Kanchipuram: Devi Parvati then instructed the devas and sages to stay there and worship the Linga. She told the Linga which is marked by Her breasts and bangles will destroy sins and fulfill desires. She also told that She is known as Kamakshi because She is the fulfiller of desires.

Devi Parvati going to sage Gautama: Devi Parvati then went to Arunachala and reached the hermitage of sage Gautama. Sage Gautama was out in the forest collecting sacrificial twigs, fruits etc. in the morning. The disciples welcomed the Devi and told Her to wait for sometime. Due to the presence of the Devi, sage Gautama saw a splendour in the hermitage. Through divine vision he came to know that the Mother of the universe has come. He felt that his austerities have been fulfilled that day.

Sage Gautama telling about the greatness of Arunachala: After extending hospitality to Her, sage Gautama worshipfully enquired the reason for Her coming. Devi Parvati told Him that Lord Shiva had commanded Her to listen to the greatness of Arunachala mountain directly from him, and to perform penance there. Sage Gautama then started telling about the greatness of Arunachala which however cannot be really expressed by crores of brahmanas by their mouths.
- Sage Gautama told about Brahma who performed penance there for harbouring lustful feelings seeing his own daughter.
- Sage Gautama told about a Kalpa where Narayana did not wake up from his mystic slumber on time. The devas prayed to Lord Shiva who created thirty-three crores of devas to wake up Narayana. Hari then eulogized Lord Shiva.
- Sage Gautama told about Soma, the Moon-god getting relieved from the curse of Daksha by worshipping Arunachala.
- Sage Gautama told about Agni getting cured of tuberculosis by serving Arunachala.
- Sage Gautama told about Indra atoning the killings of Vrtra, Bala, Paka, Namuchi and Jambha by serving Arunachala.
- Sage Gautama told about Nagas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Celestial damsels and Guardians of Quarters worshipping Arunachala.
- Sage Gautama told about Aditya losing his brilliance while trying to cross Arunachala and regaining it by propitiating Him.
- Sage Gautama told about Devas healing themselves (who were injured during the sacrifice of Daksha) by worshipping Arunachala.
- Sage Gautama told about Shukracharya regaining his eyesight which was blinded by Vamana Avatara of Lord Vishnu by worshipping Arunachala.
- Sage Gautama told about Aruna, the brother of Garuda becoming the charioteer of the Sun-God by serving Arunachala.

Sage Gautama narrated many other incidents and then told about the Tirthas in Arunachala. He told about the Vayu Tirtha, Kubera Tirtha, Aisanya Tirtha, Brahmya Tirtha, Agastya Tirtha, Vasistha Tirtha etc. He told about the Aindra Tirtha in the east, Brahma Tirtha in the south-east, Yamya Tirtha in the south, Nairrita Tirtha in the south-west, Varuna Tirtha in the west, Vayaviya Tirtha in the north-west, Soma Tirtha in the north and Vishnu Tirtha in the north-east. He also told about a Banyan tree under which Shiva perpetually abides as a siddha and a Bakula tree under which Vamadeva abides. Sage Gautama finally told about the methods of serving Lord Arunachala and the efficacy of circumambulating the mountain.

Devi Parvati performing penance in Arunachala: After hearing about the greatness of Arunachala from sage Gautama, Devi Parvati performed penance there wearing garments of barks and matted hairs.

Pilgrimage: Thiruvannamalai Arunachala is identified with Thiruvannamalai in the Thiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu.


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