SRI SOMASUNDERESWARA (SHIVA)

Sri Somasundereswara (Lord Shiva)

 

 

SRI SOMASUNDERESWARA (SHIVA) 

 

oum tryambakaM yajAmahe sugandhiM puShTivardhanam |
urvArukamiva bandhanAnmRutyormukShIya mA&mRutAt || 

Oh Lord, We worship and adore you, the three-eyed one. You are sweet gladness, the fragrance of life, one who nourishes us, restores our health, and inspires us to thrive. As the melon ripens and naturally frees from the vine, so also free us from the bondage of Samsara, and guide us to the state of immortality. 

 

Shiva, a form of Maheshwara (one of the Divine Trinity) is Satyam (Truth), Shivam (Auspiciousness), Subham (Good), Sundaram (Beautiful) and Kantam (Resplendent - having a dazzlingly impressive appearance). panchAkshara consisting of five holy syllables is the Supreme Mantra of Lord Shiva. The five syllables in this mantra are na - maH - shi - vA - ya. The attributes of Lord Shiva are explained and elaborated in the Shiva Panchakshara Stotram.

The form of Shiva in our temple is Shiva lingam. Shiva is worshipped in two types of vigrahas: 1. Nirguna (without differentiating qualities) and 2. Saguna (with differentiating qualities). The Nirguna forms are the Shiva Lingams which are murthis with rounded, elliptical, iconic image, usually set on a circular base, or peetam. The lingam is the simplest and most ancient symbol of Shiva, especially of Parashiva, God beyond all forms and qualities. The peetam represents Parashakthi, the manifesting power of God. The term “Lingam” means symbol, sign or indicator of Shiva. There are two types of lingams. A “Swayambu” lingam is a natural form in which Shiva is always manifested and is eternally present. This type is the smooth polished stones that are naturally formed in the Narmada River, one of the sacred rivers in India. The Lingam in our temple is a Swayambu obtained from the banks of the river Narmada. The Sanguna forms are various vigrahas of Shiva that are made according to the specifications in the Shaiva Agama Sastras.

The form of Lingam in our temple is that of Sri Somasundareswarar (the beautiful Lord) as seen in Meenakshi Temple, located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. According to Hindu legend, Lord Shiva came down to earth in the form of Sundareswarar to marry Meenakshi, an incarnation of (Parvathi).   This wedding scene is beautifully sculptured in the front entrance of our temple upstairs. Lord Shiva’s vahana, Nandeeswara will be consecrated during the Raja Gopura Mahotsava in June 2009.

Many devotees may not know that prior to our first Kumbhabhishekam in June 2006, our temple murthis were destroyed and disfigured as a result of vandalism. Lord Shiva is one of the few murthis, unaffected by this vandalism. The murthy did not have the slightest disfiguring mark. May Lord Shiva continue to protect us and our community!