It was a long drive through the rains and fields. We finally arrived at Thiruvengadu – Temple of Ketu.The temple was flooded with people. Each making their personal offerings to the Lord. Some wanted to get rid of their bad habits, while others prayed for good health and wealth. They said, It was rare to find an idol of Ketu with his head. This temple was an ancient Saivaite shrine
where legend has it that Ketu, one of the nine celestial bodies, central to astrological belief, was worshipped by Lord Shiva. The temple had a beautiful peepal tree outside adorned with haldi (turmeric).
The king of the nagas, Rahu prayed to Lord Shiva and hence this place got the name Thirunageswaram. The temple was really old, huge and built with huge stones.A legend has it that the mythological serpents Adiseshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here. Rahu is instrumental in strengthening one’s power and converting even an enemy into a friend. The Devi
(Girigujambikai), in this temple was decorated as a small girl in the mornings, as young lady at Noon and as a lady in evenings. Lord Rahu, in this temple, resides with his wife and every day, during Rahu kalam(Time of Rahu), when Milk is poured over the Rahu idol, it miraculously changes its colors to blue. We performed a little abhishekam, mediated and left. Enjoying the vastness and magnificence, on our way out, we posed ourselves for some light yoga postures
! We also visited the tank outside the temple!
Our last of the navagrahas was the temple for Chandra (moon) which was situated in some far far away land. We realized that it was Sharad Purnima (Full Moon Night) on that day and how Gurudev had ended our journey with a visit to the Temple of Moon. Historians claim that this temple was in existence even before the Bhakti period – which was well before the 7th century AD. They say, a visit to this temple is said to grant a comfortable and long life. In astrology, Chandran is the planet that removes stress and sorrow. 3 prayers were being offered at the same time! The shivalinga, Devi and Lord Chandra! The prayers were in full swing! Temple bells were ringing, the drums were beating, the lamps were being lit, the flowers were being offered ! The abhishakam lasted for about an hour or so. We slowly moved from Lord Shiva to Devi to Lord Chandra! The moon rose behind Lord Chandra, as the abhishekam was being offered! Milk and other ingredients were being poured on the idol. Freshly bathed Lord was then decorated with fine Gold ornaments. Flowers in thousands were offered. The fragrance was so captivating. Hundreds of oil lamps were lit and aho! It was a sight to behold!
We decided to meditate for a while. Prasad( offerings) were made on banana leaves to all the devotees. There was celebration in the air. The moon light was so cooling and refreshing. As we left, we realized that we were the last ones to leave the temple. The priest walked behind us to close the temple doors. What a beautiful ending! A journey that started with the Sun God, ended with the temple of Moon! Opposite values are complimentary! A lesson that we need to remember, always! In order to maintain our happiness and joy! The journey was not complete until we came back to Bangalore ashram to meet Gurudev! Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji! We offered all the Prasad to Him and realized that the journey of Life is incomplete until one seeks the Blessings of the Master! The journey of the soul, started with the blessings of the Master and Ended with the Blessings of the MASTER! This is the route that we take, for all our needs and desires to be fulfilled! Mantra moolam Gurur Vaakyam….. One word of the master is like a mantra for the soul! One blessings is enough to complete our life’s endless journey! Jai Gurudev