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  • Writer's pictureDinesh Shahra

Rameshwaram : Where Shiva & Vishnu Meet...

Ramanathaswamy or Rameshwaram Temple is a temple dedicated to God Shiva and located on Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga temples and also one of the four dhaams (Puri, Badrinath, Dwarka, & Rameshwaram) of Hindu pilgrims.

Lord Rama came back to South of India after killing Ravana who was Brahmin. Therefore to absolve Rama from the sin related to killing of a Brahmin, he was suggested by sages to worship Shiva. Rama instructed his most trusted devotee Hanuman to get a Shiv linga from Himalayas for the purpose of worship. However when Hanuman could not reach on time, Sita made Shiva linga from the sand so that Rama could begin his atonement worship on the suggested time.

Therefore there are two Shiva Lingas in the temple, one made by Sita and another brought by Hanuman known as Vishwalinga.

Before one enters the temple to worship the deity, one has to take bath in the Agni Teertham which is outside the temple and also 22 small water bodies known as kunds inside the temple premise.

Agni Teertham is a place where Sita entered the pyre of fire to prove her purity to Rama, but she was saved by the fire God Agni. Because fire god Agni came in contact with Sita who was pure and virtuous, he had to atone for his acts by bathing in the sea. Therefore that place is known as Agni Teertham, Agni means fire and Teertham means holy water.

It is believed that if one takes taking a bath in these water bodies with a pure heart, seeking atonement and liberation, it cleanses one of all the sins and negative karmas. Only after taking these purging baths in the holy water bodies, one becomes eligible to enter the temple and have the vision of the deity.

This religious process of taking bath also has a spiritual relevance. A spiritual seeker who thinks only for his own self and holds on to regrets and desires of the world can never experience the inherent divinity of the soul.

When a spiritual seeker aspires to experience God within his bodily temple, he must maintain purity of mind by constantly thinking good of everybody and seeking immediate forgiveness if there is any wrongdoing.

Thus Rameshwaram temple is a phenomenal energy center where one can cleanse of the negative energies and allow positive creative energy to manifest.

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