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Agniteertham in Rāmeshwaram

photos from Agniteertham in Rameshwaram by Arun Shanbhag

Devotees throng Rameshwaram to take a dip in the sanctifying waters of Agniteertham


Just in time for Ram Navami

Visiting the island of Rameshwaram is considered a most auspicious pilgrimage; here Hindus pay their respects to Ramnathaswamy (Shiva) and it is one of 12 sacred Jyotirlingams.

Legend has it that when the victorious Shri Rama returned from Lanka, he had incurred Brahma hatya dosh (curse of killing a brahman – Rāvan). To cleanse himself of this sin, he crafts a linga from the sand by the sea, makes offerings and pays his respects to Shiva.

Today many Hindus too, wishing to cleanse themselves of the sins of samsara, make a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. There on the seashore, we mold a linga from the sand and make heartfelt offerings of water accompanied by chanting the name of Shiva (|| Om Namah Shivay ||). Here, families also offer their respects to their deceased elders and ancestors. Methinks the goal is simply to remind us of the fragility of this life. Just like the sands of the linga wash back into the sea and await another pair of hands to craft another linga, so too our lives, constantly go through death and rebirth. And in the cosmically fleeting moments in between, we live (and agonize about) this life.

|| Om Namah Shivay ||


Few of my Śri Rām and Hanumān posts:


Tamil Nādu Travel Posts:


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