Lord of Time
Mahakala is “great time” or “dissolver of time.” It is one of the names and forms of God Siva. The fierceness of His face is an indication of the astonishing power that time holds. Mahakala is Time beyond time, who devours all things and forms and, by so doing, helps the soul transcend all dualities. Mystically, time devours itself and thus the timeless state is achieved.
Purnakumbha, “full vessel,” is another name for kalasha, a pot of water on which a husked coconut is nested on five mango leaves to represent the Deity; integral to certain sacred Hindu rites.
Kalasa is a water pot or jar. In temple rites, a pot of water, kalasa, topped with mango leaves and a husked coconut, represents the Deity during special pujas. Kalasa also names the pot-like spires that adorn temple roofs.
Aum in Tamil
Aum, in Tamil script. The cosmic sound, pranava.
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Gurudeva, this temple’s founder, stands holding the danda in his right hand and the kamandalu (water pot carried by sadhus) in his left.
Here Gurudeva is shown holding a pen and writing his amazing legacy of books which contain the fullness of Saiva Siddhanta.
Gurudeva blesses from the simhasana or “Lion’s Seat; pedestal; foundation.” This is a religious seat, such as the throne used by the abbot of a monastery. In an aadheenam, ashrama or matha it is the seat of spiritual authority.
Portrait of Iraivan Temple’s visionary founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
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NamahSivaya in Tamil
Aum, Namasivaya. This is the holy five-lettered mantra written in Tamil script.
This is one of the dvaja palikas who guard the entrance to a temple sanctum. His hand is indicating God Siva is waiting within the innermost sanctum, and is inviting pilgrims to draw closer to God.
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