When I went to Pondicherry, God also fulfilled my wish to go to Thanjavur. I had wanted to go earlier and tried also but there was no right opportunity that came my way. This time, I had included it in my circuit and we started early in the day on 17.12.12 so that we could return around dusk.
My experience at Thanjuvar Shiva temple was far more than I had ever imagined. The temple’s grandeour was unbelievable. It stands unparalleled in size and splendour and is visible from any side of Thanjuvar. And the mere size of the temple astonished me. The courtyard has sprawling open space and the wide sky is so clearly visible from all sides. We stand on the earth and we are in direct contact with the sky, there is nothing in between. The parapet has small bulls representing Nandi, all facing the same directions and look very pretty, although many are now falling unfortunately.
How could the people of India build such collosal temples without machines one thousand years ago? Their engineering skills and knowledge of geometry must have been examplary or else how can we build such magnificent religious structures with the most basic tools? And unlike other temples, this one stands out because it is made of hard granite to avoid fast deterioration and hence the king’s idea was to preserve it as long as it is possible for many generations.
The magnificent temple of Brihadeeshwar was made by the Chola king Raja Raja Chola. He wanted to build such a temple that was never built before by anyone. He had a vision in a dream of its inception and he invited the temple experts to design a temple that would have the tallest tower, almost touching the sky!!
And so Brihadeeshwar temple has the tallest temple tower in the world. The kalash or the top bulbous structure is carved out of a single stone. Even the Nandi bull sitting in front of the Shiva temple is cut out of a single black stone. The entire temple is made of yellow granite. It rests on the bank of a river and has a moat and fortified walls around it. It is believed that the fortified walls were made by the later kings to ward off enemies.
The main temple houses a very large Shiv Lingam in the inner sanctum and the ceilings have rare paintings or frescoes of Shiva and Parvati, possibly from Shiva Purana. This one thousand old monument is still standing tall and is the main attraction of Thanjuvar.
This much for the back ground of the temple. However, there had to be a larger cause to visit this extraordinary place, one of the oldest Shiva temples in India. Shri Mahavatar Babaji tells me that as a special gesture and out of kindheartedness towards his devotee, he sent me to this holy place so that the sins of our lineage would be cleansed and peace would return to some of our forefathers who are in a turmoil even now in some other world because of their past misgivings…..I am speechless at the volume and intensity of graciousness showered at us by the holiest and most sacred Guru, Shri Babaji. I prostrate before him humbly and thank him abundantly for being so kind to our past generations whom I don’t even know, yet have made a contact in my meditations and in return earned their profuse blessings……. This one is dedicated to Lord Shiva for relieving the pain of so many unknown faces and giving them deep peace after ages of turmoil……! May God give all of us peace and more lasting peace, where ever we are…….!!