“How did the fiery lingam of Arunachala”, Parvathi asked Gautama Maharshi, “come within reach of all living beings? How did it cool down? How did holy waters originate in Arunachala?
Cooled down for universal protection :
“As the fiery Arunachaleswara stood and occupied a radius of several miles”, replied Gautama, “all Maharshis did a pradakshinam after His exterior cooled down. He started radiating a tranquil ray and atmosphere long after the Devatas offered prayers to Him for preservation of the Universe.”
“How did Easwara acquire tranquility? How did the Devatas sing in praise of Parameshwara?” asked Parvathi.
Gautama said, “As the Devatas could hardly go near the Lord in the form of fire, they performed yagnas (Vedic sacrifices in fire) to please him. They submitted to him that despite his fiery frame, he should adorn the earth in a peaceful form for the benefit of all. His attributes, praised by the Vedas in various ways, they said, could be known only through the Vedas. He was accompanied by Girija and was a perfect symbol of bliss. Everything animate and inanimate, they said, was his own reflection conforming apparently to the pattern of the mental expectation of Devatas.”
“The Devatas said that the phenomena of rain waters and all water currents on earth that lose their identity by vanishing into the fiery elements as per extraordinary cycles of creation and destruction were commensurate with what happened at the time of deluge when the water belt would be engulfed by the fiery belt. They further submitted to Arunachaleswara, the Paramatman, that from the fiery part in him, water was produced as an element in the structure of the universe. The same water endowed with wonderful qualities was responsible for the creation of matter and the world”.
“The Devatas offered prayers to Arunachaleswara and earnestly requested him to cool down so as to make Himself approachable by all living beings”.
“Praised by the Devatas”, continued Gautama, “Arunachaleswara, displayed great endearment towards them, immediately became cool enough for the devotees to offer sevas”.
“Thereafter, the mountain would not suck so much water of the region. But Arunachala, although cold enough to be worshipped by living beings, was still as effulgent as ever like a million rising suns and dazzling like the destructive Agni at the time of deluge”.
Gautama’s Arunachala stotram :
“Namastaamraaya-arunaaya Shivaaya Paramatmane,
Sarvaveda Swarupaaya nitya-amritamurthaye ;
Kalaaya Karunaadraaya drishtipeya-amritaabdhaye,
Bhakta-vaatsalya poornaaya punyaaya purabhedine.”
“Devadeva!” continued Gautama with his prayers, “thapas and other accompaniments are not necessary for those who have had your darshan as darshan gives the same benefit as from the summum bonum of all austerities”.
“The karmic earth is glittering as it is pervaded by you. Even the Devatas are extolling the greatness of living in this region under your fold.”
“I have had the benefit of my good karma stored over a long period of time. You are extending your merciful darshan as a reward to my thapasya in the past”.
Linga of triangular concept :
“I had never seen” said Gautama, “such a linga in the form of a mountain of the most wonderful sanctity. I saw the glorious linga which is triangular in conception, tri-vedic in comprehension, three-fold in administration of the powers of creation, protection and destruction through the trinity of Shakti, namely, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Easwari ; You have acquired fame in Bhu-loka in the name of Arunadri which is the tremendous form you have assumed to look after the three worlds. As you are a treasure of illimitable kindness, you are conferring material benefits and fortunes on all ignorant human beings by a mere darshan of you. Other lingas bereft of pujas have come to be considered as empty in comparison, but this linga, being ever worshipped by Devatas, is capable of fulfilling all desires”
“Maheswara! Arunachaleswara, full of kindness! Please bless me. As you are the champion of bhaktas, protect me from the fears of the material world, I have surrendered myself to you.”
Must for everyone :
“I have seen to day”, said Gautama, “your great and glorious form which must be seen by all absolutely. Ocean of Mercy! As the care-taker of the surrendered ones, please make my life sublime and full.”
As a result of these prayers, Arunachaleswara was merciful enough to show his extra-terrestrial divine form to him. He told Gautama, “Muni ! Come nearer. I have been pleased with your prayers and your excellent devotion . Hereafter, you stay in my vicinity and worship me in various ways with traditional offerings everyday. Undertake thapas and show the greatness of this place to all.”
“Gautama ! “ continued Arunachaleswara, “Long ago, when you were performing thapas on the peak of Mt. Kailas, I had directed you to proceed to this place in Bhu-Loka and worship me as I had settled here in Arunachala. The pujas performed by the Saptha Rishis high above are superlative in kind. In the same way, you may become an instrument of my daily worship on earth. As I stay in this place with a view to protect all living beings, let your rigorous thapas be followed by devotional offerings as per Shiva-agama order. The great pujas performed in the heavens are seen by the Devatas. In the same way, let the visible pujas on the mundane place be brought to light by you.”