Sunday, June 26, 2016

Places to visit / Teerthas of Rameshwaram: Lakshmana Teertham.


Lakhsmana Teertham, Rameshwaram

There is no sin that God cannot pardon. All we need to do is ask for forgiveness.
~ Pope Francis.


DAY 3: EXPLORING THE TEERTHAMS OF RAMESHWARAM. (FIFTH STOP)  -

LAKSHMANA TEERTHAM!

Among the 64 teerthams (holy water bodies) situated in and around the island of Rameshwaram, let’s visit Lakshmana Teertham today… a place awash with the reminiscences of a sinful Lakshmana asking for forgiveness from Lord Shiva.

Right across this board (picture above) in green is the entrance to a modest temple built in honour of Lakshmana's prayers to resolve his sins. Looking at the ornate colourful ceilings and walls of the temple, you can’t help but get transported to the era of the Ramayana... the great epic which literally comes alive not only in the teerthams of Rameshwaram today but more importantly in the nooks and corners of all believing hearts stitched in the threads of faith and reverence interwoven on the fabric of time.
Lakshmana Temple, Lakhsmana Teertham, Rameshwaram
The backside of the Lakshmana Temple.
View of the insides of the Lakhsmana Temple, Rameshwaram.
Take a sneak peak inside the bright and vibrant Lakshmana Temple.


A few steps down the temple is a holy pond, the highlight of the teertham, with the mandapam (elevated platform) rising from the center. A dip in this pond followed by penance to Lord Shiva is said to have resolved Lakshmana’s sin which he had apparently committed during the Ramayana war.

Beautiful Pond at Lakhsmana Teertham, Rameshwaram
The sacred pond at Lakshmana Teertham.

Today, a dip at the same place soaks all the devouts and believers with the good energy left behind by Lakshmana’s prayers.

The entire pond area was cordoned off by a wooden fence, I realised, while strolling around exploring the area. I wanted to sprinkle a few drops of water onto myself but found them out of my reach. Nevertheless, I still dunk myself in the silences of the environs soaking the tranquillity of the few moments that I was there...

Calm Pond at Lakhsmana Teertham, Rameshwaram
Gently rippling Lakshmana pond bordered by a wooden fence.

Like Rama Teertham, Like Lakshmana Teertham:

As I stood there, still, watching the gently waving ripples, my thoughts began wandering through the corridors of my mind taking me back to the era of the two brothers who were literally inseparable during their time. Lakshmana was not only a brother but also a close confidante, associate and ally of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita, (who were the protagonists of the epic) always following them in their trail no matter where they went, in the jungles to stay as a hermit or to wage a war. All he cared for was to keep serving Rama and Sita with all his heart for his entire life. Rama and Sita in turn held deep gratitude and respect for his younger brother.

How pure the relationship, how tender the bond
and how inspiring the union it must have been!

A complete contrast to this era and age where relationships have become increasingly fragile and are crumbling every single second due to increasing avarice, selfishness and a host of other alarming reasons.

My wandering thoughts were soon arrested by a wall of realization and I exclaimed in excitement -

... hey, isn't there an eerie semblance to the two teerthams of the two brothers?
Lakshmana Teertham and Rama Teertham!

Rama Teertham and Lakshmana Teertham ponds in Rameshwaram.
Rare is the union of beauty and purity ~ Juvenal.
(Pic: Rama Teertham to the left and Lakshmana Teertham to the right)

The two holy ponds...
two separate entities that alone are quite beautiful
but together make an astoundingly rich duet -
each complementing what the other lacks
while compensating for the others shortcomings.
Don't the teerthams reflect a beautiful relationship?
The tapestry of love,
in all its purity,
two offshoots of a single soul.

These were moments of simple reflection... but through the ponds in the two teerthams for the two brothers, I felt Rameshwaram trying to pay a powerful homage to a beautiful relationship that stood the test of time: a relationship reflecting eternal virtues like service, care, respect, gratitude and purity... the soul of which was rooted in the spirit of God.

It was in those moments that I also felt Rameshwaram was trying to speak, through an incognizable language perhaps, inspiring and urging all his devotees to be just the same.


Tips / Information for devotees:

- Morning 6:00 am to noon 12:00 pm, Evening 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
- There is a Naganathar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva just alongside the Lakshmana temple, as pictured below:

Naganathar Temple near Lakhsmana Teertham, Rameshwaram Rameshwaram



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22 comments:

  1. Hi Arti,

    Thanks for taking us along with you and showing us the Temple and place where you visited. Good to see your photos and some of the customs of your life
    happy new week
    Carolyn

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  2. Wow love your blog. I will come back and read each post leisurely. I want to go there so, I can make a list of what all to see there. Thanks a lot Aarti. Very informative posts.

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  3. So interesting. Yes, there is a similarity between Ram and Lakshman Teertha from the pictures. You are right! The relationships are so fragile these days that such closeness and loyalty is almost unthinkable.

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  4. Loved your post. My family recently visited Rameshwaram and they were all praise about the town. Your pics are really great and article does make justice to that place.

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  5. Thanks for posting this series of blogs about your travel experience from Rameshwaram. I am planning to visit it in August-September with my parents. And your diary is helping me big time in planning my itinerary :)

    Still,could you suggest any specific time if Aug-Sept are not good options for planning the same (in case rainy season strikes hard)?

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    1. Thanks a lot for letting me know that, Saumy! I am so glad to hear it's helping you.

      About the timing of the visit... I went there during Diwali last year, in November and yet faced cyclonic rains and heavy rainfall. Rameshwaram being on the coastal side, rains can get a bit unpredictable but having said all that - August-September still sounds fairly good to me.

      In case you need any further assistance, remember, I am just an email away. Wish your parents a great trip!

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    2. Thanks for the details, Arti. Will definitely ask for assistance if I miss anything while planning the trip. :)

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  6. Your narration always makes your journeys sound so enchanting. Beautiful captures. It was a great read, Arti. Much love <3

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  7. You've shed light on the relationship of the three of them so wonderfully, Arti. It's indeed a stark contrast to today's era, when we're not just treating relationships like jobs (changing them like clothes), but also refusing to learn what aspects of Siya Ram and Lakshamana we can embody.

    How wonderfully you have chronicled your experience at Lakshmana Teertham. As always, it makes me feel like I was there. And now it makes me yearn to visit the teerthasthaan even more. Why was the pond out of bounds for pilgrims?

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Vishal. The real magic is in the places and the wonderful stories that they tell. To visit such places is indeed an experience if we can just let them be; I hope you can go there someday.

      About the fencing, I don't know. I never really cared to ask anyone either, too busy lost in my own world! :-)

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  8. Fingers crossed...hoping to go here soon :D

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  9. Great to read your informative post, Thank you :) Beautiful photos.
    ~ da

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  10. Thanks a lot for the kind and encouraging appreciation everyone :)

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  11. Dear Arti - Thank you for this photo-tour with your poetic heartfelt narratives. I’m always marveled at your imaginative power and how your thoughts flow, this time at the holy ponds. Wonderful relationship which has passed the test of the time, making up for each other, is invisible priceless treasure.

    Yoko

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  12. Beautiful captures and loved the way you've narrated everything Arti :)

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  13. Ramayana unfolds the bond of love through its stories. I really loved the way you explained the bond between Rama and Laxmana and the current era where our bond is unknowingly becoming stronger with gadgets and apps than the 'love'. Also thanks for sharing the photos of Rama Teertham and Laxmana teertham together, they are really telling Rama and Laxmana ideal brotherhood. It's always so inspiring for healthy relationships.

    Another important leadership aspect Rama and Laxmana both show by this story that they had to battle with Ravana for the justice, but they knew that wars should be always avoided and as it was unavoidable, they self-accepted the sins and prayed for it. I see their personalities as the person aware of where they can go wrong or knows how to correct it makes a great leader, what do you say, dear Arti? No victory and no power changed their humble lifestyle.

    Thanks for the amazingly thoughtful post. I got the opportunity to know Lord Rama and Laxmana more. :-)

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    1. You summed this all up so very well, dear Mohini. You are spot on about the gadgets and apps, we are slowly loosing the time and inclination towards heartfelt conversations anymore. Where one heart talks to the other nurturing the roots for a healthy loving relationship.

      So true what you have highlighted about humility and leadership qualities that they exhibited in their lives, indeed they led an exemplary life, even amid conflict and the fight for justice, they showed us the power of love and how peace can be attained once we surrender ourselves to the higher forces above, their way of humble living existence inspires so many of us today... helping us to be a better human wherever we are and spread the goodness of humanity in the world.

      Thank you so much for your amazingly thoughtful comment, dear. There is so much food for thought here as I got the opportunity to delve into the deeper aspects of this Godly relationship through your wonderful perspective.

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  14. A lovely narrative with stunning pictures. Have not been to this place:(

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  15. Your narrative truly explored the bonding and touched the right string that failed to make rich sound. Though being an epic, their relationship exhibits good sense and virtue.

    Beautiful photos on the pond!

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  16. Thank you so much for your kind visits and comments everyone, much appreciated!

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  17. Hello,Arti,
    I think your formative post is helpful for new visitors to Lakshmana Teertham.
    When I have a chance to visit the place, I will have to be back your post.
    I see that you are standing by the sacred pond,smiling to us.It is getting humid and rainy season is still staying here.Have a good Sunday.

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Delighted u stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot! Hope you visit again!

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