Pancha Bhoota Stalam
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Pancha Bhoota Stalam refers to five temples dedicated to Shiva, each representing a manifestation of the five prime elements of nature: land, water, air, sky, and fire. Pancha indicates "five," Bhoota means "elements," and Stala means "place." The temples are located in South India, four in Tamil Nadu and one in Andhra Pradesh. The five elements are believed to be enshrined in the five lingams of the temples, with each lingam named based on the element represented.
According to Hinduism, life and the various species originated by the combination of planetary globes and the five manifestations of nature namely air, water, fire, land and sky. Bhoota(Sanskrit:भूत) in Sanskrit means compound and maha bhoota indicates a big compound. According to Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system, the equilibrium of the body with the pancha bhoota is governed by the principles of tridoshas -kaph(phlegm), pitta(bile), vayu(gas), dhātu and malas(waste products). Rabindranath Tagore, a nobel lauerate for literature, in his poem, Pancha bhoota, has explained the emotional faculty of the human mind is keenly sensitive to all objects of light, colour, sound, effect of speed, sun, moon and stars.
The Five Temples
In Tiruvannamalai temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of massive column of fire, whose crown and feet could not be found by the Hindu God of creation, Brahma and Hindu God of preservation (or maintainer) Vishnu. A celebration of this manifestation is seen even today in the age old traditions observed during the festivals of Sivarathri and Karthigai Deepam. Agni Lingam explains the mythics of life - duty, virtue, self-sacrifice and finally liberation by and through ascetic life at the end of Agni kalpa.
In Chidambaram, empty space is worshiped as Shiva (akasha lingam) to signify God is beyond human comprehension. Unlike the other temples, this one does not contain a physical stone lingam.Imagemap:https://goo.gl/maps/BuCyXP7wCY32
|Earth||Prithivi Lingam||Ekambareswarar Temple||Kanchipuram|
|Water||Appu Lingam (Jambu Lingam)||Jambukeshwarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval||Thiruvanaikaval, near Trichy|
|Fire||Agni Lingam (Jyothi Lingam)||Arunachaleswara Temple||Thiruvannamalai|
|Air||Vayu Lingam||Kalahasti temple||Kalahasthi, Andhra Pradesh|
|Space||Aagaya Lingam (Akasha Lingam)||Thillai Natarajar Temple||Chidambaram|
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