We set off at five o’ clock in the morning. It was dark, but it was possible to see people in the street. Apparently, life in India never stops. There were four of us: our guide, a girl from Korea who was also staying in our guesthouse, my wife, and me.
We followed our guide in the darkness and I asked, “Why is this mountain considered holy?”
Our guide answered, “The Hindu trinity is formed by three gods: Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. One day a dispute arose between Brahma and Vishnu. Both of them claimed to be superior. To settle the dispute, Shiva manifested himself as an infinite column of light so dazzling that it was impossible to look at. Brahma and Vishnu prayed to Shiva to take a less dazzling form, so he took the form of Arunachala Mountain. This place is sacred to Lord Shiva, and represents the element of fire.”
While we walked, the magnificent temple of Arunachaleswara appeared in the distance. “What a grand temple! It is one of the five temples associated with the five basic elements: water, air, earth, fire, and sky,” said our guide.
We got to the hilltop at daybreak. I felt as happy as a mountaineer that had climbed the highest peak in the world. The sun appeared faintly on the horizon, and I was a little bit cold. The top was exposed to the wind, but from there I saw a vast landscape that stretched to the horizon. Our guide showed us two footprints that had been impressed by Shiva. There was also a trident to symbolize that the mountain was sacred to Lord Shiva.
This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind