A day at Sri Nithyanandeshwara Temple

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As Paramahamsa Nithyananda envisions it, a Vedic temple is the sacred space where the spirit of the Vedic tradition is kept alive in its purest form. At the vibrant shrine of Sri Nithyanandeshwara, one can feel in the very air the excitement of a Vedic renaissance. The first of over 40 Nithyananda Vedic temples established worldwide, the Nithyanandeshwara Temple is also privileged to be the spot where Swamiji begins and ends each day. Bedecked in flower garlands and traditional temple jewelry, Sri Nithyanandeshwara (Shiva) and his consort Nithyanandeshwari (Devi) preside over this small but bustling temple located in the south-western corner of the ashram. Captured in lustrous panchaloha (an alloy of five metals) is the enchanting scene of Nithyanandeshwara delivering techniques on enlightenment to his consort Nithyanandeshwari – reminding us of a time not so long ago when religion and enlightenment were closely intertwined. The temple opens its doors before sunrise, when the Divine couple is gently awoken with the soulful strains of suprabhatam music. True to the Vedic tradition, the temple resonates with the incessant chanting of mantras, sending out ripples of positive energy that cleanse and energize the space around. Pooja (worship), ritual ablutions and offerings by devotees mark the colorful activities of the day. At dusk, the mystical arati (ceremonial offering of lamps) is performed, symbolizing the silent transmission of spiritual illumination in the time-honored guru-disciple tradition of Vedic india. The day ends with the palliyarai pooja, where the Lord and his consort are gently prepared for rest and yoga nidra (yogic sleep).