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The Satsang Hall

 

Proceeding up the stairs, from the Sri Sadisvara Mandiram, on the first landing is Sri Ramana at age 21 in Virupaksha (virupākśā) Cave. On the second landing is Sri Bhagavan later in life on Arunachala. To be seen when descending the same stairs is Adi Sankara.

 

Sri Ramana at Virupaksha cave, Sri Ramana at Arunachala, Adi Sankara

Sri Ramana in Virupaksha cave, Sri Ramana on Arunachala, Adi Sankara

The Inner Shrine

At the top of the stairs is an altar that holds Siva and pañca-liṅgam; five linga-s. This may be understood to signify the true nature of the five-fold activity (pañcakṛtya) of Siva (sṛṣṭi sthiti saṁhāra tirobhāva anugraha)(creation, preservation, destruction, obscuration or disappearance, and liberating grace), the corresponding five forms or aspects (pañcamukha) of Siva in their formless true nature (brahmā viṣṇu rudra īśāna sadāśiva or sadyojāta vāmadeva tatpuruśa aghora īśāna), or the real nature of the corresponding five “elements” (pañcabhūta) (earth, water, fire, air, space) that constitute the universe.

 

Siva and Pancha Lingam

Siva and Pancha Lingam

 

This brings one to the Inner Shrine. In it are found only Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and the Siva Lingam; ādi śivaliṅgam.

 

Shrine Room - SAT Temple

Shrine Room - SAT Temple

 

The Satsang Hall

Retracing one’s steps out of the inner shrine and turning, one enters the satsang hall. Immediately to the left and right are two murti-s (mūrti) each. One must turn completely around in order to obtain a full view of them.

 

From left to right, altars of Ardhanarisvara with Siva-lingam, Lingodbhava, Siva and Panchalinga (Five Siva-lingams) in the background, Nataraja, Dakshinamurti

From left to right, altars of Ardhanarisvara with Siva-lingam, Lingodbhava, Siva and Panchalingam (Five Siva-lingams) in the background, Nataraja, Dakshinamurti

From this perspective, on the far right is Dakshinamurti (dakṣināmūrti) with four disciple sages (sanandana santkumāra sanatsujāta sanaka). He signifies the absolute Knowledge of silent Being. Next to the left of him is Nataraja (naṭarāja) in his ananda tandava (ānanda tāṇḍava) (intense dance of bliss). Further to the left is the Lingodbhava (liṅgodbhava), the infinite light of Consciousness. On the far left is Ardhanarisvara (ardhanārīśvara), the undifferentiated One. A Siva-lingam stands before him. All four of these forms of Siva are dealt with extensively and the details of their symbolism are fully explained in Advaita Devatam. The reader is advised to refer to that book to comprehend the significance of them.

 

Satsang Hall Front - Sri Ribhu Rishinatha, Sadguru Sri Ramana Maharshi, Adi Sankaracarya

Satsang Hall Front - Sri Ribhu Rishinatha, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Adi Sankaracarya

 

Gazing at the front of the satsang hall, on the left altar, is Sri Ribhu Rishinatha (śrī ṛbhu ṛṣinatha), the ancient sage whose spiritual teachings appear in Ribhu Gita and the Upanishads. Nidagha (nidāgha), his enlightened disciple, is seated on his right absorbing the supreme Knowledge.

On the right altar is Sri Adi Sankaracarya (śrī ādi śankarācārya), the great sage and wondrous exponent of Advaita Vedanta.

In the center, above the altar, is the Sadguru, full of grace, who is himself That, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Sri Ribhu Rishinatha with his enllightened disciple Nidagha

Sri Ribhu Rishinatha with his enlightened disciple Nidagha

 

Sri Adi Sankaracharya at the SAT Temple

Sri Adi Sankaracarya

 

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi - Satsang Hall

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi - Satsang Hall