Friday, May 7, 2010

Swami Nithyananda Caves

Holy Caves built by Swami Nithyananda
PIC_0251, originally uploaded by bat_the_cat.

The Holy Caves, which are the main attraction at Kanhangad Nithyananda Ashram, were constructed by Sadguru Nithyananda (also, variously referred to as Bhagawan Nityananda, Swami Nithyananda) in the 1920s. The caves have forty four room-like structures carved into a rocky hill without any technical assistance. Considered as an engineering marvel, the caves are a standing ovation to Satguru Nithyananda’s divine inspiration and glory.

Nithyananda used to call the caves “Sunrise-Sunset Caves”, as there is daylight in them all through the day. Also, it is warm inside the cave during winter and cool during summer. There are six entrances - three of them facing the east and three facing the west. The space inside most of Holy Caves is large enough for a person to sit and meditate. On the top of the caves, a very beautiful temple that has the exterior architecture of the famous Somnath Temple (located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India) was built.

In the temple, there is the most remarkable statue of Sadguru Nithyananda made of ‘Panchaloha’ (means five metals, the composition of which is laid down in the Shilpa Shastras as an alloy of gold, silver, brass and iron with copper as the major constituent). The statue shows Nithyananda with his right hand indicating his famous ‘Abhayamudra’. Gurudev once predicted that some day, great saints will be living in those caves and inspire the birth of another Golden Era of Sanātana Dharma (or Dharmam Sanātanam, meaning approximately ‘eternal law’).

After completing the construction of all the caves in Kanhangad in 1931, Bhagawan Nityananda once again began his journey northwards and visited many holy places in the country. In 1934 he came to Akroli near Vajreshwari and to Ganeshpuri in Maharashtra in 1936. Ganeshpuri was to be his permanent residence and centre of pilgrimage as well as worship to his devotees. Also, hundreds and thousands of people who had heard of his divine powers used to flock together at Ganeshpuri.

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