By seeing Chidambaram, by being born, in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi,or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation.
The supreme knowledge (Self-knowledge), the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar. Such is the assurance given by Lord Siva in the Arunachala Mahatmyam about the power of the mere thought of Arunachala, and this assurance has received striking confirmation from the life and teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.
The Arunachala hill is located in the town of Thiruvannamalai, 185km southwest of the city of Chennai in the south of India. Sri Agasthiar emphatically states that the Arunachala hill is the concrete form of Sri Arunachala, the Universal Lord. It's that form of God that even our ordinary human eyes can perceive. Arunachala, the hill and Arunachala, the Lord are non different. Why? Because the Arunachala Hill itself is a Siva Lingam. This is foundational spiritual reality which has been personally experienced and vouchsafed by all Siddhas.
The Arunachala Hill is a Brahmanda Lingam. It is the biggest Siva lingam in the world. It is the viswaroopa (Universal) form of the Lord. Arunachala is the only holy place where one have the Lord's viswaroopa darshan 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Arunachala is the spiritual focal point of the universe. It is the endless spiritual fount that nourishes all beings. It is the spiritual cornucopia that embraces all spiritual seekers. It is the spiritual magnet that attracts spiritual seekers from all corners of the universe. It is the spiritual panacea for everyone, irrespective of race, religion or nationality.
Sri Arunachala is the quintessential jothi lingam. Wherever you see a jothi (fire), know it to be a part of Arunachala. The Jews light the minorah. Christians light candles. The Zoroastrians light their sacred fire. The Hindus light their lamp jothi. The Tibetan Buddhists light their butter lamps. All these worship procedures honor God. Thus every religion practices jothi worship.
The Arunachala hill is so charged with spiritual energy that spiritual benefits get magnified manifold here. Spiritual activities conducted in Arunachala are thousand times more efficacious when compared to other places. The place is constantly buzzing with millions and millions of Siddhas in their subtle form who bestow countless spiritual blessings on the devotees engaged in spiritual pursuits in Arunachala. Hence the importance of visiting Arunachala and engaging oneself in spiritual activities there.
Everything in the universe is represented in Arunachala. Thus circling the Arunachala hill is like circling the universe. This is why the Siddhas say that circling the Arunachala hill is the most effective spiritual practice for all beings. Circling the Arunachala hill is referred to as Arunachala girivalam. This is the best spiritual exercise for all of us. Regular practice of this spiritual exercise is Girivala Yoga, the simplest yet most effective yogic practice known to man.
Even though circling the Arunachala hill takes just three and a half hours, there's no spiritual activity in the universe which is its equal. Every human being, irrespective of race, religion or nationality MUST do it at least once in his or her lifetime. It doesn't matter if you live ten thousand miles away. You must make the trip to Arunachala just to circle the hill. The spiritual benefits of doing so can NOT be described in words, say the Siddhas.
Sri Agasthiar says that if you circle the Arunachala hill but once, you'll destroy the karma of ten million births. No other spiritual exercise has this kind of power. If circling the Arunachala hill once can bestow so much spiritual good, imagine circling the hill thousands of times! Those who circle the hill thousands of times are the ones who become Siddhas. In his writings Sri Bhagavan Ramana has repeatedly confirmed the mysterious power that the thought of Arunachala has over the mind. In his Tamil Collected Works, under the picture of Arunachala, there is a verse that can be considered as his dhyana sloka (verse of contemplation) upon his Sadguru, Arunachala Siva. In this verse he sings, 'This is Arunachala-Siva, the ocean ofgrace that bestows liberation when thought of''. In the first verse of Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai (The Marital Garland of Letters) he sings, 'O Arunachala, you root out the ego of those who think of you in the heart as ''Arunachala'''.
Arunachala is truly a holy place. Of all holy places it is the most sacred! Know that it is the heart of the world. It is truly Siva himself! It is his heart-abode, a secret kshetra. In that place the Lord ever abides the hill of light named Arunachala.
P.S: This blog is a result of various articles I read on the web about Lord Arunachala. Its not my own work and so any praises should go to my Lord Arunachala and the devotees who wrote about Him, not me.