SIVA TEMPLE IN HTA GETS NEW DHWAJA STAMBHA
Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati installs Dhwaja Stambham
By Ravi R Ponangi
Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
installs a newly made Dhwaja Stambha (flag pole), a tall
brass cased wooden pillar in front of Siva temple at Hindu
Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale on Sunday, September 11.
encouraged to attend this sacred celebration and once in a life
Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati is a
wonderful, simple and humble Swamiji, who is dispassionate and
message. Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati is a beloved disciple
of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.
Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati is an eminent Vedanta Scholar,
an expert exponent of Vedantic treatises, epics, Bhagavad Gita
and many Upanishads. Swamiji is a wonderful speaker, a speaker
with clarity, vision and force that can at once better the
thinking of the hearer.
DID YOU KNOW
Dhwaja Stambha, or
Flag Pole, is an important feature of most South Indian Temples.
Dhwaja Stambha is installed in front of the temple. Today,
Dhwaja Stambhas are a permanent feature in many south Indian
temples and are gold or silver plated or covered with copper or
brass. The top portion of the Dhwaja Stambham has three
horizontal perches or three branches pointing towards the
Sanctum. It symbolizes righteousness, reputation and propriety
or the Trimurtis – Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Usually, a Bali
Peetam is located near to the Dhwaja Stambha and the Sanctum.
Dhwaja Stambha is
a tall post-like structure, which is referred to as the
flag-mast of the deity of the temple. During festivities, the
Dhwaja Stambha is decorated with different types of flags to
commemorate and celebrate that particular event. The Dhwaja
Stambha is present in a straight line from the deity, just
before the Vahana of the deity, which is also in the same axial
There is a
widespread belief that the Dhwaja Stambha gives an idea to a
devotee about the idol installed in the temple and about the
Vahana or Vehicle used by the deity. It also announces about a
festival in a temple. Flags are usually hoisted when there is an
auspicious ceremony or festival in the temple.
Bali Peetam and vehicle called vahanam of the presiding diety
are situated facing the
Bali Peetam is
for offering - the offering is usually flowers and cooked rice.
originally called Santana Dharma or Righteousness, is known more
as a way of life than as religion. There is no single divine
prophet responsible for its origin and development. Temple
worship is an important part of the daily life of Hindus. They
believe that the images or statues of the deities at the temple
are equivalent to their permanent residence there.
Most Hindu Temples have a
Dhwaja Stambham in front of the temple. Temple worship starts
from this point. You may see worshippers touching this pillar.
Some may go around this one to three times. Devotees prostrate
on the ground in front of this pillar. This symbolizes complete
surrender of ones ego in veneration of the Lord. These are
traditional ways of offering one’s respect to God.
Some may place their palms and
fingers of both the hands together, hold the hands around the
base of Dhwaja Stambham, and meditate on God. This is a very
common way of offering respect to God. When you go into the
Temple, you will see more worshippers doing this. Prostrating
from Dhwaja Stambha is a traditional expression of worshipful
surrender and adoration.
A traditional Hindu Temple is
built based on the Agamas, which are the Holy Scriptures on
temple architecture. The Agamas describe a temple as the
representation of the cosmos in a miniature form. The design and
construction of Hindu temples are set out in the Agama Shastras
which cover a wide range of subjects.
The ceremony of
flying the temple flag on Dhwaja Stambha marked the inauguration
of a major Utsava at the temple. The flag also served as signal
to indicate to the people of the town and the visitors that an
Utsava is on. The old customs required that no major domestic
auspicious functions be held in the village while the temple
flag is hoisted. This was perhaps to suggest that the
celebrations at the temple took precedence over those at homes;
and that everyone in the village should participate in the
Dhwaja Stambha is
also referred to as being a medium for the Heavens to be
connected to the earth, which would refer to it being a
spiritual connector between us earthlings and the Supreme Being,
To a question,
what could be the reason behind constructing a metal pillar in
the precincts of the temple? It is believed that the Dhwaja
Stambha is basically an ancient lightning arrestor. Whenever
lightning strikes, the metal arrestor, placed such that it is
the highest point of the region, induces the charge to conduct
through it. The Arrestor then conducts the heavy electrical
impulse directly to ground, thus preventing the building from
It can be noticed
that the top of the Dhwaja Stambha is the highest point of the
temple, and thus, whenever lightning would strike, the temple
would be saved from the devastating damage that could have been
caused. This is what could be meant from the explanation that it
connects "Heaven to earth" (i.e.) it conducts the charges from
the clouds above during lightning to earth or ground, which is
the electrical term for a no-potential area.
wonderful how our ancient Indian Hindus have incorporated this
principle in order to safeguard the most important place of
their social setting, the temples.
In olden days,
Dhwaja stambha is the tallest structure in the village, taller
than any buildings. So it will safe guard the whole village from
lighting. It’s also referred to as power center.