India, our Country, the most sacred part of this universe, abounds in temples so much that it is not an exaggeration to say that there is not a single village, which does not boast of a shrine. Every town or village will be found to have been named after the name of the presiding Deity of that place. Kumbakonam after Kumbesvaran, Vaidisvaran Koil after Vaidyanadar are some shioning examples. In other words every place and temple is indicated by a specific name after its deity. But not so, this sthala Thillai. The mere simple, Common name 'Koil', is enough to indicate this temple; so famous is this temple which enshrines the supreme Dancer 'nataraja'.
And why should God dance? Nietsche, the famed german Philosopher, confessed that he would not believe in a God who could not dance! Dance has become synonymous with the very Divinity. Once in paris, when the eminent dancer Anna Paslorea was asked to explain the meaning of a particular dance, she replied coolly, "If I could only explain it in words, I need not have danced it at all" The highest Reality is not amenable to expression in words. It has to be experienced and Dance is one mode. Nataraja, by his Dance makes us experience the Supreme Bliss. And in the entire world, there is not a single Deity who instils this mystic truth except in Tamil Nadu - at Thillai.
Further, whenever devotees visit a temple, they always say, they are going to worship, to pray, to perform puja and so on. But only in this Thillai Sthala, people say they go only to have a Darshan of the God, The word Darshan has a deep connotation and means perception. Devotees go to this temple and realise perception of the Supreme truth. And in no other temple does one use the
term Darshan! The Two Darshanas' in "Ani" and "Marghazi" attract devotees in lakhs to this sacred spot.
All of us are aware that God is above all Forms. But how to convey that idea in a temple? Is it possible? Yes, it has been achieved in this Sthala by the Rahasya' behind the Deity - Nataraja with form. What exactly is that Rahasya, none has fathomed. That is why it is called Rahasya - Secret. The curtain - the back drop is raised momentarily and there is an effulgence. The curtain drops. Supreme Truth can at best be indicated only by Effulgence. And this significance has been incorporated only in this temple.
Thillai - The God of the Chidambaram Temple is a unique feature, existing only in Tamil Nadu.
Four tall towers beckon the devotees from all directions. Let us dip into this Sthala and get dissolved in the Supreme Bliss of the Great Dancer.
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