When we think of Adiyogi, the first image that comes to our mind is that of Lord Shiva. This is because Lord Shiva has been recognized as the first yogi, who gave birth to yoga. According to legend, Shiva discovered yoga on the same day he attained enlightenment. Later he passed on this knowledge to seven enlightened sages. These sages came to be known as Saptarishis. Mankind became aware of yogic philosophies and practices through these Saptrishis.
The Adiyogi statue presents Shiva in his glorious form as the first yogi. The statue is located in the foothills of Vellingiri, just outside Coimbatore. Every year thousands of people from all parts of India and the world come to see this Shiva statue. It inspires them to tread the path of self-transformation to transform the world. It promotes the thought that people just need to look into themselves to find the divine.
Why is the Adiyogi Shiva statue so famous?
The Adiyogi statue is situated on the premises of Isha Yoga Centre. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24th Feb 2017. This extremely tall statue is surrounded by lush green farms, coconut groves, and rural villages. It is also encircled by the beautiful Vellingiri mountains which creates a mesmerizing ambience for the visitors. However, there are several other aspects of the Adiyogi statue that make it so famous. These include the following.
World’s Largest Bust Structure
The Adiyogi statue is 112.4 feet tall and features only the bust of Lord Shiva. Hence it has earned the distinction of being the largest bust sculpture in the world. The Guinness World Records has recognized it as such, and it also features as one of the Incredible India destinations.
The height of the sculpture is no mere coincidence either. It was chosen to represent the 112 ways of attaining liberation from the materialistic world as described in yogic culture. The height also symbolizes the 112 chakras or focal points present in the human body.
Most people are unaware of the fact that the Adiyogi statue is made from 500 tonnes of sheet steel. Another 500 tonnes of the metal were produced as waste during the construction of the statue. The research for the technology to make the statue alone took three years. The actual fabrication time was relatively less and took only 8 months to complete.
As a part of preparations for making the statue, two smaller statues of 21 feet were first constructed. These statues helped the makers to understand the cutting-edge construction technique they were going to use. The makers also trained 300 locals as blacksmiths to complete the mammoth task of constructing the massive sculpture.
Spectacular 3D Laser Show
One of the key attractions for people visiting the Adiyogi Shiva statue is the spectacular 3D laser show. People can enjoy this memorizing audio-visual experience every day at 7 p.m. at the statue location. The show is known as Divya Darshan and lasts for about 15 minutes. The timing and duration of the show may vary slightly on special occasions like Purnima, Amavasya, or other important festivals and occasions.
During the show, 3D laser lights are projected on the sculpture to narrate the tale of the transformation of Shiva into Adiyogi. The show is visually captivating and educates the audiences about the significance of various yogic practices. The combination of captivating visuals and engaging narration along with properly synchronized sound and music effects create a remarkable experience.
The Enthralling Experience of Pradakshina
Moving around the statue of the deity in a circle multiple times after worshipping it is an age-old Hindu custom. This practice is commonly known as pradakshina, and it is performed to seek the blessings of the deity being worshipped. However, like most other things associated with the Adiyogi statue, performing its pradakshina is an enthralling experience for the visitors.
The Pradakshina is two km long and enables visitors to move around the Adiyogi statue and the Dhyanlinga situated near it. The pradakshina has been created to help devotees receive the blessings of Adiyogi and direct them towards the path of liberation. Devotees can imbibe the energies of the various sacred spaces around the Adiyogi statue by maintaining a specific posture and chanting specific mantras. Completing the pradakshina fills the visitors with a sense deep sense of contentment and peace.
Unique Prasad of Rudraksha Beads
It is a well-known fact that Rudraksha beads hold a special significance for Lord Shiva. Every year on the occasion of Mahashivrarti, the Isha foundation offers the unique prasad of Rudraksha beads to devotees desiring them. However, these are no ordinary beads but have been soaked in divine energy for one full year. This makes the beads extra special, and people seek them to attain the benefits of these divine energies.
After the Shivratri festival, a large mala made from 100008 authentic Rudraksha beads is placed around the neck of the Adiyogi statue. It is perhaps the largest Rudraksha mala in the world since it adorns the neck of the biggest Shiva bust. On the eve of Mahashivratri, the mala is removed, and the beads are placed in front of the statue to be distributed as prasad later.
Offering Vastra to Adiyogi
Another unique aspect of worshipping Lord Shiva’s Adiyogi statue is that devotees can present an offering of cloth. Although this is entirely symbolic, it is a practice that is not followed while worshipping any other Lord Shiva idols. Offering vastra is considered to reflect the devotion of the visitors towards the deity. However, to maintain the sanctity of the Adiyogi sculpture, the tradition of offering vastra is completed in a specific way.
The makers of the sculpture have placed 621 tridents around it. Devotees can tie a piece of black cloth that they can purchase onsite and tie it on any one of the tridents. Doing so is believed to make the devotees eligible for receiving the blessing of Lord Shiva. People might also tie the cloth to seek blessings for the fulfillment of their wishes.
Adiyogi statue represents the principles of spirituality and yogic practices. It has contributed significantly towards making them a global phenomenon
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