After two hours of driving when the huge entry gates of the Adiyogi Shiva premises opened for our car I knew I was in for an exciting experience. From the entrance, I could only see the glimpse of the Adiyogi Shiva statue and that was enough to keep the adrenaline rush going. As we drove towards the parking area, the statue kept getting bigger and bigger, my jaw dropped, eyes popped and neck cramped. The statue is ginormous, colossal and humongous. It totally lived up to all its hype. I couldn’t wait to get off the car and see (also touch, if possible) the statue up close.
The Adiyogi Shiva is a 112 ft tall statue. It is located at the Isha Yoga complex at the foothills of Velliangiri Mountains (one of the ranges in the Western Ghats) in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. It took us close to two hours to reach the statue location from the Coimbatore city. The area around the statue was bustling with people. Some sitting on the stairs meditating, some circling around the statue but mostly clicking selfie with the statue.
The face of Adiyogi Shiva oozes calmness and there is a hard to miss sense of relief hovering the complete statue. The eyes of the statue are neither completely open nor closed, giving you the sense of being alive. One feels like running to the statue and embracing it in a tight hug. The energy around the statue is contagious and the body suddenly feels light. In that moment, everything that burdens you down vanishes and you start feeling free. The shiny texture of the Adiyogi Shiva statue is mysterious in its own ways and you can’t help but stare at it all flabbergasted.
A little history about Adiyogi Shiva
Adiyogi was inaugurated on 24 February 2017 by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival which is celebrated annually revering God Shiva. The statue has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the “Largest Bust Sculpture” in the world. It has been designed by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of the Isha Foundation. The statue has less religious significance and more of Yogic significance. The aim behind building this massive statue is to promote Yoga and inspire more and more people to opt Yoga in their lives. The statue is named “Adiyogi” which means “The first yogi”. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva because he is known as the originator of Yoga and hence he is the Adiyogi in the literal sense.
The first look of the Adiyogi statue will make you wonder what is it made of? As you go closer you will realize that what looked like a solid structure is actually hollow from inside. The statue is cast in steel. It is 112 ft tall which symbolizes 112 possibilities to attain moksha (liberation) that are mentioned in yogic culture. It is also believed to represent the 112 chakras in the human system. There are plans of erecting similar statues in Varanasi, Mumbai and Delhi.
Offerings at Yogeshwar Linga
Right in front of the Adiyogi Shiva statue, a Linga called “Yogeshwar Linga” was consecrated through the ceremony called prana pratishtha. The Linga has five snakeheads which represent five chakras. The five chakras are Muladhara (root chakra), Svadhishthana (sacral chakra), Manipura (solar plexus chakra), Vishuddhi (throat chakra), and Ajna (third eye chakra). The visitors can offer water and neem leaves on the Yogeshwar Linga. There is a group of Yogis sitting there who help the devotees in doing so. All you have to do is get in the line and buy the offering for Rs 20. The continuous chants of Shiva Mantra slowly permeate in your head. The experience is overwhelming beyond imagination. It is divine in every aspect that you can imagine, very different from the regular religious places.
My experience of visiting Adiyogi Shiva
I reached Isha Yoga Complex just a little before the sunset. After spending the initial few minutes with my mouth wide open, awestruck with amazement, I wrapped my head around the fact that I was seeing the wonder in real. It took me some time to come back to life. I offered my prayers at the Yogeshwar Linga and soon the sun was down. The huge statue looked sublime with the backdrop of orange and yellow hues. The sight was nothing less than spectacular. I put my camera on the time-lapse mode and stood at one spot for twenty minutes, and all I did was look at the statue.
While Adiyogi Shiva is one of the most imposing structures in Isha Yoga Complex, another important thing that you shouldn’t miss is Dhyanalinga. If Adiyogi Shiva statue left you spellbound then Dhaynlinga will take your breath away. Generally, people miss visiting Dhyanalinga and go back after seeing the statue of Adiyogi. There are boards near the statue guiding the way to Dhyanalinga.
Quoting from “isha.sadhguru.org”
“Dhyana” in Sanskrit means meditation and “linga” means the form. Dhyanalinga is a profound meditative space that does not ascribe to any particular belief or faith, and requires no ritual, prayer or worship. A powerful and unique energy form, Dhyanalinga is a doorway to enlightenment and spiritual liberation. In the metaphysical sense, Dhyanalinga is a guru, offering spiritual seekers the opportunity to do spiritual practices in the utmost intimacy of a live guru, something traditionally available only to a few.
Though it has always existed in the yogic lore, there is no reference to a Dhyanalinga in the scriptures. It has always been the dream of many enlightened beings, but the complexities involved in its creation are such that it rarely materialized. The closest attempt to consecrate a Linga like this took place almost one thousand years ago in Bhopal, India. The process, though grand, failed in the final stages.
Today, we are fortunate to be alive as its phenomenal presence graces the world. Dhyanalinga was consecrated by Sadhguru on 24 June 1999, after three years of an intense process of prana pratishtha – a pure energy process wherein the energies of all seven chakras are raised to the peak and locked to prevent dissipation over time. On 23 November 1999, Dhyanalinga was offered to the world.
The best way to experience Dhyanalinga is just by sitting there silently.
It doesn’t require any Pooja, prayer or worship. You don’t even have to force yourself to meditate. The best offering at Dhyanalinga is offering of oneself. To be just present on the premises and soak in the energy of the Dhyanalinga. To maintain the silence and sanctity of the space, a bell rings every 15 minutes to indicate when you can enter and leave. Stay for at least 15 minutes to allow yourself to experience the energies of Dhyanalinga.
The Dhyanalinga is open every day from 6 am to 8 pm. While the Adiyogi Shiva statue is out in open, for Dhyanalinga there are strict timelines. The administration prohibits Photography and videography inside the Dhyanalinga premises.
How to reach the Isha Yoga Complex
The Isha Yoga Center is situated 30 kilometres west of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore is well reachable by air, rail and road. Major airlines operate regular flights to Coimbatore from Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Train services are available from all major cities in India. There are direct buses between Coimbatore and the Isha Yoga Center. One can book them from the airport as well as the railway station. You can also contact Isha Yoga Center for information on the transport.
Phone: 091-83000 83111
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