One of the stages of life according to the Varnashrama Dharma. People usually live away from their families during this stage, mostly in the forests.
▵ Velliangiri – A Mountain of a Temple
“Why would a mountain become sacred? I am calling this Mountain (referring to the Velliangiri Mountains) sacred not because it’s hard to climb. For many, these Mountains became sacred because a long time ago, there was a young maiden in the southernmost tip of India, who aspired to hold Shiva’s hand as his wife. She started working towards making herself suitable to draw him, and she remained absolutely focused upon him. She set up a deadline, ‘If I am not married to him by sunrise on this day, I am going to leave my body.’ Shiva came to know of this and started hurrying down to South India. But all the other gods conspired. They thought, if he gets married here, he may not return. He may start living in South India. When Shiva was just a few kilometers from the place where the maiden was, the gods created a false sunrise by setting up a huge mound of camphor. When the light came up, Shiva who was so close, just 22 kilometers away, thought it was over and turned back. So the maiden left her body standing. Even today she stands as Kanyakumari. There is a shrine at the very tip of the Indian landmass which is the maiden’s shrine.
So many beings, the kind of men that Gods would be envious of because they lived with such grace and dignity, have walked this Mountain.
This Mountain is known as the Seven Hills because if you climb, there are seven undulations which make you feel like you are going up seven hills. The last peak is totally wind-blown – nothing grows there except grass. There are just three very huge boulders which have formed a shelter between themselves which is like a little temple with a small lingam. It is an incredibly powerful place. So many beings, the kind of men that Gods would be envious of because they lived with such grace and dignity, have walked this Mountain. These great beings let the whole Mountain imbibe what they knew, and it can never be lost. This is also a Mountain where my Guru walked and the place he chose to shed his body. So for me and everybody here, it’s not just mountains, this is a temple for us. There is a tremendous amount of information here and for me, everything about how to consecrate the Dhyanalinga, was from here.”
▵ Velliangiri – A Mountain of a Temple (Isha)