Thoandridum eesan aruLale;
Aanava kaamiya maayai arutherindhu
Aanma sugathir kaLithaduvaan.
SoNa Giri = Golden hill, Arunachala; sodhi vadivu = light/flame form; eesan = Iswara, Lord; aruL = grace; anava, kamiya, mayai = three ‘malas’ or impurities
Ramana Bhagavan, by the grace of the Arunachala who appeared as a pillar of light, destroys the three malas or impurities, namely, anava, kamiya and Maya, and blesses his devotees in pure bliss.
Aanava (not to be confused with its meaning in Tamil, which is ‘egoistic/ arrogance’), Kamiya and Maya are three ‘malas’ or impurities. Anava indicates a sense of lack. It is said that we are all divine beings who have forgotten our true nature. It is divinity that descended from the limitless to the limited (which we are), and it is this lacuna that we crave to fill to feel complete again, so we can go back to the completeness or purna state. Everything we do, invest in, buy, read is to fill this gap, this sense of lack. The word anava stems from ‘Anu’ meaning atom, the smallest particle, an insignificant entity, which makes us feel small and is also behind the superiority complex and the feeling of ‘I’m-beter-than-someone-else’.
Karma is neither good or bad. It is the sum total of all our previous actions and thoughts that determine our future.
Maya is the mistaken sense of identity. It is like the actor in a play mistaking the character he is playing in it for his true self.
And Bhagavan, since he is beyond all three afflictions, will cut away our three malas, says SV.
Arunachala Hill is also known by other names such as Annamalai, SoNa giri, SoNachalam. SonNa is gold, since the Holy Hill appears golden from the west side, it is known as SoNa Giri, giri meaning hill.
Annamalai emanates from the mythological story where Brahama and Vishnu felt each was superior to the other, and Shiva appeared as a pillar of light and said whoever finds the bottom or top of the column light will be the superior one. Both failed. Since He was not reachable he is called ‘Anna malai’ where ‘anna’ means that which cannot be reached (not to be confused with the common meaning, elder brother), and ‘malai’ is hill. Thiru is a word of respect. Hence Thiruvannamalai.
Among the pancha bootha (five elements) stahalas, Arunachala represents the Fire element. There are five Shiva temples that represent the five elements,: Kanchipuram is Earth, Thiruvanaikaval is Water, Chidambaram represents the Space element, KaLahasthi is Air, and Arunachala of course is Light manifest or Sodhi vadivam. Jyothi in Sanskrit and Hindi becomes ‘Sodhi’ as there is no ‘ja’ sound in Tamil.