Annadana Murugan
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Annadāna traditions from Kailāsa to Katirkāmam

Mount Kailasa in Western Tibet
Mount Kailāsa, the abode of Lord Siva in Western Tibet

Just as the Indian subcontinent may be said to extend from Mount Kailāsa in the far North to Kataragama in the far South (also called Dakshina Kailāsa as it is situated upon the same meridian as Mount Kailāsa), so also the principle of annadānam is respected and practiced across the subcontinent.

A popular saying among Kailāsa pilgrims Bābā Amarnātha barfāni bhukhe ko anna pyāse ko pāni exhorts listeners to ‘offer food to the hungry and water to the thirsty in the name of Lord Siva'.

Adi Sankarācharya in his stotram praising Annapūrnā, the personification of plentiful food, says:

 Annapūrne sadāpūrne Sankarprānvallabhe gyānvairāgya siddhyartham bhiksham dehi ca Pārvati.

Annapūrnā Devi, Goddess of Plenty, you who are Lord Shiva's eternal Consort, give us alms together with wisdom.'

Because of this universal tradition of annadānam, since millennia it has been possible–even common–for sadhus, pilgrims, saints and others to travel from one end of the subcontinent to the other spreading the wisdom of their respective sampradayas to the far corners of the subcontinent.

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