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Monday, 10 April 2017

Significance Of Vaishaka Masam


                                                       Vaishaka Masam

The greatness of vishaka masa was first put across by sage narada to king ambarisha..Vaishaka masam is said to be the most dearest to lord vishnu.If a person takes a holy bath in karthik masam they incur 10 times benefit than taking bath in other months, if a holy bath is taken during margarshira month they incur 100 times benefit, if taken during mag masam they incur 1000 times benefit, if taken during vaishaka masam the benefit occurred cannot be described in one's life time.
Just as there is no yuga equal to that of krta, there is no masam equal to that of vishaka for holy bath. For a period of 144 minutes from 4:000 am all the tirtha dieties enter into rivers, lakes, etc. as commanded by the lord. Their only sole purpose is to purify all the beings that take bath during that time.



A person who bathes in the morning during vaisaka masamam in any river or lake shall be liberated from the sins committed ever since the birth. If a person bathes in either one of the seven gangas namely ganga, budhi ganga, yamuna, sarasvathi, kaveri, narmada and krshna is liberated from sins acquired during crore of births.
One who donates water sheds to the needy during this month elevates a crore of the memebers of his fmily, and is honoured in abode of Vishnu.If cool water is given to disciplined brahmin oppressed by thirst; that act incurs the merit of more than thousand rajasuya yagans.If upon the request of a brahmin, a person gives a footware during this month, is born as a king during next birth.
As said earlier the greatness of vishaka month cannot be told completely, therefore a devtoee of vishnu, who with his control over their senses and food takes holy dip, spend most of their time chanting the Lord 's name and by giving charitable gifts during the vishaka masam is said to be very dear to Lord Vishnu.

Legend Of Vaishaka Masam :-

According to Narada muni, Kartika(Tulam-Vrischikam), Magha(Makaram-Kumbham) and Vaisakha(Medam-Idavam) are the finest months, but of these three, Vaisakha is supreme. Vaisakha has the capacity to remove the sins of past births and liberate the worshipper from worldly bondage. It is the best month for dharma, yagna, rituals and tapasya, as it is the most suitable compared to other seasons. Vasant (some write basant) or spring is conducive for worship for the common man ( householder) and during this time, from Meena to Karkata ( Pisces to Cancer) i.e. from Chaitra Sankranti to Shravana Sankranti, Vishnu roams the celestial woods and gardens with Rama. During Vaisakha, Vishnu tests his devotees, as those who sit idle during this month, without any puja or dAna, suffer a fall in dharma. The four purusharthas, namely, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are attainable with Vaisakhadharma, i.e., worship and rituals during this month will yield nothing less than the fruits of these highest goals. At a more mundane level, it grants ayu (longevity), yash (fame) and pushti (sustenance) and the unending blessings of Vishnu.
Vaisakha is the month par excellence for doing dAna (charity), yagna (fire sacrifice some write yajna), vrata (fasting ritual) and snan (bathing).

According to sacred scripts it is said that, Tretha Yuga had commenced on 3rd day of the bright fortnight (sukla Thrutheeya) in the Hindu lunar month Vaisakha Masam; Krutha Yuga on the 9th day of the bright fortnight (sukla Navami) in Kaartheeka Masam; Kali Yuga on 13th day of the dark fortnight (Trayodasi) in Bhaadrapada Masam and Dwaapara Yuga on the New Moon day (Bahula Amaavaasya) in Maagha Masam.
As per the above Time schedule Akshaya Thrutheeya can be assumed as the day when Tretha Yuga had commenced known as Tretha Yugaadi. It is also believed to be the day when one of the Kalpas’ had begun.

Auspicious Day:-

Akshaya Thrutheeya is the sacred day Lord Parashuraama (Lord Vishnu’s Avathara) was born celebrated as Sri Parashuraama Jayanthi.
According Simhachala Kshethra Mahatmya, Akshaya Trutheeya is the sacred and auspicious day; Lord Vishnu manifested in dual form (Varaaha + Naarasimha) at Simhachala Kshethra during Krutha Yuga.

Quote From Mahabharatam:-

In Mahabhaaratha, Lord Sri Krishna is said to have enlightened Dharmaraja about the significance of Akshaya Thrutheeya. Sacred scripts like Vishnu Purana; Bhavishyottara Purana are said to have described the prominence of Akshaya Thrutheeya.
Special celebrations are held at all Vishnu related temples on this sacred day of Akshaya Thrutheeya, also known as Maadhava Trutheeya occurring in the holy and meritorious month Vaisaakha maasam during Vasantha Ruthu. Vaisaakha maasam is also known as Maadhava maasam in the name of Lord Vishnu who is also known as Maadhava.
We find even the Brundavanas of Sri Raaghavendra Swamy including the Moola Brundavana at Mantralayam will be adorned with Chandana on the day of Akshaya Thrutheeya.

Change In Planetary Consetellation:-

Astrologically Akshaya Thrutheeya is the day the royal planets (luminaries) Sun and Moon will be in their signs of exaltation; Sun in Aries (Mesha Raasi) and Moon in Vrushabha Raasi (Taurus). If the day is also coinciding with Wednesday and Rohini constellation it is considered to be highly meritorious.

Customs & Traditions Of Akshaya Thrutheeya:-

(What is to be done on this day?)
On this auspicious day one should take head bath early in the morning. Taking bath in the river Ganges on this sacred day is said to be highly meritorious.
Giving Thila Tharpana to fore fathers is prescribed on this sacred day which is considered to be meritorious.
Lord Sri Maha Vishnu should be worshipped in the form of Sri Varaaha, Sri Lakshmi Naarasimha, Sri Krishna and Sri Lakshmi Naaraayana.
Worshiping Lord Sri Krishna with Chandana (sandalwood paste) on this day is given lot of significance and merits. It is said that, one who worships Lord Sri Krishna with Chandana on this day will attain Vishnu Loka.
Ya: karothi thruteeyaayaam Krushnam
Chandana Bhooshitham!
Vaisaakhasya sithe pakshe
sayaachyuta mandiram!!
Reciting Vishnu Sahasra Naama Stothram; stothras related to Lord Varaaha and Lord Lakshmi Naarasimha; on this day are prescribed.
Reading/Listening Sri Venkatesa Mahaatmya (Srinivasa Kalyaanam) Puraana for a week days starting from this day is highly meritorious.

Charity (Daanam) Of This Day:-

Giving charity on this auspicious day is given lot of significance; which is said to be highly sacred; celestial that will give multi-folded meritorious results. Though there are many types of charities that can be given; giving Udaka Kumbha Dana on this day is given lot of prominence.
Udaka means water, Kumbha means pot. Giving charity of water stored in a pot made up of Copper, Silver, or at least earthen pot (made up of mud) covered with a new cloth to a Brahmin on this auspicious day is said to be sacred and highly meritorious.
Yesha DharmaGhato Dhattoh Brahma Vishnu Sivathmaka
Asya Pradhanathsakalam mamasanthu manoratha
Meaning: Let this water pot called Dharma Ghata signifying the trinal lords (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) bring unto me fulfillment of all desires. This can be given either in memory of fore fathers or to please the deities.
Apart from Udaka Kumbha Daana; giving charity of wheat; curd rice; umbrella; paada raksha (chappals); vasthra (clothes); Gho-Daana (cow), Bhoodana; Hiranya Daana (Gold/silver/Cash) on this day is considered to be sacred, punyadayaka which will produce multifold and everlasting (Akshaya) merits.
Yava homa, Yava Daana (charity), Yava Bhakshana is prescribed on this day that is highly sacred that helps in getting the sins diluted. Only one time meals is prescribed on this day.
Vaisakha Masam is considered as one of the most sacred months among the Hindu Lunar Months. According to Skandha Puraana; Krutha Yuga among the ages; Holy river Ganga (Ganges) water among the Theerthas; Jala Daana (donating water) among charities; and Vaisaakha maasam among the months are said to be the best.
It is the sacred month in which three of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations’ viz. Parashuraama (sukla Thrutheeya); Naarasimha (sukla Chaturdasi) and Kuurma (sukla Pournami) avatharas have taken place.

Akshaya Truteeya:-

Vaisaakha Sukla Trutheeya is celebrated as Akshaya Thrutheeya one of the most auspicious days in Hindu calendar. According to sacred scripts it is said to be the day Tretha Yuga had commenced reckoned as Tretha Yugaadi.

According Simhachala Kshethra Mahatmya, Vaisaakha maasam is the sacred month Lord Vishnu manifested in dual form (Varaaha + Naarasimha) at Simhachala Kshethra during Krutha Yuga.
Among the incarnations of Lord Vishnu; Naarasimha avathara has attained a rare significance and unique importance. All His avatharas are generally in a single form. But Nrusimha avathara is that of a dual form; Nara + Simha.
According to sacred scripts, Naarasimha-avathara occurred in Krutha Yuga during Vaisaakha maasam on the lunar day of sukla Chaturdasi in the constellation of Swathi during Pradosha time. To commemorate incarnation of Lord Naarasimha, special celebrations are held every year on this day called Nrusimha Jayanthi.
Vaisaakha maasam is the sacred month Lord Venkateswara (Sreenivaasa) married Goddess Padmavathi Devi on the auspicious day of Vaisaakha sukla Dasami according to Bhavishyottara Puraana. Commemorating this event a three day festival of Sri Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam is performed on this day at the sacred Tirumala hills.
At the famous temple of Sri Satyanarayana Swamy at Annavaram in Andhra Pradesh; Kalyaanotsavam celebrations are held on the sacred day of Vaisaakha Sukla Ekaadasi.
Electional astrology considers Vaisaakha maasam as one of the most auspicious months for performing auspicious ceremonies like marriage; upanayanam; gruha pravesa etc.
Seventh day in Vaisakha maasam (Sapthami) is known as Ganga Sapthami or Gangotpatti the day Holy Ganga came out of Sage Jahnu’s ear and thenceforth came to be known as Jaahnavi.
According to certain calendars it is the sacred month in which Lord Hanuman said to have born on Vaisaakha Bahula Dasami celebrated as Sri Hanuma Jayanthi on.
Vaisaakha Bahula Amaavaasya is celebrated as Sri Sanaischara Jayanthi the day Lord Shani Mahaatma (Saturn) was born.
Sri Badarinaath temple at the famous Badari Kshethra gets opened for public darshan during Vaisaakha maasam.
Full Moon day during Vaisaakha maasam is known as Mahaa Vaisaakhi when the Moon will be at or nearer to the constellation of Visaakha star and hence the name Vaisaakha maasam. Vaisaakha maasam is the month in which Sun’s transit into Vrushabha raasi takes place known as Vrushabha Sankramana.

Austerities-Customs & Traditions during Vaisakha maasam:-

Praathah Snaana (taking bath early morning) starting from Chaithra Sukla Pournami to Vaisaakha sukla Pournami; Thila tharpana and donating water (Udaka Kumbha daana) are prescribed during Vaisaakha maasam.
Worshiping Lord Vishnu with Krishna Thulasi; Chandana (sandalwood paste) during Vaisaakha maasam is considered as highly meritorious and mukthi daayaka.
Watering of Banyan tree; performing circumambulations around the Aswatta Vruksha; Go-Seva (caretaking of/service to cows) are some of the austerities recommended during Vaisaakha maasam considered to be meritorious.
Paaraayana (reading) or Listening or sponsoring of Sri Venkatesa Mahaatmya (Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam) starting from Akshaya Thrutheeya for a week days up to the sacred day of Vaisaakha Sukla Dasami is highly meritorious.
Performing or participating Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam on the day of Vaisaakha Sukla Dasami is highly meritorious.
Thila daana; Thila Snaana; Thila Homa; Thila-thyla Deepa Daana; Thila Tharpana are prescribed on the day of Vaisaakha Sukla Pournami.

Charities prescribed for Vaisaakha maasam:-

Vaisakha Masam is the most sacred and celestial month for giving charities. Among charities to be given during Vaisaakha maasam; donating water (Udaka Kumbha Daana) is given high prominence.
It can be given throughout the month and most important days for giving Udaka Kumbha daana are; on the day of Akshaya Thrutheeya; Vaisaakha Pournami; on the day of Vrushabha Sankramana;
Other charities prescribed for the month.
Apart from Udaka Kumbha Daana; charity of
wheat;
curdrice;
umbrella;
paadaraksha(chappals);
vasthra(clothes);
Gho-Daana(cow),
Bhoodana(donatingland);
HiranyaDaana(Gold/silver/Cash);
Honey;
are prescribed to be given during Vaisaakha maasam.
With so much of sanctity and auspiciousness assigned to the meritorious Vaisakha Masam; it is one of the most favourite months of Lord Sri Hari referred to as Maadhava Masam and Lord Vishnu known as Madhusuudana is the presiding Deity of this month.
We find a reference to the words Maadhava and Madhusuudana in sloka #8; 18; 78 of Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naama Stothram. Maadhava means one who is consort of Goddess Lakshmi Devi; one who is the bestower and Lord of superior knowledge.
Madhusuudana means the one who has killed the demon Madhu; one who is a great nourisher and who is as sweet and delicious as Honey; one who directs an individual towards performing good deeds, attaining true knowledge and the one who was born in the clan of King Madhu.

Cultural Beliefs:-

According to the skanda puranam, vaisakha masam is the best month. In this month the Lord Vishnu has three incarnations as Sage Parushurama, Lord Narasimha and kurma. It is also believed that treat  yuga is formed on sukla tritiya.
In simhachalam, Lord Vishnu is in the form of “Varaha Narasimha”, two forms varaha and Narasimha. Usually he will have only one form but in this month he is in two forms. Special celebration called “chandanavostavam” is performed every year on akshaya tritiya.
People believe that Lord Vishnu tests in this month and helps them to attain the aims of life (dharma, artha, kama and moksha) with following the rituals of vaisaka masam. This helps them to get good health and wealth. Good deeds such as poojas, yagna and homam have to be conducted.
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Pooja Procedure for Vaisakha Masam:-

    Daily wake up and do bath in the brahma muhurta time.
    Workship Lord Vishnu with Krishna Tulasi and sandalwood paste.
    Recite Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naama Stothram.
    Do parayanam of Srinivasa Kalyanam on Vaisaka Sukla Dasami.
    Read Vaiska puranam daily a chapter to know the details.
    Try to water a banyan tree and do pradakshina.
    Give service to cows.
    Donating water and Tila Tarpanam has to be done.

Significance:-

The important festivals of Vaisaka masam are
    Akshaya Tritiya or Parasurama Jayanthi: Akshay Tritiya comes on the third day of Vaisaka Masami e vaisaka sukla tritya. “Akshaya” is inexhaustible and “Tritiya” means third day. It is also called as Akha Teej. The day is very auspicious for starting new ventures, marriages, business, new constructions, investing, property, applying for jobs etc.
    Sri Padmavathi-Sreenivaasa Kalyaanam: This comes on the tenth day ie Vaisaka Sukla Dasami. SriVari Kalyanotsavam(Padmavathi Srinivasa Kalyanam) is performed.
    Sri Nrusimha Jayanthi: This comes on Vaisaka Sukla Chaturdasi. Lord Vishnu is incarnated as Lord Narasimha and killed King Hiranyakashyap to establish dharma and protect the mankind.
    Sri Sanaischara Jayanthi: This comes on Vaisaka Bahula Amaavaasya. Lord Shani was norn on this day.People effected by the Elinati shani, Ashtama Shani and who are under the shani dasha or antardasha has to do powerful prayer Sri Narasimha Stuthi to overcome the difficulties.
    Vaisaka saptami is known as Ganga saptami as the holy river Ganga came from the ears of sage jahnu.
    Full moon day of vaisaka masam is known as Maha Vaisakam because the moon will be near to the visakha Nakshatra(star) chitta so the masam is called as Vaisaka Masam.
 Interesting Facts:
    Performing charities is the good aspect in this masam.
    Donation of water, food and clothes are considered as the most frequent charities.
    Bathing in the brahma muhurtam time at the sacred rivers and worshiping Lord Vishnu.
    Observing Vishnu Pooja before sunrise will help to remove all the sins committed.
    During Vaisaka Masam in tirumula Srivari Kalyanotsavam and a special three day festival called as Padmavathi Srinivasa Kalyanam is performed.
    Preforming the kalyanam or participating is very much meritorious.
    Tila Daanam has to be done on Vaisaakha Sukla Pournami.
    Charities like food, water, clothes, chappals, umbrella, cow, Land,gold and silver and honey are prescribed.
    Donating water is given high preference from the month starting to till Vaisaka Sukla dasami.
 Scientific Reasons:
    Vishaka month comes in high Summer in India. Every where people face water scarcity and people suffer with heavy thirst. Here comes the tradition to save life's of living organisms in the name of charity.
    Water in rivers and sea will have many medicinal benefits.
    Bathing tightens the blood vessels and all the exhaust blood and the waste products.
    Doing charity will the people in need and some self-satisfaction and helps us to relive from stress.

Special Days in Vaisakha Month:-

Akshaya Tritiya is the most important day in Vaisakha month. Other important days of this month are Sree Shankara Jayanthi, Buddha Jayanthi (Vaisaka poornima), Subrahmanya Jayanti (Vaikasi Visakham), Narasimha Jayanti and Dattatreya Jayanti. The Vaisaka Festival of Kottiyoor Perumal Temple in Kannur district(Kerala) also begins in this month.

Akshaya Tritiya:-

Akshaye Tritiya, falling on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha of the traditional Hindu calendar, is one of the four most auspicious days of the year for Hindus.
The word Akshaya, a Sanskrit word, literally means one that never diminishes, and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. It is widely celebrated in all parts of India by different sections of the society irrespective of their religious faith and social grouping. The day is particularly considered auspicious for buying long term assets like gold and silver, including ornaments made of the same; diamond and other precious stones; and the real estate. The legend states that any venture initiated on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya shall continue to grow and bring prosperity. Hence, it is normal to see many of the new ventures, like starting a business, ground breaking for construction etc on the Akshaya Tritiya Day. According to Hindu mythology, on this day the Krita yuga began.




It is believed that by doing a good deed on this day one can earn Punya for life. Every minute of this day is considered sacred. It is considered to be one of the most auspicious days of the Vedic Calendar. Every moment on the Akshaya Tritiya day is auspicious and there is no need to look for a muhurat on the day.Hindus, Buddhists and Jains celebrate this day. It is believed that Satya Yuga (Krita yuga) and Treta Yuga started on this day. On this day the Sun and Moon are at their peak of brightness. Veda Vyaasa dictated and Lord Ganesha started to write the Mahabharata on this day.
New beginnings like weddings, business ventures, new deals, new audit books, business trips are considered to bring luck. Valuables bought on this day, such as gold is deemed auspicious. It is believed that gold multiplies if bought on this day. Akshaya Tritya is an occasion known for bringing communities together. The day is considered auspicious by Hindus and Jains for the purchase of gold, an expression that in some ways is indicative of wealth, beauty and joy. In Rajasthan, the day is called Aakha Teej and is considered very auspicious for weddings as well. With the mass media and marketing, this day has been taken over by marketers to promote sales and bookings for Gold jewellery, houses, consumer electronics.

Akshaya Tritiya, the third day of the bright-half of the lunar month of Vaisakha is considered as one of the most sacred days of the year. The word, "Akshaya" means one that never diminishes. Hence, starting a new activity or buying valuables on this day is considered to certainly bring luck and success. The religious merit that is acquired by giving gifts on this day becomes inexhaustible. Many buy new gold jewelry on this day. Most Jewel stores stock in new jewelry models for this occasion. "Lakshmi-inscribed" gold coins, diamond jewellery and golden dollars with the pictures of many gods and goddesses. The day is generally observed by fasting and worship Lord Vasudeva with rice grains. The day gains more importance when it falls on a Monday or under Rohini Star. A dip in the Ganges on this day is considered to be very auspicious. Akshaya Tritiya is also called Navanna Parvam. Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star day is considered more auspicious. Lord Kubera, considered to be the richest, is one amongst the Astadikpalakas. Lakshmi Tantram says that this Lord will himself pray to Goddess Lakshmi on this day.
The pujas we have to perform on Akshaya Tritiya include Kubera Lakshmi Puja. This puja has to be performed on this day only. The puja should commence in the morning and end in the evening. From the next day onwards, one has to perform the puja regularly for 108 times by reciting the moola mantra. A photo of Goddess Lakshmi Devi along with Sudarsana Kubera Yantra could be used for the puja. Light with pure ghee should be used. Also light dhoop sticks with Kumkum and turmeric can be used.
The day is generally observed by fasting and worship Lard Vasudeva with rice grains. The day gains more importance when it falls on a Monday or under Rohini Star. A dip in the Ganges on this day is considered to be very auspicious. Akshaya Tritiya is also called Navanna Parvam. This day also happens to be Balarama Jayanti. Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star day is considered more auspicious. Lord Kubera, considered to be the richest, is one amongst the Astadikpalakas. Lakshmi Tantram says that this Lord will himself pray to Goddess Lakshmi on this day. Most of us are already aware of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Out of these, Artha plays an important role. Artha here means money. Even decades passes by, the importance of Artha remains the same. Without Artha, nothing can be achieved. Here Artha merely does not only mean money but also includes honour, happiness etc. " A child can survive without his mother but he cannot survive without Lakshmi" says Shri Devi Bhagavatha Maha Puranam.
Lord Surya gave Yudhishtira a bowl called Akshaya Patram (meaning inexhaustible vessel) on Akshaya Tritiya day. It was a wonderful vessel, which held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas every day. When the Pandavas began their exile in the forest, Yudhishtra was despondent at his inability to feed the holy sages and others who accompanied him. At this, Dhaumya, the priest of the Pandavas, counselled him to pray to Lord Surya. Pleased with Yudhishtira's prayers, Lord Surya blessed him with the Akshaya Patra, a vessel that would give unlimited food every day till Draupadi finished eating.Lord Krishna also once partakes food from the Akshaya Patra, when sage Durvasa arrived at the Pandavas' place with his disciples. When Durvasa arrived, there was no food left to serve him, since Draupadi had already finished eating. The Pandavas became anxious as to what they would feed such a venerable sage. While Durvasa and his disciples were away at the banks of the river bathing, Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna for help. As always, they were once again saved by Him, who partook of a single grain of rice from the Akshaya Patra and announced that He was satisfied by the meal. This satiated the hunger of Durvasa and all his disciples too, as the satisfaction of Lord Krishna meant the satiation of the hunger of the whole Universe. Akshayapatra, in current usage, refers to any store that is inexhaustible. On Akshaya Tritiya the Pandavas unearthed weapons, which helped the latter to gain victory over the Gandharvas to save the Kauravas in Kamyaka Vana.
The Ganga river, the most holy and sacred river of India, descended to the earth from the heaven on Akshaya Trithiya day. There are several Hindu beliefs that give various versions of the birth of Ganga. According to one version, the sacred water in Brahma's Kamandalu (water-vessel) became personified as a maiden, Ganga. According to another (Vaishnavite) legend, Brahma had reverently washed the feet of Vishnu and collected this water in his Kamandalu. According to yet a third version, Ganga was the daughter of Himavan, king of the mountains, and his consort Mena; she was thus a sister of the goddess Parvati. Every version declares that she was raised in the heavens, under the tutelage of Brahma. Several years later, a king named Sagara magically acquired sixty thousand sons. One day, King Sagar performed a ritual of worship for the good of the kingdom]. One of the integral parts of the ritual was a horse, which was stolen by the jealous Indra. Sagara sent all his sons all over the earth to search for the horse. They found it in the nether-world (or Underworld) next to a meditating sage Kapila. Believing that the sage had stolen the horse, they hurled insults at him and caused his penance to be disturbed. The sage opened his eyes for the first time in several years, and looked at the sons of Sagara. With this glance, all sixty thousand were burnt to death. The souls of the sons of Sagara wandered as ghosts since their final rites had not been performed. When Bhagiratha, one of the descendants of Sagara, son of Dilip, learnt of this fate, he vowed to bring Ganga down to Earth so that her waters could cleanse their souls and release them to heaven. Bhagiratha prayed to Brahma that Ganga come down to Earth. Brahma agreed, and he ordered Ganga to go down to the Earth and then on to the nether regions so that the souls of Bhagiratha's ancestors would be able to go to heaven. Ganga felt that this was insulting and decided to sweep the whole earth away as she fell from the heavens. Alarmed, Bhagiratha prayed to Shiva that he break up Ganga's descent. Ganga arrogantly fell on Shiva's head. But Shiva calmly trapped her in his hair and let her out in small streams. The touch of Shiva further sanctified Ganga. As Ganga travelled to the nether-worlds, she created a different stream to remain on Earth to help purify unfortunate souls there. She is the only river to follow from all the three worlds - Swarga (heaven), Prithvi (earth) and, Patala (neitherworld or hell). Thus is called "Tripathagā" ( one who travels the three worlds) in Sanskrit language. Because of Bhagiratha's efforts Ganga descended on to earth and hence the river is also known as Bhagirathi, and the term "Bhagirath prayatna" is used to describe valiant efforts or difficult achievements.
Akshaya Trithiya is the wedding day of Goddess Madhura Meenakshi and Lord Sri Sundareswara. In order to answer the prayers of the second Pandya king Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai, Goddess Parvati appeared out of the Holy Fire of the Putra Kameshti Yagna performed by the king. According to another legend, the goddess herself had given a boon to Kanchanamalai in one of her previous births that she will have the privilege of mothering the goddess. This girl, who came out of the holy fire had three breasts, to the king's shock. A voice from the heavens told him not to worry and added that the third breast would vanish as soon as the girl meets her future husband. The happy king named the girl as 'Tadaatagai' and brought her up. The girl did not have any realization of her birth and she grew up as a normal human girl. Being the heir to the throne after Malayadwaja, Tadaatagai was trained carefully in all the 64 sastras (fields of sciences), which includes warfare, too. As the time came when Tadaatagai should be coronated, according to the customs, she had to wage war on the three worlds across eight directions (Digvijayam). After conquering Satyaloka (Lord Brahma's Abode), Vaikuntha (Lord Vishnu's Abode) and Amaravati (the Divine Abode of the Devas), she advanced to Kailasha (Lord Siva's Abode). She very easily defeated the Bhoota ganas and Nandoi (the celestial bull of Lord Siva) and headed to attack and conquer Siva. No sooner than she looked at Lord Siva, she was unable to fight and bowed her head down due to shyness; the third breast vanished immediately. Tadaatagai realized the reason and understood that Lord Siva is her destined husband. She also realized that she was the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Both Lord Siva and Tadaathagai return to Madurai and the king arranged the coronation ceremony of his daughter, followed by her marriage with Lord Siva, the next day. The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Vishnu, the brother of Meenakshi presided over the marriage function and did the Kanya Dana.
Jagad Guru Sankaracarya during his Brahmacari Bhikshatana one day visited the house of a poor Brahmin lady, whose husband also went to the village for Bhiksha and nothing was available in the house to offer. She was very much upset and worried that she could not offer any thing to such a great person who came to her house. She earnestly searched for some thing to be given in her house. At last she found an Amla fruit (Nellikka - Emblic myrobalan). She was feeling very shy to offer but she gave it with all humility and respect in the bowl of Sankaracarya. Sri Sankaracarya was very much moved at the sight of the poverty, stricken woman and immediately in an extempore way started imploring Goddess Lakshmi to be merciful towards this poor Brahmin lady to drive away her poverty. He recited twenty two slokas in praise of Goddess Lakshmi Who was very much pleased and appeared (Satkshathkara) before Sankaracarya and asked for his cause and all of prayer. Sankaracarya pleaded her to grant riches to the Brahmin lady. Goddess Lakshmi said that this Brahmin lady did not qualify to get any riches in this life as she did not to do any charities in her previous life and carry consideration and she deserves sufferance and justified her stand of not confering any wealth on her. Sankaracarya while accepting her sand replied that in this life she gave him Amla fruit with very great reverence inspiteof not having any thing due toher extreme poverty and this act ofher alone will justify to shower riches on her. Hearing upon this Goddess Lakshmi was greatly moved and immensely pleased with the advocacy of the argument of Sri Sankaracarya and showered instantly golden rain of Amla fruits (Emblic myrobalan). Thus the stotra of Sankaracarya towards Goddess Lakshmi was sacred, famous and popular known as Kanakadhara Stotra. Bhagavatpada Sankaracarya’s Kanakadhara Stotra also called by him as Surarnadhara Stotra studded with Anugraha Bijakshar as aiming at Sri Lakshmi. This event happened on an Akshaya Trithiya Day and the home of that brahmin lady is now famous as Swarnathu Mana. Remembering this incident, Akshaya Tritiya Kanakadhara Yajnam is performed on this day at Kalady Sree Krishna Temple, the family temple of Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya.

Akshaya Tritiya: Revealing the Importance of Daana Mahima:-

Akshaya Tritiya, commences on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha of the traditional Hindu calendar. This day is considered as one among the four most auspicious days of the year for Hindus. Akshaya Tritiya is gaining much reputation during the past decade. It is alleged that gold multiplies if bought on this day. Highlighting this belief, the jewelries attract customers with vivid discount features and presents. Most of the people have only limited knowledge about this day, as they consider Akshaya Tritiya, the day for buying gold so that prosperity will come to them. The name implies that whatever endeavor we do in this day will become auspicious and perpetual.
The Sathyayuga( Kirtha yuga) begins on Akshaya Tritiya .The incarnation of Vishnu, Balarama, brother of SriKrishna incarnated on this day. MadhuraMeenakshi Devi and Sundaraswara Siva got married in the presence of Lord Vishnu in this day.During Akshaya Tritiya, Saint Bhageeratha , meditated to bring Ganga Devi to earth ,for attaining Mokhsa to the souls of Sagaraputhras, who were cursed by Kapila Maharshi.It is believed that in this day, Aadi Shankara ,recited Kanakadhaara Sthothram to create golden showers of Gooseberry for a poor Brahmin mother who gave Shankara a small berry fruit as Bhiksha. In North India , during this day any virtuous activities can be done without noting Muhoortha. Hence marriages and house warming ceremonies are celebrated more on Akshya Tritiya.
The Matsya Purana, Skanda Purana and Bhavishya Purana describes the importance of Akshya Tritiya emphasizing the Daana Mahima and Vishnu Pooja ,that to be done on this occasion.
In Matsya Purana chapter 65, Lord Mahadeva describes the importance of Akshaya Tritiya and Akshaya Tritheeya Vratha Vidhi. Lord Says - “Oh Narada, I will explain all the rules and procedures of Tritiya day so as to flourish all the noble wishes. You have to do Dana, Havana, and Japa so as to get immense and uncountable prosperity and whoever do Vratha and fasting, will be blessed with good results. Akshaya Tritiya with Karthika Nakshathra is considered to be a divine day. The Homa-Havana-Japa rituals done on this day is stated as Akshaya (eternal). Akshaya Santhana ( virtuous children) and Punya will be showered on to those who undergo Vratha on this day. In this day one should worship lord Vishnu with Akshatham (dry rice and Paddy grains). Hence the name Akshaya Tritiya orginates. The Padmapurana prohibits using Akshatham for Vishnu Woirship(nakshathairarchayeth vishnum - Padmapurana 6:16:20). Akshya Tritiya is the only day in which Akhsatham can be used for Vishnu Pooja. Rest of the days white gigelly must be used. On this day take bath in Akshatha mixed water, worship Vishnu idol using Akshatha, and with Akshatha, do Dana Karma for knowledgeable Bhrahmins. After that eat the Nivedya. Oh! Maharshi Narada, who ever human, following this rituals will be blessed with eternal providence. Whoever done this vratha once in a year gets equal benefits of doing all the Tritiya Vrathas all over the year. Whoever human worship Janardhana Swamy Vishnu during this day following all the rules and regulations of Akshaya Tritiya, will get the prosperity of Raajasooya Yaga and finally attain abode of Lord Vishnu.
The Uthara Parva chapters 30 to 33 of Bhavishya Maha Purana says the significance of Akshya Tritiya. Lord Sri Krishna describes the importance of Akshya Tritiya to King Yudhishtira. Sri Krishna says, “ Oh King Yudhishtira, listen to the story of Shukla paksha Tritiya of Vaishakha Month. Any Karma, Snana, Japa, Homa, Swadhyaya done on this day will become eternal. Sathya yuga has begun in this day. Hence this Thithi is also named as Kritha Yugaadi Tritiya. This day washes all the Papas and brings in endless peace and prosperity. You please hear a famous story about Akshaya Thritheeya.
In Shaakala city, there lived a merchant named Dharman, who was very truthful, righteous, and respectful towards Bhrahmanas, whom he worshipped too. He came to know about the importance of Akshaya Tritiya commencing along with Rohini Nakshathra and Wednesday; that whatever Dana made in this day will become eternal and prosperous. On that day, he bathed in Ganga River and paid homages to his forefathers. After that he offered Dana in the form of food, cloth, water, gold etc to Brahmins very piously. He completely believed in the significance of this date. After some years Dharman died and reborn as King of Kushavathi. Due to the Punya made in previous birth, the King received no scarcity for wealth and affluence, which was immensely showering on him. The King made many Danas, but his wealth didn’t decline and increased countless.
Oh King Yudhishtira , understand the result of Akshaya Tritiya as interminable. Now hear the Vratha Vidhi during this day. Offer Dana to those who deserve, in the form of food( with all the “rasa”), Jala Kumbha, various fruits, cows, land, clothes and gold. All these should be beloved to you also. Whatever Karma (deed) done in this day will not become terminated. That’s why Saints consider this day as “Akshaya Tritiya”
In the 23rd chapter of Skandapurana; Vaishnava khandam; Vaishakha mahaathmyam, Shruthadeva explains the importance of Akshaya Thritheeya.Whoever undergo Snaana (bath) during sun rise; worship Lord Vishnu and hear Bhagavan’s stories in this day will attain Moksha. And whoever does Dana karama on this occasion, will receive eternal prosperity for his deeds, under the supreme command of Lord Vishnu.
All these references from Puranas on Akshaya Tritiya portray the implication of Dana Karma. The Puranas advices not to buy your favorite items during this day, but to donate them so as to perceive eternal prosperity and peace.

Balarama Jayanti:-



The Vaisakha Shuklapaksha Tritiya or Akshay Tritiya is also traditionally celebrated as the birth day of, Lord Balarama or Sankharshana the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. He is also known as Halayudha and Balabhadra. Balarama is described as being physically very strong, in fact 'bala' in Sanskrit refers to 'strength'. Balarama is the elder brother of Lord Krishna. Also he is acknowledged as a manifestation of Anantha or Adishesha, the divine serpent on whom Vishnu rests. Balarama Jayanti is celebrated in many Balarama Temples in Kerala like Aluva Srikrishna Balarama Temple, Mazhoor Balarama Temple, Nenmini Balarama Temple and Balarama Shrine in Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Chant Balarama Sahasranama Stotra on this day.

Sree Sankara Jayanti:-



Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Panchami is the birth day of Jagadguru Adishankaracharya. Shankracharya was one of India's foremost philosophers. Shankara was born on Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Panchami in a Nampoothiri Brahmin family in 788 AD in a village named Kaladi on the banks of the river Poorna (now Periyar) in Eranakulam district of Kerala. His parents, Shivaguru and Aryamba, had been childless for a long time and the birth of Shankara was a joyous and blessed occasion for the couple. Legend has it that Aryamba had a vision of Lord Shiva and promised her that he would incarnate in the form of her first-born child on Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Panchami. Shankara Jayanti is celebrated with utmost fervor in Shankara Maths all over India. Shringeri Sharada Peetham in Karnataka, Shankar Math in Hyderabad, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha in Kanchipuram are some places where the celebrations attract a large number of devotees. In Kerala Shankra Jayanti is celebrated at Vadakkunnatha Temple, Brahmaswom Madams, Kalady Sree Shankara Janmasthanam etc.

Narasimha Jayanti:-



Lord Narasimha ("man-lion") is the fourth incarnation (Avatara) of Lord Vishnu. He is worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups throughout India (especially in the South) and is primariliy known as the 'Great Protector', being a form of Vishnu who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need. The most famous story regarding Narashima is described in the Bhagavata Purana : In his previous avatar (incvarnation) of (Varaha), Vishnu killed a rakshasa known as Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha's brother Hiranyakashipu, greatly angered by this, started to abhor Lord Vishnu and His followers. Further, he decides to put an end to Vishnu by gaining mystical powers through performance of a great penance for Brahma, the chief among the demigods (devas). Brahma, pleased with his austere penance, then appeared before Hiranyakashipu and granted him a boon. Hiranyakashipu asked for the following:That he would not die on Earth or in Space, nor in fire or water, neither during the day or at night, neither inside a building nor outside, not by a weapon of holding (i.e a sword) or throwing (i.e an arrow), nor by anyone created by Brahma. Thus being granted this boon, Hiranyakashipu then believed himself to be immortal and decided it was now time to avenge the death of his brother Hiranyaksha.
Meanwhile, while Hiranyakashipu had been performing his penance, the divine sage (rishi) called Narada protected Hiranyakashipu's wife Kayadhu after her home had been overtaken by a war party. While under the guidance of Narada, her unborn child (Hiranyakashipu's son) Prahlada, was affected by his transcendental instructions even at such a young stage of development (through the sound vibrations). Thus, Prahlada when born was gradually recognised as being a very devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father's disappointment.As Prahlada grows in age, his father Hiranyakashipu becomes upset at his devotion to Vishnu, who he sees as his mortal enemy. Eventually his anger leads him to attempt to kill the boy Prahlada in many ways, but each time Prahlada is protected by Vishnu's mystical power. When asked, Prahlada refuses to acknowledge his father as the supreme lord of the universe and claims that Vishnu is omnipresent.
Finally in disgust Hiranyakashipu points to a particular pillar and asks if his Vishnu is in it? Prahlada answers, He was, He is and He will be. In an alternate version of the story, Prahlada answers He is in pillars, and he is in the least twig. Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace, and then following a tumultuous sound, Vishnu in the form of Narasimha appears from it and in defence of Prahlada moves to attack his father. In order to kill Hiranyakashipu and not upset the boon given by Brahma, the form of Narasimha was chosen. Hiranyakashipu could not be killed by human, deva or animal, Narasimha is neither one of these, as he is a form of Vishnu incarnate as a part-human, part-animal. He comes upon Hiranyakashipu at twilight (when it is neither day nor night) on the threshold of a courtyard (neither indoors nor out), and puts the demon on his lap (neither earth nor space). Using his nails (neither animate nor inanimate) as weapons, he disembowels and kills the demon. This day (Vaisakha Shukla Paksha Chathurdasi) is celebrated as Narasimha Jayanti.

Vaikasi Visakham - Subrahmanya Jayanti:-



Vaisakha Pournami (full moon day in Vaisakha month) is also famous as Vaikasi Vishakam or Vaigasi Vishakham. It is the birth day of Lord Subrahmnaya or Muruka. Vaikasi Visakam is a major festival observed in Lord Muruga temples. The asterism Visakam is the birth star of Lord Muruka. So Muruka is called Visaka.
Sati, the consort of Shiva immolated herself at Daksha Yaga, which was later destroyed by Shiva. Shakti was reborn as Uma, or Parvati the daughter of the mountain king Himavaan (the Himalayas). Shiva withdrew himself from the universe and engaged himself in yogic meditation in the Himalayas. In the meanwhile, the demon Surapadman ravaged the earth and tormented its beings. It was realized by the gods that only the son born of Shiva and Parvati could lead the gods to victory over Tarakasuran, Surapadman and their demon companions. They plotted with Kaama, the lord of desire, to shoot a flower arrow at Shiva, as he sat in meditation, so as to make him fall in love with Parvati. When Kaama aimed his arrow at Shiva, he opened his third eye and burned him to ashes instantly. Upon hearing the pleas of Kama's wife Rati, he brought back Kama to life, in flesh and blood for her sake, and in a formless state for others. The Devas manage to get Shiva married to Parvati (who was Dakshayani, reborn) by having Manmatha (also known as Kama), the god of love awaken him from his penance, incurring his wrath by opening his third eye of destruction, and being destroyed and resurrected. Shiva hands over his effulgence of the third eye used to destroy Manmatha to Agni, as he alone is capable of handling it till it becomes the desired offspring. But even Agni, tortured by its heat, hands it over to Ganga who in turn deposits it in a lake in a forest of reeds(Shara). The child is finally born in this forest(vana) on Vaisakha Pournami(Vaikasi Vishakam) day with six faces (hence Muruka is also called Shanmugha and Sharavanabhava). He was raised by the six Kartika damsels. He thus got the name Kartikeya. Worship Lord Muruka on vaikasi vishakam day.

Visakha Poornima (Vaisakha Pournami) - Buddha Pournami:-



Visakha Poornima (Vaisakha Pournami) - Buddha Pournami or Buddha Poornima, the principal annual ceremony for all the Buddhists, which falls on the full moon night in the month of Vaisakha commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, founder of Buddhism. His life from birth, through marriage, renunciation, enlightenment to maha samadhi is fascinating. Even though he had left his mortal coil over two thousand five hundred years ago, the spirituality created by him has not diminished - it is timelessly ancient. Buddhists celebrate this day with prayer meets, sermons on the life of Gautama Buddha, religious discourses, continuous recitation of Buddhist scriptures, group meditation and processions, worship of the statue of Buddha.
In Hinduism, Lord Buddha is viewed as an Avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Bhagavata Purana, Buddha is the twenty-fourth of twenty-five avatars, prefiguring a forthcoming final incarnation (Kalki). Similarly, a number of Hindu traditions portray Buddha as the most recent (ninth) of ten principal avatars, known as the Daśāvatāra (Ten Incarnations of God). The Buddhist Dasharatha Jataka represents Rama as a previous incarnation of the Buddha as a Bodhisattva and supreme Dharma King of great wisdom. So hindus also worship Buddha on Buddha Poornima day.

Periyalvar's Jayanti:-

Vaiksakha or vaikasi Pournima is also Periyalvar's jayanti. Periyalvar was one among the 12 Alvars. The Alvars (alvar means "one immersed in God") were twelve Vaishnava saints, who during the early medieval period of Tamil history (between the seventh and the tenth centuries CE) helped to revive devotional Hinduism (bhakti) through their hymns of worship to Vishnu and his incarnations. Periyalvar was born into a Brahmin family in Srivilliputhur, near Madurai in the 6th or 9th century(conflicting reports) and was named Vishnuchittar meaning "one who has Vishnu in his mind". Legend says he rejected the vedic philosophical debates of his upbringing to focus on Bhakti, especially on doing simple tasks for God. He would make garlands of flowers for the deity of the temple. One day the Pallava king of the land had a competition between scholars to find one who would explain philosophical principles. Vishnuchittar won the competition by explaining that the path to moksha is by service to God. Legend goes that the king honored Vishnuchittar and God himself came down to earth to see this. Vishnuchittar composed a couplet called "pallandu"(also called Thirup-Palandu out of respect) translating to "Long live for many years, Long live for many years for Hundreds of thousands of years!" to God. This is a very important prayer in Srivaishnava liturgy today. Vishnuchittar composed some pasurams in the 4000 Divya Prabhandham called Perialvar Tirumozhi where he explores a devotee's love for God through the metaphor of Yashoda's motherly love for Krishna. He was the adopted father of Kodhai or Andal, the only woman alvar.

Dattatreya Jayanti:-



Dattatreya or Datta is the son of Sage Athri and Anasooya Devi. The name Dattatreya can be divided into two words - "Datta" (meaning given) and "Atreya" referring to the sage Atri, his physical father). Various Hindu sects worship him differently. In the Nath tradition, Dattatreya is recognized as an Avatar or incarnation of Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas. Although Dattatreya was at first a "Lord of Yoga" exhibiting distinctly Tantric traits, he was adapted and assimilated into the more devotional Vaishnavite cults; while still worshiped by millions of Hindus, he is approached more as a benevolent god than as a teacher of the highest essence of Indian thought. Dattatreya is credited as the author of the Tripura Rahasya given to Parasurama, a treatise on Advaita Vedanta. Dattatreya was born on Vaisakha Krishna Paksha Dasami day and is celebrated as Dattatreya Jayanti.
The sun is a natural giver, giving freely to one and all. Those born in Vaisakha are natural social reformers since they have an integral part of the sun within them. They stand out brilliantly in life, easily overshadowing others. Basaveshwara,Ramanujacharya, Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Chinmayananda and Gautam Buddha were born in this month . Thus, between Akshay Tritiya and Buddha Poornima, there is a celestial gathering and many Mahatmas are born. Almost all social reformers are born during this period and they believed in one thing, Change yourself. The world outside will change dramatically when you change yourself.     As the month is summer donating water to the needy helps them.

Shanishchara Jayanti :-

Shani Jayanti is considered to be the day on which Lord Shani was born or appeared on earth. This day is also known as Shanishchara Jayanti or Sani Jayanthi.



Lord Shani is one of the nine planets (Navagrahas) of Indian astrology. Navagrahas are the nine celestial deities in Hinduism. Lord Shani is also called as 'Shaneeswaran', 'Sani dev', 'Sanischara bhagwan' or 'Chaya Putra'. Lord Shani is the god of Shanivar (Saturday). Lord Shani is the son of Surya (Sun God) and his wife Chaya.

Shani Jayanti or Sani Jayanthi is observed on Amavasya (New moon day) in Vaishakh month or Vaisakha masam. This day is also observed as ‘Shani Amavasya’.

This year Shani Jayanti has immense impact and spiritual significance as apart from Amavasya, there is also a Solar Eclipse (Surya Grahan)!

The Hindu religious devotees can do ordinary prayers at Shani Temples or Navagraha Temples.They can visit Lord Ganesha termples as it is regarded as very fortunate.

It is to be noted that Shani Jayanti is celebrated in a grand manner in many temples such as all Navagraha Temples in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Sri Kalahasti Navagraha Temple, Mandapalli Mandeshwara Swamy Temple, Wargal Shaneeshwara Temple in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh. It is to be remembered that Sani Jayanthi is the most important festival in Shani Shingnapur Shaneshwara Mandir. In these said temples, a lot of rites and rituals are performed on Shani Jayanthi day so all the devotees can participate in these activities.

The Hindu religious devotees can observe fasting on this particular day. They can do fasting as observed on a saturaday as Shanivar Vrat (Fast on Saturday). It is to be remembered that during Shani Trayodashi, Shani Amavasya and ‘Shani Jayanthi’ days the devotees can perform ‘Shani Shanti puja’ and ‘Shani Thailabhishekam’.

The devotees can perform Shani puja. This particular puja can be done by those who are having Shani dosham. They can also conduct Shani homam or yagya with the assistance of an acharya or purohit on these days. They can also indulge in Shani Shanti puja in order to solve the affect of Saturn in their horoscope. The devotees can fix the horse shoe ‘U’ shaped on the main entrance door of the house, wear the horse shoe ring on the middle finger and install Shani Taitisa and mala in the chapel.

 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Delhi


                                             Akshardham Temple

 The Akshardham Temple is one of the most recently built temples in Delhi. Constructed by the Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), it is situated on the banks of the River Yamuna. Delhi Akshar Dham Mandir was inaugurated in Novenmber'05 in the presence of President APJ Abdul Kalam. It is spread over an area of 100 acres and took about two years to complete. Akshardhaam Temple of New Delhi is built in an architectural style similar to that of the Akshardham temple of Gandhinagar in Gujarat, India. Its construction is based on the ancient Sthaapatya shastras of India and it is built without steel, entirely out of sandstone and marble.
 Approximately 234 ornate pillars, floral motifs, arches, exquisitely carved pavilions, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangle shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants), adorn this architectural wonder. There are 20,000 statues inside Akshar Dham Mandir of Delhi of India's great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personas. Other features of the Akshardham Temple are an IMAX theatre, a Swaminarayan temple, and an elaborate musical fountain. The area around the temple building has been converted into manicured lawns with beautiful water fountains.
 The main shrine of the New Delhi Akshardhaam temple houses the statue of Lord Swaminarayan. There is an Akshardham Temple Monument to World Peace inside the temple complex. Along with that, there is also a restaurant modeled on the Ajanta and Ellora caves and an Ayurvedic bazaar. Combining Rajasthani, Orrisan, Gujarati, Mughal and Jain temple architecture, the mandir presents a magnificent sight. This temple is a major tourist attraction and counts amongst the wonders of modern India.



Facts & Information about Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple-

•Swaminarayan Akshardham is the world’s largest Hindu Temple.
•This temple was built in 2005 and inaugurated by Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
•It was constructed by Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS)
•The height of this temple is 42 meter.
•The temple is made up of granites and marbles.
•The temple consists 9 domes, 20, 000 sculptures of Sadhus.
•the temple is spread over an area of 12 acres.

The wonderful architecture of Akshardham Temple attracts more than 60% travelers who visit Delhi. the visitor can see the museum, parks, and many cultural activities inside the temple area. This beautiful temple is located near the bank of the Yamuna neighboring to the 2010 Commonwealth Games village.

Architecture Of Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple:-



The Temple has been adjudged as the “World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple” in the Guinness World Records. However, the record is being contested by three temples – the Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam and the Annamalaiyar Temple in Thiruvannamalai. They argue that these three temples are as big as the Akshardham and are actually temples where the worship of God is carried out.
The Neelkanth Darshan exhibition is the first large format film on India, made by an Indian Organization, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The theater houses New Delhi’s first and only large format screen.





The Yagnapurush Kund is India’s largest step well. The Stepwell means a series of steps, artistically arranged going down towards the centrally placed Yagna Kund. The Yagna Kund is Lotus shaped.

Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is known for its architectural and designing grandeur. It rises 141-foot high, spans 316-foot wide, and extends 356-foot  long. It is intricately carved with flora, fauna, dancers, musicians, and deities.
The Akashardham temple complex is designed with the standards of Maharishi Vastu Architecture. It features a blend of architectural styles across India. Rajasthani pink sandstone have extensively been used in its construction. The temple is based on traditional Hindu architectural guidelines on maximum temple life span, it makes no use of metal and has no support from steel or concrete.



234 ornately carved pillars, nine domes, and 20,000 murtis of sadhus, devotees, and acharyas are also used in the temple. The mandir also features the Gajendra Pith at its base, a plinth paying tribute to the elephant for its importance in Hindu culture and India’s history. It contains 148 life sized elephants in total weighing a total of 3000 tons.



An 11-foot high statue of Swaminarayan in seating position lies under the temple’s central dome. Swaminarayan is surrounded by images of the faith’s lineage of Gurus depicted either in a devotional posture or in a posture of service. The temple also houses the murtis of Sita Ram, Radha Krishna, Shiv Parvati, and Lakshmi Narayan.

An important feature of the temple complex is a musical fountain, or the Yagnapurush Kund which is regarded as India’s largest step well. It features a large series of steps down to a traditional ‘yagna kund’. During the day, these steps provide rest for the visitors to the complex and at night, a musical fountain show representing the circle of life is played to an audience which is seated on the same steps. The fountain is named after the Shastriji Maharaj. The fountain measures 300 feet by 300 feet  with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines. In its centre lies an eight-petaled lotus shaped yagna kund designed according to the Jayaakhya Samhita of the Panchratrashastra.



Named as  Bharat Upavan, the garden of Akshardham has lush manicured lawns, trees, and shrubs. The garden is lined with bronze sculptures of contributors to India’s culture and history. These sculptures include children, women, national figures, freedom fighters, and warriors of India, including notable figures such as Mahatma Gandhi.

Akshardham History:-

One of the most popular and amazing tourist attractions in the Indian nation is Akshardham temple.
Known for its beauty and wide area Akshardham has several attributes that defines the existence and motive of human. Destiny of humankind along with universe details comprises the history of Akshardham temple. Researchers do not call this place only as temple as it is the place of enlightenment, education and entertainment. The entire area of Akshardham spreads over 23 acres and it includes parks, rides, lakes, sculptures and shrines flooded over the complete area of temple. All these things collectively describe the entire experience of India’s rich heritage and culture. Akshardham temple history devotes its existence to Lord Swaminarayan and has its inspiration from Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Thousands of people and volunteers have invested their money and service to establish this miraculous architecture of Akshardham that explores the rich culture of religion.
The followers of Lord Swaminarayan work over here by spreading and enhancing the flavor of spirituality and devotion with complete peace of mind. This monument based on authentic and modern techniques present the perfect impression or imprint of Indian architecture with religious culture. The architecture comprises of pink sandstone that comes from Rajasthan. More than thousands of these exclusive stones are carved with historical imprints that narrate the rich culture of India through pictures and carvings. The artists and builders have not used cement or metals like steel so that monument lives for years to come.
The history of Akshardham temple suggests that there are about 93 pillars that are sculpted and more than 40 windows having carving from either sides that allows patterns to look outstanding. The carving done on pillars and the walls of temple are actually poetic and looks wonderful in narrating the aura of devotion towards the culture. This particular temple has its name in the book of records in world, Guinness and it includes all the basic amenities and features that allow offering a prayer. Akshardham Temple history is available on stores and internet for the people having interest in this religious monument. The temple does not ask you to follow particular God rather it just asks people to pray their mentor or teacher that is to whom they owe their existence. All these theories by Lord Swaminarayan were compiled together and the place called Akshardham came in to origin. People here come to practice self-peace of mind and soul as per historical aim of this temple.

Exhibitions:-

Hall 1 - Hall of Values (50 mins)
Experience endless human values via films and eye-catching robotic shows which shows the ideals of overall nonviolence, honesty, family peace, and spirituality.
Hall 2 - Giant Screen Film (40 mins)
Here through a giant screen film, one can discover the entire country through the innovative as well as interesting story of an eleven-year-old yogi who named as Nilkanth. The yogi is the one who brings to life the wide Indian culture and spirituality of country's customs in varied ways.
Hall 3 - Cultural Boat Ride (15 mins)
In hall 3, one can experience a glorious ride of 10,000 years of India's prestigious and enriched heritage which will take 15 minutes. You can also learn about the inventive discoveries and inventions of all the rishi-scientists of country and can also discover the world's first university of Takshashila.

Musical Fountain - Circle of Life:-

A magnificent spectacular musical fountain can be seen in evening. The musical fountain starts for 15 minutes at the temple which depict the cycle of birth, life, and death as it repeats itself.
Garden of India
Garden of India is spread around sixty acres of green lush lawns, gardens and beautiful bronze statues. It also pays tribute to India's child heroes, famous valorous warriors, all the national patriots and strong great women personalities who inspire us in many ways whether its values and character.
Lotus Garden
This garden is built in lotus-shape and is another major attraction at the temple which echoing spirituality. The Garden is an example of serenity as it expressed by all the famous philosophers, talented scientists, and leaders throughout the ancient Indian history.

Dress Code at Akshardham:-

The Temple follows a general dress code as per which the upper wear of both men and women should cover shoulders, chest, navel and upper arms. The temple allows pants and shorts as long as they are below the knee-length. In case, the dress of the visitor is deemed inappropriate, a sarong is provided free of cost.

Festivals celebrated at the Akshardham Delhi Temple:-

The Temple is decorated and lit with lights on occasions like Diwali, Navaratri, and Janmashtami
Poojas and Rituals at Akshardham Delhi


Nilkanth Varni Abhishek:-




An extreme hallowed spiritual tradition in which all the prayers from devotees are offered for entire world peace and continual peace for loved ones and friends with the water of around 151 holy rivers, lakes and ponds of the country

Nearby Temples:-

Uttara Swami Malai Mandir :-

 The Temple is located in Ramakrishna Puram (RK Puram) Sector-7. The shrine is popularly known as the Malai Mandir, Malai meaning Hill in Tamil. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Karthikeya and is constructed following the Chola architecture. The main sanctum is located atop a hill. Apart from the main shrine, Lord Vinayaka, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are also worshiped here.
Birla Mandir :-

The Temple also known as the Laxminarayan Mandir is situated on Mandir Marg. The Temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. The main shrine is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, another name of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. The other shrines are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and Buddha. The Temple was built by the legendary B.R Birla.

Hanuman Temple:-

 The unique and ancient temple is situated in Connaught Place, Delhi. The Temple is believed to be one of the five ancient shrines in Delhi whose importance can be dated back to the epic Mahabharata. The idol of the presiding deity, Lord Hanuman is believed to be self-manifested. The Temple has glorious past and is still visited by lakhs of devotees every year.
Chhatarpur Temple :-

 The Temple is known as the Shri Aadya Katyayani Shakti Peetham. The Temple is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani, one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. The Temple is the second largest temple complex in India. The entire temple is constructed of marble and is an architectural delight.

Warning:-

1. While traveling during the night it's better to take public transport or taxi instead of an auto rickshaw. Beyond 8 PM traveling in an auto rickshaw is not advisable especially if you are the first-time tourist and traveling alone.
2. Beware of cheats and anti-social elements. In the case of suspicions do not hesitate to Dial 100, its Delhi Police Helpline.

Activities:-

Going in and around Akshardham Complex shall take some 3 hours. Watch Art & Architecture of the temple and offer prayer to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The Akshardham Complex runs Exhibitions between 10 am to 5 pm. You can buy a ticket to learn more from India’s rich culture and Hindu religion. The water show in the evening is a special tourist attraction. If you are coming with kids, I am sure this will be fun for them. The Maha Arti which is mainly performed by Head Priest of the Akshardham Mandir is held before water show. The sound of bells and hymens shall make you feel like you are meeting to the God. The Thematic Gardens; Bharat Upvan and The Yogi Hridaya Kamal shall give you teaching in silence from the life of world’s great personalities.
From Akshardham Complex, you can head to Mayur Vihar Phase I for shopping and enjoying on Indian / Italian / Mexican cuisines. Or if you want to do more then go to EDM Mall near Anand Vihar, Kaushambi or Vasundhara. In these places, you can shop for clothes (casuals / fashion wears etc) and enjoy Indian delicacies. If you love eating spicy or want to try once, I will suggest you have “Chhole Bhature” from any food joint. Depending on the type of restaurant or eating joint you chose, a plate of Chhole Bhature shall cost you Rs. 50 – Rs 150.

Timings Of Akshardham Complex:-

First entry-9:30am
Last entry– 6:30pm
(throughout the week except on Mondays when the temple is closed).

Mandir Darshan– 9:30am to 8:00pm
Arti– 10:00am and 6:00 pm
Abhishek Mandap–
Darshan and Pooja– 9:30am to 8:00pm
Arti– 6:30pm.

Water Show After sunset:-

Charges at the Temple
Entry to the complex is free.

Exhibitions Tickets:-

Adults- Rs.170
Senior citizen- Rs.125
Children (4-11 years) – Rs.100
Children (below 4 years) -Free.

Water Show After sunset:-

Water show tickets
Adults – Rs.30
Senior citizens – Rs.30
Children (4-11 years) –  Rs.20
Children (below 4 years) – Free

Abhishek Mandap
Donation (per person) – Rs.50
Darshan is Free


Location & How to Reach Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Delhi:-

Akshardham is located at National Highway 24, Akshardham Setu in New Delhi.
The temple’s location is easily accessible as it is located at 6km distance from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and at a distance of 350m from the Akshardham Metro Station (at a walking distance). The temple is at a 40 minute distance from Old Delhi Railway Station.
Delhi is well connected through metro stations and also has a good network of roadways which makes it easy for tourists from anywhere to reach the place.

By Air:-

Are you coming from Frankfurt or New York or from another Indian state? Upon reaching to Airport in Delhi, you can hire a taxi (AC/Non-AC) or an Auto Rickshaw to reach to Akshardham. All major International Airlines connects to New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). The domestic airport Palam is located at a distance of 5 km from International Airport.

By Rail:-

The capital New Delhi is well connected to the railway network. The major Railway Stations in New Delhi are Old Delhi Railway Station, New Delhi Railway Station, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and Anand Vihar Railway Station. From these railway stations, you can take a Metro Rail / City Bus / Auto Rickshaw / Taxi to reach to Akshardham.

By Bus:-

 Delhi is well connected by road to all major cities of neighboring states viz; Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan. The major Inter State Bus Terminus in Delhi are Maharana Pratap ISBT at Kashmere Gate, Delhi; Swami Vivekanand ISBT at Anand Vihar, Delhi; Vir Hakikat Rai ISBT at Sarai Kale Khan, Delhi. From any of the ISBT, you can take city transport like Metro Rail, Bus, a taxi or auto to reach to Akshardham Temple. If hiring an auto rickshaw to ask your driver to run the vehicle on meter instead of negotiable rates.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sri Kapila Theertham Foot Hills Of Tirumala In Tirupati


                                                Sri Kapila theertham

Located at the Kapilatheertam, Sri Kapila theertham Temple in Tirupati is one of the famous 108 Sacred Theerthas on Tirumala Hills. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is known as Lord Kapileshwara. According to the Hindu mythology, the temple has been named after a great saint, Maharishi Kapila, who was a dedicated devotee of Lord Shiva. Impressed by his firm devotion, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati gave him their divine ‘darshan’ here after which a Kapila Lingam appeared out of the Earth. In front of the temple, there is a sacred waterfall and a holy lake ‘Sarovara’. The Lingam is believed to be self-created by Lord Shiva and is also known as ‘Svayambhu’ form of Lord Shiva. The temple receives thousands of devotees seeking blessing of Lord Kapileshwara. People usually visit this holy place during the Shivratri festival and the annual Brahmotsavam festival. The breathtaking view of hundreds of deepams (lamps) illuminating the premises of the temple is a must watch during Karthika Deepam.



Kapila Theertham History:-



•The description of Kapila Theertham temple goes back to 10th century. It also has been referred as the ancient inscriptions of Kulottunga Chola Kingdoms. The history of this temple also depicts that many great empires and sages have worked for the development of the temple which included Pallava kings, Vijayanagara kings and Tirumala Mahants.
•As this temple comprises of seven lakes, it is also known as the Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple is situated on Venkatadri which is the seventh peak and so it also is known as the ‘Temple of Seven Hills.’
•Medieval history The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), and Vijayanagara pradhans (14th and 15th centuries) were committed devotees of Lord Venkateswara. During the invasion of Srirangam by Malik Kafur in 1310–11 AD, the Ranga Mandapam of the temple served as the shelter for the presiding deity of Srirangam, Ranganatha Swamy.
•Later, under the rule of the Vijayanagara emperors, was when the temple gained most of its current wealth and size, with the donation of diamonds and gold.
•In 1517 Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishna Deva Raya, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels. This enabled the Vimana (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded. Statues of Sri Krishna Deva Raya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple. After the decline of Vijayanagara Empire, kings from states such as Mysore and Gadwal gave ornaments and valuables to the temple.
•There are many stories associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. The temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.

Kapila Theertham:-





According to Puranas 'Kapilamuni' of 'Paataala' (under-world) originally worshipped the Linga at Kapila Theertham. Lord Shiva is said to have blessed Sage Kapila with a vision of himself and his consort etc. But for some cause the Kapila Lingam pierced up through the earth to its surface, 'Suras' (Devatas) started worshipping it. It is also said that even before the Linga forced itself up, the Kamadhenu (celestial cow) made her way through a hole to the earth and took form here. The Shiva Lingam is made of brass in one of the shrines of Kapila Teertham.


In front of Kapila Lingam lies a very sacred 'Sarovara' (lake), which is the 'Bilam' (cavity) through which 'Kapila Maharshi' came to earth. A spring falls on the temple. Both the temple and the waterfall are considered to be highly pious. A holy dip here is believed to confer maximum benefit and rid the devout of sins.


Bhavishyottara Puranam says that Vakuladevi , before going to Aakaasha raja to discuss Srinivasa’s (Lord Balaji) marriage to Padmavathi, had a sacred bath in Kapila Theertham, as ordained by the Lord.

Shiva Linga & Rituals:-



There is a mountain cave in one of the steep and vertical faces at the foot of the Tirumala Hills, at the entrance of which you will come across the huge, magnificent temple of Lord Shiva. The waters of a mountain stream, Paapa Vinasanam come down as a huge waterfall here. As is typical of Lord Shiva’s temple, there is a huge stone statue of the seated bull, Nandi, at the entrance to the temple.
The Shiva Linga in the Kapila Theertham shrine is made of brass. There is a holy lake known as ‘Sarovara’ in the front of the Kapila Lingam shrine, which is supposed to be the ‘Bilam’ or cavity through which Kapila Maharshi came to earth. A waterfall cascades down to the temple. The temple and the waterfall are worshipped with great piety. Kapila Theertham Temple functions under the aegis of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam and is protected and maintained by them. The TTD ensures that the annual festivals conducted in this temple are comparable in grandeur to those of Tirumala, such as the Brahmotsavam.
A prominent ritual at this temple happens on the full moon day, during the month of Karthika on the occasion of its ‘mukkoti’ (three crores). All the teerthas situated in the three worlds are believed to merge into the holy waters of Kapila Theertham at noon for about ten ‘Ghatikas’(one ghatika is equivalent to 24 minutes). There is a belief that when devotees bathe in Kapila Theertham during this time, they will attain Brahmaloka or salvation from the cycle of birth and death. There is also a belief that those who perform ancestral rites, known as ‘thithi’ or ‘thadhhina’, when they offer what is known as ‘pindam’ or rice balls offered to departed souls, if they perform the rites here will be blessed. Those who have discontinued ancestral rites can perform them here to wash off their sins of non performance.
The temple conducts some special sevas or offerings in which devotees can participate by paying a fee. Festivals like Vinayaka Utsavam, Annaabhishekam, Karthika Deepam and Maha Shivarathri are celebrated in the temple, attracting thousands of devotees.
 
Special Occasions at Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple :-
 
In the 'Annual Brahmotsavam' festival the entire Tirupati, Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple also forms an energetic part of the festivity. For the duration of the annual Shivarathri festival, the temple is looking by thousands of devotees which is the busiest period of this temple. In kapila theertham  Shiva special occasion like Vinayaka Utsavam, Karthika Deepam, which are held with immense  and festivals.



Religious importance:-

During 'Kartika' month on the occasion of its "mukkoti" on the 'Purnima' (full moon) day, all the teerthas situated in the three world's merge into this Kapila Teertham at noon for ten 'Ghatikas'(one ghatika is equivalent to 24 minutes). It is believed that persons bathing in it at that auspicious time will attain salvation from the cycle of birth and death ('Brahmaloka').[citation needed] Moreover, those who have never offered Pindam (thidhi or thadhhina) to their departed ancestor souls can do it here and wash off your sins for non performance of it in past. 

One more auspicious day is the full moon day in the Karthika Month, while attractive a plunge at the Kapila Theertham brings deliverance and peace and an additional beautiful sight, during the Karthika Deepam the whole temple location gets underwater in a flood of light.
 Many festivals like Devi Navarathri Utsavam, Kamakshi Devi Chandana Alankaram are special Poojas and Ustavaas and  Annabhishekam,  Float Festival, Maha Sivarathri, Skanda Sashti, Arudra Darsanam Utsavam, , Kamakshi Devi Chandana Alankaram, Devotees can perform Nithyabhishekam at the temple.  
You can also perform special Pooja's and ceremonies for the blessings of Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple. Among them the most important are

Sri Kapila Theertham  Sevas:-

S.No. Seva Price (Rs.)
1 Archana & Harathi 5.00
2 Abhisheka Darsanam 2.00
3 Sahasranama Archana 2.00
4 Nithyabhishekam - permanent 542.00
5 Nithyabhishekam - one year 42.00
6 Rudrabhishekam 50.00
7 Navagraha Abhishekam
& Archana (2 persons) 100.00
8 Archana Navagarahams 50.00
- for each graham 5.00
9 Sivaparvathula Kalyanam
(on every Mahasivarathri Day)
- for two persons (grihasthas) 250.00
10 Unjal Seva (every
Monday - for 5 persons) 116.00

The following festivals are conducted at the temple.
Vinayaka Utsavam
Annabhishekam
Karthika Deepam
Float Festival
Maha Sivarathri
Skanda Sashti
Arudra Darsanam Utsavam
Devi Navarathri Utsavam
Kamakshi Devi Chandana Alankaram
Devotees can perform Nithyabhishekam at the temple


The other places of interest are:-

Apart from some ancient Shiva temples like Gudimallam Parashurameshwara Temple, the others are Parasareswara temple in Yogi Mallavaram, Thiruchannoor Padmavathi Temple, the famous Sri Kalahashteeswara Temple and the Manikanteswara Swamy Devasthanam (Shivalayam) in Kanipakam. Some other temples are the Goddess Kamakshi temple, Veda Narayana Swamy Temple, Lakshmi Narayanaswamt Temple, Lord Ganesha’s Temple, Kumaraswamy and the Dakshineswara Temple.

1.The Tirumala Temple:-

 The seat of the Lord of the Seven Hills, Swamy Venkiteshwara, the God is an avatar of Lord Vishnu . This God is said to be second richest God in India.

2.Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple:-

 This temple is about 5 kms. from Tirupathi. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Padmavathi Devi, the consort of Lord Venkiteswara. Goddess Padmavathi is an avatar of Goddess Mahalakshmi.

3.Talakona Waterfall:-

 Situated 58 kms. from Tirupati, this waterfall is the highest at 270 feet in Andhra Pradesh.

4.Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam Gardens:-

 This garden is situated in 460 acres and supplies 500 kilograms of flowers to the temple every day. Believed to be built in the 14th century by two great devotees, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Andalwar.

5.Sri Venkiteswara Museum:-

 This museum in Tirupati has some rare sculptures and the displays even belong to the period when King Sri Krishna Deva Raya reigned during  the 15th century.

6.Chandragiri Palace and Fort:-

 Built during the 141st century, Chandragiri was the fourth capital of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. It was actually in the possession of the Yadava Naidus till it came under the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire in 1367. Chandragiri is only 12 Kms. from Tirupathi.

7.Rock Garden:-

 also known as ‘Shilathoranam’ is a place with natural rock formation in the shape of an arch. This rock formation, as scientists believe, is several million years old. This arch formation is one of its kind in Asia. The locals believe that Lord Venkiteswara walked under this rock formation on his way from the heavenly abode of Vaikunta to Tirumala.

8.There are some other theerthams like the Japali Theertham, Papavinasanam Theertham, Tumbhuru Theertham, Vaikunta Theertham, Akashaganga Theertham and the Ramakrishna Theertham.

How to reach Tirupati :-

•By Air:-


 The airport of Tirupati is in Renigunta about 15 kms away from the main city, where flights can be found regularly from Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Then taxis can be used to move from the airport to the city which costs about Rs 300. The International airport nearest to Tirupati is in Chennai, which can be reached from any cities in India and abroad.

•By Train:-

 The Railway station to reach Tirupati is in Tirupati itself and connects by trains to Chennai, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai and Madurai which is a common balaji temple route. Another railway station can be found 15 kms away at Renigunta. It is in the Trivandrum – Delhi route that the railhead of Renigunta falls and, therefore, is reached from all cities in India.

•By Road:-

 APSRTC runs free buses from the Tirupati Railway station to Alipiri, with a frequency of 30 minutes.  Even the KSRTC buses are available from towns in Karnataka to reach tirupati.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Mantralayam Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy - Mantralayam


                                              Mantralayam Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy

Mantralaya is a town in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh that lies on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. Today it is one of the most important towns in the country as it is a great religious centre and lakhs of devotees come here every year. This is the town which boasts of the presence of the Vrindavana of Guru Raghavendra Swami, a Madhwa saint who was a follower of Sri Madhwacharya. Thus the greatest attraction for mostly Vaishnavites here is the Raghavendra Swamy temple and the Math complex that is filled with people every year. It is believed that the saint was a reincarnation of Bhakti Prahlad who was a great follower of Lord Vishnu. Legend says that Prahlad saved the Lords life many times and ultimately Vishnu took the form of Narasimha and killed Prahlad’s father, thus releasing him from great evil. Raghavendra was a great humanitarian and it is said that throughout his life he has helped people and perfirmedmany miracles in his hey day. Thus even today, there is a great amount of followers of this saint. Raghavendra Swamy temple is one of the main attractions in Mantralayam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple architecture is brilliant with many inscriptions, structures and paintings all around. The calm and aesthetic atmosphere in the temple is inviting. There are also other temples that are of great importance here. Mantralayam tourism also offers pilgrimage trips to Panchamukhi Anjaneya Temple, Chinna Tumbalam, Bichchali, Urukunda and Alampur. A place that is easily connected by road, this is one town that should be visited for its unique feature. A sect of followers and a different culture always is one of the biggest learning experiences.
It is believed that Guru Raghavendra Swami is in the Vrindavana from the past 339 years and is believed to be in the Vrindavana for another 361 years. While entering the Vrindavana, Guru Raghavendra Swami stated that he would be there (in the Vrindavana) for 700 years.

The First Incarnation Of Sri Prahlada:-

Sri prahlada was the dear son of sri lilavathi and Hiranyakasipu. Even while in his mother 's womb, he was initiated into worship of Lord Narayana,by the sage Narada .Ever since birth ,he had been absorbed in the repetition of Lord Hari's name. He had no thought of this world.
Hiranyakasipu, who considered Lord Narayana as his sworn enemy, did not like his son's behaviour. He sent his son, Prahlada, to the teachers of the demonrace, Chanda and Marka, in the hope of reforming him and educating him to be good and virtuous. Prahlada had no taste for the kind of instruction imparted by his teachers. He paid no heed to anything other than the meditation on the Lord. He began to teach his fellow -demon pupils the greatness of praying to Lord.



Narayana and led them to join him in singing the praises of Lord. Hiranyakasipu sent for the boy and asked him to recite a verse which he had learnt from his teachers. Thereupon ,the prodigy repeated a verse extolling the devine qualities of Lord and the efficacy of praying to him in these words.
Those hands deserve the name that worship the Lord:
The tongue which praises the Lord,desrve to be called so:
The sight that beholds the Lord,deverse its name:
The head that bows to Seshasayi(one who reclines onthe serpent -king Lord Adisesha) is fit to be called so:
He then affirmed fearlessly that his mind which was drunk with the nectar of the meditation onthe Lotus feet of Lord(Narayana).could not rest on any thing else.

The father then angrily demanded of him to say where Lord Hari is present ;
The boy instantly replied;
"Donot dought the presence of the Lord in one place or another.Chakri (the bearer of the wheel Vishnu) is present wherever you seek him in the world". In the end, Hiranyakasipu subjected prahlada to many cruel tortures inthe hope of making him giveup his devotion to Lord Vishnu.He caused the boy to be trampled over by elephants.He had the boy thrown down the slopes of mountains, immersed in the ocean ,cast into a blazing fire ,bitten by venomous serpants and even made him partake of a cup of the vilest poison.Prahlada came out unscathed and undeterred,because of his abiding and unflinching faith in Lord Vishnu. In utter disgust ,hiranyakasipu called his son and demanded of him to show his god,whome he had descibed omnipresent,in an adjacent pillar.Prahlada humbly but firmly agreed to do so .In his inveterato anger and arrogance,Hiranyakasipu struck the pillar with his mace .Instantaneously Lord Hari emerged from the pillar, in the manifestation of the man -lion;

"Satyam vidhatum nijabhritya bhashitam"

To prove the veracity of his devotee, Prahlada the Lord emerged from the pillar to destroy the tormentor of the world and hater of god. None of the gods or even goddess Lakshmi be calm the enraged and ferocious Man Lion. There upon Lord Brahma requested Prahlada to becalm and please the Lord, as they thought he alone was capable of doing it.
So, Prahlada prayed to the Lord in deep devotion and begged him to protect the mankind and the unverse, to redeem him from the ocean of rebirth and to grant his father a place in heaven, Lord Narasimha who is always meciful to his devoties, appriciated the sinceare devotion of Prahlada becalmed himself and granted him many boons, besides bringing cheer to the gods by the resumptionof his pleasing looks. He anoined Prahlada as king and ordained that the latter should merge in him after discharging his duties and enjoying worldly pleasures as king .There upon, the Lord disappeared.
In obedience to the Lords ordainment, Prahlada ruled over his kingdom for long years and ultimately merged himself in Lord Vishnu.

 
The Second  Incarnation Of Sri Vysaraya:-

 
Sri Vyasaraya is one of the most reputed among the propagators of the Dwaita(Dualism) philosophy. He was born of pious parents called Seethamma and Ramacharya. He had his early education from Sri Sripadaraya. Later he adorned the pontific seat of the Dwaita School of Philosophy, a repository of the teachings of knowledge , devotion and detachment . In appreciation of his deep devotion, Lord Gopal Krishna would converse with him and even dance before him. As his teacher, Sri Sripadaraya had seen this with his own eyes, his affection for Sri Vyasaraya swelled all the more. Sri Vyasaraya wrote celebrated works such as "Tatparyachandrika" , " Tarakatandavamu " and "Nyayamrutamu".
Once while Sri Vyasaraya was at the shrine of Tirumala , the worship of Sri Venkateswara was hampered. He was asked by King Salva Narasimha Raja to offer worhip on his behalf (to Sri Venkateswara) . In pursuance of this expressed desire, Sri Vyasaraya conducted worship of Sri Venkateswara for twelve years according to the traditions and rites sanctioned by the Vedas and the sastras and earned the grace of the Lord.

During the reign of Sri Krishna Deva Raya once the ruler was afflicted with a disease named "Kuhu" and he was restless with suffering. He consulted some astrologers who examined his horoscope and suggested that he would be rid of it if he forsook his throne.
Sri Krishna Deva Raya decided to relinquish his throne and was in search of a proper person to take his place as ruler. He sent out his state elephant with a garland in his trunk and offered to appoint as king whomsoever the elephant garlanded . The elephant left the city reached the forest and trumpcated before a cave when Sri Vyasaray who was performing penance came out of the cave , he garlanded Sri Vyasaraya.
The royal servants who accompanied the elephant informed Sri Vyasaraya of the kings Order. Considering the elephant's action as a divine command. Sri Vyasaraya agreed to ascend the throne. With great exultation, Sri Krishna Deva Raya offered the throne as a gift to Sri Vyasaraya Swami.
Some time after Sri Vyasaraya had commenced his reign, there were impending signs of the dreaded "kuhu" disease. He descended from the throne and leaving his upper garment on it , stood at a distance.At once , the cloth caught fire and was soon reduced to ashes. The courtiers were astonishes. They praised the greatness of the Swami. The danger of the "Kuhu" disease was averted and Sri Krishna Deva Raya's life was saved.Sri Vyasaraya told the king that he was freed from the dangerous effects of the disease and asked him to re-ascend the throne and rule the people according to the discuss of Dharma.
Sri Krishna Deva Raya obeyed the Swami's command and began to rule over his empire.
Sri Vyasaraya who had performed great penance won the grace of the Lord and written various works of philosophy founded many shrines of Sri Anjaneya in the country.
Devotees well know that the Yanthroddhara Pranadeva's image was consecrated by Sri Vyasaraya at Hampi which shrine is called 'The giver of all boons to devotees'.
Sri Vyasaraya preached to the world for many years that "Lord Hari is the greatest god" and "Vayu is the greatest Jeeva" and, after winning universal fame, being worshipped by his devotees and adorning the supreme seat of the Dwaita philosophy for ninety years, attained the Brindavan on the banks of the Tungabhadra River , near Anegondi on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight in the month of phalguna of the year Hevilambi . At this place besides him eight pontific heads of the Dwaita School have entered Samadhi. So this place is called "Nava Brindavan".

Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple:-


Mantralayam, famed as a holy place by virtue of the Samadhi of a renowned saint Raghavendra Teertha, is a most sought religious location by Vaishnavites (Devotees of Lord Vishnu). Mantralayam, in the border of the states Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, is a calm and tiny hamlet in Andhra Pradesh.





Situated along the banks of river Tungabhadra, Mantralayam is a place blessed by the presence of Guru Raghavendra in his human form and thereafter in the form of a gracious atma(soul). The picturesque location of the place itself makes the people suffering from numerous miseries of life very calm and patient. Earlier known as Manchala teertha, today it is popular as Guru Raghavendraswamys Mutt.Location Mantralayam is situated along the river Tungabhadra in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh,in India. Air: Hyderabad (351 km) is the nearest airport. Rail: Mantralayam Road on the Chennai- Mumbai rail route is a convenient alighting station. From here, the holy town of Mantralayam is 15 km. Road: Regular APSRTC buses ply from Kurnool, Adoni, Hyderabad and many other places. It is 595 Kms. from Madras and 690 kms. from Mumbai and 360 Kms. from Hyderabad.
The venerable seat of Madhva Matacharya sitting in the holy Brindavan is 300 years old. Sri Raghavendra Thirtha has taken birth at the instance of Mahavishnu in Kaliyuga to restore moral order on our earth and taking the mankind towards pantheism. With his extra-ordinary genius he vanquished several pandits and won many titles like "Mahabashayacharya", "Venkata Bhatta" and was appointed as "Asthana Pandit". He was having a wife called Saraswathi and son named as Lakshminarayana. Saraswathi died, on learning that her husband renounced the wordly life. He became Pitadhipati at the instance of his Guru Sri Sudheendra Thirtha and commenced his journey for the propogation of lofty ideals and to establish Dharma.
On his journey, with his super natural powers he turned an illiterate man like Venkanna as a scholar, gave life to the dead son of Raghunatha Desai, made the pieces of meat, mischievously offered by Nawab of Adoni into fragrant flowers and fresh fruits and offered to the dieties, cured incurable stomache ache of Mallappa Scindia and prevailed upon Sri Thomas Munro to resume the Jagir gifted away by Nawab of Adoni. A Little More about Mantralaya Shri Raghavendra, the incarnation of Vayu and Prahalad, is one saint/guru who has been practicing the principles of Madhava. He is one of the greatest guru’s born in the 16th century. He has been helping and blessings the people from all walks of life since 16th century. He has been living in his Brindavan (a tomb made of stone) for the last 3 centuries and continues to stay for the next four hundred years and bless his devotees. He is known as the miracle god and he resides in his tomb in a small town called Matralayam (Miracle Place) in Andhra Pradesh, India. People from all walks of life and from all over the world go to Mantralaya to seek his blessings.

Dharshan Of Mantralayam Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy:-





Thungabadra river flows through the town. It is good to have a holy dip there and proceed to the temple. You can have a beautiful dharshan of the Sri Raghavendra brindavanam. In the evenings, usually, there will be three different chariots with Bhaktha Prahladha in them going around the brindavanam: wooden chariot, silver chariot and golden chariot. It is believed that Sri Raghavendra is an avatar of Bhaktha Prahladha. This is the reason for the circumambulation of Bhaktha Prahladha around the Brindavana. There are various pictures around the temple depicting the life of Sri Raghavendra. Temple timings: 5AM – 2PM and 4PM – 9PM. Lunch can be had at the Sri Raghavendra Swamy (SRS) mutt. There are also Panchamukhi (SriAnjaneya) and Bhikshalaya temples on the other side of the bank. This needs atleast half a day to visit.

Legend of Mantralayam Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy:-

Once, Guru Raghavendra Swami reached a village in which a rich man resided. He was against spiritual rituals and practices which were depicted in the Vedas. Hence, Guru Raghavendra swami accepted this as an opportunity to once again glorify the importance of the Vedas. Angered by this, the man took a muller and asked Guruji to make the sprout just like any healthy plant. Sri Raghavendra swami accepted this challenge. For next few days, he meditated and offered the holy water to the muller. On the last day, the man was amazed as he witnessed the miracle. The muller had sprouted and was about to grow into a healthy tree. He surrendered to guruji and became a staunch follower of the Vedas.

Miracles Of Mantralayam Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy:-
 
There was a Brahmin in sholapur . He passed the M.A., L. L.B Examination and, in his exultation, arranged a luncheon party for his friends. He partook of the luncheon along with his friends, but hard to explain, he vomited all that he ate. He could not his usual meal. His parents had him treated by eminent doctors. It was to no purpose. He used to vomit what ever he ate. One day, a Brahmin came to Sri Kamalakara joshi's house. The Brahmin was well aware of all the miraculous powers of swami. He said to Sri Kamalakara Joshi and his parents, " You had better go to Manthralaya and serve the swami for some days, the ailment will be cured. Food, which is eaten, will be properly digested. Health will be resorted." 
Kamalakara joshi was an atheist. He had no faith in gods or Gurus. So, he did not pay heed to the Brahmins words. But. The parents compelled him to come to the shrine of Manthralaya. He bathed in the river Thungabhadra, visited the Mutt and observed the worship and panchamrita abhisheka performed to Sri Raghavendra swami, with his own eyes. He took mangala harathi and the sacred water and sat in the corner. All the devotees went to the dining hall to take their food. Afraid of vomiting, Kamalakara Joshi did not go to take food. The Mutt people invited him to come and have his meal. Ashamed to tell them the truth of his ailment, he replied that he did not feel hungry. But, as the Mutt people forced him, he went to eat. He began to eat and as the food was tasty, he ate well. He was afraid of nausea. But, all the food he ate that day was digested fully. There was no sign of vomiting. Joshi was surprised. He came to believe that his food was digested by the grace of Sri Raghavendra and there was no fear of vomiting. He began to worship Sri Raghavendra swami daily with great devotion and fervour. His food was well digested and he was happy. With gratitude to Sri Raghavendra Swami for his grace, Joshi worshipped at the shrine for 40 days. His parents were extremely happy to hear about their son's restoration to health. They came to Manthralaya and conducted puja to Sri Raghavendra Swami.

Sri Kamalakara Joshi became a theist as a result of Sri Raghavendra Swami's grace. He regained faith in gods, Guru and Brahmins. His parents were overjoyed to see their son not only healthy but also full of devotion to god and reverence to Gurus.

History of Raghavendra (1595–1671):-

Sri Venkatanatha proved to be a very brilliant scholar from a very young age who learnt to play the Veena very proficiently thanks to his father and grandfather. After his father’s demise, Venkatanatha was brought up by his brother Sri Gururaja Bhatta and completed the initial portion of his education under his brother-in-law Lakshminarasimhacharya’s guidance in Madurai.
After his return from Madurai in 1614, Sri Venkatanatha married Smt. Saraswathi Bai in the same year and had a son Sri Lakshminarayanacharya. After his marriage, Sri Venkatanatha and his family went to Kumbakonam where he studied the Dwaita vedantha, grammar and literary works under his guru, Sri Sudheendra Theertha.



Sri Venkatanatha was already very well versed in bhashyas and consistently prevailed over renowned and reputed scholars, irrespective of the complexity of the debates. He was an ardent devotee of Sri  Rama and Sri Panchamukha MukhyaPrana Devaru (the five-faced form of Hanuman – Pancha meaning five, mukha meaning faces). He spent a large part of his Poorvashrama life teaching Sanskrit and the ancient Vedic texts to children.
Once while he was touring Kumbakonam along with his wife, Sri Venkatanatha and his family were invited to attend a function. Unfortunately, the hosts did not treat him well and wanted him to earn his food by running a chore. So they asked him to make some sandalwood paste for all the invitees. Sri Venkatanatha per his habit was chanting stotras and mantras while preparing sandalwood for Tilaka. When the guests applied this paste, it induced a burning sensation all over their bodies. Surprised by this, the hosts sought a clarification from Venkatanatha. He replied that the burning sensation was due to the Agni Suktam (hymn for the worship as defined in the Esoteric Vedas) that he was chanting while preparing sandalwood and thus eternal power of Vedic Mantras revealed it. This happens only when chanted with absolute dedication and devotion. The power is enhanced since it was chanted by someone as virtuous and devoted to Bhagwaan Hari as himself. Upon realizing his devotion and power, the host apologized profusely to Sri Venkatanatha and sought his forgiveness.
Sri Venkatanatha then prepared the paste again but chanted the Vedic Mantra to Varuna (Vedic rain gods) this time. It has been recorded that when the guests applied this paste, they were awash with a sense of being drenched in rainwater, reaffirming Sri Venkatanatha’s power of devotion.
He never demanded any money for his services and endured a life of poverty along with his wife and son. They went without food several times a week. On occasion, his wife did not have change of clothes. This forced her daily change of wear to be dependent on when the clothes dried. She would wear 1/2 the saree, wait for the other 1/2 to dry and wrap it around her. But he was so devoted in his quest for a higher spiritual plane that these obstacles never deterred his faith in the Lord. Poverty life continued and baby boy starved too.
Saraswathi got an idea, she told him to meet his Guru and take his refuge. They went to Kumbakonam. Venkathanatha and his family were welcomed in the mutt at Kumbakonam. Venkathanatha mastered all lessons at the Mutt. Swamiji took him to the debates against Adwaita school of philosophy at various King’s courts (Chola, Pandian etc.). Venkathanatha began to write commentary in all three Vedas following Acharya’s Rig Bhasaya, which was his ambition. But the circumstances did not favor his fulfillment. Venkathanatha was the apple of Shri Sudheendra Swami’s eye. He was thought quite well worthy to succeed the Swamiji, who was waiting for an opportunity to tell his disciple of his intentions. Just by the time a disciple named Yadavendra sought the blessings of Swamiji, as he was disgusted in worldly life. Swamiji named him “Yadavendra Theerta ” and he started on the religious tour.
Shri Sudheendra Swami was a genius of extraordinary and a soul of high spiritual efficacy. One day, he dreamt that Shri Mula Rama ordered that Venkathanatha alone could fit to rule the Mutt. One day he called Venkathanatha and after preliminary discussion of worldly interest, Swamiji began to reveal his intentions. Swamiji started with telling Venkathanatha that god was pleased with him and he deserves a post as the head of the Mutt. Venkathanatha could not understand the intentions of Swamiji and requested Swamiji to be clear of his intentions. Swamiji began to explain that there are many boats to ferry us across the ocean. But to all these our blessings are the sails which move the boats with great force and speed. Now why tarry on the shore? What fear is there to cross the Ocean? Venkathanatha could not understand. Shree Sudheendra Theertha knew that Venkathanatha loved his wife. When he explained clearly of his intentions, Venkathanatha expressed his inability and for renunciation, detachment was essential. So Venkathanatha explained about his wife, son and his shoulders were still young to take up the administration and responsibility of the mutt. So he was not inclined to take holy orders and take up Sanyasa. But was ready to submit himself to the mutt and Swamiji.
Time came now for Venkathanatha to succeed his Guru as the next Swamiji of the Mutt. Venkathanatha had a blessing of Sharada Devi, the goddess of Learning and that led him to realization of self and he narrated his experience of Sharada Devi to Swamiji and decided to do Upanayana to his son and accept sanyasa. He took sanyasa and Guru named him Raghavendra theertha. Saraswathi was shocked to
 hear the news and she fell into the well. She came as a ghost in front of Guru Raghavendra. He sprinkled holy water on the ghost and it attained Moksha by purification.  Guru Raghavendra was great in every respect. He was siddha Purusha (God realized person). He started performing miracles, Blind got their eyesight, Deaf could hear. As the time approached for Swamij and he was 78 years old. It was Thursday, the full moon, He announced to all his disciples that he went by the orders of Shri Hari and he decided to leave this world.
Devotees from all over the world came to see him as the news spread. On the second morning of Shravana, finished his morning religious rites and called all his devotees and said. This is our last day. Don’t’ be grieved. It is the order of Shri Hari that we should stay in this world to safeguard the interests of our faith. But we cannot stay bodily outside beyond a limit a certain limit as that would be against the rules of the present age. Therefore we are going to enter Brindavana bodily. To the last be faithful and be loyal to your God and religion. May God Bless you with all the things good. Thus he advised them.It was now mid-day. He distributed the theerta and blessed everyone. He called Venkanna Diwan and a prime devotee and gave him a parting message.”Venkanna-I am going to enter the Brindavana in an ogicposture and continue to do Japa (prayer) with a Tulasi Mala (Japa Mala/Chain of Holy beads) in the hand. When I stop the prayer place the 1200 Lakshminarayana Saligramas (Holy Stones) in a bronze container and Mrutike (Holy Sand) on my head and close it with a lid and then place some sand/mud. Venkanna was also entrusted by the Guru to build his Brindavan at Manchala (now Mantralaya). Swamiji asked enkanna to put a stone on which Lord Rama had sat during thretha yuga as the base. Nawab Sidhi Masudh Khan of Adoni granted Manchala village to Swamiji. In the afternoon, when the time was auspicious, Swamiji sat in a Yogic posture and started prayers.
The Brahmins were reciting Vedas and Shastras. Venkanna and others were supervising the activities. All eyes shed tears of joy and griefsimultaneously. As per the Swamiji instructions the stones were placed above his head as he sat in yogic posture. Thus Swamiji entered the Brindhavan bodily. As per Swamiji’s advice that very day was observed as Maha Samardhana Day. He was to live in atma form in the  Brindavan for next 700 years to come. In the Year 1671 AD, Guru Raghavendra named Yogeendra as his successor and entered the Brindavan. After Swamiji entered, his disciple Appanacharya sang the praise of his Guru and seeing the Guru’s Brindavan, He could not speak, the last verse of the song was completed by Guru in the Brindavan. Still Guru Raghavendra continues to bless people who think of him in their troubles and happiness.

How to reach Sri Nava brindavanam:-

1. Better way to go to Navabrindavan is by car and it is advisable to start early morning. It is about 200KM from Mantralayam. Roads are very tough but both sides of the road are covered by greenery with paddy, sunflower and cotton fields. There are also mountains nearby. So it is better to enjoy the nature than to complain on the toughness of the roads.
2. It would take around 4 hours to reach the destination. From Andhra border, car will go inside Karnataka border to reach Anegundi.

 Anegundi:-

Car will stop in Anegundi, which literally means elephant pit in Kannada. It is a small village in Koppal district of Karnataka state, located on the north banks of the Tungabhadra River on the opposite bank of the Vittala Temple. After reaching Anegundi, passengers can have breakfast at Hotel Sri Tulasi Garden. They give homely food and the owner arranges for travel by car also. You can go to SRS mutt nearby and inform them to have lunch there. They would tell you to return by 12PM sharp to have the prasada.
You need to walk a little bit to reach the banks of river Thungabadra where you need to take a motor boat to go the other bank. After reaching the other bank, you can have a holy dip in the river and go to Sri Navabrindavan dharshan.

There are 9 jeevasamadhis of the Madhva tradition. They are:
 1. Sri Padhmanabha Thirtha or Padmanabha Tirtha
 2. Sri Jayathirtha/Sri Raghuvarya
 3. Sri Kavindra Thirtha
 4. Sri Vageesa Thirtha
 5. Sri Vyasaraja Thirtha
 6. Sri Srinivasa Thitha
 7. Sri Rama Thirtha
 8. Sri Sudheendhra Thirtha
 9. Sri Govinda Odeyaru
You need to circumambulate 9+2 rounds to complete the dharshan. It is mandatory to walk outside the yellow line which is marked there. Also make sure to have dharshan of SriRanganatha and SriAnjaneya above the rocks. It is recommended to light 9 ghee lamps for the 9 acharyas, 1 ghee lamp for SriRanganatha and 1 ghee lamp for SriAnjaneya. There is also one more Anjaneya diety near the brindavanas wherein the face is in the form of SriAnjaneya, shoulders in the form of Bheema and the script in the hand in the form of Madhvacharya. At the back, Sri Nrusimha can be seen. It is better to get flowers, ghee and any archana items before reaching there as there will not be any shop near Navabrindavan.

After having dharshan, you can have lunch at SRS mutt and proceed to SriRanganathaswamy temple nearby, Chintamani temple – place where Vaali vadha took place, Anjanadri – birth place of SriAnjaneya (need to climb 600 steps up the hill), Sri Durga temple, Sri Lakshmi temple and Pampasarovar where Lord SriRama had taken holy bath. All these places are said to be the places mentioned in Kishkindha Kandam in SriRamayana. There is a Lakshmi Nrusimha temple while returning back at Urukkundu. Hampi is about 15KM from Anegundi or if you go by boat after crossing the river the distance is even more reduced. But we didn’t have time to see Hampi. But if you wish to see Hampi, best place to stay is Hospet and from there you can continue the journey. You would need atleast one day to sight-see Hampi. There are temples like Virupaksha, Vittal mandir, etc. All these areas belong to Vijayanagar empire.

Poojas and Rituals at Mantralayam Temple:-

Besides the special endowments, there are regular worships done at Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple.
•Regular worship of Sri Moola Ramadevara is done if HH Sri Swamiji is present at Mantralayam Temple.
•Among the daily seva, the Dinaika Sampoorna Annadana Seva refers to the food endowment that a devotee can opt for. He or she can pay a fixed amount and the prasada for the day will be funded with that amount.
•The Vastra Samarpana Seva refers to the gifting of clothes to the needy.
•The Sankalpa Seva refers to taking an oath and spending the life as per the oath. Held every day between 5Sankalpa Seva requires utensils for performing Achamana, a small plate, a whole coconut, a coconut to be offered as a symbol and change as dakshina.
•Bangaru Pallaki Seva, the Golden Chariot Seva, Kanaka Kavacha Seva, Rajata Rathotsava, Kanak Maha Pooja, Suprabhat Seva, Tulabhara Seva, Archana are some of the other seva that can be performed at the Raghavendra Swamy Temple.

Newly Seva in Mantralayam Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy:-

1.    Go-Grasa Seva:-

 The mutt owns a very big Go-Shala named KAMADHENU GOSHALA. It is stretched around 10 acres of land (Cow yard) at the outskirts of Mantralayam.  Around 700 cows are sheltered here. H.H. Sri Swamiji has proposed for further extending this noble service to public so that the devotees can participate in Go Seva directly at Go-Shala. Interested devotees can adopt a cow. An amount of Rs. 1000/- per month will be charged for this. One can adopt a cow for any number of months. Those who adopt a cow for a minimum of One Year will get 50 Parilama Prasadam, One memento and a shawl will be bestowed from Mutt.

2.    Pratyaksha Godana Seva:-

 A cow and its calf may be contributed to Kamadhenu Go-Shala. Devotees who are contributing the cow also need to pay Rs. 5000/- towards its maintenance. Donors will get 50 Parimala Prasadam, a memento and a shawl will be given by the Mutt.

3.    Godana Pratyamnaya:-

 Those who are unable to bring Cow and Calf to donate, may contribute an amount of Rs. 5000/-. The devotees will be taken to Goshala to perform Sankalpa of Godana. Donors will get 50 Parimala Prasadam, a memento and a shawl will be given by the Mutt.

4.    Svarna Pallaki Utsava:-

 Utsava Moorthy (Procession Icon) of Sri Prahlada Rajaru will be taken around the Garbha Gruha in Golden Palki.
 Seva Contribution is Rs. 8000/-
 (Devotees will get 50 Parimala Prasadams, Memento and Phala Mantrakshate).

5.    Vastra Samarpana Seva:-

 Vastra Dana (Offering holy cloths) for all Vrindavanas at Mantralayam is now made easy. No need to go around in search of weaver to get Vastra for Rayara Vrindavana. Just ask the Mutt authorities to book the seva on your name and visit Mantralaya on that date.  All that you need pay is
   
     Rs. 25000/- to offer Vastra to Sri Rayaru & H.H. Sri Swamiji
     (Devotees will get 1 A.C Guest house for 1 day, 50 Parimala Prasadams, Mementoe and Phala Mantrakshate)
     Rs. 50000/- to offer Vastra to All Vrindavanas, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Manchalamma
     (Devotees will get 1 A.C Guest house for 1 day, 100 Parimala Prasadams, Memento and Phala Mantrakshate).

6.    Dinaika Sampoorna Seva :-

 As the name itself is indicating, one can pay contributions towards all the Seva and Pooja takes place at Mantralayam.
     Seva Contribution is Rs. 100000/-
     (Devotees will get 1 A.C Guest house for 1 day, 100 Parimala Prasadams, Memento and Phala Mantrakshate).

7.    Dinaika Sampoorna Annadana Seva:-

 The Mutt distributes Teertha Prasada free of cost to all devotees. Average 5000 devotees per day will be fed through out the year. Not only devotees, students studying in schools and colleges in and around Mantralaya are also getting free food every day . Though very expensive, it has been an interrupted service. The Mutt incurs an expenditure of around Rs. 2 Lakhs per day. One can contribute this amount and render his support to this noble cause.
     Seva Contribution is Rs. 200000/-

Places to see near Mantralayam :-

Manchalamma Temple :-



Manchalamma Temple of Mantralayam is located near the Samadhi Temple, inside the Mantralayam Mutt complex. Goddess Manchlamma is the presiding deity of Mantralayam Village. It is believed that Sri Raghavendra Teertha requested land for the ‘Bridavana’ from Manchalamma and she granted it to him. Hence, it is a custom at Mantralayam that the devotees offer prayers at the Manchalamma Temple before visiting the Samadhi Temple.

Venkateshwara Temple:-



Lakshmi-Venkateshvara Temple or Sri Venkateshvara Temple, located at the heart of the Mantralayam Mutt complex, is another popular pilgrim destination in Mantralayam. Lakshmi-Venkateshvara Temple houses the Sri Lakshmi-Venkateshvara idol, which was consecrated by Sri Raghavendra Teertha. The saint, who is believed to be the incarnation of Bhakta Prahalada, is believed to have worshipped Lord Venkateshwara here, during his life time. The Tulsi Garden of Lakshmi-Venkateshvara Temple is the main source of tulsi for the temples situated inside the Mantralayam Mutt complex.
 Timing: 6.00 am – 12 pm
              4:30 pm – 8 pm

Panchamukhi Anjaneya Swamy Temple:-



Panchamukhi Anjaneya Swamy Temple is located about 23 km away from Mantralayam, atop rocky terrain near Bichchali. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman) who has five heads, representing Varaha, Garuda, Hanuman, Narasimha and Hayagreeva.
 It is believed that the swayambhu(self createdmanifested) inscription of Sri Panchamukhi Anjaneya Swamy was worshipped by Sri Raghavendra Teertha. As per legends, Sri Raghavendra Teertha was an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara and Lord Hanuman. He performed penance for twelve years and Lord Hanuman appeared before him in the form of Panchamukhi Anjaneya.

Vedic Pathashala :-

The Vedic Pathashala is yet another attraction of the Mantralayam Mutt complex. The pathashala is a prominent center of religious and cultural learning, which imparts knowledge in the Vedas, Puranas, Dwaita philosophy and Indian traditions to Vedic scholars from India as well as abroad, who come here for advanced studies.

Bichchali:-

Bichchali, also known as Bikshalaya, is a pilgrim destination near Mantralayam. Situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra, it is about 20 km away from Mantralayam.This place is famous as the meditating site of Sri Appannachar, who was the prime disciple of Sri Raghavendra Teertha. The house of Sri Appannachar in Bichhali, in which Sri Raghavendra Teertha lived with him for 13 years, is a popular pilgrim spot for the devotees of Sri Raghavendra Swamy. 

Chinna Tumbalam:-

 The Narasimha Swamy Tample which is about 200 years old can be found in Chinna Tumbalam. This place is about 25 kilometers from Mantralayam off the Adoni Road. Once can reach this place either through buses or private transport.

Kowthalam:-

 Kowthalam is the native of Sri Guru Jagannatha Dasaru, the famous Haridasa in the Dwaitha community. The temple is being renovated and a HariKathamruthaSara mandira is being build by K Appannachar a desendent of Sri Guru Jagannatha Dasaru. This place is about 30 kilometers from Mantralayam off the Adoni Road. Once can reach this place either through buses or private transport.

Urukunda:-

Narasimha Swamy�Tample can be found in Urukunda. After the recent renovation and the Annadana facilities by various communities, Urukunda is fast becoming a major piligrim center.This place is about 30 kilometers from Mantrlaayam off the Adoni Road. Once can reach this place either through buses or private transport. Mantralyam is a Hindu religious place where the Moola Bridavanam of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy is located. Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, (1601-1671), was an influential saint in Hinduism. He advocated Vaishnavism (i.e. worship of Vishnu as the supreme God.) and Dvaita philosophy advocated by Sri Madhwacharya. He is considered to be a reincarnation of Prahallada, the devotee who was saved by Vishnu, in his avatar of Narasimha. Shri Raghavendra Swamy is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and is believed to continue to bless his devotees to this day.

Alampur:-

One of the gateway[Westren] to Srisailam. Here God and Goddess worshiped as Brahmeshwara and Jogulamba respectively.  This pilgrim site regarded as  Shakti Peetha where the upper teeth of Sati Devi fell. The old temple was invaded by the other dynasty rulers and new temple was constructed nearer to the old temple. There are few more temples nearer to the main temple.

Accommodation:-

Accommodation (boarding and lodging) is not a problem at Mantralayam with number of hotels and restaurants that have come up of late, apart from the availability of number of guest houses donated by devotees and constructed by the Mutt. Besides, Mantralayam Mutt also provides accommodation to pilgrims in their specially constructed choultries, where rooms are provided at nominal cost. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation is also running its guest house ‘Punnami” where rooms are available.  
Another unique feature of this temple is the Mutt organizes free food facility (except on the notified days) within the Mutt to all the pilgrims in their spacious dining halls.  Besides Infosys foundation (a charitable organization) has also constructed a big dining hall for the convenience of pilgrims. One can easily find the details of accommodation from the Central Reception office as soon as they reach Mantralayam.

Mantralayam temple Darshan Timings:-

Mantralayam temple is open between 6 am to 2 pm . It closes from 2 pm to 4 pm and reopens from 4 pm to 9 pm, Entry to the temple is free. Mantralayam Temple Darshan usually takes about an hour, but can go up to 2 -3 hours on special occasions. The male devotees who want to perform Pooja themselves have to wear dhoti. While male devotees paying normal visit have to remove their shirt and female devotees have to wear Sarees or other traditional cloths.

Festivals celebrated at Mantralayam Temple:-



Mantralayam Temple celebrates various kinds of festivals throughout the year. Devotees can offer various kinds of seva to fulfil the good wishes and for the well-being of the family members.
•The Maharathostavam, also known as the car festival is celebrated with great pomp and glamour at Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple.
•Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy Aradhanostavam is another famous festival of the shrine.
•The Dhanurmasa month is of great significance at the Raghavendra Swamy Temple. Besides regular worship and rituals, special events like Tulasi Archana and Hastodaka, Rathotsava and Maha Mangal aarti takes place during this month.
•Devotees can request for special seva or endowments. There are lifetime seva or endowments which take place on holy days and again every year after the seva; the fund for the seva is raised from the fixed deposit of the seva that the devotee deposits the first time.
•These special endowment worships are not performed on Ekadasi, Grahana or Eclipse days and on Sri Krishna Janmasthami.
•Devotees can also offer seva without visiting Mantralayam Temple personally. They can send cheques and drafts for the seva and the same shall be performed on behalf of the devotees.

How to Reach Mantralayam:-

Mantralayam is well connected by road and rail.

By Road:-

APSRTC and KSRTC are running regular buses connecting Mantralayam with major towns and cities in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.  Kurnool (NH-7) in Andhra Pradesh and Raichur in Karnataka are two locations which are pretty well connected to Mantralayam. Apart from this private tourist operators are also running special buses to Mantralayam from various parts of the country.

By Rail:-

Nearest railway station is Mantralayam Road (Tungabhadra) on the Mumbai-Chennai main line which is 15 km from Mantralayam. From there it is about 30 minutes drive by Road.  All most all trains running on this route halt at Mantralayam Road.  Auto facilities are available for pick up from railway station to Mantralayam. APSRTC/KSRTC is also running buses to and from railway station at certain specific timings.

By Air:-

Nearest airport is Hyderabad which is about 250 km from Mantralayam.

Mantralayam Temple Address:-

Mantralayam,
District : Kurnool,
Pin code: 518 345,
Andhra Pradesh, India.
Phones : 08512 – 279459 / 279428.