Wish fulfilling temples in Bengaluru….Belief systems……Karyasiddhi Anjaneya, Narasimha Meru, Muneeswarar, Dharmaraya Swamy, Chokkanathaswamy, Nimishamba Devi…

Traveling across in India is a thrilling experience.  India’s diverse culture,language and its history associated with divinity, belief system and miracles are very unique. In the second week of this month I traveled widely in and around the city of Bangalore or Bengaluru, popularly known as Silicon Valley of India. I was keen to visit heritage spaces that stand out for many reasons in the nooks and crannies of this grand city.

I have selected to visit the following wish fulfilling Hindu temples in Bengaluru to experience the conviction of the devotees visiting over there.They are: Karyasiddhi Anjaneya, NarasimhaMeru,Muneeswarar, Dharmaraya Swamy, Chokkanathaswamy and Nimishamba Devi temple.

 Before getting into the nitty gritty of the subject I wish my heartfelt Christmas and Bright 2019 New Year Greetings to all my blog readers and followers.

 Karya Siddhi Anjaneya Temple

Thousands of devotees’ mostly youngsters’ visits the Panchamuk Karya Siddhi Hanuman temple everyday located at Avadhoota DattaPeetham, Girinagar, Bangalore. ((Karya – means any wish; Siddhi –fulfilled).   

On Saturdays and Tuesdays this temple is overcrowded. For fulfilling one’s wishes a type of pooja styled as“Poorna PhalaSamarpana” is prescribed with certain procedure. Alcoholic drinks and-non-vegetarian food has to be stopped during this period.

Devotees with a wish to fulfill has to necessarily visit the temple to purchase the coconut officially with receipt number  and dates written on it and after taking Sankalpam (praying to god with their wish) they tie the coconut at appropriate place as directed by the temple authorities.

After tying the coconut one has to recite the following Karya Siddhi Anjaneya mantra 108times per day as per one’s convenient time.

Twamasmin Kaarya Niryoge…Pramaanam Hari Sattama ….Hanumaan Yatnamaasthaaya…….Dhukkha Khaya KarooBhava

Also the devotees should visit the temple and make 41 Pradhakshinas (The action of walking clockwise round a person or deity as a mark of respect) at least twice a week.

This procedure should continue for 16 days from the date of Sankalpam and on 16thday they untie the coconut and offer either to temple or  the same can be taken back home and prepare sweets dishes and distribute among family, friends, and relatives. If a devotee fails to turn on the 16th day the temple authorities untie them and use it for temple Prasad preparations.

SRI HARI VAIKUNTA KSHETRA Narasimha Swamy Temple:

Sri Hari Vaikunta Kshetra is a Narasimha SwamyTemple in Bangalore located in the area of Roopena Agrahara,Hosur Main Road ,has 400 years of history. It is one of its kinds in India with “Narasimha Meru”.

 ‘Narasimha Meru’- a chakra specially made for Lord Narasimha Swamy that has all Mantras (Bejakshra) related to Lord Narasimha Swamy.     

Devotees visiting this temple have strong conviction that doing 48pradakshana carrying tuvoor dal (split pigeon peas) in the palm around Narasimha Meru will clear kuja dosha (health,financial, business and any other personal problems)

Swathi Nakshatra day sees special poojas to the deity here. One can witness thousands of people offering prayers inside the temple on every Swathi Nakshatra.

Muneeswarar– Temple

 This  temple is located in Hosur road near Christ University is very unusual in all aspects. Here you find the lord without priest. Unlike other Hindu temples no dome is constructed and it is open to the sky.Its origin,according to regular devotees, date back to more than 100 years. Devotees take vows in front of Muneeswarar statue to get god’s blessings and on fulfillment they come back to temple with their offerings as a form of thanks giving to lord Muneeswarar. Devotees come here from different parts of India.

Devotees have strong conviction that unusual method of offering prayers to lord almighty Muneeswarar in this temple would lock their miseries and unlocks immeasurable happiness and prosperity to their family members.

Unusual worshiping

This structure is surrounded by two big elevated rocks.One could observe both Saivites and Vishnavite religious symbols on it topping with small horse statues in white color.

 Also one could notice bells and locks are tied on to trishulsymbol routed on the ground. No priests are there and the devotees themselves offer flowers, fruits and food articles (Curd rice and sweet Pongal rice) to the god and the same are distributed to all visitors to this temple on that day. My informal talk with some devotees present on that day of my visit believes in the offerings of cigarettes, liquor and chicken to the deity.

DharmarayaSwamy Temple – Builtin the Dravidian style, more than 800 years old is one of those rare temples dedicated to the Pandavas and Draupadi is located in Thigalarpet, the heart of Bangalore’s retail market district is frequented by thousands of devotees from all parts of India and from abroad. Bangalore’s oldest community festival‘Karaga Shaktyotsava’ is associated with this temple. (Images for karaga dance)    

Bangalorekaraga
2018..
….The festival involves several unique rituals and a spectacular procession primarily celebrated to honor Draupadi, the consort of Pandavas. (Bengalurukaraga.com.)

Domlur Chokkanathaswamy temple-

This lesser known 10th century temple located in Domlur,
old airport road in Bangalore is dedicated to Lord Vishnu although named after Lord Shiva.

If you want to experience what is cosmic energy then you must visit this temple complex. There are 13 cosmic (pranic) points in the temple area. three of them are inside the sanctorum and ten of them are outside marked with white painted small square points.

Pranic point marked in the temple premises for praying

The common belief is praying for fulfillment of your wish standing on the exact locations marked here for a minute and do Pradhakshinas would radiate positive energy and would bring change of fortunes and good things in life in you according to the temple priests working here for years. On week ends you may notice many devotees waiting in queue to perform their prayers to fulfill their wishes.

Pranic point marked in the temple premises for praying

Another unique feature of this age old temple is sun rays fall on the deity directly at sunrise especially during the end of February to first week of march and also during September to October of every year.That is during the summer and winter solstices.

 Nimishamba Devi Temple

Nimishamba Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Nimishamba Devi located at Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, Bangalore.

 This temple is designed as per the Agama Sastras, constructed with red laterite stone (one of its kind in the city of Bangalore) in the traditional Parashurama Kshetra architecture style.

This temple has the shrines of Devi Nimishamba,Moukthikeswara (Siva), Siddhi Vinayaka, Lakshmi Narayana and Saraswathi. Devotees visiting this temple believe that they are getting instant boons granted by goddess Nimishamba.It is believed that Nimishamba will remove all the problems and troubles of her devotees within a minute and hence the name Nimishamba (Nimisha means 60 seconds) “Nitya Chandika Homa” is being performed at the Yajna Shala, in the temple premises.

 On my way back I was loudly recollecting what I studied sometime back that ‘People want both God and wealth”…. “Self is a matter of experience, not of intellectual understanding.”



 

 












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Beliefs and Life Styles -Kula Deivam blessings to encompass Seven Generations

I know it is very difficult for the Microsoft Outlook to predict a good date and time either for you or to your family members’ to visit a temple of your faith or to visit the nearby shopping mall to window shop the items meant for bumper discounts or in telling you when your techie son or daughter will migrate to greener pastures to grab more green bags! Or when you or your family members will hit a bumper prize in the TV reality show!

I also know that it cannot even predict what emails I will receive in the next five hours and it cannot match horoscopes and find ‘jeevan sathi’ for any one.  It cannot predict how many brands of smart phones will disappear tomorrow or the ups and downs in the global stock market index. We still call this as outlook! That is the punch!

Like that it has been a herculean task for me to request, the new generation members in our family who are far less religious or inclined to follow rituals, to pay a visit to our kula Deivam temple at Perungalur located in the Pudukotai district of Tamil Nadu, far away from the sea of chaos and definitely cannot be ignored by the map makers.

I always recall what my parents used to say when I was young that deeper the root that makes the trees stronger and one has to visit the kula deivam temple whenever possible and at least before or after milestone family social events like marriage or grahaprevesam (house warming) and so on.

symbolic protectionAccording to my parents that Kula Deivam blessings encompass ‘seven generations’.  Really I don’t know why it is said like that. I never questioned my parents’ wisdom to answer all my ‘whys’ associated with this belief of praying and visiting the kula Deivam deity and temple. I just accepted that as a family tradition to be followed and not beyond that. (You may ferry into my earlier post, Kula Deivam-Unique Tamil Tradition)

I am a firm believer in thinking that wherever you are in the globe that no greater heritage exists than family culture and festivals.

If you ask me innocently that how come worship is quite be restricted to the walls of the structures built at a particular place that has been created long time ago I don’t have any bold answers.

A person like me who lived and spent  more than 35 long years outside of my home state Tamil Nadu , India, got perplexed when I came to know that there is a temple for every wish in Tamil Nadu, and calendar dates to tell you when and what to do and not to-do.

It seems Astrology, Numerology and temple deity predictions by priests turned to be as a full-time career option. For hefty consulting fees spiritual and astrological advice is ubiquitous. Tamil Nadu boasts the highest number (70) of spiritual magazines published in India.   Equally voices are also there in exposing all hollow antics claimed by self styled gurus and babas.  Several Tamil TV channels too joined the band wagon in exclusively conducting program and organize events devoted to astrological forecasts and kula deivam deities. I also understand that such time slots are hitting the top viewership ratings.

It is also very sad to note that how the world today is characterized by an extreme avarice even to religion and faiths are concerned.  Who thought even spiritual enlightenment and worship would often command a business trading premium in real life in the hands of temple pundits.

Here I am not going to get into a debate over the ‘whys’ of Kula Deivam prayers or the wonder faith on powers beyond measure and so on. Definitely I am not an expert on this touchy subject.

Ignoring the noise in the social landscape after many months of debate and deliberations based on the dates suggested by Georgian, Victorian, Tamilian, Tamil panchangam calendar my family members mostly belong to the “cool” and  press button culture decided to pay a visit to the kula deivam temple at Perungalur on 6th October 2012.

The experience is great in knowing how Cities talk to you, towns talk to you and a tiny village’s talk to you. I wonder with my bright eyes that how many countless memories must have been created and recreated here over the centuries.   It is delightful to recollect now how our kula Deivam deity at the tiny village of Perungalur spinning out a long history of its own.  It is wonderful to see once gain how every inch of Perungalur reverberates with echoes from the past.

Lighting of lemon lamps-My visit to Banashankari Temple

The climate is salubrious.The weather is chilly.The day is a big day.2011’s Christmas Day.
The place I am referring to is the garden city of Bangalore in India.Be it for job opportunities,education,health facilities,parks and for tree-lined roads,cosmopolitan work culture and for many things Bangloreans are spoilt for choice.I also sucked into it.

Not attracted to the news paper advertisement jingles ‘Party for less”.

I in fact wanted to spend  the Christmas day differently.
I made up my mind to go to “Banashankari-Hindu temple,situated in the southern part of Bangalore,on Kanakapura Road.

The most popular temple in the city of Bangalore known for its folklore and its unique way of offering prayers-
lighting of lemon lamps and offering pujas or prayers during

Rahukaalam.

Banashankari or Vanashankari is made up of two Sanskrit words.
‘Vana’ in sanskrit means forest and Shankari means the consort of Shiva, parvati.

I understand that the original Banashankari Temple is located at Badami in Bijapur district.
It has a 250 year heritage.The idol of goddess Banashankari was brought to the city in 1915 from by a devotee Somanna Shetty.(Banashankari Amma Temple)
There are currently three temples of a similar nature.
one in Bangalore, the other two in Bijapur and Shimoga.

Worshiping the deity during inauspicious time (Ragukaalam)has its heritage in folklore as well.
I also gathered  the folklore attached with.That is during Rahukal 3 women who were pativratas or sumangaleyaru came to the temple.
The pujari(temple priest) asked them to wait because puja would only be offered after Rahukal got over.
But the women insisted the priest to perform the puja right away.
After the puja when the priest came out with the prasadam the women had vanished.
It was believed that the women were Goddesses and since then the tradition of offering puja during Rahukal has been maintained.

Prayers are offered by  devotees by lighting multiple oil lamps in half cut lemon peels, whose pulp has been removed.
Very nice to watch.

The temple witnesses three major festivals – Banashankari Utsav (Sept), Dasara (Oct) and the temple’s anniversary celebrations (Dec – Jan)
The first ceremony, commemorating the birth anniversary of Banashankari Amma, is held on 13th September.
The second one is held as a celebration of the Dussehra festival, in October-November.
The third, and the last, ceremony is held in the last week of December or the first week of January, to mark the anniversary of the temple.

The temple now comes under the management and control of the Endowment Department of the Government of Karnataka.

Looking at all the arrangements made for queues to contain and streamline people, the temple seemed to take in lot of visitors.
The temple is kept neat and clean.

I returned back from the temple with my thoughts that definitely the cultural continuity a product and cause of the social consciousness that exists in India’s heritage map.

Call it conflict.
Talk endlessly.
In a city where one lands to become a face of the crowd to join the techies population I wondered
how the customs, rituals and folklore continue to attract more number of people.
It forces us to think fresh.
To learn from it would be apt.
Here where do I record the echo of Boston to Bangalore slogan!!!

My visit to Dakshineswar kali Temple-Kolkata

India’s temple map is very unique. All are steeped in antiquity. And full of architecture and crafting skills of artisans. My son was in Kolkata during the first week of this New Year. So, a religious cum venture trip was planned on New Year’s Day. We all decided that we would go to Dakshineswar Kali Temple situated alongside the river Ganga (Hooghly) of Vivekananda Bridge north of Calcutta about 22 Km from BBD Bag and 40Km from Kudghat Bus terminus where our house is situated.

I debated for a while on how to go to the temple. As you know that talking about the local transport, Kolkata city may be one of the rare cities in India and for that matter in the world  that offers you so many options: local metro, trams, ferry, buses, taxis or the typical  ancient style hand-pulled rickshaws (that are still very much part of the cityscape). Finally we decide to board a local bus and then a river ferry to reach the-I -Dakshineswar temple-Kolkata.

After reaching a certain point by road when I stepped in to the local crude motor ferry boat to reach Dakshineshwar the cool river breeze continue to fascinate me and it was so refreshing to mind and body. While I was charting along the riverside route I could locate some very beautiful may be some of the largely ignored upstream gem of sites along the river Hooghly.

Finally when I reached the temple destination I was encircled by self appointed religious touts asking me to buy temple offerings from their shop. Of course I did not oblige and walked towards the temple.  The temple is dedicated to goddess Kali. A narrow covered verandah serves the purpose of an audience-chamber attached to the sanctum where the goddess Dakshina Kali stands on the breast of Shiva.  Since the sanctum sanctorum is situated in a small room and circumambulation is difficult. Unlike, as one can observe in temples in Southern part of India.

The construction of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple  was done between in 1847 and 1855, covering an area of about 25 acres. Queen Rasmani the renowned queen of Janbazar had founded this temple. It is one of the largest temples of Kolkata . (Hindu Temples)

Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the world famous spiritual GURU has also associated with this temple as a priest and finally achieved here his spiritual vision. His meditation room is open to the visitors.

The main temple’s vast courtyard is surrounded by 12 other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.  The respective twelve Sivalingas in the Dakshineswar temple are – Yogeswar, Jatneswar, Jatileswar, Nakuleswar, Nakeswar, Nirjareswar, Nareswar, Nandiswar, Nageswar, Jagadiswar, Jaleswar and Yajneswar

No visit to Dakshineswar is complete without offering prayers at the Adya Ma temple just 2km away from the main temple at Dakshineswar Ramakrishna Sangha Adyapeath  which was commenced in the year1921.  The dharshan at this temple is for a limited time. One should be there by 10 a.m. You can watch the one hour Puja and Arti and also have bhog (lunch),

Around the Dakshineswar main Temple entrance there are umpteen shops .A leisure theme park is also getting ready. The temple remains open from 6 AM to 1.00 PM and 3 00 PM to 8 30 or 9 00 PM. One can check up the exact time before planning the trip.

Visitors should not be missing any chance of tasting the mouth watering puchkas, churmur, Naleen gud sandesh and masala lemon tea, Luchis, pedas and jilabis sold in very small shops in not so clean environment around the temple area.

I did my share of shopping at the small shops around the temple by buying “Bamboo sprout” and Kjoor (date fruit) pickle, pack of rosogullahs, gulabjamans and a bag full of souvenirs and said goodbye to Dakshineswar located near the city of joy with fond memories.

Kula Deivam- A Unique Tamil Tradition

Last week I was traveling in and around Tamil Nadu in India. I met my well wisher staying at Srirangam famous for its temples.
During my stay I came to know about one unique feature of Tamil traditional belief about family deity or “kuladeivam”. Indeed quite fascinating.
Whatever information I gathered from my well wisher on the subject matter I would like to share its uniqueness with my blog readers.
Tamil, a classical language of the world is one of the oldest spoken languages on planet earth. Tamil culture has over the centuries evolved several customs and traditions and beliefs that encompass the life of a Tamil from birth to death. The belief on “kuladeivam” is one.
The cultural heritage of Tamil land has been historically more than 2000 years old.
Tamil Nadu is known as Land of Temples. Nearly 33000 ancient temples – many at least 600 to 800 years old, scattered all over the land.
In other words every town and village in Tamil Nadu has at least one temple for worship. There is a proverb in Tamil that says, if you do not find temple do not live in that place.
What is meant by “kuladeivam”?
“Kula deivam” is a time honored family deity in a village worshipped by generations of (paternal hierarchy) the family members and all the family members pay special respect and worship during important occasions like marriage or child birth, marriage anniversary, buying of house, agricultural lands or starting of new ventures and like any other important event that involves the family members’ peace and prosperity. A girl after her marriage starts following and worshipping “kuladeivam of her husband’s family. In short Kuladeivam is a village family deity.
Pictures of my well wisher’s recent visit to their “kuladeivam Deities- of Vamsodharanar and Mangalambigai at Perungaloor, Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu, India prove a famous quote that “God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere”
Also I read somewhere that “Faith is dead to doubts, dumb to discouragements, blind to impossibilities”. Do you agree with me?