Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kanta-baunsiani (Thorn-Bamboo Goddess) -Damanjodi

Today, I will be writing about orissa’s famous Adivasi’s temple,  Kanta-baunsiani (Thorn-Bamboo Goddess) in Damanjodi of Koraput dist in Orissa.  Adivasi literally translates to ‘’aboriginals’’. Adivasis have syncretic beliefs combining animism. Their pantheon has both the common Hindu gods and their own. The gods and goddesses are always attributed to various natural phenomena, objects, trees, animals, etc. Damanjodi is a valley situated among the panchpatmali hills. Except for this bamboo forest, one can find no other bamboo tree in whole of Pancpatmali hills.

Kanta-Baunsiani Devi in Damanjodi is in the form of bamboos.  These bamboos are revered as holy, not only by the aboriginals but also worshipped by other people.  Like any other temple, there are no idols or a temple structures here. There are no fences for these Bamboos. This temple is located very close to NALCO, Asia’s largest Aluminum-Bauxite Mine. This Bamboo forest is the main temple for the local indigenous tribes. It is a very famous temple in Damanjodi Area. Kanta-Baunsiani is the reincarnation of Goddess Durga.

NAlco, has brought major developments in the Damanjodi area, however Kanta-Baunsiani is an exception. This holy bamboo Temple retains its primitive appearance, undisturbed by mans interference. Man has not dared to fiddle in this holy forest. Nor alien cultures have taken over this place. One needs to know that the tribes and others consider each and every bamboo in the forest as sacred sanctum of goddess Durga.  And the loosely dangling long bamboos in the bamboo bushes that resembles like swords are revered as Lord Shiva or shakthi lingam, the consort of Goddess Durga. The bamboos here were all formed on its own. There are no other bamboo trees in entire Panchpatmali hill area.

There are quite interesting stories how this bamboo forest/temple was formed. One such interesting story is that a hunter’s family of 7 brothers and sisters who lived in a boarder village (between Andra Pradesh & Orissa) had come to this village along with their dog for hunting. After a successful hunt, the siblings decided to spend the night here. They hid their hunting weapons like bow and arrow, daggers, swords etc nearby. When they woke up next morning, all their weapons were mysteriously vanished and in that place tall bamboo trees were replaced and a Shiva lingam also appeared. They were surprised by this transformation. They informed this miracle to the tribes of Sindubar village. And people started worshiping these bamboo trees.

There is also another interesting story. Akalya the daughter of hunter Dushyanth Dame` was married to an adept hunter by the name Vasudeva Dame. The newly wed couple was heading to Kunjguda village to visit a temple there. The temple proceedings were taking too long. So the couple decided to hide their hunting weapons here. They then headed back to the temple. Next day, when they returned to retrieve their weapons, They were taken by Surprise. The Place was turned in to huge bamboo forest. When akalya’s feet touched the ground; she fell unconscious. They started believing that the girl has some divine powers. To confirm this, the head of the village had a vision in his dreams that the girl indeed has divine powers and is none other than Adi Shakthi (Durga). From that day on, this bamboo forest became the temple of Adivasis.

Even when bamboos die, no one will clean it. Every year many bamboos die, and many are grown, all on its own. No one waters these bamboos or maintains the bamboo forest. They solely depend on the rain. None of the bamboo is used for personal reasons. Every Tuesday devotees from far, far away throng this temple. There is a pond in this Bamboo temple. No one uses this pond. Washing hands or legs is a strict no. The temple festival is celebrated on the 1st full moon day in month of January. A branch of a bamboo is considered as shakthi Lingam is given bath in this pond. Then kept on the elevated platform, after which the devotees worship the Shakthi Lingam. This has been the practice for many centuries now.  These holy bamboos are decorated beautifully with red cloths with golden boarders.  Devotees offer a special kind of fish and Pigeon to the Devi.

Kanta-Baunsiani is considered as very powerful goddess and she doesn’t prefer any structure in the bamboo forest. The goddess before hand warns people who have tried to renovate and expand the temple.  The goddess Kanta-baunsaini shows up in her devotees’ dreams and says ‘no’ to any structures. There was a famous king by the name Vikram Kesori who ruled Koraput and keeping his capital as Jaipur, which is 50 kms away from the Bamboo Temple. Every time he traveled to this temple, he always came on his Elephant to get the blessings of Goddess kanta-Baunsiani. It was a tradition for the kings to build big and beautiful temples for their favorite gods and goddess. The king decided to build a temple for Kanta-Baunsaini. However his desire was dampened when goddess showed up in his dreams and requested to stop all the activities right away. The idea of expanding the temple was dropped. 

In recent times, NALCo wanted to develop the temple. So they hired a couple of laborers to remove some of the bamboos that was on the way.  However, the work turned costly when each and every labor indulged in that project died under mysterious circumstances. The work was halted. However, with goddess permission, an entrance gate just outside the holy land was built.

May the goddess Durga bless us all with happiness, prosperity and wealth!  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple-Kateel

Kateel, a famous pilgrimage and a tourist center is situated on the banks of River Nandini, amidst beautiful surroundings. Kateel surrounded by panoramic scenes and beautiful hills. The temple at Kateel is dedicated to Goddess Durgaparameshwari (also known as Bhraamare or Bhramarambha). The holy temple is situated in the middle of the sacred river, Nandini. Kateel is located 25 Km North of Mangalore city in Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) district.

Legend of Kateel:
During the early part of Kaliyuga, severe draught hit this place. It did not rain for years, the earth was parched and the rivers were dry. People suffered scarcity of water and food grains on the earth. Even Brahmins were forced to eat meat for survival and the people were on the verge of becoming cannibals.

The great sage Jabali (jaabaali Maharshi) was disturbed from this. Through his 'Jnana Drishti', he learned that Arunasura the demon king who escaped from death and fled when goddess Durga slew Shumba and Nishumba. Later he became the leader of the demons and began to disturb the sages and destruct their Yajnas as a revenge against the gods. This has resulted in drought and scarcity for years.

Jabali maharshi, decided to perform a Yajna to put an end to people sufferings & to bring peace. He went to devaloka, approached Devendra and requested him to send the celestial cow, Kamadhenu with him for the yajna. Devendra informed Jabali to take Nandini (Kamadhenu's daughter) instead, as Kamadhenu had been to Varuna Loka.

Jabali went to Nandini and requests to accompany him but Nandini, insolent and egoistic, refused to accompany Jabali to the earth as she termed it the land of sinners. Jabali, in his anger curses Nandini to flow as a river on the earth. Realising her mistake, Nandini prayed for mercy, kindhearted sage advised her to pray to Goddess Durga to freed her from the curse. Nandini prayed to Goddess Durga, who appeared before Nandini and told her that she has to flow as a river as a result of the curse because the curse of Jabali Maharshi could not be taken back. Goddess Durga informed Nandini "I shall take birth as your daughter at the center of the river and free you from this curse".

Nandini emerged as a river from Kanakagiri on 'Magha shudda Poornima' day. Jabali performed his yajna. All gods were pleased and the earth was once again green.

Meanwhile Arunasura performs a rigorous penance to gets a boon from Lord Brahma, which he would not suffer death by Devas, Danavas, Men or Women, any two legged or four legged creature or any weapons. Brahma also blessed him with Gayatri Mantra. This makes Arunasura free from fear of death and he becomes more powerful.

Arunasura wages war on gods and defeats them and conquers devaloka. The Devas prayed Goddess Durga for rescue. Goddess said that unless and until Arunasura is prevented from reciting Gayathri Mantra she too would not be able to destroy him. The devas sent Deva Guru Brihaspati to Arunasura, Brihaspati praised Arunasura's powers and questioned the necessity of his reciting a mantra to another god. Flattered by this praise. Arunasura gave up reciting the Gayatri mantra.

One day Goddess Durga took shape of Mohini, a charming woman and appeared in Arunasura's garden. Seeing this charming beauty Arunasura, decided to marry her and approached her. The beautiful lady revealed the true that, she had killed Shumba and Nishumba (from whom Arunasura had escaped death). By listening this, Arunasura got angry and tries to kill the woman with his sword. She disappeared into a rock. Arunasura slashed the rock with his sword. Suddenly, a vast swarm of bees emerged from the rock and stung him. Goddess Durga had taken the form of a big, furious bee that is 'Bramara' and stung him repeatedly till his last breath.

Gods led by Jabali Mahrshi performed abhisheka with tender coconut water and prays Bramaraambika to bless the world in her Saumya Roopa (tender posture). Then Goddess appeared in her Saumya Roopa in the middle of the river where present structure of the temple imparts its glory to the world.
The Name KATEEL:
The word 'Kati' which means 'center' (between the 'Kanakagiri', birthplace of river Nandini and the end) and 'lla' which means 'area'. Thus the place is called 'Kati + lla' - Kateel.

Thus Nandini is freed from curse of Jabili by the birth of Godess Durga Parameshwari in her. 

Found this beautiful temple story of ''Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple'' from here I have not edited anything and reproducing it as it is from the website. Amazing story and every Devi devotee has to read this Temple Story to know how Great the ''Durga Ma'' is. 

May the Divine mother bless us all with happiness, prosperity and health! 

Jai Mata di! 

Hello All!

I know it has been long time since I have written anything here. I apologize for the absence. Now, that I am back I will make sure I write temple stories more frequently. Besides, writing temple stories, I have made it a point that I write more on gods and goddess, mantras, etc. I take this opportunity to thank everyone for giving me their support.  My sincere thanks to my reader Mohan who is now following my blog. My readers are my inspiration at any given time.  Please do let me know as how I am doing and what you think of this blog. Leave me your precious comments and feedback.

May the god bless you will all the happiness, prosperity and health.

Jai Hanuman!!    

Sri Chamundeshwari temple- Gowdagere


 years ago, a 6th grader in his farm was playing with his friends. They decided to build a miniature temple with a few bricks, twigs and leaves. They built the temple. Now, all they needed was a god’s idol to worship. One boy took the responsibility of bringing in an idol. As he was heading for his house, on the way he found a very small Chamundeshwari Devi idol, made out of metal. He picked it up, and placed it at the centre of the temple tent. The idol was too small and was hardly visible. The boy decided to bring a bigger Chamundeshwari Devi photo from his house. With the Chamudeshwari photo, the boys prayed. It was just any other day until the boy (who found the idol & brought the picture) fell unconscious. From that day on the small boy looked very weak and was fainting every day. The worried parents took the boy to the finest Specialists doctors, however all the reports pertaining to boy’s health was absolutely normal. They then decided that it may be a work of black magic and so consulted many witch doctors. No one could help the parents or the boy. Then there came an astrologer, who after looking at the boy’s horoscope delivered the good news to the boy’s parents. He said, ‘‘your boy is absolutely fine and he has no illness nor he is possessed by the bad spirits. He has acquired clairvoyance by the grace of goddess Chamundeshwari Devi –their home deity.’’ He told the parents not mistake ‘’Trance’’ with fainting. The parents looked revealed. 

The boy started foretelling while he is in trance. All his words started coming true. The villagers were astonished by the boy’s accuracy. One day while in Trance told his parents that it is the order of Goddess Chamundeshwari Devi that there should be a temple erected for her just next to field where the boy initially built the miniature temple. People took the orders very seriously and built a small simple temple for the goddess. From that day on the boy became the priest of the small temple. 

Mallesh is in his early 20s. He has taken the responsibility of taking care of the temple. He says that every time he stepped inside the sacred Sanctum of Sri Chamundeshwari Devi Temple, he can feel the strong energy all over his body. He says as soon as he enters and takes a good look at the idol, all that he could hear and see is the sound of anklets of a very small girl (5/6) wearing traditional silk skirt and finally merging with the idol. He has no memory as what happens next. And this has been this way for quite some time. This is the time he starts foretelling, he addresses all the devotees with out seeing them by their name. He also states their problems individually and also gives solution to it. 

The entire village considers this temple to be very powerful. Also, one of the interesting facts about this temple is the ‘’temple ox’’ or ‘’basava’’. It is believed that when Mallesh was in trance he requested for the ox for the temple. The ox also has the same powers as that of mallesh and they work in tandem at the temple. When Mallesh is in trance, the ox would be normal and vice versa. 

A local farmer was incurring a lot of loss in his business. He did not know as what was happening. Mallesh while in trance informed the farmer that it was the work of a black magic. He also gave the solution to it. The materials used for the black magic were all hidden in the farm and the farmer did not know how to find it has he had a quite a big farm. To ease the farmer's stress, mallesh (now out of his trance) sent the temple ox to the farmer’s field. The temple ox came around his field and abruptly stopped at one point. With his horn, it poked the ground. The farmer started digging the ground fanatically. For his shock he found a small metal pot and the black magic materials in his field. A Kannada news Channel captured this whole event live. 

The temple has been a sanctuary for the people affected by the black magic. This place is also a very important destination for the alcoholics who have difficulty in quitting. Just visiting this temple alone, will destroy any negative energy. The goddess here is real and very powerful.  So if you think you might be a victim of black magic, this is the temple you need to be heading to.  One important thing to be noted is Mallesh is not considered as a “”SWAMIJI’’ by the villagers he is treated like any other 23/24 year old. The powerful Chamundeshwari Devi Temple is located in Gowdagare in Channapattana Taluk of Ramanagaram Dist in Karnataka. The goddess her is extremely powerful. So when you are in Bangalore do not forget to seek her blessings. 

May the Chamundeshwari Devi removes all our hurdles and blesses us with happiness, prosperity and good health.