Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mata Mansa devi, Panchkula

Mata Mansa Devi Temple at Panchkula is a symbol of Himalayan culture and faith. The shrine located on the foot hills of Shivalik is an epitome of age old tradition of ‘Shakti’ worship in northern India. Himalaya being the abode of Shiva and his consort’shakti’ became centre of shakti worship. In the vicinity of Panchkula there are numerous Shakti worshipping centers known by their names such as Chandi, Kalika, Mansa, Bhima etc. Hence, mythological speaking, Chandigarh-Panchkula region undoubtedly continued to be living legends of shaktism where its practices are in vogue.

However, the present temple which stands a witness to the exciting past of the Shivalik region is about two hundred years old. The archeological treasures unearthed from Chandigarh-Panchkula region throw eloquent light on the history and culture of the area from the prehistoric to the recent times. Although owing to the onslaught of times and climes many tangible realities of the cultural manifestations of the region have been lost in the oblivion, yet there are certain things which never die out. One such reality is the Mansa Devi Shrine and the tradition of shaktism practised in this part of the country, where the past has been rejuvenated for sustaining one of the living traditions of shaktism in India.

Two temples are located in the complex of Mansa Devi. The main temple is dedicated to Mansa who is worshipped in the sanctum sanctorum both in the form of ‘pindi’ as well as in her anthropomorphic form executed on a marble. In the sanctum sanctorum she is worshipped with Devi Saraswati and Lakshmi in the form of Pindi (Stone pebbles). Originally the pindis were only worshipped by the devotees. However, in modern times a marble bust of the deity was got sculpted for giving an attractive human look (form) to the deity. She is beautifully decorated with crown and other ornaments.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kengal Anjeneya Swamy Temple, Chennapattana

The following temple is located in Vandaraguppe village,Channapatna dist, Karnataka. The presiding deity here is Swayambu Hanuman, which is a five & half feet long, and the idol sprouts a mustache.  It is very seldom for a ''swayumbu lord hanuman'' to sprout a mustache. Swayambhu (also spelled Svayambhu) means Self-manifested or that which is created by its own accord. Hanuman idol emerged from the red rocks, and to this date it is still emerging. ''Kengal'' in Kannada means 'redstone' from which the idol is emerging from, hence the lord is  called here as ''Kengal Hunumantha'' also know as Kengal Anjeneya Swamy'' It is to be noted that the idol is usually decorated with bright orange paint, called sindhoor. This idol is naturally bright orange-red!    

Few 1,000 years ago, Vyasa (sage) was passing by a bright red boulder. Upon discovering this, he was all excited and visualized an Hanuman etched from those rocks. The omni present lord Hanuman, full filled Vyasa's wish by slowly emerging from the rocks, with crisp details as vyasa imagined. This also included a very rare yet a perfect mustache. The temple was build by ''Hoysala kings''. After Hoysalas, no one cared to maintain the temple and as a result the temple almost reduced to rumble. A Karnataka Cheif Minister who goes by the same name as that of the lord, renovated the temple. He was building vidhansaudha, and used the same rocks and granites to renovate the temple. He was a staunch devotee of this Hanuman,  so he was buried closer to the temple. His Samadhi is at a stone throw's distance. Thanks to the ex CM, the temple is well maintained by the devotees and the temple trustees. the temple sees more devotees year after year! 

This temple, like any other ancient temples, is quite unique. Lord came here to please Vysa. The sage who wrote Hindu epic Mahabaratha. The idol is very powerful and vested with a lot of energy. Hence people with ill intentions cannot withstand the idol; it triggers vibes that can be harmful. The lord is merciless in punishing the mean & bad. The lord also does not fail to bless the good ones. Good and bad is not necessarily decided by our actions, but how much guilt we acquire from it. This is a famous hindu piligrimage site for childless couples and people with other illnesses.  

There are other fascinating phenomenon associated with this temple. This temple never ceases to surprise its devotees. Few decades ago, the idol's face was facing north, and over the years it now looks east! As the face moving from one direction to the other, the hidden eye is also evolving. When the idol was facing north, devotees could see only the right-side mustache and a right eye, now both the eyes are visible and so is complete mustache.    One of the architectural marvel of this temple is that, the first (sun) rays on Makara Shankranthi Day (jan 14/15) i.e the first day of Uttarayana falls directly on the idol. This does not happen on other days! 
Kengal Hanumanthaiah Temple ...

The difference between this temple and other temples is that prayers are answered on your first visit to the temple. Standing in front of this idol, absorbing powerful vibes, will make a commoner into a physic there by knowing the answer to the individual's prayers. It does not matter which part of the world you are in, nor the religion, praying to Hanuman in silence will make wonders!   

May lord Hanuman bless us all!