[GHHF] Miracles do Happen! Fasting and Bhajans fetched stolen Utsava Murthies; Proposed demolition of Sri Seeta Ramaswamy Temples in Vizag stopped
Date: October 18, 2011
Sakrudeva prapannaya tavasmeeti cha yachate;
Abhayam sarvabhutebhyo dadamyetad vratam mama.
"I remove all fears of all beings even if they come to Me only once and seek My refuge; calling themselves as Mine-This is My vow. " –Lord Rama.
There is a saying that if you take one step toward God, He will take ten steps toward you. He is always attending to his devotees, their need, their problems, their desires and their fears. It all depends on the devotee’s passion, intensity of interest, abiding faith, unflinching devotion, and total surrender and constant remembrance of the Almighty. We have to remember the all encompassing power our numerous Gods and the Sadgurus. We should never forget the Gods who have blessed us with this body and it is only fitting and befitting this life to serve Him and reap the benefits. We should never allow the pathway to Gods to be rusted. We should never distance ourselves with Gods and neglect or belittle their power. We should never shirk our responsibility and dodge our duties.
Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Narada Bhakti Sutra, Bhagavd Gita, and many other scriptures as well as exemplary Spiritual Leaders lives are replete with the power of bhakti (devotion), nama japa (chanting of Gods names), bhajans (singing the glory of Gods) shraddha (faith), upavaasa (fasting) and saranagati (surrender).
The legends of Prahalada, Dhruva, Sabari, Ahalya, Hanuman, Namdev, Tukaram, Thyaraja, Annamayya, Alwars, Vaisnava Saints, Meerabai, and host of great souls proved the importance and significance of the power of Almighty. Their stories are a source of inspiration to human beings. Their faith moved the hearts and minds, and brought Gods from Heavenly abode to the earthly plane. We will try to remember few examples of miracles of these great legends.
Thyagaraja is a great Bhakta of Lord Rama. He composed as many as 22,000 songs on the glory of Lord Rama. He was totally immersed in spirituality through his sangeeta (music). It is through his bhajans, bhakti, saranagati and nama smarana he experienced some miracles in his life. His older brother Japyesan wanted to live a better material life using his brother's fame. Since Thyagaraja would not comply his request, his brother, in a fit of anger threw all the Murthies of Ramaparivar of Thyagaraja in the river. Thyagaraja was heart- broken and sang several kritis requesting the murthies to come back home for his daily worship. He went without food or sleep for days. Suddenly, while he was tired and dozing off, Lord Rama appeared in his dream and identified the location in the river where the idols were thrown. Thyagaraja ran to the lake and recovered the idols. That incident brought him closer to Lord Rama and more fame.
Another miracles happened during his visit to Tirupati. In 1839 during the month of April, he visited Tirupati to have a darshan of Lord Venkateswara but by the time he went to the temple it was closed. In sadness, he sang a song entitled "Teratiyagaraadaa" (remove the curtain). To the utter shock and admiration of all the officials of the temple who gathered there, the doors opened by themselves and the screen fell down. Thus Lord Venkateswara giving full darshan to Thyagaraja.
Similarly a number of miracles were attached to Tukaram. From the child hood he was very spiritual and talented. He composed more than 1300 abhangs, a kind of poetry devoted to Gods and also directed at the prevailing social condition. Tukaram was born into the “Kunbi” sub-caste - mainly farm laborers caste. In the village many Brahmins were jealous of his great compositions and they could not accept his skills and literary talents because of his lower caste status. They admonished and insulted him for writing prayer songs based on Vedas and puranas and forced him to throw the palm-leaf books on which he had composed abhangs. Tukaram immersed all the books with great anguish in the river since he could not refuse local customs and traditions. He then sat meditating on a rock on the bank of Indrayani River. After twelve days, Lord Panduranga himself appeared in the night and told him that the songs will come back to him soon. Early next morning, copies of songs came floating to the rock on which Tukaram was sitting, lost in contemplation. It was pure devotion to the Lord that brought the abhangs back to him to the utter astonishment of the locals.
The bhakti of Prahalada is extraordinary, exclusive, special, and complete. He is a role model for any Bhakta who wants to exemplify in his endeavors. He never wavered from his faith in Sri Hari. His total surrender to Sri Hari was exemplary and commendable. Although his father, Hiranyakashipu, tried to torture him by throwing him down cliffs, getting him stamped by elephants, dumping him in a poisonous snake pits, burning him in fire, throwing him into the sea with his legs tied, and throwing boiling oil over his head, his faith in Sri Hari never faltered, never shaken, never doubted. Chanting of Sri Hari name never stopped during these hardships. His saranagati to Sri Hari was unhesitating and unwavering. Lord Narasimha appeared and protected Prahalada because of his pure bhakti, full faith, total surrender and constant chanting of God’s name.
Similarly, Namdev made Lord Panduranga to dance with him as he sang numerous bhajans with full of bhakti; Dhruva with full faith in his mother’s advise went to the forests, had the darshan of the Lord and became a polestar I the sky exemplifying his firm determination, Shabari’s bhakti and faith brought Lord Rama to her hut to eat fruits, Hanuman was able to provide permanent place to Lord Rama in his heart due to his unflinching faith, unwavering devotion and constant chanting of Rama Nama.
Miracles do Happen!
Bhakti, Bhajans and Upavaasa fetched stolen Idols
Arvapalli village is about 14 kilometers away from Suryapeta in Nalgonda District in Andhra Pradesh. Sri Lakshmi Narayana Temple is located in this village. Arvapalli and Jajireddy Gudem villages were about three kilometers apart. However these villages have centuries of relationship.
Arvapalli has Mula Viraat Vigrahas while Jajireddy Gudem village has panchaloha (five precious metals) Utsav Murthies. Every year, during Brahmotsava festival time the Utsav murthies will be taken from Jajireddy Gudem to Aravapalli village. On Shivaratri day, these murthies will be taken back to Jajireddy Gudem where appropriate daily rituals will be conducted. For centuries, one particular family residing near this village is performing daily rituals to these Utsav murthies. This Temple has 450 acres of land. Unfortunately this land is not being accounted for as land grabbers occupy it. HDPS is investigating the occupation of these acres.
On August 18, 2011 some body broke into the Temple in Jajireddy Gudem and stole four panchaloha (five precious metals) Utsav Murthies. They are:
These Idols were believed to be 600 years old. When Archaka went to the Temple to do daily rituals to these Utsav Murthies, he was shocked to see the Murthies missing. The whole village came to know about the missing Murthies. They were surprised, shocked and upset. Along with Sarpanch the villagers went to the nearby Police Station and filed FIR on this incident.
Sri Kamal Kumar Swami, the President of Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi (HDPS) hear the news through media and was able to connect these villages and the Temples. Some of you may know that Sri Swami conducted two Padayatras in 2007 and 2008. During these padayatras he went through these villages to make people aware of their responsibilities to the Temples and the need to have faith in their mysteries of Gods. He and Sri D. Satyanarayana, General Secretary of HDPS, went to these villages on August 20, 2011 to meet and discuss the course action to be taken to recover the Utsav Murthies.
Villagers met with Sri Kamala Kumar Swami and Sri D. Satynarayana expressed their sorrow and sadness. They were despondent, dejected, unhappy, guilty, and fearful that something bad might happen to these villages for failing in their responsibility to safeguard the Temples. Discussed at length as to what might have happened. Sri Kamala Kumar Swami consoled them and advised him on the importance of having full faith in God, and the villagers’ responsibility to the Temples. He said bhakti (devotion) and shradda (faith) work wonders. They can move the mountains. They can bring the Gods from haven. Gods listen to the prayers of the people, gauge their devotion, pay attention to their faith, understand their sincere prayers, empathize their passion, and recognize their saranagati (surrender). He said God will definitely answer their prayers.
Sri Kamal Kumar Swami said that Lord Narasimha Swamy will come back to the village. It is attesting time all the people. The sorrow and grief should be converted to faith and devotion. That means the villagers have to take the first step inviting the Lord with full faith and devotion. To achieve this miracle, the villagers should fast one full day and no house should lit the stove for cooking. Every body should go to the Temple and participate in singing Bhajans and Keertans from morning to night. Lord Narasimha Swamy will listen to their prayers, feel their devotion, sense the vibrations and He will definitely come back to the village. On August 24, 2011 the villagers participated in the fasting and singing bhajans in the Temple.
Lo and behold! On September 24, 2011 Lord Narasimha Swamy murthies were found as the police caught the thieves. Thieves were trying to cross the Musi river in a boat that capsized. Then the police and the nearby villagers were able to recover three murthies and the fourth murthy is being searched. Now the villagers were happy and rejuvenated with more faith in God and the importance of prayers. As all our scriptures reveal that we as Hindus have to have faith in pantheon of Gods, should not shirk our religious responsibilities and should have firm commitment to protect their religion and their Temples. Happy ending.
Proposed demolition of Sri Seeta Ramaswamy Temples in Vizag stopped.
Determination, passion and fearlessness are essential for the success of any undertaking. Many people know exactly what they need to do in order to achieve what they want to accomplish in their life. Unfortunately they are not able to make it happen due to lack of opportunity, lack of interest and lack of historical knowledge. Some people take up some project to help the fellow human beings, but they give up too early. Lack of persistence and patience result in give up the dream. Hopefully, these quotes about determination will help inspire you to get back up and push forward. If you have any determination quotes you'd like to share, please contact me.
Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi (HDPS) and Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) made a commitment to preserve and protect Hindu Temples from government interference. They know that is not easy to accomplish the dream and challenge the government. But the work has to be continued and make a difference in the perception of Hindus to take the challenge. We know that we have to run miles and miles, visit villages and towns, and work years and years to realize the dream.
HDPS came to know that one of the oldest Temples in Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh is under consideration for demolition in order to widen the road. Immediately, Sri Kamal Kumar Swami alerted one of the local person to look into it. Then he called the Department of Archeology and appraised them of the proposed demolition. According the Law if any Temple is recognized as historical (temple that is older one hundred years old), the government has to inform the Archeology department and get permission to make any changes. The following letter was sent to Sri Chenna Reddy IAS, Director of Archeology Department in pursuance of the conversation.
Sri Chenna Reddy IAS
Director of Archaeology Department - Andhra Pradesh.
Sub: Requesting to SAVE 460 years old Temple building being illegally demolition of by VUDA.
We request your kind attention to SAVE 460 years old “Sri Seeta Ramaswamy Temple” situated at Goshamahal Circle, Vishakhapatnam.
“Sri Seeta Ramaswamy Temple” built in year 1540 by Late Ankitha Venkata Jaggaya garu, till date temple attracts devotees from allover Vishakhapatnam. In year 1991 VUDA has demolished and acquired over 8 feet for road widening with out any compensations either land or land value.
Presently temple is under threat for Demolition by same VUDA under same road widening program. Not only had the Temple building but also lakhs of devotee’s faith and beliefs shattered. This is gruesome act of VUDA targeting only Hindu Temple this is detrimental for peace and harmony of the society.
Hence we request your concern to take over the 460 years old Temple Building under Archeology Act and protect it from demolition. Thank you.
Kamal Kumar Swami, HDPS
Srimati Bhramaramba, Deputy Commissioner, the Department of Endowments talked to the Roads Department about preserving the historical Temple. The Assistant Commissioner of Archeology Department met with the authorities and explained about the Law regarding preserving the historical Temples. He also mentioned that unless the Archeology Department approval is granted, no action can be taken by VUDA.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) requested the local MLA, Sri Velagapudi Ramakrishna of TDP, to meet with appropriate authorities and take necessary steps to scrap the proposed plan to demolish the historical Sri Seeta Ramaswamy Temple. He readily met with appropriate Engineers and convinced them to reroute the road to spare the Temple from being demolished.
HDPS is preparing the documents requesting the VUDA to look at the acquisition of eight feet to widen the road in 1991and pay compensation for it.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation.
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