Omnipresence of Giridhar Gopal

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Anupama Nair

I am now going to write about some Guruvayur Appan temples in other places. Let me start with the Uttara Guruvayurappan Temple in our capital city New Delhi. The dream of Delhiites was to do a ‘stapana’ of the Lord so that you do not have to go to Kerala to see the Lord. With this aim they approached the Delhi Development Authority or DDA.Initially, at the request of a group of devotees in Delhi, who formed a Society in the name of ‘Arsha Dharma Parishad’, the DDA,  allotted land in Janakpuri for the construction of a temple. However, unfortunately, the temple was not constructed at the allotted site in Janakpuri as the astrologer did not give the green signal. Then the devotees of the Mayur Vihar Phase-1, under the name of ‘Sree Krishna Mandir Samajam’, the temple was to be built in Mayur Vihar. “It was the will of the Lord that the temple was built there and the Lord Himself had decided that He wanted this temple at a site overlooking the banks of the River Yamuna”, said a tirumeni or priest of the temple to me when I used to live in Mayur Vihar Phase I. Notably, this is one of the few Vishnu temples where the idol is facing the West, instead of the East  so that the Lord can see the Yamuna.

“The Balalaya was consecrated on 8th April, 1983 by Prof. Vezhaparambu Parameshwaran Namboodiripad, with the Divya Vigraham (idol) of Lord Guruvayurappan, which was brought from Kerala. Prof. Vezhaparambu Parameshwaran Namboodiripad, an eminent Temple Architect, designed the present temple. Under his able guidance, Brahmamangalam Subramanian supervised the construction of the temple. The foundation stone for the Garbha Griham (Sanctum Sanctorum) was laid by Kanchi Kamakoti Peedatheeswa,r His Holiness Jagadguru Jayendra Saraswathi Sankaracharya Swamigal on 2nd October, 1986. The Divya Vigraham of Lord Guruvayurappan was consecrated in the new temple on 17th May, 1989 with Kumbhabhishekam”.

“The principal deity of this Temple is Sree Guruvayurappan (Lord Vishnu), who bestows his immeasurable blessings on the devotees who visit the Temple in large numbers to offer their prayers. Chottanikkara Bhagawathy (Devi), Lord Siva, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa and Naga Devata are the other deities whose presence enhance the divine aura of this temple”. The Silver Jubilee of the temple construction was celebrated in 2014. The year-long celebrations were inaugurated by Poojya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 31st August, 2014. An ambitious project for covering the Dhwaja Sthambham or Kodimaram, was executed to enhance the Deva Chaithanyam  or divine aura.

 

Now let me talk about the Guruvayur Appan Temple in Matunga, a suburb of Mumbai the financial capital of India. The ‘Asthika Samaj’ was set up as a place of worship in Matunga, during the British rule in 1923 by the will of my Giridhar Gopal. It was done by adorning the sacred hall with a portrait of Lord Sree Rama. In the year 1953 with the blessings of His Holiness Jagadguru Sree Sankaracharya Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, the Temple was inaugurated by the installation of the idols of Lord Sree Rama, Mata Sita, Lakshman and Lord Hanuman in a specially created ‘Garbhagriha’.

We can trace the historical importance from Matunga, which was previously the abode of Mathangarishi who, after performing the Mahayagnas on the banks of Pampa acquired the status of a Maharishi. The holy banyan tree exists even today fulfilling the desires of thousands of devotees. The spiritual growth of the Samaj over the years, coupled with the full support of the devotees enabled the installation of other deities – Lord Karthik in 1965, Navagraha Idols in 1976 and the Lord Kochu Guruvayurappan in 1974 and finally Swamy Ayyappan in 1978). The temple hosts religious festivals throughout the year.  The daily poojas are conducted with full devotion maintaining purity strictly by the Vedic, Tantric and Agama scriptures.

The Samaj also boasts of a Kalyana Mandapam  within the premises with modern facilities in the name of Sree Sita Rama Kalyana Mandapam which offers the best facility  to  devotees and the general public  for conducting  marriages, Upanayanam and any religious or social function.

 

This November is a special occasion for us the devotees of the Lord as the Maha Drvyarthy Sahasra Brahma Kalasabhishekam started on the 18th of November. It is noteworthy, that it is done very rarely in Kerala or anywhere, as it involves elaborate tantrik rituals to be performed by very learned scholars. It is a ritual that is rarely performed in ‘Maha-Khestras’ to enhance the power of the deity consecrated within the temple. This comprises vedic and tantrc rituals including Prayashchittahomams, Triveda-Mura-Puja, Maha-chatuh-shuddi, samadhi-shuddhi, ativasahomam, dravyavarti-mahabrahmakalahsha puja, abhishekams, etc. Aren’t we fortunate and blessed by the Lord?

 

The Maharashtra Governor, Mr. Bhagat Singh Koshyari attended the inauguration of a week-long ritual. The Asthik Samaj is also celebrating the Centenary year of its foundation.The Governor was fortunate enough to get the divine darshan of Lord Rama, Mata Sita, Lakshmana, Karthik, Navagrahas, Kochu Guruvayurappan and Swamy Ayyappan in the sanctum sanctorum. He also interacted with other devotees of the Lord. Everyone was entertained by the bhajans sung by a true devotee of the Lord Shankar Mahadevan.The Chief Tanthri of the Shri Krishna Guruvayoor Temple in Kerala Dinesan Namboothiripad, Chairman of the Asthika Samaj Temple Ventakaraman, Secretary P V Ramaswamy, Trustee C S Parameshwar and devotees were present on the grand occassion.

(At the outset, it was Sri Ganesha, Mata Saraswati, my Guru  who inspired me to write this article. I am only an instrument and it was my Giridhar Gopala who came as thoughts in my mind, which got converted into words. Dedicated to Late Uncle Pai for Amar Chitra Katha and the late B.R Chopra for the serial

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