Friday, May 4, 2012

Mantralaya Hanuman


I have wanted to goto mantralaya from since when my roommate from undergrad told me about it. He lives in Raichur (north Karnataka, India) district and the place is around 50 odd kms from it. I took a weekend off in the blistering indian summer heat to visit my friend and also to see what this place kept in store.
Mantralaya is where a saint Raghavendra Swami took his samadhi. The temple is not very big (thankfully) and yet receives its fair share of devotees across the year. Its built on the banks of the beautiful river Tunga-Bhadra. The temple has a sanctum which holds a stupa where the saint resides, and right opposite it lies a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman in his supreme panchmukhi form (5 faced).
I have always been interested in Hanuman, I believe that he is one entity who is always on guard to help anyone who approaches him. He understands human psyche and believes that human beings should make their own free willed choices. Which almost always go horribly wrong from human perspective *why?* well cause humans always have an innate ability to see what they do not have/possess as compared to what they presently have. This nature causes human beings to be always on a suffering note. They are and cannot ever be kept satisfied, well hanuman - the first primordial nath always helps out in such scenarios.
Hanuman always helps those who ask from him, without asking anything in return (this is my personal experience)
Apart from this the symbolism used for him has deep impact when seen with open eyes:
Hanuman is a bhakta first and foremost, he is a master yet he never indulges in ego facades. This is a key requirement for all those who strive for self mastery. To be a master is always to be in a disciple mode. When you have learnt everything, then isnt the end near? What is the point to that as well.
Hanuman remains the vigilant, powerful, attention focused god whose will can create and destroy everything as is. It's kind of neat if you ask me, he remains the rock for everything. He will fix it if it has gone wrong. He will assist it if it goes right.
Hanuman is the immortal natha, he remains always through ages. Time does not seem to affect him and his continuous duty on this world is to bring love and peace through his own master - Lord Rama. He is a tantric deity who is as much a householders delight as he is for sadhus across ages and time.
I got an immediate feeling of being called when I saw the panch mukhi hanuman standing right opposite the samadhi of the saint. Somehow it felt that this was the first time i have seen two objects of worship opposing each other under the same roof. It was indeed weird.
As everyone knows, wherever one goes for worship, the object of worship is but one. This was perhaps the first time when I saw that there were two of them and opposing each other.
The intent of the temple artists was to show that the saint actually merged with the object, and is currently still in deep contemplation of the same. What a wonderful concept shown through temple architecture!
My friend and I visited the temple and the river close by (the river had all but dried up. It was in a pathetic condition maybe cause of the huge influx of tourists to mantralaya).
The temple also has a beautiful simple and serene idol of mother chandi. She is in her benign form and is looking ravishing simply.
Though the temperatures were over 40 degrees through the trip, and walking barefoot on stone in these conditions is an insane impossible task - yet my friend and i managed it without any real in depth faith or need. We wanted to see another place; and we were amazed at what we could see :)
Peace and Love.

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