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Shree Ballaleshwar Temple (Ashtavinayak)

Shree Ballaleshwar Temple
Ballaleshwar Temple

Shree Ballaleshwar Temple (Ashtavinayak)

Ballaleshwar “Ballal’s Lord” temple is one of the eight temples of Lord Ganesha. Among Ganesha temples, Ballaleshwar is the only incarnation of Ganesha that is known by his devotee’s name. It is located in the village of Pali which is at a distance of 30 km from Karjat in the Raigad district. It is situated between fort Sarasgad and the river Amba.

The original wooden temple was renovated in 1760 to make way for a new stone temple designed by Shri Fadnis. Built in the shape of the letter Shri, it was made by mixing lead with the cement during construction. The east-facing temple was carefully positioned so that, as the sun rises, sun rays fall directly on the murti during worship. The temple contains a bell that was brought back by Chimaji Appa after his defeat of the Portuguese in Vasai and Sasti.

The temple complex encircles two lakes and is tiled throughout. There are two sanctums in the temple, an inner and an outer sanctum. The inner canctum is 15 feet (4.6 m) high, while the outer sanctum is only 12 feet (3.7 m) high. The outer sanctum contains a murti in the shape of a rat, holding modak in its hands while facing Ganesha. The main hall of the temple is 40 feet (12 m) long and 20 feet (6.1 m) wide and contains eight pillars resembling cyprus trees.

The murti of Vinayaka sits on a stone throne, facing east with its trunk turned left and sitting against a background of silver which displays Riddhi and Siddhi waving chamaras. The murti’s eyes and navel contain diamonds.

About The Legend

In the village of Pali lived a successful businessman named Kalyan with his wife, Indumati. Their son, Ballal, and the other children in the village used to play puja, using stones in place of murtis. Once, the children, going to the outskirts of the village, saw a very large stone. At the insistence of Ballal, the children worshiped the stone as Ganesha. Led by Ballal, the children became so engrossed in their worship that they forgot about hunger and thirst; day and night.

Meanwhile, the parents of the village anxiously waited for their children to come home. When the children did not return on time, they all went to Kalyan’s house and complained about his son Ballal. Kalyan, flying into a rage, took a stick and went in search of the children. Eventually, he found the children listening to the Ganesha Purana. In his fury, he destroyed the small temples built by the children, who fled away in terror, leaving Ballal by himself. Ballal, completely submerged in devotion to Ganesha, was grabbed by his father and beaten until blood drenched his clothes. His father proceeded to tie him to a tree and trampled on all the puja materials collected by the children. Lifting the large stone which the children had treated as Ganesha, he threw it to the ground, breaking it into pieces. He taunted Ballal, “Now we shall see which God protects you!” Going home, he left his own son bound to the tree to die.

Still bound to the tree, Ballal cursed his father for having insulted Ganesha, “May he become blind, deaf, dumb, and hunchbacked for his disrespect to the son of Parvati!” Though filled with pain, hunger, and thirst, he continued chanting the name of Ganesha until, exhausted, he fainted. On waking, Ballal entreated Ganesha to come to his aid. Lord Ganesha, moved by the child’s devotion, appeared in the form of a sadhu before Ballal and untied him from the tree. On seeing Ganesha, Ballal’s thirst and hunger vanished; his wounds were healed and he was completely invigorated. He prostrated before the sadhu, recognizing him as Ganesha, and worshipped him. Ganesha told Ballal he would bless him with whatever he asked for as a reward for his devotion. Ballal entreated, “May I be your unshakeable devotee, and may you always stay in this place and remove the miseries of the people who seek refuge in you.” Ganesha said, “I shall ever remain here, and will take your name before mine, being worshiped as Ballal’s Lord (BallalEshwar).” He embraced Ballal and vanished into the nearby stone. The stone’s cracks disappeared and was made whole again.

That stone statue is called Ballaleshwar. The stone idol which Kalyan threw to the ground is also known as Dhundi Vinayak. This is a swayambhu murti and is worshiped before Ballaleshwar is worshiped.

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is one of the sacred temples of the Hindu god Hanuman in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is situated by the Assi river on near to the Durga and the New Vishwanath temple within the Banaras Hindu University campus.

Sankat Mochan in Hindi means reliever from troubles. The current temple structure was built in early 1900s by the educationist and freedom fighter, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder of Banaras Hindu University. Hanuman Jayanti, the birthday of Hanuman, is celebrated in fanfare, during which a special shobha yatra, a procession starting from Durgakund adjacent to the historic Durga Temple to Sankat Mochan, is carried out.

Legends:

It is believed that the temple has been built on the very spot where Tulsidas had a vision of Hanuman. Sankat Mochan Temple was founded by Tulsidas who was the author of the Ramacharitamanasa, which is the Awadhi version of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana originally written by Valmiki.

Tradition promises that regular visitors to the temple will gain the special favor of Lord Hanuman. Every Tuesday and Saturday thousands of people queue up in front of the temple to offer prayers to Lord Hanuman.

According to Vedic Astrology, Hanuman saves human beings from the anger of the planet Shani (Saturn), and especially people who have an ill-placed Saturn in their horoscopes visit this temple for astrological remedies. This is supposed to be the most effective way for appeasing Shani.

While it is suggested that Hanuman did not hesitate to engulfe in his mouth the sun, the lord of all planets, which humbled all the gods and angels, making them worship him for the Sun’s release. Some astrologers believe that worshiping Hanuman can neutralize the ill-effect of Mangal (Mars) and practically any planet that has an ill effect on human life.

About the Deity:

Hanuman Ji was also one of the four people who heard Shrimad Bhagvad Gita from Shri Krishna, rest three being Arjuna, Sanjaya and Barbarika. Not only the time of Ramayana, the time of Mahabharata also was blessed by the presence of Hanuman Ji.

Bhima was considered to be the brother of Lord Hanuman Ji as well, as they both were having same father, Vayu. To vanquish Bhima’s arrogance Hanuman Ji appeared as a weak and old monkey in front of him during Pandava’s exile. Roaming in forest Bhima reached a place where Hauman Ji was lying with his tail blocking the way. Unaware of his identity Bhima asked the monkey to remove his tail but Hanuman Ji refused.

Enraged Bhima tried himself to move out the tail but despite of his immense strength he was unable even to shift it a bit. Soon he realized that it was no ordinary monkey but Lord Hanuman himself. He immediately apologized and requested him to demonstrate the figure he assumed when he was crossing the sea to reach Lanka. Hanuman Ji agreed and also promised to protect the Pandavas during Mahabharata.

 

Sri Rama Navmi: The festival of Kausalya Rama and Kalyana Rama

Ram navami_onlinetemple

 

Rama Navmi

Sri Rama Navmi: The festival of Kausalya Rama and Kalyana Rama

Rama Navmi : “Rama”, the one name that is an intrinsic part of our lives right from infancy to the final journey! We have been put to sleep as infants with “Rama Laali/Jo Jo Rama”, blessings from elders have been worded as “Sri Rama Raksha” and we bid god-speed to the departed souls with “Ram Nam Satya Hai” (Rama’s name is true.) Lord Rama is celebrated and glorified in every household and holds a special place in everyone’s heart for being an embodiment of all the virtues.

What is Sri Rama Navami and when is it celebrated?

Sri Rama Navami marks the glorious appearance (birthday) of Lord Rama as Kausalya Rama (the son of queen Kausalya) and the wonderful wedding ceremony of Lord Rama as Kalyana Rama (the bridegroom Rama.)

Sri Rama Navami is celebrated on Navami tithi (ninth day) in the Shukla paksha (waxing phase of the moon) of the Chaitra month. It was on this day in the Treta Yuga, that Lord Rama took birth as the first child of king Dasaratha. It is believed that a few years later, it was again on this day that king Janaka gave his beautiful daughter, Sita’s hand in marriage to Lord Rama.

Sri Rama Navami also concludes the Chaitra Navratri celebrations.

Significance of Sri Rama Navami:

Lord Vishnu incarnates in various forms to protect the pious, correct/punish the miscreants and to establish the principles of righteousness. When the demon king Ravana troubled the pious and saintly people, all the heavenly gods headed by Lord Brahma requested Lord Vishnu to appear on Earth and to re-establish peace and happiness.

Lord Vishnu thus appeared (took birth) as the son of king Dasaratha and queen Kausalya of the Ikshvaku kingdom as a result of their special fire sacrifice to beget children. Lord Rama killed Ravana and several other demons and established peace and harmony in the society. Throughout His stay on Earth, Lord Rama led a dutiful, righteous life and guided everyone on the path of dharma.

Sri Rama Navami is a special day that gives an opportunity to worship, glorify and thank Lord Rama for being such a kind and benevolent God.

Appropriate way to celebrate Sri Rama Navami:

• Wake up early in the morning and take a head-bath.
• Worship Lord Rama along with goddess Sita in their picture or deity form at home.
• Keep a fast till sunset or at least till noon.
• Recite Sri Vishnu Sahasranama
• Listen to Sri Dasavatara Stotra here and learn the stotra here
• Visit a nearby temple of Lord Rama and participate in Sri Sita Rama Kalyanotsav (celebration of the wedding of goddess Sita and Lord Rama.)
• Recite the powerful Sri Rama Raksha Stotra and listen to it here

 

 

This year, Sri Rama Navami is celebrated on Sunday, 25 March 2018. OnlineTemple wishes all of you a very happy and blissful Sri Rama Navami! May Kausalya Rama and Sita Rama provide you Sri Rama Raksha and bless you with happiness, peace and prosperity!