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Draksharamam- Pancharama Kshetra 3

04/05/2010

Punya Kshetra : Dakshina Kasi/Daksha Vatika/Draksharamam

Location: 28 Kms from the town of Kakinda located in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh.

Architecture : Eastern Chalukyan and Chola styles. Very ancient temple with many architectural wonders in its making.

Principal Deity: Bheema Shankara

There are three well known legends associated with the temple. As we have discussed previously Lord Karthikeya’s Vel ( Spear ) pierces the Atma linga protecting Taraka and breaks the Atma linga into many pieces .Each of those pieces fell in five different places giving rise to powerful ancient shrines. Draksharamam was the place where the crystal parts of the Linga fell and hence the linga here is a sphatika linga ( crystal linga ) .

The second legend is also the reason for the shrine carrying the name Daksha Vatika or Draksha Ramam . This is also one of the stories that is used by western perverted indologists ( the ilk of Wendy Doninger and other modern day intrepreters of Hinduism )  to blame Hinduism as the originator of  the practise of Sati. They assume women in ancient times used to immolate themselves after their husband’s death and willfully ignore the verses of the rig veda which talk even about the concept of divorce and remarriage for a hindu woman. Anyways that is a conversation best reserved for a different blogpost.  Long ago Sati devi was born to  Daksha Prajapati ( one of the four original sons of Lord Brahma )  .Daksha prajapati had many daughters later on all of whom were married to great sages like Kashyapa and 27 of them were given in marriage to the Moon. The Moon spending one night in one constellation is the metaphysical meaning of this story. Coming back to Sati Devi ,she was the eldest daughter of Daksha and she had set her heart on marrying Parameswara ( Lord Shiva ) .Lord shiva being the original sanyasi never carried much respect in the eyes of Daksha who wished to make sure his daughter married one of the celestials rather than Lord Shiva. Sati devi rebelled against her father’s wishes and married Lord Shiva ( pretty much the first love marriage in ancient scriptures ) .  Sati and Lord Shiva spent many aeons happily in each other’s company.  Meanwhile Daksha  had planned a huge yagna ( Sacrificial rite ) and had invited all the celestials and different sages to the rite. Daksha on purpose made sure his son in law was not invited to the rite . Sati on learning of the rite insisted that she would like to visit her father . Shiva gently reminds her that she might not be welcome at the place. Sati is adamant and leaves for the yagna vatika thinking that her father will still welcome her as an daughter. On reaching the place she is subjected to a lot of ridicule and Daksha makes fun of Lord Shiva as well. Unable to bear the very thought of her husband’s name being abused in such a way …Sati immolates herself in the sacrificial fire.

Lord shiva on learning of Sati’s death is inconsolable , he starts the pralaya tandava ( dance of destruction ) and from that intense emotion is born Veerabhadra ( lord of the pisachas and pretas ) . Veerabhadra vows vengeance on Daksha who was responsible for the death of Sati and marches onto the yagna vatika . So goes the story and some more .

Daksha Vatika or Draksha ramam was the place where this great sacrificial rite took place. Draksharamam is also an place of the goddess and is a  shakti peetha.

Architecture details : There are four gopuras and four entrances to the temple . Each Entrance has one form of the goddess adorning the direction. The sanctum sanctorum itself rises to two stories which is very unique and not witnessed in any other temple in the whole of India. The linga rises from the very ground floor to an height of 18 feet ( 10 feet is the actual linga akara and then it is topped by eight feet of sphatika ) . The linga rises to the second story of the sanctum sanctorum and can be seen from above. The Lord here is in the form of the Bheema Shankara .Also this shrine is blessed by the influence of the seven sages who were thought to have spent a significant amount of time here. The temple itself is very ancient dating back to the chalukya period and has many ancient inscriptions.

The temple was well maintained in later stages by both the vijayanagara kings , reddy kings of andhra and kalinga kings.

Both the great poets Srinatha and Vemulavada Kavi spent a considerable amount of time in this temple.

one of the four direction gopurams of the temple

One of the other gopurams of the temple

Inside Mantapam of the temple

Pillars view of the main temple

Third gopuram of the temple

Side view of the Temple

Notice the Twin story structure and the pathway for Pradakshina

The bheema linga rising from the bottom topped by sphatika

P.S As part of this post various images have been sourced from the web. All credit to the original uploaders. The intent is only to spread more spiritual tidbits rather than commerical profit.

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