To search this blog

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Sri Balaji Mandir, Fanaswadi donates Crore to Covid Fund

குன்றமேந்தி குளிர் மழை காத்தவன் *  அன்று ஞாலமளந்த பிரான்* பரன்
சென்று சேர் திருவேங்கடமாமலை * ஒன்றுமே தொழ நம்  வினை  ஓயுமே
the Lord the Saviour Emperuman Sriman Narayanan saved the cowherds and everyone at Govardhan by holding the hill with His little finger and the One who measured the earth with His feet, is settled in the Great Hill of Thirumala and everywhere  ~ those of us going and worshipping Him there will get rid of all bad things – the ill-effects of Karma will get destroyed in a trice. 

It is typified as worker’s paradise – where people are ever busy – getting into local trains is considered as nightmare, yet millions throng suburban train services – it is Mumbai (Bombay until 1995), the capital city of  Maharashtra.  All Cricket lovers know it to be land of Sachin Tendulkar, Gavaskar and so many others who played for India and as the team which has stranglehold on Ranji Trophy.  The seven islands that constitute Mumbai were originally home to communities of Marathi language speaking Koli people, who originated in Gujarat in prehistoric times.  For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company when in 1661 Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and Seven Islands of Bombay.   Mumbai, the land of Chathrapathi Veera Shivaji,  is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India.

First time visitor to Mumbai would be swept in the crowds and the bustling population.
From every angle, the Taj Palace near the Gate way of India, the imposing arch monument on the Arabic sea erected  to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder on their visit to India in 1911, is attractive.

It is believed that when the British Government raised a grazing tax on people bringing their cattle to graze on the grass at the Camp Maidan (now called Azad Maidan), Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy purchased the grasslands near Thakurdwar out of his own funds and opened those grounds to the locals to graze their cattle for free. As the Marathi word for grazing is "charne", the area came to be known as Charni ... and thence, the road beside it, as the Charni Road.  There are many suburban stations – Charni road, Marine Lines, Grant Road, Mumbai CST – all leading to Kalbadevi, an old neighbourhood in Mumbai,  named after Goddess Kalbadevi.

With this long description, as I got down at Charni Road and walked hardly a kilometer, a big temple with pronounced South Indian style Gopuram attracts.  This is Fanaswadi – the Balaji mandir.  Lord Srinivasa temple – fanaswadi kovil simply.  The name fanas is Marathi for jackfruit, probably pointing to a time when the trees grew abundantly here. The temple at Fanaswadi, Mumbai dedicated to the Lord of the Seven Hills Sri Venkateshwara was consecrated on 10 June 1927. 

We see and worship Thiruvengadamudaiyan of Seven Hills everywhere and there are thousands of temples dedicated to him – this one at Fanaswadi in South Mumbai has secured a special place. The temple has a rich past and was initiated by Sri U.Ve. Prativadi Bhayankara Jagataguru Ananthacharya Swamiji. Temple history states that in 1920, the devotees of Sri Venkatesha, in Mumbai, came together to give shape to the Acharya’s desire to build divya mandir  to further the cause of Srivaishnavism. They pooled in all their resource, both in cash and kind for this noble cause. Thus began the work of temple construction under the supervision of the Jagataguru himself. In 1927 the construction was successfully completed and Lord Balaji started giving darshan at this place. 

Presently the Trust is headed by Srinivas Acharyaji the grandson of the Jagadguru Ananthacharya. The temple resembles the temples of the south. The hall has 12 pillars and an image of Prativadi Bhayankar Ananthacharya Swamiji adorns the main door that leads to the path adjoining the temple. A library is housed within the temple and there are guest rooms for visitors. A golden flag post and gold offering stand adorn the temple.

The main sannathi is that of Lord Srinivasa and there are idols of Sri Chakravarthi thirumahan with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanumar,  Sri Lakshmi Narasimha, Rajagopalan as in mannargudi with Rukmini, Sathyabama, Sudarsanar and beautiful Emperumanar.   Outside the main sannathi is the Utsav bhavan where festivals on special occasions are performed, other chambers include Vastra graha, Chandan graha, dhudh graha,Shukrawar Mandap and Kanch mandap. Various utsavas such as Kalyana utsava are performed with great pomp.  The daily poojas and utsava at the temple are performed as per the pancharatra agamas. 

Apart from religious activities the Sri Venkatesha Devsthanam is deeply involved in social welfare activities. The trust runs an Ayurvedic clinic and medicine are distributed free. Together the trust runs a guest house, Anant Bhavan, for outstation visitors. The trust also supports Ananthacharya Indological Research Institute, which is affiliated to the Mumbai University. The Institute offers the Ph.D. and M.A. courses in Sanskrit Philosophy

As the country is in lockdown due to Covid-19 and when the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji asked for donations – Mumbai Panaswadi Sri Venkatesa Devasthanam has   donated 81 lakhs to the PM fund and 21 lakhs to the Maharashtra CM fund.  It is a great gesture and we thank the trustees of the temple and feel happy at the grace of our Emperuman.   

adiyen Srinivasadhasan. [Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar]

No comments:

Post a Comment