Thursday 7 March 2013

The three Madhwa seers who jointly consecrated this idol

There are many idols in India which have been consecrated by seers and holy men. These idols today have become objects of intense devotion, faith and regular places of pilgrimage.
The Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi was consecrated by Madhwacharya and Vyasa Raja consecrated 732 Hanuman temples all over India. Similarly, other Madhwa seers have consecrated different deities and almost all of them have become places of pilgrimage.
However, there is one unique temple where the idol is consecrated by three Madhwa seers and all of them are scholars of standing and yet the place remains relatively unknown.
The temple in this place is just off the Bangalore-Mysore Highway and it is one of the busiest roads in India. Yet, not even a small percentage of the huge number of  people travelling on the road take a small break to see this unique temple. Why travelers, even Madhwas do not find time to see this place and those who do keep on coming back here again and again.
What is unique about the idol here is that it is consecrated by a Shishya who had two Gurus and all three of them represent different Madhwa mathas. The Shishya is Vyasa Raja or Vyasa Theertha and his two gurus are Bramanye Theertha of Abbur or Kundapura Vyasa Raja Matha and Sripadaraja of Mulabagal Matha.   
The idol of  Mukya Prana Devaru was discovered by Bramanye Theertha and he called upon both his cousin brother Sripadaraja and his erstwhile Shishya Vyasa Theertha to come over to Bramanyapura and consecrate the idol.
Bramanyapura is just five kms from Chennapatna and it is on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway. It is a small hamlet and the big banyan tree is located adjacent to the temple of Prana Devaru. The idol represents all the three avatars of  Hanuma, Bheema and Madhwacharya or Madhwa.
The Shika of the beautiful idol represents the Madhwacharya and the Saugandhika pushpa in hand of Prana Devaru represents Bheema.
There is a legend about how this idol came to be consecrated here.
Purushottama Teertha, the Guru of Bramanye Theertha, used to go to the cave or Guhe near Abbur and perform his morning rituals regularly. After praying and meditating at the cave, which exists even today just a little away from Abbur Matha in Abbur, he went to the temple of  Kamba Narasimha near Chennapatna and performed pooje there. He drew water from the Guhe which is today known as Purushottama Guhe and bathed the Narasimha idol with it.
Purushottama Theertha then disappeared into the cave never to come back and he gave Deekshe to Bramanye Theertha who became head of the Matha. Bramanye Theertha too followed the same ritual but he found it rather tedious to bring water from Abbur to the Narasimha Temple.
He then founded a village which subsequently came to be called Bramanyepura.  He also ensured that a pond and well was dug and that its water was used to perform abhisheka to the idol of Narasimha. It goes without saying that Bramanye Theertha stayed on here for some time.
One day, he came across a beautiful idol of Prana Devaru he decided to consecrate it in Bramanyepura village itself and he called his Shishya Vyasa Theertha and Sripadaraja. Both came to Bramanyepura and they all marveled at the beauty of the idol.
All three Madhwa saints then consecrated the Prana Devaru idol and to this day this remains the only idol that has been so consecrated.
Interestingly, Abbur where Bramanya Theertha is entombed is just a little distance away. The Purushottama Guhe or cave is just a little distance away from the Abbur Matha. The Vyasaraja Matha of Vyasa Raja is at Sosale near T Narsipura.  The Brindavana of Sripadaraja is at Mulabagal in Kolar district and that of Vyasa Theertha is at Nava Brindavana near Anegundi in Bellary district.
 Bramanyepura is about 66 kms from Bangalore.

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