Pujya Sri Swamiji visits Omkareshwar Jyotir Linga Temple, Madhya Pradesh - 27 January 2010
Pilgrimage to Madhya Pradesh - Omkareshwara Yaatra

Continuing the pilgrimage in Central India, Pujya Sri Swamiji arrived at Omkareshwara in Khandwa District on 27th January 2010.

Introduction
Omkareshwara is the fourth Jyotirlinga named in the Stotra. This is situated in the Hill ranges of Vindhya, which bifurcates Indian Sub-continent into Northern and Southern Parts. Sacred Narmada River, which emanates from Amarkantak in the eastern section of this range, is famed for many holy places including Omkareshwara Kshetra in the Central state of Madhya Pradesh. At this place, the River forms a small island called Mandhaata, named after the legendary emperor, one of the foremost kings in the lineage of Sri Rama.

Forsaking the luxuries of Empire, Mandhaata did great penance on this hillock island for true bliss and self realisation. Lord Shiva appeared before him, to give Upadesha of Omkaara (Pranava) thru which the devotee attained salvation. To remind the humanity, the greatness of this place Shiva obliged the last desire of Maandhaata to dwell at this place, as Omkareshwara.

For the ages to come, devotees aspiring for Upadesha lacked the mandatory purity and chastity of mind. Deities prayed for the purity of mind, body and soul. Therefore, Shiva appeared in the form of Amaleshwara, on the Southern Bank of River Narmada. Mala is blemish and impurity. The aspect of Shiva, that removes impurity is Amaleshwara. Since, Shiva was beseeched by the deities; he is also called Amareshwara (Amara + Ishwara). Hence, the custom is that devotees are required to worship Amaleshwara first and proceed to the Maandhaata island to seek refuge of Omkareshwara. for Upadesha to attain Wisdom and Knowledge. Hence, the stanza says Omkaaram Amaleshwaram. However, the incorrect segregation of the words by folklore, distorted the name to Omkaara – Mamaleshwara. (Now a days, it is referred as Mamaleshwar Temple by some people).

Pujya Sri Swamiji briefly refreshed at Narmada Retreat and offered Puja at Amaleshwara Temple. It was a splendid moment, when Sri Swamiji stopped Puja in the transcendental state and asked the accompanying devotees to continue Abhishekam. Pancha Amruta, Narmada Water, Bilwa Patra, Flowers were offered to Shiva along with all the customary ingredients.

Later on, Sri Swamiji came out of the Temple to have a glimpse of Vruddha Kaala and Amaleshwara Temple Shikhara, where the Flag was hoisted. The movement of the flag, was visualised by Sri Swamiji for an abnormal event –signifying the departure of a soul to reach Shiva. (Later, Sri Swamiji revealed that one close devotee called Visweswaran from Chennai had left for heavenly abode.)

Thereafter, Sri Swamiji crossed the River by ferry, to reach the Mandhaata Island to worship Omkareshwara., atop the hillock. After worshipping Panchamukha Ganapati at the entrance, Sri Swamiji offered Abhishekam and sat in the Temple Hall in deep Meditation amidst Rudra Hymns of Shukla Yajurveda Pundits. This hillock has a cave, currently called as Shankara Acharya Guha. This was place, where Shankara Acharya met His Guru, Govinda Bhagavatpada Acharya and obtained Upadesham. This communion of the Guru and Shishya led to the great revival of Dharma, Veda and Vedanta metamorphosing into a cultural, philosophical and Dhramik renaissance in India to benefit hundreds of generations till date. After offering respects to the great master (Aacharya), Sri Swamiji worshipped Narmada River, famed for her pristine pure water. Thus the Brief Yaatra to Omkareshwara concluded.

Maheshwar (Maahishmati)
The ancient city of Maahishmati Pura on the banks of Narmada River was the capital City of Emperor Kaartaveerya Arjuna, who ruled the Universe in Kruta Yuga (about 2 million years ago, according to Indian Mythology).  The place currently known as Maheshwar is a powerful place, which attracted Sri Swamiji. Situated about 100 km from Indore (Second largest city and Industrial Centre of Madhya Pradesh), Maheshwar was the centre of administration of a great Queen Ahilya Bai, from Holkar dynasty.

Based at this place, she stood as an icon for simple living, deft administration and great devotion. Several Monumentary Temples including Varanasi, Ujjain, Ghrushneswar, Amaleshwar, Omkareshwara were restored to majesty they deserved. She had built one Shiva Temple for her personal worship at this place. The Eleven Oil Lamps, lit by her centuries ago are still maintained by her inheritors, local people averred. Sri Swamiji was fascinated by the magnificent temple of Rajarajeshwara Temple and enamoured with the spiritual vibrations of the place. He led the contingent of devotees to various points of the palace.

At the final point, He was greeted by a local priest Sri Akhilesh Mishra, who is adept in fabricating icons of Mercury, a difficult art. Moved by the pre-eminence and divine magnitude of His Holiness, He offered many of his works, including a Mercury Shiva Lingam, Sumeru Srichakra for worship in Datta Peetham. Sri Murali Krishna and other accompanying devotees had an equal share of fortune by sponsoring the cost of items.

This place, being the place of Kartaveerya Arjuna was witness to First ever Anagha Vratam conducted by Lord Dattatreya himself, Sri Swamiji stated. The presence of Datta had a lasting impact on the divine environment, which Sri Swamiji could feel.

The ambience of Setting Sun, Rising Moon, Banks of Narmada River, Peaceful Environ transported His Holiness to a different place altogether, which was evident to all the accompanying devotees. Rare glimpses of Bliss, Peace and Tranquility of Highest Order were observed in Sri Swamiji. Later, He revealed that this was the Sankalpa of Datta to bring Him to this place, to revisit the place of His Ancient devotee Kaartaveerya. (Recently, a Datta Temple was built along with a memorial to Kartaveerya Arjuna at this place, by devotees of Maharashtra.)

After the peaceful meditation and worship, Sri Swamiji reached Indore in the night. On the earlier day, Sri Swamiji offered worship at famous Ganesh Temple, at Khajarana in Indore City, before visiting the houses of few devotees. Ms Girija Godbole, Sri Kuppa Kartikeya, Ms Antje Fritz, Sri Aravinda Sharma and other devotees had organised the program.

Thus the historic Four-day pilgrimage trip to Madhya Pradesh concluded on a spiritual high note. Jaya Guru Datta. Om Namasshivaaya!

Omkareshwara Kshetra

Omkareshwara Shrine (white tower on right) at Mandhaata island

Pujya Sri Swamiji worshipping Amaleshwara Shiva Linga

Om Namasshivaaya

Bilva Archana

Arati

Om Namasshivaaya

Sri Swamiji worships Nandi idol in Amaleshwara Temple

Gurudeva in front of the ancient temple tower of Amaleshwara

Panchamukha Ganapati in Omkareshwara

Pujya Sri Swamiji performs Abhishekam to Omkareshwara Shiva Linga

The sacred touch

Worshipping with Bilva leaves

 

Om Namasshivaaya

 

Sri Swamiji performs Abhisheka to the idol of Sri Shankaracharya at the cave, called as Shankara Acharya Guha.
This was the place, where Shankara Acharya met His Guru, Govinda Bhagavatpada Acharya and obtained Upadesham.

Sri Swamiji worshipped Narmada River, famed for her pristine pure water.

A happy Swamiji offers Arati

The magnificent temple of Rajarajeshwara Temple in Maheshwar

Rajarajeshwara Temple Complex

The magnificent sun set at Maheshwar

The rise of the moon

 

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