|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.
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.
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!