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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.
SRI BADE HANUMAN MANDIR
PRAYAGRAJ :: ALLAHABAD
sripathy, new delhi
Prayag, also known as Allahabad is a holy kshetra Uttar Pradesh existed during the Vedic period even. The city's original name - Prayaag derives its name from a magnificent Yaga conducted in this city by Brahma with three agnis (fires) – Aahavaneeyam in the east, Gaarhapatyam in the west and Dakshinaagni is the south, comes from its position at the sacred confluence [Sangam] of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. For this reason it is also called ‘Terthagni’.
Later the Prayag City on the bank of these rivers was founded as Kaushambi by the Kuru rulers of Hastinapur, who developed it as their capital as Kaushambi. The Puranas record that Yayati left Prayag and conquered the region of Saptha Sindhu. It is in this holy kshetra that Lord Rama had spent some time while in exile, in the ashram of Sage Bharadwaj before proceeding to nearby Chitrakoot.
From the historical point, Doaba region, including this kshetra Prayag, was under the control of many empires and dynasties in the past. The area became a part of the Mauryan and Gupta empires of the east and the Kushan Empire of the west before becoming part of the local Kannauj Empire in the 15th century. At a later stage of the history the Mughal emperor Akbar renamed Prayag as Allahabad.
Maha Kumba at Prayagraj
Prayag [‘Terthagni’] is also known as ‘Prayagraj’ [first among the prayags] is a holy kshetra and almost all Bharatvasi would like to visit once in their lifetime. The Maha Kumba Mela which is held at this kshetra attracts millions of people from all over the world. It is still amazing that how millions could assemble at the same venue for taking a holy bath in sacred confluence [Sangam] of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. With each of the time the number of people attending the holy Kumbh Mela is only increasing.
While there are people who come to holy bath here and go off, there is great Sri Rama Bakth who had preferred to stay here permanently. Yes it is Sri Hanumanji who is residing here in this holy kshetra bestowing blessings to Sri Ram devotees. It is interesting to know the legend as to how Sri Hanumanji had come to stay here.
Legend of Sri Bade Hanuman temple
Rich man of Kannauj
There lived a rich man in the city of Kannauj, which is about 300km north of Prayag on the banks of Ganges. He was not blessed with any child, which was a worrying factor for him. He was a great devotee of Sri Hanuman and prayed to Him for a child. He felt that if he builds a temple for Sri Hanuman, he will be blessed with a child.
To realise his ambition he got a statue made for Lord Hanuman, which was huge in measure for installation in his place. As was the practice, the statue of Lord Hanuman was sanctified by taking the statue to the river Ganga. It was opined by many that the statue should be taken to Prayag kshetra and given a bath at Sangam. Accordingly he took the huge statue to Prayag, and he sanctified the statue in all the kshetra coming on the way.
Lord Hanuman’s wish
On the arrival of this holy place of Prayagraj, a Lord Hanuman statue was given a holy bath at the sacred confluence [Sangam] of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and [undervahini- under current hence unseen] Saraswati. While he was camping at this holy kshetra, Lord Sri Hanuman appeared in his dream and gave the blessing that he will soon have a child, but he should leave the statue in Prayagraj itself. The rich man was immensely pleased with the blessings of Lord Hanuman, who answered his request and quenched his anxiety.
As per the instruction of the Lord he left for his home, leaving behind the huge statue of Lord Hanuman at the Prayagraj. Lord Hanuman remained at this kshetra for long, and in the course of time several areas in the banks of these holy rivers were inundated due to flood. And there was a change of course of rivers also. Due to all these factors Lord Hanuman remained immersed in water for some time and in due course got deeply immersed in the river sand.
Lord decides to bless
After many years, Lord Hanuman decides to bless the devotees by surfacing from the sand duct in the bank of holy Ganga. A saint by name Sri Balgiri use to take bath in the union of the holy rivers in Sangam regularly. As practiced by the saint he will make his trishul stand in the banks and take bath in the Sangam. But on a particular day in the month of Magh he was not able to make his trishul pears the sand in bank of the river. He felt that there should be some object below the sand which is preventing him from this act. Therefore, he carefully excavated and found to his surprise a huge statue of Lord Hanuman. The mahatma Sri Balgiri was thrilled and offered Pooja and Prasad to Lord Hanuman statue which was in a reclining position.
It is also said that efforts to put the statue in standing position or moving it to some other safe place were futile; therefore it was felt that Lord Hanuman had decided to stay there blessing His devotees. Therefore even today we see the Lord in recline position at the same place where Sri Balgiri was given dharshan by the Lord.
Sri Balgiriji had placed the flag post for the Mandir where Sri Bade Hanuman had established Himself. Even today people visit the temple with their wish, vows to revisit the temple after fulfillment of the wish and present a flag post to reestablish the faith on the Lord.
Mandir for Sri Bade Hanuman
Sri Balgiriji established a temple for the Lord at the very same site. During the year 1119AD the then rulers had allotted three Isra of land in the same area. He had established a mutt known as ‘Sri Bhagambari Gadhi” in the same place. His descendents like Sri Sri Purushothamanath Giriji, Sri Sri Vicharananth Giriji etc had been maintaining the temple. Presently the establishment is headed by Mahant Sri Narendra Giri, the ashram run by him teaches Veda to many disciples and they also run goshala and involved in all religious activity.
The Mandir on the banks of Gangaji is very close to the fort. As an annual phenomenon, every year during the rainy season Ganga would be flooded and the Ganga water use to enter into the Mandir. And Sri Bade Hanuman will remain immersed in Ganga water few days thereafter. During this period when Sri Bade Hanuman remains in Ganga water, the pooja use to be performed for the other statue of Sri Hanumanji kept at an elevated platform.
This age-old annual phenomenon, considered very auspicious by the inhabitants of the Prayagraj Sangam city is not occurring every year. Firstly because of construction of Tehri Dam along with numerous other small dams along Ganga had decreased the volume of Ganga at this kshetra. This apart there is a drift in flow of water of Ganga, Sri Bade Hanuman takes a deep dip in the Ganga at least once in four years.
Sri Bade Hanuman
The idol of Sri Bade Hanuman since very huge in stature [both figure and status] is known as Sri Bade Hanuman of Prayagraj. The very sight of the Lord inspires one’s spirituality and elevates their thought. Lord here seems in the rescuing act of Sri Rama and Sri Lakshman at ‘patal-lok’ [nether world] from Ahi Ravan [To know more on this episode please click here].
The lord is seen holding ‘gadha’ in His right hand. His alert eyes bestowing full blessings on the devotees. Near His right foot is Ahi Ravan and Sri Rama and Sri Lakshmana is seen just near His left shoulder. Near His left foot is Kamada Devi, aradhana Devi of Ahi Ravan.
The sight of the Lord is bound to give the devotees the message that truth only prevails. All the wish of His devotees which are just, modest and humble is to be granted by the Lord of this kshetra Sri Bade Hanuman.
Photo courtesy:gk kaushik
Ed [August 2013]