SRI VEERA ANJANEYA SWAMY TEMPLE, ARAGONDA, CHITTOOR, ANDHRA PRADESH....
sri g v r gupta, kanna mangalam, vellore
War in Lanka during Ramayana
Ravana the demon king of Lanka was advised by many including his brother Sri Vibishana to return Sri Sita Devi to Sri Rama and surrender (Saranagatham). All the good council to him fell in the deaf ears and Ravana had shown no inclination to return Sri Sita Devi and in fact adamant not to do so. The inevitable war ensued between Sri Rama, ably assisted by the monkey and bear warriors and Ravana assisted by the demon warriors with maya sakthi.
During the course of war, Ravana had lost many of his able warriors, and Sri Rama's side was seeing the face of victory. Even then Ravana did not feel the necessity to surrender because of his vanity and unfound pride in Sri Sita Devi's capture. He sends for Inderjeet [Maganath] his only son now left behind with him. He instructs Inderjeet to march forward for the Warfield and blesses him for the victory.
Inderjeet in Warfield
The son of Ravana who had won Lord Indra the leader of Devas gets the name Inderjeet, meaning the one who had won Indra. Inderjeet enters the war field with all paraphernalia; matching to his pomp he was skilful in the warfare also. On the other side, Sri Rama was carried by Sri Hanuman and Sri Lakshmana was carried by Angadhan and was in the forefront. Neelan was asked by Sri Rama to be the back force. When Inderjeet faces Sri Rama and Lakshmana, he could not control wondering at the skill with which these two were fighting. But in the back of his mind he was thinking about the killing of his brothers and dear uncles by these two, the thought compounded as revenge. After a protracted fight with Lakshmana, Inderjeet leaves the field through his magical power. On the sunset, Sri Rama leaves the battle field leaving Lakshmana to take stock of the effects of day's war. On return to the palace, Inderjeet sends Mahendra to the war field.
The fight continues with Mahendra leading the Ravana's side and Lakshmana, Sri Rama's side. Hanuman was fighting with Agamban. After killing Agamban, Hanuman goes for assisting Lakshmana who was fighting deep in the battle field completely surrounded by the Ravana's warrior. Under the advice Lakshmana spells pasupathastram, thereby killing of all the force of Ravana.
Use of Brahmaastra
The news of use of pasupathastram goes to Ravana and Inderjeet. Inderjeet thinks it is time to use the Brahmaastra on Lakshmana, and goes to war field. He remains invisible through his maya sakti and makes Mahendra look like Indra and fight Vanaras. The Vanaras and Lakshmana was wonder struck at the sight of seeing Indra fighting them. At that moment Inderjeet releases Brahmaastra on Sri Rama's warriors.
Effect of Brahmaastra
Gloomy, is a simple word to describe the after effect of Brahmaastra. Poet Kamban says millions and millions of arrows had covered Lakshmana, millions of arrows on Hanuman, tens of thousands arrows strikes Ankath, Neelan etc. Inderjeet goes to Ravana to describe the events in the war field.
Sri Rama who was away from the battle field enters the field to find all His men had fallen pray to the Brahmaastra. Sight was gory, and he goes from one to other warriors. He finds Lakshmana fallen among the heap of arrows, and could not bear the sight of his beloved brother fallen like this. The sorrow makes him weep and soon he fell unconscious.
A messenger of Ravana sees this and goes and reports to Ravana that both Rama and Lakshmana had fallen pray to the Brahmaastra. Believing it as true, Ravana rejoice, goes to Ashoka vatika and brings Sita by Pushpak vimana and shows the fallen brothers in the battle field, foisting unbearable pain to Sri Sita Devi.
Hanuman and Vibishana
Sri Vibishana who is a Cherranjeevi comes to the battle field to assess the damage caused by the Brahmaastra. First looks for Hanuman and sighted him in the near fainted condition. After administrating the first aid to Hanuman, both goes in search of long living Jambavan. Sri Jambavan who was half conscious, on seeing Vibishana, asks about the Hanuman. On seeing Hanuman he cries "We all will rise and will raise", rejoicing. Sri Jambavan then tells about the medicinal herb that can revive Lakshmana. He describes the whereabouts of the herb and tells about the herb that can revive the life, herb that can be applied for fixing the cut limbs, herb that can fix the skin thereby the body. He then instructs Hanuman to go after the herbs which are there in the blue mountain.
Medicinal Mountain [Sanjeevi parvath]
Hanuman understood the urgency and need for the herb takes a huge figure and leaps over the sky, leaving the sea behind. He flew over the sea, barath versh, Himalayas. He pays his respects to all the Gods and Devas and reaches the Medicinal mountain [Sanjeevi parvath] welcoming Him. Kamban says the Hanuman who was golden in colour, the future Brahma; deathless Seranjeevi saw the blue mountain. It was so black that it looked as if the dark had taken refuge in it. He was asked by the Devas who were guarding the mountain, the reason for His coming. When told, they only requested Hanuman to return the mountain to the original place after use of the required herbs.
Now Hanuman uproots the mountain and takes it to the battle field in Lanka, passing through Barath versh, saves Lakshmana's life. Brings back to lives many vanaras who lost lives, brings back the limbs to the vanaras who lost limbs, healed all the wounds of the vanaras. Just by one act Hanuman puts back the Medicinal mountain [Sanjeevi parvath] in its original place as promised to the Devas.
Bits of medicinal mountain
Medicinal mountain [Sanjeevi parvath], being brought from its original place, is believed to have fallen in bits and pieces in many places enroute. It is claimed that one such piece had fallen in the border of present Andhra and Tamil Nadu. Presently the place is known as Aragonda. Aragonda in Telugu means half hill, in sanskrit it is known as Ardagiri. The place is located in Tavanam Palli Mandal of Chittor District of Andhra Predash. The famous Kanipakam Vinayaka temple is just ten kilo meters away.
The picturesque sight of the place is mesmerising, with the medicinal mountain making the backdrop of the scene. There are atleast two or three mountains which forms the group of Sanjeevi medicinal mountain. The shortest of these is considered as main Aragonda. On the top of the mountain there is a tank which is known as Sanjeevaraya Pushkarini. It is said that the tank is always full and never dries up.
It is believed that the water from this Puskarini has lot of medicinal value as of herbs of Sanjeevi mountain, and cures even deceases like TB etc. The water from this Puskarini was not spoiled even after four months in our case.
Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy Temple
The main mountain is about 300feet high. A small temple was in existence in this kshetram for quite a long time, said to be from 300 years back. Today the temple had seen improvements. Even now the temple is quite small and maintains the sanctity. Though the main attraction here is the Puskaarini and Sri Veera Anjaneya, there is a small temple for the Vinayaka just before reaching the Hanuman temple. Recently a temple for Ayyappan had also been built on the hillock just opposite to the Hanuman temple.
Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy
In the main sanctum sanctorum the kaupinam wearing Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy is facing north. The nearly three feet idol is covered with copper plate. The embossment of the main deity is clearly seen. His right hand is showing Abhya mudra, in the left hand He is seen holding the sowganthika flower. His tail is seen raised above the head and there is a small bell typical of Hanuman idols of Andhra about 300-400 years old. He is seen wearing beautiful kundalam (ear ring), an ornamental mala adorns His neck. His eyes are seen glowing.
Festivals and Savas
From five thirty in the morning till nine in the night the temple is open. Devotees are allowed in batches of fifty/sixty and the pooja is conducted and holy water and tulsi is given as prasadam. Once that batch is over then the next batch of devotees are allowed. Devotees offer garlands made of flowers and ake (betel leaves). On the full moon day the temple is open upto eleven in the night, there is heavy rush of devotees on this day.
How to reach
There are direct buses from Chittoor and Kanipakkam to Aragonda. You can reach Chittoor from Vellor of Tamil Nadu. Once you are in the foot hills you can either choose to claim the hillock which may take upto thirty minutes or take the three wheeler plying between foot to top of the hill. There are few shops on the top of the hill selling flowers, mala, cool drinks, coffee or tea.
The grace of the Lord Sanjeevaraya is sure to give us all healthy and long life.
[Ed. August 2009
ref : kamba ramayanam published by Vardhaman & temple priest.