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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 HANUMAN GARHI
AYODHYA :: FAIZABAD
Ayodhya, situated in the banks of river Sarayu, was the capital of Kaushala Desa and is an ancient city. The city is of religious importance to all followers of Sanadhana Dharma. Ayodhya is described even in the scriptures like Garuda Purana, as one of the seven moksha puris [meaning – the holy place for obtaining liberation]. The Ithihasa Epic, Ramayana, describes the city as the one which was fortified with watch towers, surrounded with gates and moat. What is of more importance is that the city had long and broad roads which were cleaned daily. It will be worthwhile for the city administrators of today to take note of.
The city had been in existence even before the period covered in the epic Ramayana. To most of us even the descriptions of the city found in Ramayana itself is not known properly. Experts are of the opinion that the present day Ayodhya is much smaller than the one described in the epic Ramayana by Sri Valmiki. The place has undergone many highs and lows in its history.
Surya Vansi –Sun Dynasty
According to the old scriptures Surya [Sun] is the son of Kashyapa, who was himself a son of Marichi the son of Brahma. Surya’s son Ikshvaku and his sons ruled Bharat with Ayodhya as capital. Thus this holy place had been the capital of the Dynasty known as Surya kulam or Ikshvaku kulam. Most famous among the kings of this dynasty are Sri Dileepa, Bhagiratha [renowned for his efforts to bring celestial holy river Ganga- through his penance- to Earth], Kakusta, Raghu, and Dasaratha. The best among them was the son of Dasaratha - Sri Rama who was verily the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu Himself.
Ayodhya: Capital of Ikshvaku vamsa
The city of Ayodhya, which had been known as a city built by Gods and was as prosperous as paradise [described to be so in Atharva Veda] was the capital of the rulers of this great sacred land of ours. This holy place is where Sri Rama, son of Dasaratha, was born and brought up. Valmiki Ramayana gives a full description of this city. Like any ancient place this place also had changed over a period of time and now, on the first look of it, may appear to have lost all the charm that was prevalent during Ramraj. But if one looks closely, it is not really so. It will not be possible to realize this, if one visits the city merely as a tourist for a day or two. One should undertake a pilgrimage for more number of days by staying in the city and undertaking a religious tour of the same in detail. Then one can see the difference. The city is vibrant even today with religious fervour. The simplicity of the people coupled with a honest and content living by them will make for a striking impact. When you walk out of this holy city you cannot but carry with you the affect of this impact for quite some days.
Sri Rama lived here
Sri Rama was born, brought up, lived and ruled from this capital city. Today the palace of Dasaratha, where Sri Rama was born, is in shambles. It brings tear to one’s eyes to see that the place of birth of one of the most revered sons of the country is in such a sorry state. The consolation, however, is that the palace of Sri Rama is in a good shape and is open for visitors for most part of the day. This palace is now known as Kanaka Bhawan.
Notable among the other places of interest is the palace meant for use by Sri Vibhishana and Sugriva, as visiting dignitaries to Ayodhya. This concept was aped by the British rulers who allocated places in the capital city of Delhi for all the then Rajas [Kings] from different parts of Bharat.
Sri Hanumanji of Ayodhya
Today all these places of interest have become places of worship, because of the sanctity attached to the epic Ramayana, per se. All these places of worship in Ayodhya are believed to be guarded by the great Sri Ram Bhakth - Sri Hanumanji. Consequently, before undertaking visits to the places of worship mentioned above, it is customary to first visit the Temple of Hanumanji as if to seek his prior permission to visit other shrines.
Temple for Hanuman [The office of kotwal]
Sri Hanuman, the great Sri Rama Bhakth, is considered the Kotwal [watchman] of Ayodhya city. For long the place west of Ram Kot [birth place of Sri Ram] is revered as a place where Sri Hanuman is living and guarding the city of Ayodhya, from there. King Vikramaditya who had revived the city of Ayodhya to its original glory and rejuvenated the followers of Sanadhana Dharma, had constructed a temple for Sri Hanuman at the very same spot – near Ram Kot.
During period when Ayodhya was under the rule of Nawabs of Awadh with Faizabad as their capital, the temple was reconstructed. During the period of Nawab Mansoor Aloi a fort around the temple was built under the supervision of his trusted noble lieutenant, Sri Tikait Rai.
Today the temple for Sri Hanuman is known as Hanuman Garhi and is located in a fort situated at the western gate of Ram Kot. Hanuman Garhi is actually a cave temple that is approachable by a flight of 76 steps. The manner in which this temple has been carved out is breathtaking. One has to take the curved flight of stairs to reach this spot. In the sanctum one can see the deity of Mata Anjani holding infant Hanuman on her lap. At the first look of the deity, one may not be able to see clearly the details of Mata Anjani and Sri Hanuman. A close look will reveal the details.
Management of Hanuman Garhi
When Sri Tikait Rai had reconstructed the temple an arrangement for managing the temple was made with four sects of Saints as the trustees. The Chiefs of Haridwari Panti Sect, Basantia Panti Sect, Ujjainaia Panti Sect and Sagaria Panti Sect are the trustees of the temple. These chiefs will nominate a Saint to manage the temple for a particular period and he will be known as Gaddinashin.
Offering prayers to Sri Hanumanji of Hanuman Garhi of Ayodhya is almost equal to offering prayers to Sri Rama, himself. ‘thumhare bhajan ram ko pavai; janma janma ke dukha bisaravai’. Pray on to Him and get rid of all the dukha for ages to come.
Ed [September 2013]