DANDI SRI HANUMAN TEMPLE, BET/BEYT DWARKA, DWARKA, GUJARAT....
The city of Dwarka is considered one of the seven most sacred cities of Bharat, the others being Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kasi [Varanasi], Kanchi, Avantika. As per mythology this city had been founded by Lord Sri Krishna after He had left Mathura. Lord reclaims land from the sea for this city and Vishwakarma builds the city on the banks of river Gomati as per the wishes of Lord Krishna. The city had many palaces covered with gold roof, silver and other precious stones adorned the walls. The glittering city it was, after Sri Krishna left this soil for Vaikunta, the Yadava leaders fought within them and ruined the Sri Krishna’s clan. The city then submerged into the sea.
Swarg Dwarka /Moksh Dwarka
Today we had lost the Dwarka built by Sri Krishna, but we have a Dwarka city located in the Jamnagar District of Gujarat in the shore of Arabian Sea in the western end of Bharat. There is a temple for Sri Krishna here and the present temple was built in sixteenth century in the very same spot where Sri Krishna’s great grandson Sri Vajra had built the temple for Sri Krishna. The Lord is known by the name Sri Dwarakadhish in this kshetra. The temple has two main dwar [doors].Through Swarg Dwar the pilgrims enters the temple for dharshan of Sri Dwarakadhish and through Moksh Dwar pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. The shrine of Yosodha Ma is facing the Sri Dwarakadhish. In Dwarka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Jambavati Devi and Satyabhama Devi. It is worth noting that there is no sannathi for Rukmini Devi in this complex.
Bet Dwarka / Beyt Dwarka:
‘Beyt’ in Gujarati means island hence the island in Dwarka is called ‘Beyt Dwarka’. Around thirty two KM from the main Dwarka is the island called Bet Dwarka or Beyt Dwarka. One has to take a ferry boat from Okha port jetty to reach this island. The island is part of original Dwarka built by Sri Krishna and he had met his childhood friend Sri Sudama here. Therefore devotees call this place as ‘Bet Dwarka’ where ‘bet’ in Hindi meaning ‘meeting’. Sri Vallabhacharya had established the temple here with the idol of Lord Sri Krishna worshiped by Rukmini Devi.
Dandi Hanuman Temple:
Five kilometers east of the Beyt Dwarka main Sri Krishna temple there is a magnificent and unique temple for Lord Hanuman. It is more popularly known as Dandi Hanuman Temple. How this temple is unique is more interesting. To know how unique the temple is, let us take a brief stroll into the mythological lanes of Ramayana. While there are many version about Ahi Ravan, Mahi Ravan and Makaradwaj the following descriptions of Sri Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan is unique to the Maharashtra Bajanasampradhaya especially followers of Sri Aanantha Dhanaya Deva.
Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan are two step brothers of Ravan and were living in the patal lok. While many rakshasas are kamaroopi i.e. who can take any roopa they require, these brothers are experts in performing maya and can assume any form they want and deceive others. The brothers while on visit to Himalayas saw a deva kannika by name Chandrasena and fell in love with her. Both of them tried their best to win over her, but Chandrasena did not like either of them. Therefore to trick them she told them she will live with only one of them and they should come to conclusion as to who it should be. Since both the brothers wanted her, neither of them was prepared to part-company of her in favour of other. Therefore Chandrasena was taken to patal lok and lodged in the beautifully built palace for her by these brothers. Both of them feared that the other may perform pooja or sacrifice to their deity of worship to win over Chandrasena. Therefore both of them closed the main door of the Garbhagraha of deity of worship and handed over the key to Chandrasena with an understanding that the key is to be handed over only if both of them request. This arrangement suited Chandrasena.
War at Lanka was nearing the end. In the war that ensued between Sri Rama and Ravana, Ravana had lost almost all his trusted lieutenants and had chosen to fight the war under his command itself. At that stage, a flash of thought crossed his mind, that he could ask some assistance from his step brothers Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan who are ruling patal lok [nether world]. Ravana went to his step brothers for help in quest to conquer Sri Rama. On hearing the plight of Ravana, his brothers assured him that they will take care of Rama and his brother Lakshmana.
Fort in the battle field
Having assured Ravana, brothers set them for a visit of the battle field in the early night to assess the situation. War for the day is over and the field was quiet. They saw a vanara sitting on the top of the hill. On keen observation they found that the vanara had made a fort like structure with its own tail and sitting on the top of the fort guarding. Through their maya sakti they found that inside the fort [made of vanara tail] Sri Rama and Lakshmana are asleep and beside them they saw Vibishana and an old bear. They had understood that the fort had been erected by using tail of Hanuman and he is guarding the fort in which Sri Rama and Lakshmana are resting guarded by Vibishana and Jambavath.
Trick to dupe Hanuman
The Ahi Mahi brothers thought for a while for finding a way to penetrate into the fort. They decided to trick Hanuman, Ahi takes the roopa of Vibishana and Mahi takes the roopa of Jambavath. They roll in the sand and with dirt on them and stood in front of Hanuman. Looking at them Hanuman wondered as to how they came out of the ‘tail fort’. As if to answer the doubt of Hanuman the brothers replied “oh! Hanuman! We were standing besides Sri Rama and Lakshmana and when we moved little down there was quick sand and we were taken down from where we escaped and are standing in front of you.”
Hanuman replied them that they had to be careful in their duty and asked them to enter the ‘tail fort’ by lifting the end of the tail. No sooner the brothers entered the ‘tail fort’; they made Vibishana and Jambavath faint and took possession of Sri Rama and Lakshmana. They produced a flashing light and a thunder like sound and vanished in the thin air with Sri Rama and Lakshmana.
Whereabouts of Sri Rama and Lakshmana
Before blink of eyes things had happened. Hanuman was perplexed and asked Vibishana as to what had happened. Vibishana saw the sinister plot behind the act and came to conclusion that this act could have been played by non other than his step brothers Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan. He told Hanuman the same and told that Sri Rama and Lakshmana would have been taken to patal lok by his step brothers. Hanuman took a decision to plunge into patal lok.
Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan in Patal Lok
Carrying Sri Rama and Lakshmana, Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan entered their palace in patal lok. When Chandrasena saw the divine charm of Sri Rama and Lakshmana, she asked the Ravans the details. She was told that they had brought ‘bali’ for the deity of their worship and took the keys of the temple from Chandrasena. They laid Sri Rama and Lakshmana in the Bali mandapam in front of the Garbhagraha deity, locked the door of the Garbhagraha and the Bali mandapam and then gave the keys to Chandrasena. They reminded her about the instruction that the keys could be handed over to them only when they come together.
Hanuman enters Patal Lok
Hanuman in search of Sri Rama and Lakshmana enters the Patal Lok and locates the palace of Ahi and Mahi Ravan. To his astonishment he found that the palace being guarded by a vanara. As tried to enter the palace, he was challenged by the mighty vanara. Hanuman told the vanara that he would visit the palace once and go away. The vanara did not oblige. When Hanuman forcefully tried to enter the palace, the vanara stopped him and started to fight. From the technique used by the vanara and resistance he had shown for the strength and force applied by Hanuman, Hanuman felt that the vanara is not an ordinary vanara. Hanuman asked for his identification, to which the vanara told that he is son of great warrior Sri Hanuman of Ramasena. Hanuman was taken aback.
“Hanuman is a bachelor and how could you be his son?”
“Yes. My father Sri Hanuman does not know that I am his son. When my father visited Lanka in search of Sita mata, Ravan of Lanka had lit the fire in my father’s tail.. It did not burn the tail, instead he had burnt Lanka with it. After destroying Lanka, my father extinguished the fire by dipping the burning tail in the ocean. At that time a drop of sweat fell in the ocean which was swallowed by a crocodile [Makar in Sanskrit]. As a result of that I was born to the makara [crocodile] hence known as ‘Makardhwaj’. I was born in the kitchen of Rani Chandrasena. Then the compassionate Rani looked after me like a mother.”
“Oh! Makardhwaj have you seen Hanuman?”
“It is me. I am Hanuman. I had come here on a great mission of rescuing Sri Rama and Lakshmana.”
“Pranam! Whatever be the reason, even though you are my father, you have to conquer me to enter the palace.”
Hearing the commotion Chandrasena came out of the palace.
“Makardhwaj! What is the matter?”
“He is my father Sri Hanuman and is trying to enter the palace”
“I had come in search of Sri Rama and Lakshmana. I was tricked by the maya of Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan who had taken Sri Rama and Lakshmana as prisoners and brought them here to patal lok.”
“Pranam Sri Hanuman! Yes the brothers had brought Sri Rama and Lakshmana for offering them as human sacrifice to their deity of worship. They wish to conquer the world by this great human sacrifice. The offering is to be made in wee hours in the morning. I have the key of the temple sanctum, but when the brothers come together I am to give the key to them.”
“I am grateful to you for bringing up my son Makardhwaj as a great warrior and dutiful soldier. I request that I may be sent inside the sanctum and you can lock the door. Leave the rest to me and with the blessings of Sri Rama, the mission will be accomplished.”
Rani Chandrasena thought for a while and let Sri Hanuman inside the sanctum and locked the door of the Garbhagraha.
Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan in the temple
After a while Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan and others entered the temple along with pooja samagri. They opened the Bali mandapam and approached the Garbhagraha, and were standing in the Bali mandapam front of Sri Rama and Lakshmana. Suddenly a divine voice from inside the sanctum retorted “Stop opening the doors and entering the sanctum. I am in ‘Ugra’ stithi. See what my ugra had done to the vimanam of the sanctum.”
The brothers saw the padmadalam and kalasam of the vimanam missing and there was a big opening in the mid of the vimanam. “I am glad that both of you had brought the best offering for me. I want the sacred human brought by you to be left for me as offering. Do not unlock the doors and open the Garbhagraham, leave the offering through the opening in the vimanam and all of you leave the temple. After I am satisfied with the offering I shall call you and only you two should enter the temple and the Garbhagraham. Now all of you should leave the temple, if you want the best reward for the offering you are making.” said the divine voice.
Immensely satisfied Ahi and Mahi
Unaware that it was Hanuman who was mimicking the deity of Ravan’s voice, Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan were so pleased that they could invoke the deity of their worship. They drove all other people out of the temple. They took Sri Rama and Lakshmana from the Bali mandapam, and placed them on a joola and slowly downed them into Garbhagraham through the opening in the vimanam. Then they locked the Bali mandapam, temple and waited for the orders from sanctum.
Sri Hanuman’s Trick
After some time Sri Hanuman who had mimicked the voice of the deity called out for Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan to receive the reward. Both of them entered the temple and then the Bali mandapam and looked anxiously to their deity. The voice from the sanctum said “Come inside the sanctum, fall at my feet together, you shall be rewarded.” They unlocked the door of Garbhagraham and entered and fell at the feet of the deity of their worship. Alas! The sword in the hand of the deity fell on the neck of the Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan, killing them instantaneously. Sri Hanuman had tricked the brothers who had earlier tricked him by kidnapping Sri Rama and Lakshmana.
Chandrasena thanked Sri Hanuman for his act and said that she wanted Sri Makaradwaj to be the king of patal lok. She along with her adopted son Sri Makaradwaj offered their prayers to Sri Rama, Sri Lakshmana and Sri Hanuman before they set themselves for the next task in front of them. Before the sunrise Sri Hanuman took Sri Rama and Lakshmana to the Lanka battle field.
Dandi Hanuman Temple: of Bet/Byet Dwarka
Five kilo meters east of the Beyt Dwarka's main Sri Krishna temple there is a magnificent and unique temple for Lord Hanuman known as Dandi Hanuman Temple. This temple in unique since it is built in the very same spot where Sri Hanuman had met His son Makaradwaj for the first time. As the temple is approached the chanting of the “thryodhashari” Mantra "Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram" renders the air. [The “thryodhashari” mantra was coined by Sri Samarth Ramadas – please see our Sri Hanumath Devotee section for further details]. The serene surrounding and the calm atmosphere in which the temple is set and with the 'thryodhashari’mantra rendering the air one enters the temple with all piousness. In the centre of a big open space a small temple under the pepal tree had been built for Sri Hanuman and Sri Makaradwaj. The temple is east facing. Wherever you turn the “thryodhashari” mantra is written. Today the temple complex in huge, all around the compound the chant of “Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram” is heard
As you enter the temple you can have dharshan of father and son. Sri Hanuman is seen on your right side and Sri Makaradwaj is seen on the left hand side. Sri Makaradwaj is seen slightly taller than Sri Hanuman. On close look one could see Sri Makaradwaj in full. His right hand is seen raised above his right shoulder showing the sign of ‘abhaya’. His left hand is seen resting closing his chest signifying ‘when I have my father in my heart, why you worry?’ His left leg is raised and resting on the head of a demon which is pinned and lying down. His tail is seen resting on the ground, impaling that the demon had been pinned down without much effort.
By the side of Sri Makaradwaj, Sri Hanuman is seen. Sri Hanuman is seen above his thigh only. Lord’s right hand is seen raised above the right shoulder and turns to back of the head. Lord’s left hand is seen resting on the chest. His tail rising above the right shoulder runs parallel to the hand bending backward near His head. Sri Hanuman is thus seen in a relaxed mood enjoying Sri Makaradwaj destroying the demon.
Why Dandi Hanuman?
One can see a club placed between them. It seems there is no need for the club here. Sri Hanuman in relaxed and joyous mood, Sri Makaradwaj is also seen enjoying what he is doing and relaxed. There is no gadha or any other weapon in the hands of these two. Even the club is put to rest. In Gujarat the joyous mood, merry and melancholy are expressed with ‘Dandi’. It is no wonder that this temple where Sri Hanuman and Sri Makaradwaj are virajman is called ‘Dandi Hanuman’, meaning joyous Hanuman.
There is idol for Sri Ganesa and Sri Kalabairava in the temple facing north.
Uniqueness of this temple
Firstly this is the only temple in Bharat where Sri Makaradwaj and Sri Hanuman seen together.
Secondly both of them are seen without any weapon.
Thirdly Sri Makaradwaj is seen crushing a demon.
Fourthly Sri Hanuman is visible only from above the thigh.
Fifthly every year during Dasara Sri Dwarakadhish of Byte Dwarka adorned like Sri Rama, visits this temple in a palkhi [palanquin]. Sri Krishna adorned as Sri Rama is not seen anywhere in Bharat.
Sixthly there is 24 x 7 chanting of ‘thryodhashari’ mantra in this Hanuman mandir.
Today Dandi Hanuman Temple
A charitable trust is now maintains the Dandi Hanuman temple. The Guru Parampara as Brimhamurari -> Pream Bhikshji Maharaj -> Kashmiri baba had created awareness about the “thryodhashari” mantra “Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram” throughout Gujarat. The mantra is chanted continuosly in as many as seven Sri Hanuman temples at Byte Dwarka, Dwarka, Porbandhar, and Rajkot etc. There are always many groups of devotees who come from different part of Bharat to chant this mantra at this temple. The temple has facilities for accommodating the devotees who visit for this purpose. This facility is extended to other devotees also.
Sri Sankata Mochan
Devotees suffering of chronic health problem or other problem visit this temple and take a supari from the priest with an understanding that they will chant the ‘thryodhashari’ mantra with the supari in hand and return the same to the temple once their wishes are fulfilled. There is a local belief that Sri Hanuman is going down the earth by a measure of grain every year and the kali yug will come to an end once Sri Hanuman leaves this place to take up the position of Sri Brahma for the next kalpam.
Sri Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated here for seven days and attracts very large devotees of entire Gujarat and Maharastra.
Devotees need to come here and stay for a day at least to realise the real sprit of ‘thryodhashari’ mantra and power of Sri Hanuman when with Sri Makaradwaj.
[Ed : December 2011] Sri Hanumath Jayanti Special