Thousands flock to witness annual yatra in Open Temple
KOKKADA (Dakshin Kannada): As the annual yatra (Moodappa Seve) began, atmosphere at the Southedka Mahaganapathy temple premises got filled with devotion, patriotism and fun on the evening of February 3. The huge temple complex, situated at Kokkada Village under Belthangadi Taluk in Dakshina Kannada District, about 280 kms away from Bengaluru, witnessed thousands of devotees flocking to take part in the most memorable annual celebrations.
In his blessings, Sadguru Sri Sri Brahmananda Saraswati Swamiji of Kanyadi Sri Rama Kshetra, urged the parents to enlighten their wards with the rich Hindu traditions and cultural history. “Everyone knows that Hinduism is the only solution for leading a peaceful life. By giving importance to earn money and status, society is neglecting spiritual qualities, which is the reason for prevailing turmoil in the society,” said Swamiji adding that steps should be taken in preserving culture and tradition of Hinduism, which is the backbone of our country.
As part of the cultural programme, inspired by the concept of Samskar Bharati, Mangalore Chapter, ‘Uthista Bharatha’, a musical programme involving narration and singing of patriotic songs was held. The programme became a hit with large number of audience who enjoyed the brilliantly composed music as well as informative narration.
The annual yatra consisting of special pooja, eye-catching flower decorations, delicious prasadam, cultural programme, bursting of fireworks, whole night yakshagana (a form of theatrical art), attracts people of all ages due to its different elements. Everyone in the village eagerly waits for the mega event as their relatives from faraway places comes to stay with them for few days during the yatra. Devotees from various districts across the State and Mumbai also turn up for the event.
The legend has it that Lord Ganapati descended from Kailash to a place called ‘Nelyadi’ few kilometers away from Kokkada Village and never returned home. The reason for Ganapati to stay back was the offering he got from children, a locally grown tasty ‘cucumber’ (Southe in Kannada). With the unconditional love and tasty food, Ganapati decided to stay in the forest where cucumbers were grown in large scale. Lord Shiva sent his creation Veerabdra Swami to bring back Ganesh to Kailash but seeing the serene atmosphere and determination of Ganpati, he too settled down along with him. While both of them did not returned and started spending time enjoying the company of children who came to forest for grazing their cows, Paravati came in disguise of Lord Vishnu to take them back with her. Unable to convince Ganesh, she too stayed back to witness the wonderful exchange of love between Ganesh and his devotees.
The unique ‘open’ temple where the principal deity ‘Ganapati’ sitting with ‘Veerabadreshwara’ (warrior created by Lord Shiva) and ‘Goddess Parvati’ (in the form of Lord Vishnu), is an important pilgrimage centre in Karnataka. This temple conducts annual yatra during ‘Magha Masa’ besides ‘Ranga Pooja’ on a daily basis and occasional ‘Ganahoma’. The Avalaki Panchakajjaya Prasadam made from rice flakes, jaggery and coconut is so popular that tasting it once makes one comeback to temple asking for more.
‘Uthishta Bharatha’ – Audio visual presentation of patriotic songs coupled with strong narration left a clear impact on its viewers. When the narration about glories of Bharatmata was going on, people had tears in their eyes.
Prakash Malple, narrator from Mangalore said that a group of Muslim leaders in the border area of Karnataka and Kerala recently met Sitaram Kedilaya who is on a mission of Bharat Parikrama. Muslim leaders expressed their full support for Akhanda Bharat as they believe that Muslims can live peacefully only in India.