SRI TAMRA GOURI SAMETHA MAHABALESHWAR TEMPLE, GOKARNA,
"You have to take this Linga by walk only until you reach Lanka and at any point of time, you should not keep this down....Lord Shiva to Ravana" ...
This shrine is revered by Nayanmars (63 Servitors of God) in their Sacred Thevaram Hymns.
गोकर्ण क्षेत्र निलयं द्विभुजं वरदं सतां
THE TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS....
THE TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS.....
The Uttara Kannada district is known for
its scenic beauty and magnificent temples. The five places of Gokarna,
Murudeshwara, Gunavante, Dhareshwara and Sajjeshwara are believed to be Linga
Any Shiva temple is more auspicious and more powerful if it is west facing. This shrine too is west facing. Devotees are allowed to have a darshan of the top of Aatma Lingam through a golden rekha(line) on the altar and a small hole in the middle. The six foot tall Shivalingam is encased inside the altar and can be seen only once in 40 years, when the Ashta Bandana Kumbhabishekam is performed. A dent on the idol of Sri Ganesha is said to have caused by Ravana when he was infuriated at the loss. There are shrines dedicated to Chandikeswara, Aadi Gokarneswaa and Dattathreya, Gokarnanayakai (known as) Taamragowri (behind the sanctum).
OTHER DEITIES IN THE TEMPLE
The other deties in the temple are : Bhadrakaali, Patti Vinayakar - in this Badrakali dwells south-facing and considered as "protecting deity" while Pattiviyanakar shrine is in North-west side. According to Sri Gokarna Purana - Nageshwar, Kapalabhairaveshwar, Bheemakonda, Kameshwar, Brahmeshwar, Umamaheshwar, Gokarbam, Sri Ram Theerth are important among other deities.
COMMON INFO ABOUT THIS SHRINE
Gokarnam is one among the three most revered holy Kshetras and the other two being Kashi and Rameshwaram. It also carries additional fame as one of the best Bhaskara Kshetras among 10 holy places and innumerable references are drawn from Puranas. Puranas boasts of this place and talks highly about the significance of this place from time immemorial. Due to its importance of highly revered Theertams and rivers and performance of religious rites to the departed souls play a pivotal role in bringing the devotees together.
ASHTA BANDANA MAHAKUMBABISHEKAM (HOLY ABLUTIONS PERFORMED TO THE TOWER ONCE IN 12 YEARS NORMALLY).
Ashtabandana Mahakumbabishekam was performed on May 1983. According to Sastras (religious edict) once in 12 years such holy cleansing has to be performed. However, due to various unknown factors, only in 1903 and 1930 besides 1983 was performed. On normal days, the Shiva Lingam (Aatmalinga) is closed with a case and devotees can see only the one portion of it. Only during this auspicious Kumbabishekam day, they are allowed to have full vision of the Aatmalinga. The crooked shape of the Aatmalinga is due to Ravana trying to remove with full force of the Linga which got rooted to the ground. Devotees can witness the shape of the Linga in a rather unshaped form. Several Yagnas and Homams were performed. Shri. Ganapathi Atharvasheersha Homam, Purusha Sookta Homam, Gayathri Homam, Athirudra Yagam, Sahasra Chandi Yagana were conducted.
Discourses were also held during the festive days. The even was blessed by the presence of Shri. Peshavar Vishweshwar Theertha Swamiji of Udupp, Shri. Gokarna Parthakaalimatha Swamiji, Shri Ramachandrapoor Mathadasar and other holy elders graced the occasion. The Kumbabishekam was performed by Sringeri Sri Bharatheertha Swamiji. Stalwarts like Morarji Desai, the then Karnataka Chief Minister R.Hegde attended the occasion and received the blessings of the Lord. About three lakh devotees attended.
From Karwar : 60 kms, Kumata: 32 Kms, from Bangalore: 460 Kms, from Mangalore: 225 Kms, from Konkan Railway station 10 kms.
Shri Mahabaleshwar temple enshrines the Aatma Lingam of Lord Shiva. The legend is similar to Lord Ranganatha's prevention by Ganesha when Vibeeshana was taking the Vigraham to Sri Lanka.
Legend has it that King Ravana undergoes severe penance after learning about the (horn Linga) Prana Linga at this place - seeking boons to take the same to Sri Lanka to make his kingdom prosper and remain an unconquerable fortress. After learning his plans, Triloka Sanchari Narada feels that if the Shivalinga is taken to the Island, Devas would lose power. Narada visits Indraloka, narrates the consequences and pleads to Indra to prevent Ravana's mission at any cost. Indra, accompanied by Devas, at once reach Kailash, by which time, Ravana receives the Praana Lingam and embarks on his mission back to Sri Lanka with the gifted Shiva Lingam. Lord Shiva, laid down a condition to Ravana that "this should not be kept on the ground until it reaches the destination and you should take it by a walk. If grounded for any reasons, you cannot take it back again".
Lord Vishnu - with an idea to grab the Shiva Linga, knowing that Ravana do not delay or postpone performing daily austerities of Sandhyavandanam (the evening prayers stipulated for a Brahmin), calls Lord Ganesha and tells him "you act as a bachelor and roam around Ravana wherever he goes. Once Sandhyavanada time approaches, Ravana will give the Shiva Linga to you to hold it until he finishes his religious duty, at that time, you lay down a condition saying "if i am not able to bear the pain of weight, I will call you 3 times and if you do not turnaround I will keep it down". Lord Vishnu then places His Chakra (discus) between earth and space, thus making it like 'evening'. Devas inject the power of three worlds on the Shiva Lingam. Unable to bear the pain, Lord Ganesha shouts three time to Ravana. As he did not turn up despite warning, He keeps down the Lingam which remains rooted to the ground. Because of the force with which it was thrust, the Lingam goes down piercing through the seven underworld (sapthapaathala) and remains rooted strongly. Devas rejoice. Ravana finishes His Sandhyavandanam and came to know about this Boy's act and got outraged. He was furious by the Boy's act and tapped His head in anger. He then laid down 20 hands and tried to remove the Lingam with all his force. Unable to even shake an inch, he departs to Lanka in despair. Devas summons Devachirpi - the Sculptor of Deva Loka and requestim him to build a temple around it. Lord Ganesha dwells in standing posture. Lord Shiva is called "Mahabaleshwar and Goddes Parvathi is called "Taamragawri and she runs in the form of river as well as remains partially in human form". This holy place is called Dakshina Kashi and considered most sacred to Hindus and considered to be next in sanctity to Varanasi.
GOKARNAM - THE NAME
The legends retold here that due to the force thrust by Ravana, the Shivalingam stayed fixed and this action is said to have caused the Lingam to the shape of Cow's ear, thus earning the name Gokarna. Also this place is served as a womb for Sri Rudra, it is called Rudra Yoni and Aadi Gokarna.
Once upon a time, when Lord Brahma was in deep penance, there appeared a Lady from His right-hand. She was blessed by Brahma that She would unite with Rudra soon. She set out to meet Sri Rudra and came to know He was in Gokarna. She went to Gosinga Hills (this is called Tamra Parvath), She descended here and begun Her penance with dedication. Sri Rudran showed interest in knowing Her history and mission. Brahma, at once, appeared in front of Him, narrated the story and conducted the marriage. The marriage event place is called Vaivashika Parvath (Kalyana Giri). Since She roamed in Tamra Parvath and Her name was Gowri, this place was name after "Tamra Gowri". After the marriage, She appeared in both Human and River Form. She dwelled east facing not far away from Lord Shiva. She circumambulate Rudra Yoni and merge with sea near Pithrasthali. Devotes take holy bathe in the river, performs enshrined respects to the departed souls, according to Puranas, this actlifts the departed souls from Hell to Heaven. Those who bathe and worship Lord Shiva on a Full Moon (Poornima) day, He/She is relieved of past sins.
THE HISTORICAL ASPECTS
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