Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mahayogi Lakshmamma Avva Samadhi Adoni




The Mahayogi Lakshmamma Temple, Adoni
Mahayogi Lakshmamma Avva - The first time I heard this name was during one of my initial visits to Mantralayam way back in 2008. A poster with details in Telugu and a picture of a frail woman in an unusual posture looking down attracted my attention. My friends travelling with me,told me that she was a Siddhar/Avadhootha, and once someone in jealousy had chopped off her limbs while she was sleeping and found them intact the next morning as she resumed her chores. This really amazed me and the Samadhi went into my "Must Visit" list. However it was only about ten visits to Mantralayam later, that I was able to go to Adoni and visit the samadhi of Avva (grandmother) as she is affectionately known. From then on, I have gone whenever possible.
Portrait of Mahayogi Lakshmamma Avva as found in the temple
The life of Mahayogi Lakshmamma is extremely interesting and awe-inspiring. Born to Bandeppa and Mangamma, in a poverty stricken Dalit Family at Moosanapalli, a small village 7 km from Adoni, Lakshmamma roamed about the streets of the village as a young girl., stark naked, mumbling nonsensical words. People thought she was mad and advised her parents to get her married to cure her of her insanity. The parents chose a groom for her, a young lad called Mareppa and got her married. Being an Avadhootha, Lakshmamma demonstrated her spiritual status to her husband and returned to her parents house the same night. People who did not realise her spiritual powers, pelted stones at her, thinking she was mad. Those who inflicted injuries on her, found misfortune in their lives for their deeds.

Lakshmamma joined a group of people coming to the village shandy at Adoni. She settled herself beside a garbage dump in the silver market and never went back. She ate whatever was offered to her. She continued to roam around the streets, mumbling nonsensical words. People called her Thotti (Garbage Dump) Lakshmamma or Thikka (Mad)  Lakshmamma.

Entrance to the Mahayogi Lakshmamma Temple
In Adoni, Lakshmamma's grace flowed to all those who sought her sincerely. Several people gave her food and fruits knowing her spiritual state. She cured people of ailments and disease.
  • A lady called Gowramma came to her seeking cure for her husband suffering from cancer. Lakshmamma looked at her with compassion and muttered a few words. In due course, Gowramma's husband was cured. As a token of gratitude, Gowramma gave her an anna. Very soon, Gowramma became the owner of sixty acres of land. A small token given in sincere prayer yielded rich rewards for her.
  • Avva gave fruits bitten by her to women longing for childbirth and they would have their prayers answered.
  • Once there was a huge downpour and all the roads and drains in Adoni were flooded. People were worried about Avva as she stayed and slept in the open air next to the garbage dump, but could not venture out fearing their own safety. Once the rain subsided, they found her coming out safely from an overflowing drain, totally unaffected.
  • Once as mentioned earlier in this article, Avva was once found with her limbs mutilated. But the next morning she appeared normal.
  • The merchants in the silver market felt that if Lakshmamma came to their shop and asked for food, then their business will do well for that day. One day, a Jeweller in the bazaar had lost a small pouch containing exquisite and valuable diamonds. He searched his shop high and low, but could not find the bag. He was terribly upset as he had paid a handsome price to acquire the diamonds and hoped to make a good profit by selling them. Avva walked into the shop and dumped some garbage right in the middle and walked out. The jeweller was perplexed. He knew she did nothing without reason. Triggered by her action, he asked his attendants to search the garbage dump, and found the bag of diamonds intact.
  • People who recognised Lakshmamma Avva's divine powers were adequately blessed. One of her ardent devotees, Late Sri Raichooti Ramaiah performed a cart festival for her even when she was alive.
  • Lakshmamma Avva attained samadhi in the year 1933. Her samadhi was built at the same spot where she spent her life.
Lakshmamma Avva Samadhi
The Samadhi is built in an underground chamber and a gold idol of Lakshmamma Avva is placed over it in the Sanctum Sanctorum. The beautifully decorated and bejewelled idol is a delight to watch. What was most endearing is that the idol was decorated with a saree made from pomegranate seeds. During her life, Lakshmamma Avva had considered even clothes as a burden. It was ironical to see her gold idol with so much finery. However, the devotees were showing their deep love, gratitude and devotion to Avva by decorating her to their pleasure.
Sanctum Sanctorum of Lakshmamma Avva
The Poojari offered harathi with devotion and gave us flowers as prasad. Unlike other temples in Andhra and Karnataka, this temple thankfully has a large board describing the life and miracles of Avva in English for the benefit of all visitors. 

A beautiful Silver Utsava Moorthy is placed in a seperate shrine as we circumambulate the sanctum sanctorum. This silver moorthy of Avva is taken out in procession in a silver cart every year, a ritual that had begun while she was alive.
Silver idol taken out in procession
Even today, several hundreds of devotees throng her samadhi every day, seeking blessings and offering gratitude for prayers answered. The environment in the temple is calm and soothing amidst the glaring marble tiles. Some people also go into the underground samadhi and meditate in peace in front of Avva.

How to reach here:

Adoni is located at 15.63 N 77.28 E. It is a commercial town in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. It is about 300 kms from Hyderabad and 494 kms from Chennai. From Chennai, one can reach Adoni easily by trains that ply towards Mumbai. There are also daily trains from Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kanyakumari, Mumbai, Gulburga, Ahmedabad and Tirupathi. State Transport Buses connect Adoni from Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kurnool, Anantapur, Vijayawada, Bellary, Tirupathi and Mysore.

Nearest Airport is Hyderabad and nearest domestic airport is Bellary at 68 km.

Adoni is an hour's drive from Mantralayam. So if you are on a pilgrimage to Mantralayam, it would be easy to visit here. There are a number of buses available from Mantralayam to Adoni. Private jeeps charge approximately Rs.1300 for a two way trip.


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38 comments:

  1. Awesome read. Felt really enlightened having read your experience.

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  2. Hey Priya! Very nice post.. Good to know about lesser known places like these..Great Job... Keep travelling and writing...

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  3. Where is the temple? To be honest, this is the first time I have heard of Her but Im intrigued.

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  4. Truly inspirational...thanks for sharing..

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  5. Visiting this site is like visiting a temple there is even the smell of camphor and incense sticks in the air.

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  6. Hi, very enlightening read! I remember seeing Adoni only as a station while passing to Bangalore from the Udyan Express. I'm sure that I'll plan out a trip to Manthralayam and Adoni shortly.

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  7. Nice post... the pictures really grabbed my attention

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  8. Thanks Hari, Arti, VMS Sir and Thanumoorthy Sir, Your encouragement and appreciation trigger my passion of visiting and documenting lesser known temples!

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  9. @Emmy, you are absolutely right. It was the same picture that I have posted here which I saw near the Mantralayam CRO which moved me and motivated me to visit the samadhi.

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  10. @Gayatri, Adoni is in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh in India. Routes through different modes of transport are available on the post. Do let me know when you visit. I will help. Warm regards,Priya

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  11. @Akshay, my prayers for you to visit soon. Regards Priya

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  12. Thanks a lot for giving such a detailed information. I couldn't visit the place for more than 3-4 years since i saw the poster in mntrlym and photo at srinivasa bavan hotel, mntrlym. u have made more impression to see the place at the earliest. I guess the pains for the informations u have got. Congrats. Go ahead. visit lot more places and present it to all. I have visited one jeeva samadhi of subburaya pethodu swamigal near KOSIGI Rly. Stn. Do try to visit the same and giv us some informations pls... -dhenupureeswara dhaasan shankar. 98847 18 324.

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  13. Thank you so much Shankar Sir. I am now really eager to visit the jeeva Samadhi of Sri Subburaya Pethodu Swami. Crossed through Kosigi so many times but did not know about this. I am going on 31st will try to visit. The main problem is everything is written in Telugu so difficult to read. Have you visited Panchalinga Kshetra at Gurijala? I have visited there twice but nobody seems to know the history of the temple.It is an awesome time, highly neglected.

    Regards Priya

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  14. Fantastic post, we are living by great siddhas like Avva. So many people who read this would certainly be blessed by Avva. Keep up the good work. If these posts encourage people to pursue serious spiritual practices it would be good. Hearty Pranams and prayers to all the Siddhas. Priya, I sincerely wish you, your associates and family for all the very best, humble prayers to all the Siddhas who guide us.

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  15. Hi Priya,
    My father migrated from Adoni to Vijayawada in early 70's and I was born there. My mom always prays to Adoni Lakshmamma Thalli for every occassion to go well with her blessings at home. But I had never seen the picture of Lakshmamma, until recently. There is some trauma I am going thru in my personal life and suddenly came across this picture and a prayer book, gifted by my eldest sister, with the words "Put in pooja and pray" and as you said, I started to read her life history and the prayers and am praying to her every day with earnest. I can sense that calmness and her Blessings for me, which makes me feel more inner peace. I have not visited Adoni but have prayed sincerely to visit her on my next visit to India.

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  16. Thank you so much Rob for your kind feedback. @ Vijji,I am sure with her blessings all your problems will be solved and you will soon be able to visit India and Lakshmamma

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  17. Really very informative. And a wonderful story beautifully told.

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  18. hi padmapriya...not sure if u wud do awards..i hv nominated u for one..chk my blog https://zradar.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/yipeee-i-am-recognised/

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  19. Thank you so much Raj and Z- Radar :)

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  20. Really good one...i like spiritual place to visit on some time of interval. i will surely visit that place also. Thank you for the information.


    MBA Placement Colleges

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  21. thank you priya. I had never heard about maa..i will surely visit to this temple in near future.

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  22. Hi Priya,

    Does Amma help even now after Her samadhi? Is language a barrier to pray?

    Roopa V.

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  23. Dear Roopa,

    There are hundreds of devotees who throng her samadhi every day and are having their prayers answered...I dont think language should be a barrier to pray. Good luck with your prayers.

    Warm regards,Priya

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  24. Dear Priya,

    Thank you for the reply. I cannot visit the samadhi anytime soon becoz of some problems, I want to pray to Amma from home. Hope Amma brings some relief to my severe skin condition that is causing me & my family members so much of pain.

    You have wonderful blog. You're doing very good seva of introducing so many temples to the devotees. Thank you for introducing Sri Lakshmamma Amma to us all.

    Roopa V.

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  25. Awesome post! I born and brought up until I'm 18 but didn't know the story of her life.. I visit every time I go back to india and after reading your post I felt really good to see laxmmam Avva temple in your post .. Thanks for adding this information in your blog

    Rajesh Rasale

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  26. hi priya
    nice post and nice blog. i have never heard of shri lakshmamma but when i read her story in your blog im a bit shocked and suprised..why? because this is exactly the story of a lady siddhar who is also an avadhootha and is still living amongst us in interiors of tamilnadu. few months ago i visited her. she doesnt talk much but blesses all through her keen eyes. she made us eat her prasad freshly cooked by her devotees and made me sing some song and listened and blessed. we are very gifted to live in their times.

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  27. Thanks for the post. I lived in Adoni for the first 20 years, close to half the time of my current age. I visited the temple along with my mother 4 or 5 times as a kid. I didn't know much about Avva. Now that I am trying to learn about and understand the yogis and avadhutas I felt this as a very enlightening read. See the fate! We are so entrenched with our of-no-greater-purpose activities and we totally miss to notice such people living amongst us. Blessed are those who realized and served Avva.

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  28. Hi Priya, Kudos to you... Adoni is my mom's birth place and I used to visit several times every year during holidays, a significant part of my childhood was spent in Adoni with my granny, my uncles (mom's brothers) and cousins. I had visited Mahayogi Lakshmamma (fondly known as "Lakshmammavva")'s temple several times. Heard a lot of stories about her from my granny, who happens to be of same generation. She is a real yogi like Shirdi Saibaba. We used to visit every year for the jathara (Car-festival) till I moved out for my education and my job subsequently.

    Your post now makes me think of visiting the place once again. I think I am going to visit soon. I so miss listening to my granny's stories, participating in the car-festival of avva, buying all the colorful toys in the jathara, throwing flowers and bananas on the cart in a huge crowd of devotees... I miss those days.... I miss my granny :-(

    I will update here once I visit the temple again. Thanks once again for the post :)

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  29. thanks for d shoot dat pics mom. . . .
    Really awesome.
    Actually im a great adonian....
    I just created adoni group, ,
    tanq so much mom.

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  30. 31may2013
    Yesterday only completed

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  31. hey priya
    d article is vry gud. evn i wud luv 2 visit dis place... may b nxt year.......

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  32. hey priya
    The article is very good. I would love to visit this place. may be next year.

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  33. Request from anyone who live in Adoni or regularly visit this town: In a residential neighborhood (near Allama Gangamma school area) there are two temples opposite to each other, Veera Bhadra swami temple and a smaller temple with Shiva worshiped in Linga form. If anyone can send pictures (regular cell phone pictures are okay) of the small Shiva temple and especially of an oil painting on the side wall (opposite side to the Navagraha) showing Bedara Kannappa, please, please send it to me. I hope this temple is not remodeled and the picture of Kannappa I am looking for is not removed as my last visit was aver 12 years ago. Please contact me through gmail or facebook and the ID is: manoj.muthukuru@gmail.com.
    Thank you.

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  34. Request from anyone who live in Adoni or regularly visit this town: In a residential neighborhood (near Allama Gangamma school area) there are two temples opposite to each other, Veera Bhadra swami temple and a smaller temple with Shiva worshiped in Linga form. If anyone can send pictures (regular cell phone pictures are okay) of the small Shiva temple and especially of an oil painting on the side wall (opposite side to the Navagraha) showing Bedara Kannappa, please, please send it to me. I hope this temple is not remodeled and the picture of Kannappa I am looking for is not removed as my last visit was aver 12 years ago. Please contact me through gmail or facebook and the ID is: manoj.muthukuru@gmail.com.
    Thank you.

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  35. I came across your post while searching for the information about Avadhuta Sri Lakshmamma Avva. MANY THANKS for such a detailed description along with samadhi mandiram photos, and some of the divine leelas of Amma. I felt very happy reading about amma through this post. Thank you.

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