Saturday, March 27, 2021

Dharapuram Dasa Anjaneya Darisanam Part 4 - Miracles Happen!





Amaravathi river near Veeraraghavapuram Agraharam

I had mentioned in Part 3 about how we were unable to see the Vyasaraja Hanumans in Veeraraghavapuram and Bheemaraya Agraharams as the temples were closed. Two other Hanumans are in the middle of cultivated fields and hence could not be witnessed, as there was no access. After I returned to Chennai, the Hanumans were still in my mind.

When there is a very strong and genuine desire, the Universe finds a way to grant it to you. Every year, through Aalayam Kanden Trust, the Sthalapuranam of a temple is written in Tamil and English and multiple copies (500-1000) are printed for free distribution at that temple. This year, it had to be Kadu Hanumantharaya Swamy temple. The Dasa Hanumans had become very close to my heart and I wanted to go back - to see if there was a chance to see the other Hanumans.

Soon the books were ready, and I got in touch with the Chairman of the temple to see if he could help me to visit the closed temple in Veeraraghavapuram Agraharam. He was kind enough to give me the number of the trustee. Mohan, the young man who had helped me during the first visit, got all excited, for he too had not visited these temples, despite staying locally. So he got on the job of following up to see if the temple can be opened. But the answer was negative - reasons given were fair enough - the stability of the shrine and the snakes crawling about in and around the temple. 

Well, the day dawned and I set off to Dharapuram to deliver the books. Mohan had asked me to come first to Bheemaraya Agraharam as the small shrine behind the Arasamarathadi Hanuman which had another Vyasaraja Hanuman closed early. He even went over to hold the priest while we arrived. 


The Hanuman here is much smaller than those we have seen before, but with the same characteristics as identified with Vyasaraja Hanumans. As I stood praying before him, thanking him for the darshan, and asking the most significant question on my mind - will we get to see the Veeraraghavapuram Agraharam Hanuman, Mohan was already on the job. He had gone to meet the Chief priest of the temple in the room next door. The other priest seemed to read my mind - " I have been here for over ten years now. I have not seen the Veeraraghavapuram temple open", he said. My husband had already started convincing me to move on - "It is the same Hanuman everywhere, whether you worship him here or there" he said, stopping short when I glared at him.

The wait seemed endless, not knowing where Mohan was. I decided to go into the Chief Priest's room to find out what was going on, as the husband was getting impatient now. The moment I stepped in, what I saw made me catch my breath. Mohan was not there. But, there was a Brindavana inside the room, and a picture of my Guru Sri Raghavendra Swamy right next to it. It was as though the delay had been deliberate to invite me into the room. Why havent you asked me to help, he seemed to be asking me. As I stood frozen in my tracks, the man in the room welcomed me in a soft voice. 

Guru Bhakti Nidhi Theertha Brindavana

Coming to my senses, I introduced myself. When I mentioned that I had come back specifically to visit the two Hanumans and while I was glad to have seen the Bheemaraya Agrahara Hanuman, I would be delighted if I could also visit the Veeraraghavapuram Agrahara, he smiled understandingly. "I used to be the priest at that temple. That agraharam is the oldest in Dharapuram but was completely destroyed by floods in the Amaravathi river. People who lived there moved to safer locations. Since there were no houses nearby, the temple became uncared for and has lost its stability. Over the last forty-five years, several efforts have been taken to repair it, but nothing has been possible" he said. 

I was looking at the picture of Guru Raghavendra Swamy as he spoke, beseeching him to somehow help. " I have asked Mohan to go to the trustee's house in the same road, and ask if the temple can be opened for you. He should be back soon", he said. " I am a Government employee, and perform the poojas to the Hanumans, and this Brindavana in my free time as a volunteer, which is why the temple closes early" he said. Is this Raghavendra Swamy's Mrithika Brindavana? I asked. " No, this is the Brindavana of Shri Guru Bhakthi Nidhi Theertha. He was a Sanyasi who had great respect and devotion for Guru Raghavendra Swamy. When the Kadu Hanumantharaya Swamy temple was closed due to Cholera in the city, he was the one who opened it and started prayers not fearing a threat to his own life" he said. I prayed silently to the Mahaan and just at that moment, my phone rang. It was Mohan. "Akka, the trustee has agreed. I am coming with the keys" he said in an excited voice.

I could not believe my ears. As I got up to thank the priest for having arranged for the temple to be opened, I asked him his name. " I am Raghavendra", he said with a smile - everyone knows me as "Guru". Tears started flowing involuntarily, as I prostrated before the Brindavana. He had come, my Guru had come to guide me - through the priest and through the untiring efforts of Mohan.

Soon, we were getting into our vehicles to go over to the Veeraraghavapuram Agraharam. A senior gentleman who has been the most recent priest at the temple was accompanying us with the keys. The other priest at Bheemaraya Agraharam too wanted to join, as he had never been there. While getting into the car, I asked the senior gentleman his name "Vijayendra" he said. It was a true goosebumps moment, for not only was Guru Raghavendra facilitating things, he was sending a representative in the name of his Parama Guru to accompany us. Can there be any boundaries to a Guru's grace when surrender happens?

Discarded Snake Skin on the way to the temple

We got down at the dead end of the lane next to the Corporation park and started walking along the field bunds to the temple. Snake skin, as long as eight to ten feet, lay here and there, making us place our steps with caution. I was not even looking in the direction of the husband, as I was pretty sure he would glare at me for putting myself and others at risk. Nothing mattered at that point more than opening the temple and worshipping the Hanuman.

The Veeraraghavapuram Agraharam Temple completely swallowed by vegetation

As we drew close, we could see the beauty of the Check dam built over the Amaravathi river on one side, and a small temple, completely swallowed by vegetation on the other. The wall on one side had fallen and the roots of the tree had penetrated the ceiling making it unstable and unsafe for people to enter. The priest stood shaking the iron door multiple times, just to make sure the creepy crawlies moved away. He then opened the door. 

The entrance to the temple at Veeraraghavapuram Agraharam

Inside the dark sanctum, was a frail looking Hanuman. His limbs had been eroded so much that they looked like bones and yet there was no mistaking the energy reverberating within. Several people still come and worship or cook offering outside the closed doors, says the lady whose fields are adjacent to the temple. They have been appealing to the local administration to create access to the temple, so that there is some movement of people which could result in its renovation.
Veeraraghavapuram Agraharam Hanuman

The idol looks bone dry, and there are no signs of any materials of worship. There used to be four Hanumans in this temple, says the priest. We go around the small temple, admiring the fish motifs on the walls and looking for inscriptions if any.

I stand for a long time before the Hanuman, thanking him for his grace, for allowing us to see him, and praying that we soon meet in a better environment. If He so decides, a way will surely be found!



There are still two Vyasaraja Hanumans hidden away in the middle of cultivated fields. " The fields are being harvested Akka, we should soon be able to see them. I will send pictures" smiles Mohan as he heads back to drop the priests and we get into our car to proceed on our journey home.

Roots penetrating everywhere

If he so wills, so be it! Miracles do happen! All we need is to hold on firmly to our Guru!

To read the other parts of this four part series, click here:



2 comments:

  1. அருமை தோழி வாழ்த்துகள் 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

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  2. Very very thrilling moment with Guru's name and then Parama Guru's name presenting! Completely mesmerising, ma. Thanks so much.

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