(See below for pics)
After the most wonderful 4th Patotsava celebrations, Shri Shri Sadgurudeva Ji Maharaja, Shri Gautameshvar Mahadev Ji’s Mahamandaleshvar Swami Shri Svaroopananda Sarasvati Ji of Sihor, Gujerat and aboutdisciples from all over the world began a small Yagyanta Teertha Yaatraa (end of Yagya pilgrimage) to the holy temple city of Raameshvaram. Raameshvaram is the deity of Lord Shiva that Mother Sita herself created for Puja that was to be done by Lord Raama to seek Lord Shivas blessings. This was done just before He crossed into Lanka for battle to ensure that Lord Shiva would not be angered when Lord Raam would kill Ravana, as Ravana was Lord Shiva’s devotee. It is said that this Puja was officiated over by Ravana himself, as there was no-one who was more devoted to Lord Shiva, nor learned in Vedic tradition. Before the battle he came and officiated over proceedings. Such is the valour and greatness of Vaidik Dharma – even enemies come together to worship the Lord side by side, without bad thoughts in their minds.
On the first day, we all flew to Chennai, where lunch-prasadam was waiting at the airport for all devotees, braught by the devoted Aggrawal family of Chennai for all. After that was a short connecting flight to Madurai, where one night was spent before the 4 hour journey by road to Rameshvaram.
Darshana was had at Meenakshi temple of both Shri Meenakshi Mata (Parvati Devi) and Shri Sundareshvara Mahadeva (Shri Shiva Shankar Bhagavan). This is one of the older temples in South India; with overcolumns of solid rock, and huge towering Gopurams.
After spending one day there, we were off to Rameshvaram. Darshana was had at the place where Lord Rama performed Navagraha Puja before the battle – it is still there, half sunken into the sea. Then onwards to a hilltop where Lord Rama would hold His councils with His army before leaving for Lanka. Here, Shri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj and all devotees sang Hanuman Chalisa before resting for the night.
Next day was Raameshvara Darshan – only had after bathing in the Sea, then going to the temple where buckets of water from thetemple wells are poured over the devotee, purifying them before entrance to the Mandir itself. After Darshan at Rameshvaram, we drove to the Dhanush Koti point where Shri Raama ordered the Sea to bear the Bridge to Lanka – it is here where the Shri Raama Setu or Landbridge from Rameshvara to Lanka is. It is presently submerged, though viewable from aerial photos. The last night was spent back in Rameshvaram and the next day was the return to Delhi.
Shri Rameshvara Mahadeva Ki Jay!
Click on the thumbnails for enlarged darshan)