My Visit to Mantralaya

My visit to Mantralaya was indeed a miracle. The first week of my visit to India was Paksha Masa. So, we didn’t want to travel. The second week was Dasara, and my Father was doing special pooje and hence he was not willing to break his pooje and come to mantralaya. My parents accompanied me to mantralaya.

So, we decided to go there on 28th September, the evening of Vijaya Dashami. It was raining heavily in Bangalore. The Volvo bus we had booked came almost 2 hours late, and we had no place to even wait. Finally, we reached Mantralaya on 29th around 7.30 a.m. We found a small cottage a few yards away from the temple, near the State Bank. It was very close, so we didn’t have to walk too much.

September 29th also was Dashami. So, we gave for Panchamrutha Abhisheka. The temple wasn’t crowded at all. My co-sister Vasanthi knew the main priest in Mantralaya, and hence with her connection we were allowed in the main area where Sri Raghavendra Swamy Brindavana is there. We were asked to perform Aarathi to Rayaru as well. It was really a chilling experience seeing the Brindavana in such close proximity.

Later, we went to the place where Swamigalu was performing pooje. We saw the pooje for more than 2 hours. What an experience seeing Moola Rama Devarau and other idols. We were really blessed. All the time, it was constantly raining, and we were mostly wet all the time.

We had lunch in the Mutt, and came back to our cottage since the Mutt closes around 3.00 p.m. We later went back in the evening and saw all the evening pooje, the silver and golden chariot seva, Thottilu Seva and went back several times to see Rayaru as well.

We came back to the cottage around 8..30 p.m. and the rain was so heavy we asked for a taxi to come back to the Bus Station. We were completely drenched, and the bus again was late for almost 3 hours. We came back to Bangalore on 30th, and the very same day Mantralaya was flooded. I wanted to stay for one more day, but my Father kept insisting that he had to perform Saligrama pooje at his residence on Ekadashi and so we came back.

It looks like Rayaru was waiting for us to go and see him, I would have been very disappointed if I had come back here without being able to see Rayaru in Mantralaya. After this incident, my devotion towards Rayaru has doubled/tripled. Every time I saw the pictures of Mantralaya on TV, tears rolled down my eyes. We were really blessed to See rayaru and also perform Aarathi to him, which I or my parents had never done all these years.

May Sri Raghavendra Swamy Bless one and all.

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16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Madhukar on October 16, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Blessed are you and the family.

    I had booked to visit Mantralaya with my wife and mother and were scheduled to leave on the 3rd night by train. We had also made reservations for the return journey by bus. All of which had to be cancelled.

    Looks like the call to visit Rayaru – is still not sanctioned.

    Madhukar

    Reply

  2. Posted by meeraghu on October 16, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Madhukar,
    I am so sorry you had to cancel the visit. I am sure you will be able to make it once Mantralaya is again open for devotees.
    Like they say calm before the storm, the temple wasn’t crowded at all. We went several times just walked to do Rayara Darshana. Amazing trip it was.

    Reply

  3. For the past three years, I have been visiting Mantralayam at least once a year. I and my husband deliberately choose non crowded days so that we can spend a lot of quite time in front of the Brindavana. When I am inside the mutt premises, I get the feeling of being at my own house. Every time I stand in front of the Brindavana, tears roll in my eyes automatically. I feel so bad and terrible to watch the flood situation, and loss and disruption of lives and properties in TV. Before the floods, it was a very difficult task to take bath in the river. The situation was becoming worse every year. I used to feel very bad at the dirty situation and sincerely pray Rayaru to make the mutt and temple administration to do something about cleanliness. Undoubtedly, the flood has paralyzed the mantralayam town and is a sad situation beyond one’s imagination. But at least now in the cleaning up process taken by the mutt and the temple administration, the sacred town might get cleaned up thoroughly although at the cost of innocent and helpless lives. I sincerely hope that henceforth, mutt administration will take necessary steps in people not making the river side as their open toilets.

    Vijaya

    Reply

    • Posted by meeraghu on October 20, 2009 at 11:23 am

      Vijaya,
      My Dad and I went to the river bare foot. We walked a couple of feet, and seeing the situation near the river we came back hoping not to get infected. The smell was unbearable, and I kept telling my Father why the temple authorities couldn’t enforce some strict rules so that people don’t use the walkway as a toilet. I was really disappointed that I could not go to the river.
      I guess, Rayaru was even more disappointed, seeing all these things. We haven’t taken bath in the river in ages. It has become so dirty. I was always thinking that I shouldn’t say anything, but reading your comment made me realize many feel the same pain I feel.

      Thanks so much for sharing your feelings. Appreciate very much. Hope this time they will make necessary steps for a clean and hygiene River.

      Reply

      • Hi Meera,

        You were very lucky in having darshan of Rayaru during your last India trip. Mutt people are asking devotees to visit Mantralayam only by late December. The following is an e-mail received from another list.

        ————————————————————————————————————————-
        namaskaragalu to all

        we went to mantralaya as part of five member expert team to assess the strength of the existing buildings. fortunately by the grace of shri hari vayu gurugalu no damage to the existing mutt buildings have taken place .

        the right side of ranga bhavana where all the shops enroute to the river have been washed out

        entire soil to a depth of 10′ 0″ has been scoured .

        the team members have submitted an interim report to the authorities and further action is awaited

        massive reconstruction needs to be done for drainages and water supply .(also electrical works )

        this is for information of all that for visiting mantralaya please give a gap of four to six months for basic infrastructure to be in place

        the team members consisted of

        shri M S Sudharshan
        shri M S Sudhakar
        shri R srinivasan
        shri P S Deshpande
        shri Channbassappa (retd Chief enginner ISRO (plumbing expert)
        all members were part of the delegation from ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS (blr centre)

        IN THE SERVICE OF SHRI RAYARU AND HARI VAYU GURUGALU

        KRISHNARPANAMASTU

        DHANYAVADAGALU

        pra shri deshpande

        —————————————————————————————————————-

      • Posted by meeraghu on October 26, 2009 at 7:29 am

        Vijaya,
        Yes, I was truly blessed to have the Darshan. As I said earlier, I would have been very disappointed and sad if I had missed the chance of seeing Rayaru. Just a day, saved us all the tragedy.

        Thanks so much for your detailed information. Hope we can visit Mantralaya as early as possible.

  4. Posted by veena on October 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    hi Meera,
    As you said, even I have always been thinking I shouldn’t say anything about the dirt. But after reading your comments felt the same. Even during our last India visit in April 2009, when we went there it was the same. I did mention that to a friend of mine here, and she said because so many people come there it is so, but i wouldn’t agree. There are so many religious places where there is huge crowd but are much cleaner, an example could be tirupathi. I am not taking sides here, or telling tirupathi is spick and span. I am deeply hurt when some one tells me that we come from overseas and expect everything to be clean, it is not so, what I feel hurt is that when people come to god for getting rid of their difficulties, it is all the more important to see to it that the place is kept hygienically clean as well.

    -Veena

    Reply

  5. Posted by meeraghu on October 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Veena,
    As you said, it has nothing to do with regards to where we are staying. Many in my family in Bangalore feel the same. Almost everyone is sad about the state near the river. Don’t feel hurt, we are not asking for anything special. A little bit of hygiene in one of the most visited pilgrimages is not much to ask.

    I hope the Mutt authorities realize it at least now and make some changes.

    Reply

  6. Posted by R. Murali on October 24, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Thank you for the good work you are doing by spreading the leelas of Rayaru.

    I stay in Dubai and my contact number is 050-1496851.

    Regards,
    R. Murali.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Rekha S Srinivasan on October 29, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Hi Meera avarey,

    tears just rolled down my cheeks as i read your anecdote. really, you are blessed. neevu yeshtu punya maadidhrey nimagee bhaagya sikthittho ! neevenu indiadhalli vaasa maaduvaralla. nodi nimma bhaagya !

    great going !!

    bye,

    rekha

    Reply

  8. Posted by Anu Deshpande on October 30, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Dear Meera avare:

    I’m so glad you had a good trip to India, esp to Mantaralaya to see our beloved Rayaru. After I read about the floods, I could not sleep for several nights. Everyone in my family is an ardent devotee of Rayaru and we had innumerable discussions (over the phone) about this. One family member was of the opinion that The Lord and Rayaru in their infinite wisdom decided that this should happen to literally clean up the filth that surrounds Mantralaya and the mutt. Whatever the case, I pray that the lives of all the local residents are restored back to normal, and Rayaru showers His blessings on all his devotees.

    Reply

  9. Hi Meera,

    I and my husband visited Mantralayam last Thursday. Usually we avoid going to Mantralayam on Thursdays as it is normally a very crowded day and you cannot have a peaceful darshan. The reason was that my 42 days of ‘pradhakshana seve’ ended on last Wednesday (25th Nov 2009) and hence we left for Mantralayam on that day. Truly a miracle happened that day to us.

    As I started the seve by keeping two unopened coconuts in my pooja room, we were asking the acharyas in the mutt the procedure to finish the seve. Since we had two big coconuts, we took a small kit bag in which we kept all our belongings (two coconuts, my handbag, my husband’s purse, both our cell phones. The acharya asked us to come around 11:00 am for Tulasi pooja and he said he will take us to the inner premises of brindhavan so that we can finish the seve rituals. It was only 8:30 AM and we decided to have regular dharshan one or two times by then. We went in the regular queue and it was not very crowded. May be only around 50 people might have been there. To have a nice and long dharshan, I and my husband stood leaning against the steel railings where the general crowd is allowed for dharshan. We were totally involved in having rayara dharshan and suddenly four ladies kind of surrounded my husband (he was carrying the kit bag) though there was enough space in front of us. Wen my husband for a second kept the bag down to do a namaskaram, one of the four ladies pushed my husband from back. Another lady stood in front of him and another lady came in between us so that his movement is blocked from exiting from there. Honestly neither I nor my husband doubted that they have come there to steal. We thought that they are totally involved in praying and that is the reason they are not aware of their movements. Rayaru only gave that split second awareness to my husband. He shouted little loudly on them saying that they have to give him way so that he can come out. Then he saw the lady behind him had covered our kit with her sari and another one has opened the kit half and tried to pull my hand bag out. Even while coming out we did not doubt anything. After we came out of that crowd and before having Vadeendhara theertha’s dharshan, my husband saw the kit opened and my hand bag half pulled out. We realized then that the four ladies had ganged up and try to rob us that too absolutely in front of Rayaru’s moola brindhavana. Rayaru as ususal did not allow and we had all our things in tact. This is truly rayaru’s blessing and miracle. Otherwise we would have lost both our cell phones, all our money, train ticket everything. If such a thing had happened, we had to sell some jewellery on my body and return to bangalore. But Rayaru simply did not allow this and we are very thankful to him. However my footwear (they had become so old that they had to be trashed anyway and I was planning to that after my mantralayam trip) was stolen.

    It is even now puzzling to us how one can think of robbing right in front of rayara moola brindhavana and they think that Rayaru will allow such a thing to happen is their utter ignorance.

    We have visited many times to mantralayam never we had experienced a thing like this. This is the first time I lost my footwear also. Because of the floods, many small businesses are closed and the only available footwear shop is also closed. All day I had to walk on bare foot (may be that was my punishment for not going to the river as my husband had strictly told me a big no to the riverside) .

    I’ll also share my other experiences of the mantralayam trip and the procedures to be followed (how and what needs to be done) with the unopened coconuts tomorrow.

    Regards,
    Vijaya

    Reply

    • Posted by meeraghu on November 30, 2009 at 8:52 am

      Vijaya,
      You are truly blessed by Rayaru. Please share the procedure also with us. Thanks for sharing the same.

      Reply

  10. Posted by ebazaar on December 1, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Hi Meera,

    This is the continuation of my yesterday’s post. When we decided to visit Mantralayam, our colleagues and friends discouraged us not to visit as still things are not yet settled. My husband was very worried about the hygiene in Mantralayam as such cleanliness was a big problem in Mantralaya . But since I had to finish my seve, we started our journey. My husband had warned me not to insist on entering the river even for namesake. As our train was nearing Mantralaym, one of the co-passengers who was going till Bijapur told us that ‘Swamiji has requested not to visit Mantralaym till January since all the drainage are totally blocked because of the floods’. We prayed to Rayaru to show a clean hotel where we can have bath, brush etc and go to mutt. We got down in Mantralaym road and took an auto and asked him to take us to a clean hotel.
    As we reached the hotel, my husband asked me to go and check the toilet and bathroom as I am the one who is very picky about those things. To my surprise, the toilet, sink and the tiles inside the bath room were very clean. This is a private hotel (I do not have any clue about mutt run lodges). Later we came to know that because of the floods, they had to replace everything and hence we were lucky to have a very clean room which was unthinkable before floods. MTR (just outside the entrance of the mutt)which was doing a very good business is still not opened after the floods. The town looks clean as it is not very crowded and floods have washed out old dirt. But still getting good clean hygienic food is difficult.

    Inside the mutt everything is normal. All the sliver ornaments are looking bright as they have been polished after removing the silt. I heard from different sources that till two weeks back, everywhere it was stinking and snakes were around everywhere. Slowly the town is limping back and the businesses are slowly returning to normal and I am sure when the crowd starts coming back, all businesses will return with full swing.

    Regarding the coconuts, the mutt acharyas told me that I had to take them before starting seve. Since I had already finished the seve, they placed both the coconuts (which were totally dried) in front of moola brindavana and asked us to do an aarthi. They took one coconut to mix it with thirtha prasad and the another one they returned it to me. As i took the coconut after the seve, the aachar asked me to keep the coconut in pooja room for another 11 days and after that tie it in the ceiling to the right side of our house’s main entrance. He also told me that I should not break that coconut at any time since Rayaru has blessed it right from the moola brindavana and given to me from the main aachar as a mudi. Just the presence of the coconut in front of the house will bring all the luck and no enemies, evil spirit can enter our house and with that my seve will also be completed.

    If anyone is planning to do seve with the unopened coconuts, you first take it to mantralayam (when it is very green stage) and get it placed in front of the moola brindavana. If you take two, they will only return one and after that you keep the coconut in your pooja room and do a seve for a minimum of 11 days. After that you can tie it in the ceiling outside the main entrance and get blessed by rayaru all the time.

    Regards,
    Vijaya

    Reply

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