Friday, 19 August 2016

Krishna Pushkaram : Vijayawada Kanaka Durga

Krishna river Pushkaram takes place once in 12 years when Guru or Brihaspati enters Kanya Rasi and is celebrated for 12 days from August 12 2016 till August 23 2016. 

Once Brahma performed a Yagna for the benefit of this world. During the Purnahuti or end of Yagna his consort Saraswathy did not reach on time. According to Shashtras one should not perform Yagna without one's consort. Hence Brahma deva invoked Savitri devi as his wife and completed the Yagna. Saraswathy Devi reached late and saw that the Yagna was completed without her attendance. She cursed the trimurthis and Savitri devi present there to turn into rivers and she herself turned into a river. 

The are springs associated with each devatha murthy in Mahabaleswar near the origin of Krishna river as follows. All these springs merge to flow as Krishnaveni river.

Spring Name in Mahabaleshwar
Spring Nature
Known as Panchaganga. Always Flows from Mahabaleshwar
Ganga devi
Flows only in every 12 years during Pushkaram period
Flows once in every 60 years only. Next Flow would be in 2034

Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Devi appeared in Golden Tejas and Hue as seen below on banks of Krishna river

Krishna Pushkaram in Vijayawada

Taking bath anywhere in krishna river from its source in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra to the place where it meets ocean in Hamsaladeevi in Andhra Pradesh is said to be auspicious and is said to relieve one of sins commited in the past.

It is called Krishna Pushkaram as Pushkar is the Lord of all Theerthas. 'Push' means nourishment and 'Kara' refers to one who does it. Pushkar refers to the Lord who energizes and nourishes Theerthas and spiritually purifies them.

Pushkara is said to reside in the Kamandala of Brahma Deva and is said to have acquired the Jala Thatva Siddhi of Lord Shiva as a boon. Guru or Brihaspathi performed Penance towards Brahma Deva and requested Pushkara to stay with him. But Pushkara agreed to stay with Guru only for First and Last 12 days when Guru transits from one Rasi to another. Accordingly 12 Sacred Rivers associated with 12 rasis celebrate Pushkaram festival once in 12 years. 

When Guru Transits to the following Rasi, the river associated celebrates Pushkaram festival,

River celebrating Pushkaram
Pushkar Lake/Pushkaravahini

In 2016, Guru is Transiting to Kanya Rasi, hence Krishna river celebrates Pushkaram festival. All the sacred Theertham, Pitru devatha moorty/ancestral beings reside in Krishnaveni river along with Pushkara for a period of 12 days.

Taking bath in the river, performing Pitru Karya and Dhana/charity activities near the river is said to yield immense benefits.

Vijayawada Kanaka Durga

Vijayawada is the place where krishna river is broad and wide enough for over 1 Km and has the famous Kanaka Durga Temple on the Banks of Krishna River. There are both Road and Steps facility that lead to the Top of the Temple.

It is located on top of a Hill known as Indrakeeladri. Keela was a Yaksha who performed penance towards Durga Devi and requested her to reside in his heart. Durga Devi agreed to his wish and asked him to wait as a mountain Indrakeeladri near Krishna river.

Road to Durga Temple near Krishna river
Gopuram at the Base of Indrakeeladri Hill

After Durga devi killed demon Mahishasura she came to reside in this Indrakeeladri hill as promised to Keela. As Durga resided here with eight hands with a Golden Glow, she came to be known as Kanaka Durga. 'Kanaka' in Sanskrit refers to Gold.

Mahishasuramardini with Golden Glow
 Kanaka Durga Devi currently in Temple
Kanaka(Golden) Gopuram of Kanaka Durga
Brahma performed Sata Ashwamedha Yagna and prayed to Lord Shiva to reside in this place. Lord Shiva agreed to stay in this place as Malleswara. 

Arjuna one of the Pandavas performed penance here towards Lord Shiva in order acquire Pasupatastra. Lord Shiva wanted to test him and came disguised as a Kiratha/Hunter and fought with Arjuna in Mallayudham or Wrestling. Lord Shiva was pleased with Arjuna's resolve and gave him the Pasupatastra.

Adi Shankara is said to have visited the Temple and installed Sri Chakra to turn the Ugra Roopa of Goddess to Shantha or Pleasing Form of Goddess.Navaratri Festival is celebrated in a grand manner here. Everyday during Navaratri Festival, Durga Devi is decorated in many forms of Parashakthi including Saraswathy, Bala Tripurasundari, Annapoorna, Mahalakshmi and many other forms.

It is said that when Krishna river rises high enough to the top of Indrakeeladri to touch the Nose ring of Kanaka Durga, it is said to be a intimation of deluge/Pralaya.

Kanaka Durga Temple Entrance
 Tall Gopuram on Top of Hill