Get rid of Pitru Dosha Offer obeisance to Pitrus at GOKARNA the Abode Of The Atmalinga
Introduction: The well-known English traveler, Fryer, who visited Gokarna in 1676, wrote: "This place is of such repute for its sanctity and meritoriousness that, for a pilgrimage hither, all sorts from the remotest parts of India come in shoals." There is also a strong belief that unflinching faith and sincere devotion to Lord Shiva at Gokarna elevates the moral plane of the worshiper.
Washed by the waves of the Arabian Sea on the west and bounded by the sacred rivers Gangavali , Aganashini and Siddeswara, Gokarna is celebrated as one of the three holiest places (Tristhali), the others being Varanasi and Rameswaram. The only Atmalinga in the country is to be found in this "Kashi of the South". The deity here is regarded as the atma (soul) or prana (life) of Shiva himself
In 1665, Shivaji came here to worship the deity.
Importance of Pitr Paksha, Mahalay Paksha.
As enunciated in old classical astrological and religious texts, inability to get married, marital disharmony, difficulty in conceiving a child, miscarriages, bearing mentally retarded or handicapped children, death during childhood, etc., are some of the indications of suffering due to ancestors, subtle bodies
The dark fortnight, which falls in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapad, is referred to as mahalay paksha or Pitru paksha.
The subtle tamasik yama frequencies reach the earth in higher proportions during the four Hindu calendar months (chaturmas) following the Hindu New Year day (Gudhipadva). The yama frequencies operate also in Lord Yama's region (Yamalok) with the help of the subtle Shiva and Minakshi frequencies. Since departed ancestors' subtle bodies reside in this region, one can reach the ancestors during especially this fortnight, with the help of the predominant yama frequencies. Hence, Hindus consider this fortnight to be ideal for performing rites for ancestors, believing that during this period, subtle bodies of deceased ancestors from Lord Yama's region (Yamalok) visit their relatives on earth. So if the rite of shraddha is performed on one of the days in this fortnight, then the subtle bodies of deceased ancestors remain gratified for the rest of the year.
It is widely believed that Shraddha performed at Gokarna gives mukthi to the departed soul and the best time to perform this is the Pitru paksha.
Importance of Mahabaleshwar at Gokarna
The Mahabaleshwar temple enshrines the Aatma Lingam of Lord Shiva. The holy Lingam was given by Shiva to King Ravana to make his kingdom an invincible fortress. The 6-ft tall atma linga here is enshrined in a square called Saligrama Peetha and is opened for viewing once in 40 years. Now only the tip of the linga can be seen through an opening in the peetha.
Ravana, on a request from his mother, performed severe penance and earned the atma linga that bestows invincibility from Lord Shiva and was told by the lord not to place it down at any cost. The other gods were alarmed at the powerful boon granted to Ravana. While he was carrying it back from Mount Kailash, Ganesha tricked Ravana into putting the linga down. Ravana tried but could not lift the atma linga. And there it remained down the ages, worshipped in the form of Mahabaleshwara.
Devotees also visit the shrines of Ganesha, Bhadrakali, Venkataramana and Gokarnanayaki (also known as Taamragowri). To the left of the main beach and up a hillock lies Koti teertha, where many take a sacred bath.
Varuna and Ganesha tricked Ravana into placing the Lingam here and in spite of the might exerted by Ravana (Maha Bala) the Lingam remained rooted to the ground.
Historical Importance: LEGENDS AND MYTHOLOGY
The Ramayana and Mahabharata speak of Gokarna while the Skanda Purana devotes an entire chapter to it. The twisted shape of the Mahabalesvara lingam (Mahabala meaning 'great power' and Isvara meaning 'god'), the presiding deity, is explained by a legend. Ravana, after having obtained the all-powerful Atmalinga, the very essence of the universe, from Shiva, on the condition that he would never set it down, was carrying it to Lanka.
On the way he encountered Ganesha, sent by the devas in the guise of a boy ascetic, to thwart Ravana's plans. Vishnu blocked the sun with his chakra (discus) to trick Ravana, who being a staunch Brahmin, thought it was dusk and so was obliged to perform his evening thrikala sandhya (reciting the Gayatri Mantra). On Ravana's request, Ganesha agreed to hold the lingam on the condition that Ravana would come when called thrice. Ganesha called thrice in quick succession and before Ravana could respond, put the lingam on the ground. It sank into the nether region. Ravana tried to uproot it but it only got twisted. Realizing he had been tricked when the sun reappeared, the enraged Ravana hit Ganesha on his head. The depression can be seen on the idol's head in the Maha Ganapati Temple.
Another legend says that when Shiva returned from the netherworld after prolonged meditation, Mother Earth took the form of a cow and Shiva emerged through her ear at Gokarna. That is how the kshetra derives its name as Gokarna (cow's ear).
ARCHITECTURE AND ANTIQUITY
Kalidasa mentions the 'Lord of Gokarna' in his great work, Raghuvamsha. It is not known when the temple was first built, although it is believed that the Kadamba monarch Mayurasarma (325-345 CE) arranged for daily worship at the shrine. Visvesvaraya of Halasunadu-Kundapura built the Chandrasala and Nandi pavilions when Queen Chennammaji and her son Soma-sekharanayaka were ruling Keladi (1653-1671). The temple is a large complex of shrines and much of it belongs to the later Vijayanagara period.
This coastal town draws Hindu pilgrims, Sanskrit scholars, and beach buffs alike. Apart from its famed beaches and the Centre for Sanskrit Learning, it is home to the ancient temple of Mahabaleshwara with its Atmalinga, the Venkatramana Temple, the Ganapati Temple, and the Koti Theertha, a large temple tank where pilgrims perform their ablutions. Other must-sees in Gokarna are the enormous chariots which are dragged along the main street between February and March.
How to reach:
The Mahabaleshwar temple is located in Gokarna, a sacred pilgrimage site in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka.Gokarna is a small town and most places of interest are within walking distance. You can also visit near by places of interest by an auto rickshaw.
How to perform Shraddha during Pitru Paksha
Hindu scriptures state that the mahalay shraddha may be performed everyday from the full moon day (pournima) till the new moon day (Amavasya) of the month of Bhadrapad. However, if this is not possible then it is customary to perform the mahalay shraddha on the date (tithi) of this fortnight corresponding to that of one's father's death (if applicable).
The ritual of shraddha should be performed for one's deceased father, grandfather, great-grandfather on the paternal side and the mother, grandfather, great-grandfather on the maternal side. One can also perform these rites for one's deceased stepmother, grandfather, great-grandfather, great great-grandfather, grandmother, great-grandmother, great great-grandmother, wife, son, daughter, paternal uncle, maternal uncle, brother, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, sister, son of paternal uncle, son-in-law, nephew (sister's son), father-in-law, mother-in-law, teachers, priests, friends, the Guru and disciples. The names of all those alive should be excluded from these rituals.
The table below gives the shraddha to be performed for particular individuals on various dates.
Date (tithi) of Hindu month,Name of the shraddha, Meant for whom, Specialty of the ritual
1.The fourth (chaturthi)or the fifth (panchami) for one who has passed away during that year, during the reign of the Bharani lunar asterism.
Specialty of the ritual : Bharani shraddha to be performed.
2. The ninth day (navami)Avidhva navami*A woman ancestor who has passed away before her husband
Specialty of the ritual : Instead of the Shraddha rituals, a meal is offered to a married woman ( suvasini )
3. The thirteenth day (trayodashi) Balabholaniteras (its name in Gujarat, India) for Child ancestors who have passed away by Offering to crows (kakbali)
4. The fourteenth day Ghat chaturdashi is performed for Ancestors who had an accidental death
*Avidhva navami: The ninth day (navami) of the dark fortnight of the Hindu month of Bhadrapad is referred to as avidhva navami. On this day, the rite for the departed (shraddha) is performed for one's mother or any other woman in the family, who did not die a widow. It is customary to offer a meal to a Hindu priest (brahmin) as well as a married woman (suvasini) on such an occasion.
In these rituals, instead of deities, a class of demigods residing in heaven, described as dhurilochan (dhuri: smoke, lochan: eyes; their eyes remain half closed due to smoke) should be invoked. If possible, two brahmins in the name of deities, three for each of the three oblations offered (parvanas) during the sacred period (parva) and one each in the name of the deceased ancestor should be invited. If this is not feasible then in all five brahmins should be invited; one in the name of the deities, one each for the three oblations and one for all the ancestors.
If it is not possible to perform the mahalay shraddha on the appropriate date (tithi), it may be performed on a later appropriate date till the sun reaches the Scorpio (Vrushchik) solar sign.
Conclusion: The Pitrupaksha fortnight is a reminder of our subtle existence and the spiritual or subtle measures needed in the form of last rites (antya sanskar) and other rites like shraddha, to ensure a smooth passage from existence in the physical to the subtle planes. By focusing solely on gross sciences, many of these subtle measures are not practiced, even forgotten, especially in Western countries. This has led to significant number of the population suffering from problems created by the subtle bodies of ancestors, who suffer in inferior planes, as their smooth passage was not ensured.
Inability to get married, marital disharmony, difficulty in conceiving a child, miscarriages, bearing mentally retarded or handicapped children, death during childhood, etc., are some of the indications of suffering due to ancestors' subtle bodies. However, only Saints can tell with certainty if one is suffering or will suffer due to ancestors' souls. One can assess if one is undergoing such problems, that are not resolved despite trying various conventional methods, and take the spiritual measures to overcome these problems. The worship of Lord Datta is recommended, chanting (repeating) the Name Sri Gurudev Datta 3, 6, or 9 malas per day depending on the severity of the problem. Ultimately, though, sincere daily spiritual practice is the only way to ensure a Blissful life and passing on to heaven or higher heavens after physical death.
If You want to perform Shraadh of fore fathers at Gokarna you can do so by contacting local pundits ( Karma Kandi Brahmin)
How to reach Gokarna
Air - The nearest airport is Dabolim Goa (Panaji) (165 km). other airports are located at Mangalore, and Belgaum. Bangalore.
Rail - Kumta (32Km)is the nearest railhead. . Connected with Mangalore and the train ride offers some very scenic vistas of the coast and western ghats.
Road-Well connected by government and private roadways who operate daily luxury and ordinary buses from Banglore(via Shimoga) -519 km., Karwar -60 km, Mangalore, Panaji and surrounding cities.
Krishna Kumar A V
The Ganesha Speaks Team