Day 2/9 | Exploring the temples and ashrams of Vijayawada
Following the Master | East India Pilgrimage 2019
Sri Kali Gardens Ashram
We visited the Sri Kali Gardens Ashram, where we were warmly welcomed by the residents. This beautiful grihasta ashram is led by Yogini Sri Chandra Kali Prasada Mataji who received her role from her Gurudev after He took samadhi in 1988.
After the welcome, Guruji and Mataji sang a few bhajans together and shared their love for Giridhariji and Mirabai. The ashram visit was concluded with prasad (lunch) and a visit to the very well-kept museum which showcases many items of Sri Sri Sri Hanumath Kali Vara Prasad Babuji Maharaj.
Guruji very much enjoyed the time at this ashram and how exemplary the devotees were with their love and how they truly lived for their Guru.
Mangalgiri Temple Sri Lakshmi Narasimha
The Mangalgiri Temple Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple was originally installed by the Pandavas.
Mangalagiri Temple Sri Panakala Narasimha Swamy is an incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu. Mangala Giri means Holy Hill. This is one of the eight temples where the Lord himself opted to stay for the redemption of humanity from sin.
The mountain looks like a reclining elephant from the distance. During the 16th century, Krishna Devaraya from the Vijayanagara dynasty built the Mukha Mantap Temple Tower which is over 46 metres tall (153 feet or about 15 stories). It was built during 1807 – 1809 A.D by Raja Vasireddi Venkatadri Nayudu.
Avadhuta Pichamma Ashram
Arriving at our last ashram for the day, we went around the ashram receiving darshan from the different places that where she meditated and observed her sadhana.
Avadhuta Pichamma was born in the year 1870, in a place called Kurumaddali, which is located in Gudivada district of Andhra Pradesh, around 30-40 km from Vijayawada. From a young age, she was known to be a great soul through her acts. While not much literature is found in the form of books or biographies, (since she is known to have said, ‘keep my memories in the mind and not on the paper’), not many turned up in research. However, when you talk to people or read whatever little is available on her, one understands the greatness of this soul. She used to do penance for many hours and when in samadhi, many serpents used to twine around her body like garlands. People were surprised at her state and often got scared. She transcended to a different level through her penance and told her close associates that Atma merged into Paramatma. She used to walk around with a piece of cloth around her, shunning proper clothing, indicating that those are for those living in this materialistic world. The most surprising part is, whenever she roamed around freely in the rain, neither her small piece of cloth, nor the place in which she sat, ever got wet.
Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on a pilgrimage to the Divine!