2013 Temple Tour and Ayurveda Retreat

Temple Tour with Amma

December 1 - 5, 2013

You are cordially invited to join Amma and visit world famous temples in India. Learn about the significance and history of these temples directly from Amma -

a once in a lifetime opportunity.


" God is calling us to these temples.....

....those who are able to participate are blessed beyond measure"

Amma when describing this tour

 

 

Tour Information*:

 

Exciting new change to the 2013 Temple Tour Schedule!   (Updated 11/12/13)

 


A brief history of the Pancharama Lingams

Millions and millions of years ago a powerful demon by the name of Tarakasura performed intense worship of Lord Shiva and earned a very precious boon from the Lord--an extremely powerful and auspicious Atma Shiva Lingam, known as the Amruta Lingam.   The Amruta Linga would always protect Tarakasura under any circumstances and thus made the demon nearly immortal.  With such a boon, Tarakasura grew powerful and terrible beyond measure.  It was not until the intervention of Lord Shiva & Parvati Devi's son, Karthikeya, that Tarakasura's evil reign was brought to an end.  In order to vanquish Tarakasura, it was necessary for Karthikeya (also known as Subramanyam) to shatter the Amruta Lingam into 5 pieces, each of which were later installed as individual Shiva Lingams.  These five very powerful Shiva Lingams have become known as the Pancharama Shiva Lingams.


On this Temple Tour, you will visit each of these Shiva Lingams, and have the vision of the Divine, in the presence of Devi Herself, our Beloved Amma.  Each Piece of the Amruta Lingam grants blessings (for example: to heal, fulfill wishes, grant spiritual awakening, and more).


All five of the Pancharamas are located in the Northern Region of Andhra Pradesh in a very special part of our Mother Earth.  This region is one of the few places outside of the Himalayas where Lord Shiva himself has performed years of meditation--sanctifying the area with his Awesome, Pure Divinity.  Still today great Sages and Rishis visit these powerful temples, and reside in the nearby caves and forests surrounding the holy shrines.  Each of these lingams has received millions of years of worship and holds secrets that have remain unknown for ages.  Our Beloved Amma, will reveal the hidden significance of these temples, lead us into the heart of their power, and share their inner treasures.

 


According to legend, these five pieces were installed as Shivalingas at five different temples by, Indra, Surya, Chandra, Vishnu and Kumara Swamy (Murugan) at the respective places. These places (or Aaramas) are as follows:

 

 

1. Amararama - Amaravati (Sri Amareswara Swamy)

 

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Amaravati is a historic pilgrimage center and a storehouse of ancient Buddhist sculpture. Amaravati is home to the Amareswara temple which constitutes one of the five Pancharama temples of Andhra Pradesh sacred to Shiva. Amaravati is located about 15 miles away from Guntur near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.

 The temple of Lord Amareswara located on the banks of river Krishna, is rich in Dravidian and Buddist architectures. The Lingam is 15 feet high, carved out of marble. The city was named Amaravati after Indra's capital here. Tradition says that Indra and Devas had worshipped the Lord here. Goddess Shakthi is worshipped as Bala Chamundika Devi.

The white Linga is quite unique and the priests have to ascend the steps for offering abhishekam. As the name Amaravati implies, legend has it that Amaravati was once the abode of the Gods - the Devas, the yakshas and the kinnaras, who performed penances to Shiva to request him to rid the earth of the mighty demon Tarakasura.

 

 

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dZ1dwGTiqm8/Tz-C_zRbswI/AAAAAAAAA28/hUL2qo3i45I/s320/lgDSC04779_pancharama.JPGLegend has it that Shiva's son Subramanya vanquished the demon. It is believed that the Shivalingam that shattered Into five pieces was a huge one, and the biggest of the five pieces is a fifteen foot long column of white marble which is worshipped as Amareswara at the Amaravati temple (this is very similar to the Shivalingam at the Draksharama temple). Legend has it that it was installed by Indra the king of the Devas, Brihaspati the guru of the Devas and Sukra the preceptor of the Asuras.

 

The Amaravati temple is located on a small hillock referred to as Krouncha Shaila, alongside the river Krishna which flows for a short distance in a North-Southerly direction, although for the most part, the river heads eastwards towards the ocean. The river Krishna is held in reverence at this pilgrimage site, and a ritual dip in this river here is considered to be meritorious.

The temple has ancient origins, however the structural foundations as seen today, seem to date back to the 11th century CE. The Vijayanagar kings did provide grants to maintain the temple. However it was the local kings of the 18th century CE that provided vast endowments to this temple. The temple is decorated with four lofty gopurams in its outer circumlocutory path.

  

 

2. Draksharama - Draksharamam (Sri Bhimeswara Swamy)

 

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Draksharamam is a shaivite shrine 185 km. from Vijayawada, 17 km. from Kakinada, 40 km. from Rajahmundry and 466 km. from Hyderabad. Draksharama is considered to be one of the five

Arama kshetras dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is located in East Godavari District near Kakinada. The place also known as "Dakshina Kasi" (Southern Banaras) along with SreeSailam and Kaleswara constitute the three sacred Shivalingams of the State, giving its ancient name "Trilinga Desa".

 

The Bhimeswara temple at Draksharama has two prakaras. The inscriptions here suggest that the temple was built by Bhima, the Eastern Chalukyan King of Vengi (9th -10th centuries), when his kingdom was under attack by the Rashtrakootas. The temple art thus shows the influence of a blend of sculptural traditions of Chalukya and Chola styles.

The temple has four entrances in the outer prakara each marked with a gopuram, facing the four cardinal directions. On the south is the entrance to the inner prakara, which is lined by a pillared two-storeyed verandah.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LsYmTLEen_8/Tz-D_uJwUGI/AAAAAAAAA3E/kL4sPcrWtXA/s400/Draksharamam+1.jpgThe main temple is twin storeyed. Two flights of stairs lead us into the upper level of the sanctum. This has a pillared pradakshina on three sides and a Garbhagriha. Bhimeswara is enshrined in the form of a ten feet high Shivalingam in this Garbhagriha. Another feature of the temple is the narrow mantapam that is seen in the premises. Shiva's consort here is Manikyamba. The temple walls and pillars are decoratively carved with mythological figures.

Legend has it that the Saptamaharishis (Seven Sages) to achieve the ends of their penance divided the akhanda (unbranched) Godavari river into seven different streams at Draskharama. Bharadhwaja, Viswamitra and Jamadagni streams known as Antarvahinies, were believed to have gone under ground. There is Sapta Godavari Kundam (Seven river pond) near the temple where the devotees bathe. Sivarathri attracts huge crowds of pilgrims.

 

 

3. Kumararama - Samalkot (Sri Kumara Bheemeswara Swamy)

 

Samalkot is located at a distance of 12 km from Kakinada, 52 Km from Rajahmundry in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, which now forms part of Samalkot town, is known as Bhimavara Kshetram with its famous temple of Kumararama - Bhimesvara. The village was known in the past as Chalukya Bhimavaram according to the inscriptions found in the temple.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rvUPjCQ_xb8/Tz-EqMgOz7I/AAAAAAAAA3U/BkK8rN89qjM/s1600/Kumara+Bheemeshwara+swamy.jpgThe temple known as Kumararama at Bhimavaram in Samalkot is one among the five important and popular 'Pancharama' temples of Andhra. There is an episode on the origin of these 'Pancharamas' which is also found in 'Bhimesvarapurana' written by Srinatha (AD 14th - 15th Century).

According to it, Lord Vishnu, in his charming and fascinating incarnation of Mohini started distributing the nectar (amrita) obtained after the hazardous churning of the ocean to both the demons (asuras) and divined (devas) Dissatisfied with the injustice meted out to them in the manner of distribution of nectar, the asuras lead by the lords of Tripuras resorted to severe penance on the advice of the celestial sage Narada and were blessed with boons by Lord Siva. Thus with the power newly acquired through the boons, they inflicted atrocities on the devas, who sought refuge with Lord Siva.

 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7sZT2CwsZw8/Tz-FNAR58iI/AAAAAAAAA3c/0KpO4Q36s0I/s1600/Kumara-Bheemeswara-swamy-te.jpg

On hearing the pitiable plea of the devas, Shiva killed the asuras with his infallible Pasupata (a spiritual weapon of flame), which reduced them and their kingdoms to ashes. This material aspect of Siva is better known as Tripurantaka. However, a huge stone linga, worshipped by Tripuras, remained intact after the encounter. This was cut into five lingas by Lord himself and distributed for the purpose of installing at five different places which came to be locally known as Pancharams.

 

 

 

4. Somarama - Bhimavaram (Sri Someswara swamy)

 

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Bhimavaram is located 107 Kms from Vijayawada & 270 Kms from Visakhapatanam. Bhimavaram is famous for the Gunupudi Someswara (Somarama) temple, which is considered to be one of the holy Pancharamas. Built during the 3rd century A.D., the Shivalinga in the temple is believed to assume a black-cum-brown colour on no-moon day and a kind of white on full-moon day. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O7tCz2LCWYE/Tz-F1B2HpRI/AAAAAAAAA3s/LE6-9otB2Kc/s320/bhimavaram1.JPG

Another unique feature here, is that the temple of Goddess Annapurna was built on top of the Shiva temple, something that cannot be seen anywhere in the country. Surprisingly, the Goddess has the sacred thread around her neck and a baby near her feet.

This temple is an old temple but looks like new one because of colored paintings on the walls and sculptures. In front of the temple there is a pond called Chandrakundam. It is fully covered with lotus flowers. The Shiva lingam in this temple is small unlike in other Pancharamas. There is a speciality in this temple ie. Shiva linga will change its color according to Lunar aspect. At the time of Purnima (Full Moon nights) the shiva linga will be white  in color and in Amavasya days (Dark nights) it's color changes to dark shades.

 

 

 

5. Ksheerarama - Paalakollu (Sri Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy)

 

Ksheeraramam, also known as Paalakollu is located near Narasapuram in the West Godavari belt of Andhra Pradesh. It is considered to be one of the five pancharama Shiva shrines of Andhra Pradesh. the five pancharama temples are Drakshttp://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ps9U-mgpnTI/Tz-GfIHvaoI/AAAAAAAAA30/j3tU64iDItg/s1600/KSHEERARAMA+Ammavaru.jpgharama, Kumararama, Ksheerarama and Bheemarama and Amararama.

Legend has it that Upamanyu, the son of Kaushika muni requested Shiva that he be granted the desired quantity of milk for the performance of his daily rituals and that Shiva caused the Ksheera Pushkarini tank to overflow with milk from the mythical Ksheera Saagaram (the milky ocean). Hence the names Paalakollu, Dugdapovanam and Ksheeraramam.

Legend has it that Shiva was worshiped by Rama at this shrine as in Rameswaram.

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The white marble Shiva linga worshiped in the sanctum is referred to as Ramalingeswara Swamy as well as Ksheeraraameswaraswamy. Built during the 10th-llth centuries A.D. by the Chalukyas, it represents the south Indian style and has a 9-storey gopuram that soars 125 feet, one of the tallest in Andhra Pradesh.

 

 

 

 

 

Amma when describing this tour said simply that God is calling us to these temples.  And that those who are able to participate are blessed beyond measure. So, please join us on this once of a lifetime journey in the presence of Divine Mother.


 

Cost of Tour: $999 (includes room and board)

2013 Temple Tour Registration Form

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* Temple tour itinerary is subject to change

 


Chakra Meditation Retreats

December 6 - 23, 2013

 

Please click here for more details.


 

Ayurveda Retreat with Amma
December 24 - 31, 2013

 

Experience the ancient treasure of Ayurveda as you learn first-hand from Amma in this informative and practical retreat. The retreat takes place at Amma's Penisula Ashram and the surrounding Penusila Forest; a land not only charged by the meditations of India's great sages, but also a land valued for it's vast collection of plants and herbs.

 

Cost of Retreat: $1001 (includes room, board and Ayurveda supplies)

2013 Ayurveda Retreat Registration Form

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           Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

               May All Be Peaceful

              Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

                 May All Be Happy



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