Walk2Temple Paad Yatra piligrimage

By: Sai Pravastu.
 
As the quote goes “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” similarly one man’s initiative to continue the tradition of pilgrimage in Australia has just reached a new milestone of 2 decades. 
 
It is true that, this year marks 20th year since this walk was started by one man to walk i.e. PAADA YATRA from Sri Murugan Temple in Westmead to Sri Sai Baba Temple in Strathfield. Friend and relatives started joining him and in a couple of years they progressed this yatra beyond Sai Baba mandir in Strathfield to Sri Venkateshwara Temple in Helensburgh. It is crazy to even think whether this journey by foot, especially back in the day, but hey who are we kidding, the discovery of this great land has been tied to a human discovery mostly over a walk. 
 
 
It is a HINDU tradition to “walk to a pilgrim” on special events / occasions and during in some festive seasons. it is known as “PAADA YATRA” and this is a general practice in HINDUISM and this is done across in Bharath i.e. INDIA.
 
LETSGIVEHOPE has been organising this walk to the temple event called PAADA YATRA under the auspice of Hindu Council of Australia and now it is completely run by Hindu Council of Australia for a few years now, the  transition was necessary to keep the culture and tradition of pilgrimage alive for the future generation of Australian Hindus. It has many benefits that one would do a part of it everyday 
 
Journey
 
The distance between Westmead and Helensburgh is around 65kms. Since its such big distance which can’t be achieved in one day, at least for not everyone so we are planning to do this walk up to Heathcoate and take a bus to the temple and take the blessings and complete the pilgrim in a day. 
 
 
Every year we start the walk on Saturday of the October long weekend at 6:00am from Sri Murugan Temple in westmead and have our first stop at Strathfield Sai Baba Mandir and we leave from strathfield Sai Baba temple and reach Heathcote completed the walk to Sri Venkateshwara Temple, Helensburgh.
 
Every year volunteers of this event have taken utmost care and diligence to needs of the yatris (walkers) this year we over 250 walkers have joined us at Sri Murugan Temple in Westmead for the first part of the walk and we associate this walk to some charity or cause every year and this year is no different, we walked for the BIG DRY, to support for our Aussie Farmers. 
 
 
Some participants only walk up to Sri Sai Mandir (Strathfield) where as some others join us from Sri Sai Mandir to Sri Venkateshwara Temple. We have a regular group which joins us from Canberra and one family joined us from Dubbo as well this year, our youngest walker this year was Yatin (10 year old) and couple of young teenagers too in completing the full walk, we also had a 3 month old girl who participated as well carried by her dad some time and pushed in pram by her mum,  along side others i.e. up to Sri Sai Mandir (Strathfield). Walk was kicked off by Dr Hugh McDermott, MP along with Samir Pandey Parramatta councilor and Susai Benjamin from Blacktown along with our ace walker Murali Konneru. 
 
Route in Brief
1. Sri Murugan Temple to Sri Sai Baba temple around 15 kms)
2. Sri Sai Mandir to Heathcoate (around 30 Kms)
 
Vision 
Our vision is to keep our tradition and culture alive and at the same time organise the event properly so many others can participate the tradition. Doing it over the long weekend will make it even better for people and it coincides with a festivals in the temple. We are yet to get full walk permission from government authorities , but we are very hopeful that very soon we will get this approved and we can complete the walk in full. 
 
This is event is to keep our tradition of walking to pilgrimage and is not promoting any commercial activity, we tie this auspicious walk to a noble cause and hope to pass it to your future generation to continue this unique tradition in this wonderful multi cultural land.
 
On behalf of Hindu Council of Australia and PAADA YATRA team we congratulate all participants and wish to see you all who are reading this article to participate in the walk next year.
 
 
Participants were issued certification of completion of the walk at the end of their walk and we sold special edition shirts to raise the needed funds for drought affected farmers.
 

Hindu rituals under attack in Australia

By: Smith Jones.

Australia is a very tolerant society. Hindu practices are not only encouraged but participated by a large number of white Australians and elected Australian representatives from all shades of political spectrum. Hindus feel at ease and encouraged to become Australians.

Surprisingly, attacks on Hindus are not coming from other religions or from fringe political ideologies. Political leadership in Australia makes sure they come to Hindu events and celebrate it with Hindu Australians. All other religions including the main religion Christianity are very supportive of Hindus and their efforts to organize themselves and celebrate their festivities and conduct their rituals. In fact, some of the religious leaders of older religions who have been here for two hundred years, go out of their way to help new comers find their feet and guide them on how to integrate well into Australian society. The departments of multiculturalism and various other government ministries are inclusive, respectful and supportive of Hindus and their efforts to get spiritual guidance from their temples, associations, seers and saints.

The attack to dissuade Hindus from practicing their rituals is coming from other Communist leaning pseudo-secularists masquerading as journalists who have also migrated to Australia more recently. They seem to question the audacity of Hindus in performing their rituals and Hindu worship in their new homeland of Australia. All Hindus and all religious leaders of all religions in Australia as well as Political leadership should condemn such veiled and sometimes open attacks on Hindus by vested interests.

By:Smith Jones.

Significance of Sri Sitarama Bhadrachalam

रामो रामो राम इति प्रजनामभवन् कथााः | रामभूिं जिभूद्रमे राज्यं प्रशासति ।
तनत्यपश्ु पा तनत्यफलास्िरवस्र तनर्व्नर ााः | कामवशी च पजन्र याः सखु स्पशश्र च मारुिाः ।
Sri Vaalmeeki Ramayana – Yuddha Kanda – CXXVIII. 103, 104

Under Sri Rama’s rule, people rejoiced everywhere hailing Rama ! Rama! Rama! in jubilation
and recounting his deeds; it looked as if the entire universe was infused with Sri Rama naama;
nature was always in full blossom; rains were plenty and timely; weather was pleasant with
soothing wind breeze .
***
It is of great joy and delight to let everyone know that the utsava moortis Lord Sri Rama along
with Sita Devi, and Lakshamana are, for the first time, coming to Sydney from the ancient and
famous Sri SitaRama temple of Sri Bhadrachalam which is on the banks of mighty Godavari
river. On this festive occasion two significant events are planned – SitaRama Kalyanam and
SriRama Pattabhishekam. While Sri SitaRama Kalyanam is a blessing for every household, Sri
Rama Pattatbhishekam is a blessing for entire world. Please do participate in large numbers
along with your family and your friends, praise, pray, sing and dance in the name of Sri
SitaRama and get filled with joy and happiness.

To better appreciate the significance of the event we bring you a brief blurb on the temple
town of Bhadrachalam,rom where the moortis are coming, and the significance of utsava
moortis.

About Bhadrachalam

Bhadrachalam has a unique history. The mountain Bhadra-Adri or Bhadra-achalam, from
which the place derives its name, is part of India’s gigantic mountain range popularly eastern
ghats. In treta yuga Sri Sita Rama along with Lakshmana stayed in the jungles of Dandakranya
( part of eastern ghats) as part of their eleven year vanavaasa. The mighty Godavari river and
the beautiful and bountiful dandakaranya served as his abode during the period. The
parnashala where Sita was abducted is also on the same hills. The mountains were also home
of Rishi Bhadra who worshipped Lord Rama and conducted an intense penance. Rama pleased
with Bhadra promised he would visit on the way back to Ayodhya. However this visit was not
materialized in Rama avatara’s time. However, Rishi Bhadra continued his tapas and his prayers
reminded Lord Vishnu of his promise to Rishi Bhadra. True to his nature, Lord Vishnu rushed
to his devotee in the form of Vaikuntha Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana and blessed Rishi
Bhadra and manifested themselves as moortis on the mountain. The mountain got to be known
as Bhadraachalam after the Rishi Bhadra since.

These moortis, per legend, were revealed themselves to a tribal woman named Pokala
Dammakka who was an ardent devotee of Rama. She preserved the idols and waited for the
blessed one to construct a proper temple.

That blessed was Kancharla Gopanna(1621-1680) popularly known as Bhakta Ramadasu. When
Ramadasu, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, found out about the Sri Rama moortis in the
remote tribal lands he moved heaven and earth to build temple at the Bhadrachalam temple
in 1674 AD. His devotion on Lord Rama was outpoured in 300 odd exquisite devotional songs
set in Carnatic style. Later in the century these compositions inspired in Sri Thyagaraja and
improvised on the krithi form introduced by Ramadasu.

Thus the Bhadrachalam was home to three spiritual gaints – Rishi Bhadra, Pokala Dammakka,
and Bhakta Ramadaasu. It is from this sacred site that the utsava moortis are coming to Sydney.
Significance of Utsava Moortis

According to the Shilpa Shastra ( the engineering principles of sculptures ) the moorthis in
temples are broadly classified into two – achala ( immoveable) and chala (movable). The moorti
of the principal diety is usually acahala (immovable) and is called Dhruva bera. Dhruva bera
resides in the sanctum ( garbha gruha) and is the recipient of the main worship. The chala –
bera ( movable moorthis) are of five types hence the name pancha bera. These five chala-beras
moortis are used in various ceremonial forms of worship in and around the temple.

These are:
• Kautuka (कौिकु ) bera is a miniature replica of the dhruva bera and is used in nitya (
daily) pooja
• Snapana (स्नपन) bera receives the naimittika (special occasion) poojas and
adbhishekams
• Shayana (शायन) bera receives the resting upacharas
• Utsava (उत्सव) bera receives the pooja when taken out in procession
• Bali (बतल) bera is taken out when offerings are made to gods and to the pancha bhoota
( elements)

All the above pancha bera are considered as an integral part of the main moorti – dhruva bera
and are deemed as emanating from it. These chala bera moortis in the temple that are
worshipped each day during the ritual sequences are but the variations of the adi murti. As
per shashtras each of the pancha bera map to five types of sacred vedic agnis and also
correspond to the five primordial elements – aakasha, vaayu, agni, aapah, pruthivi.

Therefore these different moortis represent unique aspects of the dhruva moorti, in various forms. The tejas of the main moorti steps into each of the chala moorti during various stages of worship. Though When worship sequences are conducted the tejas moves into kautuka and snapana and so on. The tejas takes a symbolic stride into utsava moorti and reaches us all when they are taken out in procession. On a lighter note it is said, because we are so mired in our daily vocations and have no time to time to go the temple, Lord himself comes out in procession and enquires about our well being.

All of us may not be fortune enough visit Lord Rama at Bhardrachalam, therefore make use of this splendid opportunity to pray, rejoice and submit ourselves at the feet of Sri Bhadrachala Rama who is coming for us all the way from Bharata Varsha. His mere presence is ‘jagadananda karaka’.

JAI SREE RAM

Be a Yajmann for Sri Sitarama Kalyanam

By:Sai Pravastu.

This year during Deepavali celebrations at Parramatta on 3rd & 4th November, we are blessed by Sri SitaRama, Lakshmana and Anjaneya Swamy from Bhadrachalam (India), As you may know this year is Vilambi nama samvatsara i.e  the year Lord Sri Rama was born and and it comes every 60 years. we will be celebrating  Kalyanam (celistial wedding) and Pattabhishekam (coronation) with the vigrahas and priests from Bhadrachalam. We have a very special coin of Sri Ram Darbar minted to mark this special occassion by ABC Bullion for this Deepavali.
 
We are limiting to 1000 families to participate in donating towards the expenses for this events.  The donation includes a special limited edition silver coin minted by ABC Bullion. 4 entry tickets and a bag with Akshitas , Rama koti book , Shawl and prasadam.  Above all the blessings of Sri Rama Pariwaram and watch the traditions followed for centuries in Dakshin Bharath right in our backyard. A truly mesmerising experience not to be missed.
 
 
 

Hindu History of Afghanistan

Hinduism today is only followed in India and small percentage of people in few other countries. But the Hindu
kingdom until 900 CE was spread to a vast area including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Yes, Afghanistan was a Hindu kingdom which was dominated by Hindus and Buddhists. The Muslim invasion of the Hindu region began as early as 980 CE when Raja Jaya Pal was attacked by Sabuktagin. During the rule of Jaya Pal, Shiva
worship was dominant in all places of Afghanistan. The places had hundreds of Shiva temples with prayers, chants on
Shiva a common site.

[Click here to read more….]

Farmers helped during Walkathon to Temples

Hindu Council of Australia organized a Walk to Temples event in Sydney on 29th September 2018. Funds were raised for Farmers Drought Relief efforts during the walk. According to Walk organizer Mr Sai Pravastu, $850 were raised on the first day and $540 were raised on second and final day of the walk. More funds are being collected and will be handed over to Hindu Benevolent Fund to help the Australian Farmers.

Kahuta Hindu Temple in Pakistan

This beautiful Hindu temple in Kahuta Pakistan hides a secret

This fascinating Hindu temple in Kahuta Pakistan has a dark story to tell…In 1947, Kahuta had a population of 3500, with half of them Muslims, all living along the main junction of the ring road that went into Kashmir and looped back at the same spot. The Hindus were of the Mahajan caste (patwari, tehsildar, merchants etc.); Muslims were of the Rajput clan and Sikh were in the administration.Sikhs also lived around an adjacent town called the Thoa Khalsa, christened by ‘Bana’ a close confidante of Baba Guru Nanak.

Kahuta has vast fruit orchids (mangoes too), watering ponds, water falls, a vibrant town with Hindu temples, a guru dwara and a Jamia mosque.Incidentally, Ajit Doval of India has mentioned in his book that he spent quite some time around Kahuta and met some closet hindu who recognized his pierced earlobes and nearly blew his cover. The Hindu, he said had a white flowing beard like a Muslim holy man and had deities (moortis’) hidden in his closet.At the end of March 1947, all that was left standing in the shouldering wreckage was the minaret and the obelisk of the Hindu temples — nothing else survived.

Sikhs’ were the magnanimous ruling class, building administrative centers, schools all around Kahuta. The British ended Sikh rule on Kahuta which was then part of Kashmir and handed it over to Rawalpindi district. As Rawalpindi was also directly administered by the British, Hindus gains ascendancy in Kahuta.The same power structure was duplicated in other mixed communities with temples around Rawalpindi like Kurri Shehr, Lal Kurti, Kohati Bazar & Saddar Kabari Bazar & Purana Qila.

 

Muslims stayed the same, poorly educated, politically weak and living in the surrounding mountains.

In March 1947, rumors of Muslim lynching in India reached Kahuta and enraged mobs from the surrounding mountains, especially Narh, came clambering down for revenge. The sacred Sikh town of Thoa Khasa was burned to the ground with 50 Sikh killed in one day.

The mob then besieged Kahuta main town, dowsed the place in petrol and set it on fire. The Hindus, Sikh and Muslims living in the town Centre were all burned to death. Several were reportedly raped. The remaining stunned people fled.

One eye witness of the horror in Kahuta told me “upward of 1000 died in the fire and nothing was left except the minaret & temple spire” — but no one to worship inside.

Mountbatten personally came to visit after the killings. These violent deaths were the result of colonial divide and rule policies, sowing religious divide. I mean, how can you gift Kashmir – a Muslim majority state – to a hindu Dogra? Is it your Phuphi’s walima feast?

Now this temple is the prettiest of all the Hindu worship places I’ve visited around Pakistan. All its religious symbols are still intact. I wish someone would interpret them for me.

I guess the town folks had had enough of violence for the next hundred years — they left the temples alone.

Hate begets hate; there can be no peace till the healing takes place.

If you are in Kahuta to see this temple, don’t forget to see the other hindu temple, which is now home to a lovely Kashmiri family.

By: Wali Imran

This beautiful Hindu temple in Kahuta Pakistan hides a secret

Famous Hindu temples around the world

If you are planning to travel overseas, you must see these famous temples around the world.

First Jalaram Mandir & Community Centre in Australia (Perth)

With the blessings of Pujya Shree Jalaram Bapa, SJMWA (Shree Jalaram Mandal WA (Inc.))is delighted to let you know that we have received the revised development approval from the City Of Wanneroo for the construction of our very first Jalaram Mandir & Community Centre in Australia (Perth, Western Australia).

 

What does this mean – This means that we are now very close to giving BAPA his permanent residency (PR!!).

We have now engaged various consultants to complete the full construction drawings, tendering & applying for the building permit to start construction. This should only take a few more months.

As mentioned previously, the temple will predominantly be Jalaram Bapa’s temple, but it is also intended to cater for the religious needs of our wider Perth Hindu Community. The temple will have other Murti’s alongside Bapa, these will include Shree Ganesh, Ram Parivar, Radha Krishna, Shiv Parvati, Shivling, Hanumanji & Amba Maa. The community centre will consist of modern facilities including a well-equipped commercial kitchen, community hall, class rooms & performance stage to promote cultural activities.

With great pleasure, we announce that all the sponsorships for the Murti Pratishtha’s have been taken up. We would like to congratulate & thank all the various families who have taken up this rewarding opportunity for their generous support towards our Mandir project.

Further the  Mandal wishes  to congratulate and  thank the families for taking up the following sponsorship of the various parts of the Mandir.

  • Naming of the Main Hall.
  • Naming of the Dining Hall.
  • Naming of the Kitchen.
  • Naming of the Mezzanine Floor.

Some more good news, the following milestones have been achieved.

  • The purchase price of the land, $1,100,000.00 has been fully paid for & your Mandal (SJMWA) is the proud owners of this parcel of land. A big thank you goes to you all.    
  • From all the above mentioned sponsorships we have so far raised a further $830,000.00.
  • Our 500@50for5 subscription program has crossed over 100 subscriptions milestone, HOORAY but we can still do better on this one.
  • After taking into account all the donations received, the sponsorships, the subscriptions from the 500@50for5 & the interest free loan available to us we are now only approximately $500,000.00 away from achieving our Dream.

How can you help?

We are humbly requesting all of you to please consider taking up one of the following opportunities to help us in the last leg of our journey in giving BAPA his permanent home in Perth. Please let us all work together to bring this Dream to life.

1)    500@50for5  Give a little …. Gain a lot program:

This is your opportunity to perform the highest honour in the opening of the Mandir & Community Center.

  • By subscribing to this program you’re contributing $50.00 per month for 5 years, which equates to $3,000.00 (over 5 years) without feeling the strain of out laying the money all at once. However the good news is, one of you will stand a chance to perform the highest honour of opening the doors to the Mandir with your family’s name plaque placed at the entrance in recognition of your participation. Every $50.00 subscription will go into the draw. Please click on the link to download the brochure: Download Brochure

 

2)    One Off Donation:

All donations are appreciated, however donations over $2,000.00 will be acknowledged with a name plaque to be placed on a prominent wall at the Mandir & Community Centre. Your kind & generous donations can be made via:

 

  •  By credit card:

Pay via this link: Pay by credit card

 

  • Direct Bank transfer:

Shree Jalaram Mandal of Western Australia (Inc.)

Bank: Commonwealth Bank Australia

Address: 201 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Account Number: 12313943

BSB Number: 066000

Swift Code: CTBAAU2S

3)    Other Sponsorship Opportunities:

You can have the honour & privilege of sponsoring the following.

  • Yajman for foundation stone laying ceremony (Bhumi Poojan).
  • Sponsorship of car parks.
  • Various equipment & appliances for the Mandir and Community Centre.

For all donations & sponsorship enquiries please contact Vinesh Lakhani.

For more information please visit our website: www.jalarambapa.com.au

Thank you & may BAPA always shower his blessings upon you all. 

Kind Regards

Vinesh Lakhani

Chairman & Temple Project Coordinator

On behalf of : The Trustees & the Managing Committee of Shree Jalaram Mandal WA (Inc.)

(T) + 61 405 323 571

(E) chairman@jalarambapa.com.au

Jalaram Bapa a saint from Virpur

A once mighty civilization that India was, it continues to produce men and women of exceptional abilities from time to time and from place to place. The land of Punjab is Vir Bhumi, land of Kerala is Punuruthana Bhumi, land of UP and Utrakhand is Dev Bhumi, land of Bengal is Reform Bhumi, land of Bihar Jharkhand is Shanti Sandesh Bhumi, land of Tamilnadu is Kalaa Bhumi and so on. The land of Gujarat is famous as Sant Bhumi. Each Bhumi or land or state has produced many stars in its category.

Jalaram Bapa idol at a temple in Vadodara, dressed in colorful attire on occasion of Jalaram Jayanti holding a danda and wearing a turban.
Jethwarp – Own work

Gujarat has produced many saints. One such saint of Gujarat who lived mostly in 19th century affectionately known as Bapa (meaning great Dad) started a tradition of feeding the poor, the needy and everyone else who came to him. I had gone to Virpur where Bapa was born and witnessed his open kitchen, open to all, his earthen vessel that quenches the thirst of all and a place that does not accept donations. Even after 200 years, Bapa continues to shower his blessings and money has never been a problem to serve. 

The main shrine of Jalaram Bapa is located at Virpur. The shrine is actually the house complex where Jalaram lived during his lifetime. The shrine houses the belongings of Jalaram and the deities of Rama, Sita, Lakshamana and Hanuman worshipped by him. It also has on display the Jholi and Danda said to be given by God.[5] But the main attraction is the portrait of Jalaram Bapa. There is also an actual black and white photo of Jalaram Bapa, taken one year before his death.[7]

The temple is one of a kind in the world in a way that it has not been accepting any offerings since 9 February 2000.

Jalaram Bapa popularly known as Bapa was a Hindu saint from Gujarat, India. Bapa is revered by many people around the world for his saintly qualities and his ability to work miracles but most of all he is remembered for his selfless acts of charity.

Bapa was born on 14 November 1799 in the town of Virpur near Rajkot in India. He got married to Virbai at the age of sixteen. Virbai Maa, as she is popularly known, supported Bapa wholeheartedly in his saintly duties. Bapa’s feats of kindness, his devotion to God and his miracles are well documented.

At the age of 20, after obtaining his Guru’s blessings, Bapa started his Sadavrat (‘an oath forever’), providing free food to every person, at first to sadhus (monks) but later extended to anyone who dropped in. Inspired by his insatiable desire to feed the poor and needy, many became his devotees. True to Bapa’s desire and nearly 200 years later this tradition of feeding people continues to this day in Virpur.

For his devotees this meal is now a Prasad. Virpur has become an important Pilgrimage centre in India and attracts thousands of visitors daily.

Although Bapa origins were from the Lohana community his work and influence extended to all as he considered all castes and religions equally worthy of help and respect.

Bapa died in 1881 whilst praying. He was a divine soul who worked selflessly for humanity. His deeds are inspiring millions of people to follow the path of humanity and service. His birthday (Jayanti) each year is celebrated by many thousands of people across the world. His mandirs everywhere still serve the same Prasad of “Rotla, Khichdi, Kadhi and Shaak” and preach about the completely unselfish and kind deeds of Bapa.