The Marakata Rajarajeswari Devi Temple of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Ashram, Patamata is the brain child of Avadhoota Datta Peethadhipathi His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, who has been worshiping the auspicious Mother Goddess Rajarajeswari in the heart of his heart, and also in the Sree Chakrarchana daily.
Mother Goddess Rajarajeswari who is the chief deity for all the SriVidya Upasakas (Seekers of SriVidya), manifests in every human body in the form of Shat Chakras and establishes herself in the Sahasrara (The Crown Chakra).
“Sri Chakram Sivayor Vapuhu” means Sri Chakra is the body priniciple of Shiva and Shakti aspects. The whole universe is a Sri Chakra. To visualize the manifestation of this Sri Chakra in the body in a subtle form is the secret of Sri Vidya. When the whole cosmos is en-compassed with Shiva and Shakti principles, it manifests in several divine forms everywhere. The tip of the Sri Chakra is referred to as the “Bindu”. This Bindu is in the form of light, matter and also energy. In the energy state it is referred to as Rajarajeswari. This universal energy is manifested through out the universe in several forms as an endless energy. The secrets of the universe can be understood only by understanding the principle of Sri Chakra. One who worships the Sri Chakra with internal contemplation, that his body is a Sri Chakra, becomes a great ‘Yogi’. Sri Swamiji is the foremost of such great Yogis.
Sri Swamiji has been visiting Vijayawada since 1969 and established this Ashram in the year 1975. Initially a small cottage (Guru Nilayam) and later a building was constructed for His Holiness. In those days His Holiness used to stay months together in Vijayawada. A divine commandment to consecrate a Rajarajeswari temple in Vijayawada Ashram was always manifesting in Sri Swamiji's mind. In the year 1990, his divine determination gradually started started taking shape. The question where the temple was to be built arouse. Several Vaastu experts, Upasakas (seekers), Learned people were consulted. Everyone pointed out that the temple should be built at the place of Guru Nilayam where Sri Swamiji used to perform his penance. Then one day Swamiji affirmatively decided that Mother Goddess Rajarajeswari would be consecrated at that place only. Gradually the divine instruction of Swamiji started taking material shape.
The unique feature of this temple is that the idol of Mother Goddess is carved out of Green Aventurine/Emerald (MARAKATA). This is the first of its kind in the World. The colour of this stone relates to the colour of Mother Goddess. Kalidasa referred to Mother Goddess as “Marakata Syama” meaning one who is dark in colour resembling Marakata. The Marakata stone has great properties. This Mother Goddess fulfills all desires.
The top of this Temple has been designed to be in the form of Sri Chakra as ordained by Sri Swamiji. The Nine Avaranas (Circumferences), Six Chakras, their Deities, Nava Durgas (Nine Incarnations of Goddess Durga Devi) and other allied energies are depicted in this temple as a special feature.
While circumambulating the temple one can find at the lower most part of the temple, 108 Yakshas who appear to be carrying the Mother’s temple on their shoulders. The energy principle in these Yakshas is Mother Goddess herself.
In the second layer one can find elephants carved out which represent auspiciousness, prosperity and knowledge that is why during celebrations elephants are used for processions. One can also visualize the Nine Avaranas (concentric layers) namely,
1. Described as the abode of Anima and other Ashtasiddhis
2. Also called Trilokya Mohana Chakram(Attracts everyone in the Universe).
3.Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy - Tripure Trigune in raga Nata
1. It has Sixteen Petals
2. Nityakala and others deities reside.
3. Also called Sarvasha Paripooraka Chakram (Fulfills all desires)
4. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy– Tripureem Sundareem in raga Kharaharapriya
1. It has Eight Petals.
2. Anangakusuma and other Deities reside.
3. Also called Sarvasankshobhini Chakram(Dispels all Calamities)
4. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy Tripuraagravase in raga Kanada
1. It has Fourteen angles
2. Sarvasankshobini and other deities reside.
3. Sarvasowbhagyadayaka Chakram(Bestows auspiciousness)
4. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy Bhavayachitte in raga Nartaki
1. It has Ten angles.
2. Sarvasiddhiprada and other deities reside.
3. Sarvartha saadhaka Chakram (Bestows all material and spiritual wants)
4. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy Jaye Desha in raga Janaranjani
1. It has Ten angles.
2. Sarvajna and other deities reside.
3. Sarva rakshakara Chakram (Protects everyone)
4. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy Tripura Malineem Vande in raga Latangi
1. It has eight angles.
2. Vasini and Vagdevatas reside.
3. Sarva rogahara Chakra(Cures all diseases).
4. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy Sri Tripura Bhasura in raga Nalinakanti
1. It has Triangle.
2. Kameshi, Vajresi and Bhagamalini deities reside.
3. Sarva siddhiprada Chakram (Bestows all spiritual accomplishments)
4. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy Keerthaya Tripurambam in raga Jhanjhooti
1. It is the last of all Avaranas.
2. Bindu is Shiva and Shakti principles.
3. It is the abode of Goddess Rajarajeswari.
4. All creations originate here.
5. This is called Sarvanandamaya Chakram (Blissful state)
6. Song composed by Pujya Sri Swamiji describing the grandeur of this chakra to invoke it's energy Sri Rajarajeswari Sadaye in raga Brindavani sarang
One can visualize Shat Chakras around this Mother Goddess. At her foot is the Ajna Chakra (Brow Chakra). The Kundalini energy gradually raises upwards from the Muladhara (Base Chakra) crossing all the intermediate chakras to reach the Ajna Chakra which is placed at the feet of Mother Goddess. From there the practicant has to reach Mother Goddess who is seated in the Sahasrara Chakra.
One can visualize three Swans near this ultimate Avarana. Hamsa (Swan) signifies Jeevatma (Individual self). The sound of breath that is the prana energy entering the body is called 'Soham'. It can be appreciated during the process of inhalation and exhalation. This 'Soham' means Parasakti is the Self within' Such acontemplation of Mother Goddess during the process of breathing has been depicted as the Swans playing instruments.
Hamsa (Swan) also signifies knowledge and wealth. Therefore Sanyasis (seers practicing renunciation) are often referred to as ‘Pramahamsas’ with reference to their wealth of knowledge.
During the second round of circumambulation one can visualize greater details. The third layer of Sculpture around the temple consists of Gandharvas playing various instruments. Fourth layer above this has Swans and special windows. Above the windows are carved beautiful flower arches. Inline with the arch are depicted the Shat Chakras in detail.
A. Base Chakra.
B. The presiding deity is Ganapati.
C. Has four petals
D. Dakini Shakti is present.
E. Beejakshara (Seed Letter) is ‘Lam’ carried by Iravata (Elephant)
F. A Square - Bhumandala (Earth principle) is represented.
A. Brahma is the presiding deity.
B. Consists of six petals.
C. Rakini Shakti is present.
D.Beejakshara (Seed Letter) is ‘Vam’ carried by Makaram (Crocodile)
E. An Octagon - Jalamandala (Water principle) is represented.
Vishnu is presiding deity.
B. Consists of ten petals.
C. Lakini Shakti is present.
D. Beejakshara (Seed Letter) is ‘Ram’ carried by male Mesha (Sheep) (Seed Letter) is ‘Ram’ carried by male Mesha (Sheep)
E. A Triangle – Agnimandala (Fire principle) is represented.
A. Shiva (Mahadeva) is presiding deity
B. Consists of twelve petals.
C. Kakini Shakti is present.
D. Beejakshara (Seed letter) is ‘Yam’ borne by a Deer
E. A Hexagon – Vayumandala (Air principle) is represented.
A. Ardhanareeswara is the presiding deity.
B. A sixteen petal Lotus.
C. Shakini Shakti present.
D.Beejakshara (Seed Letter) is ‘Ham’ carried by an elephant
E. A Circle – Akasamandalam (Ether principle) is represented.
A. Dattatreya is the presiding deity.
B. Consists of two petals
C. Hakini Shakti is present.
D. Beejakshara (Seed Letter) is ‘OM’.
While circumambulating if you look upwards you will find that the pinnacle of the temple has semi lunar stone plates eighteen in number, which represents (Eighteen) Ashtadasa Shakti Peethas. Looking above that we can find a stone carved Sri Chakra itself. In the Sanctum Sanctorum, Mother Goddess Rajarajeswari is seated in the gross form, while on the top of the temple she is seated as the SriChakra in the subtle form. On the top of the SriChakra is the Golden Bindu representing the cosmic energy and the subtle form of the Mother Goddess. This way the internal and external aspects of the temple view gives a perfect and harmonious picture of Mother Goddess. Thus, we come to understand that the whole temple is the manifestation of Mother Goddess. Therefore, an umbrella like structure has been put up over the temple. Even in that there is a special method of worship. This umbrella is made of vibgyor colours. Therefore at daytime Mother Goddess is worshipped with seven colours and at the same time the temple is not left to get wet in the rain.
During the process of three circumambulations of the temple, one comes to understand that the magnificence of the construction. We are also introduced to the nine incarnations of the Mother Goddess. Sri Swamiji worships these nine incarnations during Navaratri days in a special pooja called ‘Navavarana Pooja’. Devotees can visualize Parama Poojya Sri Swamiji performing ‘Navavarana Pooja’ while watching these deities on the temple.
Lakshmi Dwaram (Outer Entrance to the Temple) :
After circumambulations we enter the temple, which has two entrances. The outer entrance is called ‘Lakshmi Dwaram’ and the inner ‘Saraswati Dwaram’. In the sanctum sanctorum is Mother Goddess Rajarajeswari. One can see on either side sculpture of two gatekeepers standing on Lions at the Lakshmi Dwaram (Outer entrance). Similarly Asta Lakshmis (Eight incarnations of Sri Lakshmi Devi) along with Jaya Lakshmi mata (Holy mother of Sri Swamiji) give darshan to the devotees blissfully. Above them are the Gandharvas, On top of them is Gaja Lakshmi. On either side are the Omkara and Srikara. Above that are flower Garlands made in the form of an arch. On them is sculpted the statue of Mother Goddess. There is another feature --on either side of this entrance are Hayagreeva and Agastya. The secrets of Mother Goddess came to the world only because of them. Hayagreeva initiated Agastya into the secrets of Mother Goddess with great difficulty. Agastya's wife Lopamudra Devi is also a great scholar about the knowledge of Sri Chakra and great devotee of Sri Mata. After besieging several times, Hayagreeva explained Atma tatva to Agastya. This great historical event has been represented by the statues of Hayagreeva and Agastya.
Below this on either side are carved a number of sculptures aligned on either side by statues of lions, Narada and Tumbura. Narada and Tumbura are the great musicians who have fathomed the ocean of music. Mother Goddess is pleased by music. Not only this, these two saints sang the praise of Mother Goddess on several occasions. After appreciating these special features at the Lakshmi Dwaram (Outer entrance) one enters into the Antaralaya.
Saraswati Dwaram (Inner Entrance to the Temple) :
Here we can see the attractive features on the Saraswati Dwaram (Inner entrance). On either side we can see Ashta(Eight) Ganapati statues in all, blessing the devotees. By the mere looks of Mother Goddess towards Kameshwara, Ganapati was created. On either side of the entrance are the Gandharva maidens and below them are the gate keepers. Mother Goddess Saraswati is seated up in the centre of the entrance with 'OM' 'Sreem' beejaaksharas (Seedletters) and swans and is blessing the devotees compassionately. On top of this entrance are sculptures of birds holding the flowered arch. On either side of this entrance we can see Rashi Chakra (Zodiac) and the Navagrahas, which implies that Time principle is always controlled by Mother Goddess. Below them are the Mayura(Peacocks)
In the Garbhalaya(Sanctum sanctorum) is seated the main deity Goddess Marakata Rajarajeswari whose darshan grants sanctity to the devotees. Placed at her feet is a Marakata Koorma Peetham (Tortoise like seat made of emerald) on which is placed a Manikya SriChakra (Ruby), covered with a golden armour shining effulgently.
During Navaratri celebrations Mother Goddess is worshiped as Maha Lakshami, Maha Saraswati, Maha Kali separately on three different days. These three deities are the principle manifestations of Sri Rajarajeswari Devi. Therefore these entrances are named after them. Another special feature is the statue of Prathyangira Devi in the lower part of the entrance. All evil spirits are warded off by this energy. She is like Mother Goddess Danda Nayika. Thus the architecture of this temple attracts devotees because of its great spiritual significance. Parama Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji wants to highlight the divine secrets of Mother Goddess through this temple.
Inside the Garbhalaya (Sanctum Sanctorum), one can also find that the roof of Garbhalaya is sculpted in the form of another SriChakra. It has 108 Triangles. By this we can know that on the outer side of the temple top and inside the temple roof one can only see and think of Sri Chakra alone and nothing else. Like this we can also find nine Padmas (Lotus) on top of the Antaralaya.
Devotees when entering the temple, can find the secrets of Sri Vidya every where. We can find the manifest explanation of Mother Goddess by Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada, as sung in His Soundarya Lahari ( Praising Goddess Rajarajeswari) all over the temple.
The intricacies exhibited in the temple prove beyond doubt that this temple is nothing but a unique manifestation of the divine inspiration of Mother Goddess Rajarajeswari to Parama Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji.
This temple is a unique monument the 1st of its kind in the world