Saturday, April 27, 2019

Ashtalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar – The Temple

Ashtalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar – The Temple
Ashtalakshmi Temple is a blend of ancient Dravidian and contemporary styles of temple architecture. The temple is constructed with an Ashtanga Vimanam (eight-sided tower) in the Omkara design. The temple architecture is unique and the deities are installed at four levels. The temple measures 65 ft in length and 45 ft in breath. It is modeled after the Sundararaja Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur. Ashtalakshmis, the eight forms of goddess Lakshmi, are present in four levels in nine separate sanctums in this Temple. Main Shrine (Sanctum) is situated in the second floor.





One starts the worship from here. Taking the stairs, the path leads to the third floor, which has the shrines of Santhanalakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi and Gajalakshmi. Further few steps would lead to the shrine of Dhanalakshmi, which is the only shrine on the fourth floor. Exiting the main shrine, in the first level, there are shrines for Aadi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi and Dhairya Lakshmi. The temple also has Dasavatara (avatars of Vishnu), Guruvayurappan, Ganesha, Dhanavanthri and Anjaneyar Shrines. There is a huge hundi for Venkatachalapathy within the complex.





Omkara (AUM) Shape:
The temple was designed and constructed in the shape of ‘AUM’, the First Vedic Mantra, Pranava. As the temple is in the AUM shape it is well known as the Omkhara Kshetra
Ashtanga Vimana:
As the temple is dedicated to Mahavishnu and Ashta Lakshmis, the construction is on the models of Ashtanga vimana (Eight Parts) style. This is one of the very ancient styles of temple construction. The shadow of the Vimana does not fall on the ground. This Ashtanga vimana style is found in Tirukkotiyur, where Sri Ramanuja learnt the meaning of the Astakshara mantra at the feet of Tirukkotiyur Nambi, Madurai (Koodal Azhagar), Tiruthangal, Kanchi (Vaikuntanatha Temple) and Uthiramerur.
Adhi Lakshmi Shrine:
Adhi Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the first floor. She is in the sitting posture, facing south. Poorna Kumbam (Pot filled with holy water to the brim), Mirror, Samaram (fly-flopper), Dwaja (flag), Rishabam(Ox), Berigai (Drum), Lamp and Swastika are carved at her feet on the sitting pedestal. Devotees get wealth, health, prosperity and long life by worshipping Adhilakshmi.
Dhanya Lakshmi Shrine:
Dhanya Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the first floor on the western precinct. The Goddess faces west. She is with six hands, three on each side. She holds arrow, ear of grain, Varada Mudra (bestowing blessing) on right hands and she holds a sugarcane, bow and Abhaya Hasta (Giving Protection) on her left hands. There is a carved image of an elephant on her pedestal. Devotees may get rich yield from agriculture by worshipping her.
Dhairya Lakshmi Shrine:
Dhanya Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the first floor on the western precinct. The Goddess faces north. She has eight hands. She holds Abhaya Mudra, Soolam (Trident), arrow and Chakra (Disc) on her right hands and she holds Sankham (Conch), bow and Varada Hasta on her left hands. Devotees gets courage and confidence to overcome the difficulties in life. by worshipping her.
Gaja Lakshmi Shrine:
Gaja Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the center of the third floor. The Goddess faces East. She has four hands. She holds Lotus flowers and shows Varada Mudras in her both hands. Idol of two elephants can be seen standing on each side waving Samaram to Goddess. There is a prabhai (aureole) around the head of the statue. The Statue is made of a single stone is full of exquisite artistic beauty.
Vidya Lakshmi Shrine:
Vidya Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the northern precinct in the third floor of the temple. The goddess faces north. Devotees will be bestowed with knowledge and wisdom by worshipping her.
Vijaya Lakshmi Shrine:
Vijaya Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the western precinct in the third floor of the temple. She faces west. She is mounted on Hamsa’s (White Swan) back. She has eight arms and holds weapons. Devotees can overcome fear and can achieve success in all their endeavors by worshipping her.
Santhana Lakshmi Shrine:
Santhana Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the southern precinct of the temple. It is in the third floor. The goddess faces south. She is in the sitting posture. She holds sword, shield and Varada and Abhaya Hasta Mudras. Devotees worship her for getting married and Child Boon. All doshas – disharmony in married life, lack of progress and prosperity to children –will wither away if one worships her sincerely.
Dhana Lakshmi Shrine:
Dhana Lakshmi Shrine is situated in the fourth floor. She has eight arms and holds Sankham, Chakram, Bow, Arrow, Poorna Kumbam, beetal leaf, lotus and Varada Hastham. She is in the sitting posture. She has Sanga and Paduma Nidhis as her gate keepers. She bestows devotees with wealth and prosperity.
Dasavathara Shrine:
Dasavathara Shrine is situated in the South-East corner of the Temple. Idols of all ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are consecrated and worshipped there. These idols face North. There is also a processional deity of Sri Nigamantha Maha Desikan, one of the celebrated Vaishnavite acharyas, in this Shrine. This Idol face east. There is also a shrine for Vishvaksena, the commander of Lord Vishnu Army. Devotees pray here to get relief from Navagraha Doshas.
Madapalli:
Madapalli (the kitchen for preparing neivedhyam for the Gods) is situated to the left of Dasavathara Shrine.
Guruvayurappan Shrine:
Guruvayurappan Shrine is situated in the South-East direction inside the Temple premises.  of the Temple. The deity faces east. Annaprasanam (ritual of feeding new born babies with rice) is a famous ritual performed in this shrine.
Kamala Vinayagar Shrine:
Kamala Vinayagar Shrine is situated in the South-West direction inside the Temple premises. The Deity is seated on a lotus and hence came to be called as Kamala Vinayagar. He faces east. His trunk is tuned towards right side and he is also known as valampuri Vinayagar. He is Beneath the peepal tree.
Chakkarathalwar & Yoga Narasimha Shrine:
Chakkarathalwar & Yoga Narasimha Shrine is situated on the western side of the Temple. Both the deities are carved beautifully on a single stone. Chakkarathalwar faces east and Narasimha faces west.
Anjaneyar Shrine:
Anjaneyar Shrine is situated on the north-west side of the Temple. The deity faces east. He is known as Abhaya Anjaneya (Anjaneya in whom one finds refugee). There is also a separate Processional Anjaneyar idol (Utsava Moorthi) in this shrine. Devotees worship him by offering Beetal leaves Garlands.
Dhanavanthri Shrine:
Dhanavanthri Shrine is situated in the northwest corner of the temple. Dhanavanthri is considered as God of medicine. Devotees will get rid off their illness by worshipping him.
Garudalvar Shrine:
Garudalvar Shrine can be found in front of the main shrine facing the sanctum.
Main Shrine:
The Main shrine is situated in the second floor. It houses Maha Lakshmi and Maha Vishnu. Both the deities are in standing from. The main deities are 7 feet high. Both of them face the Bay of Bengal on the east. They stand on lotus pedestal. Both of them holds Lotus and show Abaya Varada Mudras in their hands. It also houses a processional (Utsava) deity made of bronze. All ritual ablutions are done only to the processional deity. They shower all their grace and blessings to those who worship them sincerely. Thirumanjanam (Holy Bath) and archana may be performed. Nine yards silk sarees and three yards Dhotis and two yards upper cloth (Angavastram) may also be offered to the divine couples.
Sthala Vriksham (Sacred Tree):
Sthala Vriksham associated with this Temple is Vilvam. It is unique in the sense that the goddess Sri Mahalakshmi resides in Vilva leaves.
Pushkarini (Temple Tank)
As the temple is on the sea shore it has no special tank dedicated to it. Bay of Bengal, itself considered as sacred temple tank for the temple.

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