Sri Kamakshi Sharada Temple, Hebbur

The greatest and perhaps the oldest civilization known to mankind, India, the virtuous land that it is, is acknowledged as the 'Cradle of Knowledge' where Vedas have originated from.

In the ears gone by, each and every small village and town of this holy land has seen prosperity in both materialistic and spiritual walks of life. Among the very many holy places, a few have survived the onslaught of invasion, natural calamities as well as human decadence in terms of absence of thirst for Knowledge.

One such holy place to have survived is the Sri Kodandashrama Math of Hebbur, a small place near the town of Kunigal in the state of Karnataka.

The Land of Temples

After the decline of Vijayanagara Kingdom, Hebbur came under the rule of Mohammadans, the Chieftain of Chikkanayakanahalli, Kempegowda and Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar in due course of time and was established as a business centre.

As said, Hebbur was a land doted with temples of Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti and other local deities, among which many have disappeared over a period of time. The few famous ones to have remained include temples of Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman), Gopalakrishna, Veerabhadraswamy, Shani, Venkataramana, Kerelinga, Byataraya, Bisilu and Neralu Maramma, Thirumala, Varadarajaswamy, Thiruppalamma, Kollapuradamma, Ganapathi and a few others. Many of these have been renovated in recent years thanks to the benevolence of devotees.

The graduation of Hebbur from being just a place of temples to an Advaitha centre is worth mentioning here, earning the appreciation, among others, from the Mahasamsthanam of Sringeri Math itself. Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Dakshinamnaya Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetha performed the Kumbhabhishekam and the consecration of the Sri Kamakshi Sharadamba idol in May 1994, thus firming-up the bond further with Hebbur Ashrama.

Sri Sri Sri Bharathi Thirtha Mahaswamiji again visited the Hebbur Math in May 1999 and was all praise for the significant all-round developments that have taken place under the esteem patronage, farsighted efforts of Sri Sri Narayanashrama Swamiji who left no stone unturned to make the Sri Kamakshi Sharadamba what it is today.

Sri Kamakshi Sharadamba Temple

Apart from the temples mentioned above is of course the famous Kamakshi Sharadamba temple in the premises of Sri Kodandashrama Math, named so after its Founder Guru (Swamiji). In the entrance to the sanctum sanctoram one can see Bhairava, Vana Durga, Kumara Swami and Ganapathi with Dwara Palas (guards) in the East, West and South sectors besides Dattathreya, Hayagreeva and Medha Dakshinamurthy idols.

The icon of Devi Kamakshi Sharada is a beautiful stone vigraha (idol) with intricate sculpture. Kamakshi Sharada with her four hands holds Pasha, Ankusha, Pustaka and Akshamala (clockwise). In the book held by Devi, we find the Upanishadic tenet Jivo Brahmaiva Naparah. This is one of the sepcial characteristics of the icon. This main deity is installed on a stone Sri Chakra Peetham on a square block consisting Pancha Pretasana or Pancha Brahma Manchasana (Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Eswara and Sadashiva).

In front of the sanctum sanctorum a spacious prayer hall is built. This is built on 16 pillars to represent Shodashakshara. Also, Navavarana Devathas are installed around the shodashastambha mantapa. Whenever the Swamiji is in headquarters, he conducts discourses for the benefit of the devotees.

Free distribution of Mahaprasada (lunch) is being provided daily for the devotees since last seven years, which is a great achievement in itself.