Monday 14 January 2013

The seer of Abbur near Channapatna

There are many places in and around Bangalore that combine sight seeing with religion. One such place is Abbur in Channapatna taluk of  Ramanagar district.   
Abbur is a holy place for Madhwas and it is situated on the banks of  Kanva. It has the Moola Brindavan of  Brahmanya Theertha of the Kundapur Vyasaraja Matha.
Madhwas owe a great deal to Brahmanye Theertha.  It was he who recognized the potential of  a young Yathiraja at Bannur near Mysore and took him under his wings. He later sent Yatiraja to Mulabagal for being tutored under Sripadaraja Theertha, the seer of Mulabagal.
Yathiraja was among the first few students of the Padmanabha Theertha Patashala opened by Sripadaraja Theertha. He was an outstanding student and very soon he came to be known as Vyasa Theertha or Vyasa Raja. Over the next half a century or so, Vyasa Theertha proved to be the most outstanding  scholar and Madhwa saint of the 16th century. Thus the credit should go to Brahmanye  Theertha first and Sripadara for having brought up Vyasa Theertha and honed his skills.
By the way, both Sripadaraja and Brahmanye Theertha are cousins from their mother side. Both were born at Abbur Doddi, near Abbur and both became heads of mathas. Both were exceptional scholars and both performed a number of miracles.
Brahmanye Theerta went on to become the head of the Vyasaraja Matha, while Sripadaraja headed the Mulabagal matha which subsequently came to be known after him.
Purushottama Theertha was the Guru of  Brahmanye Theertha and he gave Deekshe to Brahmanye before disappearing in a cave near Abbur. The cave is still there and it is a little away from the matha at Abbur.
After Brahmanye Theertha, it was the venerable Vyasa Theertha who headed the Vyasaraja Matha. However, the Vyasaraja matha split into two during the period of Rama Theertha.
Both Lakshmikantha Theertha and Sridhara Theertha took Sanyas from Rama Teertha. Thus the Abbur Matha or Kundapur Vyasaraja Matha and Sosale Matha came into existence.
In Bangalore, the Abbur Vyasaraja Matha has its premises in Hanumanthnagar and the Sosale Vyasaraja Matha at Gandhi Bazar.
The Matha at Abbur belongs to the Kundapur branch and it has the Brindavana of Brahmanye Theertha and a few other saints.
The matha is located right net to the Kanva and it is a very scenic place.
Since Brahmanye Theertha traced his lineage to Surya, neither he nor Sripadraraja or for that matter Rogathama Theertha have any shelter over their heads.
The matha has a very strict tradition of “Madi”. Please do not bring flowers, fruits and other offerings in a plastic cover. As far as possible bring them in paper bags or hand baskets.
Enter only with panche and Shalya. Otherwise you are likely to get an earful from the matha officials.  A woman has to wear a saree if she wants to enter the matha and perform seve.
Apart from the matha, the cave where Purushottama Theertha disappeared is just a few minuets away. You have to climb a small hill to visit the Purushottama Guhe or cave.
Since you have to touch Chennapatna while visiting Abbur from Bangalore or even Mysore, you can stop over for food there. It has some excellent eateries. Buy the famous vegetable dyed toys at Chennapatna. There are many temples in Chennapatna worth visiting.
Coming back to Brahmanye Theertha, he is supposed to have written one book which is not available. He made Vyasa Raja the head of the matha and entered Brindavana on Vishaka Bahula Dwadashi.
Some of the idols worshipped in the Abbur Matha are Lakshminarsimha, Venugopala, Bhoo-Vvaraha, Ramachandra, Sita, Lakshmana, Madhwacharya-Karachita, Yogapattika Sri Lakshminarasimha, Lakshmidevi and Satyabhama Devi.
Abbur is about 75 kms from Bangalore and you can reach it in two hours time from Bangalore.

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