Mandasa is a village and a Mandal in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh, India. This town is near the highest peak of Eastern Ghats, Mahendragiri of Odisha state, from which there is a view of the Bay of Bengal.
Historic Importance of Mandasa village
Approximately in 1200 AD, Raja Vaman Singh Deo, from North gave up his kingdom to his uncle and came to the Mahindra Hills for penance and established the territory of Manjusha. The local legend says that he had a vision while he was doing penance. His vision indicated that he would receive a signal as to where he can establish his kingdom. At that moment a gold ring slipped from his finger and fell into the river. It was found downstream at a place and Kingdom of Manjusha was established there. The river still flows and its name is “Suna Muddi” which means Golden Ring.
Manjusha was at first in Ganjam District of Madras Presidency and then it became a part of Vizag District of Madras Presidency. Later it came into Srikakulam District. Lord Vasudev is the presiding Divinity of Manjusha.
Brief History of Temple
Lord Sriyah Pathi, Srimannarayana, an embodiment of auspicious qualities with no trace of any flaws, an ocean of compassion, is gracing his Devotees along with his Devi in the Deity form as ‘Parava:sude:va’, receiving the worship of his devotees in Mandasa in Sri:ka:kulam mandalam.
In the lunar year of “Pramo:da”, in the month of “Ma:rgasi:rsha”, on the day of Krushna Dwadasi, Vrushchika Lagna, Wednesday, in 1744 AD, the temple was consecrated by the lunar dynasty heir Sri Hari Hara Rajamani. The temple which was once patronized by kings and reigned supreme lost all its grandeur in due time. In the later years it became impossible even to maintain the temple with daily worship and rituals.
The temple established by the rulers and later maintained by the trustees came into the hands of the Endowments department and was being well managed. But unfortunately it slowly lost all its lands income, fame and remained in ruins.
In 1988 November, while conducting a World Peace walk in Srikakulam, Sri Chinna Srimannaryana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji reached Mandasa and observed the state of this temple. After writing requisition (D. Dis No. B3/1751/98 Dt 7-7-2000) to and receiving permission (Rc No : A1/417/98 Dt. 22.06.2000) from the “Deva:da:ya and Dharma:da:ya Sa:kha” of Andhra Pradesh, Swamiji gained the custody of the temple.
Swamiji constituted a re-establishment committee under the supervision of Sriman P.B. Visal Gupta of Rajam. The temple was re-established with an approximate amount of Rs.60 lakhs with the help of the sculptor of Bhubaneswar Sriman Raghunattha Mahapathro.
The reconstruction started on 13-11-2003 was done for the “Garbhalayam”, “Dwaja Sthambham”, “Mukhamandapam” etc according to the traditional practices of construction and adding new sculptures where ever required. The old structures were kept intact and preserved without any damage.
The findings of 457 Arabic engraved coins, copper plates, a couple of gold ornaments etc., were secured with the local government authority until the completion of the reconstruction and then were stored properly in the temple.
For U.V. Sriman (Mandasa) Ramanujaacharya Swamiji’s kind shelter,support, and venerable personality to be remembered forever, to have the grace of his beloved Lord Vasudeva on all, Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji has submitted this work of reconstruction, hoping to be highly pleasing to the Acharyas and Acharya of his Acharyas – “Mandasa Swamy”.
This establishment of “Thamra Sasanam” by “Acharya Peettham”, was carried on Sunday 26-6-2005, according to the lunar calendar “Prathivanama Samvatsaram Jeshta Bahula Panchami”(Year Parthivanama, Jeshata month, fifth day after full moon), morning 10:45(Dhanishta Nakshtrayukta Simha lagnam Sumuhurtham).
Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji’s Dream Fulfillment in Mandasa Vasudeva Swamy Temple
Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji, in his twenties and his close friend, Sriman T.K. Gopalacharyulu Swamy, from whom Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji learnt philosophy, went to learn Sri: Bhashyam from the renowned scholar, Sri Ramanujacharyulu.
Sri Bhashyam is considered to be the pinnacle work of our foremost Acharya, Bhagawad Ra:ma:nuja:cha:rya, as it is a lucid interpretation of the Bramha Suthras, a complex Vedanthic text that covers the essence of all Vedic knowledge about God, Souls, Matter, and their connection.
At the time Sri Ramanujacharyulu Swamji was living in a small town called Mandasa, which is located in Srikakulam District in Andhra Pradesh. The village is home to a beautiful temple of the Lord, Vasudeva. As Sri Ramanujacharyulu was a Raja Guru, he was in the assembly of the local zamindar and was also teaching him the wisdom of our Vedic culture.
On the night that they arrived in the village, the two young students shared the same amazing dream. In the dream, the two were attempting to cross the wide river Godavari on a small footbridge. After crossing about two-thirds of the way, the portion of the bridge in front of them was suddenly found to be broken. There was no way to go to the other end of the river. They were very scared and suddenly both woke up startled. Afraid about the significance of this shared dream, they immediately went to Sri Ramanujacharyulu’s chambers and told him about their dream.
They felt that the dream implied that the study of Sri: Bha:shyam was too vast a subject for them, and they were going to leave their studies without fully completing it. The wise Guruji observed the two frightened students, thought for a while and said, “Now first wash your feet, chant Sri: Vishnu Sahasrana:mam and sleep peacefully. Tomorrow morning, we will do something about this.” Next day, the Guruji took both the young men to Lord Vasudeva’s Temple. He instructed them to prostrate in front of God and he too prostrated along with them. He stood up and prayed to Lord, “Oh My Lord! These two young students of mine are the ones who will be standing guard to your scriptures. They are the ones who are going to re-establish our Siddha:ntha. So, it is Your responsibility. I am not going to teach these boys. It will be you who should teach them through me. Please take care of them.”
He ordered both the disciples to prostrate again and they did so. When they got up, he patted them on the back and told them not to worry any more, as they were now under the care of Vasudeva. And in front of the Lord, the Guru began his lessons to the two young students on the wisdom of the Sri Bhashyam.
In answer to Sri Ramanujacharyulu’s prayers and blessings, the boys completed their lessons. Not only did they complete their studies well, but they did so in just 6 months, well ahead of the two to three years that was normally allotted for the study of this complex text. Sri Ramanujacharyulu’s compassionate prayer was all that was necessary for the two boys to become the kind of scholars that we know them to be today.
Today many scholars from South India who are sought out for their knowledge of Sri Bhashyam are those that have studied under either Sri T.K Gopalacharya Swami or Sri Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji. That both of them had attributed their wisdom to the compassion of Sri Ramanujacharyulu Swamiji, and the grace of Lord Vasudeva Perumal.
Consecration Ceremony Report
HH Sri Thridandi Chinna Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji reached Mandasa, a historic place in the Srikakulam district, on the Orissa border by 16th night. There was a grand reception by thousands of devotees with lamps in their hands and camphor offered with a lot of devotion inviting Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji who came here for the consecration of the historic Vasudeva Perumal Temple.
This temple flourished during 17th century and was a great inspiration centre for many a devotee in those days. In the beginning of this century too it has been a great learning centre for many scholars of great Vedic tradition. In memory of this importance, this temple which was in the dilapidated state during the recent years, has been renovated and reconstructed by HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji.
This temple was reconstructed exactly in the same way with same architecture and design getting similar material and skilled workers who were experts in that tradition, from the neighbouring state Orissa too. Sriman Visal Gupta, the chief co-ordinator and Sriman Ramana Sriman Satyanarayana along with many volunteers and devotees organised the programme in a grand manner.
Reconstruction of the temple was mainly supported by Smt. Renu and Sriman Chary Tamirisa who came from Houston USA. The whole Prathishtta programme was conducted by highly experienced scholars and Veda and Agama experts of JET University, in a most authentic way. The Prathishtta (consecration) programme was completed by about 11.30 AM after which public took the opportunity to have the delightful Darsan of the Lord Sri Vasudeva Swamy. Separate shrines for Sri Devi Bhudevi, Goda Krishna were also consecrated and initiated. The temple took to its rejuvenated glory reminding the past memoirs.
Nammalvar, Periyalwar, Thirumangai Alwar, Bhagavad Ramanuja and Manavala Maha Muni Sannidhis were also restored and it has been a great sight to see such a glorious sight with earful, heartful singing of glories of Lord, Acharyas and the Vedic rituals.
Amidst Vedic chants, Puranic chantings, Prabandha Songs, Alwar Acharya interactions with Lord and the devotees, it has been a wonderful celebration. Thousands of devotees from all over the district rushed to the place to witness this grand holy event. Thadiyaradhana was performed to all the devotees. Every one was happy with this grand event as it gave them a new hope, inner strength and divine support in the form this grand temple. HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji offered Mangalasasanams to one and all who co-operated in bringing this glory of the temple back onto the track.
HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji stressed upon the point of preserving the same tradition, architecture and system of the temple and said modernizing the temple with the undeveloped systems (existing today) and treating them according to our rational logic instead of understanding the underlying values and respecting them has become a fashion in many places. Modernizing temples and culture will only spoil the originality and thus instead of becoming a sanctified place, an educational place, temples will only become commercial centers for public attraction and monetary benefits, which should not happen.
HH Sri Swamiji said, the modern youth is very much aware of the values, however, they need proper guidance of why and what for which one has to preserve the structures in their original form and learn the history from the traditional scripts, usages and customs which are in practice since ages.