We asked our local guide, Gopal Das Ji, to take us to the ocean; my wife, Renu, felt that we should not leave Goa without having visited a famous beach in the capital of beaches. I can tell you that nobody in this world can destroy Hinduism. Yet this is unquestionably India: the people, the colors and the manners are evidence that foreign influences have never etched below the surface. In Goa, Shantadurga is She who mediates between Vishnu and Siva. “Currently, novenas are being held here in preparation for the Feast of St Joseph Vaz. Persuasion rather than force were used to convert at first, and soldiers were encouraged to marry local women thus ensuring Christian children. Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, devotees from all over India and Sri Lanka [where Vaz served as a missionary] visit this church during the novenas,” the priest said. Hindu temples in Goa are, almost all of them, private and run by traditional GSB families who allow guests to worship under rules. An exceptional feature is the extraordinary silver craftsmanship. Preference is given to the members of any GSB family, whose ancestors have owned and managed most of the prominent temples of Goa for ages. You can also fi… Our guide, Gopal Das, explained that here "Hindus and Christians respect each other. Hinduism, major world religion originating on the Indian subcontinent and comprising several and varied systems of philosophy, belief, and ritual. Finally, in 1630, his distant successor returned to Goa; but in the interim, many of our people had come under the influence of dvaita philosophy and started the Partagal Math. By tradition, most Hindu holy men are interred rather than cremated, their mortal remains blessing the world. The Portuguese colonial heritage and the diverse local population of Goa have cultivated a unique cultural landscape. Later we had an audience with Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami Maharaj. The nadasvaram players were still going strong, but I could also hear Vedic mantras once again being chanted. But anybody can come to the temple to have the darshan of the Deities.". Isolated, the shunned Hindus eventually converted, out of the need to belong to some community. Ancient Goa was a Hindu region. Some of the devotee families I spoke with had come from as far as New Delhi and Mumbai. Copyright© 2021 Himalayan Academy. We were both pleased to visit a place whose name, to us, is synonymous with natural beauty. But this was the hath kata khamba (pole where hands are cut), used to punish those who committed crimes during the Portuguese era. To be a Hindu requires no fixed principle to be followed, unlike Islam. Parishioners were requested to respect the harmony and promote peace, as Goa has been known for being a peaceful place where people of various communities live in unity and peace,” he told Crux. “Nearly two thousand people participated – with masks and maintaining social distancing. You have to delve deeper and deeper in Hinduism.". After dinner, I thought I was ready to retire for the day. We were impressed with the modernity of his office, with a fast internet connection and television monitors covering almost every important area of the temple. The majority of the population follows Hinduism. The data for 2020 & 2021 is under process and will be updated in few weeks. The founder of the math and Govinda's guru, Shri Gaudapadacharya, was an early and staunch advaitin. Catholic Standard
The maths in Goa have friendly, cordial relations. "Now we have 33 branches all over India, where we run pathashalas, hospitals and temples. "Hindus were tortured, Hindu women were raped, Hindu businesses were taken over, Temples destroyed, Beef hung outside Hindu homes by the Portugese" - Portugese Traveller Alfredo Desouza. DeSales Media Group in the Diocese of Brooklyn
Once established in Ela, the Portuguese began a religious conquest, aiming to convert Hindus that had remained in the city. Sikhs are a segment of people having different variants of Sanatan Dharm or Hinduism. Devotees freely attend festivals of the two main ones, even though Kavale Math is Smarta and Partagal is Vaishnava. "Our math was founded 550 years ago," explains Anil Pai, a trustee of Partagal Math. ", Though kaul prasad is also practiced in other temples, Damodar is famous for its accuracy. Sometimes the flower may not fall for the whole day. All rejoiced: Lord Rama had arrived in Goa, favorite land of the Gods, where Hinduism shines bright. They are privately owned and managed, free and independent of any kind of government aid. Despite these measures, secret temples were still used through… Though the long years of Portugal have left the Christian influence on Goa, yet Goa has not forgotten its roots and maximum people follow Hinduism. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak as a principle, however, Guru Govind Singh made it a clan fighting for the motherland and self-respect. Sometimes the responses indicate uncertainty, but at other times they are so clear that you can put fifty lakh rupees on it, even if you only own five cents. They launched an aggressive program of converting native Hindus and Muslims to Christianity. ", According to Venkatesh Naik Gaonkar, it was the leadership of the local maths that enabled Hinduism in Goa to withstand the turbulence of colonial years. I was mistaken. The first missionaries realized early on that despite the persuasive power of brute force--"conversions were made," wrote contemporary Portuguese chroniclers, with "the cross in one hand, the sword in the other"--it was difficult to wrench Goans from their Hindu beliefs and traditions. The new temple began as a simple structure; the current temple complex was only built in 1739, under Maratha rule. The sense of caste and purity is keenly upheld in Goa--to a fault. They join each other's religious festivals as a courtesy. Historians say the early Portuguese played on the strict mentality of the Goans, using their prejudices against them. While this might seem tangential to a discussion of modern Goa, it underlines the long, complicated nature of the Christian-Hindu encounter over 500 years. With some proof at the end. Several court documents describe the procedure for administrating an oath. Panaji's terraced hills are dotted with colonial-era, Portuguese-style houses sporting red-tiled roofs and whimsical balconies. While the temple administrators are responsible for quotidian matters, spiritual decisions come from the guru of the math that oversees that temple. Lord Parashurama then created eight villages for his new people. The place was crowded. We have made a police complaint the same day, but no First Information Report [the FIR is the first step of a criminal investigation in India] has been registered to date,” Alvares said. Every village has a gramadevata, to whom the villagers are passionately devoted. Mahesh Mangesh Karande, a senior priest, told us the local government's promotion of tourism has been very good for Hinduism. A nondescript wooden pole alongside a major road, in a populous area, is an awful token of those times. The next morning, preparing to visit Goa's leading Smarta math, I mused on Goa's connection to the great Adi Shankaracharya, the sage who spoke bravely and influentially of Advaita Vedanta. I had never seen something like this in my life, anywhere. This is believed to be the tallest such lamp in Goa--perhaps even in all of India. Goa Hindu Festivals. In all Hindu form majority religion in 2 out of 2 districts of Goa state. In following our journalist's footsteps there, those stereotypes may have to be discarded. Rice Bag. This temple enforces reasonable standards: Western clothing is tolerated, but not informal or revealing pieces. Chandrakant Keni, a leading Goan poet, says that although Goa's Hindus were put to severe tests as conquerors marched over their lands, they had the resilience to convert "temporary setbacks into permanent victories.". "Basically, all Gods here are Siva, Lakshmi, Durga and Kali, in many forms familiar to the locals and under different names." In 1312, Goa came under the Delhi Sultanate, which propagated Islam, only to be taken a few decades later by the might of the Hindu Vijayanagara empire. Then, heralded by loud drums, he was taken to the shrine and made to stand below the bell, facing God, where he might declare his innocence in the presence of the judge, advocates and all others concerned, making a solemn oath of truth. I could not agree more. Special Feature Goa Surviving a Troubled Past, Thriving in a Progressive Present Consider everything you know about the lushly tropical state of Goa. I traveled to Goa with my wife Renu. Now, conversion activities by the Christians are almost over, and even the crowds of hippies did not make much of an impact. Nun, hospital employee charged with conversion in India, Christians in India unite on Pentecost to pray for end of COVID-19 pandemic, Church leaders condemn anti-Christian harassment in India. It is notable as the oldest temple in Goa, India. Most Goan temples have strict dress codes, due to the overwhelming number of tourists. Each one performs pujas for certain GSB families. Goa's two main maths are the Kavale Math (Smarta) and the Partagal Math (Vaishnavite). Rajendra S. Gaitonde explains, "The purohitas here do not get any wages; they earn by performing pujas. There are no set fees, but the experienced priests, who can tell much more than a yes or no answer, receive generous donations for their divinations. There is a small 0.1% of Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs living in this region. Around 353 years back we started celebrating Ramanavami in a particular way, a pattern we have followed ever since. The words Auto da fé reverberated throughout Goa, reminiscent of the furies of Hell, which concept, incidentally does not exist in the Hindu pantheon. Though He was far away from where we stood, we could feel the powerful vibrations emanating from the gleaming, beautifully decorated murti. When Vasco Da Gama arrived in India in 1498, he mistook Hindus for Christians, but Jesuit missionaries soon declared war on the alleged idolatry of the Hindus. Rowdy, uncultured tourists were nowhere to be seen. Bhaskar Khandeparkar, an architect, shared some history with us: "In olden times, all Saraswaths were members of Kavale Math. Hundreds of small shops line the approach to the math, selling sweets, flowers and religious artifacts, all amid lush green surroundings with a mountainous background. We first visited Goa's state capital, Panaji, a city of only 65,000. Muslim Population in Goa is … Bhajan, kirtan and natak (drama) are popular here, and Goa has produced many famous Indian classical singers, including Bollywood's sister duo, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. "Though I had come to ask a different question, by the falling of the flowers the priest predicted my children's health needed care, which came true within days. Whatever is given to them directly is theirs. In front of the temple stands a unique brass oil lamp, 12.5 meters tall, which is lit during festival days like the Navaratri (see photo on page 25). The Portuguese enforced a colonial stranglehold that would last until December 12, 1961, when the Indian army--despite protests from Portugal and most of the international community--completed a successful three-day operation to rescue what would become India's smallest state. Bleach-white churches, fancy villas, cobbled streets and interesting buildings give Panaji a European feel. Additionally, the All-Goa walking pilgrimage concludes here at the Old Church. Shanta Durga Temple at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka is … Outsiders cannot donate for the maintenance and construction of the buildings; their donations are used solely for performing pujas and archanas at the temple. Soon a clear silence descended, as thousands awaited the speech given by the head of the math, Shri Gokarna Partagal Mathdhish Shripad Wader Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami Maharaj. "Though few Goans are GSB today, we are the stewards of spiritual knowledge. The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM
The descendants of these original families are called the Gaud Saraswath Brahmins (GSB). "Suppose I have to buy a property; I will come here and put the question before Damodar. On the contrary, there are widely known cases in which punishment befell those who dared to take a false oath. In 1532, however, the tactics became more forceful. Thus Hindu festivals in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. During the rule of Portuguese, Christianity was imposed on the population. If the project receives God's blessings, that flower will not be washed away. Category:Hinduism in Goa. Beautifully maintained, Shantadurga Temple stands on a patio surrounded by guest apartments. "Mangeshi Temple is under the spiritual guidance of Kavale Math," he told us. Religious Places in Goa: Travel Guide - Get information on famous & tourism Religious Places in Goa. Consider everything you know about the lushly tropical state of Goa. It was high noon by the time we received darshan of Sri Mangeshi, the main Deity. I was fascinated with the majestic seven-storeyed deepstambha at the entrance, a distinctive architectural feature of most local temples similar to a coastal lighthouse. Temples here are managed with a view to serving their supporting families. Far into the night, devotees continued pouring in, arriving for the next day's festivities. 1517 "At least from 1540 onwards, and in the island of Goa before that year, all the Hindu idols had been annihilated or had disappeared, all the temples… Photography inside the temple is, of course, prohibited. On the center stage, the head of the math, Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami, placed the "newborn baby"--a murti of Lord Rama--in the cradle while the flames of an elaborate arati danced on stage. As nadasvarams started blaring, a contagious excitement ran though the crowd of devotees, myself included. The priest requested the local officials to take immediate notice of the offences and register an FIR, in addition to taking steps to prevent any further damage and communal violence. Thus, being away from one's local temple is no impediment to worship. The Hindus in Goa were shocked to see the God of Christianity being more cruel than that of Mohammed and therefore, deserted the territory of the Portuguese and went to the lands of the Muslims, in spite of the fact they (Indians) had earlier received from them nothing but enormous and incalculable evils. Kavale Math was the home of Sannyasin Govinda Bhagavatpada, who initiated Adi Shankaracharya. Locality/village: Tambdi Surla : State: Goa: Deity: Lord Shiva The Deity was brought from the nearby village of Cortalim on May 1, 1560, just before the destruction of its original temple by the Portuguese colonizers, who were ruthless iconoclasts and ardent proselytizers in the early days of their rule. These two maths represent different philosophies, but they work in absolute harmony with each other.". The list of famous temples in Goa include Maruti … One has to share with God one's plans and decide which flower represents those plans. Silver-clad doors and windows with intricate figurines create a rich and beautiful home for God. Headlines are made of such fodder; and popular Hindi movies portray Goans as mostly Christian, Westernized in their ways and indulgent in their morals. Lord Mangeshi's new home remained untouched and survives intact to the present day. The math's sprawling campus houses a temple dedicated to Samsthan Aradhyadevata Shri Bhavani Shankar, an aspect of Siva, and is dotted with the samadhi shrines of several saints who lived here over the centuries. Alexander Henn’s Hindu-Catholic Encounters in Goa stands in this scholarly trajectory, and contributes significantly to it. When he left Goa, these brahmins became the sole lords of the land, to care for it into eternity. The Sri Mangeshi Temple is built in typical Goan style, blending Indian and Portuguese influences in unexpected harmony. My heart opened by the celebrations, I felt blissful, marveling at sharing in this punya (merit). Jump to navigation Jump to search. Panaji, Nov 9 (IANS): Hindu groups in Goa have urged Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to impose a ban on the sale of Chinese firecrackers and those with the images of Hindu deities and national heroes on the cover, ahead of the Diwali season. In our whole family, no decision is taken without consulting God here. One could barely walk on the sand without bumping into others. If the petal on the right side falls, permission is granted. MUMBAI, India – A Catholic priest in India has issued an official complaint to the police after a group of Hindus held a religious ceremony called a Pooja in front of a Catholic chapel. Early European travelers, like Venetian Pietro Della Valle, who visited Goa in the 1700s, denounced in their travelogues "unchristian" practices in local Catholic churches and shrines. The next morning arrived with an air of festivity: it was Ramanavami, the celebration of Lord Rama's birthday. From the sabhagriha one reaches the sacred garbhagriha, wherein resides the murti of Lord Mangeshi. This system has been there for ages." It was going to be an all-night affair, with many foregoing sleep in favor of devotion. We arrived at Kavale Math to find the place quiet, serene and peaceful. We are vibrant Hindus. बाण मार दूंगा l. 23 days ago. On April 1 st 1650 for instance, four people were burnt to death, the next auto da fé was on December 14, 1653, when 18 were put to the flames, accused of the crime of heresy. Allow the Goans to speak for themselves. Goa has just 1,429 square miles, slightly less than America's smallest state, Rhode Island. GSB members especially are expected to dress impeccably when visiting God, and they oblige. Neither the print media nor Bollywood movies have ever highlighted the spiritual dimensions of Goa, its ancient Hindu maths (monasteries) and temples. If the Indus valley civilization (3rd–2nd millennium BCE) was the earliest source of Hindu traditions, then Hinduism is … The glorious Chidambaram Temple of Tamil Nadu follows a similar system. Ninth All-India Hindu Rashtra Convention is being organized by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti between 30th July and 2nd August 2020 and 6th through 9th August 2020. The local priests, too, are connected to the GSB families. This temple, though large in relation to others in Goa, does not match the architectural magnitude of massive temples elsewhere in India. Coming from North India, I unconsciously brought along a prejudiced idea of this state that is common in our country. Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Though they are a small group, comprising only six percent of the population, the Gaud Saraswath Brahmins, considered the original inhabitants of the land, are the de facto leaders of any local religious activity. A large number of prominent Hindu temples scatter across the length and breadth of Goa. But Hinduism cannot be understood with tapas alone; it cannot be understood by experiencing it superficially. The ubiquitous tulsi plant grows throughout the state, a local symbol marking a Hindu home, happily planted on front gardens everywhere and honored with daily arati by Hindu wives. But the fanaticism of the Portuguese's first two centuries of rule left visible scars. Shrimat Shivananda Saraswati Swami, the current head of the institution, was traveling, so no events were scheduled. Each of these local Gods represents one of the greater Gods. The following morning, we were told, the chariot would be pulled again, covering a much longer distance, powered by the peak crowds that were expected. The need of the hour, for Goa and the world, I think, is to have religions led by tolerant and good people," said the calm priest, whose life is rich with blessings due to his service of Sri Mangeshi Siva. When the speeches were over, the thunderous unison of countless devotees singing "Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram" shook the building. This powerful form of divination uses flower petals from a sacred tree in the temple compound to interpret intimations from the Gods. Every petal or flower has a significance of its own. It’s been built with chiro, Goa’s natural laterite soil, the chairs in the lobby are old-style Goan and an alcove has both Hindu deities and a statue of Mary. Starting in 1936, the great Goan Masurekar Maharaj led a movement to bring brahmin Christians back to Hinduism. Then Swamiji reached for a bag and started pulling out large coins, throwing them with full force to be caught by devotees near and far in the crowd. We have two main purohitas at Shantadurga Temple. Only those belonging to Mahajana families can enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and perform pujas personally. For the development of human society, it is the most important ingredient, more important than wealth; for the proper management of society is connected to the intelligence of the people. A second Deity, Lakshmi Narayan (a form of Vishnu), is equally venerated; this is a Siva-Vishnu Temple. Till the Portuguese missionaries came. Elegantly dressed devotees were sitting on the staircase leading to the main stage, an improvised (and packed) open-air auditorium. The general atmosphere of the temple, with its pious devotees, meticulously kept surroundings and strict dress code, appears to keep the curious and uncommitted away. A dynasty of ten sages brought murtis of their Deities; after weeks of travel, they reached the mountain and established themselves anew. Those who received these items immediately shared their blessings with others, cutting the fruit and giving away extra coins. Membership is a mark of distinction, carrying social and religious privileges. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is a heritage construction, which … For one person the mukut could be good, and for another it might not be good.". On Lord Rama's chariot the head of the math and a bevy of priests performed an elaborate puja, with flowers abounding. Legends say some died right after leaving the temple; others got seriously hurt or went mad. Shri Gaudapadacharya wrote the cornerstone treatise Mandukya Karika (also called Gaudapada Karika or Agama Shastra), which ends with this shloka: "Having realized that state of nonduality, which is very difficult to realize, very profound, birthless, uniform and holy, we pay our obeisance to That, to the best of our abilities.". Devotees jumped with joy when they got a fruit falling in their hands, or a coin. In this case, heresy was to practice a faith other than Christianity. Catholics come to yatras and Hindus drop by processions. The accused bathed in the temple tank and was garlanded with red flowers of a plant locally known as pitkuli. I was invited to the home of a senior trustee of the Nagesh temple, Venkatesh Naik Gaonkar. ". Not one remained in the happy lands of our division." The top flower is called mukut, and adjacent to it is called trikut. The population is primarily a mixture of Christians and Hindus: the western coastland and estuaries are dotted with wayside crosses and Roman Catholic churches, while the hilly east is scattered with Hindu temples and shrines. In the wintertime they come from abroad, mainly Europe, to enjoy the climate; in the summertime, Goa's rainy season, they come from all over India to spend the holidays. It seems to serve a purpose similar to a South Indian gopuram (temple entrance tower), its several stories evoking higher realms of existence and the denizens of those planes, devas and Gods who, like us, come to commune at the temple. It was a famous pilgrimage, often known as Kashi of West. On Mahasivaratri, 250 abhishekams are performed at Nagesh Temple alone, each one sponsored by a pious family.". Hindu fanatics allege that the Hindus of Goa were forced to convert to Christianity under the Goa Inquisition which was ordered by St. Francis Xavier. The youth want to understand Hinduism. In following our journalist's footsteps there, those stereotypes may have to be discarded. Hinduism is the pre-dominant religion in Goa. Devendra Kenkere, an engineer and real-estate agent, swears by the practice. Jessyl Fernandez April 6, 2018. All the previous editions of the Convention were held in Goa; however, the forthcoming Convention … Angelus News
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