My mahad trip

Bhaktabhimani Ganaraj Ekam
Kshetre MadhaKhye Varadam Prasanam
Yastishtati Shree Varado Ganesham
Vinayakasta Pranamami Bhaktam

Meaning :
I salute Ganaraj who is leader of Ganas, who is proud of his
devotees & who abodes at Mahad & has pleasant appearance.

I am not a very regular person… Infact that is one thing that I am devoid of in my life…. I do not like anything mundane….. So you will wonder who is this person because everything in life is definitely mundane, but my point in this is a little different I like improvising in daily things and try to make it a little more interesting….no I am not always successful but I try….. that brings me to my writing, in this case typing, no I am not a regular writer but every time I log in and see my blog empty I kind of apologize to my blog for not being a regular. I love writing so I don’t ever want to make it mundane Infact my last entry in my diary has been eons ago. For me writing is special a time when I am at peace with myself or wish to attain that peace mostly to unburden myself of anything grief, guilt etc etc….. Just a medium of unburdening…. I can’t do the same with a blog else my life will be just another reality show (is ekta kapoor listening). So I am just going to leave the mundane and the heavier stuff for my diary and mention only the good and nice things that life is giving to me.

I finally went to Mahad. As it happens with my life, I never really go to places I schedule to go but instead end up in places where I am least expected. I am sure that Varadvinayak was also surprised but I am hoping that he was pleasantly surprised. So I finally met the first Vinayak and I am so glad that I met him first and not anybody else. In case you have not guessed as yet, I am talking about Varadvinayak of Mahad!!! Don’t know who he is??? Google it!!!
Varadvinayak is one of the Asthavinayak temples of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh
Legend has it that the childless great king, Bhima of Koudinyapur his wife meet Vishwamitra while they had come to forest for penance। Sage vishwamitra gave king, Ekashar Gajana Mantra (spell)to chant and thus prince Rukmaganda was born। Rukmaganda grew up into a beautiful young prince.

Rukmanganda during his hunting trip stopped at the hermitage of Rishi Vachaknavi. Mukunda, Rishi’s wife fell in love prince’s beauty and asked him to fulfil her desire. He flatly refused and left the ashram. Mukunda became very much lovesick. Knowing her plight, King Indra took the form of Rukmaganda and had pleasure with her. Mukunda became pregnant and gave birth to a son Gritsamada. Gritsamada curses his mother on knowing truth of his birth to become a throny plant bearing Bhor fruits. Mukunda in turn cursed Gritsamada, that a cruel rakshas (demon) will born from him. Suddenly a heavenly voice said ‘Gritsamada is Indra’s son’ leaving both of them shocked. Then Mukunda gets converted to Bhor plant and ashamed Gritsamada, leaves to Pushpak forest for penance. Lord Ganesh contented by Gritsamada’s penance tells him that he will get a brave son who cannot be defeated by anybody other than Shankara. Gritsamada asks for the forest to become holy and so devotees get attainment of their aims here. He urged Ganapati to stay there permanently and asked for knowledge of Brahma. The forest is called Bhadraka today. Gritsamada built a temple there and the idol installed there is called Varadavinayaka.

It is said that if the coconut received as prasad during Maghi Chaturthi is consumed one will be blessed with a son. Hence there is heavy rush during Maghi Utsav. It was amazing as we reached Mahad before we knew it.

It was very sleepy place probably as the festivities of the Angarika Chaturthi were just over and this period could be auspicious. I really don’t know much about that but at Hal chowk you have to take a right and there it is. It used to be a forest area, the Bhadrak forests and the temple is a simple ancient temple…. Not lavish…. There is a large hall inside the temple also known as Garbhagriha. There are the idols of Riddhi and Siddhi the two wives of Ganesha and the two idols Ganesh placed in the hall. The idols have their trunks twisted on the left. one of the idols is made up of white marble and the other is covered with orange vermillion. The temple is east facing and is surrounded by figures of 8 elephants on all the sides. The northern side of the Varadvinayak Temple features the mouth of a cow and is known as Gomukh. Holy water flows through the Gomukh’s mouth. There is a holy lake on the west.

In the temple of Varadvinayak, one Nandadeep (lamp) is alighted for last 107 years. Mahad has beautiful surroundings. We took an assortment of red flowers and sweets and coconut for the deity. There in the temple premises there were a lot of children reciting Sanskrit prayers of Lord Ganesha. There were their teachers who saw to their pronunciation and that they recited it correctly. Amidst all the chanting, it was the idol of the deity that drew my attention. It looked very ordinary but the peace that Ganesha was emanating was amazing. It looked really very peaceful. Unlike the exteriors the interiors of the temple were very ancient and it looked really like an archeologist’s delight.

The most endearing fact about the temple was that there are no priests there…. No you are wrong there are priests but none were present to take the offerings for the deity!!! I could imagine the lacs and crores of devotees who like me must have touched the idol in the same way. I was hesitant to touch the idol at first but when the priest signaled me to go ahead. I touched the idol feeling for some vibrations….. no I did not feel any but yeah I did feel peace. The sentiment was definitely not my imagination because Rajdeep echoed it. So I could touch the Idol of Ganesha and I garlanded him and touched the coconut and gave the offerings to him. I prayed for my family and everyone close to me and of course WORLD PEACE and left the temple. As with all Ganesha temples, it had a Shiva temple and a Dattatraya temple within its premises. Yeah it was beautiful…

Varadvinayaka is known to fulfill all your wishes and all that your heart desires…. I do not know what to ask from him so I thanked him for the lovely family that I had and my friends who love me and asked him to take care of one and all and of course WORLD PEACE.

I have been meaning to go to all the Ashtavinayakas for a very long time now. I just hope that this marks my advent of my long list of scheduled visits to all the vinayakas and I hope that I can meet all of them…….. I close today holding that thought.

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