|Extract from THE CULTURAL
HISTORY OF GOA From l0000 B.C.—1352 A.D.|
By Anant Ramkrishna Sinai Dhume:-
Incident about Vasco da Gama mentioned in above book on page no.265:
“ However, the idol of Devaki Krishna originally of Chodan Island, Tiswadi taluka transferred at the time of molestation by the Christian missionaries to Mashela (Marcela in Portuguese) hamlet of Orgaon village, Ponda taluka, is interesting.
The idol is Devakikrishna in standing form, holding on her left side of abdomen with her left arm, the image of child Krishna. This idol I presume, is unique throughout India. History says that Vasco da Gama in his old age was appointed Vice-Roy of all colonies of the Far East as a gesture of honour. One day, he visited Chodan Island. When he saw this idol through the main doorway, he immediately saluted the image and went on his knees, considering it the image of Mother Mary, with baby Jesus, but his companions explained to him and Vasco da Gama was very much annoyed.”
It may be recalled that the book entitled ‘Shree Devakikrishna Devasthan—A Complete History’ written by Goa’s renowned historian ‘Itihasacharya’ Shri Vinayak Narayan Shenvi Dhume and published in 1994 by a devoted member of the Devasthan (temple) Committee Shri Prakash Mahabaleshwar Prabhu Verlekar from Mapusa, Goa had long gone out of print. Since a new edition was not available and there was a persistent demand from the devotees who were eager to know about their family deity and its history for an uptodate and authentic information, it was decided that it was high time that the book be brought out in the form of a new edition.
During the last several years, there has been a continuous flow of visits by the devotees to their family deity and members of the temple committee (Mahajans and Kkullavis), both individually and along with their families. It was gathered from the interaction with them that most of them had hardly any knowledge or information about the temple, its history, the rituals and other allied necessary information such as the main temple (Devasthan) and other ancillary deities, the available ‘pooja-seva’ (religious rituals), the arrangements regarding the accommodation for outstation devotees and visitors, the projects already completed and also those which were proposed and were in the pipeline towards further progress and renovations etc. Thus it was felt absolutely necessaray that alongwith with the reprinting of this book of history, the Mahajans may be equipped with the current ongoings and uptodate information regarding the Devasthan. Hence all these details have been included in the second section of this book. That section includes details concerning the systematic and authentic ‘darshanakram’, complete information regarding various rituals, festivities, description about the fortnightly ‘trayodashi-paalkhi’ festival, details about the Management of the Devasthan, so also the projects already completed and those proposed to be undertaken and on the whole the progress that is continuing.
The third section of the book contains two very important and preservation-worthy articles concerning the Devasthan, penned by late Shri B.D.Satosker, the illustrious son of Mashel, a senior journalist and a reputed writer in Marathi. Shri Satosker has written the first article painstakingly giving the right perspective about the Devasthan, after personally visiting
the original spot of the Devakikrishna temple and it introduces the Devasthan to the readers through researched angle and proper viewpoint. In the second article, which deals with the story of Lord Krishna, the writer describes how his mother Devaki who was desperately trying to trace her Balkrishna managed to locate him on the Chuddamani (Chodan) island. This legend is relevant to the background of the Devakikrishna temple, hence it is incorporated in the book.
The Devakikrishnashttak as well as Mangalashtakas composed by Shri Sagunn Krishna Prabu Moye from Siolim, Bardez, Goa and which are chanted at the time of Palakhi procession are appended at the end of the book. Thereafter is printed an Aarti of Devakikrisha composed by Shri Anant Raghunath Prabhu.
The task of compiling the information was meticulously undertaken by Shri Arvind Anant Sukhthanker and all the relevant details for the benefit of temple members (Mahajans) has been provided. This difficult job was possible through the ready assistance and willing co-operation from the Pujaris, other workers and helpers of the Devasthan and various elderly and knowledgeable Mahajans. The Managing Committee of the Devasthan is deeply indebted to all these persons who extended their helping hands in this job of compiling the information.
It is noteworthy that, through this book, the Mahajans shall be able to get in one single volume all the relevant information, the history of the Devakikrishana Saunsthan, details of its present position and also the future plans and projects for ready reference to be used by the present Mahajans and the future generations
It is our sincere and optimistic endeavour to create the best and most pleasant environment in the temple as well as in its vicinity so that the Mahajans and their families should ardently feel like visiting the Devasthan as often and frequently as they possibly can. The Managing Committee has created the right facilities and arrangements in this direction. We are sure, our future plans shall also be translated into reality and we are putting in the best of our efforts towards this aim. We hope and pray that through the co-operation of all our Mahajans and through the blessings of Lord Devakikrishna, all our plans and projects shall fructify and this shall happen within the stipulated time-frame.
(Paush Pournnima, Shaka 1925)
7th of January 2004.
Vasudev Bhagwant Prabhu Verlekar
Shreedevakikrishna Saunsthan Managing Committee
The Only Deity in the entire Goa which by actual deeds expresses motherly affection
and the famous temple of the same deity situated at sacred place called Mahashaila
SHREE DEVAKIKRISHNA DEVASTHAN
Shreekshetra Mashel-Goa .
If anyone takes into consideration all the four borders or the cross-section of Goa and its
Total area and if he/she considers the Hindu population coupled with their deities and the temples
One should be easily convinced why this land of ours is often rightly called as the sacred land of
Gods. One may also take into account the expansive, lush green and colourful scenic beauty abounding in this tiny place, full of placid rivers, greenery, landscape and overall scenic tantalising
beauty,; and then one will not be at all surprised if the Gods too must have felt pleased to descend on to this beautiful, quiet, peace-loving people’s place full of coconut palm fringes tossing about like fans in the open skies, tall areca groves, clean rivers with sweet waters and that famous Dudhsagar waterfall ever showering its sacred water like the celestial ‘Abhisheka’ so to say! No wonder, Gods could not have chosen any better place to descend down on the earth from their heavenly abodes!
And then, over and above, you come down to the most sacred area, the place called the Mahashaila. Among all the places in Goa, this particular area is abounding in splendid temples.
Some people often remark that there are to be found more temples than human habitats or residential houses in Mashel. And this is precisely the location where the famous temple or the Devasthan of Devakikrishna is located. The deity has the reputation of being the only God in the
Entire territory of Goa which showers motherly or filial tenderness, affection and blessings by actual deeds on the devotees.
When did the main deities and their temples in this ‘god’s land’ came to be worshipped and established in Goa? How, when, why and by whom did the entire process get started in those ancient times? Who were the originators or founders or builders of these temples? Who, when, how and why this glorious tradition came to be initiated? May be, it is difficult or almost impossible to anwer all these questions precisely and correctly. But, even if it is rudimentary or cursory to a large extent, it is necessary to take a peep into and glance at the historic background. Only then shall we be able to understand and guess about the real topic of the discussion, i.e. the Shreedevakikrishna temple at Mashel. Let us therefore piece together some of the legends and anecdotes to get at the history of the Devasthan in brief.
The narrow and long strip of land which stretches from the Sahyadri right upto the Arabian sea which is popularly known as the ‘Konkanpatti’ (Konkan strip) is also known as the Parshuram Kshetra (Parshuram area). According to the information available in the Sahyadrikhand of the Skanda Purana, this Parshuram Kshetra is ‘shurpaakaar’ (i.e. of the shape of a ‘soop’,a kind of a flat basket) and it is situated to the South of the Vaitarni river and to the west of Subramhannya. The intention behind calling it ‘shurpaakaar’ was that Bhargavram obtained huge land stretching from Sahyadri right upto the Arabian sea which admeasured twelve ‘kos’ (old measurement of distance of three miles) in width and four hundred ‘kos’ in length and this ‘surpaakaar’ land went on becoming sacred even more than Kashi itself. This was so because Parshuram had brought and establised therein all the sacred places of pilgrimage. These ‘teerthas’ (pilgrimage spots) were: Vimal, Nirmal, Khadirteertha, Harihareshwar (near Baannkott), Mukteshwar, Balukesh (Walkeshwar), Baannganga, Saraswati, (and to its South) Kushasthali (Kutthall), Matthagram (Madgaon), Gomanchal (Gomantak). And in that Gomantak, he established Gorakshanamak teertha, Ramkundd, Kunddamaladik too and having sanctified these places, Parshuram seetled down there for good. Later, after a short period, he decided to perform a ‘Digvijay’ for which he intended to do the ‘yadnya’ ritual. This necessitated the help of many learned and scholarly Brahmins.
Thus Parshuram brought his friends and relatives, the Saraswat Brahmins like great rishis Bhaardvaj, Kaushik, Vatsa, Kaundinnya, Kashyap, Vasishtth, Jamadagni, Vishwamitra, Gautam and Atri from the northern country of Trihotra (Tirahut) and made them settle down in the South in the periphery of Ashttagram area of Gomantak permanently after having completed his yadnya successfully. The Ashttagram comprises the villages called Matthagram, Varennya, Kuddtori, Bannauli, Shankhavali, Raichuri, Lottli and Nagvem. From this point onwards is mainly regarded as the time of entry of Saraswat Brahmins in the South. There was no other Saraswat Brahmin in Goa, it is believed, except for Parshuram of course. The traditionally believed legend has it that the Digvijay Yadnya of Parshuram was undertaken in the village of Harmal in the Peddnne taluka of
Goa. People living in the vicinity of above places at Harmal still say that they sometimes happen to see a mound of ‘bhasma’ (holy ashes) which they attribute to the occurrence of the Digvijay yadnya of the ancient times.
There were sixty-six families (‘kullas’) of the Saraswat Brahmin Rishis brought to Goa by Parshuram. Out of these sixty-six families, Kautsa, Vatsa and Kaunddinya got settled down in the two areas of Kushasthali and Kelloshi and they established ten families each. Out of the other remaining ‘gotras’ (rishi origins) sex families each at Matthagram, Varennya, Lottli and Kudtori had six families each. In the ‘mahakshetra’ of Chuddmani (Chodan) there came to be established ten families. So also were established twelve families in the areas of Dipavati (Divaddi) and in the central part of Gomanchal. Having thus established the sixty-six families, the sixteen chief Brahmins were subsequently given the rights 16 villages each. The legacy of this right still continues and although later, Goa came under the rule of the Portuguese colonialists, these families after having paid the necessary tax (‘for’) to the government, the members of these families used to distribute the income of the villages and thus enjoy the above ancient inheritance. Even the Saraswat Brahmins who later fell victims to the forcible conversion of the Portuguese did enjoy this right.
In due course of time, Goa and some of the surrounding territories came under the rule of various indigenous rulers. These included the dynasties of Mauryas, Kadambas, Chalukyas, etc. Thereafter came the rulers from Vijaynagar, the Bahamani Muslim rulers from Bender, Muslim rulers from Bijapur and their chief vassal (‘Maandalik’) Raja Soundekar, and also under the Maratha rulers of Sawantwadi. During all these feudal and kingship rulers’ times, almost all the rulers took the co-operation and intellectual advice of Saraswat Brahmins which led to the overall progress and prosperity of respective rulers. This was the reason why almost all the rulers had in their courts Saraswat Brahmins as advisers in financial, political and other important high posts. This in turn enhanced the reputation and importance of Saraswats as well. They became a dominant social force almost in all walks of life as astute advisers. This led many Saraswat families to leave their original places from the North and settled down in Goa and its surrounding territories. On account of the sound footing they established in the cultural, religious and political arenas, the administration also continued in a smooth manner. However, they did not enjoy this kind of conditions and situation for long.
The Aggression by Muslim and Christian Religion-Chauvinists on Goa
The Muslims defeated and annihilated the Yadav dynasty of Devguiri in 1313 and they came down to Goa and started indulging in all sorts of hooliganism and misdeeds. They destroyed many of the Hindu temples and having whisked away the then local rulers started their own despotic rule. However, later in 1367 A.D., Madhav alias Madhavacharya who was in the court of the king HariharRai of Vijaynagar as chief minister came down to Goa alongwith a mammoth army and managed to drive away the Muslims. He rebuilt the temples brutally destroyed by the Muslims and records have it that this same Madhavacharya re-established the famous historic temple of Saptakoteshwar. In the meantime, the Muslims had not given up their stray nefarious activities and aggressions. After the demise of Madhavacharya, king HariharRai appointed minister Narahari as the chief and despatched him to Goa to look after the affairs.
Later, in the year 1510, the Portuguese came to Goa via sea route all of a sudden and attacked it. While the fight against them was continuing, their hold on Goa became firm. They resolved to uproot the Hindu religion from Goa and displaying extremely cruelty inflicted untold religious persecution. They started converting the Hindus to Christianity en masse, individuals, families, entire villages etc. and in the process they destroyed temples, broke the idols, breaking their sacred threads, cutting their traditional ‘shenddi’, stuffing their mouths with unsavoury meat so on and so forth.
The Hindus did carry on some retaliatory movements. However, the enemy showed exemplary unity while the Hindus were busy creating conflicts among themselves and did not put up any tough resistance worth the name. This resulted in sure victory for the enemy. They did not even dream of taking some measures like the ‘prayashchi’ which could have resulted in retaining or regaining their original identity as Hindus. Therefore, they were utterly suppressed. Lakhs of Hindus were either killed or were converted to Christianity. Innumerable others fled far away into the neighbouring places like Maharashtra, Carnatak or Kerala. Their houses and temples were reduced to ruins and everything was in complete disarray. Thus, not only the Saraswats but Hindu community as a whole had to undergo untold misery. Having no other alternative many crossed over the Sahyadri and fled away beyond the ghats in the East, some ran away to the South and settled down in Canara and the Malabar regions. In short, they led a miserable life facing untold hardships for nearly half a century.
It is not difficult to decipher the period during which, owing to religious persecution by the Portuguese rulers and over-zealous missionaries, the Goan Hindus fled to other places. It can be proved on the basis of historical evidence that Hindus started migrating after 1516 and before 1608. In the Portuguese book entitled ‘Viagem de Pyrard’ (Voyages of Pyrard) by Cunha Rivara, it is mentioned on page 33 of the second edition it is mentioned that the French voyager Pyrard had met some of the Goan Saraswats who had settled down at Calicut. There were some Hindu rulers in Karnataka and Malabar whose shelter was taken by some of the Hindu families from Salcete taluka of Goa. It may also be presumed that even before that time some Saraswat families from Salcete might have migrated to those places; because, in one of the articles of 1546, it is mentioned that a certain Khetapchya Narayan from the Curtorim village of Salcete taluka in Goa had built a temple at Bhatkal in Karnataka. Another mention is found in some other article that a temple of Lord Venkatraman was built for Goan Brahmins in the year 1537. These Saraswats might have migrated to Karnataka even before the advent of the Portuguese in Salcete taluka of Goa. The ancient settlements of Goans are still to be found in the Southern parts of Goa in Karnataka at places like Honavar, Gokarna, Mangalore and at places like Kananore, Trichinapal’li, Khallpall’lli, Cochin, Manjeshwar in the Malabar. The people at these place make a mention that they were forced to leave their ancestral land of Goa on account of the religious persecution by the Portuguese. These people are called ‘Canarin’ or ‘Konknnes’ in those places. Shri Padmanabh Menon, a historian from Kerala writes that they might have acquired this nomenclature because they might have migrated via the Konkan are or may be because formerly they had been the residents of the Konkan region.
Goan Hindus left their land. Hence the region got deserted and it severely affected the trade and commerce. There was absence of any sort of production in the region. Naturally, this led to some introspection and the rulers realised their folly to some extent. It dawned upon them that all this was the result of over-enthusiastic religious chauvinism and persecution and they were forced to take some remedial steps. The rulers then enacted a law that henceforth the religious persecution should be stopped and the conversion came to a halt. They went on issuing ordinances and orders repeatedly that the Hindus shall henceforth be given full religious freedom. But people would not believe in this change of policy. All the same some migrated Goans started returning homeward and gradually some semblance of stability was evident. However, those Goan Hindus who had fled off to remote places settled down in those places and never thought of ever returning to Goa. Usually one finds that the Saraswat families of Southern India have their family deities in Goa. Of course, they respect all the other famous Brahmin temples that are scattered all over the country. Yet, the fact remains that they are deeply and emotionally more attached to temples in Goa. This is so perhaps because they had brought them here in Goa from their roots at Trihotrapur in ancient times as their revered family deities.
Most of these temples are of Shiva, some are of Parvati. The evidence about this is to be found in Skandapurana, second part, chapter I. The deities mentioned there are the family deities. There need not be any doubt about the fact that they were established by the respective original people of families of their respective ‘gotras’(lineage) at the time of creation and establishment of the land of Goa itself.
However, there are to be found many other deities and temples in Goa. These can be mainly put into three categories: l) Kuladev (family deity), (2) Gramdev (the deity for all in the village) and (3) Upaasya dev (adopted deity by choice). The deity that is accepted as the Protector of the family is the Kuladev; there are certain village deities. They are mainly located in the same village. But of course, there are quite a few exceptions. Originally, the Gramdev might have been in that particular village but during the times of conversions and religious persecution, they might have been shifted to some other place. There are many examples of this nature. Upaasya deity is the one specially chosen for the sake of personal Upaasanaa that is worship purely for personal reasons. This might be giving special spiritual satisfaction and mental peace for that particular person.
Thus these are the three different categories of deities. But they all come within the compass and orbit of the family deity. The custom of continuing the worship of family deity and simultaneously the worship of other deities is common among Brahmin families.
The mention of the main family deities established in Goa and which is referred to in chapter I of the second part of the Sahyadrikhandd are as follows: Manguirish-Mahadev, Mahalaxmi, Mhalsa, Shantadurga, Naguesh and Saptakoteshwar. But there are quite a few other family deities of Saraswats in Goa such as Ramnath, Narashimha, Ganapati, Aryadurga, Kamaxi, Devakikrishna etc. Similarly there are deities and temples of other castes, communities and other social groups. Besides, there are very many instances wherein the deities established by Saraswat as their family deities are also being worshipped by other types of Brahmins as if they are their own.
In Goa the Karhadde Brahmins and Padye Brahmins regard Shri Mahalaxmi (at Bandoda), Shri Mahalasa (at Mardol), as their own family deities. Karhade Brahmins were originally dwellers of Ghats at Karhad and Kolhapur. They came to Konkan and therefrom to Goa later on. And on arriving here they became the devotees of Saraswat devasthanas. The Padhe Brahmins also behaved in the same manner. This is an irrefutable fact. Just as there are in Goa, Shivalayas, temples of goddeses, temples of Vitthal-Rakhumai, temples of Dat’tamaharaj, temples of Maruti, temples of Ram-Sita, temples of Ganapati, there are also temples of many other different temples of various deities. For instance,
Shri Anant (Savoi-verem), Shri Venkatesh (Nanodde), Shri Kallbhairav (Dhaargoll), Shri Vetaall (Amonne, Fatorpem, Priol, Hemaddbarse, Halarna), Shri Vetalleshwar (Veling), Shri LaxmiNarasimha (Veling), Shri Devakikrishna (Mashel), Shri Parshuram (Lolyem), Shri Ravallnaath (Mashel), Shri Shantadurga-Shri LaxmiNarasimha-Sankhallyo (Sankvaall), Shri Hemadd’dev (Uguem), Shri Paykdev (Caturli-Sanguem), Shri Bonddpurush (Ashttagrahar), Shri Rampurush (Madlai), Shri Namopurush (Madkai), Shri Bosddi (Halarna); there are also temples of Brahmadev in Goa at Parsem and Virnodd in Pernem taluka, in the village called Brahmakarmalli in the Sat’tari taluka and in the village called Kollamb in the Sanguem talukas.
Some special temples belonging to various castes and communities in Goa
There are certain temples in Goa which are entirely of some castes and communities. Although the ownership of these temples is in the hands of persons from those castes and communities, it is limited to the sphere of managing the affairs of those temples. Persons of other communities are not prohibited from worshipping those deities or performing some rituals. The only condition being that they should follow certain rules and observe the disciplinary rules as they are laid down in their codes or constitutions or guidelines laid down by the Management. Following are the chief temples in Goa being run under the management of particular caste or community: Shri Dat’taray (Sankhlli)—Saraswat Samaj,
Shri Pandurang (Sankhlli)—Kshatriya Rane Samaj,
Shri Kalikadevi (Kasarpal)--- Daivadnya Samaj,
Shri Shantadurga (Dhargall)—Vaishya Samaj,
Shri LaxmiNarayan (Narvem)—Gurjar Samaj,
Shri Rudreshwar (Harvallem)—Bhandari Samaj,
Shri Ram-Sita (Guimonnem-Pillgaon)—Brahmakarma (carpenter) Samaj,
Shri Mal’likarjun (Gaondongri-Kannkonn)—Gaudda Samaj,
Shri Gomanteshwar (Bharmapuri- Old Goa)—Nabhik Samaj.
(There are also very many temples distinctly of certain castes and comunities in Goa. Their list is not being supplied here taking into consideration the limits of space.)
Parshuram had brought initially ten Saraswat Brahmin rishis and they had sixty-six families and ten of these families on the Chudamani (Chodan) island which was then known as their ‘Mahakshetra’. This has been already referred to previously in the book. Those ten families, while developing the Chudamani Mahakshetra, had also established their family deities at the place. They also established the ‘gram-saunsthas’ (a kind of community-co-operatives) and through in revenue or the income that was available, they carried on the affairs of the village such as the livelihood and protection to villagers in their needs. Simultaneously, the revenue was also utilised towards maintaenance of the temples, certain rituals, festivities so and so forth. So in fact the Gramsaunstha had brought about real Gramrajya in the village and everything was going on smoothly and peacefully.
The Portuguese conquered Goa in 1510 and once they established their rule and stronghold, they promised to the locals that “ you shall not be disturbed or harassed by the rulers in any manner. You are being given the facility of paying lesser tax to the government than you used to pay to the previous rulers. Besides, your religion, customs, culture, rituals and festivities etc. will not be disturbed or disrupted in any way and they will be fully protected.” Thus the Portuguese rulers gave full assurance to people and indeed, during the initial stages, they adhered to their promises meticulously. Thus passed a smooth and undisturbed period of about a ‘tapa’ i.e. twelve years.
Later, a Christian missionary priest named Bishop Domine who had arrived in Goa wrote a letter to the King of Portugal. This letter is dated the 12th of January 1522 in which he wrote: “ If the temples from this island of ours are destroyed and churches built at those places, it will be a great service to God; any person who wishes to continue to stay on the island should get first converted to Christianity and if this is done these persons will get our houses and our lands; but anyone who does not wish to do so should leave the island”. The contents of this letter had a deep impact on the mind of the king of Portugal. Thus the Portuguese adopted the principle ‘people’s religion should be the same as that of the rulers’ and the administration in Goa started working accordingly. Thus the process of conversions of Hindus to Christianity started in full swing. The destruction of temples, breaking Hindu idols, forcible conversion of Hindus to Christianity became the order of the day. The history of these horrible events has been recorded in no uncertain terms. It would be a subject of an independent volume if the happenings were to be delineated in details.
Our ancestors, in those horrifying times had only the following options before them: (1) Retaliation; however, the rulers had all sorts of weapons and armoury while Hindus were absolutely weaponless. In the circumstances, only the rivers of blood of Hindus would have flown which meant sure death in large numbers; (2) accepting Christian religion meekly without any sort of resistance; (3) Running away from the Portuguese territory to some other safer place taking alongwith the sacred deities and other religious symbols. Some of our ancestors resisted and accepted death like martyrs. But before doing so they did manage to annihilate some of those who were trying forcible conversions. But opposing the government sponsored conversions was a very difficult task. Thus most of them took recourse to the third alternative mentioned above. At dead of night, taking all sorts of risks to their lives, they tied up in the bundles of cloth their sacred idols and other religious parapernalia and crossed over through the jungles, rivers, hills and forests and placed their deities safely in non-Portuguse territories and established themselves and the sacred deities. We all should feel indebted to all those who managed this difficult job sacrificing all their belongings by leaving them behind. Most of them had to leave their kith and kin, homes, property and everything else ruthless in order to protect our sacred deities. It is only because of their sacrifice that today we all can proudly declare to the world as the ‘kullavis’ of those deities. Had they not sacrificed so much at that time, today, we would have been ‘confrade’ members of some Church moving about with a Christian Cross in our necks. Is this not true? We are at present passing through times when we fight and litigate for a small piece of land, or a stray coconut tree and take the cases right upto the Supreme court as well by spending lakhs of rupees. In short we have now become so selfish. This does not need much elaboration. The point is, is it possible to evaluate the sacrifices made by our ancestors to save our religion, deities, idols etc. which are so sacred and dear to us? So much should suffice.
Let us come down to the point of conversion on the Chudamani (Chodan) island. Sensing the impending trouble well in advance, the then ancestors of ours suddenly at one night collected all the main idols of their deities and other sacred symbols and letting no one know the intentions crossed over through the river and proceeded to Dicholi (Bicholim) in the Bhatagram region which did not then belong to the Portuguese. They selected the village called Mayem and established the sacred idols of their deities in no time. Back home at Chudamani, the temples were still standing as they were before. The marble and bronze idols which were too heavy to be lifted and taken away were in danger of coming under the control of the Portuguese and of being desecrated. Hence they managed to sink them in the river and only some idols of less significance like those of the ‘dwarpals’ remained in those temples. The local Hindu people used to visit the temples as usual and none suspected that the temples were without the main deities. The Portuguese as usual demolished whatever that had remained behind and enjoyed the false pleasure of having completed the nefarious task. Of course, the Hindus were terribly disturbed. But it took much time to notice that the idols were safely established elsewhere. Some elders definitely knew that Hindu idols were safe and sound somewhere else. Conversions went on unabated on the Chudamani island and Hindus became neo-Catholics as the ritual of ‘prayashchit’ and ‘shuddhikaran’ etc. which could have helped them to rejoin the original religion was not customary or in vogue.
The historical documents of those times reveal that the lands, farms, yards and other resources of income which the temples had hitherto possessed were handed over to those institutions who were instrumental in bringing about successful conversions for their expenses. The names of all those lands and other details concerning the assets is painstakingly collected and given here for the perusal of the readers. As a matter of fact, it is of no use at all at the present time. But the fact has to be brought on record. Besides, these are the times when the income from the legal possessions of the temples are being found to be difficult for the temples to get on account of governmental policies! Why talk about things which took place before four centuries and during the rule of those Christian Portuguese when the official policy was: ‘The rulers’ religion should be the people’s religion’! Therefore, the memories of those times are clearly irrelevant in the present context and may be it would be better not to elaborate on them! So let us avoid them as meaningless indeed…
All the same, during those times of conversions, the temples which were standing on the Chudamani island and which were destroyed by the Portuguese must be mentioned along with the names of the presiding deities of those temples; they were:-
“Ganesh- Ravallnaath- Bavkaadevi-Mal’lanath- Bhagwati- Devaki- Santapurush- Baaraazonn—Narayan- Kantevar- Chanddeswar- Dhaaddsankall.”
Prior to the year 1540, Hindus were converted on a large scale on the Goa island. Around that time, that is on 28th of June of the year 1541 a meeting of chief ‘gaonkar’ (original dwellers-villagers) of the Goa island was held and they belonged to fifteen villages and they were all Hindus. From the Agassaim villagers, there was only Christian gaonkar named Minguel Vaz. Among those from Chodan village who participated in the meeting are named in the document as ‘Mule Parbhu’ and ‘Gond Parbhu’.
The Present Devasthan Devakikrishna at the Sacred place Mashel
Initially, in the ancient times, this Devasthan was established on the Chudamani (Chodan) island and among those deities that existed in Goa, this one was known as ‘Devaki Daivat’. This is evident from the historical documents that are available. The conversions to Christianity started in Goa in 1522, when Bishop Domine wrote that infamous letter to the King of Portugal in which he had advised that if the temples were destroyed and churches were erected at those places, it would be the best service to God. That made a deep impression on the mind of the then king of Portugal and until the policy of ‘religion of the rulers should be the religion of the rules’ was accepted and it was practically enforced, some period of time must have elapsed. In the meantime, it was suspected and expected that temples in Chudamani would be attacked and destroyed soon, this deity was shifted secretly to Mayem. This act must have happened sometime between 1530 and 1540 because there is a clear mention in one of the government documents that all the Hindu temples on the Goa island were destroyed before 28th June 1541. Even if it is taken for granted that the shifting was effected in the beginning itself, then at least four hundred and sixty years must have elapsed since then. Even the deity was shifted from Mayem to shrikshetra Mashel during the rule of Adilshah of Bijapur at Vorgaon in the Ponda taluka, in the Muslim kingdom. Although the kingdom belong to the Muslim rulers there, all the affairs were handled political control exercised by Desais and Hindus had all the freedom and protection hence this was possible. This was precisely the reason why despite it being a Muslim kingdom, several deities could be shifted to Mashel and established safely at that place. This Devasthan must have been shifted from Mayem to Mashel between the years 1540 and 1567.
The deity came to be shifted from Mayem to Mashel with the name as ‘Devakikrishna. And the idol that is seen in the shrine or the sanctum sanctorum is the Devaki in the standing posture with the idol of Shrikrishna in her hands.
The main deity in this Devasthan is that of Devakikrishna and the other ancillary deities as mentioned in the constitutional rules of the Devasthan are as follows:-
1. Shree Laxminarayan, (2) Shree Katyayani, (3) Shree Chodaneshwar, (4) Shree Mahadev, (5) Shree Bhumika, (6) Shree Daaddshankar, (7) Brahmann (in the small temple located to the right of Shree Ravallnaath.
As a matter of fact there seems to be some error due to oversight or any other reason there. There is a mention of Shree Laxminarayan in the constitutional rules of the Devasthan. However, surprisingly the thing is, the main temple is of the deity Devakikrishrina. Then to its right is the temple of the deity Shree Ravallnaath—Pandav wada (Piso Ravllu) and to the left of the main temple of Devakikrishna is the temple of the deity Shree Laxmi Ravallnaath Gavonnwada (Shanno Ravlu). There is no deity called Shree Laxminarayan or his temple at all.
Where exactly was Shree Devakikrishna Temple on the Chodan Island?
Shree Devakikrishna temple in ancient times was situated to the south of that island near the Gavonn wada nearer to the Dipavati or the Diwadi island. Of course there are no remnants or any sign of the ruins seen at that place today. However, the residents of that locality, particularly the elders quote the traditiona and show the exact spot of the temple and the lake. The lake of course has gone dry absolutely. There are clear proofs for anyone to know even to this day, of the ancient fact that the chief deity of all the people of Chodan was Devakikrishna. Every year at Chodan, during the annual Shigmotsav or any other public festivity first blessings are invoked that of Devakikrishna and then only the devotees proceed to the place called Pandaw wada and meet for some rituals at a public sacred place called the ‘Mandd’. Therefrom the ‘Khelles’ (chief participants of the celebrations) go to another ward called Maddel , where there was the temple of Mal’lanath in ancient times and pay their obeisance and respect. Only then they proceed to other places. This tradition is being maintained even to this day. The temple of Shree Bhumika Devi was near the temple of Devakikrishna. However, that of the deity named Daaddsankall was situated quite far away. One still finds the lake of Daaddsankall on the island.
The Shifting from Chodan island to Mayem village.
The campaign of conversion was started suddenly on the Chodan island the local Hindus immediately sensed trouble and they quietly crossed over the neighbouring Vaddem village near Mayem with their sacred and precious idols. They successfully crossed the river through canoes and managed to establish the deities in the neighbouring village. The village of Vaddem in those days came under the non-Portuguese domain. It was under the ruler of the Bhatagram. Thus the deities brought from Chodan were established in Vaddem and their temples were also built in the same vicinity, close to each other and along the usual traffic routes. Even today the remnants of some of the ruins can be found in those places.
Thus these devasthanas came to settle down in the Vaddem village. Simultaneously the same names which were prevalent for the vicinity of these temples came to be given even in their new locations. One finds clear proofs of these phenomena even today. The temple of Ravallnaath was situated at a short distance from the borders of Pandaw wada. Some remnants of the foundation is visible today. However, the ‘deep-stambha’ (lamp-pillar) is still standing erect. The reason is, it is engulfed by strong rope-like huge creepers, and the roots of the huge tree situated close to it. It is amazing that even after more than two hundred years the pillar is standing erect on account of the roots of that tree and even the robols are difficult to be dislodged. Some may take this to be a real miracle. The same type of a pillar one comes across at the left hand side of the Ravalnath (Shree Piso Ravlu) temple in Mashel. But that pillar has not yet been duly sanctified. When asked by historians, the elders from the locality say that as long as the pillar in front of the former Ravalnath temple at Mayem is still standing erect, the one at Mashel cannot be sanctified. And hence even today during the festival times, nobody lights lamps at the ‘deepa-stambha’ at Mashel! This instance and anecdote of legendary faith is quite interesting and thought provoking as well!
At Mayem, from a little distance away from the steps of the former Ravallnath temple, one can see the foundations of former temples of Devakikrishna, Shree Bhumika etc; however, none can say for sure as to which temple of which deity might have stood exactly at any given particular spot. But through oral communication of traditions and the legends, people show for sure where exactly the temple of Ravalnath was situated at Mayem near the Vaddem. This is located at the area or the ward called Gavonna. There was a well attached to that temple. There is a huge tree and a little distance away at Gavonn wada there is an open lake in which one can still see some water. The steps leading towards in water of the lake are in complete ruins. However one can imagine the kind of construction and masonry which had gone into the construction of the lake.
Shifting of Deities from Mayem to Shrikshetra Mashel
The temples which were located at Vaddem village near Mayem got shifted to Shri Kshetra Mashel in due course of time. All this while they were of course safe at Mayem because that part of the Bhatagram taluka was beyond the borders of the Portuguese kingdom. Perhaps our ancestors felt that Mashel would afford greater safety and prosperity to the temples.
Transfer of Deities to Vorgaon-Mashel in the Ponda taluka
In due course of time, the deity of Devakikrisha had to be transferred to Vorgaon village at the ward (vaddo) called Mashel from the earstwhile Vaddem village of Mayem. Today Vorgaon has become a separate part and Mashel itself has become an independent village abounding in ample temples and the abode of many deities includeing Devakikrishna. In due course of time former Vaddem and the neighbouring village of Mayem also came under the rule of Portuguese. Our ancestors must have forseen this possibility and they foumd a safer place for our deities at Mashel where they are safe, sound and well looked-after even to this date. As said earlier, although, the then Ponda taluka was out of the Portuguese domain, it was however, under the rule of the Adilshah of Bijapur, a Muslim ruler in fact. But the entire affairs and governance of Ponda taluka was looked after and under the control of Desais, Sardessais etc. who were of course Hindus. That is the reason our deities had no danger whatsoever. Ponda taluka as a whole, meaning, not only Mashel but other parts of Ponda too gave safe shelter to various important deities like Shantadurga at Kavalem, Ramnath at Bokadbaag, Shri Naguesh, Shri Manguesh etc. were all the deities shifted from the Portuguese ruled ‘Old Conquests’ (Salcete, Bardez, Tiswadi-Islands) to the ‘New Conquests’ which included Ponda. Hindu Deities from Bardez usually fount shelter in Pernem taluka, again a new conquest. As a matter of fact, another sacred deity of Hindus, Shri Shantadurga Kumbhajuvemkarinn deity had already been established in a temple at Mashel-Vorgaon. In fact, as a fall out of forcible conversions, religious persecution and overall atmosphere of stability was in jeopardy and trade and comerce had come to a halt. Hence, the government had formulated new ordinances and issued orders of various nature to give a healing touch to the Hindus. This fact has been already referred to before. However, even later the Hindus would not trust the Christian Portuguese rulers and they sought maximum safety and security to their deities. Even the deities from normally safe places got shifted to places like Mashel and elsewhere in the new conquests. Our ancestors did not bother much and surrendered liberally all the lands and other resources and sources of income of these temple which was due to them as per law.
When these deities were shifted to Mashel, they were temporarily placed at a house which was known as the Chouki which belonged to certain Saraswat Brahmin from Kumbharjua village. At present the same place and the location where these deities were temporarily housed in ancient times is xactly the place where one finds the Sabhagar (the main hall) of the Devakikrishna temple. Why were these deities established there itself? The reason was, the house belonged to the Saraswat Brahmin mentioned above whose surname was ‘Vaddiye’. He had no son. The gramdevata of Kumbharjua was Shree Shantadurga Kumbharjuvekarinn whose temple stands in Mashel today also belonged to this Mr.Vaddiye. The place of this temple also belonged to this person. That is the reason he got established the temple of the deity of his village (kumbharjuvem). In due course of time, as he had no son, the ownership rights passed on to his daughter and son-in-law. His son-in-law was the ‘kullavi’ of Shree Ravallnaath Pandav wada deity. So with a healthy and wise view of those people that all the deitities may exist and the temples flourish harmoniously, they divided the ownership rights of the lands of the temples in the vicinity. Hence, the land around the temple of Shri Ravallnaath Pandaw wadda was enrusted to the Shri Shantadurga Kumbharjuvekarinn deity and the land around the Shantadurga Kumbharjuvekarinn deity’s temple was earmarked for Shri Ravannnaath pandaw wadda temple. This was exemplary way of peaceful co-existence and co-operation and mutual understanding. Hence the house then known as ‘Chouki’ Was originally under the ownership of Shri Ravallnaath temple. Initially, all these deities had rested and relaxed before getting established and sanctified in the respective temples. In due course of time, thus, the kullavis of both the Rvallnaaths (‘Shanno’ as well as ‘Piso’) and also those of other deities like Mal’lanath, Bhumika, Daaddsankall etc. got built and duly established. However, Shri Devakikrishna being the main and chief deity had to have a big, graceful, and very decent temple in keeping with its stature and reputation. Until the task got accomoplishe in due course of time, the deity was housed at the ‘Chouki’ itself. Later, when the Devakikrishna temple got built and duly established and the deity was sanctified according to Shastras etc., the event was also duly recorded and there is a ‘shilalekh’ (stone inscription) in Sanskrit and at present it can be seen placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the present temple. The contents are as follows:-
“ Shaake Sindhushesaadribhoo 1764 parimites
chandrananvde gurotaateerthe su tithoucha maashwatava
sitegrame mahaahaye// badhvanootanamaa-
taya sthaa nikaa: saunsthaapito devakikrishno-
bhumima yaa yu totra sakalaa tbhakta nhari rakshataat // 1 //
So, after going through the contents of this stone inscription, the present temple and the establishment of the deity Devakikrishna therein can be known to have taken place in Shree Shake 1764 which means the year 1842. However, some people still quote the traditional belief that at first there was a small temple of Shri Devakikrishna at that place and later the shifting took place after the full-fledged present devalaya got completed. Perhaps this was true as the theory sounds quite plausible.
Some peculiarities and specialities of the deities and their festivals
In this temple of Devakikrishna.
In the entire territory of Goa, one comes across one and the only one temple of Shri Devakikrishna deity. Besides, during the days of his infancy or childhood, Lord Krishna is seen here happily in the lap of his dear mother Devaki. Such a beautiful, affectionate, lovingly tender form of a deity is unique here. Nowhere else such a scene or form is seen or heard of by anyone. Moreover, during the festival called the ‘Shibikotsav’, Lord Shri Krishna is seen in his mother’s lap, while he sits in the chariot, he sits all alone. Again the idol of Lord Shrikrishna which sits in the chariot is of blackish (‘shyamavarnni’) in colour and made of Tulsi wood and it looks so attractive and eye-catching that even an atheist and a strong non-believer would fall in love instantly and having been so infatuated would surely change his/her views and become a believer! One should go there and see the thing actually to be experienced! Is it not true that ‘seeing is believing?’
Having known this much about the actual idol, let us now get to know some details about the major festivities, rituals and celebrations that take place at this famous Devasthan from time to time.
The Annual Zatra of Shri Devakikrishna comes in the month of Margashirsha in the Shukla trayodashi (thirteenth day of the first half of the month of Margashirsha). And throughout the year with the exception of the ‘Chaturmas’ period, ‘Shibikotsav’ is held there every fortnight regularly; and that too on the day of ‘trayodashi’. This shows that this particular ‘tithi’ (the day) has special importance in this temple. In fact as far as Lord Krishna or any of the observance or festivity about Him can go, ‘Ashttami’ or the eighth day should have been more logical, reasonable and understandable. However, some people conjecture that in ancient times, when this deity was established on the Chudamani or the Chodan island, it might have been the thirteenth day. Or may be when it was shifted to Mashel via Mayem, and finally established in Mashel, these days too might have been the ‘trayodashis!’ Of course there is a special significance and importance for the l3th day or the ‘trayodashi’ in the Hindu Dharmashastras. There is a popular saying coming down to us from the ancient tradition called ‘trayodashi sarvasiddhi’ (trayodashi is the most auspicious day for all accomplishments). This is a populr belief among the Hindus eve today. This day is supposed to be a good ‘muhurt’ day for any endeavour. But it is doubtful whether this belief alone is responsible for special significance of this day at this day. On the contrary the theory that the deity was originally established on this day sound more plausible and trustworthy. So the annual zatrotsav or the usual shibikotsav carry the significance of ‘trayodashi’.
More Important Specialities : The ‘Dahimkaalaa’ and ‘Gaullannkaalaa’
‘Dahimkaalaa’ and ‘Gaullannkaalaa’ are the special festivities connected with the Devakikrishna’s childhood. Particularly, the Dahimkala is concerned with the child Shrikrishna and his pranks. In Mashel, on the next day morning the perched rice brought by the ‘sevekaris’ (people working for the temple) and the devotee villagers is mixed with curds small balls (laddoos) are made and are distributed to all and sundry. And in the evening the festivity of ‘Gaullannkaalaa’ is celebrated. This is again connected with the chilhood pranks and mischief of Lord Shrikrishna. There is a continuous tradition of hundred of years behind this festival. In many other temples too, this ‘kaalaa’ celebration and also the ‘Gaullannkaalaa’ is regularly held every year. But the strong tradition, joy and the status which the ‘Kaalaa’festival at the Devakikrishna temple is unique and this can best be perceived by the real lovers of Lord Krishna indeed!
In Goa, in almost all the temples, there is this tradition of taking ‘kaul prasaad’ (permission of the deity before any endeavour) since ancient times. By way of exceptions, only in the temples of a very few deities like Shri Dat’tamaharaj, Shri MarutiRai, Shri Vitthal-
Rakhumai this custom of kaul prasaad is conspicuously non-existent. May be, taking God ‘s permission through this ritual called the kaul prasaad or simply prasaad should depend upon the wishes and beliefs of particular individuals purely by choice. However, by and large, in Goa, overall Hindus, before any ceremony likethe thread ceremony, marriage and other auspicious occasion, makes it a point to observe this ritual by approaching their family deities. This is a well known custom and a settled tradition which has been continuing since ancient times. Besides, even at the times of calamities or supposed obstacles of superstition-based problems, Goan Hindus go to either the family deity or the deity of the village or any other deity in whom they have faith to take the ‘prasaad’. But there is no temple in Goa where and when this ritual can be observed on all the days throughout the year. Just as some days are earmarked for observing the ritual, there are also days fixed on which this ritual of taking prasaad cannot be held. Many a time a devotee comes from far away place and somehow after coming to the Devakikrishna temple he might come to know that the prasaad cannot be held on that day. Such instances naturally put devotees to great hardships and inconvenience. In order to avoid this, below are mentioned for the benefit of devotees the days on which the prasaad can be held and also on which such a ritual cannot be carried out.
The following days are regarded as ‘prasaad varjya’ (no prasaad ) days :-
The month: ‘Tithi’ (The day according to Hindu calendar)
Chaitra Shukla Pratipadaa ( Guddhi Paddvaa)
“ Krishna Dashami
Vaishaakh Krishna Dvitiyaa
Aashaaddh Shukla Ekaadashi (Aashaaddhi Ekadashi)
Shravann Pournnimaa (Naralli Pournnima)
“ Krishna Ashttami (Shrikrishna Jayanti)
Bhaadrapad Shukla Chaturthi (Shri Ganesh Chaturthi)
“ Shukla Panchami (Rishi Panchami)
Aashwin Shukla Pratipadaa Ghattasthapanaa Navratri
“ Krishna Chaturdashi (Narak Chaturdashi)
Kaartik Shukla Pratipadaa –Balipratipadaa (Dhenddlo
“ Shukla Ekaadashi, Dwadashi and Trayodashi
Pousha Pournnima (Malini Pournnimaa)
Maagha Maagha Pournnimaa (i.e. for one full month)
“ Maagha Krishna Chaturdashi (Mahashivratri)
Phalgun From Pournnimaa upto Rangapanchami (Holi)
The ritual of these ‘prasad’ entails applying the pieces of Karmali leaves to the idol from whom the permission or blessing is sought. There is no custom of applying prasad to Shrr Devakikrishna, as a matter of fact. Prasad is sought from Shri Ravallnaath-Pandav wada (Shree Piso Ravllu) so also from Shree Ravallnaath -Gavonn wada (Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath) deities. The ‘Kaul’( permission ) is also sought from the Shree Bhumikadevi deity but only in case the problem or issue is of public nature.
As has been already said elaborately, formerly, in ancient times, the deity Shri Devakikrishna alongwith the family of His other deities was dwelling on the island called Chudamani (now called Chodan or as in English or Portuguese: ‘Choraon’). During the times of conversions in Goa the deity was shifted to Mashel where He now stands. Some more details about His history and ancestry:
The Constitution and Rules governing the Devasthaan.
Shri Devakikrishna is the chief deity of this Devasthaan situated at Mashel-Ponda, Goa. However, the Constitutional Rules (‘Compromis’) which have been passed for this Devasthaan has been published in the name of Shri Ravallnaath Pandaw wada-Mashel therein itself is made a distinct mention that the chief deity of this Devasthan is Shri Devakikrishna (See Boletim Official No.7 de 27 Janeiro de 1910)
Who are the ‘Kullavi-Mahajans’ and ancient Founders of this Devasthaan?
This Devasthaan belongs to the community of Gaud Saraswat Brahmin Community, the followers of Vaishnav Sampraday, disciples of Gokarnna Partagall Jivot’tam Matth and it includes persons belonging to Atri, Kashyap, Vatsa, Kaushik and Bharadwaj ‘gotras’.
Their surnames are as follows according to their ‘gotras’:-
Of the Temple of Shri Ravallnaath –Pandaw wada (Piso Ravallu):-
1. Atri : Prabhu Lawande, Prabhu Moye, Prabhu Verlekar, Prabhu Bhat, Prabhu
Parrikar, Prabhu Kolwalkar, Prabhu Tamba, Prabhu Guindde.
2. Kashyap: Nayak, Keni, Shinkre, Kuradekar, Mahale.
3. Vatsa : Prabhu Dharwadkar, Prabhu Morge, Joshi.
4. Kaushik : Prabhu Chodnnekar
5. Bharadwaj: Barad, Shannai, Shanbhag, Prabhu.
Those of Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath (Shanno Ravallu) Gavonnwada Temple:-
6. Kaushik : Kamat Satoskar, Kamat Mallyekar, Kamat Kakodkar, Kamat Bhembre
7. Kaundinnya : Kamat Cholpaddi, Kamat Hasoor, Kamat Kachke, Kamat Shannai
8. Kashyap : Prabhu Miski, Prabhu Bidde, Kamat Redkar, Kamat Khaddpe, Kamat
Ttudkar, Prabhu Padgaonkar, Kamat Prabhu,
9. Vasishtth : Kamat, Kamat Paushe.
10. Vatsa : Prabhu Dharwadkar, Prabhu Burddekar
11. Bharadwaj : Gadiyar, Shannai, Shanbhag.
Viewpoint of Thinkers regarding Goan Temples
Temples in Goa have been standing erect silently, but they suggest a lot about our ancient history to us. It is necessary to study the ancestry and try to understand our heritage. This is absolutely necessary. Our ancient scriptures were preserved either by learning them by heart and passing them to posterity by oral communication or they were written on the leaves of the ‘Taadd’. Otherwise, there was a great risk of those precious scriptures being lost forever, forgotten or mutilated.
So many of the great and mighty kings and emperors perished along with their vast empires. However, the great temples they were instrumental in getting built are still standing till date.
In Goa, the Hindus had to face religious persecution and forcible conversions during the 16th century. The temples from the Old Conquests i.e. Salcete, Tiswadi and Bardez had to be shifted secretly beyond the borders of the then Portuguese territory. Thus their safety was ensured. The history tells us that the neighbouring territories where the Portuguese rule did not extend were taken recourse to in order to safeguard our deities and the temples were built to house our deities. Wherever our ancestors went along with our deities, the temples that were built are still suggesting the story of their sacrifices to protect our religion, deities and heritage. These huge and gloriously beautiful temples were built in those times. This has facilitated us to know our Indian culture and heritage, so also our illustrious past.
Life is like a relay race. Every generation is supposed to pass on the torch of culture and heritage to the next one and thus the chain action has to go on. It becomes the duty of every subsequent and following generation to make the torch more dazzling and enlightening. If this sort of improvement is not possible for some reason, the posterity should at least see to it that the torch shall not extinguish under any circumstances. The future generations should at least retain and maintain the torch of culture and heritage as illustrious as it was when it had come to its hands. The present generation also owes it to the past regarding the Goan temples in the same manner. Every generation should take care of this principle and move forward accordingly with conviction.
Some Necessary Information for the benefit of Mahajans.
1. Family Deity ShriDevakikrishna and the other Deity Family around.
When the Mahajans of the ShriDevakikrishna Devasthan visit the saunsthan, for the ‘darshan’ of the family deity Shri Devakikrishna, the ‘darshan bhet’ is not complete unlesss they visit and pay their respects to other ancillary deities as well.
It is necessary for the completion of the ‘darshan bhet’ that they also take the darshan of the other deities according to the serial order suggested by the Shastras. Everyone should remember that the family deity Shri Devakikrishna guards, protects and looks after the Mahajans, their families and the general devotees with the help of other deities of the Deity Parivar (Deity Family). Therefore, it becomes mandatory for every Mahajan and the other members to take the darshan of these deities as per his gotra, family etc. according to the dictates of the Shastras. Many of the Mahajans my not even be aware that such a serial order of the darshan exists. The information as gathered from the pujaris, other workers of the Devasthan, some senior Mahajans and the elders in the vicinity is as follows: -
All the Mahajans of the Shri Devakikrishna are supposed to take the darshan in this serial order: (1) Shri Devakikrishna, (2) Shri Bhumikadevi, (3) Shri LaxmiNarayan and (4) Shri Katyayani devi. This order is mandatory for all the Mahajans irrespective of their family or the gotra. The choice in order exists only in the case of the deities with serial order no.5 to 8 depending upon the family or the gotra. Serial No. 9 goes to the darshan of the symboli deity concerning one ‘s own ‘Kulapurush’ or the ‘moolapuris’.
(1) For the Mahajans of Pandaw wadkars or Piso Ravallnaath: the serial order of the darshan:
1) Shri Devakikrishna ,2) Shri Bhumikadevi, 3) Shri LaxmiNarayan, 4) Shri Katyayani devi, 5) Shri Piso Ravallnaath, 6) Shri Daaddsankall, 7) Shri Shaanno Ravallnath, 8) Shri Mal’linaath, 9) Shri Kulapurush.
(2) For the Mahajans of Gavonnwadakars or Shanno Ravallnaath: serial order of the
1) Shri Devakikrishna, 2) Shri Bhumikadevi, 3) Shri LaxmiNarayan, 4) Shri Katyayanidevi, 5) Shri Shanno Ravallnaath, 6) Shri Mal’linaath, 7) Shri Piso Ravallnaath, 8) Shri Daaddsankall, 9) Shri Kulapurush.
(3) For the Mahajans of Shri Daaddsankall: serial order the darshan recommended:-
1) Shri Devakikrishna, 2) Shri Bhumikadevi, 3) Shri LaxmiNarayan, 4) Shri Katyayanidevi, 5) Shri Daaddsankall, 6) Shri Piso Ravallnaath, 7) Shri Shanno Ravallnaath, 8) Shri Mal’linaath, 9) Shri Kulapurush.
(4) For the Mahajans of Mal’linaath: serial order of the darshan recommended:-
1) Shri Devakikrishna, 2) Shri Bhumikadevi, 3) Shri LaxmiNarayan, 4) Shri Katyayanidevi, 5) Shri Mal’linaath, 6) Shri Shanno Ravallnaath, 7) Shri Piso Ravallnaath, 8) Shri Daaddsankall, 9) Shri Kulapurush.
2. The details concerning the seva rituals, Devakritya, Pooja etc. available at the Shri Devakikrishna Devasthaan:-
The Mahajans can undertake rituals, pooja, seva kritya etc. in the main Devakrikrishna temple or any of the temples of the Deity Family according to one’s wish, family customs etc. Normally, no Mahajan of this Devasthaan returns homeward without having performed some sort of ritual, sevakritya etc. Those who cannot personally visit the Deity on account of any personal difficulty get the ritual performed or the seva kritya done ‘in absentia’ and they send the necessary fees earmarked for the purpose by post or by any other mode of communication and obtain the ‘prasaad’ by request.
Here below is given some information about these rituals to facilitate the Mahajans in getting the benefit of such deva krityas or sevas:-
Holy Baths (‘Abhishek’) to Religious Spots ( Plain or with Panchamrit)
Under this ritual, eight deities can be given the ‘Abhishek’: They are as follows:-
1) Shri Devakikrishna, 2) Shri Bhukima, 3) Shri Laxminarayan, 4) Shri Katyayani devi, 5) Shri piso Ravallnaath, 6) Shri Shanno Ravallnaath, 7) Shri Daddsankall, and
8) Shri Mal’linaath. ‘Abhishek’ to Shri Devakikrishna is offered by ‘Purusha sukta’ and by ‘Vishnnu sukta’,to Shri Bhumika devi by ‘Shri Sukta’ and ‘Laxmi Sukta’, to Shri Ravallnaath by ‘Rudra sukta’, to Shri Daddsankall and to Mal’linath by ‘Purusha sukta’ to Katyayani by ‘Raatri Sukta’ AND TO Shri Laxmi Narayan by ‘Vishnu sukta’.
The ‘Abhishek’ can be offered by mere water or by the ‘Panchamrit’ i.e. with the mixture of milk, curds, ghee, honey and sugar.
Any Mahajan who wishes to perform the ‘Abhishek’ by himself personally has to give prior notice and be present in the ‘Sabhaa Mandap’ clad in ‘sovllem’ type of dhoti.
‘Kunkumaarchan’:- To Shri Devakikrishna and to Bhumikadevi:-
In this ritual Mahajan ‘suvasinis’ can perform the ‘kunkumaarchan’ by themselves
on the smaller idols in the temples of Shri Devakikrishna and that of Shri Bhumika devi. This ritual includes the pronouncement of 108 names from the ‘Devyoshttotara’ list of names and ‘namaha’ after which a pinch of ‘kunkma’ held between the middle finger and the toe of the right hand and sprinkle it on the head of the idol. of the deity. This ritual is supposed to be very dear to the goddess. Mahajan ‘suvasinis’ either perform the ‘kunkumaarchan’ ritual by themselves or send the fees to the Devasthan and get the ‘seva’ performed in absentia. This ritual is performed by ‘suvanis’ (women whose husbands are alive) for the safety, protection and the progress of their husbands.
In case a suvasini woman wishes to perform the ritual personally, she has to give prior notice to Devasthan authorities and be present at the stipulated time in the temple by wearing a sari. The ritual of the ‘kunkumaarchan’ cannot be performed by wearing any other type of clothes.
The Mahajan suvasini is given a little portion of the ‘kunku’ as ‘prasaad’ after the ritual is over. This ritual of ‘kunkumaarchan’ is performed collectively for all the Mahajan suvasinis at the same time.
‘Pavamaanaabhishek’:- This ritual is performed on the Shri Devakikrishna or on the Laxminarayan after performing ‘aavartana’ (circle) of ‘Pavamaan’. This is followed by the ‘Jalaabhishek’ and then the usual routine rituals are performed.
‘Ekaadashnni’:- This ritual involves 11 ‘aavartanas’ (circles) of ‘Rudradhyay’ and
and thereafter the ‘abhishek’ on Shri Devakikrishna and Shri Ravallnaath.
‘Mahaapoojaa’:- The ‘poojaa’ performed in the afternoon is known as the Mahaapoojaa. ‘Naivyedya’ (some eatable), ‘aartis’ and ‘teerthprasaad’ are distributed after the Mahaapoojaa.
‘Tulsisahasranaama’ (for Shri Devakikrishna):- This involves reading of ‘Vishnusahasra’ list of names in front of Shri Devakikrishna. Each name in this list is to be pronounced and simultaneouly one leaf of Tulsi is to be offered to the deity. One thousand names are to be pronounced accompanied by one Tulsi leaf each. The host Mahajan my even offer 108 Tulsi leaves to the accompaniment of pronouncing from the list as mentioned in the ‘Shrikrishnashattot’tara’
‘Rudraavartan’ (for Shri Ravallnaath):- This involves the completion of one ‘aavartan’ (circle ) accompanied by ‘namakachamaka’ and then the ‘abhishek’is performed with plain water to Shri Ravallnaath.
‘Naivedya’:- The individual institutions have to arrange for the cost in case the Mahajans wish to offer the ‘Naivedya’ (eatables). In the case of Shri Devakikrishna, Shri Bhumikadevi, Shri Laxminarayan and Shri Katyayani devi are offered the ‘naivedya’ of ‘payas’ (liquied sweet dish made out of rice and milk); while for Shri Ravallnaath, Shri Daaddsankall and Shri Mal’linath the ‘naivedya’ of ‘Khichddi’ 1(‘goddan’na- a kind of sweet dish made out of rice and some other cereals) is offered.
Brahmann Suvasini Santarpann:- This ritual is done to observe some family tradition (‘kullaachaar’) or to repay some promises made to the deity on account of obtainin any favour. Whenever a religious ritual is done, the Brahmann Suvasini Santarpann is also performed as a part of it. If the host is not able to be present, the ritual of ‘udok offering’ (symbolic gesture) is performed. One may also perform the ritual by remaining present by prior intimation in the Saunsthan’s An’napurnna Bhojanalaya.
‘Otti’ (offering by a woman in kind) with a blouse piece (Khonn) and 5 coconuts :- The ‘Otti’ ritual of Shri Devkimaataa and Shri Bhumikadevi is performed with a blouse piece and 5 coconuts. This ritual is performed by the Mahajan suvasinis as a part of the ‘kullaachaar’ or with the intention of repayment of some promise made to the deity. This ‘Otti’ ritual is performed every year if it is in the form of a family tradition.
The Otti riual of a sari, blouse piece and 5 coconuts:- This seva ritual is also perrformed by Mahajan suvasini as a family tradition every year, or for the keeping of some promise made to the deity or for paying the respect to the family deity before undertaking any auspicious occasion.
101 Aavartanas (circles) :- 101 such ‘Aavartans’ of ‘Shri sukta’, ‘Purush sukta’, Vishnu sukta or ‘Laxmi sukta’ are performed depending upon the wishes of the Mahajans.
‘Chanddi Paatth’ (plain or ‘sapal’lav’):- This ritual involves one ‘paatth’ of Durgasaptashati is performed by the host either in his own presence or in absentia. This ‘paatth’ is got performed through a Brahmin. A ‘navachanddi’ is said to have been performed when one completes twelve such ‘paatths’ of the ‘saptashati’; whenever a ‘sapal’lav paatth’ is to be gone through, in order to seek the fulfilment of any wish and removal of any obstacle, those relevant ‘paatths’ are repeated to propitiate the deities. The host ( ‘yajmaan’) is expected to inform the Brahmin to read the relevant ‘paatth’ so that he can select the particular and proper ‘paatth’ to be gone through for the completion of the ‘sapal’lav paatth’ as per the shastras.
‘Varabhett’: This ritual is performed when the newly married son of a Mahajan visits the family deity along with the wife for the first time after his marriage. This ritual is expected to be performed once only. The couple at first performs the Ganeshpuja in the quandrangle of the temple (‘chouk’) and then visits the well. The ‘Gangapoojan’ takes place at the well. The clothes already being used are offered to the ‘Bhaavinn (devdaasi) after the ‘mantra-snaan’ gets over. Then the couple comes to the temple. Thereafter, the husband performs the pooja of the
Shripall (coconut) and the wife performs the ‘vaayn’ pooja. Then the Brahmins are givem some gifts. In olden times, the couple used to be given bath by the devdasi. Now the custom has undergone the change and after some formalities, the couple comes to the temple for the ‘darshan’ of the deity.The end of the sari of the bride is tied to the scarf or the shawl of the groom. Then the couple takes make a ‘pradakshina’ to the deity and take each other’s names in front of the deity. Then the bhavinn unties the knot. Then the couple perform the ‘dharmakritya’ (abhishek etc.) and pray before the deity for a happy and a long married life.
It is known that this ritual is mostly performed by the Mahajans of Karnataka. At the same time, it is said that, even after the passage of many years after the marriage the couple is free to perform this ritual.
Rangapooja:- It is necessary to give prior intimation in case this ritual is to be performed. This pooja is to be performed at night. Lord Shrikrishna’s idol is brought out of the sanctum sanctorum and is placed near the steps and the pooja is performed late in the evening along with the idol. Then follow the ‘puranna’, ‘naivedy’, ‘aratis’, ‘Aashirvad’, distribution of the ‘prasad’ and the ‘garanne’ or the request for the well-being of all.
‘Choul’ (‘Zaavoll vidhi’):- This ritual is performed at the very first time of the hair-cut of a child. This involves the ‘punnyahvachan’, then the ‘sankalp’ (planning) to be followed by the ‘havan’ (fire-praying). Thereafter, the father of the child cuts some of the hair on the head in a symbolic manner. The remaining hair-cut is done by the professional barber. Then the child is given a bath. Thereafter, the parents of the child take the deity’s darshan along with the child. Then the ‘home’ (fire-place) comes to an end and the ritual gets completed.
‘Laghurudra and Laghuvishnu’:- The Mahajans may perform these rituals if they so desire but prior intimation is necessary to be given to the Devasthan. It is necessary to invite at least 6 Brahmins to perform a ‘Laghurudra’ and they recite, in all, 121 ‘Aavartans’ of the ‘Rudradhyaya’. This ritual can be performed in the Shri Devakikrishna and Shri Ravallnaath temples.
It requires the presence of at least 8 Brahmins for the performance of a ‘Laghuvishnu’ and 24 ‘patth’ of ‘Pavamaan’ are to be chanted or recited.
Both these rituals are followed by a pooja and the hospitality to the Brahmins.
‘Maharudra’ and ‘Mahavishnu’:- These rituals are performed if it is so desired by the Mahajans. The Saunsthan has to be given prior intimation even in the case of these rituals. 12 Brahmins are required for the performance of the Maharudra. One Maharudra involves the performance of 11 Laghurudras. On Maharudra continues for three or four days. Pooja and the ‘Santarpan’ are performed after the completion of the ‘Aavartans’.
Apart from the above mentioned rituals, the Mahajans may perform other rituals like Satyanarayan Mahapooja, Navagriha Shanti, Navachandi etc. by giving prior intimation to the Saunsthan, if they so decide, depending upon the facilities available at the ‘Bhojanalaya’ (the eating place) for the hospitality of the Brahmins and the guests. Now the new ‘Yadnyamandap’ is also available for things like the ‘havan’ etc. if the necessary fees are paid to the Devasthan. Many Mahajans perform various rituals as per their plans and derive satisfaction by staying in the sacred atmosphee of the Devasthan.
Details about various Festivities in the Shri Devakikrishna Saunsthan.
Many festivals are carried on at the Shri Devakikrishna and other Deities of the Parivar throughout the year. The funds for these festivities is made available by the Saunsthan as well as through the interest accruing from the fixed deposits kept by many Mahajans in the coffers of the Devasthan and which are earmarked for particular festivals. Many a time, the expenditure incurred exceeds the budged allotted for the purpose. In such cases, the Saunsthan makes the arrangement to buttress the deficit. Many a time the predecessors and the representatives of the said Mahajans too come forward to fill the financial gap. In no case any festival is allowed to be discontinued. The Mahajans have unshakable faith in their family deities and therefore it is possible to maintain the age-old tradition of festivities and this shall surely and undoubtedly continue even in future.
There is a speciality of every festival that takes place at the Saunsthan. Every Mahajan derives a rare pleasure and satisfaction in participating in these festivals. One should personally see the thing to experience it.
It is physically impossible or difficult for every Mahajan to be present at or to participate in every festival. Therefore, they and the other members of their families find time and make it a point to visit their family deity at Shrikshetra Mashel on convenient and suitable occasions.
Herein below is given the necessary information as to which festivals they can see and participate in when they visit their family deity when they visit Shri Kshetra Mashel. These details have been obtained from the pujaries and the knowledgeable Mahajans. They should also come to know about the various rituals that take place throughout the year. This information is supplied according to the dates and the months of the Hindu calendar so that it should be convenient for them to plan their schedules to visit the family deity at Mashel. This Saunsthan publishes its own calendar or the ‘Panchang’ for the information of Mahajans and the public at large. The Mahajans and the genera devotees should make it a point to communicate with the Devashthan and order a copy every year to facilitate convenient visits to Mashel to attend important festivals.
An important suggestion and an earnest request need to be made to the Mahajans in this regard. It is advisable to see these festivals by visiting Shri Kshetra Mashel along with their families. This will go a long way in introducing our glorious past and heritage to their children and posterity, especially our family deities and they should feel attracted towards the same in due measure. This shall also make the Mahajans feel that they should frequent Shri Kshetra Mashel and the Managing Committee of the Devasthan will also be encouraged to undertake new projects and work hard towards their completion. This in turn will help the Managing Committee to provide better facilities of all kinds for the benefit of the Mahajans and their families during their visits to their familiy deity at Shri Kshetra Mashel .
Ramnavami Utsav:- This festival is celebrated right from the Chaitra Shukla Pratipadaa upto Chaitra Shukla Dashami and it is held on a grand scale with pomp and rejoicing. One of the Mahajans of the Saunsthaan late Vishwanath Prabhu Lawande has instituted the necessary funds from the income of his property situated at Raibandar Kadamba Pleauteau (‘Bhailo Dongor’- the outer hill). During the period of the festival, i.e. from Chaitra Shukla Pratipadaa (Guddhi Padwaa) right upto Chaitra Shukla Saptami, there is an ‘abhishek’ for ‘sthalla’ every morning and a ‘rangapooja’ is held for Shri Devakikrishna every night upto the ‘Ashttami’.
A ‘Satyanarayan pooja’ is held in the morning of the ‘Guddhi Paddwaa’. The reading of the ‘Panchaang’ (the year’s Hindu Calendar) is carried on at eight o’clock late in the evening in the temples of both Ravallnaaths. A ‘Shibikotsav’ is also held in the evening at the Shri Devakikrishna temple. The ‘Satyanarayan Pooja’ and the ‘Shibikotsav’ is sponsored by Shri Dat’ta lias Bhayee Moye.
A ‘Rathaanushtthaan’ is held during the days of Chaitra Shud’dha Ashttami right upto the Dashami of the same month. A ‘punnyahvachan’ is held on the day of Chaitra Shukla Ashttami and then the deity duly enters the ‘Yadnyamandap’. Thereafter the ‘Rathaanushtthaan’ gets started.
The ‘Dwaadashakalasharchan’ is held in the morning at 8.30 A.M. on the day of Chaitra Shud’dha Navami ( i.e. the Ramnavami). The deity is given the bath (‘abhishek’) of the ‘Panchamrit’ and the water of the tender coconut and thereafter is held the ‘Mahaalankaar pooja’ of the deity. After the ‘Nityanaivedya’ and the ‘Maha Aarti’, the Deity arrives in the Maha Mandap by the palanquin and then begins the ‘Havana’. The ‘Puraann’ reading and the ‘kirtan’ is held in the temple of Shri Devakikrishna at 11 A.M. The ‘Ram Janmotsav’ is held at 12.30 in the noon time. Thereafter is held the ‘Ram Rathotsav’ followed by the ‘Maha Santarpann’. The ‘Maha Rath’ of the Deity is brought in front of the temple at 7.30 in the evening. The Deity is given the ‘Ashttavdhaan Seva’ on the tenth day i.e. the ‘Dashami’. Then the Deity enters the sanctum sanctorum followed by rituals like the ‘pooja archaa’, ‘naivedy’, ‘Aarti’, ‘Nirmaalya Visarjan’, ‘Danddaballi’ etc. Thereafter,the Deity enters the ‘Yadnya Mandap’ in the palanquin. This is followed by ‘Poornnahuti’ and the ‘Gulalotsav’and the Deity enters the temple of Shri Mal’linaath again through the palanquin. After the rituals like ‘Avabhrutasnaan’,’Kankanabandhan visarjan’, ‘Aarti’, ‘Fallaar’ etc. are over, the Deity’s palanquin enters the Shri Devakikrishna temple. The ‘Ramnavami’ celebration comes to an end after the rituals of ‘Maha Pooja’, ‘Maha Aarti’, ‘Maha Naivedya’, ‘Maha Santarpann’ and ‘Ashirvaad’.
Chaitra Shu. Pournnimaa:- (Shri Hanuman Jayanti) This festival is sponsored by the family of Shri Phonddu Yashwant Prabhu Lawande.The programme on that day includes ‘abhishek’ to the Shree, the birth of Hanuman at 9.30 A.M., Maha Aarti in the afternoon, ‘naivedya’ and at night Shree’s procession in the palanquin at 8.30 P.M. Thereafter, there is Aarti and distribution of the ‘prasaad’.
Chaitra Kri. Ashttami:- (Zatra at Mayem) The ‘tarangas’ ( decorated poles with symbol of tutelar divinity on its top) of Shri Ravallnaath Darshanpaatra and Shri Ravallnaath, Shri Mahalaxmi and Ravalluputra are taken to Mayem by the canoes. At Mayem these deities are housed at the residence of Shri Rama Naik (Mayekar). There, at night the pooja of the tarangas, the naivedya and the santarpann are held. Next morning at dawn at 3 A .M. after hearing the call of the graamdeva of Mayem, all the three tarangas proceed to the Mahamaya temple. After having done the pooja ritual there, the darshanpaatra and the tarangas enter the temple of the goddess Kellbai. After performing the rituals of ‘koul prasaad’ and the ‘pishem kaddop’ (removing the madness) etc. the darshanapaatra and the tarangaas return to the original place of residence. The darshana-paatra and the tarangas return to the original place at the temple of Ravallnaath at Mashel via the canoes after giving the ‘koul prasaad’ to the other villagers and after the usual Mahanaivedya, Maha Aarati and Maha Santarpann. The festival attains completion at night after the Avsar visarjan, the Aarti of Shri Ravallnaath and the distribution of the usual of prasaad.
Chaitra Kri. Dashami:- The ‘pratishtthaapanaa’ Anniversary of Shri Laxmiravallnaath (Gavonnwada):- The deity is given the ‘abhishek’ in the temple of Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath Gavonnwada and a ‘laghurudra’ is performed under the sponsorship of Shri Narayan Bhagat. Aarti and naivedya ritual is performed in the afternoon. Shri Devakikrishna arrives in the palanquin to the temple of Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath at night at 8.30. Thereafter the programme of Puraann, Kirtan, Arati and the distribution of prasaad are conducted. Soon afterwards, the ‘garaanne’ takes place and the palanquin returns to the temple to mark the completion of the festival.
Vaishaakha Shu. Tritiya: Akshaya Tritiya:- The Deity is given the abhishek in the morning and thereafter, under the sponsorship of Shri Dat’ta alias Bhayee Moye, the programme of ‘Laghuvishnnu’, Mahapooja and Aarti are performed. At night time around 8.30, Purann vaachan takes place and thereafter Shri Devakikrishna’s procession is conducted through the palanquin which is followed by the Vasanta pooja. Then follows the programme of Aarti and Phalahar. This festival takes place under the sponsorship of Shri Shripad Jaiwant Kamat Malyekar and shri Madhusudan Jagan’nath Prabhu Dharwadkar.
Vaishaakh Shu. Saptami:- The ‘Vardhapandin’ (Anniversary) of Shri Devakikrishna and Shri Laxminarayan, so also the Satyanarayan Mahapuja sponsored by all the Mahajans.There the ‘Laghuvishnu’ for the Deity and thereafter Shri Satyanarayan Mahapooja, Maha Aarti, Maha Naivedya and Mahasantarpan are conducted. In the evening the procession of the Deity through the ‘Ratha’ carried on the shoulders can be seen. This is followed by the ‘Roupyashibikotsav’ under the sponsorship of Shri Ramchandra alias Anant Naik family. Thereafter there is the usual Aarti and the distribution of the ‘prasaad’.
Vaishaakh shu. Dwadashi: Shri Daaddsankall Vasant pooja:- Abhishek for the Deity and the Aarti in the morning and at 8 P.M there are the puraann, then the Vasantpooja, Aarti and the distribution of Pharall-prasaad.
Vaishaakh Pournnimaa: Shri Devakikrishna Vasanta-pooja. This festival takes place under the sponsorship of the Joshi family from Belgaum. Deity is given the ‘abhishek’, naivedya and Aarti in the morning. After the naivedya, Aarti, Ashirvaad etc. at night after Shri Devakikrishna arrives in the Kalyannmandap (the Sabhagriha) from the Roupyashibika and after He assumes His seat, ‘pharall’ is distributed. Then the Deity enters the Mandir through the Shibika itself. Then follow the Aartis, Prasaad distribution and the public ‘garannem’, the Vasanta pooja gets completed.
Vaishaakh kri. Pratipadaa: Pandaw wada Ravallnaath Vasantpooja :- Abhishek, Naivedya and Aarti for the Deity in the morning. At night, at 8, Shri Devakikrish arrives sitting in the palanquin to the Pandaw wada Ravallnaath temple. After the Deity gets seated, and after the rituals of Purann, kirtan, Aashirvaad, and the distribution of pharaall etc. Shri Devakikrishna’s palanquin enters the temple. Theraeafter, the Vasantpooja gets over after the usual naivedya, prasaad, Arti etc. are gone through.
Vaishaakh kri. Dwitiyaa: Ravallnaath Gavonnwada Vasantpooja: This celebration and the festival is held under the sponsorship of the Satoskar family. In the morning, Abhishek, Naivedya and Aarti for the Deity. Then at night at 8, Shri Devakikrishna arrives in the palanquin to the temple of Deity Gavonnwada and after He gets duly seated, the usual programmes of Purann, kirtans,Aarti, Aashirwad and Pharall distribution, the Vasantpooja gets concluded.
Jyeshttha shu. Dashami: Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath Pandaw wada Annivesary:
The Abhishek for the Deity in the morning and thereafter, under the sponsorship of the Saunsthaan, the Laghurudra, Maha pooja, Maha Aarti, Naivedya, Brahman, Suvasinini Santarpann (under the sponsorship of Shri B.Ganesh Prabhu from Mangalore. In the evening at 6.30, Shri Devakikrishna arrives by palanquin to the temple of Pandaw wada Ravallnaath. Thereafter the usual programmes of Purann, kirtan, Aarti, prasaad distribution and the ‘garrannem’ are conducted. Then the Deity arrives in the temple and then the usual rituals of naivedya, Aarti and prasaad distribution are gone through.
Jyeshttha kri. Shashtthi: Shri Rampurush Mhallepurush (Atrigotrapurush) Anniversary:
In the morninng, the Abhishek, Mahapooja, Naivedya, Aarti for all the purushas. Then in the evening at 6.30 the procession in the palanquin of Shri Devakikrishna. The palanquin is given the honour of Aarti in front of the temple of Shri Rampurush Mhallepurush and then the palanquin again returns to the temple of Shri Devakikrishna. There, the rituals of pooja, Aartis, prasaad distribution and the garannem are conducted and then all the Mahajans and the devotees go inside the temple and again the rituals of pooja, naivedya, Aarti, prasaad distribution and the garannem are gone through. This marks the finale of the festival. This celebration is sponsored by late Yashwant Prabhu Lawande from Panaji.
Aashaaddh shu. Ekaadashi: (Aashaaddhi Ekaadashi):
There is a 24 hour Bhajan Samaroh on this day in the temple of Shri Devakikrihsna. The Samaroha begins at 12 in the noon. In the evening at 4, the Mahashaalaa Kala Sangam organises an all Goa Bhajan Competition every year. The Samaroha concudes on the next day at 12 noon. Thereafter in the compound in front of the Shri Devakikrishna temple, a Chikhalkaalaa is organised for the enjoyment of children. Various types of games form a part of this Chikhalkaalaa. Then follows the programme of breking the ‘dahim-handdi’. Thereafter, all the children take a circle around the temple of Shri Devakikrishna and then visit the well situated there in the yard of the temple of Shri Mal’linaath and take a bath. Then, after having had a good bath, the children enter the temple of Shri Devakikrishna to the accompaniment of a ‘gajar’ of ‘Rama-nama’ (Constant chanting of Ram’s name). This is followed by Mahapooja, Maha Aarti and the distribution of the ‘prasaad’. Thereafter, a garannem is held and the celebration comes to an end. This festival is sponsored by all the ‘sevekaris’ (workers) of the temple.
Aashaaddh kri. Panchami:- Shri Devakikrishna ‘Samprokshann’:-
The ritual of ‘Samprokshanna is performed with the intention to keep up the alertness, security and the puriy of the Devasthan. It is also performed at the Shri Devakikrishna saunsthan just as it is performed many devasthanas in Goa. There are so many rituals and festivals which take place in the Devasthan, throughout the year. So many people visit the Devasthan for these festivities. As a result, in case any impurity or things which are not sacread to the deities happens to remain has to be cleansed and the vicinity has to be maintained as pure and sacrosant as possible. This is also the chief aim and objective behind performing this ‘samprokshann’ ritual. This involves the establishment of the ‘Mandal’ in the Sandhyamandap of Shri Devakikrishna along with the placing of the ‘Dwaadasha kalash’ and its pooja is performed as per the dictates of the Shastras. Thereafter, the sanctified, pure water is poured on the head of the idol of the Deity. This is followed by the routine, pooja, naivedya, Aartis etc.
Shraavann shu. Panchami:- Shri Dat’ta alias Bhayee Moye sponsored ‘Laghurudra’ is held at the temple of Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath Pandaw wada.
Shraavann shu. Trayodashi:- The ‘Zayanchi Pooja’ (pooja with the jasmines) sponsored by all the villagers from Chodan is held at the temples of Shri Bhumika and Shri Devakikrishna.:- The original place of both the deities, namely, Shri Devakikrishna and Shri Bhumika is Chodan island. Both these deities were shifted to Mashel village during the Portuguese regime. The villagers from Chodan have been performing this ‘zayanchi pooja’ for years together as a remeberance of their former deities. After the Abhishek for both these deities, a beautiful decoration of jasmine buds and flowers is made for them. The other programmes at 8.30 P.M. includes ‘harikirtan’, pooja, naivedya, Aarti, distribution of the prasaad and the ‘garannem’ at the end. This is a day of great rejoicing for all and sundry from the Chodan village. Most of the devotees from Chodan stay overnight at Mashel itself. They return to their village on the next day after propitiating Shri Bhumikadevi by taking the ‘Raakhnne Prasaad’ (prayer and prasaad for protetion) with an ardent wishe to be able to visit the deities the next year too. They do not fail to express the determination that they should visit Mashel for the festival in the coming year too. The prasaad which they carry from Mashel is then distributed to all the other villagers on returning to their homes.
Shraavann kri. Ashttami: Shri Krishna Janmaashttami-Gokulaashttami:-
The Lord Deity is given the Maha-Abhishek in the morning. Thereafter, there is the ritual of ‘Laghuvishnu’ which is sponsored by Shri Upendra Pandurang Naik. Then, at 10 in the morning, Shri Devakikrishna, seated in a palanquin goes to the Kumbhaarjjua whard for ‘Teerthsnaan’. There, after completing ‘pooja yadnyopavit visarjan’, the palanquin with the Lord returns to His abode. Shreekrishna janmotsav, paallnna (the cradle) festivities and rituals are performed at 8.30 P.M. Thereafter at 9.30 P.M.,the programme of Mahabhishek to the Lord is held and it is followed by the ‘Alankaar pooja’. Mahajans present for the occasion offer thousand Tulsi leaves on the main Deity kept in the shrine. The others do so on the symbolic idol kept outside on the ‘Chouk’. This is accompanied by the chanting of the ‘Vishnu Sahasra Namavali ( Thousand names of Shri Vishnu mentioned in the list of the Shastras). Thereafter, the Mahapooja and Maha Aarti of Shri Devakikrishna are performed. The Deity is presented with the ‘naivedya’ of the pressed rice (‘Pohe’ or ‘Faw’). The festival gets completed after the ‘Ashirvad’ to all those who are present.
The next day, ‘Gopalkaalaa’ is celebrated in the morning. And in the eveving around 6 P.M. the celebration of the breaking of the ‘Dahim Handdi’ takes place in the compound in front of the Shri Devakikrishna temple. In fact, there is a competition of breaking of the Dahim Handdi which marks the finale of the programme in the presence of the Mahajans and other devotees.
Bhaadrapada shu. Chaturdashi:- Shri Anant Vrata.:- This festival is sponsored by late Shriniwas Pandurang Acharya and his family. The Anant Vrata Utsav is held after the Abhishek to the Lord in the morning. Mahapooja, Maha Aarti, Maha Naivedya are held and then the ‘An’na Santarpann’ is conducted in the afternoon. At 8 P.M. are organised the Kirtan, Purann., Aarti etc. and after the distribution of the prasaad, a collective prayer (‘garannem’) is said before the Deity. Next day, in the morning there is the ‘visarjan’ of the Anant Kalash after having performed the Anant Pooja.
From Aashwin shu. Pratipadaa right upto Aashwin shu. Dashami:- ( Dr. Guinde and family from Belgaum are the sponsors of this celebration or festival)
1) Navratrotsav:- During the entire period of this festival, Harikirtan, Makharotsav, Mahamantra Pushpanjali, Aashirvad and distribution of the ‘prasaad’ are held between 8 P.M. and 10 P.M. every night which precedes the Aarti to Shri Bhumika. Thereafter, the Aartis to both the Ravallnaaths are conducted.
Prior to the beginning of this festival, the Mahajans and the devotees visit their respective Ravallnaaths and take the prasaad as the annual protection of the Navraatrotsav.
IN the morning of Aashwin shu. Pratipadaa, after the abhishek to the Deity, there is a ritual of ‘Ghattasthaapanaa’ in the sanctum sanctorum of Shri Bhumikadevi. Durgashati’s stotr chantings are repeated throughout the festival period, i.e. from the Pratipadaa upto the Navami. A ‘Gandhapooja’(the sandal pooja) is performed on the day of the Mahanavami for Shri Devakikrishna. During that night, the Makharotsav and the distribution of the prasaad is followed a collective ‘gaaraanne’ (prayer) for the welfare of the Mahajans and other devotees. There is another speciality of the festival on the Mahanavami day in the temple of Shri Bhumikadevi. The prasaad which is distributed after the usual rituals is of some sprouted cereal. Similar festivities and rituals are also performed in the temples of both the Ravallnaaths.
2) Aashwin shu. Dashami: (Vijayaadashami):- Shri Devakikrishna, through the ‘Roupyashibikaa’, goes to the yard of the Devasthaan at Chirekhonn for ‘Seemol’langhan’ (crossing the borders or limits as per the tradition) after the ‘taranga pooja’ and the Ravallnaath darshan at 5 P.M. on this day. The palanquin pooja, the taranga pooja, so also the pooja of ‘Shami’ and ‘Aaptta’ saplings are performed there by the members of Naik and the Guindde families. The ritual of ‘looting the gold’ (symbolic) is also held there, after the rituals of Aashirvad and Prasaad. A ritual of ‘bhogaavall’ is also gone through before the ‘tarangam’ by cutting the pumpkin gourd (‘kumvaallo’). Thereafter, the palanquin along with the tarangams comes towards the Shri Devakikrishna temple. Subsequently, tarangams of Pandaw wada Ravallnaath take a halt in front of the temple of Shri Daaddsankall in order to give the ‘koul’ to the families of Shri Chodnekars and Mahales. Similarly, the tarangams of Gavonn wada Ravallnaath stop before the temple of Shri Bhumika devi in order to give the 'koul’ to the families of Prabhu Bide. Thereafter, the tarangams of Gavonnwada Ravallnaath take a halt before the Tulsi Vrindavan of the same temple and give the ‘koul’ to the families of Charis. Then the tarangams of both the Ravallnaaths stand side by side in front of the Shri Devakikrishna temple. This is precisely the time when the families of Dharwadkars, Shinkre, Prabhu and Kuwadekar are given the ‘koul’. Once again the tarangams of both the Ravallnaaths stand side by side in front of the temple of Shri Bhumikadevi for giving the ‘koul’ to the Dharwadkar family exclusively. Thereafter, the tarangams of Gavonn wada Ravallnaath go to its own Devasthan. So also those of Pandaw wada Ravallnaath come in front of Laxminarayan and Katyayani temples give the koul to the pujaris and also other devotees proceed to the house of Shri Naik which is located close to Shri Pandaw wada Ravallnaath temple for hospitality. Mahanaivedya is effected and all those present are served the food. A ‘ranga pooja’ is performed on the same day for Shri Devakikrishna and Shri Daaddsankall.
From the next day onwards right upto the ‘Kojaaguiri’ pournnimaa, the tarangams of both the Ravallnaaths, stand in front of their respective temples at 6.30 in the evening. Then, right upto Trayodashi and on the night after the festival of Kojaguiri kaul prasaad is given to the devotees according to their respective gotras.
Ranga pooja is held during the period between Vijayadashami and the Kojaguiri for Shri Devakikrishna Deity.
Aashwin shu. Navami:- An ‘Ufaar’ ( Oblation on a large scale offered to a deity in the form of a meal ) is held under the sponsorship of Narasimha Prabhu Lawande family.
Aashwin shu. Dashami:- ‘An’nasantarpann’ is given under the sponsorship of Shri Madhav Naik of Bombay.
Aashwin shu. Ekadashi:- An ‘Ufaar’ is held under the sponsorship Shri Naik ( of the Kashyap gotra) at their residence which is located near the Pandaw wada temple. ‘Koul Prasaad’ is given to the Kashyap gotri Naik, Keni and Vatsa gotri Joshi families on the same day. So also a Rangapooja is performed at the feet of Shri Devakikrish by Baabaa.
Aashwin shu. Dwaadashhi:- An ‘Ufaar’ is held under the sponsorship of Parrikar and Verlekar families. ‘Kaul Prasaad’ is given on the same day to Atri Gotri Mahajans (Prabhu Lawande, Moye, Verlekar, Parrikar, Kolwallkar, Tamba, Guinde, Bhat, Korgaonkar etc.). On the same night, Rangapooja is organised by late Gopal Bhandari of Kumbharjua.
Aashwin shu. Trayodashi:- ‘Kaul Prasaad’ is given to the entire Daivajnya community ( Taar, Wallke, Chodankar and Mashelkar). At night, under the sponsorship of Govind Mahale family, a Rangapooja for Shri Devakikrisha is also held.
Aashwin Pournnimaa:- (Kojaguiri Pournnimaa):- Kojaguiri celebration are held under the
Sponsorship of Shri Venkatesh Navelkar family in the evening at 7.30; and at night, after the kaul Prasaad, all the borders of Shri Ravallnaath Devasthaan are visited and a ritual called ‘seema daallop’ is performed. Thereafter the Avsar visarjan is performed by visiting the Ravallnaath temple. The festival attains its finale after performing the rituals of Aarti, Ashirvad, distribution of prasaad and garaannem before the deity Ravallnaath.
Kaartik shu. Pratipadaa: Balipratipadaa Gokridanotsav ( ‘Dhenddlo Paaddwo’):-
This festival is celebrated by all the sevekaris of the Devasthaan which includes Pujari, Bhagat, Bhaavinn, Katkar, Vaazantri, Khambi, Divtte etc. The Abhishek for the Deity is held in the mornig. Thereafter, Lord Shrikrishna’s ‘Utsavmoorti ( replica of the main deity) is placed in the Rath which is carried on the shoulders visits all the ‘panchishtt’ deities, the said shoulder- ratha is taken to each of the household in the Mashel village. The Ratha is received with great joyful hospitality wherever it goes. Various different gifts of flowers and garlands etc. greet the Ratha. Thereafter the Deity settles down for a while at the Mal’linaath temple. In the evening this Ratha in brought in the compound in front of Shri Devakikrishna temple to the accompaniment of music played on the Dhol, Tasha etc. The ‘Laalkhotsav’ is held at 8.30 P.M.. Then the auction of the gifts received by the Deity in the Ratha is held. The Maruti sitting on the Ratha is the most respected item of the auction.
Kaartik shu. Dwitiya: Sukhaasanotsav:- This celebration is carried on by ll villagers from Mashel by rotation every year. On this day is held the auction of the fruits devoted to the Deity. Shri Devakikrishna is taken in procession in a ‘Lalkhi’ at 8.30 P.M. Thereafter, the usual Aarti, the distribution of the ‘prasaad’ and the routine ‘gaaraannem’ take place.
Kaartik shu. Dwaadashi: Tulsi Vivaaha and Raatkaalaa: In the morning, the ‘Kankadd Aarti’ and ‘Harizaagar’ are performed. After the usual Abhishek and the Mahapooja, the Tulshivrinddavan pooja and the ‘vivvaaha Sohalla’ (symbolic marriage ceremony) are held in front of the temples of Shri Devakikrishna, Shri Daaddsankall and both the Ravallnaaths at 8 P.M. The procession of the Shri Devakirishna in palanquin is held at 10.30 P.M. The ‘utsavmurti’ is then placed on the ‘chouk’ and thereafter, the devotees from Mashel and the Vorgaon villages say the ‘Ganapatistavan’ after which is held the ‘Raatkaalaa’ based on incidents of Lord Krishna’s life.
Kaartik shu. Trayodashi: Gopallkaalaa, Dahhimhanddi and Teerthasnaan: Shri Devakikrishna utsavmurti is placed in front of the main gate of the chouk at 4 P.M. The devotees bring and offer the curds and the pressed rice (‘pohe’) to the Deity. Then the laddoos are prepared by mixing the two. Various sorts of games of children are played by the children of the village in the compound in front of the Shri Devakikrishna temple which is actually the Dahimkaalaa. Later, while the pot of the curds (Dahimhanddi) is being broken, simultaneously, the laddoos are thrown at random in the compound from the Nagarkhana. The devotees collect them as the holy prasaad of the Deity. Then the utsavmurti is taken in the palanquin to the wharf of Kumbharjua for the ‘teerthasnaan’ (the holy dip in water.) After returning therefrom, the usual programmes of Aartis, distribution of the prasaad etc. are held.
Kaartik shu. Chaturdashi: Aavlli Bhojan:- (This celebration is held under the sponsorship of the family of Padmanaabh Shinkre).The Deity is brought in a palanquin to the parapet of myrobalan (‘anvallo’) tree built at the bottom of the tree ( ‘pedd’) which is on the Kalyan Mandap side of the temple. The Deity’s ‘Shoddashopachaar pooua’ and the ‘Dhaatrihome’ are then performed. Then the palanquin is placed on the platform or the parapet. Thereafter the rituals of pooja, Aarti, Mahanaivedya are performed which is followed by the ‘ufaar’ for the Pandaw wada Ravallnaath. Then follows the ‘An’na Santarpann’. At 7.30 in the evening, after the prgramme of Puraann, kirtan, Aashirvaad, and distribution of the prasaad are held in the Kalyan Mandap itself, the Deity’s palanquin is brought in the temple. Thereafter, the usual programme of Aarti, Aashirvaad, distribution of prasaad and the ‘gaaraannem’ are held which marks the finale to the celebration .
Maargashirsa shu. Trutiyaa: Shri Devakikrishna Suvarnnashikhar kalash Anniversary:
The rituals of Laghuvishnu, Mahapooja, Suvarnn-shikhar-kalashapooja are held in the morning and thereafter the ‘An’na Santarpann’ takes place. In the evening at 6.30 Shri Devakikrishna’s procession is taken through the Roupyashibikaa. Then the festival attains its finale after the usual rituals of Aarti, Gaaraanne, the distribution of prasaad etc. in the temple.
Maargashirsha shu. Trayodashi: Shri Devakikrishna Zatra: The festival is celebrated under the sponsorship of all Dharwadkars (Pomburpekar) family. The deity Shri Devakikrishna is offered Gandhapooja, ‘Divzam’, Maha Aarti, Naivedya and Mahasantarpann. Thereafter at 9.30 P.M. Shri Devakikrishna ‘s procession is taken out through the Roupyashibika and that of the ‘utsavmurti’ of Lord Shrikrishna’s procession goes out through the ‘Laalkhi’. Then the deities from both, the ‘paalkhi’ as well as the ‘laalkhi’ settle down in the Mandap (pandal) in front of the temple of Shri Devakikrishna. After the performance of the Puraann, kirtan, Aarti, Naevedya distribution etc., the Pujari comes to the Mandap and circles the ‘panchaarti’ (‘onvaallnne’) in front of the deities in the paalkhi as that in the laalkhi and lights the ‘Maalem
( a kind of a clay lamp ). After the ‘Mantrapushpanjali’ the ‘Bhaavinn’ does the ‘onvaallnni’ to the Lord and places the Malem before the palanquin. On the wooden seat (‘paatt’) the seniormost member of the Shinkre family takes his seat. The programme of the ‘Aashirvad’ is performed by the seniormost person the Dharwadkar family (amongst those present). Thereafter, the days and dates of the future zatras as per the ‘panchaang’ are announced. Then the prasaad is distributed. Soon both the palakhi and lalkhi of the Deities are brought inside the temple. The festival comes to an end after the ‘gaaraannem’.
Maargshirsh shu. Pournnimaa: (Shri Dat’ta Jayanti): The festival is under the sponsorship of Shri Narasimha Naik Shankhwallkar. Shri Dat’ta Janmotsav takes place at 5 P.M., then the procession of the Deity in the palanquin, Aarti and the distribution of the prasaad.
Maargashirsha kri. Dwitiya: ‘Roupyashibika Birthday’ ( The festival is under the sponsorship of Shri Anantrao Krishna Prabhu family from Mudbidri, Karnataka) : Abhishek in the morning, Mahapooja and An’na Santarpann and the Deity’s procession in the Roupyashibika, then Aarti and the distribution of the prasaad at 6.30 in the evening.
Maargashirsha kri. Navmi: Shri Bhumika Zatra: ( Under the sponsorship of Dharwadkar family: Nerulkar) This day marks the rituals of Gandhapooja, Divzam, Maha Aarti, Naivedya and Maha Santarpann for Shri Bhumika Deity. At night at 9.30, the procession of Shri Devakikrishna by the Roupyashibika and that of Lord Shri Krishna Utsav idol’s by the ‘lalkhi’. Both, the paalkhi and the laalkhi of both the deities come in front of the Shri Bhumika temple and take a halt. After the Aarti-Naivedya programme in the temple of Shri Bhumikadevi, the Pujari comes and with a pancharati does the ‘onvaallnni’ in obeisance to the Deities in both, the paalkhi as in the laalkhi and then lights the Malem. Then follows the Pushpanjali. Then there is the ‘onvaallnni’ of the Deity by the Malem is performed by the ‘Bhaavinn’ and the Malem is kept near the palanquin. Then, one of the members of the Shinkre family takes a seat in front of the Malem. The prasad distribution takes place after the ritual of the Aashirvad is performed by the seniormost person from the Dharwadkar family (among those present). Then follows the ‘gaaraannem’. Thereafter the paalkhi and the laalkhis of the Deities are brough inside the temple. The ‘utsavmoorti’ of Shri Devakikrishna then is touched to the head of all those present to symbolise the blesshings.
Maargashirsh kri. Dashami: Mal’linaath Zatra: Shri Devakikrishna and the Utsavmoorti of ShriKrishna arrive through the paalkhi and the laalkhi respectively at 9.30 at night at the temple of Shri Mal’linaath. Then the same type of rituals take place in the same serial order as they do at the time of zatras in other temples. Both, the paalkhi as well as the laalkhi return to the temple of Shri Devakikrishna after all those rituals are duly performed.
Maargashirsh kri. Ekaadashi: Kaatyaayani Zatra: A pandal is erected in front of the temple of Kaatyaayani . At 9.30 P.M. in that pandal, a procession of Shri Devakikrishna through the Roupyashibika and that of Lord Shri Krishna through the laalkhi is taken around. Thereafter all the rituals similar to those taking place during such zatras also are performed in this zatra too. However, there is a seciality of this one which is different from that of other zatras. Here, before the usual garannem is presented before the Kaatyaayani Deity, an auction is held to decide the host for the zatra of the next year. And the auction does not go on in an ascending order. Instead, it is descended at least by a symbolic one paisa. The person who wins the auction becomes the host of the next year’s zatrotsav and manages the entire expenses individually.
Maargashirsh kri. Dwaadashi: Shri Daaddsankall Zatra: In the morning, under the sponsorship of the Chodnekar family, a Laghurudra is performed for Shri Daaddsankall and there is An’nasantarpann in the afternoon. At 9.30 P.M. Shri Devakikrishna through the Roupyashibika and Lord Shrikrishna through the laalkhi arrive in the pandal erected in front of the temple of Shri Daaddsaankall. Thereafter, all the rituals similar to those that take place concerning zatras of other Deities in their temples take place. During this zatra, the pride of place of sitting in front of the paalkhi is given to the seniormost person from the Chodnekar family. Simalarly it is the prvilege of the Mahale family to take the ritual Aashirvaad. On the next day, the rituals of Laghurudra, Maha naivedya and An’nasantarpann are held under the sponsorship of the Mahale family. Therafter, the Mahale family takes the ‘Raakhnnecho prasaad’ which marks the finale of the festival.
Maargashirsha Amaavaasyaa: Shri Gajaantalaxmi Zatra: Similar to the custom in the case of zatras of other temples and the Deities, there is the arrival of Shri Devakikrishna through the Roupyashibika and that of Lord Shri Krishna through the laalkhi in the pandal erected in front of the Gajantalaxmi temple at 9.30 P.M. Then follow all the rituals similar to those that are held in other temples. Thereafter, the Deity’s paalkhi and the laalkhi return to the temple of Shri Devakikrishna and the zatra comes to an end.
Poush shu. Dwitiyaa: Shri LaxmiRavallnaath ( Gavonnwada) Biyechi Zatra: in the morning the rituals of Abhishek, Divzotsav, Mahapooja and the Maha Aarti are held. So also, the ufaar is held for the Deity under the sponsorship of the following Mahajan families, namely, 1) Kamat Mallyekar, 2) Kamat Purohit, 3) Prabhu Padgaonkar, 4) Prabhu Bide, 5) Prabhu Bhembre, 6) Kamat Redkar.
Mahasantarpann ritual is held at the end of the Ufaar. Shri Devakikrishna arrives through the Roupyashibika and Shrikrishna’s utsavmurty arrive in a procession through the laalkhi at 11P.M. and after meeting the Panchishttas, they go back to Laxmiravallnaath (Gavonwada) temple. After resting on the ‘sajja’ the auction of clothes used by the Deity takes place, so also some cultural programmes are held and then the procession of the ‘Divzams’ goes on. Then follows similar types of the rituals as they are held in other zatras of other temples. The privilege of taking the sit in front of the Malem goes to the family of Prabhu Padgaonkars.
On the next day, i.e. Poush shu. Tritiya, Purann reading is held at 9.30 P.M Shri Devakikrishna arrives in the palanquin in a procession at the Laxmiravallnaath Gavonnwada. The Deity rests for a while on the ‘saj’ja’. Thereafter, rituals like the Aarti, distribution of prasaad, Garaannem etc. are held, so also some cultural programmes take place. Thus marks the end of the zatra.
Poush shu. Pournnimaa: Shri Laxminarayan Pandaw wada Malini Pournnimaa zatra: The morning rituals includes Abhishek to the Deity, Divzotsav, Mahapooja and Maha Aarti. On this very day the Ufaar is held for Shri Ravallnaath under the sponsorship of the following Mahajans, namely, 1) Shri Naik (Bicholim), 2) Shri Prabhu Lawande, 3) Shri Prabhu Kolwallker, 4) Shri Prabhu Moye, 5) Shri Keni. An Ufaar is also held for Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath Gavonnwada under the sponsorship of Shri Kamat Mallekar. Thereafter a Maha An’nasantarpann is also held. The Divzam procession is carried on at l AM. Thereafter the Yatra (pilgrimage) of Gavonnwada Ravallnaath begins and this is supposed to be the ‘Isharat’ or the notice that the festival has begun in full swing.Thereafter Lord Shrikrishna mounts His chariot and Shri Devakikrishna comes to that Ratha through the Roupyashibika. Then the Pujari after having done the ritual of ‘onvallnni’ inside the temple brings out the same ‘panchaarti’ and does the ‘onvallnni’ of Lord Shrikirishna’s Utsavmurti sitting in the Ratha and also that of Shri Devakikrishna sitting in the Roupyashibika. Thereafter, the Pujari and the Bhagats of both the Ravallnaaths present a collective ‘Garhannem’ to the Deity. Then the ritual of breaking the coconuts on the wheels of the chariot by the devotees takes place. Then the Maha Rath hitherto standing in the compound of the Shri Devakikrishna temple is pulled away and taken to the front of the pandaw wada temple. Then the utsavmurty from the Rath is handed over to one of the members of the Kolwalkar family this procession along with the palanquin comes to the specially erected Pandal in front of the Pandaw wada temple. This is followed by all the other rituals similar to those that are held in other zatras. Here in this zatra, the privilege of sitting in front of the Malem goes to one of the members of the Shinkre family and the pride of place of accepting the Aashirvaad goes to one of the members of the Naik family. Then follows the distribution of the prasaad, the ‘divzams’ are immersed (visarjan), the ‘gaaraannem’ which marks the finale of the zatra.
Poush Kri. Pratipadaa upto Panchami Malini Pournnimaa Festival: During the period of this festival, the palanqin of Shri Devakikrishna goes to the Pandaw wada Ravallnaath temple every night at 9.30 and rests at the ‘saj’ja’ for a while. Then the Aarti is held and the prasaad distributed. Then follow the cultural programmes. On the day of the Poush Kri. Panchami, i.e. on the last day of the festival, Shri Ravallnaath is offered the Ufaar by the family of Kuwadekar which is followed by a Maha An’na Santarpann. On the next day, the ritual of ‘Sthalashud’dhi’ (purifying and cleansing the place’) takes place.
Atri Gotri Purush (Shri Ram Purush- Shri Mhallepurush) Deuponn: At the end of the zatra of Malini Pournnimaa in the month of Poush, on the first Sunday ,this festival is held. On this day the Artri Gotri Majans celebrate this festival. The rituals of Abhishek for the purushas, naivedya, Aarti and An’na Santarpann etc. is followed by the prgramme of Puraann, kirtan, Aarti, distribution of the prasaad, garaanneem etc. is held.
As per the tradition, there comes the ‘Avsar’ ( the ‘bhaar’-to be possessed by Deity’s spirit) of Shri dev Pandaw wada Ravallnaath the Atri Gotri Mahajans and other devotees present are given the Kaul.
Similar type of ritual is alo performed in the original house of the family of Naiks from Bicholim (Dicholi) on the first Wednesday or the Sunday that comes after the Malini Pournnimaa festival.
Maagh shu. Saptami: Rathasaptami: ( The festival is sponsored by Shri Narasimha Kamat and the Kamat Ghanekar families)
The Abhishek for the Deity is held in the morning and then Lord Shrikrishna’s Utsavmurty is ascended on to the Rath and then He goes to visit the Pachishtas. Then the Deity visits the Mal’linath temple in a procession in the paalkhi and also the ‘Ratharohann’ (sitting in the Rath) is held. Then the Deity enters the Shri Devakikrishna temple. Then follow the rituals like Maha Pooja, Maha Aarti, Maha Naivedya etc. Thereafter, there is an An’na Santarpann in the temple of Shri Mal’linath. Then there is the Rangapooja at 8.30 P.M. for Shri Devakikrishna jointly by both the host families. Thereafter, the rituals of Aarti, distribution of prasaad, garaannem etc. which marks the finale of the festival.
Maagh shu. Chaturdashi: Mahashirvratri: ( The sponsor of the festival—Keni family from Ratnaguiri ).
Abhishek for the Deity in the morning followed by Maha pooja, Maha Naivedya, Maha Aarti and the An’na Santarpann. The Deity Shri Devakikrishna is taken in procession through the palanquin. After the Deity returns to the temple, the rituals of Aarti, Prasadd distribution, the garannem are gone through as usual and the festival attains its finale.
Maagh Pournnimaa: The return of shri Ravallnaath Gavonnwada from the Yatra (pilgrimage): This day on which the Deity Shri Ravallnaath Gavonn wada, who had set on a Yatra on the day of the Malini Pournnima, returns to His temple after finishing the pilgrimage. The programme of Puraann, kirtan, Aarti, prasaad distribution and garannem is gone through. Thereafter, at night, Shri Devakikrishna is taken around in procession in the palanquin. This is followed by Aarti, Naivedya and the distribution of the prasaad which marks the end of the festival.
Phalgun Pournnimaa: Hutaashani Pournnimaa Holikaapoojan and Holika Dahan:
Areca trees are planted in front of the temples of Shri Devakikrishna, Shri Bhumika, Shri Daaddsaankall and both the Shri Ravallnaaths in the evening. After the daily Aartis in all the temples are over, all these areca trees are also respected with pooja and shown the naivedya, and the Holi in the symbolic form of these areca trees are set on fire. Thereafter, the devotees pray before the burning Holi and break the coconuts accompanied by prayers.
Phalgun krishna Dwitiya: The Panchishttas are greeted by placing coconuts before them and by applying ‘Halldonnem’, they place the garaannem before the Deities, all this before the usual Aartis at night time
Phalgun kri. Panchami: Rangapanchami: Coconuts are placed before all the Panchishttas the devotees say the gaarannem. Then the gulal (red colour) is offered. Thereafter at 8 P.M. there is the procession of the Shri Devakikrishna through the palkhi.
Phalgun kri. Shashtthi: Lord Shrikrishna’s Utsavmurti is brought and placed on a seat in the compound in front of the Shri Devakikrishna temple at 8 in the morning. The ‘gulal’ (red colour) is applied to the Deity to the accompaniment of the ‘Sunvari’ playing and gulala is thrown everywhere and applied to all and sundry. Thereafter the Deity is taken in procession through the palanquin to the wharf of the Kumbharjua for teerthasnan. The Deity returns to the temple after this ritual in the palanquin. The pujari welcomes the Deity by ‘onvaallnni’ of Panchaarti. Then follows the Aarti, distribution of the prasaad and garaannem which marks the end of the festival.
Harizaagar commences at the time of the Dussera (Aashwin shu. Dashami) and it ends on the day of the Kaartik shu. Dwaadashi. There is the chanting of the ‘Kaankad Aarti’ early in the morning during the entire period of the Harizaagar. Thereafter, small bits of coconut kernel are mixed with dry pressed rice and distributed as the prasaad.
4. Paalkhi Celebration of the Trayodashi.
There is the Paalkhi Utsav at the Shri Devakikrishna temple on every Trayodashi except during the period of the ‘Chaturmaas’.
The Paalkhi (palanquin) has the Utsavmurti of Shri Devakikrishna in it and the procession takes a full circle in the compound of the temple. This procession takes 8 halts at various spots during the ‘pradakshinna’. This halt is known as ‘Pennem’.
The spots where these pennems or stops are to be taken are fixed by tradition. The palanquin is taken down from the shoulders and kept on wooden pillars or stands made for the purpose. Then are chanted the ‘Managlashttakas’ and few predetermined stanzas of Shri Devkakrishnashttaka are also chanted. Thereafter, the procession continues until the next halt.
The first stop is taken on the chouk itself when two stanzas of Shri Devakikrishnaashttaka are chanted.
The second halt is taken in the open space “Aangann’ in front of the temple. Here are chanted the first Manalaashttak and the third stanza of Shri Devakikrishnaashttaka.
The third stop is fixed in front of Shri Bhumikadevi’s temple. This is the time for chanting the 2nd Managalaashttak and the fourth stanza of the Shri Devakikrishnaashtta.
The fourth halt is taken to the right hand side of Shri Bhumikadevi’s temple. Then the 3rd Mangalaashttaka and the 5th stanzas of the Shri Devakikrishnaashttaka are chanted.
The fifth stop is earmarked behind the temple of Shri Devakikrishna. It is the time for chanting the 4th Mangalaashttaka and the 6th stanza of Shri Devakikrishnaashttaka.
The sixth halt is taken at the well when the 5th Mangalaashttaka and the 7th stanza of Shri Devakikrishnaashttaka are chanted.
The seventh pennem is fixed near the temple of Shri Rampurush when the 6th Mangalaashttak and the 8th stanza of Shri Devakikrishnaashttaka are chanted.
The 8th halt is taken in front of the temple in the ‘Aangann’. Here the parikrama or the circle gets completed. The traditional ‘Bhavinn’ shows the ‘Raatt’ to the Deity in the palanquin. The pujari does the ‘Onvaallnni’ of the Deity by the Aarti burning the camphor. Then a coconut is broken after encircling it around the Deity.
Now the paalkhi is again lifted and taken on the shoulders and it is brought on to the ‘chouk’. The Lord’s Utsavmurti is taken inside the shrine. Then follows the programme of rituals like the naivedya, Aarti, Mantrapushpaanjali, Aashirvaad, distribution of the prasaad and then the usual ‘gaaraannem’. This marks the finale of the Palkhi Utsav.
The Mangalaashttakas chanted at the time of the Shibikotsav and the Shri Devakikrishnaashttakas composed by Shri Sagunn Krishna Prabhu Moye are printed here at the end of the book (Please see Appendix 1 and 2 ).
5. About the Management of Shri Devakikrishna Saunsthaan.
The management of the affairs of the Saunsthaan is carried on or looked after by the Managing Committee duly elected by the Mahajans. This Committee is responsible for doing one and all the activities and duties for the Saunsthan for its maintenance, carrying on all the rituals, repairs, day to day affairs, supervision of all the rituals, and it also acts as the custodian of all the properties of the Saunsthaan, both, moveable and also the immoveable. It is also expected to bring about the developmental changes as and when deemed necessary and proper. It is also answerable for looking after the well being as regards the accommodation and other issues, particularly those concerning outstation Mahajan visitors and devotees. The committee is supposed to see to it that these Majahans and the devotees can enjoy their stay peacefully whenever they happen to visit their Kuladevata. The Committee at Shri Devakikrishna Saunsthan is always eager to take note of the suggestions made from time to time by the Mahajans. The members of the Managing Committee meet on every Sunday and suggestions and instructions are issued to the Manager appointed to look after the day to day affairs of the Saunsthan, and take further steps that may be necessary for smooth working of the affairs of the Saunsthaan.
The Manager is appointed to look after the day to day administration and keep constantly in touch with the Mahajans and he is supposed to work as per the instruction issued to him by the Managing Committee. He also reports to the Committee about the ongoings at the Saunsthaan promptly.
There are four pujaris appointed to conduct the ‘pooja urcha’ and other rituals at the Saunsthaan. The affairs at the Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath Pandaw wada and Shri Laxmi Ravallnaath Gavonnwada and also about the ‘koul prasaad’ etc. are looked after the Bhagats.
Maintenance of cleanliness and day to day tidiness, so also all the things necessary to be done to maintain the sanctity and sacredness of the temple and its vicinity are efficiently being looked after.
The daily Schedule at the Devasthaan
Morning 6.30 The door of the temple is opened.
Morning 7.00 ‘Nirmaalya’ Visarjan.
Morning 9.00 Commencement of ‘Abhisheks’.
(Mahajans by entering the ‘Garbhagriha’ can themselves do
the Abhishek by giving prior notice.)
Morning 10.30 Beginnings of ‘Kunkumarchan’.
( Mahajan Suvasisinis in the Sandhya Mandap and in the
Shri Bhumika temple can themselves do the ‘kunkumarchan’
However, prior noting of the names is necessary).
Morning 11.30 Time allotted for Abhishek and Kunkumarchan gets over.
Morning 11.30 Pooja of the Deity and time for decorating and dressing the
Deity with ornaments etc.
Afternoon 12.30 Maha Naivedya of the noon time, Maha Aarti, teertha prasad
Afternoon 13.00 upto 15.00 The temple remains closed for these 2 hours.
Afternoon 15.00 The door of the temple is opened.
Evening 18.30 upto 20.00 Rangapooja by Mahajans themselves,( in case
someone has notified)
Evening 19.30 Beginning of the Bhajan.
Evening 20.00 The Bhajan gets over, the night pooja, naivedy, Aarti.
Night 20.45 The doors of the temple are closed.
Any male wishing to make the Abhishek must, after prior notice, be present at the Sandhya Mandap at the stipulated time, clad in ‘sonvllem’, dhoti of Resham or wet ‘angavastra’. Similarly, any Mahajan wishing to undertake a Rangapooja must with prior notice can do so between the time of 18.30 and 20.00. The ladies wishing to perform the ‘kunkumarchan’ has to be clad in a sari. No other form of dress is allowed.
The provision of availability of necessary dress required for the rituals has been made at the Devasthan itself. The Mahajans have only to communicate their needs or inconvenience if any to the person available at the Saunsthan for the purpose.
Accommodation: (Common Room):- A common room is available without any charges for the Mahajans visiting the temple for a short time. All the other facilities are available at this room.
Other rooms at the ‘Agarsaal’: For the benefit of those who would lik to stay on and make some rituals etc. at the temple too there are 30 spacious rooms with all the necessary facilities of toilet, bathroom, water (both, hot and cold), fans etc.etc. are available. The stipulated fees are to be paid.
Bhojanalaya (Restaurant): There is a good eating house ( ‘An’napoorna Bhojanalaya) where the Mahajans and devotess who happen to stay can have tea, breakfast, lunch, dinner etc. Good vegetarian food is always available.
An’nadaan Sevaa: This service (facility) is started recently for the benefit of the Mahajans who are service minded (‘sevabhaavi’). Any Mahajan, by paying Rs.1001/- may on a given day of his choice, give naivedya to the Kuladevataa, my do the Brahmin Santarpann and sometimes may want to sponsor the food for the Mahajans present in the Devasthan and earn the Deity’s goodwill (‘poonnya’). There is also the facility of giving ‘Bhojan’ on the day of any festival for which, at present, Rs.5001/- are charged.
An’nadaataa Yojanaa: Any Mahajan can be a member of this scheme by paying Rs.10,000/- or more. The name of the sponsor is mentioned in the list of ‘An’nadaataas’ displayed on the board put up in the Bhojanalaya. The amount so collected is utilised for An’nadaan seva.
Shaashwat Seva: Any Mahajan can on any day, every year, by remaining present or in absentia can do the seva on any selected day like the birth day, anniversary, rememberance day or on the day of any family function shall have the privilege of seva for the whole day. At present the fees under this category are Rs.2,500/-.The Mahajan may receive the Aashirvaad or prasaad by remaining present. In the case of in absentia seva, the prasaad is sent through postal service.
Koul Prasaad: The facility of koul prasaad is available in both the Ravallnaath temples. There are certain days on which prasaad cannot be held. On the day of Trayodashi, there can be no prasaad in both the Ravallnaath temples after the noon time. These dates are mentioned in the calendar of the festivals of Saunsthaan which the devotees to go through minutely. In order to avoid inconvenience or disappointment, the Devasthan may also be contacted on the phone. Koul prasaad can be taken between 11 A.M. and 8 P.M.
Trayodashi Shibikotsav: This ritual takes place on every Shukla and Krishna Trayodashi (with the exception of Chaaturmaas) begins at 6.30 P.M and ends at 7.30 p.M. The Mahajans or the members of their families are advised to be present for the Shibikotsav whenever possible. The Shibikotsav is followed by Aarti and distribution of prasaad.
Kalyaann Mandap: (Shri Devakikrishna Sabhaagriha): This Kalyaann Mandap has been erected exactly at the place where it was known as ‘Chouki’ in olden times. It is always available for any celebration or gatherings of auspicious nature if one pays the necessary charges. It is having all sorts of essential amenities and no inconvenience can be experienced. There is independent dressing room, separate kitchen, and the space can accommodate about 5oo chairs for sitting capacity. This hall is always in great demand for various kinds of auspicious occasions. Therefore, booking it well in advance becomes absolutely necessary.
Yadnya Mandap: This Mandap has been completed recently in the space situated between the Shri Devakikrishna temple and the temple of Shri Bhumikadevi. It is available for Havan and Anushtthan etc. to be conducted by the Devasthan itself or by any Mahajan from time to time after paying the stipulated amount.
Communication arrangement for conducting rituals: Those Mahajans who intend performing any rituals, for booking the rooms in the Agarsaal or for arranging the Brahmins for the purpose or for getting any essential paraphernali for the ritual, it becomes absolutely necessary to inform well in advance to avoid inconvenience. The phone nos. of the Devasthan clerk is 0832-2287743 or 2287997. The person concerned notes down the dates and other necessary information regarding any Mahajan’s needs. In case the ritual is to be performed in absentia, the necessary charges may be remitted by Money Order or through the issuance of cheques to be sent by post the address being Shri Devakikrishna Ravallnaath Saunsthaan, Pandaw wada, Mashel-Ponda, Goa 403 107.The Devasthaan may even be contacted through Email the address for which is Verlekar@ sanchar net.com. Those who contact the Saunsthaan by Email may remit the necessary amount of charges after the ritual is performed.
The Developmental works completed recently: The Managing Committee of the Devasthan looks after the maintenance and supervision of the rituals etc. quite promptly and efficiently. Simultaneously, it also takes up developmental activities without disturbing the present set-up regarding maintaining the sanctity and sacredness of the vicinity and gets the projects completed through enthusiastic and wholehearted active and financial co-operataion of the Mahajans. Following are some of the works which got completed quite recently:-
1) Separate tenements are constructed for Pujaris to stay. This facilitated the availabilit of two rooms in the Agarsaal for Mahajans. Similarly, the spaces under the houses built for the pujaris has been made available for shops on a long term basis which shall obtain extra income for the Devasthan.
2) One more storey has been constructed on the existing Agarsaal. This has made provision for ten more rooms. On account of this addition, now altogether 30 rooms are available for the use of the Mahajans.
3) Silver work has been undertaken on the doors of sancturm sanctora of shri Devakikrishna, Shri Bhumika, Shri Ravallnaath Deities.
4) The Arc standing in front of the Garbhagriha Sandhya Mandap in the Shri Devakikrishna temple and the Sabha Mandap has been decorated by embossing in silver the Dashaavtari figures.
5) The masks of Shri Devakikrishna and Shri Ravallnaaths have now been coated with gold which has enhanced the beauty of these idols.
6) A silver ‘Prabhaavall’ has been fixed around the idol of Shri Bhumikadevi.
7) In order to ensure safety and security of the temple, a bigger iron gate has been installed in front of the Shri Devakikrishna temple.
8) ‘Devavan’ (Gardening) project was undertaken in order to beautify the surroundings of the temple and was completed. From Shri Bhumikadevi upto the Committee Office is a triangular space of about 500 sq. metres area. This has been beautified by planting specially ordered flower plants and a green lawn has also been cultivate and nurtured. This has enhanced the beauty of the vicinity and has helped in making the place more pleasant. The favourite flowers of Gods as mentioned in the ancient scriptures and ‘Richas’ have been meticulously selected and cultivated for instance, Champak (‘Chanfaa’), Surangi, Mogra etc. The fragrance emanating from the flowers from the ‘Devavana’ and the peaceful cold atmosphere effected by the greenery and the lawns give special peace of mind and pleasure for Mahajans and other devotees.
9) Apart from these major projects and schemes, many miscellaneous smaller works have been undertaken and completed. For example, renovation of the Daaddsankall temple, replacement of the old iron chairs by the modern plastic ones in the Hall, independent kitchen for the Sabha Mandap, Garbhagriha and in the Pradakshina area, the flooring has been made of the granite, improvement in the kitchen of the Bhojanalaya are only a few which may be mentioned here.
10) The Committee Office has been shifted in the same former building on the ground floor by acquiring the additional space which was available at the Canara Bank which had been given to them on long time lease basis . This has been done with effect from 27th September 2003. The shifting of the Committee Office to the ground floor has made it more convenient and easier for Majahans to contact the Office easily without taking the trouble of climbing the stairs.
6. Future Plans.
The Managing Committee now intends to undertake the following plans and projects and complete them with the active financial co-operation of the philantropic Mahajans in the near future.:-
1) Reconstruction of the Atri Gotri Mahajans’ devasthanaas of Kulapurush Shri Ram Purush and Mhallepurush:- The decision to this effect was taken in the meeting of the Atri Gotri Mahajans held on 22/06/2003. The necessary prasaad from Shri Bhumikadevi has also been obtained in this connection and then with proper performance of the prescribed rituals, the idols were shifted on 16.10.2003 into the Shri Bhumika temple and the usual rituals of ‘pooja archaa’ etc. continue as usual over there. The ‘Bhoomi poojan’ and the ancillary rituals for building the new temple were duly pereformed on 21.11.2003. Now the reconstruction work has been already in progress.
2) The reconstruction of Shri Bhumika Devasthan: It has been a long standing request of the Mahajans to take up this project. Shri Bhumikadevi’s prasaad was taken in this connection on 22.06.2003 and it has been decided to take up this project in the near future.
3) Renovation of the Panchishtta Devasthanas: The Mahajans’ request in this regard shall also be met if the above mentioned projects take concrete shape. For instances,
4) Converting the door of the Garbhagriha of the devasthan of Daadsankall into a silver one.
5) Making silver ‘Prabhaavallis’ for panchishtta deities.
6) Making ‘prabhaavallis’ for the idols of Ram Purush Mhalle purush after the reconstruction of those devasthanas.
7) To prepare the Website of the Devasthana to facilitate easy and quick access and prompt communication between the Mahajans and the Devasthaana. The experts in modern technology of the younger generation have been helping the Devasthan in this regard.
8) The six rooms on the first floor of the Office building need renovation which shall be soon undertaken and they shall be available for Mahajans’ use.
It has to be mentioned here that the Mahajans have, upto now, been always generous in lending their helping hand both, financially as well as by taking the initiatives in other ways towards various projects big and small with a feeling of sacred duty towards their Kuladaivatas. On the contrary, they have taken upon themselves as their lucky privilege to have been able to do so, which speaks of their awareness of the gratitude towards their revered Deities. It has hitherto been the sequence of events that the Devasthan should undertake some project, announce it to the Mahajans and make an appeal for donations and help and the generosity of the Mahajans will flow and follow in no time. It is hoped this generous tradition shall continue even in future and it will be possible to undertake the future plans and projects and they shall get completed within the stipulated time-frame. By the grace of Lord shri Devakikrishna, the Mahajans have been making progress in whatever endeavours they undertake,in leaps and bounds. The Mahajans of this Devasthan have been scattered and living happily all over this country of ours and also elsewhere the world over. Wherever they might be living , far and wide throughout the cross-section of the world: one thing is to be noted that they do not forget their Kuladevata. Hence, the flow of visits of these Mahajans to the Devasthan has been on the rise day by day. This makes it necessary for the Managing Committee to make necessary Plans and Projects for the future to meet the ever growing needs of the Mahajans. And this planning needs to be done right now because the Time is moving at a much faster rate. This is the reason the proposals and suggestions for future are reaching the Committee quite often which are taken due note of by the Committee. And by the grace of the Lord and generous help from the Mahajans, so far most of our projects have been taking concrete shape.
7. ‘Kullaachaar’ and Duties.
The Mahajans of Shri Devakikrishna have certain ‘kullaachaar’ (family customs and traditions) concerning their family Deity and they have been observing them meticulously over generations. The elders in the family have been passing the information and knowledge about these family traditions to the posterity and this relay of information has been going on. The devotion minded younger generations of these Mahajans have also been responding in due measure and perform some ritual with sincerity and faith. Herein below is given some more information in a nutshell for the benefit of the Mahajans, particularly the younger generation about these family customs, traditions and their duties towards their family Deity:-
1) At the time of every happy and auspicious occasion in the family, certain amount should be kept aside for performing some ritual to pay obeisance to the family Deity and invoke His blessings which may be called as ‘Devdakshinna’ ( either in cash or in kind to be offered to the family Deity as and when the occasion arises for the ritual. Ater one’s plan, project, auspicious occasion is over, the same amount should be deposited at the Devasthaan and the receipt for the same should be obtained from the Devasthaan.
2) If there is a tradition of taking the prasaad before any auspicious occasion in the family, the practice should be strictly adhered to.
3) If any Mahajan comes to the Shri Kshetra Mashel after a journey, the first thing the head of the family should do is to keep a coconut before the Deity and take His blessings and then only proceed for other schedules whichever they might be. Then the other rituals may be performed as per the individual choice or the convenience.
4) As far as possible remain present during festivals like the Zatrotsav, Maha Rathotsav, fortnightly Shibikotsav etc. and obtain peace of mind. It is the experience of innumerable Mahajans that one gets real peace of mind and tranquility by doing so on account of the sacred and refreshing environment available only at such Devasthanas and the troubles if any are easily forgotten.
5) In case anyone cannot remain present personally, on account some commitment or for other exigencies, a person may be deputed in absentia who should break a coconut on the wheel of Deity’s Ratha invoking the blessings of the family deity for protection of the family and its interests. If this too is not possible, then some cash may be sent to the Devasthaan for performing some ritual on behalf of the family during some festival at the Devasthaan and request the prasaad to be sent by postal service.
6) The main festival of the Devasthaan are: Ram Navami, Navraatri, Malini Pournnimaa, Janmaashttami. On these days some religious ritual like the Santarpann may be performed as per the family tradition in the family wherever it may be residing; a Brahmin and a Suvasini may be invited for lunch and thereafter give them some ‘Dakshinaa’ (religious or auspicious donation) and the host should fast on that day. If there is the custom of making pooja at home, it may be resorted to along with the ritual of offering thousand leaves of Tulsi too (‘Sahasra Tulshi Arponn’). The Deity should be shown the ‘naivedya’ made out of pressed rice (‘Pohe’).
7) On the day of the Malini Pournnimaa, the seniormost suvasini in the family, by eating only once, should visit Mashel and in the temples of Shri Devakikrishna, Shri Bhumikadevi and the Ravallnaath, during the period between the morning and the Maha Aarti, light the ‘Divaz’ (a lamp of five wicks) should stand before the Deity by touching the lamp to the forehead and simultaneously pray for the welfare of the family. Thereafter the oil in the ‘Divaz’ should be offered to the Bhaavinn.
8) A married daughter of any Mahajan too is supposed to remember the Deity of the parental family. Whenever it is convenient, she is supposed to visit the parental family Deity, stand at the door of the ‘Garbhaagaar’ and keep 1 kg. Of rice, 1 coconut and ‘Vidda Dakshinna’ (some cash) and request the Deity to accept the offerings given in obeisance to invoke the blessings. So also, she should pray for the protection and welfare of her husband as well as the other members of her family. The performance of this ritual is called ‘Pudd Arpann’. As per this tradition, a married daughter from Dharwadkar family should do so at the temple of shri Bhumika, the daughter of a Mahajan of Piso Ravallu in the temple of Piso Ravallnaath and like wise in the case of other families too, the suvasinis are expected to carry forward the family tradition.
9) Depending upon the respective family trations, one must remain present to take the Koul prasaad and the Raakhnnecho prasaad at the time of the ‘Avsar’.
10) Some families sponsor the offering of the ‘Ufaar’ (‘Upahaar’ or ‘An’nakoshvidhi). The Mahajans should make it a point to be present at the ritual. Similarly, the ‘saangnnem’ (a kind of ‘garaannem’) is said. This ritual too should not be missed.
11) After every auspicious occasion or celebration in the family, the Mahajan must visit the family Deity, e.g. the parents with the ‘Battu’ after the thread ceremony, a married couple with the child if it is new born, so on and so forth. The thanksgiving prayer does not go in vain. If there is any calamity and the Mahajan might have come safely out of it, he must visit the family Deity for thanksgiving.
To sum up, it may be said in short that a Mahajan should always remember his Kuladevata and maintain touch with the Devasthan as often as possible; give all possible assistance in whichever way possible to the plans and projects which the Devasthan has undertaken or is going to undertake in future and be worthy of receiving the constant blessings of the family Deity.
--- by B.D.Satoskar.
( The Devasthaan had released quite a few magazines by way of Souvenirs on the occasion of many festivals that are held periodically at the Devasthaan. Some of the articles published in these souvenirs were written by scholars, and painstakingly studious dignitaries. Normally, the life and nature of the Souvenirs is supposed to be transitory and topical. This is the reason, why quite a few articles and writings in these Souvenir Magazines goes unnoticed. They do not get the kind of respect and honour they, in fact, really deserve and the souvenirs too are laid aside summarily. As a matter of fact, many writings in such souvenirs are indeed worth preserving for future reference. An illustrious son of Mashel, renowned journalist, writer and publisher Shri B.D.Satoskar is a very familiar name in the Goan and Maharashtrian Marathi literary circle. Two of his fine articles were published by the Devasthaan in their Souvenirs 25 years ago. Those articles give useful information about the history, ancient references and the popular legends which are worth noting. These are reprinted here so that the readers of this book about the history of the Devasthan might supplement his knowledge by additional information provided by a renowned personality from Mashel itself. It is hoped, the Mahajans will surely appreciate these articles and read them with pleasure.)
1. Shri Devakikrishna Saunsthaan
The Ponda Taluka may be called the heart of Goa. It is said, Lord Maruti’s heart was entirely occupied by one single entity and that was Lord Rama and nothing else. Likewise, it may be said that the Ponda Taluka is entirely occupied by Gods and Deities. So many gods have come here to settle down. There are innumerable temples in every village of Ponda. Among all these villages, the one with maximum number of temples is no other than Mashel. There are at least four to five Shantadurgas alone; and there is one Vitthoba; there are Durga and Dat’ta and also the Great one from the Yadukula (‘Yadukulashreshttha’) Lord Shrikrishna along with seven to eight member family has also come to reside here.
I say, Lord Krishna has come to reside because, with the exception of the Gramdevi of Vorgaon and the Vitthoba from the Old Market, all the other ten to twenty Deities came to Mashel only before about two hundred years. Among all these, what we are trying to get to know is Shri Devakikrishna and the other Deities of His family.
Shri Devakikrishna and other Deities of His Family in Mashel.
Among all the temples in Mashel, the one of Shri Devakikrishna is the biggest and it is located slightly on a higher altitude from the road level. One has to climb a few steps to enter the compound of the temple. The building of the temple is not as old as that of some of the temples in Ponda Taluka or in Mashel itself. It may be presumed to be about a hundred and fifty years old. There is a small temple of Bhumika from Chodan to the right hand side of this temple. A little distance away, but at the back side is the temple of Ravallnaath, who is referred to as ‘Piso Ravallu’. There is the temple of Laxmi Ravallnath to the left of the Devasthaan. There is a spacious maidan in front of the Devasthaan and beyond that, in a small sort of temple are the residences of Deities Katyayani, Chodanneshwar, Mahadev and Daaddshankar or Daaddsankall. Quite far away one locates the temple of Mal’linaath. All these temples taken together constitutes the Shri Devakikrishna Saunsthaan.
There are, in Ponda Taluka, some huge, pompous and rich temples in some of the villages. Shri Devakikrishna is not so gorgeous, huge, rich or pompous in comparison to them. But there is a noteworthy speciality about this particular temple. There is nowhere else such a spacious maidan in front of any other temple just as one finds here at Mashel. This is exactly the maidan where one small zatra on the Poush shud’dh Dwitiyaa and a big one on Pousha Pournnimaa called the Malni Punav are held annually. That is the time when the entire vicinity is agog with all sorts of people and shops. The maidan cannot accommodate the big congregation and people get splashed and overflow on the roads too. The speciality of the Pournnimaa festival is the famous Rathotsav at night. Coupled with this, another speciality which may be mentioned about this Devasthaan is that, there is no lake here anywhere near any of the temples which one usually and almost invariably finds at most other temples.
Deities originally from Chodan.
All these Deities are originally of the people of Chodan. They came from that village originally. The territory of Goa was established by Parshuram before about four thousand and five hundred years. He won vast kingdoms by making the entire earth devoid of Kshatriyas and later donated it to his Guru. Then he came down to Goa. He brough Dashagotri Brahmins from Brahmavarta and performed a Yadnya. This is said in the Sahyadri Khandda. These Brahmins brought their family Deities
along with them. Shri Devakikrishna was one of them.
This Devakikrishna was established on the Chudaamani (Chodan) island by these Brahmins and some of the Brahmins of the Panchagotras started staying in that village. Konkannakhyan says---
“ Aatam Bhatagraminche tini graam/tyamajim chudamani prathama/
Kshetrasthaan mahimaa ut’tama/brahman samuday udandd//
Kashyapaadi panch gotri/brahmann vasati tya kshetrim/
Jamadagni Bharadwaj Atri/kaushika koundinnya aannikahi//
Kshetr thor devasthane bahuta/tyamaajim chyar mukhya aheta/
Mahi motthi oorja bahut/mahotsaha hota sarvadaa//
Eka Devakikrishna vikhyati/dusri Mahamaya Bhagawati/
Ravallnaath donhim sthaanem asati/gavonnwada aanni paanndisi//”
Religious Persecution during Conversion Period
A Portuguese Officer named Francisco Paes wrote a book entitled ‘Tombo da Ilha de Goa e das Terras de Salcete e Bardes’. He has given the list of all those temples from Chodan which were destroyed around the year 1540. The following names are also found in that list:- Ganesh, Ravallnaath, Bhavkaadevi, Mal’lanaath, Bhagwati,Devaki, Santa Purush, Baaraazonn, Narayan, Kanteshwar, Chanddeshwar and Dhaddsankall.
In 1510, Afonso de Albuquerque captured the Goa Island from Adilshaha of Bijapur and soon he also conquered the islands of Divaaddi, Chodan and Zumvem. Initially, the Portuguese anihilated the ruling Muslims and Hindus were not touched. But they started converting the Hindus to Christianity from twenty years later and after thirty years they destroyed all the temples from these islands; they built Churches at the same places and annexed the properties and lands belonging to these temples and gave them to the churches for their maintenance expenses. Sufficient evidence can be obtained from history to show that all these temples were destroyed before 1541.
Shifting of Deities.
The temples got destroyed. Many Hindus of various castes from Chodan got converted; those who were not prepared to become Christians left their respective villages and went to other places. But they did not leave their deities behind. Of course, this should not mean that they ran away with the heavy marble or stone or bronze idols. But they carried with them the ‘Sasay’ (the holy, symbolic presence) of Gods and idols with them. This was also in the form of coconuts or the pots of water (‘jala-kalash’) Some went to Canara district in the South right upto even Cochin in Kerala and in the North in Maharashtra upto Rajapur. There were Hindu rulers at these places at that time. They gave shelter, protection and asylum to these Goan
exiled Hindus and their sacred deities. The Exodus of Hindus that went to the South also included some Hindus from Chodan. One finds today at Kagal in North Kanara District a big temple of Shri Devakikrishna. There is also an idol of Mal’lanath in it. Many festivities are held there throughout the year. Rathotsav for instance. The reason could be that somebody from Chodan must have taken the ‘sasay’ of his family Deity to that place when he migrated from Chodan. There are also temples of Laxmi Ravallnaath at Hiregut’ti and Karkal in the North Kanara district. There is a ‘chhatra’of Shri Devakikrishna in the possession of a Naik family called Supir, they say. It is also said that some Krishnabhat’ta from Mangalore has a ‘Kavacha’ of this Deity from Goa.
Shifting of Deities at Vaddem ward of Mayem village
It is true that this huge exodus and migration of people to neighbouring territories also included people from Chodan. But not so much in large numbers. They preferred to migrate closer by where they could also carry heavy idols of their deities along with. Some went to the neighbouring Bhatagram-Bardes regions. This region was under the domain of the Adilshah of Bijapur, a Muslim ruler. But the local advisers and ‘rulers’ in reality were Hindus and they had influence in the Darbar.So the Hindus escaped harassment in the Muslim kingdom. On the contrary, Hindus who had migrated to that Muslim kingdom managed to get full protection along with the safety to their Deities. Most of the idols from Chodan were taken to a place called Vaddem in the village of Mayem in the neighbourhood through canoes. The Hindus from Chodan also started staying there alongwith their families. The village Deities (Grammdevis) from Aldona and Chimbel also were taken to Mayem for protection. That is the reason why there are, even today, families which mention their surnames as Chodankar, Haldankar, Chimbelkar etc.
It may be presumed that Shri Devakikrishna most probably lived at Mayem for about two hundred and twenty five years alongwith his Deity Family. The Deity might have been shifted to the village of Mashel after the Bhatagram region passed on in the hands of the Portuguese rulers, say around the year 1780. This presumption got confirmation from old villagers of the Vaddem region in Mayem when we conducted the enquiries.
How come Devakikrishna in Goa?
It has been said above that the Brahmins who were brought to Goa by Parshuram also brought their Deities with them and they included Lord Shri Devakikrishna as well. But it is strange that such a combination of two names like Devaki+ Krishna is nowhere to be found throughout India. The joint names of Lord Krishna that are normally and commonly found are: Yashodakrishna, Radhakrishna etc. It is true as the legend has it that it was Devaki who gave birth to Shri Krishna but he does not seem to have enjoyed her company sufficiently. So the question that arises is, how and wherefrom did come the idea of the temple of Shri Devakikrishna at Chodan? The answer to this question can be located in one of the tales in the ‘Harivaunsha’. The 18th battle between Lord Krishna and Jaraasandha took place at the base of the Gomanta Mountain. Kaalayavan was helping Jaraasandha. Devaki came to the south, apprehensive of the fact whether or not Shri Krishna shall be victorious in the battle. However, Lord Shri Krishna managed to defeat Jaraasandha after all and he also destroyed Kaalayavan through Muchkunda; and when on his way back, he happened to meet Devaki on the Chudamani (Chodan) island.I have related this tale of victory of Lord Shri Krishna based on the tale from ‘Harivaunsha’ and legends which have come down to us by tradition in greater details elsewhere. The readers may kindly go through it for enlightenment.
Temples at Chodan, the Original Place
Shri Raghurai Tamba and myself visited Chodan and the place called Vaddem near Mayem recently to see the original spots of our family Deity. If I describe in short what we saw there, then it will certainly benefit all those persons whose ancestors originally hailed from Chodan.
It must be said at the very outset that all the original religious places of Hindus at Chodan were completely destroyed by the Portuguese rulers. Today nothing is visible except some dubious stray remnant of the ruins. The laterite stones of the old temple too are conspicuous by their complete absence. Not only the parapets or the ramparts, but even the faint signs of foundations are not evident anywhere. One only hears the names of six wards in Chodan which have still come down to us because they are still in use with some slight variations. People only mention that the temple was at such and such spot or the lake was at a particular place, that’s all. But the information that is thus given appears to be authentic after all. Malnaath wada and Gavonn wada.
We proceed to Chodan after crossing the Ribandar ferry and move towards the western side, through the narrow path, the road from which proceeds to a waddo or ward called Madel. This is the Malnaath wada of the ancient times. Here one finds a stone placed as a memorial to indicate the spot where once stood the temple of Malnaath. This place has been purchased by the Hindus from Madel and have erected a temple there. The spot where once upon a time a lake existed was also being shown to us.
As one proceeds Eastward from here one comes across the Aavnne wada. On the left hand side of the road there stood in ancient times the temples of Katyayani, Chodaneshwar, Mahadev and Laxminarayan. A little further you go and you come across the Gavonn wada. There is a downward sloping field here. At this place of the field once stood the temple of Laxmi Ravallnaath. If we dig deep for excavation, one can find the remnant stones of the temple’s ruins. The only one sign now visible of the ancient temple is a ruined pillar. A very small portion of it is existing at present. There is a well close by. A certain student of history, a German lady named Greetly Mittle warner had recently come down to Goa to study the sculpture of temples and churches in Goa. She conducted the research about this well too. Therein she found a ‘Veergoll’. It was removed from the well and now it is placed on the parapet of the Oudumbar tree standing nearby. This piece of marble which resembles a ‘Veergoll’ must be one of the ruins of the temple! Of course this is the belief of the local people. But, in fact , it is almost certain that it cannot be so; because although its shape resembles that of a ‘Veergoll’ and its base is peculiarly made in order to facilitate its planting at a place deep down on the land. The size also is almost as much as a normal ‘veergoll’ is supposed to have. Usually, there are three rows in which the inscriptional decorations are made on a ‘Veergoll’ which is also found on this stone. But usually, the inscriptional figures are of the battle in which the ‘veer’ or the brave warrior has martyred himself. However, this is conspicuous here by its absence. Instead, one finds the figures of musicians playing different instruments on this piece of stone. May be, these are the instruments to be played at the battle time! Normally, the first row shows that the martyr is up in the heaven in the company of ‘Apsaras’ or heavenly fairies. But here on this stone one finds that the upper row has been destroyed or worn out. That poses difficulty in knowing what exactly had been stone-carved over there.
The residents of Gavonn wada have recently erected a good temple here in which a wooden idol of Shri Vishnu is installed. Soon it will have a marble idol installed in its place.
Ruined Pandaw wada
Thereafter we come to the Pandaw wada which is quite a distance away from Gavonn wada. Although now this region is called Pandaw wada, the original name as mentioned in the ‘Konkannaakhyan’ it must have been ‘Paanndi wada’,so it appears.
The real meaning of ‘Paannad’or ‘Paannadi’ is the narrow path going in between enclosures or fencing on either side of it and passing through the village or the fields. This description still seems to be relevant looking at the paths seen here all around. Thus, etymologically, the place of ‘paannads’ must be the original name and through passage of time it has now become the Pandaw wada. One really does not know whether it has any connection with the Pandawas from the great Indian Epic Mahabharata.) The word ‘Gavonn’ must have been presumably derived from the word ‘Gaavnne’. There are quite a few villages in Goa known as ‘Gavnne’. There may be a ward in Chodan named as ‘Gavnne’. It is quite likely that this word has Kannada origin.
In Chodan at Pandaw wada, people only can show the spots where once stood the temple and the lake. A farm now exists where there was a lake once upon a time; and there are only some stray trees at the spot where stood a temple in ancient times.
Shri Devakikrishna Temple.
Now about the main Deity Shri Devakikrishna. The temple was standing near the Gavonn wada on the side of Divadi which means to the South of the village. There too, one finds no sign whatsoever of the ancient temple. However, the locals do show for certain the spots where the temple stood and the lake existed. The lake has now been completely flattened and buried. However, there seems to be no doubt that the temple of Shri Devakikrishna definitely stood at that particular place; because here at the time of the Holi festival or in any other public festival, here at this place is the first obeisanc paid to the Deity and then only all villagers go to the ‘Maand’ (the public religious spot) and the ‘khelles’ (participants of the Shigmo festival) start from here in the beginning and then go to Madel and then elsewhere.
The Portuguese relaxed their policy of religious persecution and recalled the people who had fled away from the village. Many villagers from Chodan returned to their homeland and started farming. Today we find the original dwellers of Chodan so also many outsiders who came and settled down in the village. All these Hindus of different castes and surprisingly, many Catholic converts too have faith in the Devakikrishna. Hindus from Chodan and Catholics too visit Mashel, do the ‘Aangvonn’ (prayer and promise or vow) visit Mashel for the ‘prasaad paaklli’. The Hindu villagers of all the six wards of Chodan visit Mashel on the day of Shravan shud’dh Trayodashi and perform Rangapooja for Shri Devakikrishna and devi Bhumika. The temple Bhumikadevi was located close to the temple of Shri Devakikrishna in Chodan. The Daadsankall temple, however, was situated far away at a distance where there stands a lake even today.
Temples in the Vaddem Village.
It has already been mentioned before that all these Deities were initially shifted to the Vaddem village near Mayem before being finally taken to the village of Mashel. Here in Vaddem too, the temples of all these Deities were erected close to each others’. The ruins of these temples can still be seen very close to the roads. The ruined laterite stones of most of these temples could be seen until recently right on the roadsides. But later, the villagers took them away for personal construction projects. There was a forest which had grown in this area for some years. Even today, there can be seen some forests there and also the thorny bushes abound. But if one does the treking by foot, one definitely stumbles on the stones which have been the parts of the ruins of the ancient temples. One can imagine the magnitude and the grandeur of those ancient temples by just looking at these huge stones. Right in the beginning itself, the border of Pandaw wada is visible close to the main road. The Chowgule company has constructed a small ‘ghumatti’ (small temple), taking into consideration the religious sentiments of the villagers here. For their massive iron ore mines are located close by along this route which proceeds further on towards Shirgao, and other places.
A little distance away from the border of Pandaw wada was the temple of Ravallnaath. Although, only its foundation can be seen even now, the pillar in front of it is still standing as it had been for centuries. It is standing because it has been surrounded and entangled in the huge roots and the trunsks of some tree. That is the reason even a single stone from it cannot fall to the ground. This has not happened even though two centuries have passed. The same type of a pillar (‘Stambha’) has been erected at the Pandaw wada Ravallnaath temple in Mashel. But it has not been sanctified or solemnised as yet and hence it is not being lighted even on festive occasions. We came to know from some elders when we visited the place that it is so because, the solemnisation of the stambha at Mashel cannot be undertaken as long as the ancient one is still standing at Mayem; and the one at Mayem is not prepared to budge an inch even after so many years!
You go a little further at Mayem and you still find the foundations of the temples of Shri Devakikrishna, Bhumika and some other Deities. However, it is impossible to guess with certainty that a particular temple of a particular Deity was located at a given place. The only exception is about the Gavonnwada Ravallnaath temple. The locals of Vaddem-Mayem give authentic information about this one. There is a huge tree standing near the well which was located at that temple. A little distance away, however, the lake of the Laxminarayan (Gavonnwada) is completely visible. The steps have been ruined. However, one can imagine the kind of masonry went into the making and building ot it. One still finds water in the lake.
Transfer to Mashel.
It cannot be said with authenticity as to exactly when these Deities of the people of Chodan were shifted to Mashel from Vaddem-Mayem village. The three talukas of Pednnem, Sat’tari and Bhatagraam transferred hands from the Sawantwadi rulers to the Portuguese during about two hundred years ago. The shifting of the Deities from Vaddem to Mashel must have taken place after this transfer of rulers. But why did this happen at all? The history does not indicate that the Portuguese had indulged in religious persecution or conversions during this period. May be, after the change in rulers, the Mayem Gram panchayat might have been dissolved and the establishment of ‘Conde de Mayem’ (Count of Mayem) might have been appointed who might have started harassaing the Hindus and might even have started desecrating their Deities. The elderly villagers do say that the Deities were shifted to avoid harassament by the Portuguese.
There were some landed properties of Shri Devakikrishna Devasthaan in the Vaddem village. It was a custom and tradition being followed until recently that the first fruits from the land of Shri Devakikrishna Devasthan used to be taken to Mashel for offering to the original proprietor the Deity Himself.
These Deities came to Mashel and the small or big temples of both the Ravallnaaths, Malnaath, Daaddsankall etc. were erected immediately by their respective Mahajans. This is evident from the kind of sculpture that one notices at these temples. The style of this sculpture is similar to the ones we find in the regions of South Konkan, Goa and Karwar. Comparatively, Shri Devakikrishna’s temple was built much later. The idol of Shri Devakikrishna brought from Chodan was at first housed at the place known as the ‘Chouki’ for quite some years. Thereafter, the temple was built in due course of time. The ‘Shillalekh’ (stone with carvings as a historical record) indicating some details about the erection of the temple is available. But the letters engraved on it have either gone faint or disfigured. Yet, Shake 1749 as the year has been deciphered; which means that the present temple must have been built in the year 1827 according to the International Calendar. The proof of the fact that the idol initially was kept at the house called ‘Chouki’ is that, during the ritual or festival of ‘Anvlli Bhojan’ the palanquin carrying Shri Devakikrishna’s idol still visits the ‘Chouki’ and after the observance of naivedya follows the ‘Santarpann’. It is presumed that the pooja idol which one finds today at the sanctum sanctorum must have been the original one which was brought from Chodan via Vaddem-Mayem; for the simple reason that it has been pretty disfigured and worn out on account of passage of time. It may indeed be older than one hundred and fifty years.
Festivals and Idols
Just as the other temples in Goa, the temples of the Deities of the people of Chodan in Mashel also has its own stock of festivals and zatras. However, the number of festivities in the Shri Devakikrishna Devasthaan far exceeds those in the case of the other temples and the Deities. From the religious point of view, the most important festival is the Zatras. Shri Devakikrishna’s zatra falls on Maargashirsha Shud’dha Trayodashi. The fortnightly Shibikotsav is held regularly throughout the year with the exception of the period of the Chaturmaas. The Shibikotsav too is invariably held on the day of Trayodashi. This means that Trayodashi is the most important day as far as this Devasthan is concerned. One may ask, why is the Trayodashi so important here? Is it so that the Deity was shifted from Vaddem-Mayem to Mashel on this date? Or is it that, the ‘Sthaapanaa’ of Shri Devakikrishna was held at Chodan on this day in ancient times?
All the people from Chodan used to worship Shri Devakikrishna and His Deity family at Chodan during the Portuguese regime. They included people from all castes and classes. The ‘sevekaris’ (people involved in the service to the temple) belonged to all the different castes. Even today, along with the Saraswats, people of all castes look upon Shri Devakikrishna as their own Family Deity. They participate in the zatras enthusiastically. Their womenfolk keep the ‘Divzams’ burning througout the nights. Especially during the ‘Man’ni Punav’ (Malini Pournnimaa) and during the ‘Biyechi zatra’ (on the day of Poush shud’dha Dwitiyaa).
Navratri, apart from the other festivals, is another very important festival at the Shri Devakikrishna temple. The speciality of this festival is the Kirtan of some famous kirtankar throughout all the nine nights of the Navratri and the ‘Makharotsav’ (swinging of the Makhar,the decorated huge framework with the Deity sitting in it). The festival on the day of Kaartik shud’dha Pratipadaa is also celebrated with great grandeur, pomp and rejoicing. This festival takes place under the sponsorship by the Sevekaris. Dancing the Ratha and firecrackers are the specialities at this time. Apart from these, the other festivals include Ram Navami, Krishna janmaashttami, Laxmipoojan, Kojaaguiri, Shimgaa, Kaalaa etc, are the festivals which go on throughout the year. Among these, the Dahimkaalaa and the Gavllonkaalaa are specially related with Lord Krishna. In all the temples of Lord Shri Krishna, one gets to see various forms of Lord Krishna of his adult or later life stage. However, it is only at the Udupi in Karnataka and Mashel in Goa one comes across the Lord Krishna in his childhood (‘Balkrishna’). At Udupi He hold a ‘Ravi’ (wooden churner used for churning of the curds, buttermilk etc.) whereas at Mashel he is sitting in the lap of His mother Devaki. Here, one can see the beautiful ‘Phannaamurtis’ of both Lord Krishna and His Devakimaataa. But their ‘Utsavmurtis’ (duplicate idols usually taken out in procession etc.). Lord Shri Krishna sits on his mother’s lap while sitting in the ‘paalkhi’ (palanquin), whereas he sits in the Ratha all alone. The murti which is there in the Ratha and which is made of ‘Tulsikaashttha’ is so beautiful that on seeing it, even an atheist shall fall in love with it and be a believer! The real festival of this Balakrishna is the Dahimkaalaa. On the next day of the Dahim kaalaa, laddoos or balls of Dahim mixed with the pressed rice (‘Pohes’) are distributed to all and sundry. The evening is spent with the celebration with the Gavllannkaalaa; this is based on the pranks and mischiefs of Lord Krishna in His childhood. There is a tradition of hundreds of years behind this Festival. It is true that similar Gavllannkaalaas are celebrated in other temples too. However, the tradition that lies behind the Kalaa held at the Shri Devakikrishna temple is the real tration or the Krishna ‘paramparaa’.
Thus is our Shri Devakikrishna Devasthaan. I had once shown in a researched article that Parshuram and Lord Krishna had both established or ‘colonised’ the Arya settlements in Goa. The other Deities have emanated or have acquired the forms through human imagination. Lord Shrikrishna has not emerged from any human imagination. This ‘poornnvtaar’ of ‘Parameshwar’ had personally visited Goa. He had visited and toured the entire Goa. He had offered the Arya Dharma to the UnAryas. He was the one who had brought the ‘Gopasaunskriti’ (Cow Culture) to Goa. Therefore, Lord Shri Krishna is the National Deity or the Prime Official Deity of Goa. I take this as my happy and fortunate privilege that I could worship him in this article with these ‘word-flowers’ (‘shabdasumanas’).
In the domain of Hindu Deities and in our ancient Kathas and Puranas, Lord Shrikrishna’s name is associated with Radha or Yashoda. The former was his friend, companion whatever you may call it. The latter was his adapted mother. It is not familiar that Lord Shriskrishna’s name is bracketed along with his own mother who gave him birth and that is Devki. The names Yashodakrishna, Radhakrishna, or Gopalkrishna are on the tips of tongues of all and sundry, young as well as old. However, the nomenclature Devki Krishna sounds odd and artificial, does it not?
However, in Goa at least nobody finds anything odd in this joint name called Devki–Krishna. Here in Goa child Balkrishna is resting happily on the lap of his mother Devki in the temple at Mashel. Lord Shri Krishna after having defeated the powerful enemies like Kaalayavan and Jarasandha. He took the form of an infant child and having gulped the milk from his mother’s breasts became fresh and energetic. The mother Devki had been desperately wanting and longing to meet her son and she was terribly worriedly wondering from place to place all over right from Mathura to Gomantak Mountain searching for her son. Luckily, she happened to meet him at Chudamani island. This tale is linked with this one and only one unique temple of Devaki Krishna in India.
Chudamani or Chodan is an island close to Old Goa city. Here itself the mother and the son met each other, so goes the legend. The temples on the Chodan island were destroyed by the Portuguese during the religious persecution and forcible conversions. That was the time when all the Deities migrated to other places. Devaki- Krishna went to Mayem village across the river. Hence, they were taken to Mashel. The Devaki –Krishna Mandir stands there to this date.
If it is accepted that Shri Krishna was a real historial person then one will have to believe his journey towards the south and entry into Goa has to be taken as a real happenings. This is not an imaginary incident from his life like the Kaliyamardam, lifting of the Goverdhan, Vishwaroop darshan shown to Yashoda and so many other miracles and mysteries. The epic of Mahabharat and our ancient scriptures Puran have discussed in details Shri Krishna’s Southern tour. Here is an attempt to relate, with the help of historical tales, Puranas and the legends, why Shri Krishna came to the south by leaving Mathura. His rule was very despotic. He had ascended to the throne by imprisoning his own father. The people in his kingdom were tired of his harassments and suppressive methods. Some people had plotted against him ultimately, in the open court (Darbar). Shri Krishna pulled him down from his seat of power (Simhasan) and broke his heal and placed his father Ugrasana on the throne.
This revolution in Mathura created a powerful enemy for Shri Krishna. King Jarasandha was the emperor of Magadha. He was the father-in-law of Kansa. He decided to avenge the killing of Kansa by Shri Krishna. He made an aggression on Mathura. Krishna had indeed anticipated such an eventually. He left Gokul and has come to stay at Mathura itself. He had taken upon himself the responsibility of protecting Mathura. Shri Krishna gave a fitting reply to the aggression by Jarasandha. He drew away Jarasandha himself and also his associate Gonand, the king of Kashmir and many other associates king friends of naturally Jarasandh got insulted and retreated. However, Jarasandh did not rest quiet after this ignominy. Once again he attacked Mathura. Again he was defeated. Thus Jarasandh made aggression on Mathura 17 times altogether and on every occasion he was defeated. On the 18th occasion however, he mol all his strength with the help of his strength with the help of his friendly kings and carried on aggression on Mathura once again. Shri Krishna by now had been tired and weakened by these persistently regular aggressions on Mathura. The Republic of Mathura was on the brink of getting wiped off. The youth energy and the resources were always exhausted. People too were not happy at all and Shri Krishna was heart broken and depressed for he felt he was the root cause of all this debate. Shri Krishna knew very well that Jarasandha had no enemity against the people of Mathura at large. However, he was trying to destroy Mathura only to avenge Kansa’s death at his hands. Besides, he had realized that he was not so well equipped to face this 18th aggression on Mathura run by Jarasandha. Therefore, he decided to use tact instead of the physical strength on this occasion.
He was also forced to use tact as a weapon for another reason. This time, Jarasandha was not the sole adversary, Yavana king Kaalyavan too had planned to attack Mathura. He was sufficiently provoked and coaxed by Jarasandha. Jarasandha too had been quite diplomatic on this occasion. Kaalayavan was originally the son of Gargyanrem born out of Gopakanya. But the emperor of Yavanas had adopted him hence he had become a Yavana. His ambition was to conquer the entire India. He was scared of only once person and that was Shri Krishna alone. In fact, Shri Krishna was not any emperor, or a king of any kingdom nor a prince of any region.
However, he had managed to defeat a powerful king like Jarasandha during previous aggressions. Therefore his status and stature in Kshatriya circles had almost touched the skies, so to say Kaalayavan too was quite terrified about Shri Krishna. However, he obtained the necessary booster from Janasandha in the nick of time. Kaalayavan made the preparation for the battle with the idea in mind that Shri Krishna would not be able to withstand two pronged attack, i.e. fighting our two fronts at a time against himself and Jarasandha, simultaneously.
Shri Krishna’s spies and messengers got the news of impending danger and he realized that it is impossible to face the aggression in the open arena. Taking on two powerful foes at a time was nothing else but an invitation for a sure defeat. Diplomacy and tact were the only alternatives. He devised such a diplomatic way out which as one might say to the credit of Shri Krishna that in the history of world, he was the first warrior diplomat to use such an ingenious tact. He decided to empty the Mathura city itself, just as they do nowadays when there is a bomb scarce. Emptying the Mathura city did not involve moving away the population alone. He had planned to transfer the capital itself. He had already planned and earmarked the place for a substitute capital. And it was located hundreds of ‘kosas’ (olden measurement of distance equivalent to about three miles) far away from Mathura in Saurashtra on the western coastal region, near the shores of the ocean. The process of shifting the population of Mathura to that place began in full swing. And the new Dwarka Nagari came to he colonized at the new location.
Shri Krishna had also made an experiment of having a cold war with Kaalayavana before he had maneuvered to put a black cobra (“ Krishna Sarpa) in a beautiful pot and had sent it to Kaalayavana as a gift. Perhaps, shri Krishna intended to convey the message indirectly that Kaalayavan should not investigate Shri Krishna who could prove to be a black cobra for him. But Kaalayavana too was not a small fry. He put in the same pot lakhs of tiny biting ants and returned the pot to Shri Krishna. Perhaps the meaning of his action was “you might be a black cobra. However, I have lakhs of warriors backing me and they can be too heavy for you to face.
Shri Krishna realized the implications of Kalayavana’s action and decided to use brain power instead of physical prowess to take on the enemy.
He advised the population of Mathura to migrate. However, shri Krishna himself did not leave for Dwarka. He had sensed that he was the real target of jarasandha and kaalayavan. He realized his chariot and along with balaram he went out of the second Mathura. He deliberately attracted the attention of the enemy towards himself so that the population could journey safely to Dwarka. Shri Krishna trick was successful on learning that shrikrishna had fled away and that Mathura lay desserted, jarasandh and kaalayavan set out on shrikrishna’s track. Shrikrishna and Balaram came right upto Karaveer (modern kolhapur) there on the banks of the river Venna they saw Parshuram sitting under a banyan tree. He had first reached there from Shuparika – Shrikrishna paid his respects by a namaskar to Parshuram and related to him the details of his running away and sought his advice. Parshuram was regarded as a great warrior and was considered to be the greatest of his times. He gave the message to the Balarama and krishna that he should go on the Gomant mountain and should fight against kaalayavan in the Durga style. The set up of the Gomant mountain peak is such as would give victory if the battle is fought there in Durga method. Parshuram did not stop only by saying so he accompanied Shrikrishna and Balaram himself right upto that place. A waterfall was flowing from the summit of the mountain. The hill was covered with all sorts of greenery, wild animals etc. the western sea and many island surround by rivers, lakes, creeks, etc were also visible. Some people conjure that this hill must be the tip of Guersoppa hills. However, the above descriptions aptly describes the Kuveshi hills to the east of Goa and the waterfall mentioned is no other than the famous Dudhasagar. This seems to be more feasible. For it is more matching with the following legend.
Balaram – Krishna came and stayed on the Gomant mountain soon. Jarasandh reached there with his mammoth army. According to the corroborations by Purannas, shrikrishna and Balaram were supplied with weapons here. He obtained the sudershan chakra and kanmodaki gadaa here itself. Whatever it may be, the 18th battle between jarasantha and shrikrishna was fought out in the region of eastern Goa. And having been defeated for the 18th time, jarasanthan returned crestfallen. In the case of Kalyavan, however, the legend which the Purannas like the Hassivarensha Padma puraann, Vishnu puranna, brahma puranna etc. say in rather strange and mysterious. But one thing, all these took place in Goa itself where these were capitals of the ‘Subhedars’ of rulers of Vijaynagar, Bijapur and the Portuguese in the Goa city.
Shrikrishna, after having defeated Jarasantha hid himself in a dark cave. This was the same cave in which Rajarshi Muchkunda was lying asleep for many years. Muchakunda was a great successful brave king. Gods had taken the help of Muchakunda to fight, against the Daityas. All gods were pleased with Muckakunda was so fatigued at that time, that he asked the boon of sleep for many eras and that if anyone disturbed him in his sleep should he reduced to ashes when he would first have a simple glance at him and that after this he should have the ‘darshan’ of shri Vishnu. This was the boon prompthy and happily granted by the gods.
Shri krishna entered the cave in which Muchakunda was asleep and then shrikrishna put his shawl on him and went and stood in a corner of the cave. He too followed shrikrishna into the cave and mistaking Muchakunda for Krishna himself he kicked Muchukunda. Now Muchakunda’s sleep got disturbed. He opened his eyes and looked at Kaalayavana and the latter was reduced to ashes as per the boon Muchakunda was given! Then Muchakunda turned his head and he had the ‘darshan’ of shrikrishna.
Leaving aside the illogical event of being reduced to ashes the other part of the legend that Kaalayavana got destroyed at the instance of Muchakunda and that shrikrishna bought it about on the strength of his intelligence remains to be believable. The cave at Old Goa in which Muchakunda is believed to have been pointed out. Today this area is known as Bramhapuri. This territory sanctified by the touch of the steps of Lord shrikrishna has become sacred place of pilgrimage traditionally for years together.
Now the following Krishna katha does not reveal history or purannas but is based purely on legend. Thus it goes -----------
The people from Mathura got the news that shrikrishna is running away to south. Devaki too got this news. She did not even imagine that there may be any battle diplomacy involved in this escape of her son. She felt Krishna was running away for there may have arisen some danger to his life. Her motherly heart was unconsolable. Krishna was really brought up by Yashoda she was the one who took all the troubles of learning up the child. She also saw all his childhood pranks and mischief, his habit of stealing and eating curd and milk. So also she faced all the complaints that used to be lodged against him. Her heart was terribly disturbed at the time of Kaliyamavdan. And when Indra effected the ‘Jalapralaya’ sends the excuse of ‘Gopooja’ she was terribly frightened until she saw him safe. Although, all this is understandable, the fact remains that shrikrishna was given birth not by Yashoda but it was Devaki who did so. Yashoda was his mother but the pangs of pregnancy had been faced and suffered by Devaki really. It was Devaki who passed those horrifying days due to fear of ruthless Kansa all these nine months of pregnancy. She used to be happy to learn about his valor and rising fame and strength. But she longed for his company and used to b desperate due to longings for him in her heart of hearts. Shrikrishna did meet Devaki publicity at the time of killing of Kansa. When he had declared that she was his real mother. People had been aware that shrikrishna real mother was Devaki and not Yashoda.
Even later she never got his company. Shrikrishna had no leisure on account of constant recurring battles with Jarasanadha and despite heartfelt longings he had no chance of living with her. Devaki got the news that shrikrishna was running away to the south and that Jarasandha and Kaalayavan are chasing him, while she was in such a disturbed state of mind. She was desperate and at her wit’s end and not knowing exactly what she should do. Her mind almost stopped functioning. The brain came to a standstill. She left the idea of learning for Dwarka along with the other population of Mathura and instead proceeded southwards.
She learnt in the Karveer city (now Kolhapur) that Balaram-Krishna’s chariot has first left ahead. She too proceeded n the same onwards path. She was terribly frightened on searching the base of the Gomant mountain. A big battle had been first fought at that place. There were dead bodies and bloodshed everywhere around. The trees and flora and fauns around had been wither charred, dried up or destroyed. Only the foxed, dogs and vulture’s were visible all around. As she was not accustomed to see such scenes before. She was naturally horrified at the sight of it. She could not first imagine which must have happened to her dear Krishna in such a havoc and holocaust. Her tender motherly heart almost melted. She started screaming and crying for Krishna. But somehow her inner mind was telling that his son must have escaped that devastation. But where could he located at the time? Which route might he have taken. He motherly heart would not been pacified unless and until she met him and hugged him to his heart. And lo! The miracle did take place. Her breasts were now overflowing with mother’s milk. The milk started flowing profusely. She first could not control it. So much so that the milk started flowing on the ground as if in a stream. She river of this snow white milk started flowing towards the towards the western side. It became a waterfall and started pouring heavily from the peak of the Gomant mountain. The legend has it that this water fall is no other than the ‘Dudhsagar’ waterfall of Goa. The stream of the milk then continued to flow on the ground level ahead.
Devaki started following the in the direction of this milk stream. She had realized that this milk had erupted from her breasts for shrikrishna and she must follow the track upto where the stream continued and reached. Here shrikrishna was first coming out of Muchakunda’s cave. Kalayavan had been destroyed at the hands of Muchakunda. His plans and wishes had been successful. He heard the gurgling sound of the stream of milk and also saw for himself that flow of the white streams. He could guess by his inner vision (insight antarduyaan’) he started walking briskly to locate his mother.
He saw Devaki on the chudamani island. Promptly, he took the form of a small child and he started flying and moving about under a Banyan tree. Devaki cast a glance at him and first as the milk was flowing from her breast now the tears started flowing from her eyes. Shrikrishna started forward and jumped on into her lap and embraced her neck. He started gulping the milk from her mother’s breasts like a terribly thirsty child. Devaki’s joy knew no bound. Only happiness was now circulating in her whole body! Her happiness was boundless. She was now prepared to spread at that place till the end of the world with the little Krishna sitting in her lap.
And she did as she had desired ardently at that time. Balakrishna who had been born in a prison in Mathura, who had grown up in the house of Nanda in Gokul and one who swam and played and had indulged in all sorts of
pranks on the bank of Yamuna was now resting in the lap of his mother devaki for giving her the immense happiness! And also for satisfying all his worships and devotees and to look after their welfare and protection in a village of Goa. And since then he has happily sitting in that posture and will continue to do so for ages to come until the end of the universe?
Viewpoint of Thinkers regarding Goan Temples
Temples in Goa have been standing erect silently, but they
suggest a lot about our ancient history to us. It is
necessary to study the ancestry and try to understand our
heritage. This is absolutely necessary. Our ancient
scriptures were preserved either by learning them by heart
and passing them to posterity by oral communication or
they were written on the leaves of the ‘Taadd’. Otherwise,
there was a great risk of those precious scriptures being
lost forever, forgotten or mutilated.
So many of the great and mighty kings and emperors
perished along with their vast empires. However, the great
temples they were instrumental in getting built are still
standing till date.
In Goa, the Hindus had to face religious persecution and
forcible conversions during the 16th century. The temples
from the Old Conquests i.e. Salcete, Tiswadi and Bardez
had to be shifted secretly beyond the borders of the then
Portuguese territory. Thus their safety was ensured. The
history tells us that the neighbouring territories where
the Portuguese rule did not extend were taken recourse to
in order to safeguard our deities and the temples were
built to house our deities. Wherever our ancestors went
along with our deities, the temples that were built are
still suggesting the story of their sacrifices to protect
our religion, deities and heritage. These huge and
gloriously beautiful temples were built in those times.
This has facilitated us to know our Indian culture and
heritage, so also our illustrious past.
Life is like a relay race. Every generation is supposed to
pass on the torch of culture and heritage to the next one
and thus the chain action has to go on. It becomes the
duty of every subsequent and following generation to make
the torch more dazzling and enlightening. If this sort of
improvement is not possible for some reason, the posterity
should at least see to it that the torch shall not
extinguish under any circumstances. The future generations
should at least retain and maintain the torch of culture
and heritage as illustrious as it was when it had come to
its hands. The present generation also owes it to the past
regarding the Goan temples in the same manner. Every
generation should take care of this principle and move
forward accordingly with conviction.