About hasanamba temple

Hasanamba Temple too has no ‘moola vigraha’ there! She is only present as a plain stone and anthill! Isn’t the sons of the soil who work on the field find the presence of the deity of a village in the stone or in the mud? The goddess Maheshwari is in the center and Brahmi and Kaumari are on her left and right. In this case there is no type of sculpture, as the’ Agamashastra’ is prescribed for a Temple. Yet their three faces are set in golden eyebrows, ears, nose and earrings to quickly recognize these three goddesses.  For the worship of Hasanamba Temple Devi, together with Turmeric and Kumkum, Sindhura is used.

The hands are shown on either side of the heads by arranging the bangle lines. There are golden palms on their ends. It completes the deity forms to view and recognize. The remainder of the goddesses bodies are left with the devotees’ imaginations. With these traces done to the stone, Saakaara and Saguna Swaroopa of three goddesses will be simpler for the devotees to recognize. In the form of numerous sarees, braiders, ankle chain, rings to the fingers and toes and necklaces of those who worship goddess, there are customs to make pledge. This has always been the unbroken tradition. The public’s loyalty is not beyond doubt! However, this goddess is also a family deity for many families (Kuladevatha).

The original Hasanamba Temple is a one-room structure. It has only one door and no windows. You can’t get it as a temple at first glance. In 2014, a Rajagopura was constructed to this ancient stony architecture on the entrance, preceded by the Vedic and Agamashastra rituals by a Vimana Gopuram on the sanctum sanctorum in 2015. The Hasanamba temple now has a formidable front look. These were built with the contributions of the public, the district administration and the help of the people’s representatives. This temple operates under the administration of DC and AC, and Taluk Tahsildar is overseer of it. There is also a committee for its administration. The precious ornaments belonging to the goddess are kept in the district treasury, and every year they are carried to the temple in a procession and returned to the treasury after the annual rituals of worship.

Hasanamba Temple Gopura
Rajagopura

The rituals of worship of the goddess are performed according to ‘Manashastra’. The Abhisheka (Holy Bath) is performed three times in those days during the opening days of the temple. On other days the water with flowers is sprinkled. The priests who perform pooja rituals as hereditarian rights carry out their duties. The worship practices are performed with great care. And no defects must exist. It should be done with great care and attention. Also very unique is the preparation of ‘Naivedya’ food. Those who prepare it, cover their mouths and nose with cloth to prevent contaminating it, with their saliva and breathing. The name of this Naivedya is ‘Magadha’. During the days when the Hasanamba temple is open, Maghaara is offered to the deity three times.

Some of the worship rituals are mysterious and priests perform them as they did in the years past. They are careful to avoid delays. We take care, since the unpleasant deity may bring personal misery to priests if they are violated. The doors of the temple being open on all days in a year to provide darshan to the devotees is a natural arrangement. But an exception to this is the darshan opportunity of this famous goddess Hasanamba Devi or Hasanamma. Her temple door is open only for a few days in the year and is closed on the remaining days.

On Thursday, after the full-moon (Poornima) in Ashwayuja, the temple door is opened every year for darshan and worship in the lunar calender. Following Balipadyami, the Hasanamba temple gate will be closed the next day. Therefore, the days of opening the temple are not suggested in the panchanga from a certain ‘thithi’ (day indication). Actually, it starts on a particular Thursday and runs up after Balipadyami the next day. As a result, it is impossible to determine each year the number of days the temple is open. For one year it can be as short as eight days, but in some other it can take as long as 12 days. The number of days thus ranges from one extreme to the next.

It is not clear how or why the number of days of the annual darshan tradition started. It did not generate much attention when it was just a temple of the village deity confined to one community of inhabitants. Nevertheless, the huge interest and excitement are also rising in the recent years as news has spread far and wide. The typical feature is the open days of the temple, which also occurs in the Panchangams. This tradition was only helped by its origin in a gruesome history. However, it is a rational practice in many aspects of life to rely on circumstantial evidence. For local customs can be found certain practices that serve as evidence.

Hasanamba Temple Opening of the Sanctum
Opening of the Sanctum

On Thursday, after the full-moon (Poornima) in Ashwayuja, the Hasanamba temple door is opened every year for darshan and worship in the lunar calender. Following Balipadyami, the temple gate will be closed the next day. Therefore, the days of opening the temple are not suggested in the panchanga from a certain ‘thithi’ (day indication). Actually, it starts on a particular Thursday and runs up after Balipadyami the next day. As a result, it is impossible to determine each year the number of days the temple is open. For one year it can be as short as eight days, but in some other it can take as long as 12 days. The number of days thus ranges from one extreme to the next.

Hasanamba Temple Opening of the Sanctum
Opening of the Sanctum

It is not clear how or why the number of days of the annual darshan tradition started. It did not generate much attention when it was just a temple of the village deity confined to one community of inhabitants. Nevertheless, the huge interest and excitement are also rising in the recent years as news has spread far and wide. The typical feature is the open days of the temple, which also occurs in the Panchangams. This tradition was only helped by its origin in a gruesome history. However, it is a rational practice in many aspects of life to rely on circumstantial evidence. For local customs can be found certain practices that serve as evidence.

In the past and even now Hassan city’s traditional houses do not grind hot chillies or pound them to cook, during the open days of the temple. Not only that, they don’t paint walls using lime paste with white clay called jedi (nowadays, though, this tradition of painting house walls with either lime and jedi is no longer done). Such activities create a suffocating environment, which roughes the eyes, induces tears and other irritations. But on other days of the year, when the Hasanamba temple door is closed, these limitations will not be present.

We can assume a historical scenario as the root cause of this activity that might have taken place long ago. If there is no rational answer to a question, is it not wise to make an intelligent imagination? Once upon a time this village deity’s small hut temple was kept open all year round for darshan as any other temple. People who lived there indulged in agricultural work mostly and for their daily food preparation they had to grind warm chillies or crush them in abundance and paint the walls of the houses in lime (paste with white clay) as usual.

They must have done this in abundance more than normal. That must have given rise to a pungent and suffocating air, which must have brought discomfort to the face of the goddess, causing a lot of tears. Tears of the goddess by the actions of her devotees! The goddess must have emerged in the dream of her priest or community leader and conveyed her discomfort (as it would fit into folklore imagination). This had to give the then villagers a fiery situation In their kitchen they can’t prepare hot delicious food or paint the wall of their house with lime so the goddess can stop her tears in distress. Then the villagers would have agreed with the deity. Accordingly, the temple gate should only be open for a few days a year. And the villagers avoided the incidents of pungency and suffocation in the air during those days. This would be beneficial to each other.

Sapthamathruke

Even the myth behind the temple’s founding is peculiar. Andhakasura, a demon who was unattackable to Brahma’s boons, had to be destroyed by Lord Eshwara. It is said that each drop of blood that drops from his body will create a new Andhakasura (a related Rakthabeejasura tale is also in Devimahatmya). To stop this, Maheshwari was created by Lord Shiva. The other gods have created their female counterparts and sent them to her to assist this female deity.

As Brahma’s shakthi form Brahmi, Lord Shiva’s shakthi form Maheshwari, Subrahmanya’s shakthi form Kaumari, Lord Vishnu’s shakthi form Vaishnavi, Varaaharoopi’s shakthi form Vaarahi, Indra’s Shakthi form Indrani and Mahaadevi herself was in Chamundi form. They thrived with their male counterparts weapons, ornaments and vaahanas. On distinct famous sculptural places of Hassan, we can see statues in Koramangala, Belur, Halebeedu and Nuggehalli: Sapthamathruke, Saalabhanjikas (arranged in a line of stone). These Sapthamathruke are claimed to have started from North Varanasi and moved south in search of appropriate places to permanently settle down.

The Sapthamathruke (Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamundi) reached in South India and were struck by the beauty of Hassan and decided to make it their permanent home. In the three anthills inside the Hasanamba temple, Brahmi, Kaumari, and Maheshwari decided to stay and Chamundi in Kenchamba’s Hosakote.
Indrani, Varahi and Vaishnavi have chosen the three wells in Devigere Honda (Devigere Kalyani), a lake in the immediate vicinity of Hasanamba, which now forms the Gandhi Bazar area of Hassan. It is said that the deities bathe and do penance in the lake so devotees are drawn in worshiping these deities in the lake. Indrani, Varahi and Vaishnavi are welcomed and worshipped here once a year when Hasanamba Temple is opened. The temple dedicated to Chamundi, other Sapthamathruke, remains at Kenchamba Hosakote approximately 35 kilometers from the town of Hassan where devotees worship this deity throughout the year.

Hasanamba Temple Devigere Kalyani 2
Devigere Kalyani
Hasanamba Temple Devigere Kalyani 1
Devigere Kalyani

An official who was present at the opening of the magnificent doors of the temple told Deccan Chronicle, “While closing the doors, the deities are adorned with flowers and the lamp is lit”. The ghee lamp burns throughout the remainder of the year when the shrine is closed. When the doors are opened, the thick smoke engulfs the sanctum sanctorum with the flickering lamp and the flowers still fresh inside.

The official makes it a point when the doors are sealed to ensure that they are airtight and that not even an ant can make its way inside. Contrary to the perception among devotees that food offerings were made to the deities within the sanctum sanctorum, the official version is that no such offerings are kept inside.

In the event if devotees miss a glimpse of the deities at the Hasanamba temple when it is kept open, three turmeric mounds that symbolize the deities— Brahmi, Kaumari and Maheshwari — are kept outside the temple entrance for devotees to offer prayers. Entry is forbidden to the public at the time of naivedya (food offering).

Hasanamba Temple - Sose Kallu

At the sanctum sanctorum, there is a small stone right in front of the deity’s statue. The name of this stone is Sose Kallu. A unique story is attached to this stone. A mother-in-law, who used to taunt her daughter-in-law at home every day, pursued her with fury on a day and saw her daughter-in-law standing before the goddess and meditating. The angry mother-in-law screamed at her saying, “Is the Darshan of goddess more important to you than household duties?” Also, the mother-in-law took a cup (Chandra Battalu) lying by the side and thrashed it on the daughter-in-law’s forehead. The daughter-in-law teared up, “Oh mother Hasanamba, please protect me,” unable to bear the pain after being wounded. Moved by the daughter-in-law’s plea and loyalty, the mother goddess, offered her a blessing to stay close to her.

The daughter-in-law is said to still reside there in the form of a small stone. The stone, daughter-in-law, is believed to keep moving forward to the extent of a paddy grain every year and it is said that the Kali Yuga will stop the moment she hits the goddess feet. The stone can still be seen at the sanctum sanctorum, symbolizing the daughter-in-law.

Kallappana Gudi

Once, four thieves tried to steal the ornaments of the temple. The goddess Sri Hasanamba Devi cursed and turned them into stones These stones are present for us to witness the miracle of the deity at the adjacent temple which is named as Kallappana Gudi.

Siddeshwara Swamy

The temple premises, with an entrance tower (Rajagopura) of about 81 feet, consecrated 101 lingas in one location, as well as the Siddeshwara shrine. The sanctum has a stone with image of Arjuna receiving Shiva’s Pashupatastra, with some animals.

 

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