Chaitanya's Life and Teachings

by Krishna-das Kaviraj | 1922 | 90,709 words

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is revered by devotees as an incarnation of Krishna and Radharani as avatars of the Parmatma, or Supreme Godhead. He was born in an Oriya Hindu family. According to beliefs of orthodox followers Caitanya Mahaprabhu united in himself two aspects: ecstatic devotee of Krishna and Krishna himself in inseparable union with Radha....

Notes On The Places Visited By Chaitanya In The South

[In this connection we should bear in mind that no record of Chaitanya's pilgrimage was kept at the time it was made. His disciples heard of it, evidently piece-meal, from his lips long after-wards. A diary constructed on this basis by Govinda-das has been lost. Our author, Krishna-das Kaviraj, frankly admits (at the beginning of canto ix) that he has not been able to name the holy places, of the South in the order in which they were visited by the Master. We should also note that this pilgrimage was performed between April 1510 and January 1512 and that the great and widespread revival of temple building which resulted from the restoration of the Vijaynagar empire under Krishna Dev just began at the time of Chaitanya's visit, but was completed long afterwards. Hence many of the famous shrines of the South dating from the early 16th century were not seen by him, as they were completed after his visit].

Ahobal.—Ahobilam, in the Sirvel taluq of the Karnul district. The most sacred Vishnu temple in the district, it is dedicated to Narasimha. Together with other temples in the neighbourhood, it forms a group known as the Nava (nine) Narasimha, represent ing nine different forms of Vishnu. The original temple is supported by 64 pillars, each of which is beautifully carved into several miniature pillars. In front is a fine unfinished mantapam with large pillars of white sand-stone, about 3 feet in diameter, elaborately sculptured. (Kurnool Manual, 183-184, 145).

Ananta Padmanava.—The famous Padmanava temple in Trivandrum.

Betapani.—Bhutapandi in Travancore, in the Tobala taluq, n. of Nagarcoil, with temple of Bhutanath. [R. M. Ghose.]

Brahma-giri.—There is a Brahmagiri near Sopara (Bom. Gaz. xiv. 315); but that is not the place meant in our text. The reference is to the Brahma mountain, in the ridge joining which to the Trimbak mountain the Kikvi, a larger and more distant branch of the Godavari (than the one issuing at Trimbak) takes its rise. (Bombay Gaz. rvi. 7).

Chamtapur.—Chenganur in Travancore State. [R. M. G.]

Chiyár-talá.—Shertalá near Nagarcoil, [according to R. M. Ghose].

Courtallam, 7 m. s. w. of Tenkashi in the Tinnevelly district, 450 ft. above sea-level. The falls of the Chittar (a river which joins the Tamraparni 15 m. n. J e. of Tinnevelly) at this place are famous among the Hindus for their virtue of cleansing from sin. [Tinn. Man. 96.]

Dhanu-tirtha.—Dhanus-kodi, terminus of the S. I. Railway, 12 m. south-east of Rameshwaram. [R. M. G.]

Durbesan.—Darvashayan, on the sea-coast seven miles east of Ramnad. [R. M. G.]

Gajendra-mokshan.—Probably Devendra-mokshan or Suchindram, 2 m. s. of Nagarcoil. Here Indra was cleansed of his sin and built a temple to Sthanu-linga Shiva. [R. M. G.]

Ganga Gotami.—The Godavari river. At Kobur, opposite Rajmahendri, was the hermitage of the sage Gautama, from whom this river is named.

Gokarna.—On the west coast, about 20 miles s. e. of Karwar, famous for its temple of Mahabaleshwar and a very popular place of pilgrimage. (Bombay Gazetteer, Kanara, xv. pt. 2, pp. 289-301).

Kolhapur.—Out of about 250 temples in this city at present six are well-known, namely, the temples of Ambábái or Mahálakshmi, Vithoba, Temblai, Mahákali, Phirangai or Pratyangiras, and Yallamma. (Bombay Gaz. xxiv. 309-311).

Kumbha-kama.—Kumbakonam in the Tanjore district, 20 miles north-east of Tanjore town. It contains 12 principal Shaiva and 4 Vaishnav temples and one dedicated to Brahmá. (Tanjore Gaz. 217-219).

Madura—on the river Vaigai, the minor basin of which is called Kritimá-nadi (the Krita-mala of our text). Its temples are described in the Madura Gazetteer, 267-274.

Mahendra hill.—There is a peak of this name in the Travancore State, but too far from Cape Comorin.

Malay mountain (Agastya).—(i) There is a temple to the sage Agastya in the village Agastyampalli, close to Vedaranniyam, near Point Calimere in the Tanjore district; but it cannot be the place meant, (ii) Palni in the Madura district contains a famous temple to Subrahmanya on the top of a hill (Shivagiri) created by Agastya. But there is no temple to Agastya here. (Madura Gaz. 304-306). (iii) R.M. Ghose is inclined to identify it with Pothia hill (near Cape Comorin), the reputed abode of Agastya (K. Pillai's Tamils 1,800 Years Ago, 21.) (iv) The Tamraparni rises on either side of a fine conical peak known as Agastiar-malai or Agastya's hill. (Tinn. Man. 91).

Mallar land.—Malabar.

Mallikarjun.—Shri-Shailam, on the south bank of the Krishna, 70 miles below Karnul. In the centre of the enclosure is the temple of Mallikarjun Shiva, the chief deity worshipped here, and considered as one of the jyotir-lingas. (Kurnool Manual, 181-183, 144). There is another and much less famous temple to Mallikarjun at Bezvada on the Krishna river.

Matsya-tirtha.—Either (1) Mahé, the French possession on the coast of the Malabar district. Or (2) Matsya-gundam, a curious pool on the Macheru river, near the village of Matam, six miles north north-west of Pacleru (in the Padwa taluq of the Vizaga-patam district). A barrier of rocks runs right across the river there, and the stream plunges into a great hole and vanishes beneath this, reappearing again about a hundred yards lower down. Just where it emerges from under the barrier it forms a pool which is crowded with mahseer of all sizes. (Vizagapatam Gaz. 285).

Nine Tripadi.—Alwar Tiru-nagari, 17 m. s. e. of Tinnevelly. Around it are 9 temples to Vishnu (Tirupati), the idols of which are assembled in this town on holy days. [R. M. G.]

Paksha-tirtha.—Pakshi-tirtham or Tiru-kadi-kundram, 9 miles south east of Chingleput. [R. M. G.] "The hill of the sacred kites." It is a ridge terminating in a spiked hill, some 500 feet above sea-level, on which stands a Shiva temple. The name of the hill is Vedagiri or Vedachalam, and the idol is called Veda-girishwar. Every day two birds of the kite species come to the mountain and are fed by an attendant Brahman. The same two are believed to have come from Benares to receive this daily dole from time immemorial. (Chingleput Man. 106-107).

Pampá.—The ancient and Puranic name of the Tungabhadra. The village of Hampi (the site of the famous capital Vijaynagar) was originally known as Pampa-tirtha. This name (also Pampá-saras) is now borne by a tank on the Haidarabad side of the Tungabhadra near Anegundi. (Bellary Gazetteer, 6, 261).

Pána.—Panakal Narasimha at Mangal-giri, 7 m. south of Bezvada. But it is too far to the north. [R. M. G.] When visitors offer a draught to Narasimha-swami, the image in the temple refuses to drink more than half of it. (Kistna Dist. Man. 179).

Páná-garhi.—Panagodi, 30 m. s. s. w. of Tinnevelly on the road to Trivandrum. [R. M. G.] But the temple there is to Ramlinga-swami Shiva and not to Ram.

Panchavati.—Identified with Nasik in the Bombay presidency. Nasik and Trimbak (at the source of the Godavari) are described in Bombay Gazetteer, xvi.

Pandupur.—Pandharpur, on the Bhima river, 38 miles due west of Sholapur; famous for its temple to Vithoba. (Bombay Gaz. xx. 415-481).

Papa-nashan.—Eight miles s. w. of Kumbakonam (Tanjore Gaz. 221). There is another city of this name 29 miles west of Palamkota, (in the Tinnevelly district). Here near a pagoda the Tamraparni river takes its last fall from the hills to the level country. (Tinn. Man. 91).

Payaswini.—Tiru-vattar in the Travancore State. [R. M. G.]

Pitambar.—Evidently Chidambaram, 26 miles south of Cuddalore. Famous for its great pagoda, covering 39 acres in the centre of the town, and sourrounded on all four sides by a street 60 feet wide. It contains the Akasa-linga. (S. Arcot Manual, 400-407).

Rishava peak—Anagarh-malai, 12 miles north of Madura. [R. M. G.]

Rishyamukh.—Identified with the hill on the Nizam's side of the narrowest of the gorges in the Tungabhadra near Hampi. (Bellary Gaz. 261).

Shiva image.—Either Vedagiris at Pakshi-tirtham or the lingam in the shore temple at Mahavalipuram (Seven Pagodas).

Shiva Kanchi.—The modern Conjeveram, also called the Southern Benares, 56 miles south-west of Madras. The Shiva temple is dedicated to Ekambara-swami. South-east of it stands Vishnu Kanchi or Little Conjeveram, with its temple to Vishnu under the name of Varada-ráj.

Shiva-kshetra.—There is a Shiva-ganga tank at Tanjore. The great Brihatishwar temple of this town seems to be meant in our text. (Tanjore Gaz. 269-271).

Shiyali.—The head-quarters of a taluq of that name in the Tanjore district, about 48 miles n. e. of Tanjore town. It has a famous Shiva temple with a large tank, a shrine dedicated to the Tamil saint Tiru-jnan Sambandhar, and some other separate shrines, and evidently an image of Shiva's consort who is said to have given suck to this saint when he visited this temple as a child. (Tanjore Gaz. 258).

Shri Janardan.—Near the Varkala railway station, 26 miles north of Trivandrum.

Shringeri.—In the Kadur district of Mysore. Situated 13 25 N. 75 19 E., on the left bank of the Tunga, 7 miles s. of Hariharpur. Its full name is Rishya-shringa-giri. It is the head-quarters of the Jagat-guru or successor of Shankaracharya in the headship of the Smartas. (Rice, Mysore Gazetteer, ii. 443-445).

Shri-rangam.—The famous Vishnu temple in an island between the Kolerun and the Kaveri, north of Trichinopoly. (Trichinopoly Manual, 337-340 and Gazetteer, 45-51, 91-126, 319).

Shri-Shaila.—The most famous place of this name is the one in the Karnul district, described above under Mallikarjun. But that place cannot be meant in this context, which suggests some hill between Trichinopoly and Madura, sacred to Shri or Lakshmi.

Shri-Vaikuntha.—Shri Vaikuntham, four miles n. of Alwar Tirunagari. [R. M. G.], on the left bank of the Tamraparni and 16 m. s. e. of Tinnevelly.

Siddha-bat.—Sidhout, 10 miles east of Cuddapa town. Sometimes known as the Dakshina Kashi or the Southern Benares. The name is derived from Siddha-vatam or the hermit's banyan tree. Eight miles south of it is Ontimetta ('the solitary hill') with a large and very holy pagoda and a tank. The pagoda is dedicated to Kodanda-Ram-swami. (Cuddapah Manual, 48-49).

Suparak-Sopara—(in the Thana district), 26 miles north of Bombay. It was the capital of the Konkan from very ancient times to 1,300 A.D. (Bombay Gaz. xiv. 314-342).

Tamal-kartik.—Tobala, 44 m. s. of Tinnevelly, 2 m. e. of Aramvali pass, temple of Subrahmanya. [R. M. G.]

Tamraparni.—A river on the left bank of which Tinnevelly stands.

Til Kanchi.—Probably Tenkashi, 30 m. n. w. of Tinnevelly town.

Tirupati.—A very famous holy city in the Chandra-gin taluq of the N. Arcot district. In Lower Tirupati, which stands in the plain, there are 15 templesf the chief of them being dedicated to Govinda-raja-swami (the brother of Venkateshwar) and Ramswami. Upper Tirupati, usually called Tirumala (from Tirumalai, holy hill), stands on the top of the range, six miles north west of Lower Tirupati. Its chief divinity is Venkateshwar. (North Arcot Manual, 142-153).

Tri-kal-hasti.—Shri Kalahasti, popularly called Kalahastri, on the right bank of the Suvarnamukhi river, 22 miles n. e. of Tirupati. Famous for its shrine of the Vayu-linga Shiva. (N. Arcot Man. 220-222).

Udipi.—36 miles north of Mangalore (in the South Kanara district), the principal seat of the Madhavacharya priests. The temple of Krishna is said to have been founded by Madhavacharya himself, who set up in it an image of Krishna originally made by Arjun. There are also eight ancient maths, each with a swami. (S. Canara Manual, ii. 263. For a full description, see Bombay Gazetter, xxii. 56).

Vedaban.—Vedáranniyam or the forest of the Vedas, in the south east corner of the Tirutturaippundi taluq of the Tanjore district and five miles north of Point Calimere. Orthodox Brahmans consider it second only to Rameshwaram in sanctity. (Tanjore Gaz. 284).

Vriddha-kal.—Varaha-swami temple, a monolithic pagoda, n. w. of "Arjun's Penance" and 3/4 m. s. of Valipitham, at Mahavalipuram or Seven Pagodas; image of Vishnu with a huge boar's head, overcanopied by the Shesha Nag.

Vriddha-kashi.—Vriddhachalam, on the Manimukta (an affluent of the Vellar), in the S. Arcot district. Sometimes called Vriddha-kashi. (S. Arcot Manual, 438-440). It cannot be the place meant, if the order of holy places given in our text be correct.

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