Discover young Madhwa at Pajaka

Last Updated 17 September 2013, 09:20 IST

An aura of spirituality envelops and soothes your body and spirit as you enter this sacred land of Pajakakshetra, a small village 16 kilometres from Udupi. It is the birthplace of the saint-philosopher Sri Madhwacharya, who propounded the Dwaita doctrine (dualism). Born Vasudeva, Madhwacharya became an ascetic at the tender age of ten.

Anandathirtha was his other name. Through his works he spread the sweetness of Madhu (honey) and ananda (pure bliss). Madhwa installed the idol of Sri Krishna in the Krishna Temple in Udupi.

Pajakakshetra is also the abode of sage-warrior Parashurama, the destroyer of evil, Durga, the remover of ignorance and Madhwacharya the giver of the supreme knowledge. The confluence of these three forces makes Pajaka a unique place of pilgrimage. Madhwa, believed to be the re-incarnation of Hanuman and Bhima had a magnetic personality. He performed many miracles and incredible feats in his lifetime.

As you enter the serene premises of this holy place, the hospitable priests greet you and take you on a guided tour. The spiritual ambience of the well-preserved original home of Madhwa where he lived with his parents captures your imagination. His father Madhyageha was a devout Brahmin. Inside the house is the small temple of Ananthapadmanabha, which he worshipped daily. In the backyard there’s a small tank, Vasudevateertha, created by the boy Madhwa, and believed to contain the essence of the four sacred tanks in the vicinity, the waters of which were used by his father for his daily worship at the Durga temple atop the Kunjarugiri Hill, also known as Durga Betta.
There are four tanks on each side of the hill, believed to have been built by Parashurama himself. It is believed that a dip in each of these four holy tanks will purge the sins of a person of a lifetime!

A few feet away is a huge Tamarind tree enclosed by a stone platform, believed to be an offshoot of the original tree under which Madhwa used to play as a boy. Once, Madhwa’s father Madhyageha was unable to return a loan and was being harassed by the moneylender. Madhwa, playing under the tamarind tree, saw this and brought a handful of tamarind seeds, gave them to the moneylender and asked him to go home.

The moneylender was astonished to find that the seeds had turned into gold coins by the time he reached home. A visit to this sacred spot is believed to absolve a devotee of all his loans and obligations.

To the South-east of the sacred tank stands the Banyan tree. It is believed that Madhwa performed a miracle by making a dry stick sprout leaves, which eventually became a big tree.

A temple housing the idol of Madhwacharya stands on the spot where the imprints of Madhwa’s feet are found, the spot where Madhwa landed after jumping from the nearby hill after killing the vicious serpent Manimanta as a boy.

Pajakakshetra is 393 kilometres away from Bangalore. Buses regularly ply on the Udupi-Pajaka route. Accommodation with basic facilities is available at the Kshetra.

(Published 17 September 2013, 09:20 IST)

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