We are thrilled to host you at Sai Vishram during the auspicious days around Ganesha Chaturthi.
In today’s highly commercialised world, any festival or event has lost its essence and many don’t know the significance of these events and festivals. Or, the focus on elaborate ceremonies and procedures, without knowing the reason behind it.
We make a humble attempt to highlight “why”.
Lord Ganesha is considered as the God of good beginnings, prosperity and obstacle remover. This is why most ceremonies begin with a prayer to Lord Ganesha – be it a house warming ceremony, an inauguration of a large facility or even the smallest local Yakshagana performance.
The story of Ganesha in Coastal Karnataka is most interesting and gives us a fantastic connection between mythological events and existing practices.
Ravana was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva and offers years of penance to him. Lord Shiva is pleased with Ravana and grants him a boon. Ravana asks for the boon of immortality! Now everyone’s worried. They pray to Lord Shiva and express their concerns about this boon of immortality. Lord Shiva understand their concerns and inserts what we know as the infamous “terms and conditions apply”! The boon was granted in the form of an Aatma Linga, with a caveat that Ravana should carry it home, without placing it on the ground, for it to get activated! Should he place it anywhere on the way, it would get permanently fixed there. Ravana heads home with his new and most powerful weapon of Immortality.
The Gods send Lord Ganesha in disguise as a cowherd to ensure that the Aatma Linga doesn’t reach Ravana’s home. Ganesha, known for his wisdom and wit, places himself in Ravana’s way in the evening, when Ravana must offer his prayers to Shiva. Ravana requests Ganesha to hold on to the Aatma Linga till he finishes his prayers. Ganesha agrees, but says he’s in a hurry and Ravana should be done by the time he counts to three, else he will place the Aatma Linga on the ground and go. Ravana rushes to start his prayer, but in no time Ganesha counts to three and places the Aatma Linga on the ground and leaves! This incident is known to have taken place in the Costal temple town of Gokarna. The Linga in Gokarna is known to have a chip missing and is slightly curved due to Ravana’s efforts to uproot it.
Ravana is furious. He finishes his prayer and tries to pick up the Linga. True to Shiva’s terms and conditions, it is embedded in the ground. Ravana tries with all his might to uproot the Linga, in vain. He keeps trying and invokes all his strength and might, but manages to pull out only a piece of the Linga. He throws this piece in frustration. This piece is supposed to have landed in the temple town of Murdeshwara. This explains why lakhs of people visit these places every year.
We hope this little anecdote will help you appreciate the mythological and religious significance of the region… and of course our little friend Ganesha!
We sincerely hope you enjoy your stay in this blessed region, and at Sai Vishram. Thank you for visiting us!