Sri Pajaka Kshetra
BY: SUN STAFF
Nov 18, 2013 CANADA (SUN) Pajaka is a village in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka state. It is the place where the famous Dvaita philosopher Sri Madhvacharya was born. Madhvacharya, also known by the name Poornaprajna and Anandathirta, is one of the illustrious Sampradaya Acaryas in the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya.
A great deal of historical evidence is available about Madhvacharya's life and times in Pajaka. His birth pastimes and the many places he frequented in the village are now visited by pilgrims who come to take darshan of the great Acarya.
Sri Anantapadmanabha Mandira
The main complex at Sri Pajaka Kshetra includes the house where Sri Madhvacharya was born and raised, along with a temple of Sri Anantapadmanabha, and the temple of Sri Madhvacharya Himself. The complex is managed by Sri Kaniyooru Matha, one of the eight mathas established by Sri Madhvacharya in the Udupi region. The current pontiff of Sri Kaniyooru Matha, Sri Sri Vidyavallabha Tirtha, resides in the temple complex.
Sri Pajaka Kshetra is located 13 Kilometers southeast of the famous Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, also established by Sri Madhvacharya. The importance of Pajaka Kshetra is narrated in a small biographical poem entitled Sampradaya Paddhati, written by Sri Madhvacharya's direct disciple, Sri Hrushikesha, the mula yati of Sri Palimaru Mata. Some of the information found in the Sampradaya Paddhati, in a Kannada compilation translated by Sri Vyaasanakere Prabhanjanacharya, is paraphrased below:
The Birth of Vasudeva:
Sri Madhvacharya was born after prolonged prayers offered to Lord Sri Anantheshwara of Udupi, by his parents . Called Vasudeva at birth, Madhvacharya is an incarnation of Vayu (the Wind god), the son of Lord Narayana and Lakshmi. So, it is very appropriate that Madhvacharya was born in Sri Pajaka Kshetra, where Narayana and Lakshmi reside in the form of Parashurama and Durge.
The Five Ponds:
Lord Parashurama created four ponds, or tanks, in Sri Pajaka Kshetra. Each one is named after the particular weapon he used to create the pond. Parashutirtha was created with his axe; Dhanustirtha was created with his bow; Baanatirtha with his arrow; and Gadhaatirtha with his mace. Each of the four ponds reflects a cornerstone of dharma: tapassu (austerity); daye (mercy); shuchi (purity); and satya (truth). Bathing in these ponds helps a devotee to attain salvation.
As was the tradition in those days, people (including Vasudeva's own parents) collected water from each of the four ponds every day, for ablution and other rituals. The way to the ponds was treacherous, and the distance too much for many people to traverse. In response to the concern his mother expressed about the difficulty in visiting the ponds, Vasudeva created a fifth pond right in the backyard of his parents' house, and demonstrated that the new pond contains water from all four of Parashurama's ponds.
This fifth pond, called Vasudevatirtha, still exists. Bathing in these holy waters gives one the utmost kind of salvation.
The Slaying of Manimanta:
Manimanta was a demon with a strong hatred for Vayu and Lord Narayana. He was slain once by Bhima in the Mahabharata times, and by Sri Krishna at a different time. Born again, Manimanta was biding his time to take revenge. Once during his adolescence, Vasudeva was on his way to see Durge. Sensing an opportunity, Manimanta took the form of a venomous serpent and bit Vasudeva. The bite had no affect whatsoever on Vasudeva, who simply pressed his big toe down on the serpent's head, killing the demon. At the place where Manimanta was slain, the impression of Vasudeva's toe can still be seen. The dimensions of the impression stand as a testament that Vasudeva was an incarnation of Vayu.
On another occasion when Vasudeva was visiting Durge on the hill, his mother called for him. Being the ever-obedient son and a mischievous boy, Vasudeva responded immediately, jumping from the top of the hill to land on a rock near his home. Because he had the strength of Vayu, the jump left Vasudeva's footprints where he landed. The renowned saint, Sri Vadiraja Tirtha of Sri Sodhe Matha, has installed an idol of Sri Madhvacharya on the footprints, in the Sri Madhava Mandira complex, pictured above.
The place where Manimantasura was slain
The Significance of Visiting Sri Pajaka Kshetra
Visiting Lord Parashurama and Durge, bathing in Vasudevatirtha, and praying at the footprints of Sri Madhvacharya paves the way to salvation for the devoted. Performing these tasks at Sri Pajaka Kshetra gives one the same benefits as performing austerities and seva at the three holy dhamas of Kashi, Gaya, and Prayaga.
Sri Anantapadmanabha and cohort
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