Donnerstag, August 29, 2013

Mysore Sri Svetha Varaha Swamy Temple

Inside the huge palace area the ancient kings of Mysore had many temple built for Lord Krishna and his different manifestations in all the famous Forms found all over asia. Also they have been great worshipper of Goddess Parvati on the hillock which is even today a very splendous temple complex with lot of riches and fantastic rituals to see. In ancient times the hill was used by great tapasvis to do severe yoga practise, and achieve great boons by this. The value of those sages was a spiritual upliftment of the whole country which is much more difficult to get, but it is lasting for generations. Therefore south india had been such a blessed place.
One of the Temple inside the huge palace complex area is the wonderful Sri Svetha Varaha Swamy temple. It is done in typical Hoyshala building style, with fantastic paintings from puranas and Ramayana from around the 17th century inside the main shrine. In the sanctum sanctorum is a very unusual form of Lord Sri Varaha, made from white Marble and not very big in size. His name is derived from that colour as he is worshipped as the ruling Avatara of that particular Kalpa were the 7. Vaivasvata Manvantara is running now (71 Caturyugas = 1 Manvantara and we have 14 Manvantaras in on Kalpa!). As Sri Varaha Swamy is coming in different colours to different Kalpas, like black, red (yajna Varaha) he had come now in this Kalpa in white. He`s purpose is to deminish hatred and greed and to establish Dharma, righteousness and care of mother earth.
The kings of Mysore were very pious once upon a time and did promote generiousity and religious freedom, they did know that the secret worship of Varaha brings prosperity, devotion and harmony to the land, and they supported the pancaratra study in that field with great efforts. The Sanskrit university and those Math`s which focussed on spiritual advancement, like Parakala Math (the great upasakas on Hayagriva), Sri Vyasaraya Math etc. got much support in those days. One secret is known to the Varaha upasakas once the King of Mysore established the Sri Sveta Varaha worship one of the gold mines near Mysore recieved the news that a big gold vein is found. It is well known that devotees who worship Varaha seriously get all blessings. He, as worshipped by Bhudevi, promise in the famous carama sloka from the Varaha Purana:

"sthite manasi susvasthe sarIre sati yo narah /
dhaatu saamye sthite smartaa visvarUpaM ca maam aham //
tatas thum mriyamaanaM tu kaashta-paashaana sannibham /
aham smaraami mad bhaktam nayaami paramaam gatim //"


"If a person, while having mind and body in good shape with all the natural elements in perfect harmony, thinks of me as the giver of Liberation when such a person reaches the time of death unable to think properly, I will remember that person at that time and take him to the highest state/abode."

This sloka talks about the final conclusion on sastra:
1. Time of saranagathi - Saranagathi must be done when one is young 
2. Who can do saranagathi - Anybody can do saranagathi
3. Way to do saranagathi - Just thinking (smarthaa) is sufficient, do not have to do physically strain even
4. What to contemplate on - Contemplate on him the remover of birth/death
BhuVaraha Swamy of SriMushnam and Mysore
But it is also known, especially by the Madhva Tradition secret Mantras on Varaha are only for Tapasvis, tyagis or ascetics and kept for those who want to follow the simple path of varaha upasana only. Therefore the tradition of Varaha upasana had been dried out fast. Few temples apart from this Sri Svetha Varaha Temple existing in south like the one in Sri Mushnam which is one of the 8 svayam avyakta Ksetras and a very similar Vigraha, except the colour, which is black. The entire kingdom of the Guptas were great worshippers of Lord Varaha, unfortunate only ruins of those temples and Murthys are found nowadays in Madhyapradesh. But to this place we will travel later!

Mysore Palace and the tradition of south indian Art

Mysore, the city of Yoga and great History

Mysore has been developed rapidly especially the Gokul area of the town, were the famous Astanga Yoga centrum by Pattabhi Jois has been established. I have been here 1991 and can see the clear difference in sites, prices of land and people as well.
Yoga had and still have a very strong influence on Mysore, as most backpackers and travellers come to this city for learning or exploring this art. Of course mysore as a ancient city has a lot of different subjects to offer, many good musicians come from here from were one can learn, bombastic palaces and temples are in and around the place and a very famous sanskrit University and library is attached to this place. That is also the spot were T. Krishnamacharya has started his career as a sanskrit/Nyaya philosopher, but thought about to teach something different, which he has learned in the Himalayas. YOGA ...
Many things has been written, published and documented on this in the west – much more then Ayurveda, Vastu or  vedic astrology, still the western approach is much different then the original idea is taught in classical schools of Yoga in India. In India many they expect a very strict discipline on the disciple which many westerners can`t or wont` follow. On top of this comes the difference in understanding the cultural and ethical pillars of Yoga, were indians believe the mingling of opposite sex is the death of Yoga practice, expect you do the Vama Marga (by the way very rare that people can follow that too).  Westeners dont seems to be interested in the first pillars of Yoga taught by Patanjali (Yama and Niyama is all about that). I have read many socalled „commentaries“ by westeners and even modern indians on the Yoga Sutras, were would ask after reading it, if he is writing about Yogasutras based on the sutras or on his material polluted ideas of „ i become famous“? Anyhow therefore BNS Iyengar, who is one of the last disciple of T. Krishnamacarya in Mysore teach two classes one for indians and one for westeners in two different places in mysore. The main course for indians is held in the very orthodox Parakala Matham Temple compound of the Vadakalai Sri Vaishnava Tradition, near Jagan Mohan Palace. Their are very strict group of worshippers following the Hayagriva Upasana. It may had clashed with the western understanding of living,as this place is still a place of worship and rituals very much. Therefore he has another course to offer, which is mainly for westeners in one private House near the chamaraj double road, Lakshmi talkies (cinema). Courses are usually between 7 am and 12 amevery day, except Sunday.
T.Krishnamacarya in PadmAsana

Mystic Mysore spring 2013

We as family came for the first time with our small boy Prahlada to south india, to study special field of Yoga and classical Music on Veena instrument. I had found out that there is still one of the last legend of T.Krishnamacharya`s disciples living and teaching yoga practise in mysore on the basis on his learning from that great saint and Guru. I had study Yoga branches for some good time and had the great chance in learning my yoga teacher training under a very competent teacher and friend Christof Kraft ( But i wanted to add some special branch known as Pranayama and Mudra to my learning on yoga, and that is were this mystical disciple of T. Krishnamacarya by the name BNS Iyengar comes in the picture.

He is not known to many outside of india as his almost same name bearer BKS Iyengar, who even wrote a very elaborate book on Pranayama in the year 1969. But most in all modern yoga schools have forgotten or underestimated Pranayama for their practise, what to speak of Mudras. Coming from the background of pancaratra and rituals i have learned more then 108 Mudras for Rituals, which are mainly hand gestures to invoke the deity presence. But in yoga tradition Mudras are totally something different. They are called "Seals", which are done with the prana while holding a special asana or form posture with the body. To get explored to that kind of secret teaching i booked my family room inside the crowed city of Mysore to study under BNS Iyengar daily pranayama and Mudra sessions for a month. He is a very interesting character, strong in his words, precise in his explanation and can be very strong/rude in his words if you dont catch fast the point he wants to make. "Tapasya", which is what yogaabhyasa is all about, makes the person strong but also "krura", a bit of explosive, angry type of temperament. Anyhow his teaching was very value to me, and it will stay with me for my rest of my life. Asana, pranayama and mudra are not just a weekend play but a daily practise, which are need to be every day expierenced. He has a small school were everyone is invited to come and stay, but mainly in longer term, like one month and more, to really settle the teachings of yoga in your mind/body.