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Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple hides Treasures that the World never saw

The temple was once called “The Golden Temple” because the history traced it as the wealthiest establishment and worship place

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Padmanabha Swamy Temple. Image source: Speakingtree.in
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  • The temple is mentioned several times in the Sangam period of Tamil literature between 500 BC and 300 AD
  • The history traced it as the wealthiest establishment and worship place by that point of time
  • The architecture of the temple is a fusion of Kerala style and Dravidian style

Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is one of the most prominent temples according to Hindu mythology and has references in Epics and Puranas. Very ancient texts of Hinduism like the Brahma Purana, Matsya Purana, Varaha Purana, Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, Vayu Purana, Bhagavata Purana and the Mahabharata have references to this temple. It is located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.

Here are few points you would like to know about Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple:

  • Srimad Bhagavatha says that Balarama visited this Temple, bathed in Padmatheertham and made several offerings. The holy tank of the temple is called Padma Theertham meaning ‘lotus springs’.
The temple tank Padmatheertha kulam Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
The temple tank Padmatheertha kulam Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • This Temple has ancient history. Some well-known scholars, writers and historians have conveyed that this Temple was established on the first day of Kali Yuga (which is over 5000 years ago).
  • The Temple is also considered among the 108 Divyadesams (Divine abodes for the Vaishnavites). The temple is mentioned several times in the Sangam period of Tamil literature between 500 BC and 300 AD.

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  • The architecture of the temple is a fusion of Kerala style and Dravidian style. The temple portrays a beautiful and majestic kind of architecture, metal work and painting which can be observed in its thousands of tortuously carved pillars, rising towers, sculptures and metal shielding. In order to perform darshan and puja, one has to mount to the mandapam.
Mandapam at Padmatheertha Kulam Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Mandapam at Padmatheertha Kulam Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • The city of Thiruvananthapuram got its name from the presiding deity of the temple Padmanabha Swamy, who is found in the resting posture on the five headed snake called Anantha and therefore the name ‘Thiru’ plus ‘anantha’ plus ‘puram’ depicts that it is the land of Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy.

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  • A major annual festival related to Padmanabha temple is the Navaratri festival. Murajapam and Bhadra Deepam are the two festivals in the temple which were introduced by Marthanda Varma, the most prominent one among the Travancore Kings, and are these festivals are still celebrated.
Padmanabha temple Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Padmanabha temple Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Also, many conventional historians and scholars say that the temple was once called “The Golden Temple” because the history traced it as the wealthiest establishment and worship place at that point of time.
  • After the recent findings of huge wealth hidden in the vaults of the temple, the Supreme Court intervened in the further opening of the vaults which might contain much more wealth than what is discovered so far.
  • For a long time, the temple and its possessions were controlled by a trust which is headed by the Travancore Royal family. However, at present, the Supreme Court of India has denied the Travancore Royal Family from leading the management of the temple.

-prepared by Pashchiema, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema5

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Really great to know about how fascinating India is with religion and culture

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Shankaracharya: A remarkable genius that Hinduism produced (Book Review)

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

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He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita
He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

Title: Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker; Author: Pavan K. Varma; Publisher: Tranquebar Press; Pages: 364; Price: Rs 699

This must be one of the greatest tributes ever paid to Shankaracharya, the quintessential “paramarthachintakh”, who wished to search for the ultimate truths behind the mysteries of the universe. His genius lay in building a complete and original philosophical edifice upon the foundational wisdom of the Upanishads.

A gifted writer, Pavan Varma, diplomat-turned-politician and author of several books including one on Lord Krishna, takes us through Shankara’s short but eventful span of life during which, from having been born in what is present-day Kerala, he made unparalleled contributions to Hindu religion that encompassed the entire country. Hinduism has not seen a thinker of his calibre and one with such indefatigable energy, before or since.

Shankara’s real contribution was to cull out a rigorous system of philosophy that was based on the essential thrust of Upanishadic thought but without being constrained by its unstructured presentation and contradictory meanderings.

He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote extensive and definitive commentaries on each of them. Of course, the importance he gave to the Mother Goddess, in the form of Shakti or Devi, can be traced to his own attachment to his mother whom he left when he set off, at a young age, in search of a guru and higher learning.

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.
Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess.

Against all odds, Shankara created institutions for the preservation and propagation of Vedantic philosophy. He established “mathas” with the specific aim of creating institutions that would develop and project the Advaita doctrine. He spoke against both caste discriminations and social inequality, at a time when large sections of conservative Hindu opinion thought otherwise.

Shankara was both the absolutist Vedantin, uncompromising in his belief in the non-dual Brahman, and a great synthesiser, willing to assimilate within his theoretical canvas several key elements of other schools of philosophy. He revived and restored Hinduism both as a philosophy and a religion that appealed to its followers.

Also Read: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Varma rightly says that it must have required great courage of conviction as well as deep spiritual and philosophical insight for Shankaracharya to build on the insights of the Upanishads a structure of thought, over a millennium ago, that saw the universe and our own lives within it with a clairvoyance that is being so amazingly endorsed by science today. The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara’s philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess. The added value of the book is that it has, in English, a great deal of Shankara’s writings. Unfortunately, most Hindus today are often largely uninformed about the remarkable philosophical foundations of their religion. They are, the author points out, deliberately choosing the shell for the great treasure that lies within. This is indeed a rich book. (IANS)