Monday, 6 October 2014

Jogulamba Devi

Jogulamba Devi temple of Alampur is one of the Maha Ashtadasa Shaktipeethas. It is Located in Mahabubnagar District of Telangana State, It is covered with Nallamalai Hills all around. It is believed that the Upper teeth of Sati devi has fallen here. Alampur is the sangama Kshetra of the rivers Thungabhadra and Krishna. Here Sati is worshipped as Jogulamba Devi or Yogamba Devi and Lord Shiva as Bala Brahmeswara Swamy. Jogulamba is derived from the word “Joginula Amma” meaning – Mother of Joginis/Yoginis. Here Jogini/Yogini refers to a lady, who has given up all material pleasures. Yogini also means a dancer, whose life is dedicated to God.

This temple is considered as the western gate way to Shrisailam and also known as Dakshina Kashi as there are nine temples in dedication to Lord Shiva. The temple was completely destroyed by Bahamani rulers in 1390 AD. The invaders were killed after a fierce battle with the localities. Jogulamba Devi along with her two Shakthis – Chandi and Mundi was then moved to nearby Bala Brahmeswar temple until 2005. The temple is a mine of historical sources. It has about 70 Copper plates and stone inscriptions relating to several dynasties that ruled South India from 7th to 17th century. Jogulamba temple has been reconstructed after 615 years.

Jogulamba Devi is considered as Gruha Chandi (Protector of homes). Jogulamba Devi is seated on a corpse. The idol has huge locks of hair with lizard, scorpion, bats and human skull adorning it. These are the indications of evil and signs of deterioration of a house. Lizard is the primary indication that a house has started deteriorating. When the lizards become uncontrollable, scorpions start entering the house, which is even worse. The next level would be the entry of bats which is an indication of loss of human life in the house. Jogulamba Devi is worshipped for warding off the evil effects of Vaastu Dosha. According to locals, Jogulamba Devi is in Ugra Roopa(highly energetic and hard to worship) and the water pool near the temple makes the atmosphere cool. Idols of Saptamatrikas, Vighneswara and Veenapani veerabhadra idols are in  Alampur temple. Original Chandi Mundi idols were left in Alampur Bala brahmeswara swammy temple and new idols are created and placed in Alampur Jogulamba temple.

There are Navabrahma Temples* known for their architecture marvel built by Badami Chalukya rulers.

* Chalukya King Pulakesi II, in association with a great saint, Rasa Siddha(he would convert base metal into gold) built a chain of temples called ‘NavaBrahmas’ in 6th- 7th century. It is said that there is a secret tunnel from the garbhalaya of BalaBrahma temple leading to Shrisailam.  According to the legend, the 9 names of Siva given to the NavaBhrama temples are the names of medicinal herbs put forth by Rasa Siddha.

The Navabrahma temples are: Taraka Brahma, Swarga Brahma, Padma Brahma, Bala Brahma, Garuda Brahma, Kumara Brahma, Arka Brahma, Veera Brahma and Vishwa Brahma.  All the temples are located on the banks of River Tungabhadra enclosed in a courtyard.

“Siddha Rasarnavam”, a tantric work on Alchemy prescribes certain methods of Upasana in Jogulamba Temple. It is said that if the upasana is done as per the prescribed Tantra, Mercury oozes from the Linga of Bala Brahma, Navel of Ganapati, Thighs of Subramanya and Mouth of Mother Jogulamba. The Mercury thus got is used for converting into Gold by using the medicinal herbs. The principal temple of worship is Bala Brahmeswar. The temple dates back to 702 CE, as per the inscriptions available. Inside the temple is a huge Nandi and two set of Padmas believed to be of Lord Shiva and Sati. There are other images of Jogulamba, Durga, Narasimha and the Rishis. In the courtyard are images of Mukhalinga, Sahasralinga and Mahishasuramardini. The most important image is the mother goddess in the small temple.

The Taraka Brahma temple has no idol/ image in the sanctum and is partly in ruins. It has inscriptions in Telugu dating back to 6th- 7th Century CE.

The Swarga Brahma temple was built during 681- 696 AD by Lokaditya Ela Arasa in honour of queen of Vinayaditya. This temple is considered as an example of fine Chalukyan architecture and sculpture. It has an imposing tower (Rekhanagar Vimana) considered to be the finest in Alampur.

Padma Brahma contains a Shiv linga with a fine mirror like finish. The temple is partly in ruins.

Vishwa Brahma is the most artistic temple of Navabrahma Temples. The temple depicts scenes from epics.

Arka Brahma: The temple is in ruins.

The other temples in the courtyard are the Suryanarayana temple dating back to 9th Century and Narashimha temple with inscriptions from the period of Krishna devaraya of Vijayanagar Empire.

There is also a museum managed and maintained by the Archaeological department in the temple premises.

The nine temples built by King Pulakeshi II were dedicated to Navabrahmeshwara and Jogulamba. Only eight magnificent temples of Navabrahmeshwara could be traced, the ninth temple dedicated to Tarakabrahma could not be traced. The Badami Chalukya rulers ruled for nearly 200 years from the middle of 6th Century onwards. Jogulamba Devi temple was reconstructed where it was originally built.  

Story of Renuka Devi:

Alampur is also famous for Maharishi Jamadagni’s ashram. Maharishi Jamadagni along with his wife, Renuka and four sons was staying in Alampur worshipping Bala Braheshwara Swamy and Jogulamba Devi. Renuka Mata, with her power would regularly make pot with sand and bring water from River Tungabhadra. One day, she saw the King of Gandharva enjoying himself while having a bath in the River with his wives. She immediately felt that pleasures or enjoyment comes from materialistic wealth and not from worshipping God. The very next moment, she lost her divine power of making pots from sand. On reaching home without water, Maharishi Jamadagni wanted to know the reason. Renuka Mata explained the incident and admitted her sinful thoughts.  Maharishi Jamadagni got enraged, and asked his four sons to kill Renuka. While three sons refused to kill, the fourth son, Parushuram killed his mother by cutting off her head with his axe. Maharishi Jamadagni was extremely happy and bestowed a boon. Parushuram asked his father to restore life to his mother. Then Jamadagni revived Renuka to life.

The head of Renuka Mata became Ekaveera Devi and the headless portion of the body is worshipped as Bhudevi. Ekaveera Devi symbolises Maya Rupa (materialistic thoughts) and Bhudevi symbolises Matru Rupa(Mother). Many believe that Ekaveera Devi manifested herself as goddess Yellamama in Undavelli village near Alampur, while the temple of Bhudevi is present in the Bala Bramheswara Swamy temple. 

It is stated that Brahma performed a great penance at this place for propitiating Ishwar by installing and worshipping a Rasalinga. Hence the deity is called Brahmeswara.

Jogulamba mahadevi raudravikshanalochana /
Alampuristhita mata sarvarthaphalasiddhida //