Mathu... just the two words make our hearts yearn
for that serene abode of our Guru Parampara. The fašade
of the Math at Shirali has assumed iconic importance
for all Chitrapur Saraswats.
The current building of the Math was constructed during
the times of Param Shrimat Pandurangashram Swamiji.
Aptly named as "Krishnashram Prasad" as a dedication
to His Guru. The structure nearing a century was in
need of repairs at many places and it was necessary
to make way for new technology that will stand the
test of times for another 100 years ahead. And what
better occasion could there be than the Tercentenary
year for completion of this entire project!
Keeping the interest of retaining original vaastu
of Samadhi temples as untouched as possible, and in
view of the sentiments attached to the fašade, Param
Poojya Swamiji set the task to the Architects that
only exteriors of the Samadhis be touched with the
view to make the structure stronger. Sthapatis- Architects
specializing in design of Temples in accordance with
Shastra were specially invited to contribute to this
Funds were raised by appealing to all Community members
and people made commitments to contribute their best
over a five-year period. Grace of Lord was evident
as cash flow managed to keep pace with the expenditure.
A total of Rs 451 million has been spent so far and
some more amounts are yet to be spent.
As you enter the Math precincts now, the unchanged
fašade of the Math welcomes you. On your left is the
new building of Office and Dhyan Mandir that came
up in the year 2004. A new Vigraha of Lord Ramanjaneya
gazes protectively at all those seeking entry into
Math. This Vigraha was consecrated on 15th February
2008, along with the three new Shrines inside.
Kshetrapal- the Guardian Sentinel of our Vaastu, is
located to your right, as you enter through the main
gate. Kshetrapal sthan was earlier located inside
the Math building, near the Maha Ganapati shrine and
was consecrated at the relocated venue in 2007 April
when the Inner renovation work of all Samadhi Shrines
As you enter the Main building, you find that the
nagara and vajjap team is located in a cosy corner
to your right in a more spacious and well-covered
space. This team that religiously heralds each occasion,
such as arrival of Param Poojya Swamiji into the Math,
the Maha Aarati and also renders melodious music during
Pooja and Ashtavadhan seva, is an important part of
all functions as well as daily sevas.
When you cross the Main door, a large and a bright
spacious hall greets you. The clean granite flooring,
raised ceiling that brings in ample sunlight through
skylight, large column that support the RCC ceiling,
make it possible for more than 700 people to sit comfortably
inside the temple to watch the proceedings. Chiming
of an occasional bell marks the regular stream of
devotees flocking for the Darshan and Dhool Bhet.
As you look straight ahead, the beautiful shrine of
Lord Bhavanishankar greets you benignly. A new Nandi
established in 2007, sits in alert position before
you look to the left, you are greeted by the three
new Shrines- Shrivalli Bhuvaneshwari, Maha Ganapati
and Adi Shankaracharya. The Vigraha of Shrivalli Bhuvaneshwari
captivates your attention and now it is common sight
to see Sadhakas immersed in meditation in front of
this shrine for most parts of the day. Newly composed
Ashatak in Her stuti forms a prominent part of our
recitation in the evening Pooja schedule.
A smiling Adi Shankara seated to Her right, benevolently
goads the Sadhaka on the path of Rasamaya Sadhana.
Mastering the knowledge of all four Vedas at a tender
age of eight, He went on to rejuvenate Advait philosophy
amidst an environment of doubt and disbelief 1200
years ago. A stuti consisting of seven stanzas extolling
His achievements is now recited daily in the evening
rituals. All the six Samadhis have a new appearance
externally, with granite stone cladding on the walls
and silver cladded doors, But the core remains untouched.
Guru Paduka Sannidhi- where Padukas of Param Poojya
Shrimat Parijnanashram Swamiji III were established
ceremoniously at the culmination of the historic Guru
Jyoti Yatra on 15th February 2008- marks the home
coming of our Tenth Guruvarya to be seated in His
rightful place in the resplendent Guru Parampara.
Located to the left of the Sannidhi of Param Poojya
Shrimat Pandurangashram Swamiji, this shrine has,
besides the Holy Paduka, a Shiva Linga- with Swarna
Rekha, Shri Yantra and Guru Jyoti- the lamp that was
lit at the Sanjeevan Samadhi of Param Poojya Shrimat
Parijnanashram Swamiji at Karla, on 7th February 2008.
Behind the Samadhi of Param Poojya Keshavashram Swamiji,
is the new Yajnashala. Spacious and airy, it allows
a large gathering to observe the proceedings without
any hindrance. Behind the shrine of Lord Bhavanishankar
is the place where all family deities that many of
Saraswat Families have left under care and custody
of the Math, are now housed. Neatly placed in well-demarcated
containers, it is possible to view your respective
Deity. A detailed chart placed at the door help you
to identify all Deities by name of each family.
Parikrama of all shrines is easily possible in this
vast expanse of inner precincts of the Math. With
the consecration of the new shrines, the sequence
of Dhool Bhet has changed appropriately, with the
three new shrines taking prominent place in the sequence
after Lord Bhavanishankar.
Teertha Baayeen- the well from which we draw water
for all the sacred rituals, looks even more beautiful
and safe with the new construction. As you traverse
the inner Parikrama in the mornings, you can now hear
the chants of Veda pathan coming from the new home
for our Vaidik Pathshala located on the first floor
above. This place also has ample accommodation for
Vidyarthies. Annapoorna Hall- the new Bhojanshala
that can feed more than 1200 people at a time, on
two floors make it possible to handle large gatherings
without any inconvenience. A large spacious kitchen
to suit this new facility makes use of appropriate
green technology of Gobar gas for cooking, reducing
our dependence on LPG or wood significantly.
To the west of Annapoorna Hall is the new Goshala,
(cow shed) which forms an integral part of following
the Sanatana Dharma. Designed with modern approach
facilitating healthy environment to the cattle, it
is a matter of deep personal interest for Param Poojya
Swamiji and His morning visits soon after Jalabhishek
is an event that even the cows and calves eagerly
look forward to. A recent addition to this family
is Ram, the bull who had the proud privilege of carting
the Holy Padukas and Guru Jyoti all the way from Bhandikeri
Math at Gokarn, in February 2008.
With so many changes taking place all
over, can Shivaganga Sarovar- the small water body
to the North West of Math building be left behind?
It is assuming the form of an amphitheater- with a
stage being set up on the West side, with the Dwadashant
Mandir (Param Poojya Swamiji's dwelling) providing
an idyllic backdrop.