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flag   Our Maths | Shirali


Amgelo 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 aspect.

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 was completed.

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 His Master.

As 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.