History of Shaktipeet
Shri Vasanth Gurudev Ji’s pilgrimage centre is one such noteworthy outcome of dedicated Yoga Vidya. Until a few years ago, Krishnagiri tirth was hardly a noticeable destination on the map of India. But today it has emerged as a centre of faith for millions of Jains. No wonder then, that we are no longer surprised even when non-Indians have Krishnagiri topping their list of “must visit” places, for today we know that this name has its own significance on the world map. Its fame cannot be without reason. Thousands throng here for a glimpse of Shakti Parshwa Prabhu, Sahasraphana Parshwanatha’s magnificent idol. The blessing of Bhagavathi Padma has transformed this land into a sacred space for pilgrims. This tirth has found its way many a times into the pages of ‘The Guinness Book of World Records’ which goes to prove its popularity as one of the foremost South Indian Jaina havens of pilgrimage. Vasanth Gurudev Ji, the originator of this place has immersed himself in so much devotion that it seems as if the celestials from the heavens come down to bestow their blessings whenever special celebrations are held here. Thus the occurrence of miracles here seems but natural! Pilgrims and even curious visitors, both equally experience the bliss of being transported to the heavens above.
O Sahasraphana Parshwanatha, a hundred salutations to you! May each visitor to this sacred place be blessed by your profound grace, may he be elevated from materialism to spiritualism, from being a mere bhogi to becoming a true yogi, and may each one create many more such divine places.
As the mind dwells on the seeds that sprouted into the creative construction of this holy place, it also reflects on that which gave rise to such karmas and arrives at the question often asked of Gurudev Ji – “How did you attain sainthood just by spreading the blessing of peace?” Gurudev i’s answer as he calmly leafs through the pages of his past helps us understand that there are those who are so deeply moved by an incident or tragedy in life that it brings about a great transformation in their being. And such transformation becomes the medium of service to the world at large. For Gurudev Ji, his tragic experience as a young child of seeing his sister suddenly die on his mother’s lap and then, of pushing his own grief aside to shoulder the responsibility of a grieving mother was no ordinary task as one can well imagine! He found his one and only succor in God and thus it was, that his endless, devoted prayers helped him through his own grief. Despite being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as the phrase goes, he renounced worldly comforts and set himself on the path of sadhana and salvation. The young boy was unaware of the realms of bhakti but the innocent prayers that emerged from his dedicated heart began a unique journey. The effect of his prayers gradually increased and beckoned Ma Padmavathi in a manner that she was compelled to come down to earth for the sake of bhakti. Gurudev Ji, who is as much an ardent aspirant of Prabhu Parshwa as he is a fervent devotee of Goddess Padmavathi, watched the eccentric world of karma and even as a young lad realized the futility of this materialistic world. He plunged himself so deep in devotion and worship that word spread far and wide and soon the palatial home of his parents was too small to accommodate the stream of thronging devotees. It was now a place of pilgrimage where on religious occasions, even food was prepared in large quantities to feed all those who visited.
Seeing the increasing number of devotees, the devout boy approached the lotus feet of the Goddess and said – “Mother, it is upon you that I depend. You have to take care of all these people. Give me your blessings so that I may construct an exclusive pilgrimage centre and spread the message of Prabhu Parshwa’s grace and the everflowing compassion emanating from your charming eyes to all your devotees.”
How could the Mother ignore this guileless prayer that arose like a wave for the welfare of humanity? She blessed this son of unblemished heart through a devik sanketh (divine indication) by appearing in his dreams saying – “O son,There is a village called Krishnagiri. 5 km from this village you will find a vast expanse of land. This land is related to Naglok (world of snakes) or pathaal lok.(It is considered that there is a direct connection to pathaal lok from this place.) There will be two date trees with fourteen fruits each at the entrance or the boundary. This is the land where you can fulfill your heart’s desire.” Gurudev ji followed these indications as per Matha Padmavathis instruction and found everything that came in his dream coming true.
When Gurudev ji reached the divine land King of Naglok gave him dharshan and indicated that he has been protecting this place for years and hence needs to be provided with a place for his worship and depending on that Krishnagiri Theerth will develop.
During early days Krishnagiri was a big jungle and Gurudev ji used to stay in this jungle in a small hut. Slowly people started realizing importance of Gurudev ji and Maatha Padmavathy. They started visiting this place. From limited number of people it started growing to hundreds and lakhs of devotees. With the amount of devotees Krishnagiri started developing. So many miracles happened in the development of Krishnagiri Theerth. One such incident was when the owner of the land said that this land never consists of water and previous nine attempts of digging borewell to get water was in vain. Gurudev ji with the indication and instruction from Matha Padmavathy proceeded and land was brought and foundation was laid. After which when the land was dug, and within 9 feet water started jetting out as 40 feet fountain for three days. People from all around visited to see tis miracle because in previous occasions even after 300 to 400 ft also water was not found in this land area. Another such incident was the auditorium which was built within 27 days before Navarathri celebration. Like this many incidents happened (Glass temple in 11 months, Guest house with 20 rooms built in 6 months etc).
Such is the remarkable power of sadhana and sacrifice, that what was hitherto a barren thirty-three acres of land, useful to none, in a short span of time is now an enchanting paradise giving shade, shelter and peace to all. Universal welfare happens only when such Great ones sacrifice their all for the happiness of others. Look at the amazing potential of this yogi! In a short span of five years, a plot of wilderness has been transformed into an auspicious beckoning. In order never to be distracted from his mission, following the instructions of Mother Goddess, he has also committed himself to a life of austerity and celibacy. His entire being is devoted to the service of the Lord, Ma Bhagavathi and the pilgrims.
As soon as the land was procured, the first thing he built there was a large assembly hall which could seat thousands of people. Along with this, a huge podium attached to the hall, two rooms with comfortable facilities on either sides of the podium and a permanent office were constructed, all within a staggeringly short period of twenty-seven days. The completion of a project of such magnitude within such a short span can only be called a miracle arising from Gurudev Ji’s fervent devotion and Goddess Padmavathi’s blessings.
Every inch of this sacred site invokes the power and potential of each devotee to rise above the illusionary cycle of transmigration. This haven is Gurudev Ji Vasanth’s spiritual ground, his tapobhoomi, his yogabhoomi. So steadfast and complete is his faith that the dark, beautiful image of Sahsraphana Parshwanatha which he carried in his heart and soul through every step of his life has gradually unfolded into reality and seated itself in tangible form in this pristine place for the world to see and behold. This idol, along with the magical ambience surrounding it, lures many a heart to experience the inexplicable aura of Krishnagiri tirth.
The glorious presiding deity, Prabhu Parshwanatha, is flanked by the idols of Dharanendra and Goddess Padmavathi on one side and His guardians, Parshwa Yaksha and Yakshini, on the other. The Sahasra Nagaphana, an umbrella of snakehoods sheltering the idol completes the alluring picture. Gurudev Ji’s instructions to the sculptor to carve out twenty-four idols of Jineshvar in accordance with scriptural injunctions, has enhanced the divine beauty of the deity. First of its kind in the world, this 85-inch tall idol is proof of the genius of its sculptor. Indubitably, this dark idol of Sahasraphana Shakti Parshwanatha always showers infinite grace on the devotees thronging this sacred place. It alleviates them from sin and evil, blessing them always with divine serenity. His Holiness Upadhyaya Pravar Marudhar Mani Shri Maniprabhasagarji conducted the consecration of the idols of Sahasraphana Shakti Parshwanatha and Padmavathi on June 20, 2005.
On this sacred occasion, another historical moment was achieved at Shri Parshwa Padmavathi Shakti Peeth when a sacred grantha was released. So unique and magnificent in size and content is this grantha, that it has found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and truly leaves its beholders spellbound. Titled “Shri Parshwa Mahima Mahagrantham”, this book records the historical stories of the 108 Parshwa Pilgrim centres. Weighing 13 kgs, the book is preserved in a beautiful box and is priced at Rs. 3000/-. It was photographed, compiled, designed, edited and printed (Navkar Printers, Nilesh Jain, Chennai, India) in just 68 days which in itself is a marvelous feat accomplished!
The inner sanctum sanctorium is as magnificent as a celestial chariot. The idol of Shakti Parshwanatha in pristine white marble is mesmerizing to the eye. From the first glance, this 41-inch idol with the snake hoods enthralls the devotees into stunned awe. It was consecrated by the blessed hands of the elderly monk, His Holiness Acharyadev Shri Sthulabhadrasureeshvarji on Vikram era 2061 during the dark fortnight of vaishaka poornima at Shri Parshwa Padmavathi Shaktipeeth, Krishnagiri.