A helpful priest quietly obliged by taking one gadget after another, quickly shooting some close-ups of the puja and returning it to its owner. I was invited to celebrate it at the Shree Samsthan Gokaran Partagal Math. Several court documents describe the procedure for administrating an oath. There, on a hillock near Priol surrounded by green hills, lies a temple dedicated to Lord Mangeshi, a form of Lord Siva. 1517 "At least from 1540 onwards, and in the island of Goa before that year, all the Hindu idols had been annihilated or had disappeared, all the temples… Roman Catholic was very common during the rule of Portuguese. He sent for some of the young men, and they showed us the chakras and conches that had been etched on their skin, a painful process that also serves as a rite of bravery and a formal initiation. The accused bathed in the temple tank and was garlanded with red flowers of a plant locally known as pitkuli. RELATED: Catholic Church and government in Goa, India, exchange accusations. Headlines are made of such fodder; and popular Hindi movies portray Goans as mostly Christian, Westernized in their ways and indulgent in their morals. A large dedicated team of youth quickly and efficiently served the delicious prasadam. I could not agree more. He continued, "In our math we emphasize tapas and festival vows. Catholic TV. Whatever is given to them directly is theirs. "I have many personal experiences that I could share," said Kenkere. ‘Walking Pilgrimage or Bhavartachi Yatra’ is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by thousands of faithful from all over Goa and beyond in the Lenten season of the Catholic calendar, to the frontpiece of the old church of Sancoale,” the complaint says. It was a Saturday and the weekend spirit was alive. Joining our crew was Vivek Ivan Thayil, a Goa-born photographer. Soon thereafter, in 1510, the ruling Bijapur kings were defeated by the Portuguese, who established a permanent settlement and aggressively proselytized the Christian faith. It’s been built with chiro, Goa’s natural laterite soil, the chairs in the lobby are old-style Goan and an alcove has both Hindu deities and a statue of Mary. This bell was so widely known and respected that even the Portuguese came here to solemnize their deals with locals. Share. Goa's two main maths are the Kavale Math (Smarta) and the Partagal Math (Vaishnavite). Around 353 years back we started celebrating Ramanavami in a particular way, a pattern we have followed ever since. ", In fact, every demolished temple was soon relocated and rebuilt; the murtis, and in some cases the homa kunda, were heroically rescued and reinstalled. In 1312, Goa came under the Delhi Sultanate, which propagated Islam, only to be taken a few decades later by the might of the Hindu Vijayanagara empire. Hinduism Today went to the jewel of the Konkan to ferret out the real Goans, to learn how they live and connect with the Gods, and how strong Hinduism has remained despite centuries of persecution--which began long before the arrival of the Christian missionaries with their Bible-and-sword hegemony. In all Hindu form majority religion in 2 out of 2 districts of Goa state. Till the Portuguese missionaries came. But this was the hath kata khamba (pole where hands are cut), used to punish those who committed crimes during the Portuguese era. The youth want to understand Hinduism. This oft-repeated story empowers modern-day Goans, strengthening their sense of duty and their connection with the land and its traditions. Thus, being away from one's local temple is no impediment to worship. Then there is a wide-ranging and thoughtful analysis of the relationship of the two religious traditions in Goa as seen by Henn himself over many years of research. Though He was far away from where we stood, we could feel the powerful vibrations emanating from the gleaming, beautifully decorated murti. Isolated, the shunned Hindus eventually converted, out of the need to belong to some community. At one end was a stage, ready for live devotional music and bhajan performances later in the day. Waving and blessing the crowd, they seemed to bask in the devout happiness of the thousands present. On the contrary, there are widely known cases in which punishment befell those who dared to take a false oath. Shrines across the territory were plundered, temples were closed and Hindus were even tortured and killed for failure to convert. Three huge wooden chariots, about 22 feet high, carried the utsava murtis of Lord Rama and His family. Temples here are managed with a view to serving their supporting families. While this might seem tangential to a discussion of modern Goa, it underlines the long, complicated nature of the Christian-Hindu encounter over 500 years. Many braved the hot weather under the sun, outside the tents and buildings. The façade of the Church of Our Lady of Good Health in Sancoale, Goa, India. But Hinduism cannot be understood with tapas alone; it cannot be understood by experiencing it superficially. Most temples in Goa are similarly well-run, clean and efficiently organized. In olden days, the judicial system of this area gravitated around the powers of the Mahalasa bell. Copyright© 2021 Himalayan Academy. Shankaracharya's bold words resonated far and wide, but it was at the feet of Govinda Bhagavatpada that he shaped many of his ideas. Soon a clear silence descended, as thousands awaited the speech given by the head of the math, Shri Gokarna Partagal Mathdhish Shripad Wader Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami Maharaj. Within a few hours I was convinced he is a modern-day Hindu saint, immersed in bhakti most of his waking hours. The need of the hour, for Goa and the world, I think, is to have religions led by tolerant and good people," said the calm priest, whose life is rich with blessings due to his service of Sri Mangeshi Siva. ", Though kaul prasad is also practiced in other temples, Damodar is famous for its accuracy. "Today it is said that our youth do not have faith. Publisher's Desk Article In Other Languages. I was fascinated with the majestic seven-storeyed deepstambha at the entrance, a distinctive architectural feature of most local temples similar to a coastal lighthouse. Beautifully maintained, Shantadurga Temple stands on a patio surrounded by guest apartments. On April 1 st 1650 for instance, four people were burnt to death, the next auto da fé was on December 14, 1653, when 18 were put to the flames, accused of the crime of heresy. Each of these local Gods represents one of the greater Gods. Sign up to get the latest Catholic news and stories delivered right to your inbox. Goa has just 1,429 square miles, slightly less than America's smallest state, Rhode Island. The new temple began as a simple structure; the current temple complex was only built in 1739, under Maratha rule. We disagree. In 1540, the Portuguese demolished all our temples located in the old conquest area; even the British did not damage our religion elsewhere in India the way the Portuguese did here in Goa. In following our journalist's footsteps there, those stereotypes may have to be discarded. Majestically seated on his guru pitham, the wise man shared some of his views for readers of Hinduism Today. 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Today there are as few as 700 Catholic priests in Goa. Catholics come to yatras and Hindus drop by processions. Mr V. Sundaram has perfectly explained what happened to then hindus in Goa and Adjoining regions because of cruelity of Francis Xavier St. Francis Xavier landed in Goa on 6 May 1542, with a resolve of ‘uprooting paganism’ from the soil of India and planting Christianity in its place. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Legends say some died right after leaving the temple; others got seriously hurt or went mad. "Mangeshi Temple is under the spiritual guidance of Kavale Math," he told us. The place was crowded. The Deity was brought from the nearby village of Cortalim on May 1, 1560, just before the destruction of its original temple by the Portuguese colonizers, who were ruthless iconoclasts and ardent proselytizers in the early days of their rule. 430. According to local lore, the guardians of the temple will remove their blessings and punish anyone who utters a lie under the bell or breaks a vow taken at that sacred spot. Still, Church leaders have complained of heightening intercommunal tensions since the party took over in the state. I was mistaken. This is a most unusual temple, for here the ancient art of kaul prasad is practiced by the priests. Special Feature Goa Surviving a Troubled Past, Thriving in a Progressive Present Consider everything you know about the lushly tropical state of Goa. With some proof at the end. This system has been there for ages." ", Manjunath Pai Dukle, President of Damodar Temple, shared some of the secrets of kaul prasad divination. Tradition has preserved the names of some of those pioneers: Adhyapan, Adhyayan, Yajana, Dana and Pratigraha. Its crystal chandeliers from the nineteenth century contrast strangely with the Chola-style granite pillars, which are considered the most beautiful in the state. Most Goan temples have strict dress codes, due to the overwhelming number of tourists. Shri Gaudapadacharya wrote the cornerstone treatise Mandukya Karika (also called Gaudapada Karika or Agama Shastra), which ends with this shloka: "Having realized that state of nonduality, which is very difficult to realize, very profound, birthless, uniform and holy, we pay our obeisance to That, to the best of our abilities.". In the 3rd century ce, Goa was incorporated into the Mauryan Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor Ashoka. Many churches are closed except for festivals, and old chapels have fallen into disuse. GSB members especially are expected to dress impeccably when visiting God, and they oblige. We’re a news site dedicated to offering the very best in smart, wired and independent coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. The math's sprawling campus houses a temple dedicated to Samsthan Aradhyadevata Shri Bhavani Shankar, an aspect of Siva, and is dotted with the samadhi shrines of several saints who lived here over the centuries. Sometimes the flower may not fall for the whole day. The priest requested the local officials to take immediate notice of the offences and register an FIR, in addition to taking steps to prevent any further damage and communal violence. When Vasco Da Gama arrived in India in 1498, he mistook Hindus for Christians, but Jesuit missionaries soon declared war on the alleged idolatry of the Hindus. Anyone can be a Hindu and may follow any path whatsoever. Goan Catholics uphold the Hindu caste system even today. A local historian, Dr. Pramod Pathak, explains that the pole was used to punish neo-converts who were not following their new Christian religion seriously and still lived like Hindus at home. "For 450 years the Hindus in Goa were cut off from the mainstream of Hinduism. If the petal on the right side falls, permission is granted. The condemned Hindus were publicly burned at the stake in the square outside the Sé Cathedral in batches during ceremonies. The local priests, too, are connected to the GSB families. "Suppose I have to buy a property; I will come here and put the question before Damodar. The Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), a wing of Goa Church, has urged Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to resolve the issue of beef shortage … The new church is in the parish itself. Catholicism as it is practiced in Goa has incorporated elements of Hinduism. In Goa's system, every temple is associated with one of the maths. It was high noon by the time we received darshan of Sri Mangeshi, the main Deity. As nadasvarams started blaring, a contagious excitement ran though the crowd of devotees, myself included. Hindu temples in Goa are, almost all of them, private and run by traditional GSB families who allow guests to worship under rules. The harbinger of peace, the Goddess is always depicted as having the two Divinities by Her sides. The list of famous temples in Goa include Maruti … Each one performs pujas for certain GSB families. This view was endorsed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which during a conclave held here in 2000, released a six-page brochure on the subject. Though we did not have a prior appointment, Maheshwar A.R. "I am very optimistic about our religion. Many churches were built in Renaissance styled architecture in Goa. Only those belonging to Mahajana families can enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and perform pujas personally. From 765 to 1015, the Jain Silharas of the Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled Goa, sponsoring their faith and building Jain temples. Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak as a principle, however, Guru Govind Singh made it a clan fighting for the motherland and self-respect. The incident took place at  on Dec. 30 in Sancoale, Goa, in the southwest of India. Some of the devotee families I spoke with had come from as far as New Delhi and Mumbai. This powerful form of divination uses flower petals from a sacred tree in the temple compound to interpret intimations from the Gods. If the project receives God's blessings, that flower will not be washed away. Goa Hindu Festivals. No more than boys, they proudly displayed the sign of their courage, the sacred symbols that made them belong to a holy tradition, symbols that also earned them respect from their peers. The management's rigorous attention to detail seems neither repressive nor inhibiting. Three dead after tempo falls into gorge along Mumbai-Goa highway - The Hindu Three people were killed and 67 were suspected to have sustained injuries after … Currents News Language was no barrier; though most Goans speak Konkani, English is widely used, and the locals are quick to smile and offer help. Thus Hindu festivals in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. The sabhagriha, main hall, is a spacious room which accommodates over 500 people. Neither the print media nor Bollywood movies have ever highlighted the spiritual dimensions of Goa, its ancient Hindu maths (monasteries) and temples. Sometimes the responses indicate uncertainty, but at other times they are so clear that you can put fifty lakh rupees on it, even if you only own five cents. When he left Goa, these brahmins became the sole lords of the land, to care for it into eternity. ", According to Venkatesh Naik Gaonkar, it was the leadership of the local maths that enabled Hinduism in Goa to withstand the turbulence of colonial years. Locality/village: Tambdi Surla : State: Goa: Deity: Lord Shiva But the fanaticism of the Portuguese's first two centuries of rule left visible scars. Those who received these items immediately shared their blessings with others, cutting the fruit and giving away extra coins. In the volume, Henn advances two major claims. Along with photographer Vivek Ivan, we were driven straight to Calangute Beach. While the temple administrators are responsible for quotidian matters, spiritual decisions come from the guru of the math that oversees that temple. Not one remained in the happy lands of our division." In following our journalist's footsteps there, those stereotypes may have to be discarded. Coming from North India, I unconsciously brought along a prejudiced idea of this state that is common in our country. A second Deity, Lakshmi Narayan (a form of Vishnu), is equally venerated; this is a Siva-Vishnu Temple. In Goa, Shantadurga is She who mediates between Vishnu and Siva. These two maths represent different philosophies, but they work in absolute harmony with each other.". Kavale Math also runs a Smarta pathashala, a training school of priests. The Portuguese would plant evidence in people's front yards that they had converted to Christianity, using a cross, or more subtly, spreading crumbs of bread--which no chapati-loving Hindu would eat. Access to the innermost areas of the temple is usually restricted to GSB family members. Preference is given to the members of any GSB family, whose ancestors have owned and managed most of the prominent temples of Goa for ages. They are privately owned and managed, free and independent of any kind of government aid. The shopkeepers were busy and happy, doing a brisk business and selling more and yet more food. One could barely walk on the sand without bumping into others. Several rulers followed, many vigorously proselytizing their own religious preferences--the Chutus of Karwar, the Western Kshatrapas, the Abhiras, the Bhojas, the Konkan Mauryas and others. Concord has descended on the Goan population. Early European travelers, like Venetian Pietro Della Valle, who visited Goa in the 1700s, denounced in their travelogues "unchristian" practices in local Catholic churches and shrines. He was the most prominent Vedanta scholar of his time, said to be the first to see the eternal truth revealed in Upanishads as strictly monistic, or advaita. "It is managed by its twenty-four founding families, known as Mahajanas. Tainted by these signs of alien behavior, those who lived there would be shunned by haughty Hindu neighbors. Ancient Goa was a Hindu region. In 1764 this area, too, fell under Portuguese control; but by that time, the colonizers had lost their initial zeal, and the Hindu Gods could once again be worshiped in safety. The following morning, we were told, the chariot would be pulled again, covering a much longer distance, powered by the peak crowds that were expected. We first visited Goa's state capital, Panaji, a city of only 65,000. Shanta Durga Temple at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka is … The Deity here is Mahalasa Narayani, an aspect of Lord Vishnu portrayed in a female form. A knowledgeable priest can infer a lot from the dropping of the flowers. The very air erupted with myriad sounds of fervor and devotion, including crackers and fireworks. A big tent, made of woven palm tree leaf fibers and colorfully decorated, shaded hundreds of chairs, where devotees relaxed or waited for the queue to subside before they went for darshan. Maruti Temple – For Lord Hanuman’s Blessings. To be a Hindu requires no fixed principle to be followed, unlike Islam. The data for 2020 & 2021 is under process and will be updated in few weeks. The maths in Goa have friendly, cordial relations. All rejoiced: Lord Rama had arrived in Goa, favorite land of the Gods, where Hinduism shines bright. Though not as old as the Sri Mangeshi Temple, this one has a parallel history: it, too, was built to shelter a Deity that was moved to protect it from the Portuguese. In the Skanda Purana, Goa is referred to as the Land of the Gods. Goa – a former Portuguese colony which was annexed by India in 1961 – is considered a center of Latin Rite Catholicism in the country, and Christians make up about a quarter of the population in the state, compared to less than 3 percent for India as a whole. In our whole family, no decision is taken without consulting God here. Hindu fanatics allege that the Hindus of Goa were forced to convert to Christianity under the Goa Inquisition which was ordered by St. Francis Xavier. The first missionaries realized early on that despite the persuasive power of brute force--"conversions were made," wrote contemporary Portuguese chroniclers, with "the cross in one hand, the sword in the other"--it was difficult to wrench Goans from their Hindu beliefs and traditions. Hinduism is the pre-dominant religion in Goa. Gopal Das, our guide, explained that Goan Hindus emphasize the importance of their gramadevata (family or local Deity). We asked our local guide, Gopal Das Ji, to take us to the ocean; my wife, Renu, felt that we should not leave Goa without having visited a famous beach in the capital of beaches. Though the long years of Portugal have left the Christian influence on Goa, yet Goa has not forgotten its roots and maximum people follow Hinduism. From the sabhagriha one reaches the sacred garbhagriha, wherein resides the murti of Lord Mangeshi. The glorious Chidambaram Temple of Tamil Nadu follows a similar system. Given the often dishonest or brutal methods used, it is no surprise that new converts did not become enthusiastic Christians. Hinduism constitutes 66.08% of Goa population. The descendants of these original families are called the Gaud Saraswath Brahmins (GSB). On Lord Rama's chariot the head of the math and a bevy of priests performed an elaborate puja, with flowers abounding. Alexander Henn’s Hindu-Catholic Encounters in Goa stands in this scholarly trajectory, and contributes significantly to it. Like so many others, this Deity was moved to protect it from the Portuguese; this one originated in the city of Verna. An exceptional feature is the extraordinary silver craftsmanship. In a representation, state convenor of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an umbrella organisation for various Hindu groups in the state, its convenor Dr. … Historians say the early Portuguese played on the strict mentality of the Goans, using their prejudices against them. Meet Goa, the marvel of West India. Buddhist monks worked tirelessly to spread their religion here. Allow the Goans to speak for themselves. The women's graceful saris outshone the dull Western attire of the men. Far into the night, devotees continued pouring in, arriving for the next day's festivities. In spite of the chaos imposed by successive rulers of different religions--or perhaps seasoned and strengthened by it--Goans have mostly kept to their roots. The next morning arrived with an air of festivity: it was Ramanavami, the celebration of Lord Rama's birthday. Consider everything you know about the lushly tropical state of Goa. It was a mad, suffocating place. Almost all the present-day Goan Catholicsare descendants of these local converts to the religion. I could feel the strong vibrations of these great souls as we went by, the fragrance of flowers and freshly lit incense emanating from the places where their bodies dwell. The sense of caste and purity is keenly upheld in Goa--to a fault. Later that day we proceeded to Shantadurga Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga. In 1498, Muslims conquered Goa again. Therefore, each temple is the hub of a particular group of families who worship the same Deity. Devotees freely attend festivals of the two main ones, even though Kavale Math is Smarta and Partagal is Vaishnava. For one person the mukut could be good, and for another it might not be good.". Bleach-white churches, fancy villas, cobbled streets and interesting buildings give Panaji a European feel. Posted by. Category:Hinduism in Goa. Alvares held a demonstration in front of the Old Church façade on Jan 3.

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