The following temple is a testimony that the "Hinduism" is not a religion, but a way of life. This temple is UNIQUE and one of its kinds. The temple that I’m referring to is Sri Ajaatha Nagalinga Swamy Mata in Navalagunda town in Darward Dist., Karnataka, India. Sri Ajaatha Nagalinga Swamy is a 19th century Yogi. He was born in Javalagi Village in Sindhanur town of Raichur Dist., Karnataka. He became a yogi at a very young age. He spent his initial life in wondering around, doing miracles, and helping people in distress. He finally settled down at the Mouneshwara cave temple in Dharwad. His teachings were very simple and anyone could easily understand and put it in to practice. He preached; ''Ones heart is the temple while ones soul is the god''. So, one has to have a clean and pure heart. He believed in Advaitha philosophy. In his times he was very popular among villagers, still he is. He has many devotees and many followers.
|Ajaatha Nagalinga Swamy|
He is a yogi who has uncanny resemblance to Jesus Christ. The Picture of Sri Ajaatha Nagalinga Swamy’s hung on the temple walls will concur with my comparison. When there is a mention of Jesus Christ then there should some reference to Bible. Yes, you read me right. There is indeed a very sacred book here and that is the BIBLE. Bible is the sacred book in this Hindu temple. Everyday, the temple priest offers prayers as per Hindu tradition and is kept for display. Every devotee who comes to this temple pays his/her prayers to the bible aswell. Bible written in Kannada-the official language of Karnataka state is not read in this temple. Although, bible is very sacred here it is not a ‘CHURCH’ but a ‘HINDU’ Temple.
growing on its own. There is a very interesting story as how this Bible reached this temple. This Bible is one book and has both Old and New Testaments. Once lived a great Devi devotee by the name Kalappa in Mushteegeri village of Badami town in Bagalkote dist, Karnataka. Kalappa also showed interest in Bible reading; he had a first edition of bible (published in 1865 by Watson machine prints). Sri Ajaatha Nagalinga Swamy met Kalappa and prophesied his next birth. He took the bible from Kalappa, drilled a hole on it with the help of a hook (used to peel coconut from its shell). The yogi then dropped a 1 Re Victorian silver coin in to the perforation. It came out from the other end smoothly. He informed Kalappa that the hole will completely close on its own and when it does, he will be born again in a different avatar. From that day on, the hole started closing.. subsequently the missing words on the bible reappeared magically. As of today, the hole is a size of a needle. Yogi passed away in 1881. The yogi’s followers have erected the place where he is buried, a Shiva lingam. Late Kalappa gave away the Bible to the temple. To this date, the Bible and the Silver coin are preserved in this temple with great care and devotion. And Temple officials have recorded the radius of this hole regularly. Anyone can access it, ofcourse with temple authorities permission.
|Bible and the coin|
|Thole that is closing on its own|
|The coin that was dropped inside the hole|
|initial measurement were recorded on the bible itself|
|Official records of the measurement|
Besides bible, there are also some interesting items in this temple like the ‘Panja’ (The sword used during Muslim festival ‘Moharam’) and a “Cart” (sidagi in Kannada) used to carry the dead to the burial ground in this very same temple. No where else you will see bible, panja or the cart together in a hindu temple. This Sidagi was used as yogi’s chariot. Yogi used to sit on it and his followers carried him around. Yogi first found this abandoned cart at a graveyard, and requested his students to carry it while he sat on it. He requested to go around the village. Many villagers objected to this procession, as it is very uncommon for a living person to use a sidagi. Those who objected were mysteriously died, and some faced weird difficulties. They understood that yogi was not an ordinary person and then on they too became a staunch follower of the yogi. Thereby, yogi attracted many devotees from all walks of life. Today, female devotees tie green bangles in memory of yogi’s greatest devotee Beemavva to this cart for either for a prosperous marriage or for children. All their wishes have come true. Sometimes bangles are tied for various reasons too. Moharam too is celebrated in this Hindu temple. This temple resonates communal harmony from every nook and corner.
Although, yogi is not physically present, some devotees claim they have seen the yogi, while some others say they have heard the yogi speaking, either ways people in this region have great respect for the yogi, who has taught that making peace is more important than making war. This indeed will be one of my favorite Temple stories to this date.
|The arier view of the temple/mutt|
|The cave temple|
|The cave temple 1|