About Sri Vasavi Kanyaka parameswari Temple
According to a legend, Vasavi Kanyaka Paratneswariwas was famous for her beauty and situated in Penugonda. This Penugonda Kshetram is considered the ‘Kasi of Vysyas’ and is a holy place for Vysyas.
Kusuma Sresti or Setty was the Setty king of Vysyas also known as Pedda Setty who’s territory was a Vassal state of Vangi Desa, which was ruled by Vishnu Vardhana. His capital was Penugonda city for all the 18 Parganas during the 10th and 11th century A.D. He and his wife Kusumamba were considered an ideal couple and led a peaceful domestic life. They worshiped Lord Siva as part of their daily duties. Though they had been married for many years, the couple did not have peace of mind as there was no successor to the kingdom.
Their many prayers and sacrifices did not bear fruit and hence they were grief-stricken. They approached their Kula guru Bhaskara Acharya also a Komati who was well versed in shastras and under his profession was treated as a Komati Brahman. He advised them to perform Puthra Kamesti Yaga, which Dasharatha had observed.
During the auspicious hour, the couple started yoga. The Gods were pleased and sent prasadam through Yagneswara. They were told that they would beget children after eating prasadam. With devotion, they ate the Prasadam, and within a few days, the signs of pregnancy were found with Kusumamba. She expressed unusual desires, which indicated that she would give birth to children who would fight for the welfare of all. During the spring season, there was pleasure everywhere. Amidst this beauty, Kusumamba gave birth to twins, one male the other female on Friday the tenth of Vaisaka at twilight during a convergence of Uttara Nakshatram and Kanya.
The male child was named Virupaksha, and the female Vasavamba. During childhood, Virupaksha showed the features of becoming a powerful king, whereas, in Vasavi, the inclination towards art & architecture, adoration music, and philosophical approach were seen. Under the guidance of Bhaskara Acharya, Virupaksha learned the Puranas, fencing, horse riding, martial arts, archery, statecraft, etc, which were essential to rule his Territory. Vasavi learned fine arts and mastered philosophy and was proud to be an intelligent woman.
When Virupaksha attained proper age he married Ratnavati, daughter of Aridhi Setty of Aelur Town. The huge gathering thought that even Vasavi’s marriage would one day also be observed with the same pomp and grandeur. When King Vishnu Vardhana went on an expedition to expand his empire, he visited Penugonda, where King Kusuma Setti received him and took him in a procession, and arranged a felicitation program in the colorful auditorium. After Manmatha threw his sweet arrows on him, Vimaladitya spotted Vasavi among the crowd and fell madly in love with her.
He felt he could not live without her and was determined to marry her. He sent a minister to enquire about her. The desire of Vimaladithya was like a death blow to Kusuma’s sresty. He was neither in a position to accept it nor to deny it. The fact that the Emperor was already married, was much older, the difference in caste, and the fact that he was not in a position to prevent this from occurring all caused extreme stress for Kusuma Setti.
He discussed these issues with his closest family and friends and they unanimously decided to let Vasavi decide. Vasavi frankly expressed her desire to be a Virgin throughout her life and intended not to concentrate on worldly matters. Kusuma Setti sent a denial message to king Vishnuvardhana. The king was furious and sent a Battalion with orders to attack mercilessly and to get Vasavi for him. The brave Komti’s of Penugonda by using the techniques of Sama, Daana, Bheda, and finally Danda, defeated Vishnuvardana’s army.
As per the directions of Vasavi, at the holy place of Brahmakunda on the banks of Godavari, the royal servants specially arranged 103 Agnikundas. The whole city was observing that day as a festival day. Then Vasavi asked the couples of the 102 Gotras: “Will you plunge into this holy fire along with me?” Every one of them wholeheartedly gave their consent. They suspected Vasavi must be an incarnation of God and requested her to show her real nature or swarupa.
She smiled and revealed her true self, which had the glittering radiance surpassing the brightness of the sun. She said: “I am the incarnation of Adiparashakthi.” To safeguard the dignity of women and to protect Dharma, to destroy Vishnu Vardhana, and to reveal to the world the magnanimity of Komti’s I come here in Kaliyuga. Like Sati Devi who was insulted entered into holy fire, I too plunge into the holy fire and enter the other world.
Kusuma sresty during last birth was a great Saint by name Samadhi as per his aspirations he could attain salvation along with the people of 102 Gotras. That is why I asked you all to undergo Atma Balidana.” Vasavi advised the gathering about patriotism, honesty, social service, and tolerance, etc.
Devi disappeared as soon as the divine words came out of her mouth and people saw her in human form. Then all of them entered into a holy fire after meditating upon their Gods. Though Vishnuvardhana felt bad Omens, he marched ahead and reached the main entrance of Penugonda. Then his detectives reported what all had happened in the city. He could not bare the great shock and his heart shattered into pieces. He fell vomiting blood and he was no more.
The son of Vishnuvardhana, Raja Raja Narendra rushed to Penugonda and repented about the incident. Later on, Virupaksha consoled him and said: “Brother, let us learn and formulate the present and future on the strong base of past. Vasavi had come to the rescue of the people without giving room for great bloodshed. Her non-violence gave a good result”, henceforth Komatis shall not fight or rule states but shall engage in the service and as well-wishers of others including services like trade, agriculture, etc..,
Virupaksha visited many pilgrim centers like Kasi, Gaya, and others under the guidance of Komati Kula guru Baskara Acharya. To commemorate the pilgrimage they installed 101 lingams for each Gotras in Penugonda. Then, Narendra installed a statue of Vasavi as a token of respect. From that day onwards all Komti’s began performing Pooja to her and is considered as Komatikula Devata-Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari.
Vasavi’s life is worth remembering because of her faith in non-violence religious values and her defense of the status of women. She became immortal as she has been mainly responsible for the propagation of the reputation of Komatis throughout the world. Vasavi, who had rejected worldly pleasures, won the minds of Komatis and is the champion of peace and non-violence and will be remembered at all times by one and all.
Timings To Visit
06-00 AM – 12-00 PM | 03-30 PM – 08-00 PM.
Annadanam at Sri Vasavi Kanyaka parameswari Temple
Morning: 06:00 AM onwards
Lunch: noon onwards
Dinner: 07:00 PM onwards
How to reach Sri Vasavi Kanyaka parameswari Temple
By Air: Vijayawada Airport – 130 km,
By Train: Tadepalligudem Station – 30 km, Nidadavole station – 30 km, Palakollu Station – 15 km
By Bus: Tadepalligudem – 28 km, Nidadavolu – 30 km, Palakollu 14.7 km
Sri Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari Temple, Penugonda – 534320, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Official Website Of Sri Vasavi Kanyakaparameswari Temple
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