Goa Hindu Festivals. Persuasion rather than force were used to convert at first, and soldiers were encouraged to marry local women thus ensuring Christian children. "Suppose I have to buy a property; I will come here and put the question before Damodar. On Mahasivaratri, 250 abhishekams are performed at Nagesh Temple alone, each one sponsored by a pious family.". “Nearly two thousand people participated – with masks and maintaining social distancing. Sign up to get the latest Catholic news and stories delivered right to your inbox. Angelus News Shankaracharya's bold words resonated far and wide, but it was at the feet of Govinda Bhagavatpada that he shaped many of his ideas. Father Luis Alvares, the pastor of the Sancoale parish, told Crux around 25 people began performing the Hindu Pooja in front of the façade of the parish’s original church — Our Lady of Good Health, now often referred to as the Old Church — which now sits in front of a chapel which still holds Mass on Sundays. Kavale Math also runs a Smarta pathashala, a training school of priests. "Now we have 33 branches all over India, where we run pathashalas, hospitals and temples. There are no set fees, but the experienced priests, who can tell much more than a yes or no answer, receive generous donations for their divinations. The women's graceful saris outshone the dull Western attire of the men. Goa, with a population of 1.4 million, is one of India's richest states; its per-capita GDP is two and a half times India's average. "Basically, all Gods here are Siva, Lakshmi, Durga and Kali, in many forms familiar to the locals and under different names." Church of St. Francis of Assisi. "Our math was founded 550 years ago," explains Anil Pai, a trustee of Partagal Math. The increased prosperity has strengthened Goans' pride in their own culture; and the tourists themselves, Indians and foreigners alike, want to visit temples and perhaps receive an archana. Outsiders cannot donate for the maintenance and construction of the buildings; their donations are used solely for performing pujas and archanas at the temple. Alexander Henn’s Hindu-Catholic Encounters in Goa stands in this scholarly trajectory, and contributes significantly to it. Not one remained in the happy lands of our division." Though we did not have a prior appointment, Maheshwar A.R. To this day, kumbhas are used for Catholic processions and a Sivalinga stands in front of the Virgin Mary in one of Goa's churches. The elders teach the youth and instill in them a desire to look traditional by wearing appropriate clothing. Devotees freely attend festivals of the two main ones, even though Kavale Math is Smarta and Partagal is Vaishnava. In the Skanda Purana, Goa is referred to as the Land of the Gods. The Damodar temple in Zambaulim, Goa, houses not Krishna Damodar, as does the famous temple in Vrindavan, but rather Damodar Siva. Whatever is given to them directly is theirs. The new temple began as a simple structure; the current temple complex was only built in 1739, under Maratha rule. A large number of prominent Hindu temples scatter across the length and breadth of Goa. 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. Shanta Durga Temple at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka is … The list of famous temples in Goa include Maruti … Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak as a principle, however, Guru Govind Singh made it a clan fighting for the motherland and self-respect. 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. The Hindus in Goa were shocked to see the God of Christianity being more cruel than that of Mohammed and therefore, deserted the territory of the Portuguese and went to the lands of the Muslims, in spite of the fact they (Indians) had earlier received from them nothing but enormous and incalculable evils. Sikhs are a segment of people having different variants of Sanatan Dharm or Hinduism. Special Feature Goa Surviving a Troubled Past, Thriving in a Progressive Present Consider everything you know about the lushly tropical state of Goa. They are privately owned and managed, free and independent of any kind of government aid. From 765 to 1015, the Jain Silharas of the Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled Goa, sponsoring their faith and building Jain temples. The Tablet When he left Goa, these brahmins became the sole lords of the land, to care for it into eternity. If their questions are not properly answered, they will avoid our dharma; but without Hindu dharma, they are bound to problematic lives." In following our journalist's footsteps there, those stereotypes may have to be discarded. “The Archdiocese of Goa has been celebrating the annual novena and feast of St. Joseph Vaz, near the frontpiece. In Goa, Shantadurga is She who mediates between Vishnu and Siva. On the center stage, the head of the math, Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami, placed the "newborn baby"--a murti of Lord Rama--in the cradle while the flames of an elaborate arati danced on stage. ", Though kaul prasad is also practiced in other temples, Damodar is famous for its accuracy. In contrast, Hindu temples are flourishing. Less famous than the larger cities of Vasco da Gama and Margao, this northern city has a charm of its own. Membership is a mark of distinction, carrying social and religious privileges. The incident took place at  on Dec. 30 in Sancoale, Goa, in the southwest of India. State-sponsored publicity campaigns project an image of exotic beaches, colorful nightlife and Las Vegas-style casinos on docked cruise ships. Concord has descended on the Goan population. They join each other's religious festivals as a courtesy. 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 incident came as the Church in Goa was preparing for the Feast of St. Joseph Vaz, the patron saint of Goa whose father came from Sancoale. Reading the flowers is like an encyclopedia, full of details and difficult for the inexperienced to understand. The next morning, preparing to visit Goa's leading Smarta math, I mused on Goa's connection to the great Adi Shankaracharya, the sage who spoke bravely and influentially of Advaita Vedanta. 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. If a family's purohita is absent, they can approach the other priest. At one end was a stage, ready for live devotional music and bhajan performances later in the day. Most temples in Goa are similarly well-run, clean and efficiently organized. I was mistaken. Bhajan, kirtan and natak (drama) are popular here, and Goa has produced many famous Indian classical singers, including Bollywood's sister duo, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. Catholicism as it is practiced in Goa has incorporated elements of Hinduism. Then Swamiji reached for a bag and started pulling out large coins, throwing them with full force to be caught by devotees near and far in the crowd. After the short puja, Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami and a few others emerged from the tiny temple inside the chariot. Hinduism is the pre-dominant religion in Goa. ", In fact, every demolished temple was soon relocated and rebuilt; the murtis, and in some cases the homa kunda, were heroically rescued and reinstalled. But anybody can come to the temple to have the darshan of the Deities.". 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 … Goa's two main maths are the Kavale Math (Smarta) and the Partagal Math (Vaishnavite). Legend says a cowherder discovered the spot, alerted by the reverential attitude of his cows near the stone. Hundreds of small shops line the approach to the math, selling sweets, flowers and religious artifacts, all amid lush green surroundings with a mountainous background. At one stage, the Vatican tersely censured those "gentile practices" and the proliferation of icons in churches, but eventually it relented. Finally, in 1630, his distant successor returned to Goa; but in the interim, many of our people had come under the influence of dvaita philosophy and started the Partagal Math. Some of the BJP members of Goa’s legislative assembly are Catholic. Elegantly dressed devotees were sitting on the staircase leading to the main stage, an improvised (and packed) open-air auditorium. Thus Hindu festivals in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Two years later, in 2014, the party took over the national government. The youth want to understand Hinduism. Suddenly, we heard conches blown to their fullest. This system has been there for ages." Our Swamiji [of the Smarta tradition] left for Mumbai and Varanasi. The management's rigorous attention to detail seems neither repressive nor inhibiting. Tourism is the primary industry; twelve percent of India's foreign tourists arrive here. Each one performs pujas for certain GSB families. “Currently, novenas are being held here in preparation for the Feast of St Joseph Vaz. Silver-clad doors and windows with intricate figurines create a rich and beautiful home for God. The nadasvaram players were still going strong, but I could also hear Vedic mantras once again being chanted. Within a few hours I was convinced he is a modern-day Hindu saint, immersed in bhakti most of his waking hours. Catholics come to yatras and Hindus drop by processions. Devendra Kenkere, an engineer and real-estate agent, swears by the practice. For one person the mukut could be good, and for another it might not be good.". "Hindus were tortured, Hindu women were raped, Hindu businesses were taken over, Temples destroyed, Beef hung outside Hindu homes by the Portugese" - Portugese Traveller Alfredo Desouza. Worship of the Sivalinga goes father back in time than the memory of the community. You have to delve deeper and deeper in Hinduism.". Every village has a gramadevata, to whom the villagers are passionately devoted. This beautiful practice of communicating with God thorough flowers is so highly regarded that even many Catholics attend it, giving large donations to Lord Damodar. Hinduism constitutes 66.08% of Goa population. The Portuguese colonial heritage and the diverse local population of Goa have cultivated a unique cultural landscape. 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. In front of the temple stands a unique brass oil lamp, 12.5 meters tall, which is lit during festival days like the Navaratri (see photo on page 25). Made of coconut fibers in the ancient tradition, these were many dozens of meters long. Religious Places in Goa: Travel Guide - Get information on famous & tourism Religious Places in Goa. Starting in 1936, the great Goan Masurekar Maharaj led a movement to bring brahmin Christians back to Hinduism. Catholic Standard I can tell you that nobody in this world can destroy Hinduism. But the fanaticism of the Portuguese's first two centuries of rule left visible scars. Majestically seated on his guru pitham, the wise man shared some of his views for readers of Hinduism Today. A large dedicated team of youth quickly and efficiently served the delicious prasadam. This powerful form of divination uses flower petals from a sacred tree in the temple compound to interpret intimations from the Gods. All the previous editions of the Convention were held in Goa; however, the forthcoming Convention … The thrill of Rama's birth celebrations gently subsided as several thousands were served a community meal, some in the open compound and others in the dining halls. 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. There is a small 0.1% of Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs living in this region. Jessyl Fernandez April 6, 2018. Those who received these items immediately shared their blessings with others, cutting the fruit and giving away extra coins. I could not agree more. Publisher's Desk Article In Other Languages. It was high noon by the time we received darshan of Sri Mangeshi, the main Deity. 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. "Goa, even four decades after liberation, is misguidedly projected as the Rome of the East, particularly in tourism - by government and non-government agencies. Chanting, clapping and melodious nadasvaram (shrill woodwind) filled the air, and we all felt something special was about to happen. The founder of the math and Govinda's guru, Shri Gaudapadacharya, was an early and staunch advaitin. This venerable matha, famous since the 16th century for its Ramanavami celebrations, reverberated with Vedic hymns sung by priests. Goa has just 1,429 square miles, slightly less than America's smallest state, Rhode Island. There is no government interference here. Along with photographer Vivek Ivan, we were driven straight to Calangute Beach. 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. As nadasvarams started blaring, a contagious excitement ran though the crowd of devotees, myself included. The shopkeepers were busy and happy, doing a brisk business and selling more and yet more food. 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… Anyone can be a Hindu and may follow any path whatsoever. "We Saraswaths (meaning GSB families) are disciples of Goddess Sarasvati, the Goddess of knowledge," he began. Members of the managing committee are elected every three years from the GSB community. Then, heralded by loud drums, he was taken to the shrine and made to stand below the bell, facing God, where he might declare his innocence in the presence of the judge, advocates and all others concerned, making a solemn oath of truth. We have two main purohitas at Shantadurga Temple. They constitute the largest Christian community in Goa and account for 25 per cent of the total … This is believed to be the tallest such lamp in Goa--perhaps even in all of India. But that did not make us lesser Hindus. For the development of human society, it is the most important ingredient, more important than wealth; for the proper management of society is connected to the intelligence of the people. We were able to preserve our culture mainly due the influence of our two maths, Kavale and Partagal. It was a mad, suffocating place. In a representation, state convenor of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an umbrella organisation for various Hindu groups in the state, its convenor Dr. … We are vibrant Hindus. These two maths represent different philosophies, but they work in absolute harmony with each other.". This temple enforces reasonable standards: Western clothing is tolerated, but not informal or revealing pieces. Locality/village: Tambdi Surla : State: Goa: Deity: Lord Shiva Jesuit historian Francisco de Souza jubilantly praised the feat, "It is incredible, the sentiment that the gentile were seized of when they saw their temple burning. Share. Jump to navigation Jump to search. Two thirds of the population is Hindu; another 26% is Christian and 6% is Muslim. Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla is a 12th-century Shaivite temple of the Lord Mahadeva and an active place of Hindu worship. Those who confessed to their accused heresy would be strangled prior to the burning. Legends say some died right after leaving the temple; others got seriously hurt or went mad. Goa (Gomantak) was a bustling place, settled by Indians continuously from at least 1200 B.C. We’re a news site dedicated to offering the very best in smart, wired and independent coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. On the contrary, we felt inspired and respectful. We arrived at Kavale Math to find the place quiet, serene and peaceful. Known for its excellent beaches and legendary nightlife, perhaps Goa is the best place to celebrate Christmas in India.… Tainted by these signs of alien behavior, those who lived there would be shunned by haughty Hindu neighbors. Once established in Ela, the Portuguese began a religious conquest, aiming to convert Hindus that had remained in the city. Most Goan temples have strict dress codes, due to the overwhelming number of tourists. The sense of caste and purity is keenly upheld in Goa--to a fault. The place was crowded. Around 353 years back we started celebrating Ramanavami in a particular way, a pattern we have followed ever since. RELATED: Catholic Cemetery vandalized in Goa, India. Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, devotees from all over India and Sri Lanka [where Vaz served as a missionary] visit this church during the novenas,” the priest said. Later that day we proceeded to Shantadurga Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga. Joining our crew was Vivek Ivan Thayil, a Goa-born photographer. Isolated, the shunned Hindus eventually converted, out of the need to belong to some community. My heart opened by the celebrations, I felt blissful, marveling at sharing in this punya (merit). Till the Portuguese missionaries came. Most are purohitas, or family priests. Thousands watched this unique puja, their hands humbly folded in anjali mudra--or else holding their cameras and cell phones up high to capture the magic of the moment. Waving and blessing the crowd, they seemed to bask in the devout happiness of the thousands present. Under the scorching heat, the huge tent was a welcome gesture of thoughtfulness and compassion. His words, in the melodious Konkani language, meant little to me; but the crowd listened with rapt attention. But this is not the reality of Goa, as experienced by the two-thirds Hindu majority. Photography inside the temple is, of course, prohibited. Later we had an audience with Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami Maharaj. If the Indus valley civilization (3rd–2nd millennium BCE) was the earliest source of Hindu traditions, then Hinduism is … (Credit: Wikimedia Commons.). Therefore, each temple is the hub of a particular group of families who worship the same Deity. In Goan temples, the supporting families reign. The Deity here is Mahalasa Narayani, an aspect of Lord Vishnu portrayed in a female form. Nagarsenkar, Secretary of the Sri Mangeshi Devasthan, was kind enough to grant us an impromptu audience. Every petal or flower has a significance of its own. The population is primarily a mixture of Christians and Hindus: the western coastland and estuaries are dotted with wayside crosses and Roman Catholic churches, while the hilly east is scattered with Hindu temples and shrines. Goan Catholics uphold the Hindu caste system even today. The Portuguese enforced a colonial stranglehold that would last until December 12, 1961, when the Indian army--despite protests from Portugal and most of the international community--completed a successful three-day operation to rescue what would become India's smallest state. बाण मार दूंगा l. 23 days ago. Though He was far away from where we stood, we could feel the powerful vibrations emanating from the gleaming, beautifully decorated murti. A second Deity, Lakshmi Narayan (a form of Vishnu), is equally venerated; this is a Siva-Vishnu Temple. One could barely walk on the sand without bumping into others. Lord Parashurama then created eight villages for his new people. 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