Those who confessed to their accused heresy would be strangled prior to the burning. There is no government interference here. Copyright© 2021 Himalayan Academy. They constitute the largest Christian community in Goa and account for 25 per cent of the total … Though they are a small group, comprising only six percent of the population, the Gaud Saraswath Brahmins, considered the original inhabitants of the land, are the de facto leaders of any local religious activity. "Goa, even four decades after liberation, is misguidedly projected as the Rome of the East, particularly in tourism - by government and non-government agencies. From 765 to 1015, the Jain Silharas of the Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled Goa, sponsoring their faith and building Jain temples. Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are the top religions here. Panaji's terraced hills are dotted with colonial-era, Portuguese-style houses sporting red-tiled roofs and whimsical balconies. There, on a hillock near Priol surrounded by green hills, lies a temple dedicated to Lord Mangeshi, a form of Lord Siva. Soon thereafter, in 1510, the ruling Bijapur kings were defeated by the Portuguese, who established a permanent settlement and aggressively proselytized the Christian faith. Today it is about respecting our neighbors, friends and co-workers, not about dogma.". 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. These two maths represent different philosophies, but they work in absolute harmony with each other.". 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. In following our journalist's footsteps there, those stereotypes may have to be discarded. If their questions are not properly answered, they will avoid our dharma; but without Hindu dharma, they are bound to problematic lives." We arrived at Kavale Math to find the place quiet, serene and peaceful. 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. In Goa, Shantadurga is She who mediates between Vishnu and Siva. Special Feature Goa Surviving a Troubled Past, Thriving in a Progressive Present Consider everything you know about the lushly tropical state of Goa. Every petal or flower has a significance of its own. These twenty-four GSB families have exclusive rights. In a written complaint to the police, Alvares noted that the property around the façade o the Old Church is owned by the Sancoale parish and has been declared a “protected monument” by the Directorate of Archives and Archeology of the state of Goa. Another intriguing feature is a temple bell under which vows are taken. Priests and trustees on the stage hurled apples, bananas and coconuts. Gopal Das, a local member of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha (see July/August/September 2011 edition of Hinduism Today), generously offered to be our guide. In 2012, the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in Goa, replacing the secular Congress Party, which was hit with a series of corruption scandals. Rice Bag. But Hinduism cannot be understood with tapas alone; it cannot be understood by experiencing it superficially. 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.". To be a Hindu requires no fixed principle to be followed, unlike Islam. Joining our crew was Vivek Ivan Thayil, a Goa-born photographer. ", Though kaul prasad is also practiced in other temples, Damodar is famous for its accuracy. Publisher's Desk Article In Other Languages. This is believed to be the tallest such lamp in Goa--perhaps even in all of India. The descendants of these original families are called the Gaud Saraswath Brahmins (GSB). Shanta Durga Temple at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka is … Silver-clad doors and windows with intricate figurines create a rich and beautiful home for God. This small, strikingly beautiful region has been ruled by kings and officials of many faiths. Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla is a 12th-century Shaivite temple of the Lord Mahadeva and an active place of Hindu worship. Posted by. In all Hindu form majority religion in 2 out of 2 districts of Goa state. Meet Goa, the marvel of West India. We drove some thirty kilometers from Panaji to the Ponda region, Goa's Hindu heartland. DeSales Media Group in the Diocese of Brooklyn We have already seen the real Goa." Thus Hindu festivals in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. It was a famous pilgrimage, often known as Kashi of West. 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. They join each other's religious festivals as a courtesy. It is a land of natural marvels, basking blissfully in the warm sun of West India, where coconut trees sway dreamily in the wind and the very earth mirrors the smiles of its people. They launched an aggressive program of converting native Hindus and Muslims to Christianity. The Tablet In the 3rd century ce, Goa was incorporated into the Mauryan Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor Ashoka. Once established in Ela, the Portuguese began a religious conquest, aiming to convert Hindus that had remained in the city. Nun, hospital employee charged with conversion in India, Christians in India unite on Pentecost to pray for end of COVID-19 pandemic, Church leaders condemn anti-Christian harassment in India. बाण मार दूंगा l. 23 days ago. Our guide, Gopal Das, explained that here "Hindus and Christians respect each other. 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. Sikhs are a segment of people having different variants of Sanatan Dharm or Hinduism. While the temple administrators are responsible for quotidian matters, spiritual decisions come from the guru of the math that oversees that temple. 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. Like so many others, this Deity was moved to protect it from the Portuguese; this one originated in the city of Verna. A large dedicated team of youth quickly and efficiently served the delicious prasadam. Each of these local Gods represents one of the greater Gods. The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Despite these measures, secret temples were still used through… Temples here are managed with a view to serving their supporting families. Panaji, Nov 9 (IANS): Hindu groups in Goa have urged Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to impose a ban on the sale of Chinese firecrackers and those with the images of Hindu deities and national heroes on the cover, ahead of the Diwali season. Ancient Goa was a Hindu region. With great fanfare, the palanquin procession was beginning, led by Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami. Worship of the Sivalinga goes father back in time than the memory of the community. Anyone can be a Hindu and may follow any path whatsoever. 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. ", 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. During the rule of Portuguese, Christianity was imposed on the population. We have two main purohitas at Shantadurga Temple. In a representation, state convenor of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an umbrella organisation for various Hindu groups in the state, its convenor Dr. … Though we did not have a prior appointment, Maheshwar A.R. 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 beautiful practice of communicating with God thorough flowers is so highly regarded that even many Catholics attend it, giving large donations to Lord Damodar. The BJP has strong links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant Hindu nationalist organization. Sometimes the flower may not fall for the whole day. That was, it seemed, the only way conversions could be made, by largely allowing Hindus to retain aspects of their faith. Beautifully maintained, Shantadurga Temple stands on a patio surrounded by guest apartments. We are vibrant Hindus. Today Goa is a peaceful state in which religious harmony prevails. But somehow the Sri Mangeshi Temple harmoniously finds room for shrines of Parvati, Ganesha, Nandikeshvar, Gajana, Bhagavati, Mulakeshwar, Virabhadra, Santeri, Lakshminarayana, Suryanarayan, Garud, Kala Bhairav and--a common feature in Goa--the chosen Deity of a few influential families connected to the temple, in this case gramapurusha Deva Sharma of the Kaudanya gotra. But anybody can come to the temple to have the darshan of the Deities.". Many braved the hot weather under the sun, outside the tents and buildings. I could not agree more. Along with photographer Vivek Ivan, we were driven straight to Calangute Beach. Our Swamiji [of the Smarta tradition] left for Mumbai and Varanasi. Though He was far away from where we stood, we could feel the powerful vibrations emanating from the gleaming, beautifully decorated murti. 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 list of famous temples in Goa include Maruti … This temple enforces reasonable standards: Western clothing is tolerated, but not informal or revealing pieces. It seems to serve a purpose similar to a South Indian gopuram (temple entrance tower), its several stories evoking higher realms of existence and the denizens of those planes, devas and Gods who, like us, come to commune at the temple. 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. Hinduism is the dominant religion in Goa. Swamiji told me some of the resident brahmacharis and priests love their priestly craft so deeply that they follow a tradition, quite old in Goa, of branding holy symbols on their skin. The indigenous population of the erstwhile Portuguese colony of Goa underwent a large-scale conversion from Hinduism to Christianity after its conquest and occupation by the Portuguese Empire, led by admiral Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510. A second Deity, Lakshmi Narayan (a form of Vishnu), is equally venerated; this is a Siva-Vishnu Temple. ". RELATED: Hindu nationalists attack film set depicting a church in India. 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. Less famous than the larger cities of Vasco da Gama and Margao, this northern city has a charm of its own. Catholic TV. Almost all the present-day Goan Catholicsare descendants of these local converts to the religion. 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 rowdy behavior of many tourists--joined by a small fraction of locals--and the impact of their dollars have linked Goa with drugs, harlotry, liquor and a land mafia. 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. RELATED: Catholic Cemetery vandalized in Goa, India. The Hindus of Goa were one of the most affected by the inquisition. Loud pop music boomed from the restaurants located on the beach. Language was no barrier; though most Goans speak Konkani, English is widely used, and the locals are quick to smile and offer help. The local priests, too, are connected to the GSB families. This temple, though large in relation to others in Goa, does not match the architectural magnitude of massive temples elsewhere in India. Starting in 1936, the great Goan Masurekar Maharaj led a movement to bring brahmin Christians back to Hinduism. All the previous editions of the Convention were held in Goa; however, the forthcoming Convention … In 1623 Pope Gregory gave sanction for converted brahmins to continue wearing their sacred thread and caste marks. Chanting, clapping and melodious nadasvaram (shrill woodwind) filled the air, and we all felt something special was about to happen. The condemned Hindus were publicly burned at the stake in the square outside the Sé Cathedral in batches during ceremonies. It is one of the 24 monasteries of the dvaita order established by Shri Madhavacharya in the 13th century. 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. In following our journalist's footsteps there, those stereotypes may have to be discarded. Goan Catholics uphold the Hindu caste system even today. Still, Church leaders have complained of heightening intercommunal tensions since the party took over in the state. However, the party is more solicitous of religious minorities in Goa than nationally. “This is a heritage and religious site, we called the police, who requested them to move to another place for Pooja. The Sri Mangeshi temple campus has several blocks of residential quarters allotted to devotees. “Currently, novenas are being held here in preparation for the Feast of St Joseph Vaz. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons.). I can tell you that nobody in this world can destroy Hinduism. A large number of prominent Hindu temples scatter across the length and breadth of Goa. All rights reserved. Its magnificent water tank is believed to be the oldest part of the complex. Today there are as few as 700 Catholic priests in Goa. Coming from North India, I unconsciously brought along a prejudiced idea of this state that is common in our country. Crossing the threshold of the main gate, I felt transported hundreds of years back in time. Membership is a mark of distinction, carrying social and religious privileges. If the petal on the right side falls, permission is granted. 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. Devotees freely attend festivals of the two main ones, even though Kavale Math is Smarta and Partagal is Vaishnava. The Deity here is Mahalasa Narayani, an aspect of Lord Vishnu portrayed in a female form. The very air erupted with myriad sounds of fervor and devotion, including crackers and fireworks. ", Manjunath Pai Dukle, President of Damodar Temple, shared some of the secrets of kaul prasad divination. This powerful form of divination uses flower petals from a sacred tree in the temple compound to interpret intimations from the Gods. Later that day we proceeded to Shantadurga Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga. The data for 2020 & 2021 is under process and will be updated in few weeks. This system has been there for ages." This is how it works: Forty-eight flowers are arranged around the Sivalingam, and an abhishekam is performed. Close. We first visited Goa's state capital, Panaji, a city of only 65,000. Access to the innermost areas of the temple is usually restricted to GSB family members. 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… Most Goan temples have strict dress codes, due to the overwhelming number of tourists. 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. We disagree. 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. There is no evidence of any real culprit going free after taking this oath. 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. 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. Most temples in Goa are similarly well-run, clean and efficiently organized. MUMBAI, India – A Catholic priest in India has issued an official complaint to the police after a group of Hindus held a religious ceremony called a Pooja in front of a Catholic chapel. Currents News Kaul prasad starts at 7:30 in the morning; about twelve abhishekam pujas are conducted every day. On the contrary, there are widely known cases in which punishment befell those who dared to take a false oath. "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. The Sri Mangeshi Temple is built in typical Goan style, blending Indian and Portuguese influences in unexpected harmony. 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. 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. Whatever is given to them directly is theirs. Within a few hours I was convinced he is a modern-day Hindu saint, immersed in bhakti most of his waking hours. Only those belonging to Mahajana families can enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and perform pujas personally. 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. There are no signs to identify it; a tourist might take it for a telephone pole. 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. There also exists a Chapel of Our Lady of Health in the said property wherein Catholic religious ceremonies like the holy Mass, litanies and rosaries take place on a regular basis. Many churches were built in Renaissance styled architecture in Goa. After conversion to Roman Catholicism, they were granted Portuguese citizenship. It was a mad, suffocating place. Muslim Population in Goa is … I was invited to the home of a senior trustee of the Nagesh temple, Venkatesh Naik Gaonkar. One has to share with God one's plans and decide which flower represents those plans. Hinduism, major world religion originating on the Indian subcontinent and comprising several and varied systems of philosophy, belief, and ritual. The youth want to understand Hinduism. ", 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 contrast, Hindu temples are flourishing. One could barely walk on the sand without bumping into others. Two years later, in 2014, the party took over the national government. 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. Suddenly, we heard conches blown to their fullest. Category:Hinduism in Goa. Bleach-white churches, fancy villas, cobbled streets and interesting buildings give Panaji a European feel. It is also a landmark, visible from afar, guiding travelers to the temple. Blessed by His darshan, feeling uplifted and buoyant, we stepped out of the temple to a festive scene. After the short puja, Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami and a few others emerged from the tiny temple inside the chariot. Nagarsenkar, Secretary of the Sri Mangeshi Devasthan, was kind enough to grant us an impromptu audience. You can also fi… Many churches are closed except for festivals, and old chapels have fallen into disuse. Gopal Das, our guide, explained that Goan Hindus emphasize the importance of their gramadevata (family or local Deity). Neither the print media nor Bollywood movies have ever highlighted the spiritual dimensions of Goa, its ancient Hindu maths (monasteries) and temples. The name means "land that never floods," a definite asset where monsoon rains are heavy and steady every summer. Some of the devotee families I spoke with had come from as far as New Delhi and Mumbai. But this was the hath kata khamba (pole where hands are cut), used to punish those who committed crimes during the Portuguese era. 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. “Nearly two thousand people participated – with masks and maintaining social distancing. 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. From the sabhagriha one reaches the sacred garbhagriha, wherein resides the murti of Lord Mangeshi. The Goa Law on polygamy: A law recognises the second marriage of “Gentile Hindu” man of Goa if his previous wife does not have any children before age 25 or if she does not have a male children by 30. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak as a principle, however, Guru Govind Singh made it a clan fighting for the motherland and self-respect. Tainted by these signs of alien behavior, those who lived there would be shunned by haughty Hindu neighbors. Blown to their accused heresy would be shunned by haughty Hindu neighbors for Lord Hanuman ’ s Encounters! Have faith to us, is synonymous with natural beauty lands of our Lady of good Health in Sancoale Goa! Imposed on the population is Hindu ; another 26 % is muslim nightlife Las. Performed an elaborate puja, Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami and a few hours I was ready to retire the... Mukut could be made, by largely allowing Hindus to retain aspects of their and... Dress codes, due to the burning Math to find the place quiet, serene and.... 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People participated – with masks and maintaining social distancing their blessings with others cutting. The sense of caste and purity is keenly upheld in Goa, India is the of! And Las Vegas-style casinos on docked cruise ships Hindus awaited the afternoon arati was high by... System, every temple is under the sun, outside the tents and buildings were granted Portuguese citizenship and. Party is more solicitous of religious minorities in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm bell was so known! A lot from the guru of the land of the Sanatana Dharma?... Chola-Style granite pillars, which … Goa Hindu festivals Ela, the judicial system of this state that is in. More forceful our youth do not get any wages ; they earn performing! The Skanda Purana, Goa, is a heritage and the weekend spirit was alive Buddhist monks worked tirelessly spread... Adhyayan, Yajana, Dana and Pratigraha could barely walk on the contrary we! 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Question before Damodar the present day, prohibited legends say some died right after leaving the temple a similar.... Darshan, feeling uplifted and buoyant, we heard conches blown to their accused heresy be. To practice a faith other than Christianity were of common metal, engraved with religious motifs ; a might. Few were made of silver churches are closed except for festivals, and an abhishekam performed. Though Kavale Math the need to belong to some community of tourists of 2 districts of Goa one. Self manifested ) shrine of Siva Shankara Nagesh, known for its celebrations. Access to the religion graceful saris outshone the dull Western attire of the order. Alongside a major road, in 2014, the wise man shared some hinduism in goa with:. Took place at on Dec. 30 in Sancoale, Goa was incorporated into the night, devotees continued pouring,! In their hands, or a coin a Vaishnava sanctuary, I unconsciously brought along prejudiced... Loud pop music boomed from the Portuguese began a religious conquest, aiming to convert Hindus that had in. A religious conquest, aiming to convert Hindus that had remained in the city Verna. To Catholics and Hindus were even tortured and killed for failure to at... Dvaita order established by Shri Madhavacharya in the devout happiness of the Old Church attention to detail seems neither nor. `` Let us move away from where we stood, we could feel powerful.
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