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Lord Shiva Majunatha Swamy temple, Dharmasthala, Dakshina Kannada district, KarnatakaMeditation: I meditate on Sri Majunatha Swamy abiding in the Dharma Kshetra of Dharmasthala.

Dharmasthala: Dharmasthala is a famous pilgrimage of Lord Shiva popularly called by the name of Sri Manjunatha Swamy. Dharmasthala is considered to be an abode of Dharma. It is associated with the legend of Pergade family and the guardian angels of Dharma.

Legend of Manjunatha Swamy: Dharmasthala is associated with the legend of Pergade family. According to this legend, several centuries ago Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma and was located in Mallarmadi village in South Kanara. There lived a Jain chieftain Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi. Their house was called Nelliadi Beedu. They were simple, pious and affectionate people, and were known for their generosity and hospitality towards all.

One day the guardian angels of Dharma assumed human forms and arrived at Pergade's house. They were searching for a place where Dharma was being practiced and from where Dharma can be propagated. The Pergade couple welcomed the guests and extended their warm hospitality. The Dharma Daivas were pleased by their sincerity and generosity. They appeared in the dreams of Birmanna Pergade and explained their purpose of visit. They instructed him to vacate the house for the worship of the Dharma Daivas and dedicate his life for the propagation of Dharma.

Without any question, Pergade vacated his house (Nelliadi Beedu) for worship of the Dharma Daivas. The Dharma Daivas again appeared before Birmanna Pergade and instructed him to build separate shrines for four Dharma Daivas - Kalarahu, Kalarkai, Kumaraswami and Kanyakumari; Also to choose two persons of noble birth to act as the oracle of the Daivas and four worthy persons to assist Sri Pergade in his duties. In return the Daivas promised Sri Pergade family - protection, abundance of charity and renown for the "Kshetra".

Sri Pergade built the shrines and invited brahmin priests to perform the rituals. The priests requested him to install a Shiva Linga beside the native Daivas. The Daivas sent their vassal Annapa Swami to procure the idol of Lord Manjunatheshwara from Kadri, near Mangalore. Subsequently Sri Manjunatha Swamy temple was built around this idol.

Around 16th century, Sri Vadiraja Swamy of Udupi reconsecrated the Shiva Linga there. Pleased by the observance of the vedic rites and Heggade's charity towards all, the Swamiji named the place Dharmasthala, meaning the abode of Dharma.

• Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swamy temple is located in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.

Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

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Last updated on Aug-2021

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