|| Shree Ramnath Prasanna ||

Shree Ramnath Devasthan : A Historical Glance


Ramnath is a Divine Symbol of the unity of Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva). Ramnath is a compound word formed by the unity of two words Rama and Natha. So, Ramnath means the Lord of Rama. In another way Ramnath also means the one whose Lord is Rama. So, the Lord of Rama is Shiva and the Lord of Shiva is Rama. Shivshankar drank the poison (Halahal) which came out during the churning of the ocean. His throat became blue and he started getting burning sensation. That sensation was soothed by the recital of Rama Nama. So, our Ramnath is a symbol of unity of Hari and Hara and we should be proud of being Kullavis of such Daivat.  Click for More Details>>

Shree Ramnath Devasthan : A Historical Glance Ramnath is a Divine Symbol of the unity of Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva). Ramnath is a compound word formed by the unity of two words Rama and Natha. So, Ramnath means the Lord of Rama. In another way Ramnath also means the one whose Lord is Rama. So, the Lord of Rama is Shiva and the Lord of Shiva is Rama. Shivshankar drank the poison (Halahal) which came out during the churning of the ocean. His throat became blue and he started getting burning sensation. That sensation was soothed by the recital of Rama Nama. So, our Ramnath is a symbol of unity of Hari and Hara and we should be proud of being Kullavis of such Daivat.





Original Installation of Shree Dev Ramnath:The original installation of Shree Ramnath took place about (3500) three and a half thousand years B.C. at the hands of Lord Ramchandra at Rameshwaram. Shree Ramchandra came back from Lanka after killing the wicked Ravana. When he set his feet on Bharat Bhumi, he was greeted and cheered by Rushis and Munis and thousands of men and women. Shree Ramchandra was accepting these cheers thinking that they were the blessings bestowed upon him. But his face was not cheerful and the depressed state of his mind could not be hidden from the Rushis and the Munis. When they asked him, the reason for this, he replied "Revered Rushis, Ravana was wicked and cruel and as such he had to be killed but since he was a Brahmin of Pulastya Family I feel that the curse of Bramha Hatya is on my head and that is why I feel unhappy". The Rushis said, "O Lord, you have not committed any sin because it was your duty as a king to kill the wicked and demon king. But even then, if you feel you have committed a sin, you can install a Shiva Linga near this setu and worship it and this will wash off all your sins". Shree Ramchandra readily accepted this thought and he asked the Rushis to choose a suitable Muhurt. They selected the tenth day of Jeshta Month, Wednesday, Hasta Nakshatra. The decision of installing a Shiv Linga was accepted. But Shree Ramchandra felt that he should better install the Atmalinga of Shivshankar from Kailasa parvat. But Kailas....and Setubandh- what a distance? Ramchandra just cast a glance at Hanumanta who has a place in the heart of Rama, instantly understood what was in his mind. He placed his head on the feet of Rama and jumped into the air with Bhu-Bhudkar and reached Kailasa. He searched all over Kailasa but could not find Shivshankar. The auspicious day of Muhurt was nearing. He knew in his heart of hearts that Shree Ramchandra would be anxiously awaiting for him. What to do? Where to go? - but he was "Bhdhimatam Varishtam". He knew that one can meet God by ardent Bhakti- immediately he set down and started worshipingShiva.And what a surprise! Shivshankar touched his head. Maruti placed his head on the feet of Shivshankar and conveyed to him Shree Rama's desire. Shivshankar immediately gave his Atmalinga with that Maruti leapt into the air to come to Shree Rama.

Here the moment of the Muhurt selected by Rushis was fast approaching. Finally as an alternative the Rushis decided that Sitamai should bring sand from the sea water and make a Shivalinga out of that. That was done and Lord Ramchandra started the worship of that Linga. Though the body of Ramchandra was doing the act of worship, his mind was directed towards coming of Hanuman. The ceremony of worship was completed and holy akshatas were sprinkled on the Linga. "Jai Shivshankar" "Jai Shivshankar" was echoing from the mouths of the thousands of people assembled there suddenly the words "Jai Shree Ram" "Jai Shree Ram" mixed in that echo. Hanumanta came with Shivlinga and placed it on the ground. He saw the other linga whose worship had just been completed and he felt a little sad. Ramchandra understood what was going on in his mind and embraced him and asked him to place the Atmalinga which he had brought, near the other one. Hanumanta felt satisfied and started lifting the Linga. But it would not budge. Then Ramchandra completed worship of the new Linga at the hands of Hanumana. The new Linga was denominated as "Hanumantishwara" and Ramchandra said that the people who would come to this place will have to worship both these lingas for the fulfillment of their yatra. Though the Linga installed by Ramchandra is Rameshwar it is also called as "Shree Ramnathswami" there.

At Rameshwaram there are 28 holy Tirthas (wells). A little away in front of the temple. There is the bank of Indian Ocean where there is shallow bed full of pebbles and clean water. The worshippers have to bathe in the ocean and then with little water from each of the 28 tirthas. The temple is about 1000 meters long and 800 meters broad. This temple was built by the descendants of the royal family of Setuvati of Ramnad. Every Friday there is a palkhi procession of "Parvati". The place where Rama had built the Setu or the bridge is now called Dhanushyakoti. While coming back from the victory of Lanka Bhibishana told Rama to break that bridge so that the other mighty forces may not attack Sri Lanka. Lord Ramchandra pressed that Bridge with the end of the Dhanushya and it sank into the sea that is why that place is now called Dhanushykoti.

LOTLI:- THE ORIGINAL PLACE OF SHREE RAMNATH THE ORIGINAL SETTLEMENT: It is not possible to ascertain properly, when or under whose rule the original settlement of Lotli was established, because it is not possible to ascertain the time of the initial settlement of any settlements of Goa. But it can be presumed that Lotli settlement was established about 2500 years ago alongwith the other settlements of Sasasti. The settlers of 'Lotli', first of all, defined the boundries of the village on all the four sides and earmarked a place for the Devasthan after formulating the village plan. The land which could be brought under cultivation was divided into different categories and the work stated accordingly.

The entire land was considered to be the property of the village-institution, the Gramsaunstha and arrangements were made to give lands, except paddy field on a permanent tenure basis and to start the plantation of coconut and other fruit bearing trees. Every year two crops namely Kharif and Rabi were taken from the paddy fields.

The Management of the Gramsaunstha was such that from the total annual income of the village the Government taxes were paid first and after paying the expenses of all the institutions under their Management, the balance was distributed among the members of Gramsaunstha. The expenses of the Devasthan, its maintenance, celebration of various festivals and the expenses of Sanskrit school and its library and the Dharmashala which was built for the benefits of guests, tourists, students, etc. were met from the income of the Gramsaunstha.

As per the arrangements then, Shree Ramnath Devasthan was entirely the property of 'Lotli' Gramsaunstha and the members or the right holders of the Gramsaunstha were the Kullavis of the Devasthan. The same arrangement was prevailing in the other Gramsaunsthas of Kutthali, Verna, etc. These Gaud Saraswat Brahmins, Madhwa of two gotras namely 'Vatsa' and 'Kaudinya' who started the Lotli settlement and the Gramsaunstha were considered to be the Mahajans of Shree Ramnath Devasthan and the same rule prevails even now.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DEVALAYA: As per the Vedic customs it was customary to install the deities of Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesh, Devi, etc. while starting any new Devasthan,. Accordingly a meeting of the members of the Gramsaunstha was held and it was decided that besides the main deity of Shree Ramnath other four deities of Shree Laxmi Narayan, Shree Shantadurga (Shanteri), Shree Betal and Shree Siddhinath, be installed to form a Panchayatana., So accordingly, it was decided to buid four other small temples besides the main temple of Shree Ramnath. Since it was a Vishnu pramukh Panchyatanya the deity Shree Lakshmi Narayana was installed in the middle.

In due course, the construction of all the temples was completed and on an auspicious muhurta all the five deities were installed in great pomp of joy under the supervision of the learned priests. Since that was a place of temples it came to be called as Deulwada but later on people also began to call it, 'Vargaon' since that part of the land was centrally located, at a higher level.

SHIFTING OF DEITIES: There was no certainty as to what the Portuguese Government and their priests would do. When the atrocities of the Portuguese Priests became acute, the Kullavis shifted their revered deities to other places. Our forefathers brought all the idols by a bullock cart towards the river side and after crossing the Zuari river by a craft landed at Durbhat, Adpai on the other side of the river. The intention was to take these Deities to a safer place, where they would be free from the influence of the Portuguese Government and their fanatic priests. As they had been forced to leave Lotli all of a sudden in a hurry, they were not able to select a particular and safe place for their deities. So they kept the idols at Adpai, and some of them went in search of a suitable place. They found a small and more or less level place at the roof of hill at Bandivade, They erected huts of coconut leaves and installed the idols there for the time being. In due course of time, they were successful in getting that land on permanent lease from Bandivade Grama-saunstha. (present sthal Kulumban where the temples are situated). After sometime, as and when, it was possible they erected mud walls around the huts and in course of time put country tiles for the roof. The walls were plastered with coloured clay. This small old temple was to the left of the present temple.

The Devasthan had lost all its glory and wealth. All the means of income had been lost. The properties of Devasthan at Lotli were either endowed to the church or distributed among the converts. Many of the kullavis had run to the south in fear of being converted. Other stayed around the borders of Sasasti , did some business there and with mutual contributions carried on day to day expenses of the temple. Earn money and whenever it was possible to come to ANTRUZ (Ponda) to take care of the temple, had been their routine and those who stayed at Lotli were all converted.

CONSTRUCTION OF SEPARATE TEMPLES: Days after days, months after months and also years rolled by. There is no better medicine than TIME to allay the sorrows, worries, distresses etc. of the mankind. So as years rolled by, the distress, worries and sorrows of Lotliker Gaonkers gradually eased. Their business prospered and they had a little financial stability. Now their only worry was how to attain the old glory and financial stability for their temple. They firmly believed that whatever little prosperity, which they had, was due to the Blessings of the Deities. The purchased small pieces of land for their Devasthan and made a plan for building different independent temples for their Deities. Subscriptions were flowing in and the construction of the Temples started. Very soon five temples were ready and on an auspicious muhurta, the Idols were installed in the temples.

The Idol of Shree Lakshmi Narayan, made out of Black stone was installed in the central temple. The Idol of Shree Ramnath and Shree Shanteri were installed in the temple to the left of that Shree Lakshmi Narayan. In the same temple Shree Siddhinath also was installed. Shree Kamaksha was installed in a temple to the left and Shree Betal and Shree Kalbhairav were installed in two small separate temples to the left, facing North.

We do not know till today what was the name of the Grampurusha which had been installed at Lotli. Some believe that present "Narsinha Purush" must be the Grampurush. But there is no proof for this.


Shree Ramnath Devasthan : A Historical Glance




Ramnath is a Divine Symbol of the unity of Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva). Ramnath is a compound word formed by the unity of two words Rama and Natha. So, Ramnath means the Lord of Rama. In another way Ramnath also means the one whose Lord is Rama. So, the Lord of Rama is Shiva and the Lord of Shiva is Rama. Shivshankar drank the poison (Halahal) which came out during the churning of the ocean. His throat became blue and he started getting burning sensation. That sensation was soothed by the recital of Rama Nama. So, our Ramnath is a symbol of unity of Hari and Hara and we should be proud of being Kullavis of such Daivat.




Original Installation of Shree Dev Ramnath
The original installation of Shree Ramnath took place about (3500) three and a half thousand years B.C. at the hands of Lord Ramchandra at Rameshwaram. Shree Ramchandra came back from Lanka after killing the wicked Ravana. When he set his feet on Bharat Bhumi, he was greeted and cheered by Rushis and Munis and thousands of men and women. Shree Ramchandra was accepting these cheers thinking that they were the blessings bestowed upon him. But his face was not cheerful and the depressed state of his mind could not be hidden from the Rushis and the Munis. When they asked him, the reason for this, he replied "Revered Rushis, Ravana was wicked and cruel and as such he had to be killed but since he was a Brahmin of Pulastya Family I feel that the curse of Bramha Hatya is on my head and that is why I feel unhappy". The Rushis said, "O Lord, you have not committed any sin because it was your duty as a king to kill the wicked and demon king. But even then, if you feel you have committed a sin, you can install a Shiva Linga near this setu and worship it and this will wash off all your sins". Shree Ramchandra readily accepted this thought and he asked the Rushis to choose a suitable Muhurt. They selected the tenth day of Jeshta Month, Wednesday, Hasta Nakshatra. The decision of installing a Shiv Linga was accepted. But Shree Ramchandra felt that he should better install the Atmalinga of Shivshankar from Kailasa parvat. But Kailas....and Setubandh- what a distance? Ramchandra just cast a glance at Hanumanta who has a place in the heart of Rama, instantly understood what was in his mind. He placed his head on the feet of Rama and jumped into the air with Bhu-Bhudkar and reached Kailasa. He searched all over Kailasa but could not find Shivshankar. The auspicious day of Muhurt was nearing. He knew in his heart of hearts that Shree Ramchandra would be anxiously awaiting for him. What to do? Where to go? - but he was "Bhuddhimantam Varishtam". He knew that one can meet God by ardent Bhakti- immediately he set down and started worshiping Shiva.And what a surprise! Shivshankar touched his head. Maruti placed his head on the feet of Shivshankar and conveyed to him Shree Rama's desire. Shivshankar immediately gave his Atmalinga with that Maruti leapt into the air to come to Shree Rama.


Here the moment of the Muhurt selected by Rushis was fast approaching. Finally as an alternative the Rushis decided that Sitamai should bring sand from the sea water and make a Shivalinga out of that. That was done and Lord Ramchandra started the worship of that Linga. Though the body of Ramchandra was doing the act of worship, his mind was directed towards coming of Hanuman. The ceremony of worship was completed and holy akshatas were sprinkled on the Linga. "Jai Shivshankar" "Jai Shivshankar" was echoing from the mouths of the thousands of people assembled there suddenly the words "Jai Shree Ram" "Jai Shree Ram" mixed in that echo. Hanumanta came with Shivlinga and placed it on the ground. He saw the other linga whose worship had just been completed and he felt a little sad. Ramchandra understood what was going on in his mind and embraced him and asked him to place the Atmalinga which he had brought, near the other one. Hanumanta felt satisfied and started lifting the Linga. But it would not budge. Then Ramchandra completed worship of the new Linga at the hands of Hanumana. The new Linga was denominated as "Hanumantishwara" and Ramchandra said that the people who would come to this place will have to worship both these lingas for the fulfillment of their yatra. Though the Linga installed by Ramchandra is Rameshwar it is also called as "Shree Ramnathswami" there.

At Rameshwaram there are 28 holy Tirthas (wells). A little away in front of the temple. There is the bank of Indian Ocean where there is shallow bed full of pebbles and clean water. The worshippers have to bathe in the ocean and then with little water from each of the 28 tirthas. The temple is about 1000 meters long and 800 meters broad. This temple was built by the descendants of the royal family of Setuvati of Ramnad. Every Friday there is a palkhi procession of "Parvati". The place where Rama had built the Setu or the bridge is now called Dhanushyakoti. While coming back from the victory of Lanka Bhibishana told Rama to break that bridge so that the other mighty forces may not attack Sri Lanka. Lord Ramchandra pressed that Bridge with the end of the Dhanushya and it sank into the sea that is why that place is now called Dhanushykoti.


LOTLI:- THE ORIGINAL PLACE OF SHREE RAMNATH


THE ORIGINAL SETTLEMENT

It is not possible to ascertain properly, when or under whose rule the original settlement of Lotli was established, because it is not possible to ascertain the time of the initial settlement of any settlements of Goa. But it can be presumed that Lotli settlement was established about 2500 years ago alongwith the other settlements of Sasasti. The settlers of 'Lotli', first of all, defined the boundries of the village on all the four sides and earmarked a place for the Devasthan after formulating the village plan. The land which could be brought under cultivation was divided into different categories and the work stated accordingly.

The entire land was considered to be the property of the village-institution, the Gramsaunstha and arrangements were made to give lands, except paddy field on a permanent tenure basis and to start the plantation of coconut and other fruit bearing trees. Every year two crops namely Kharif and Rabi were taken from the paddy fields.

The Management of the Gramsaunstha was such that from the total annual income of the village the Government taxes were paid first and after paying the expenses of all the institutions under their Management, the balance was distributed among the members of Gramsaunstha. The expenses of the Devasthan, its maintenance, celebration of various festivals and the expenses of Sanskrit school and its library and the Dharmashala which was built for the benefits of guests, tourists, students, etc. were met from the income of the Gramsaunstha.

As per the arrangements then, Shree Ramnath Devasthan was entirely the property of 'Lotli' Gramsaunstha and the members or the right holders of the Gramsaunstha were the Kullavis of the Devasthan. The same arrangement was prevailing in the other Gramsaunsthas of Kutthali, Verna, etc. These Gaud Saraswat Brahmins, Madhwa of two gotras namely 'Vatsa' and 'Kaudinya' who started the Lotli settlement and the Gramsaunstha were considered to be the Mahajans of Shree Ramnath Devasthan and the same rule prevails even now.



THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DEVALAYA

As per the Vedic customs it was customary to install the deities of Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesh, Devi, etc. while starting any new Devasthan. Accordingly a meeting of the members of the Gramsaunstha was held and it was decided that besides the main deity of Shree Ramnath other four deities of Shree Laxmi Narayan, Shree Shantadurga (Shanteri), Shree Betal and Shree Siddhinath, be installed to form a Panchayatana. So accordingly, it was decided to buid four other small temples besides the main temple of Shree Ramnath. Since it was a Vishnu pramukh Panchayatana the deity Shree Lakshmi Narayana was installed in the middle.

In due course, the construction of all the temples was completed and on an auspicious muhurta all the five deities were installed in great pomp of joy under the supervision of the learned priests. Since that was a place of temples it came to be called as Deulwada but later on people also began to call it 'Vargaon' since that part of the land was centrally located, at a higher level.


SHIFTING OF DEITIES

There was no certainty as to what the Portuguese Government and their priests would do. When the atrocities of the Portuguese Priests became acute, the Kullavis shifted their revered deities to other places. Our forefathers brought all the idols by a bullock cart, towards the river side and after crossing the Zuari river by a craft landed at Durbhat, Adpai on the other side of the river. The intention was to take these Deities to a safer place, where they would be free from the influence of the Portuguese Government and their fanatic priests. As they had been forced to leave Lotli all of a sudden in a hurry, they were not able to select a particular and safe place for their deities. So they kept the idols at Adpai and some of them went in search of a suitable place. They found a small and more or less level place at the roof of hill at Bandivade, They erected huts of coconut leaves and installed the idols there for the time being. In due course of time, they were successful in getting that land on permanent lease from Bandivade Grama-saunstha. (present sthal Kulumban where the temples are situated). After sometime, as and when it was possible, they erected mud walls around the huts and in course of time put country tiles for the roof. The walls were plastered with coloured clay. This small old temple was to the left of the present temple.

The Devasthan had lost all its glory and wealth. All the means of income had been lost. The properties of Devasthan at Lotli were either endowed to the church or distributed among the converts. Many of the kullavis had run to the south in fear of being converted. Other stayed around the borders of Sasasti , did some business there and with mutual contributions carried on day to day expenses of the temple. Earn money and whenever it was possible to come to ANTRUZ (Ponda) to take care of the temple, had been their routine and those who stayed at Lotli were all converted.


CONSTRUCTION OF SEPARATE TEMPLES

Days after days, months after months and also years rolled by. There is no better medicine than TIME to allay the sorrows, worries, distresses etc. of the mankind. So as years rolled by, the distress, worries and sorrows of Lotliker Gaonkers gradually eased. Their business prospered and they had a little financial stability. Now their only worry was how to attain the old glory and financial stability for their temple. They firmly believed that whatever little prosperity which they had, was due to the Blessings of the Deities. The purchased small pieces of land for their Devasthan and made a plan for building different independent temples for their Deities. Subscriptions were flowing in and the construction of the Temples started. Very soon five temples were ready and on an auspicious muhurta, the Idols were installed in the temples.

The Idol of Shree Lakshmi Narayan, made out of Black stone was installed in the central temple. The Idol of Shree Ramnath and Shree Shanteri were installed in the temple to the left of Shree Lakshmi Narayan. In the same temple Shree Siddhinath also was installed. Shree Kamaksha was installed in a temple to the left and Shree Betal and Shree Kalbhairav were installed in two small separate temples to the left, facing North.

We do not know till today what was the name of the Grampurusha which had been installed at Lotli. Some believe that present "Narsinha Purush" must be the Grampurush. But there is no proof for this.

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