Story of Kanakadhara Monument and how we were inspired
There is a temple for Lord Muruga at Chhedanagar, Mumbai and every year during Navarathri festival time Nava chandi homam is performed for Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathy.
It is also a routine practice to create a meaningful depiction of an event or highlight the story or a temple or a Goddess and have this decoration at a selected place for public view. In the year 2001,during the Navarathri festival time, a resident of Chhedanagar Sri Rajappan Nair noticed a decoration depicting the story of Kanakadhara and asked his friend Balasubramanian standing nearby whether he knew what this decoration was all about. Balasubramanian observed in the presentation an young lad with an extended begging bowl accepting a dry gooseberry being placed by a timid, poor lady emerging from a hutment and in the background Goddess Lakshmi looking at the abundant shower of shining golden gooseberries and responded to Sri Rajappan Nair that not only he himself but all the pople would be knowing that this was Kanakadhara. Rajappan Nair did not leave there. He asked “Sir, ok fine but do you know where this Kanakdhara episode had taken place?” Blasubramanian said that it would have taken place at Kaladi as that was the only place he had known connected with the story of Sankaracharya. Mr Rajappan Nair said “No this took place in Punnorkode my native place and we have Swarnathu mana as a testimony of that event.” Since Balasubramanian had no knowledge of the place, he just nodded and left.
However Mr Rajappan Nair kept talking about Kanakadhara Swarnathu mana and the many festivals in that locality whenever he met Balasubramanian and also visited Balasubramanian at his house saying that he must construct a suitable monument for Kanakadharastavam and also a Mahalakshmi temple and Nakshatra vanam planting several trees earmarked for each birthstar.
Few months rolled by and just to escape from the constant nagging, helped financially to acquire the land from the owners of Swarnathu Punnorkode mana. Sri Rajappan Nair formed a trust Sri Adi Sankara Kanakadhara Smaraka Trust and the Trust acquired the plot of land measuring 40 cents initially and 20 more cents subsequently and did Bhoomi pooja. The Trust did not make any progress for 5 years and once again Balasubramanian was approached with a request to participate in a Ashtamangalya Deva prasnam to scan and find out astrologically the cause for the delay and the obstructions or hurdles if any to be addressed. It was during that occasion Sri Satyanathan a friend of Balasubramanian also was inducted in the core team. As the Smaraka Trust was in fact not effective the trustees submitted their resignations to Sri Rajappan Nair, the Chairman. He wanted to constitute new Trustees.
During the Devaprasnam, that we conducted, it was revealed that the goddess and Sankaracharya in fact were waiting all these centuries for manifesting themselves in this place for re-enacting the earlier shower of grace and thus help the mankind to prosper and lead a noble peaceful life. It was also revealed that there would be delay and the construction when completed many persons from various places internationally would flock here and the place would become a pilgrim center of repute since this is the only place in the universe where Devi Mahalakshmi has created this sort of Blessings by showering Gold physically…
Though the local people used to tell us that people from across India used to come here for offering prayers, we did not take them seriously until we ourselves met one such group on the previous day of the Shilanyas. Like their predecessors, they too made offerings and departed with a handful of soil from the site. Since we started the construction, we witnessed hundreds of visitors from across India to the site and the number is increasing day by day.
Probably, this would be the first temple in Kerala or elsewhere for which five persons laid the foundation stones. When His Highness Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, who was originally scheduled to lay the foundation could not turn up due to pressing engagements, Padmabhushan Prof N S Ramaswamy, founder and former director of both NITIE (Bombay) and IIM, Bangalore, suggested that the five stones representing the panchabhootha, be laid by five different people (an elderly Brahmin couple, a Harijan, a woman, our President Swarnathu Narayanan Namboothiripad and Chairman of Advisory Board). Considering the time when the suggestion was made (after 11 pm), it was a wonder that we could finalize all of them within minutes for a function that was to take place within 9 hours.
In spite of all odds, a painting of Kanakadharastavam, to be used as the Trust’s logo was done by a well known scientist Dr R V Thampan, former head of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram in the shortest time of 15 days. Former Minister of State for Railways Shri O Rajagopal unveiled the painting. Now copies of that painting are finding a respectable place in more than 500 houses around the world.
We faced many hurdles on the path of this project, but as the Devaprasnam revealed, the work once started never came to a pause for want of funds, materials or personnel.
The construction of the first phase consisting of the gopuram, Sri Sankara Dhyana Kendra, Trust office, Security Room, public comfort station, Store room etc, was started in September 2011 and was completed in September 2013 at a cost of more than Rs.1.30 crore.
The first phase was declared open by our President Brahmashri Swarnathu Narayanan Namboothiripad on November 17, 2013. The Dhyana Kendra was inaugurated by Padmashri Dr M Leelavathy on the same day. Hundreds of devotees attended the opening ceremony and the session that followed. In the session, Dr M Leelavathy stated that Kanakadharastavam taught us the lesson of Upanishads that “Thyajashesham bhojyam”. She emphasized the importance of this project as it occurred in the hundredth ‘Vyazhavattom’ of the divine event.
Now we are certain that all true devotees of Lakshmi and followers of Jagatguru Adi Sankara’s philosophy would come forward to realise this dream in its entirety.
May Goddess Mahalakshmi and Sankara Acharya bless all devotees!