18 Petas

 

Srimath Anantheshwar Temple is more popularly known as the Temple of the 18 Petas. It is the most famous Temple of the GSBs, especially, in the erstwhile Madras presidency, and the devotees of the Temple are spread right from the southern tip of Kerala to the north of Gujarat, and beyond.

The Holy Oracle, which was present in the Temple used to manifest on a Brahmana, which Holy Oracle was popularly known as the Devadarshana - with Its Divine grace and benevolence, used to inspire thousands of devotees into absolute submission - for centuries together. This divine manifestation representing the Holiest of the Holy Deities in the Garbhagriha became famous throughout the country and abroad for Its Divine power and astonishing dispensations. Innumerable are the recorded experiences of devotees whose problems were miraculously and divinely solved. Grateful devotees addressed Him respectfully as "DHANEE". It is 75 years since this phenomenon of Devadarshan has stopped. But still, the "Nade" (place in front of the sanctorum) where the "Dhanee" used to interact with the devotees is still having the Saanidhya (divine vibrations) with the same divine manifestation fulfilling all prayers of the numerous faithful devotees visiting the temple. This Saanidhya in the "NADE" is better experienced than explained.  

            The concept of 18 Petas had been evolved long back, since the time of the Holy Oracle, to involve the GSBs spread in the 18 Petas of the erstwhile Madras presidency. But it should be noted that it is not exclusive or limited to the GSBs of this 18 Petas only, but is for entire community spread over in the present states on Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and even the other parts of India and abroad. The members of the community from all the places from India and abroad are regularly visiting the Temple and showing allegiance for the past several centuries.
           
          

In the olden days, with the blessings and guidance of Kashi Mathadeesh Srimad Vibhudendra Thirtha Swamiji and His successors, the GSBs of the 18 Petas were chiefly responsible in terms of contribution towards Tanu, Mana and Dhana to the Temple. The 18 Peta concept had been brought into force as ordered by the Divine Oracle in the olden days. The same is continued.  But, it could be seen that it is not the devotees of just these 18 Petas, but also all other areas populated by GSBs have been showing faith and allegiance to the Temple of Manjeshwar.

            In short, the concept of 18 Petas should not be narrowed down to these 18 Petas only, as all GSBs spread over the entire country and abroad are as good as members of the 18 Petas. And in those days and also today, Manjeshwar town, which was and is having its own importance as the ultimate and utmost town amongst the GSB Temples of the 18 Petas, is having the supreme importance amongst lead towns, that is lead 18 Petas. So, all other Petas of GSBs which are the outside of the 18 Petas are even otherwise having equal importance as other lead towns, and as such, members of the community who are outer to the 18 towns should join the adjacent lead town to their areas for all interaction with, and affairs of the Temple, as they would be in any case having ancestral links with such towns.  Even otherwise, the Temple still belongs to all the GSBs in any case.
           
            In a nutshell, all GSBs universally, are on the same footing as the GSBs of these 18 Petas.