Thousands of pilgrims participated in the month-long jathre at Kappadi Kshetra, on the banks of river Cauvery in K R Nagar taluk, Mysore district, which concluded on Monday. Shri Manteswamy Mutt of the Malavalli Mutt successfully organised a yoga camp and Janapada Samaya for the benefit of pilgrims. The programme on hygiene and cleaning of the kshetra was given paramount importance.
According to the press release issued by M L Varchuswee Srikanta Siddalinga Raje Urs, Matadhipathi, Malavalli Adi Honnanayakanahalli, Shri Kappadi Kshetra the jathre, dedicated to Shri Rachappaji in Kappadi is conducted for a month from Mahashivaratri to Ugadi. During this auspicious month devotees seek the blessings of Rachappaji.
Rachappaji was a vachanakara (vachana poet), who lived during the 15-16th century. Till date his vachanas are preserved and worshipped. There is a tradition where no coconuts are broken before the deity. It is customary for people to take a vow before the gaddige and pray for their well-being.
Uriyuva Gaddige – the place where Shri Rachappaji had given darshana to his devotees; in the present day the presiding Mathadhipathi takes seat on the gaddige and gives darshana to the devotees twice a day during the jathre.
People belonging to all castes and religions worship the gaddige of Rachappaji. The kshetra is also a prominent place for the local population who visit the shrine to settle disputes by swearing before the gaddige.
The samadhis of Dharmaguru Rachappajji and Chennajammani, disciples of Manteswamy, a Shiva Sharana and a cult hero of the 15th century; are located at Kappadi Kshetra, an important pilgrim destination in southern Karnataka.
During the 12th century, Veerashivism was founded by the then social reformer saints Basaveshwara, Akka Mahadevi and Allama Prabhu. They opposed the Varnashrama system that prevailed during that period. There was inequality and the socially backward classes were ill-treated by the people of the higher classes. Veerashivism denounced this and brought everyone together on the same platform.
In Kalyana (the centre of Veerashivism) during the 16th century there were a few sharanas who in the guise of Veerashivism practiced untouchability amongst such other social stigma, which was against the very purpose of Veerashivism. It was during this period that Manteswamy criticised the atrocities done by the sharanas in Kalyana. He took up the task of spreading the true sharana religion (Veerashivism) and travelled across the state to spread his ideology. His trials and tribulations can be found in the ‘Manteswamy Kavya,’ one of the Karnataka’s most important oral epic.
Manteswamy and his disciples followed a secular outlook and accepted people from all communities, castes and religion into their fold. They particularly helped the downtrodden and socially weak sections in society.