The Epic of Spirituality

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The Epic of Spirituality

The Epic of Spirituality

The record for the maximum number of teams to perform on Guru Purnima was set by Anga Upendra Varma of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, wherein 30 teams performed at Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple premises.

A grand devotional cultural festival featuring artists from across India was held at Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Mangalagiri (Guntur district), Andhra Pradesh. The Guru Purnima festival, known as Muthyala Vahanaotsavam, was held on July 3, 2023, in collaboration with devoted philanthropists of the region. Anga Upendra Varma (34), the festival organiser, had already announced that the event will make history by showcasing various traditional and cultural artists performing temple music, dance, and other art forms simultaneously, marking the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima. His words came true and the event was recognised by the India Book of Records (IBR).

The celebration, which involved 1200 members from 30 different bands, musical groups, and dance troupes, showcased a continuous 20-minute performance in an attempt to set the record. The goal of the Muthyala Vahanaotsavam was to promote spirituality through a harmonious blend of traditional music, dance, and temple customs that are deeply rooted in Indian culture. The event brought together renowned bands, musical groups, and dance troupes from several states across India.

Anga Upendra Varma, the festival organiser, said, “The event showcased the rich diversity of traditional music, dance, and cultural expressions from different regions of the country. One of the unique features was the inclusion of tribal music, dance, and bands from the Telugu region. Each team consisted of a minimum of 10 to 100 members. The festival also featured captivating performances by Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Thirakali, and Kalimatha dance troupes adding to the allure and excitement of the event.”

The theme of the programme was ‘The Epic of Spirituality’. The Sridevi Bhudevi Sametha and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy were taken out on the Mutyapu Pandiri Vahanam in a procession through the streets. Special pujas were performed and public representatives, endowment department officials, and devotees attended the programme in large numbers.

The Mangalagiri, an auspicious hill, is one of the eight important Mahakshetrams (sacred places) in India, where Lord Vishnu manifested himself. These places include Sri Rangam, Srimushnam, Naimisam, Pushkaram, Salagamadri, Narayanasramam, Venkatadri, and Thothadri (Mangalagiri). It is said that Goddess Lakshmi did a meditation on this hill. There are three Narasimha Swamy temples in Mangalagiri. One is Panakala Narasimha Swamy on the hill. Another one is Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the foot of the hill, and the third one is Gandala Narasimha Swamy at the top of the hill.

From all directions, Mangalagiri Hill looks like an elephant.  There is an interesting legend to show as to how the mountain came into existence. Pariyatra, an ancient king had a son Hrasva Srungi, who visited all the holy and sacred places to regain normal bodily stature and finally, he visited Mangalagiri and performed penance for three years. All the deities advised him to stay at Mangalagiri and continue the penance in praise of Lord Vishnu. Pariyatra came to take back his son to his kingdom. But Hrasva Srungi took the shape of an elephant to become the abode of Lord Vishnu, who is locally known as Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy.