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Sri Adi Shankaracharya Sharada LakshmiNarasimha Peetam

श्रुतिस्मृतिपुराणानामालयं करुणालयम् ।
नमामि भगवत्पादं शङ्करं लोकशङ्करम् ॥

Sri Adi Shankaracharya Sharada LakshmiNarasimha Peetam is an ancient Dharmapeetam directly established by Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya at the Puranic Kshetra Hariharapura, in Chikmagalur District, Karnataka. Lord Sri LakshmiNarasimha Swamy & Goddess Sri Sharada Parameswari are the presiding deities of this Dharmapeetam.

The holy land of Hariharapura, situated at the banks of River Tunga, is a Kshetra highly extolled by Vedic literatures. It is located at a distance of about 10 Kms from Koppa Taluk and 20 Kms from the famous pilgrim center of Sringeri, in the Western Ghats. It is a place replete with rich natural splendor, enveloped by deep serenity and divine presence. The reverberating Vedic chants amidst lush greenery and the gentle flow of River Tunga creates an exquisite ambience of divine fervor and becomes an ideal retreat for the human mind constantly stressed by stormy thoughts and emotions. A few moments at the Sharada LakshmiNarasimha Swamy Temple on the banks of the holy Tunga soothes the turbulent mind and instills peace and calmness.

Historical Records

Historical sources mention that Hariharapura was an Agrahara ruled by Harihara Maharaya, the second ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire. As per the 14th Century inscriptions, the place was renovated by the Maharaya and was named after him. Harihara Maharaya and the other Rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire had been very devoted to the Shankaracharya Dharmapeetam at Hariharapura and had donated many lands and villages to Sreemath as an expression of their reverence to the then Peetadhipathis. The Gazettes compiled during the beginning of 19th Century by Mr. Luis Rice (in 1916) and later by Sri C.Hayavadana Rao (in 1928) are major historical documents that present similar details: ‘From the inscriptions at the place, it appears to have been an Agrahara established in 1418 by Sambanna Wodeyar of Agra in the reign of Harihararaya of Vijayanagar and later named after him. The religious establishment at Sringeri was intimately connected with the foundation Vijayanagar empire, and Harihara, one of the brothers from whom the Royal line had descended, gave his name to the Agrahara of Hariharapura’.

Sthala Mahima

Kshetras inhabited by Yogis and Maharishis are highly praised and respected by the Vedic tradition. Hariharapura, located in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, is one such ancient Kshetra that has been constantly populated by Yogis and Tapasvis since time immemorial.

The river Tunga flowing at Hariharapura is called Uttravahini. The places that have Uttravahini Tunga are regarded great Siddha Kshetras, where performing any kind of worship or spiritual Sadhana would yield manifold benefits. Hariharapura is one such powerful Siddha Kshetra discussed in high praise by various religious texts and Puranas. Vedic Seers refer this Kshetra as a very effective pilgrimage that is capable of warding off all sins and granting both spiritual & material upliftment.

The Puranic history of Hariharapura dates back to the episode of Daksha Maha Yajnya. Skanda Purana (Saahyaadri Kaanda) addresses Hariharapura by the name “Dakshashrama” - the place where Daksha Maha Yajnya took place. As per the well known story of Daksha Yajnya, Lord Shiva, enraged by the loss of Sati Devi, ordered Veerabhadra to slay Daksha Prajapati. However, on the prayers of Sages and other devotees, the Lord pardoned Daksha Prajapati and restored him to life with a goat’s head. Lord Shiva then emerged from the Yajnya Kunda, blessed everyone and also ensured the successful completion of the Yajna. Even today, we can find an ancient temple of “SWAYAMBHU DAKSHAHARA SOMESHWARA” (a self manifested deity of Lord Shiva) at Hariharapura. It is also known that prior to the present name Hariharapura was earlier called as ‘Kapalam’ (a name indicative of the Shiva Sannitya at the place). Hariharapura, thus being the sacred land where Lord Shiva Himself dwells as a Yajna Purusha, is regarded a Yaga Bhoomi – the most auspicious and effective location to perform Homas/Yajnas.

Ancient literatures glorify Hariharapura as a prominent LakshmiNrsimha Kshetra. It is the place where Agastya Maharishi was blessed with the Pratyaksha Anugraha of Lord Sri LakshmiNarasimha Swamy. It is known that Agastya Maharishi, who came south after subduing the Vindhyachala, stayed at Hariharapura for a long period and performed severe penance worshipping Lord SriNrsimha. Having been the Tapovanam of Agastya Maharishi, Hariharapura is also praised as a Tapo Bhoomi - the Land of Penance. The LakshmiNarasimha deity and Shalagrama worshipped by Sage Agastya are still worshipped in the Sharada LakshmiNarasimha Swamy Temple at Hariharapura.

The Shankaracharya Dharmapeetam at Hariharapura

In addition to being a Yaga Bhoomi and Tapo Bhoomi, Hariharapura also became a Jnyaana Bhoomi with the arrival of Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Moved by the divine vibrations at this place, Sri Adi Shankaracharya installed the deity of Goddess Sri Sharada Parameswari with the upliftment of SriChakra. With the consecration of the Supreme Mother, Sri Adi Shankaracharya also established a Dharmapeetam at this Kshetra.

During this time, a young Sage by name Krishna Yogeendra was performing penance at Hariharapura. Sri Krishna Yogeendra was a renowned scholar adept in all the Veda Shastras and was endowed with the divine qualities of peace, self control, compassion and mastery over all senses. Sri Adi Shankaracharya saw this young Yogi deeply absorbed in the contemplation of the Supreme and engaged in severe penance for the purpose of Loka Kshema. Immensely pleased with the unflinching sincerity and devotion of Krishna Yogeendra, Sri AdiShankaracharya blessed him and explained to him in detail about the greatness of the sacred Daksha Kshetra (Hariharapura). Sri Adi Shankaracharya also gave Mantra Deeksha to Krishna Yogeendra and directed him to perform Devi Pooja.

Soon after this, Sri Sureshwaracharya, one of the direct disciples of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, visited Hariharapura. The Acharya gave Sanyasa Deeksha (initiation into Sanyasa) to Krishna Yogeendra with the title name “Sri Swayamprakasha Krishna Yogeendra Saraswathi”, and made Him the first Peetadhipathi of the renowned SRI ADI SHANKARACHARYA SHARADA LAKSHMI NARASIMHA PEETAM at Hariharapura.

From then on, Sreemath Hariharapura has been a prominent Shankaracharya Dharmapeetam, practicing and propagating Sanatana Dharma, under the divine leadership of the Acharyas adorning the Peetam as the Peetadhipathis. Being one of the few Dharmapeetams that have been directly established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Sreemath Hariharapura boasts a glorious history with a prestigious chain of Guruparampara. The Jagadgurus of this Dharmapeetam have been great Yogis and Tapasvis, who have transformed the lives of many, spreading Dharma in every nook and corner of the society. In this illustrious line of Acharya Varyas, Sreemath Hariharapura is presently headed by its 25th Peetadhipathi - Srimad Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Swayamprakasha Sachidananda Saraswathi Mahaswamiji.

PRESIDING DEITIES Sri LakshmiNarasimha Swamy Sri Sharada Parameswari
TRADITION Advaita Smartha
VEDA Rug Veda
प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म
Prajnyaanam brahma
(Super consciousness is Brahma)
PRESENT PEETADHIPATHI Srimad Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Swayamprakasha Sachidananda Saraswathi MahaSwamiji