BANGALORE: According to Hindu beliefs, one must pray the Guru (religious leader) before the God. This belief is due to the fact that it is the Guru that shows the devotee the path to reach God. It is his teachings that bring us closer to God. Hinduism has many such gurus, each telling us how to get closer to the almighty and gain moksha or salvation. For Brahmins, going to the matha is a weekly ritual of paying obeisance to this Guru. Whether it is Shankaracharya or Madhvacharya or any other Guru, mutts provide a place of worship for their devotees.
The Shankar Mutt in Chamrajpet is a famous matha where the followers of Shankaracharya’s Advaitha philosophy visit. This mutt is a branch of the famous Shankar Mutt in Sringeri. The Mutt has two temples one of Shankaracharya and the other of Sharada devi (Godess of learning). The main building is a prayer hall where the idols of Shankaracharya and Goddess Sharada devi under a marble mantap are installed.
In the book Bengaluru Ithihasa, Ba Na Sunder Rao says that in 1907, the then Sringeri mutt seer Narasimha Bharathi Swamy set out on a journey. He crossed Tumkur and landed in Bangalore, then known as Kalyannagar. Finding Bangalore suitable in all aspects of health, business, weather, he envisioned opening a Shankar mutt in the city. This mutt would serve as a treasure of knowledge where teachings of Adi Shankaracharya could be disseminated to localities. He intimated this wish to the then Dewan Sheshadri Iyer.
But the dream was realised only when VP Madahavaraya was made the Dewan. He took up the responsibility of building the Mutt. A location close to the new extension of Basavanagudi was chosen and thus the famous Shankar Mutt came up in Shankarpuram, Chamrajpet. The lane was later aptly named after the Mutt- Shankar Mutt Road.
The mutt with its vast area and peaceful environment is the perfect setting for contemplation and introspection. Even students often visit this place with books in tow looking for inspiration to study. One such devotee Raghavendra Sridhar, a software professional, who has been living in the neighbourhood for the last 15 years, says that his family’s association with the mutt goes back to more than three decades. “I come from a family of devout followers of Advaita philosophy for whom this mutt is the place (of worship). I believe that a request put in front of Sri Sharadamba will always be heard. Whenever there is a quest for direction and peace of mind I visit the mutt and have never
returned disappointed,” he says and adds that a visit during Sharannavarathri to see the decorations of Sharadamba is a must.