“KarasthE hEmAdrau giriSa nikaTasthE dhana-patau
SirasthE SItAMSau caraNa-yugalasthE(a)khila SubhE
kam-arthaM dAsyE(a)haM bhavatu bhavad-arthaM mama manaH”
( sivanandalahari )
The Golden mountain is at your hands; Kubera, the Lord of wealth by you;
wishes- delivering Kalpaka tree, Kamadhenu and Chintgamani are at your abode;
the moon with cool rays on your head; at your feet are all the auspiciousness.
What does this poor man have to offer you (when you have everything at your command), MahAdeva, except my mind?
Had the Jagath Guru, seen the divine sight of two grand RudrAksha trees offering their bright blue fruits and brown Rudraksha seeds to the Lingeswara at their base, he would have, in mystical exaltation, added that blessed pair too in his list of Mahadeva’s assets!
Yes, I had the fortune of seeing those trees, not in the Himalayan Valleys, but here in Florida, in a place called Fort Lauderdale! Not only that, in between those two giant trees, there is a shrine sanctified by a divine Banalingam, Mahameru, eleven Jade (maragatha)Lingams and one Paradeshwara (mercury lingam) as well for Nithya Abhishekam and some more idols of utmost artistic fineness and beauty. Regular poojas with abhishekam, Archana , naivedyam, doopa, deepa Aaradhana are offered strictly as per the Vedic prescription.
I expect the next question from you. How did this wonder happen? Is there an influential organization with powerful and wealthy members, behind this holy venture?
Or did any States helped or religious Mutts supported ?
Amazingly the answer is: ‘NO’.
The Shiva Temple , enshrined beneath two magnificent Rudraksha Trees, aptly named
Bhujageswara RudrAksha Mandir, is the result of poetic imagination, phenomenal dedication of a pure- hearted Indian born physicist, Acharya Vijay Raghavanji , settled in America since long and Swami Divyanada Saraswati who was his life partner in her previous Asram and an inspiration for him.
It all started in the vacant land behind the house Vijay Ji and Swami Divyananda bought in 1995. All that was there was a swimming pool and the pool deck. Why not install a Ganesha idol – thought the spiritual- minded scientist. Swami Divyananda’s favorite 16” standing Ganesha was readily available at hand and that is how it all started. Today after two decades that it is a great shrine where Lord Bhujageshwara resides in an Ashram like green land of peace and serenity bestowing his blessings on a few sincere devotees. Thanks to the valuable assistance from Swami Divyananda Saraswathi.
Acharya Vijay Raghavanji also affectionately called “ Sri Vijayji”, is a true blend of Vedanta, Hinduism and Physics. He is the founder of Adi Shankara Advaita Ashram , a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching and popularizing the ancient wisdom of India – Vedanta.
Vijayji is graduate in Physics from Madurai University, his initial training in Yoga and Meditation was in 1976 with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas in India where he was also exposed to Vedic Studies, Vedanta and Hindu Rituals including Rudra Abishekam. After serving Mahrishi Mahesh Yogi as an Administrative Director for all his centers in India, He spent another two years (1980-1982) at South India Research Institute (SIRIS) Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh, India) developing and establishing the Department of Psycho- Physiology to further research on the effects of Meditation on the Physiology and Psychology of SIRIS company workers. He had taught Yoga and Meditation classes in Surinam (South America) from 1983-1984 .
Sri Vijayji has been living in US since 1985 and has been teaching free classes in Yoga and Meditation for the last 30 years in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville areas. He has also conducted many Rudra Abishekams and Rudra and Ganesha Homas for Temples in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers and workshops at VHP (Viswa Hindu Parishad) camps and for various Balavihar groups and taught children the values of Hinduism and how to do Pujas. He has organized Bhagawath Geetha chanting competition for children at South Florida Hindu Temple.
By Profession, he is a state of Florida Licensed Medical Health Physicist and was with the State of Florida Bureau of Radiation. For the last thirteen years he has been with a well known Radiation Oncology group as a Medical Health Physicist and lives in Fort Lauderdale.
Now, let me come back to the story of the temple.
The swimming pool has been made over as a lovely Temple Pond with several idols artistically installed around it. Besides the two gigantic Rudraksha trees – almost 80 to 90 feet tall, there are other trees: Bilva, Nagalinga, mango, banana and Jack fruit all around the Bhujageshwara shrine. He has also built a small house for him and Swamini Divyananda Saraswati. As Vijay ji continues with his professional career, though he lives the life of a Yogi, the Sanyasini helps him in the temple maintenance and daily Poojas.
What was the source of finance for this project for a public cause? Did he collect money or any philanthropic agencies extend a helping hand? After all, the 14 statues, one or two of them really big, and all of them made in India and shipped from there in a 40’ container would have cost him a fortune.
And the daily maintenance too requires financial resources.
True. But Vijay ji, hasn’t sought any help from anyone. It is his whole life savings supplemented by that of the Sanyasini that they invested and he continues to utilize his earning from the profession for the routine maintenance. The shrine is in a private residence , and visitors are welcome upon advance request. So, very few know about this saintly abode of Gods. It is a home shrine for all practical purposes and definitely worth a visit. On Monday evenings he conducts Rudra Abishekam and Puja for a few sincere devotees. Swamini chants Rudram and Vedas with him.
It is my submission to Vijay ji that he should spread the message of the existence of this rare shrine to the public so that the society is benefitted. Let the blessings of Bhujageswara reach every corner of the Earth!
In the meantime, my salutations to these two moving RudrAksha trees, Vijaiji and Swamini Divyananda Saraswati, who have placed their life at the feet of the Lord Bhujageshwara.
Note: As I am finishing up this article Sri Vijay Ji after participating in an intense ekadasha Rudra Japam is getting ready to go to Memphis to take part as a Ritvik in a 5 day Sata Rudriya Maha Yagnam to be conducted under the guidance of Sri Sadguru Bodinatha Veylan Swami of Kauvai Adheenam – a divine coincidence