Spiritual union with God is the most profound feeling mankind has ever known. A deep longing to transcend the boundaries of material world and immerse oneself in eternal solitude is at the centre of religious experience. Such an experience calms the conscience, unlocks the cosmic energy within and inspires great efforts.
Hinduism proclaims that God is fully manifest in every object – even in a grain of sand. This has led many to ask why we need to visit a temple to pray. The answer is simple. A good temple is built in a manner that amplifies positive energy and bliss. Rig Veda, the ancient Hindu scripture, stipulates the procedures to build and consecrate aninvigorating temple. According to this ancient Sanskrit scripture, a temple is supposed to represent the great Lord in repose, with the sanctum sanctorum (GarbhaGudi) standing for God's heart. The idol of God is a window that allows us to concentrate, connect and experience the rapture of divinity that is capable of cleansing and transforming us.
It also corresponds to the inherent human disposition to divide space into two distinct types: space that is sacred and space that is not. Standing on sacred space and dedicated to the worship of the God, a temple is where we all go to honestly submit ourselves to the master of the universe and receive divine blessings. A temple also encourages human communion and motivates ethical behaviour in people who live around it. A temple in a town, with its universal message of love and compassion, usually does more to ensure peace than a huge army.
Built in accordance with the Hindu tradition and blending perfectly with Nature, the Sunkishala temple attracts many visitors round the year. Amid holy chants and vast swathes of lush-green gardens, visitors are sure to enjoy an exhilarating spiritual experience. By rejuvenating the soul and calming the mind, the temple has the power to ease the worries of pilgrims and energise them to embark on great endeavours.
Every part of the temple is constructed with great care to ensure that nothing comes in between the pilgrims and God. With its brilliant architecture and natural beauty, the temple offers an ideal environment to worship and contemplate the immeasurable compassion and intelligence of God.
Dr.PaillaMalla Reddy, a visionary entrepreneur living in the US, built this temple with the noble intention to put his hometown on the map by creating a major pilgrim destination that generates employment to the villagers. The success of his initiative encouraged the government to sanction many development works and improve bus connectivity. With re-laid roads and de-silting water tanks, the village is now one step closer to Mr. Reddy's goal of being a model village.
The temple is a boon to villagers who could not afford pilgrimages to the far-flung destinations like Tirupati, Shirdi or Bhadrachalam. It has also created employment opportunities to many people and enhanced their living standards. The temple employs landscape designers, architects, gardeners and priests. Quarters for priests are also constructed inside the temple complex. The temple has become very popular earning the name "mini-Tirupati".
Ever since the temple gates opened on December 26, 1997 with the PratishtapanaMahostsav of Lord Sri Venkateswara and his consorts Padmavathi Devi and Alamelu Manga by His Holiness, JagadguruSankaracharya of KanchiKamakotiPeeth – a Holy Monastic Order, millions of pilgrims have thronged the temple and sought divine blessings. The temple complex has four temples – each dedicated to one God from the Hindu pantheon.
Sri Venkateswara Temple:
The oldest and main temple of the complex is dedicated to the lord of Kaliyuga: Sri Venkateswarawho destroys sin and bestows boons on devotees. Worshipped by many as the supreme incarnation of Vishnu, the sight of Lord Venkateswaraenthrals pilgrims to no end and makes them forget their sufferings. The Lord urges His devotees to protect Dharma (Law) and pursue Moksha (Nirvana).
Every year, Brahmotsavams are celebrated with a lot of pomp and splendour. The sight of a huge procession during the celebrations with thousands of people chanting hymns in praise of Venkateswara who is adorned in beautiful jewellery is unforgettable.
Sri Rama – the lord of virtue is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama is the personification of the ideal man who did not stray from Dharma even in the face of severe adversity and temptation.
The story of Rama is the story of how one should respect parents, how one should keep his promises, and more importantly, how one should always remain honourable. He is venerated for his virtue and for creating Rama Rajya – a period of peace and harmony. His life is a lesson in how one should conduct oneself honourably.
Constructed in 2001, the granite idol of Lord Rama at Sunkishala, is sculpted by reputed architects from the Mamallapuram Sculpture Institute in Tamil Nadu. The main festival, Sri Rama Navami celebrating the birth of Lord Rama is conducted in the months of March / April every year.Many people participate in these celebrations.
Sai Baba Temple: In human life, the Guru's place is prominent. By keeping utmost faith in the Guru alone, everything is obtained. A devotee's entire strength is due to His Guru. Devotion to the Guru is superior to devotion to Gods and Goddesses. The Guru is the Supreme Being.
Sri ShirdiSai Baba is a great saint. With great powers, he healed the sick, cured their diseases and created harmony among people. He taught that "one God governs all" and that all that is needed is empathy and compassion. If a fellow being is suffering, he said, it is our responsibility to alleviate his misery as much as we can with whatever limited resources we have.
He taught his followers to strive for communal happiness and harmony by fighting religious and caste fundamentalism. He message was simple: to make God happy, help people in distress.
The marble deity of Sai Baba at Sunkishala temple was carved in Rajasthan and the VigrahaPrathishtapana was performed on November 20, 2003.
Known as the God of Destruction, Lord Siva is also the lord of re-creation of universe. He is immortal, having no beginning and no end. He rules over the universe and is the master of time. His Tandavadepicts the cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution. He is worshipped in the form of a Linga that symbolises creation.
He consumed the poison to prevent it from destroying the world, which made his throat blue leading to the name Neelakanta. He wears a tiger skin, which symbolises his strength in taming wild beasts. He is also considered to be supremely intelligent. With his consort, Goddess Parvati, he is responsible to destroy evil in the universe and confer happiness on humans.
The SivalingaPratishtapana at Sunkishala was performed on December 13, 1998. The Linga was brought from Varanasi after performing all the consecration rituals.
At Sunkishala, Mahashivaratri is celebrated in a grand style with Pooja and Bhajan throughout the night as the devotees keep vigil. A grand procession of Lord Siva is done on this day in which many thousands participate to seek the blessings of the Auspicious One.