The next date regarding the stay given by courts to the Maruti Mandir demolition is 19th September 2017. I have made several trips in the past weeks to the mandir so I can understand the history, tradition and heritage of the Maruti Mandir.
Disclaimer – I am neither a believer in God, nor a disbeliever. I like places which tell good stories. Maruti Mandir Powai sure seemed like a good place. It has all the elements such as History, Beliefs, Super Natural and Tradition.
Someone told me on one of my trips that there is one IIT Bombay employee who has written a Book on the Maruti Mandir. After some research on google. I emailed Dr. Vinod Kumar Prasad who is associated with the academic office. To my delight he responded and soon I hurried to his office for a quick meeting.
Due to time constraints I had a very brief chat. Dr. VinodKumar is a native of Powai. He is staying in Powai and has been visitor to the Mandir right from his early childhood. But it was another colleague from IIT who told him about the powers of this temple which turned him in to ardent devotee. He believes that the temple deity has fulfilled his wishes and he has seen others also derive strength in adversity.
Another Disclaimer – I haven’t yet read his book, primarily because it is in Hindi and I have pains reading anything besides English. He says he has scanned archives and done quite a lot of research for the book.
He spoke about the history of Powai, citing reference from the about 700 year old dynasty of Shilar’s of Thane. Powai was then under the Mahikawati (current Mahim) and the references are available from Mahikawati Vakhar written in Marathi by one Rakhamaji Rao. He further mentioned that a Shiv and Devi temple (currently within the campus of IIT) had very old history. Looks like powai was a very spiritual place in the ancient time. The Hanuman Statue in the Maruti Mandir was found in the Powai Lake itself. He also told that Powai Lake was once a lotus pond (known as Powami talav –) “Powami” means lotus in abpbransh language. The etymology of “Powai” lies in this ancient name “Powami”. This lake was expanded during the period of Britishers to make it as a drinking water reservoir. But latter it was discovered that the water was not potable and the lake water was used for industrial use.
Should the temple stay or go?
I asked him upfront on the issue of the temple. He said God lives in the hearts of people. What is really the need to visit a temple? He said a suitable place could be found for the temple in the lane next to Powai Plaza.
He however says that people visit temples for the energy of the place. He says he doesn’t think the temple affects the traffic. He suggested, that the single lane passing through the gap between Ram Mandir and the Maruti Mandir could be closed permanently so that devotees could be safe. In fact the temple was there for several decades, the road has come encroaching it.
When I asked him about the stance taken by many pro-development people that the temple is a hindrance to the traffic. He said we should have had a flyover right from Gandhi Nagar to Powai Lake. The evening traffic is a big pain of IIT Bombay also.
Finally on a concluding note he says, if the God wishes to stay he will stay and if he wishes to find another place it will.
I am planning to read his book soon, if you want copies of the same book.Email me at [email protected]
Keep in Touch
I am planning to write a series on the Maruti Mandir, if you would like to receive the same via email, please send me a email to [email protected] with subject as Maruti Mandir.