Mahavir Mandir, Patna is one of the leading Hanuman temples in the country. Daily thousands of devotees throng the temple and get solace from the worship of Hanumanji. It is a ‘manokamana’ mandir where devotees’ every wish is fulfilled and this is the reason for ever-increasing number of devotees in the temple.
As per the Patna High Court judgment in 1948 the temple exists since time immemorial. But from the scrutiny of historical facts and traditions it appears that this temple was originally established by Swami Balanand, an ascetic of Ramanandi sect in around 1730 A.D.
The main temple has got two idols of Hanumanji one for परित्राणाय साधूनाम् i.e. for the protection of good people and another for विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् i.e. for the elimination of the wicked persons. The temple belongs to Ramanand sect although from 1900 A.D. it had been in the possession of the Gosain Sanyasis till 1948 A.D.
In 1948 A.D. it was declared a public temple by Patna High Court. A new, magnificent temple was reconstructed between 1983 and 1985 at the old site at the initiative of Kishore Kunal with devotees’ contribution and now it is one of the most magnificent temples in the country.
Upon arriving Patna by train one happens to see the famous temple of Lord Hanuman. Just yards away from the northern entrance of the Railway Station, the famous temple is situated and Lord Ganesha in association with Lord Buddha bless the onlookers. Also, the holy words, “prabisi nagar keejai sab kaaja, hriday rakhi koshalpur raaja”(प्रबिसि नगर कीजै सब काजा हृदय राखि कोसलपुर राजा), are inscribed thereon, as if Lord hanuman himself, is blessing people and welcoming them for their success.
The entrance of the temple is situated further north. At the entrance there is the facility for shoe keeping and inside the premises, towards right is the facility of fresh water for cleaning purposes and ablutions.
The temple, in fact, is not an isolated temple but a temple complex, having all the necessary facilities for the visitors and worshippers. Upon entering the premises, towards left, the row of stairs, on a raised platform, lead to the main area called Garbhagriha, which is the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Hanuman. Around this there is the passage which houses Lord Shiva. The passage has a ritual significance for the lay worshippers, apart from the stairs which lead to the first floor, giving another round of holy delight.
The first floor itself constitutes four sanctum sanctora of the Deities. It has got the temple of Lord Rama, to begin with. The portrayal of Lord Krishna, delivering sermon to Arjun, stands beside the Rama temple. Next to it, Goddess Durga is situated at the place. Next to this also the humanframe standing figure of Lord Shiva, meditating Mother Parvati and Nandi- the Holy ox are placed in the wooden palisade. In this wooden palisade the Shiva Lingam, is installed, the site for the performance of Rudrabhisheka.
The floating Ram-setu Shila is also placed on this floor only. It has been kept in a glass container and is revered by the people. The volume of this stone is 13,000 mm, while the weight is approx. 15kgs.
Now, we move on to the second floor. The second floor is mainly used for ritual purposes. Sanskar mandap is located at this floor only. Chanting of mantras, japa, recitals of Holy Scriptures, Satyanarayan katha and various other rituals are practiced and performed here. The floor also has the pictographic representation of the scenes from the Ramayana.
On the first floor, while crossing Dhyanmandap, to the left we are blessed by Lord Ganesha and Lord Buddha and further on, Lord satyanarayan, Lord Rama accompanied by Mother Sita and Goddess Sarasvati seem to cast a benevolent look on the devotees. In front of this façade of deities, below the Peepal tree, is the temple of Shani-maharaj; the temple, designed in the style of cave architecture, looks beautiful.
Coming back to the main campus; the campus houses the office, a shop selling ritual articles and a book shop, selling the books of religious genre. The campus also has one Astrological/Palmistry centre and a Gem Stone centre catering to the needs of devotees and providing guidance.
Another specialty of the temple is the prasadam, offered to the presiding deities thereon. The prasadam offered is “Naivedyam” which is prepared by the experts from Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh and is a delicacy.
Mahavir Mandir has got many distinctions to its credit:
- The entire reconstruction of the temple was carried out on war footing without asking for any subscription. Donations came voluntarily because people had faith in the persons associated with the ‘Kaya-Kalpa’ of the temple.
- Thousands of devotees participated in the kãr-sewa conducted during the reconstruction of the temple.
- The temple has got two images of Hanumanji, standing side by side in the sanctum sanctorum.
- It is one temple where the devotees, on payment of a certain fee, get all ingredients for completions the rituals and they have not to pay even ‘dakshina’ to the priests. It is paid by the temple management.
- The recital of Valmiki Ramayana in the morning is a daily routine which includes the regular recital from all important scriptures. But in very few temples in the country Hanumanji is hearing so much Valmiki Ramayana as here.
- The temple houses almost all important deities. In addition, Lord Buddha and Shabari are also worshipped here. Goswami Tulasidasji is sitting beneath the ‘Simhadvara’ looking forwards Hanumanji and a grand statue of Saint Ravidas under a canopy at the Vantage is also seen and worshipped.
- The temple has got the ‘pandits’ (Sanskrit scholars) of the highest caliber and Bairagi sadhus of the Ramanand sect as well dalit priest, who all perform with highest harmony.
- Mahavir Mandir is pioneer in association philanthropy with religion. From its funds it has established four charitable hospitals in Patna and two more are under construction in North Bihar. It has provided Rs. 50 lakh for the treatment of poor cancer patients and an almost equal amount is earmarked for the treatment of poor patients of other diseases and assistance to the deserving persons of the deprived sections of the society.
- It is the first religious trust which started Shravan Kumar Awards for the dedicated service to parents with utmost devotion. The first prize carries Rupees 1,00,000/-, the second 50,000/- and the third one Rs. 25,000/- In addition, there are 10 prizes of Rs. 5,000/- each for motivate the towards service to parents.
The temple has now turned into a ‘teerth’ because of Hanumanji’s blessings and excellent management of the temple trust.