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Zambia's Oldest Temple

Oldest Temple in Zambia

Located 43 Kms from the capital city Lusaka, its the oldest Hindu Temple in Zambia. The main deity is Goddess Bhavani Ambe. The vibration at the temple is a self-generating energy, which guides its devotees to run the temple.

Late Mrs. Vimlaben Vadilal Shah was specific in her devotion to Mataji –Sakthi worship. Her prayers were answered and she had a dream to convert the religious fever among devotees into a temple for all to pray and obtain the Goddess grace. Even though her sudden demise did set back the starting of a temple at Kafue, her husband, Late Mr.V.T Shah was inspired by her to take her dream forward to reality. Late Mr.V.T Shah had inspired many into Mataji worship and was able to increase devotees feverish pitch towards Goddess Bhavani Ambe worship.

The next major turning point in this temple's progress was the arrival of two prominent guruji’s in the development of Kafue Hindu Temple. They are Srilasri Amritananda Saraswathi (Dr.N.P.Sastry) and Sri Wijayaharan now known as Sri Chaitanyananda Natha Saraswathi (Aiya).

Srilasri Amritananda Saraswathi (Dr.N.P.Sastry) had a vision of Devi as a sixteen year old girl. in 1977, Guruji visited the Balaji temple in Hyderabad. He went in and prostrated before the Lord. He felt an extreme thrill pass through his body; and Guruji had his first initiation from Balaji, that is Balatripurasundari. This proved to be the turning point in his life.

When guruji came to Zambia as a professor in University of Zambia, he came to be involved in Devi worship in Zambia. He had been instrumental in installing panchaloka deity of Kamakshi Ambe at Kafue temple. The Kamakshi Ambe deity was consecrated following full vedic and agama procedure. This installation of Kamakshi Ambe deity along with Maha Meru was done on Masi Maham day in February 1980.

"When Srilasri Amritananda Saraswathi (Dr.N.P.Sastry) went back to India and was meditating on a hillock he noticed a formation very similar to that of the Kamakhya Peetam in Assam. One day, while in meditation he experienced himself lying on the Peetam, while four others were performing a homam with the flames emanating from his body. And during purnahuthi, he felt a heavy object being placed on his heart. Awakening from his meditative state, Guruji was prompted to dig that site. Unearthed from that very spot, he found a Sri Chakra MahaMeru made of panchaloha. It was later discovered that a huge yagnya had been performed in that area more than 250 years ago.

With Her Blessing's, he built the Kamakhya Peetam on the hillock and a Siva temple on the peak, in 1984. Construction of the Sri Meru Nilaya in Devipuram was started in 1985. Built covering an area of 108 square feet, the temple has 3 levels and stands 54 feet tall. The temple has the idols of all the Devis described in the Devi Khadgamala Stotra. The temple construction was completed in 1994 and the kumbhabhishekam celebrated with great pomp and piety. This temple is unique in allowing the devotees to perform puja to Devi themselves, without distinction of caste or creed.”

Such is the greatness of Bhavani Ambe to associate this great guruji with this temple.Srilasri Amritananda Saraswathi (Dr.N.P.Sastry) now has a website http://www.vi1.org/index.shtml

Sri Chaitanyananda Natha Saraswathi (Aiya) popularly known in Zambia as Sri Wijayaharan accepted Srilasri Amritananda Saraswathi (Dr.N.P.Sastry) as his guru in SriVidya upasana in Zambia. Along with his guru, he had been key in installing panchaloka deity of Kamakshi Ambe at Kafue temple.

"Aiya emigrated to Zambia to work as an architect for the Government in Lusaka. In this small town, he met a few South Indian families and was touched by the true devotion for the divine that he found in them. The families assembled regularly for Satya Sai bhajans and friday bhajans and the Haran family decided to commence regular puja with the ever growing circle of devotees and so, in 1976, regular chanting of the Lalitha Sahasranamam was started. It was in Lusaka that Aiya met his present Guru, Srilasri Amritananda Saraswathi (Dr.N.P.Sastry) from Andhra Pradesh. He was overwhelmed by the compassionate eyes and depth of feeling he felt when he was first introduced to Sri Amritananda. He noticed Sri Amritananda performing the dashamudras during the recitation of the Lalitha Sahasranamam and decided to ask him for initiation into Sri Vidya. Sri Wijayaharan was showered with the grace and the priceless mantra on the Poornima day, Friday, Oct. 5, 1979. Sri Amritananda performed an 8 hour Navavarana puja at Aiya's house and initiated Aiya and his wife Srimati Sakuntala with the mantras. Aiya was then taught the intricacies of performing the various aspects of the mahayagna called the Navavarana puja.

Aiya moved to the United States in 1980. Named the "Kanchi Peetam" initially, the Peetam now known as the Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam was established in his own house.

Such is the greatness of Bhavani Ambe to associate this great guruji with this temple.Sri Chaitanyananda Natha Saraswathi (Aiya) now has a website www.srividya.org

The next major event at Kafue Hindu temple is the installation of Goddess Bhavani Ambe sons Ganesh and Skanda( Karthik) who accompany the mother. Shri.N.Gananadha volunteered and brought the two deities as prescribed made of Pancha Loha/ Alloy from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Shri Gananadha an ardent devotee of Devi prayed everyday and managed the temple. Many miracles happened. He had showered the grace of Devi on many and opened the spiritual eyes among devotees. He however had one wish which he had a dream of fulfilling the wish of Late Mrs. Vimlaben Vadilal Shah to have a Devi temple fully consecrated as per vedic agamas.The energy for this remaining latent for many years and came to be known as Devis plan. This plan of Devi unfolded in the most unexpected way. Please refer to the article of Fulfilling Devi’s plan to know how this plan is still unfolding.

The main presiding deity at Kafue Hindu Temple is Bhavani Ambe.

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