Dharmasthala celebrates Dr Heggade’s Pattabhisheka Anniversary
As he ventures out for a walk in the evening wearing white Kacche Panche and a white shirt with the same color shawl, people bow with respect and stand looking at him. Seeing the devotees standing outside the temple, Dharmadhikari Dr. D Veerendra Heggade stops and smiles at them. He speaks to them for a moment and leaves after wishing them.
For many devotees speaking to Dr. Heggade is nothing less than a lifetime achievement. Offering prayers at Sri Manjunatha Swami temple and speaking to Dr. Heggade are the two most memorable moments for the devotees who come here.
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After the sudden demise of his father Rathnaverma Heggade, it was on this day 54 years ago, Veerendra Kumar took charge as the Heggade of Dharmasthala.
Heggade is the religious head in Dharmasthala enjoying great respect among the people. Heggades of Dharmasthala enjoyed great respect among the people of the region since several centuries. But because of his social service and developmental activities, Dr. Veerendra Heggade’s fame has spread not only the length and breadth of the country but also crossed the borders.
Taking up the post of Heggade was not an easy task for young Veerendra who had to take responsibility after the sudden demise of his father. Veerendra was just 20 years then.
While the unexpected power makes many people arrogant and irresponsible, Dr. Heggade took it with great humbleness. With the help of his mother Rathnamma Heggade, elders, and villagers, he settled and started discharging his duty.
Within a few years, he succeeded in making ‘Heggade,’ a household name in various parts of the state and country.
At the ‘Chawadi,’ (the traditional place of Heggade) sitting on his ‘Pattada Kurchi,’ Dr. Heggade delivers the responsibilities of the religious head.
Traditionally Dharmasthala has been famous for ‘Chaturvida Dana,’ (four types of Dana)- Anna Dana (Serving food), Aushadha Dana (Healing), Vidya Dana (Education), and Abhaya Dana(Protect from fear). But Heggade has included many more to this.
While Rural Development and Self Employment Training Institute (RUDSETI), helps in making youth self-employed, the Self Help Groups (SHGs) have strengthened the women of rural areas. The SKDRDP concentrates on rural development and the de-addiction camp helps the society from the bad effects of alcohol.
The SDME Trust is an example by itself and the Naturopathy and Medical Colleges are serving thousands of people.
Dr. Heggade always says social work and spirituality are two sides of the same coin.
The temple is not just a place of worship but a center of social activities. Thus the day of his ‘Pattabhisheka,’ on October 24 is celebrated as a public program in Dharmasthala.
Villages organize various programs as part of this event and are nothing less than any religious program. Heggade too actively participates in all the programs smiling and being one among the devotees and villagers.