A devotee’s thirst fulfilled
It is truly said that when a devotee hungers to see and worship Shri Mahalasa Narayani everyday wherever he/she stays, the benevolent Goddess grants the devotee’s wishes.
This story begins about 200 years ago: In earlier days, it was difficult for a kulavi or any devotee to travel to Goa to have a darshan of Shri Mahalasa Narayani. The difficulty was in the form of travelling through difficult terrain, or through enemy territory, or even because of financial and personal reasons.
One such gentleman from the family of the widely scattered Beloor Shenoy/Shanbag lineage who settled in Shirva-Manchakal, had this wish. He was a great devotee of Shri Mahalasa Narayani, his family deity, and used to get engrossed in deep meditation.
He long cherished a sincere desire to build a temple for Her at Shirva so he could dedicate the rest of his life in Her service, every day.
The devotee then went to Shri Mahalasa Narayani Temple at Mardol, Goa, prayed to Her and expressed his wishes. He had decided not to move from the temple until and unless his wishes were fulfilled. And he could also not proceed till she gave Her consent.
And lo and behold! A few days later, the Goddess appeared in his dreams and instructed him thus: “Oh! My great devotee! So far I have not conferred anyone with my idol. You shall return to your native place now and get immersed in worshipping the kalasha (pitcher) that is filled with sacred water. That itself shall amount to my worship. Your desires shall certainly be fulfilled.”
As per Her instructions, Shri Shanbag placed a kalasha that was filled with water at Her Lotus Feet and after performing all the necessary rituals, carried it to Shirva. Here, he earmarked a place for Her and started worshiping Her religiously.
Once an ascetic or sage visited the devotee’s residence at Shirva. The saint was delighted by the devotee’s hospitality and wanted to present him with an idol of a Goddess that he possessed.
Initially, Shri Shanbag was hesitant to accept the idol, but soon after the ascetic left, he started facing hardships.
The devotee then followed the sage into the forest and profusely apologised for his mistake. He then prayed to the sage to give him the idol of the Goddess.
When the sage handed over the idol, the devotee was surprised to see that is was none other than the idol of the Great Mother Shri Mahalasa Narayani Herself, to whom he had dedicated his entire life.
The new idol was installed and continued to be worshipped by Him.
Since then, over the years, several reinstallation ceremonies have been performed and the temple was renovated several times.
In 1984, a new stone idol of the deity was installed at the temple, which is being worshipped to this day.