Holy Manasarovar Lake
The world’s youngest mountain ranges also have the highest peak prominently mark the northernmost skyline of India and figure in the history and mythology of the country. For Hindus Kailsh is the earthly manifestation of Mt Meru their spiritual centre of universe. The Himalayas are central to their cosmology, on one of the peaks Mount Kailash sits Shiva in perpetual meditation along with His consort Parvati , generating the spiritual force that sustains the cosmos. The Jains, who refer to the Kailsh as Ashtapada believe that , at the dawn of the history their first law giver, Rishabadev attained Nirvana on Mount Kailash . The Tibetans call Mount Kailash “Kang Rampoche” meaning “Precious Jewel” where their deity Demchhok, or Pavo and Dorge Phangmo resides. Bonpos- the followers of Bon religion, refer to this mountain as the nine-storeyed Swatika mountain” and call it “Kang Tise.” They believe that the soul of their kingdom resides inside this holy mountain. Buddhists also believe that this mountain is the center of this universe, there are eight monasteries(Gompas) surrounding this mountain, a devotee can come across words OM Mani Padme Hum ( hail to the Jewel of creation in the Lotus) written on stones and taken from Buddhists scriptures. “There is no place more powerful and practice more blessed, or more marvelous than their abode of God,” thus Mount Kailsh is holy to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Bons. Thus this unique mountain and lake are attached to our history, culture and mythology.
From the lofty Kailash range around this holy mountain spring four rivers flowing in four different directions: the Indus flows towards north from the noth west corner of Rakshastal floes west through trans-himalayan Tibet , Ladhak in India and southwards in Pakistan and flows into the Arabian sea., the Karnali flows south into Nepal , the Yarlung Tsangpo ( Brahmaputra) flows towards east and Sutlej travels to the west. Mohanjadaro and Harappa were on the banks if Indus. Thus the first civilizations started from the three rivers originating from Kailash.
Manasarovar is holiest, the most fascinating, most inspiring and most famous of lakes and the most ancient that civilization knows , this the Holy lake Manasarovar or Tso Rinpoche ( Precious lake), is majestically calm and dignified like a huge bluish green emerald or a pure turquoise, nestled between two mighty and silver mountains Kailsh ranges on the north and Gurla-Mandata ranges on the south and between the sister lake Rakshas Tal in the west. This circular vast lake is at 15000 ft is a lake of purity and pristine beauty with a depth of 300 ft encompassing 200 Sq miles. Manasarovar is laden with infinite moods which are reflected in its water which changes color with breathtaking speed . Especially in moon lit nights the reflection of snow capped mountains and millions of stars in pin-drop silence transports one to an unseen and unheard world of ecstasy and the scene is simply indescribable. Only an inspired poet or the divine artist with his magic colors can describe the beauty, grandeur of sun rise and sunset at the lake A dip in its holy waters is soul-satisfying.
“When the earth of Manasarovar touches anyone’s body, or when anyone bathes in this lake, he shall go to the paradise of Brahma, and he who drinks its waters shall go to the heaven of Shiva and shall be released from the sins of a hundred births. Even the beast who bears the name of Manasarovar shall go to the paradise of Brahma, its water are like pearls.
- The Ramayana
No wonder Munis, Rishis from the yore sung its praises and great seers from the past have circumambulated this holy mountain and the lake. For thousands of years pilgrims have journeyed to the Kailash-Manasarovar bearing immense hardships to pay obeisance to the mystery and eternal force embodied in the aura of the mystifying mountain. It is also as much an inward journey. The trail continues even today.