Monday, June 16, 2008

Kailash Manasarovar Darshan -2

The Glory of Kailash and Manasarovar

Aerial view of Kailash

The great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, spoke about Kailash in his classic Kumarasambhava as follows: ” In the northern part there is a great mountain by the name Himalayas, Abode of perpetual snow, fittingly called the Lord of Mountains animated by divinity as its soul and internal sprit (incarnate divinity) spanning the wide land from eastern to western seas stands as it were like the measuring rod of the earth. Kailash and Manasarovar are the pious and most beautiful shrines”

Mount Kailash is considered by the Hindus to be Holy because it is the abode of their God trident wielding, blue throated, snake bejeweled Lord Shiva along with His consort Parvati. It is also called Meru or Mahameru. The center of the cosmos ( physical and metaphysical universe). This is only abode of God which one will be able to visit with their mortal body as it is situated in the physical earth, the other abodes are celestial so no body will be able to visit with this mortal body. Also it is believed only who those are chosen by the Lord for visiting His abode will be able to visit this Holy land and whoever visit and worship the Lord are really blessed. It is because of the accumulation of righteousness done by earlier generations get a chance to undertake the yatra. Also it is believed next 7 generations of the person who undertake this yatra also get salvation. Mount Kailash, abode of Shiva and Parvati, circumambulation of which delivers one from the cycle of birth and death and Manasarovar - the Holy lake, formed by Lord Brahma from his mind, a dip in whose waters are believed to wash away the sins of a life time are laden with eternal beauty, serenity, spirituality and immense natural power, the entire Kailash-Manasarovar is suffused with significance undefined.

South face of Holy Kailash

Holy mount Kailsh is mentioned as Kraunja parvat in Valmiki Ramayana and as Hemakood in Mahabharatha. Both Kailash and Manasarovar are called as Gowri Shankar. The Kailash is considered holy not only by Hindus, but also by Jains, Buddhists and Bons, the followers of ancient religion of Tibet. For Hindus Kailash is the earthly manifestation of Mt Meru their spiritual centre of universe. The Himalayas are central to their cosmology, the peaks are the petals of the Golden Lotus which Lord Vishnu created as a first step towards creation of universe. On one of these 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 prophet and law giver, Rishabadev attained Nirvana (salvation) on Mount Kailash . The Tibetans call Mount Kailash “Kang Rampoche” meaning “Precious Jewel” where their deity Demchok, or Pavo and Dorge Phangmo resides. Bonpos- the followers of Bon religion, shamanistic religion of Tibet which predates Buddhism 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 Holy mountain, a devotee can come across words OM Mani Padme Hum ( hail to the Jewel of creation in the Lotus) written on stones, taken from Buddhists scriptures. Milrepa the Buddhist monk who won in the challenge with Bonpos remarks as follows “ There is no place more powerful for practice, more blessed or more marvelous than Kailash. May all pilgrims and practitioners be welcome”. Thus Mount Kailash is Holy to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Bonpos. Thus this mountain is sacred to millions in Asia.
Holy Mt.Kailash is also considered as one among the 51 Sakthi Peetams according to legend the fat of the Sati Devi ( Dakshayanai) fell on these mountains, which has turned into snow. So that only the snow on these mountains never melt and are perpetual.

From the lofty Kailash range around this holy mountain spring four rivers flowing in four different directions of Asia. The Indus flows towards north from the north west corner of Rakshastal flows 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 of river Indus. Thus the first civilizations started from the rivers originating from Kailash .Thus the mountain ranges are the cradle to the earliest civilizations. Still today they are irrigating the lands of Asia.

Waves sparkling like diamond during noon

Manasarovar lake one of the largest and the highest lake 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 Kailash 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 night's 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.

The Manasarovar lake is extolled like this in the epic Ramayana of the Hindus as. “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


According to legend, the Manasarovar lake was created by Lord Brahma from His mind ( Manas means mind and sarovar means sea). Long ago lot of ascetics were doing penance in the Holy mountains there was a famine and there was no water available for doing their duties, they requested Lord Brahma to help them, then Lord Brahma created this lake from his mind and the ascetics used the water to do ablutions to Lord Shiva. Also it is believed Lord Brahama swam in these waters as Swan, even today it is believed that those who see Swan in Manasarovar are actually having the darshan of Lord Brahma. For Vaishanavaites the worshippers Lord Vishnu consider Manasarovar as one of the 108 Holy places( Divya Desam) of Lord Vishnu . For Sakthars worshippers of Mother Goddess, it is a Holy Sakthi peeth, here mother manifested as Manasa Devi. But there is no temple now here may be they would have been destroyed during the cultural revolution. . Buddhists also believe that , Maya Devi the mother of Lord Buddha was purified by bathing her in this lake before she gave birth to Buddha.

The sister lake Rakshas Tal (lake of demon) is also situated here. This lake was created by Ravana the demon king of Sri Lanka, while he was doing penance in the middle of the lake to please Lord Shiva so . Because of this Hindus believe that the waters of Rakshas Tal are unholy, and represent demonic qualities and so its water is not used for bath or drinking. While Manasarovar stands for day, sun and brightness, Rakshas Tal stands for night, moon and darkness. The situation of both the lakes near by signifies that good and bad co exist and it is our duty only to follow the righteousness. 6 Km long channel called Ganga Chu connects both these lakes. Chiu gompa is situated on an isthmus between both the lakes.

To be Contd......

1 comment:

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