Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kailash Manasarovar darshan (yatra) - 22

Fifteenth day: First day of Manasarovar parikrama.

( Bus travel from Darchen to Quhu 85 Km)

The Grand voew of Kailash's South & East face and Nandi from Asthapath
Earlier the yatris who visit Asthapath used to trek but nowadays small vans have started plying and the yatris can go upto the bottom of the Asthapath. From here we get the closest view of Lord’s south face . It ‘s here that the first prophet of jains attained Nirvana. There is a samadhi built in this place resembling Buddhist chortens here. Normally the pilgrims who come here do a havan in front of the Lord , our group also did a elaborate havan and all of us recited mantras and prayed to the Lord for the wellbeing of everybody and also thanked him for this grace .

We returned back to the camp and with heavy heart that we are leaving from the feet of the Lord left by bus to Quhu the first days halt on the Manasarovar Parikrama. As we were traveling towards Manasarovar we could clearly see the east face of the Lord. When we were nearer to the Lord we could not see this face clearly the Thatpurush face stands for decisiveness and signifies that the decisions have to be taken with a long term perspective only. We stopped in between and had a good darshan of the Lord. In detail we will see how this east face of the Lord is described in Hindu scriptures.

View of Holy Kailash on way to Hore
( The eastern extension can be clearly seen)

Thatprush face is youthful and white in color and represents wind in the five elements. It stands for sustenance and of the five syllables this face stands for “Va”. The Lord is of Maheshwara form and mother Gnana Sakthi ( Power of Wisdom). Bikshadana, kamadahana, kaalanthaka, salantharai, tiripuranthaka are aspects of this face. This face is like a pure glass and flashes like lightning. We prayed the Lord with the following mantra


ऒं तत्परुषाय विध्म्हॆ महादॆवाय धीमही ।
तन्नो रुद्र प्रचोदयात ॥

Now we will see about the fifth face of the Lord, which according to legends faces skyward. The Esana face is child like and shines like a pure marble. This face represents sky in the five elements and represents the bestower of blessings on the mankind, In the five syllables this face stands for “ya”. Lord is of Sathashiva form and mother Para Sakthi. Normally we don’t get to see this face as we do the parikrama at the feet of the Lord and no body is allowed to go anywhere near the Kailsh mountain as it is holy and also it is believed that countless rishis are doing penance there around Holy Kailash and if we dare not disturb their penance. But this aerial picture gives us an idea about the summit of Kailash , you can easily make out that Holy kailsh mimics a Shiva Linga the formless form of the Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva can be worshipped in any mode in Chidambaram He is worshipped as space ie formless. In all the temples He is worshipped in the formless form of Lingam, he is also worshipped many forms the important ones being Dancing Lord Nataraja, Somaskanda or Thiyagaraja, Chandrasekara (the one with moon crescent) and many more forms. The dara if Viswa linga is on the east side and the top is round. Some believe that Kailash is in the form of celestial symbol Om. Some believe that Kailash is in the form of Sri Chakra the abode of Divine Mother with four faces representing the four gates of Sripura and the fifth face representing the Bindu . We pray this face of the Lord with the following mantra


ऑ ईशान सर्वविध्यामीश्वर: सर्वभुतानां ब्र्ह्माथिपतिर
ब्र्ह्माणॊऽधिपति्र ब्र्ह्मो शिवो मॆ अस्तु सदाशिवॊम.

As usual the journey was bone rattling and we crossed a lot of steams some times we will get down from the bus to facilitate the crossing of streams. We passed through the parakkah valley and had our lunch at Hore village. Earlier Hore was also a camp site but now as a full fledged village has developed there, no camp is being set up there. As it was lunch time we purchased some fruits and cool drinks in the local market at Hore. Then we traveled to Chrelung Gompa. From there we got the majestic view of the Kailsh, the towering perpetually snow clad peak rising above the surrounding mountain and It appeared to us like a King and Queen sitting in their majestic throne and overseeing their whole kingdom. Here the King and Queen are the parents of the whole Universe. After a long journey we reached the Quhu camp in the evening. Some of the yatris visited the gompa and witnessed the rituals taking place there and the others took rest. Some had a dip in Manasarovar but many of us postponed it for the next day.

Manasarovar's water's shining like diamond in the sun's rays

As that day was pradosham day the author and Dhanuskodi started chanting Sri Rudram, which contains Om Nama Shivaya Mantra at its heart. Soon others also joined them. Both of us explained to yatris from other states about the history of Appar and chanted his hymns , every body recited some hymns in their language and in the end we all in a group chanted the following Maha Mrithyunjaya Mantra

Om Thrayambakam yajAmahE suganthim pushti varthanam |

Urvarukamika banthanath mruthyOr mukshiyamAamruthath ||

ॐ त्रयम्पकं य्जामहॆ सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्ध्नम ।

उर्वारुकमिक ब्न्ध्नात म्रुत्यॊम्रुक्षिय माम्रुतात ॥

21 times and Holy five syllables “OM NAMASHIVAYA”108 times and then had a Aarthi seva. This practice which started on this day continued till the end of the yatra.

View of Holy Kailash from the shores of Manasarovar

As at this high altitude pollution is very less we could clearly see the sky with a multitude of stars. Normally at plains we seldom see so many stars. We were little unfortunate that our yatra time didn’t coincide with full moon day whereas those who travel through Nepal normally plan their trip in a way that they are on the banks of Manasarovar on full moon day. In no way the darshan we got is less spectacular but it would have been better to see the pure wayers of Holy Manasarovar reflecting the majesty of the surrounding snow clad mountins on a brightly lit full moon day.

Gompa at Quhu

As we had been told that the celestials bath in Holy Manasarovar in the form of stars during the twilight hours ie morning 3 o; clock to 5 o’clock called Brahma Muhurtham, very auspicious time for doing yoga and other sathanas we went and sat at the Manasarovar’s shore, To sit in that freezing cold with blanket wrapped really needed great courage, we braved that cold, but we were not blessed with that holy sight .

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