Monday, November 16, 2009

Badrinath Dham......a legend, a journey : Part 3

The Legend has it that, according to the Puranas, Lord Narayana was in Vaikunth, resting on Shesh Nag & Goddess Laxmi was attending to him, when Rishi Narada visited them. He did not like the lifestyle of the Lord & said, “You are the creator of this universe & whatever you do would set an example for the mortal beings. Your resting here like this will leave a wrong impression & therefore you need to renounce all of this & perform some Tapas for the benefit of the Universe & Creation.” Lord Narayana agreed to what Rishi Narada had to say & decided to comply with the wish. He sent Goddess Laxmi for some errand work with the Nag – Kanyas & himself left Vaikunth to travel to the Himalayas.

On reaching the snow capped mountains, He was mesmerized by the beauty of the place. However, Lord Narayana realized that Lord Shiva stayed here with Goddess Parvati & it was their abode. Narayana was now keen to get a place for himself here & being mischievous, he thought of a plan. He went to the doorsteps of where Lord Shiva was staying with his wife, Goddess Parvati & assuming the form of a small child, started wailing loudly. Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati were at that moment about to leave for their bath at the Tapt Kund. Parvati was taken in by her motherly instincts & she took up the child in her lap lovingly. Lord Shiva, knew what was going on & persuaded Parvati to give up the child. “You don’t need to take up all this trouble. All these are various phases of this mortal world, where it is quite natural for someone to be happy or sad. Let the parents of this child take care of him. Let us go, as it is getting late for us.” Being a mother, Parvati however, could not sense the trick of Lord Narayana. She insisted on keeping the child. Shiva tried explaining again, “Don’t involve yourself with this child. He is very mischievous, & if you show mercy on him, he will take advantage & take away everything.” But Parvati would not listen & was firm on keeping the child. “No. Whatever happens, I shall provide him with shelter.” Lord Shiva knew that the matter was going out of hands & just smiled as the events unfolded. “You are the owner of your wish. You will have to live with the choices you make. You may give shelter to this child, but you will have to repent later.” Parvati, ignored the advice & took the child inside, consoled him & put him to sleep in her room.

When they went out for their bath, Narayana came into his own self & closed the door from inside. When Shiva & Parvati returned, they found they door locked from inside, and try as much they could not open it. Shiva now smiled at Parvati & said, “ I had warned you, but you would not listen. It was Narayana, who had taken the form of the child. He has now taken away the place & will stay here. We will have to find a new place for ourselves.” So Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati then travelled some distance & on another mountain decided to build their new abode. This place came to be known as Kedarnath.

Narayana stayed at Badrikhestra & meditated for the welfare of the Universe. He came to be known as Badrinath.It is said that in Satya Yuga, Narayana lived in Badrikashram in visible form. In Treta Yuga, the saints saw Lord through the practice of Yoga. In Dwapar Yuga, Narayana came to Earth in the form of Krishna. When the saints & rishis asked him about Kali Yuga, Lord Narayana said, “ Kaliyuga would be full of sins & wickedness & hence I will not be visible. There would be an idol of mine under the Narad Shila in Alaknanda river. You may take that & establish it for the welfare of people. Whoever sees that idol, will get the same reward, as seeing me in visible form. So Vishwakarma (chief architect of the Gods) built a temple & the Gods and the saints took that idol & established it. They made Rishi Narada, the head priest & a rule was made that Lord Narayana in the form of Badrinath would be worshipped by human beings for six months & by Gods for the balance six months.

The rule is applicable even today, as the temple closes down for six months from November to April. It is said that when the temple doors are opened after six months by the priests, the oil lamps at the altar inside are still lit & inside looks completely fresh. As if someone has been keeping it clean every day.

to be continued...........


Anonymous said...

Awesome post. I must travel to Badrinath & absorb the experience of divinity. let me know, when will it open again in April.
Keep writing such stuff. Very few people, take efforts to pen it the way you do. Its makes the reader be a part of the article. Amazing.


December 11, 2009 6:16 PM

sharada said...

I must travel to Badrinath...hopefully it happens soon....