4.21.2008

Enlightenment - The meaning of Sahasra Linga

In the sun light from heaven
a thousand Lingas shine
the Lord is present
in every stone divine

The holy river waters flow
a constant worship unfolds
a world of Gods revealed
on bed rock shining gold

The light of enlightenment
has many paths defined
the brilliance of creation
manifests in every shrine

In the silence one can hear
the shimmering waters flow
ablution to the Lord
in the lap of nature unknown

The air echoes the names
the thousand names of the Lord
whose halo shines a fiery flame
feet bless with the waters of life

Depth of faith and meticulous worship can bring alive a world very different from what is familiar in temples. While worship is primarily carried out in temples, meticulously built with the yantra of the presiding deity embedded within the shrine chamber capped by the stone idol, there was yet another form of worship that took place in parallel beyond the walls of the temple. Within the temples we get to see one kind of form of the Sahasra Linga, where a single Linga is faceted and carries on itself a 1008 smaller Lingas. Like the Sahasra Linga at the Parashurameshwar temple Orissa given below, there are such kinds of Lingas installed in temple precincts as well as within shrine chambers across the country.
Yet there was another practice, that leaves us breathless when one descends into that realm. Far away from the civilized world, deep within the forests, along sacred river sides, Shiva worshipers made their own temples in the open. It is a different world, leaving behind the yantra culture that originated from the time of Adi Shankaracharya. These are power centers, of divine presence, meticulously carved into every rock in and around a flowing river.

The beauty of this breath taking creativity can be found in few remote locations. While Hampi(Karnataka) boasts of 1008 and 108 Shiva Lingas carved on the rocks along the Tungabhadra, the Shalmala river to the north in Karnataka has Lingas scattered across its sides. The ambiance around these power centers lifts the mind to a new realm of worship.

Click on the image to enlarge
These power centers bring with them a feeling of sublime, where divinity present leaves us speechless, imbibing every moment we spend in front of these amazing shrines. Across the Shalmala river are the Sahasra Lingas, not all in one, but each carved into every known bedrock across a single stretch of the river. In the moon lit night, as the silver flakes dance around the jingling waters, one sits face to face with a 1008 Lingas, echoing the names of the Lord in every ripple passing by.

Far away in Cambodia, deep among the silent rivers that flow through the forests, not far from Angkhor Wat in South East Asia, are another striking example of similar beauty. Here at Kbal Spean is another series of Shiva Lingas, reliving the Sahasra Linga form of Lord Shiva. What overwhelms the heart and mind, is this creation brought alive in the pure waters that flow through these shrines. But why were these shrines created? Why were they meticulously carved into bedrock of fast flowing rivers that could have claimed lives? And why is it called Sahasra Linga? The answer lies in the account presented by the sculptural evidence of the Buddha, in the Miracle at Shravasti.

Click on the images to enlarge

The account: "The actual miracles took place the following morning. The first of these is known as the yamakapratiharya, or "pair illusion" where the Buddha rose into the air and issued flames from his shoulder and water from his feet. The second miracle is known as mahapratiharya," or Great Illusion" where, the Buddha divided himself into multiple bodies, thereby creating an illusion in which every person present had his or her own Buddha to converse with..."

Sahasra is the state of enlightenment, a state where divinity shines forth as a golden halo of fiery flames around the head and water begins to flow from the feet and the enlightened being appears to multiply such that they are present in numerous parts, each for every devotee witnessing them. This state has been rendered in the description of Krishna dancing with each gopi at the same moment, Buddha multiplying himself in the Miracle of Sravasti, Christ walking on water and Shiva Rudra with rising flames on his shoulders around his head. Sahasra is a visible state that shows the world that a person has reached spiritual enlightenment, it is possible to attain and these river shrines reinforce that phenomenon depicting constant water flow at the feet of 1000 lingas.

Related topics:
108 Lingas along the Tungabhadra
Within a watery bed of peace

Courtesy:
Copyright Gillian Mee. All rights reserved
Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0
Huntington archive.osu.edu/studypages/
Glossary of Indian Art -
Original photos and text ©2002 Michael D. Gunther.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a great posting! I always wanted to know more about this place in Cambodia. Some monastics and mathavasis that I know went on a pilgrimmage there, and I saw some of their pictures. But this explains even more about it.

Thanks!!!

Aum Namah Shivaya

JC said...

Hi all, 'I' amd back from Nainital, a store-house of life-giving 'water' and relatively peaceful, cool and cleaner environment - representing 'Harihara' (Vishnu/ Shiva) Bhootnath Shiva and His 'sahasra bhootas' - review of His Past in over 1000 cycles, represented by 108 rudraksha beads or 1008, or 108 lingas - and his innumerable images or Bhootas!

kavitha said...

Hi Joshi Uncle,

Sure missed your presence on the blog for a day!
Welcome back :)

Anon,
This is my interpretation of what it could be in cambodia given the other references we find in India.

I might be wrong.

Regds
Kavitha

JC said...

‘I’ recall that ‘I’ had seen in the ‘Discovery Channel’, sometime ago, how in the recent times a huge crowd of mediapersons, ‘specialists’ and relatives were gathered at some place in Nepal to watch a young boy seated within the hollow of a tree who was apparently oblivious of their presence, lost in ‘sadhana’ or ‘zero’ thoughts, for God alone knows how many days without food and water – apparently receiving energy directly from air inhaled.
The cameras observed him continuously for some days to find out if his brother who had collected a good amount of cash offered by the crowd and it was suspected that he had some secret way to give him food, but they apparently didn’t find it.
A Buddhist monk attempted to exchange thoughts with him in a way that is known to ‘highly elevated souls’. People could see perspiration trickle down his face on to his throat, which indicated that he was receiving sufficient energy in his body to heat it to a higher level. The monk was satisfied and added that they aren’t allowed to explain how it is done… An eyewitness told that in the night one day they could see flames coming out of his chest, after which he had requested the people to cover him with a red shawl…

There were different view points expressed by the people and many felt that people should leave him alone as it was his personal way of meditation to ‘seek the Truth within’…

The above thus could help realize man as an instrument that is not understood in the 'present', but its operation was better understood in the 'past'...

JC said...

There are thus innumerable Gurus who are present at any time at a particular location who, if accessible, would tell different ways to reach a particular goal. But, one follows only that advice that synchronises with one’s mental inclination or conscience, perhaps naturally. For, it is said, “One can lead a horse to water/ But twenty cannot make him drink!”
Thus the human society at the same location and time appears to get divided into many apparent faiths and beliefs…However, the ‘Hindus’ apparently sought the ‘satva’ tht is essence of various natural phenomena. For example, even in the ‘present’ the ‘scientists’ or ‘specialists’ appear to expand the horizon of their knowledge in different fields, but they haven’t yet learnt unlike Yogis to consider the ‘spiritual’ aspect of human life together with the ‘material’ aspect of life, which they have apparently gone into to a relatively greater depth…

JC said...

The apparent confusion among average humans is because of apparent hierarchy in all aspects of ‘Nature’ getting accepted by all and sundry, but not when it comes to dealing with humans, which was understood by the ‘wise ancients’ as the cause of apparent ‘struggle for existence’ among different ‘life’ forms...
The ‘wise men’ - responsible for communicating the ‘Truth’ of life, or animation (reflected through ‘churning’ or animation of all forms, ‘living’ or ‘non-living’, such as the ‘flowing water’ over motionless shivlingas on bedrock say) through ‘Yogiraja Krishna’, as the representative in physical form of the Formless, and other characters in human and other ‘animal life’ forms too - in Bhagavad Gita, gave importance to the ‘soul/ super gravity within’ and not the apparent exterior form per se…

And, hence the use of the word ‘Yogmaya’ or simply ‘Maya’ that is illusion…man was thus conveyed as an inverted tree that is ever attached to the ‘sky’ playing important roles for a short time in over 8.4 million forms in a cyclic order. Thus even a tree, such as Aswattha/ Banyan Tree as the ‘King of plant life’, was understood as a model of the Formless Shiva (in ‘deep samadhi’ or ‘tapasya’ rooted to earth)/ Vishnu (in ‘Yoganidra’ or super conscious state in the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy that is ‘Kshirsagar’, remaining unmoved or motionless while the other innumerable physical forms that consitituted the apparently infinite form of the galaxy remained in motion)…

JC said...

Kavitha, It is interesting to observe that some shivlingas carved on the rocks in one of the photographs presented by you appeared to ‘me’ like the ‘Khardaoon’ the footwear made from wood for convenience in movement over thorny plants even that were worn by the ancient sages the ‘Brahmacharis’ in the hermitages, minus ‘sita’ the groove…perhaps for them to act as a reminder to control their minds so as to concentrate on the ‘advait’ or the one and only Formless Creator and the female (for the male) as part of the ‘Maya’ that is reflected by procreation in relatively superior animal life forms in the ‘leela’ or drama! Rocks disintegrate into many particles of dust just as bacteria multiply by division...

JC said...

The overall attempt made by ‘advanced ancient Hindus’ (thanks to Time, or Mahakal Shiva and His Maya, as reflected by the ‘make believe world of cinema’) was to generate consciousness among them - through the environment as in a hermitage - to think only of the Formless or Bhootnath Shiva as the real entity and all material forms as images to fool them. Or perhaps to review His limited past - as reflected in one viewing one’s own exclusive album that has pictures of the concerned individual right from one’s birth to date - perhaps with a view to imagine the energy or soul, a component of the Supreme Soul that is believably housed within each form, in order to reach the Supreme Being, Mahesha, which apparently the ‘wise ancients’ also couldn’t reach as it is retold through the story of Brahma failing to reach the top of the linga of fire while Vishnu failed to reach its bottom. They therefore called Him unborn and unending…

The Gita indicates Krishna as the superior most physical representative of Vishnu that was apparently responsible for the start of the ‘churning’ with a view to fill the infinite and ever expanding dark void of the universe with his multiple forms, ie, infinite numbers of a variety of galaxies…

JC said...

All said and done, eventually the ‘Yogis’ could apparently reach zero thoughts for some time daily, starting with ‘meditation’ from early age, for they realized the Formless Creator to be related with zero, time and space etc. Meditation involved reaching minimum thoughts by ‘sadhna’ that is gradually controlling the apparently crude and uncontrolled physical senses. The phenomenon is also naturally reflected in taming of wild elephants, tigers, horses etc, as presently exhibited in Circus/ Zoos, and so on. ‘India’ apparently came to be known as Bharat after the name of a child who played bare-handed with tigers! With Yogiraja Krishna in mind, the ancient ‘wise Hindus’ realized the human body as an instrument consisting of eight chakras or a combination of 8 super analogous computers for integrated function for overall knowledge. However, the process not being known, the highly elevated souls realized that the instrument was being utilized by each individual according to the level of the soul within the animal form concerned…and therefore the apparent hierarchy…
Sahasrara (derived from ‘sahastra’ or 1,000) Chakra within the head was realzed as the computer that had the complete information at the end of Satyuga, which however because of time moving backwards resulted in the information getting distributed into 7 lower chakras also till the basic computer or Mooladhar Chakra…which at any other time needed all to be lifted to reach the complete information as it was in the beginning…

JC said...

The above lifting to the top of energy/ information from ‘Mooladhar Chakra’ located at the level of ‘linga’ that is the tail-bone end on the spinal column to ‘Sahasrara Chakra’ in the head, however, is indicated to be happening ‘naturally’ also 1,000 times to cover all 360 degrees of space (which ‘I’ believe was just a rounding off of actually 1,080 cycles, and therefore 108 beads used in the rosary)…Thus perhaps a ‘seeker’ could read the mind of the ‘wise ancients’ in carving 1,000 lingas on the periphery of a single linga to symbolically convey repetition of 1,000 cycles of Mahayugas, ie, a combination of four Yugas, from Satyuga to Kaliyuga and back that many times during one day in the life of Brahma (Sun)…

JC said...

The Hindu mythological stories convey the Trimurty Shiva in physical form represented symbolically by Brahma, Vishnu, & Mahesha, that is, our Sun, our centre of galaxy, and Earth respectively.
In the galaxy, the centre - where a super gravity Black hole is believably housed - keeps in motion innumerable other relatively weaker heavenly bodies while itself remaining relatively immobile. Similarly in the solar system, our relatively powerful Sun remains relatively immobile while making the planetary system in motion around it. And, similarly in its turn, the relatively higher gravity Earth makes the weaker Moon go around it already for over 4.6 billion years!

The phenomenon also reflected by a relatively weaker climbing plant rising up around a strong tree acting as its support, a phenomenon generally related in human forms symbolically as a model of it through the pair of husband and wife!

And ‘Krishna’ in the Gita claims that the entire nature is copying him in a hierarchical order!

JC said...

Kavitha, Shri Anon, particularly for the benefit of Dr Anilji ‘I’ would like to give below an extract from Cosmos by Carl Sagan in the Introduction to show how ‘Trinity’ or ‘Trimurty Shiva’ Vishnu (that is Vish the poison and anu the atom) perhaps got referred as Anu, Shiva as Shamash, and Brahma as Ea in another part of the globe, ie, Assyrians of 1000 B.C.

After Anu had created the heaven/ And the heaven had created the earth/ And the earth had created the rivers/ And the rivers had created the canals/ And the canals had created the morass/ And the morass had created the worm/ The worm went before Shamash, weeping/ His tears flowing before Ea:
“What wilt thou give me for my food/ What wilt thou give me for my drink?”
“I will give you the dried fig/ And the apricot.”
“What are these to me? The dried fig/ And the apricot!
Lift me up, and among the teeth/ And the gums let me dwell!...”
Because thou hast said this, O worm/ May Ea smite thee with the might of His hand!
(Incantation against toothache.)

Its treatment: Second grade beer…and oil thoiu shalt mix together;
The incantation thou shalt recite three times thereon and shalt put the medicine thereon and shalt put the medicine upon the tooth.

JC said...

Sorry! Please delete from the last but one line "thereon and shalt put the medicine"

JC said...

The Hindu Mythology indicates Brahma has four faces, which with the four Cardinal directions in mind and read along with the reported sayings of Krishna in the Gita, (or Kali the Black that has red tongue - for shakti worshippers), claiming Himself (or Herself) responsible for Maya that is illusion could perhaps help realize ‘India’ as a Divine Person, represented by essences of energies reflected by colours, as rulers of different directions: Red ruling the East, Blue ruling the West, Yellow (as components of Black) ruling the North, and White (containing all colours besides energies in the forms of ultraviolet and infrared) ruling the South, as the solid base reflected by hard igneous rocks, East & West as its arms and North as its head…

And, as we had seen earlier also elsewhere, 'Shiva' is represented by the other four directions, with refernce to the annual S-W monsoon...that is responsible for the annual rain that is responsible for 'life'...thanks to the detached moon as the sole supplier of life-giving water on earth...

JC said...

The eight (8) directions related with ‘Krishna’ the eighth and lucky child of Ma Devki of Mathura/ eight-handed Ma Durga the daughter of the Himalayas appear as cryptical clues in the Himdu mythological stories and are associated with Adi Shiva the Ardhanarishwar or Androgynous God who had His original abode at Kashi that is present day Varanasi in ‘India that is Bharat…the piece of land considered great or ‘Mahan’ by the ancients and parrot-like repeated by us the ignorant ‘present day Hindus’ who apparently outwardly worry for the earth that is Gangadhar Shiva - thanks to Kaliyuga the ‘Dark Age’ when only poison ruled the minds when ‘churning of the milky ocean was just started under the supervision of Jupiter’ – but inwardly, being ‘selfish’ that is ‘rakshasha’ in the words of the ‘wise ancients’, in reality worry for ourselves only and find faults with the others for our own shortcomings and helplessness!

Ancients realized God, who believably resides within all transient forms that make the apparnt physical universe, alone to be unborn, unending, unseen, and so on, the all-knowing one who acts as our charioteer or the driving force reflected through ‘fire’ or sun as one of the ‘panchbhootas’ that believably went into the making of all apparent forms…

JC said...

The ‘enlightened’ souls apparently reached a state of bliss for some time by withdrawing to some secluded regions, such as the Himalayas from their original place of birth and thus got to see from close quarters the comparatively cooler, more peaceful and beautiful ‘Nature’ rendered thus by the flora and fauna, and primarily by the absence of humans, the believably biggest destructive agent of ‘Nature’ thanks to ‘Kali’ the destructive force within the earth as well as its reflections or images or ‘imprefect animal forms’ that evolved over four stages to the sustaining force provided by ‘Parvati or Durga who rides the Tiger’, which refers to the emergence of Himalayas from the seabed in the North of Jambudweep that pushed all seawater to the South (in the ever changing ‘India’) as also the detachment of Moon from the original planet earth-moon…and cryptically communicated with the story of Sage Agastya and the marriage of Shiva with Parvati…

JC said...

With the background of ‘Panchtantra’, the fables that were symbolically utilised by a ‘brahmin’, Pandit Vishnu Sharma, in the ‘past’, to educate the reportedly dullard princes in the boring art of Public Administation (that in the ‘present’ that is Kaliyuga for the ancients appears to be ‘a game of scoundrels’) within a short time and in an interesting manner, a seeker with a little background of Astronomy and an open mind could perhaps visualize and realize that Hindu Mythological stories similarly interestingly retell about fusion, that is, Yoga of science and art of ‘creation’…and then also realize why ‘Krishna’ was called ‘natkhat Nandlal’ or mischievous son of King Nanda of Gokul, his foster father, although his real parents were Devki-Vasudeva who had been imprisoned by his maternal uncle Kansa, and before him his seven siblings were believably murdered immediately after their birth (read with the concept of eight wheels or ‘Ashta-chakra’ present within human body wherein the complete information about the creation is recorded distributed in the chakras’, or locks that is ‘bandhas’…needing to be all added up at one point in the head to realize the Absolute Truth of existence of one and only Formless Nadbindu that is the point source of infinite energy…

JC said...

Kavitha, one Shri Kamaleshwar from Uttarakhand had visted one of your blogs and had referred his new blog for which he had sought suggestions for improvement, which perhaps escaped your notice…
‘I’ found in one of his few postings he had described his visit to Ruchh (in Sanskrit, meaning ‘dry’, or ‘inert’), at the confluence of Rivers Madhuganga and Saraswati in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, close to Kalimath and Guptakashi, where ‘Ma Kotimaheshwari Temple’ (Koti meaning 1 crore, that is, 10 million, and Maheshwari means the Goddess of all goddesses) is located. And, in the middle of the river there is a rock, which is symbolic of Mahesha or Mahadev, and is called Ruchh Mahadev, thus conveying Shiva as detached or unmoved, as if in ‘samadhi’ in the middle of the flowing water that represents animation or ‘life’… According to him, this is said to be the only Linga in the world which is surrounded by water…

JC said...

The central idea of 'meditation', with a goal to reach theinner world, communicated by various legends etc. is for the ‘seeker’ to take hints from ‘Nature’ and try to gradually achieve zero thoughts, starting from minimum thoughts through the various rituals – with the goal to eventually remain consciously unmoved of the ‘exterior world’ under all conditions of apparent pleasure and pain…

As far as it is related with human brain, the phenomenon is akin to a trash bin. That is, either not allowing any trash in it (as reflected by the lingam that gets naturally cleaned by the moving water – also reflected in Yogis who withdrew to seclusion in pure environment of, say, Himalayas); or in case of an average house-holder, like burning all the rubbish collected in the trash bin, in an incinerator; or removal of the scum on top of water, and also the suspended material as well as the bedload brought forth by the originally clean water, as it had naturally been at the origin of the different rivers from Lake Mansarovar, say, in ‘India’ thanks to the melting glaciers. which is ‘naturally’ reflected in the underground water available at depths that are progressively increasing with time; or to a limited extent, also naturally, because of various factors on account of involvement of various human agencies, in the potable water made available by the concerned authorities, believably as per laid down Standards in ideal condition…

JC said...

As per indications available in the myths, ‘advanced Yogis’ or ‘highly elevated souls’, with valiant efforts (Herculean/ Bhagirath-like) apparently demonstrated unlimited potential of human capabilities. And, interestingly ‘God’ was visualised as Omnipotent, and therefore man was understood as an image of God Himself!

However, it is a matter of untiring efforts, which is apparently beyond average human being even to believe it possible, leave aside achieving it in the ‘present’. It is perhaps just the reflections of beginners (humans as models) when ‘churning’ was believably commenced under the supervision of ‘Sage Brihaspati’, ie, Planet Jupiter - the story thus indicating ‘Heavenly Bodies’ themselves capable of not only creating, but also sustaining ‘life on earth’ created by them for various durations…through the agencies of ‘panchbhootas’: indications for which is found, say for example, in the sculpted ‘natural shape’ of North America appearing like the believable Divine Bird, Garud, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, and Australia, in the Southern hemisphere, appearing like the head of Nandi the bull, ie, the vehicle of Lord Shiva!

Anonymous said...

Pranams everyone!

Hi Joshi Uncle,

I tried to post this on the last thread but I guess there was computer trouble.

The Narmada Lingams are interesting to me because they are carved from the actions of water on the rock. Calls to mind one Buddhist story, a man was going to develop patience by grinding down a rock using a feather!

The Narmada Lingams also remind me of the Gandaki River Salagram Silas. The fossilized rock that they are made from once used to be at the bottom of the ocean. And now they are in the highest mountain range in the world: the Himalayas!

So in either case, is like a manifestation of Shiva or Vishnu as the element of time. Whew!!!

***
Joshi Uncle,

I also liked the stories about your dad when he was growing up. Did you know that some neuroscientists, sociologists, and psychologists think that ADHD comes from "Nature Deficit Disorder"?!!

And that the Rx for it, especially for teens, is to go out where there is no electricity: like go camping in nature where there are no cell phones, TV, etc.

And even now, some adults seek out and choose that lifestyle "off the grid": using solar power to augment kerosene or coconut oil lamps and candles, from humble homes to high end eco-resorts!

***
Joshi Uncle ~
I'd like to know more about your trip to the Devi temple. How was it? Was it peaceful? Bustling? Any nice experiences? Any new traumas [hope not!]?

I googled the website of the temple and read the history, but it was difficult to get a "feeling" for it.

If possible, tell me a little more about your trip, if it pleases you.

***
Kavitha didi,

Pranams! Hope all is well with you. I enjoyed your sharing because the main thing I got our of it was that the lingams were a reminder in the external world that the sahasrara chakra is within each of us.

I loved that aspect of it and something that the mathavasis and monastics did not emphasize. They have a disposable income I don't have, as well as the time to travel to faraway lands.

So I loved the reminder from you that it is "all inside of us". Even if that is not your intention [?!] that is what I got out of it and is so nice to be reminded of what we already have and that actually we lack nothing.

The great God Shiva has given us everything and he is within us and all, and has set up everything that even without great riches we can tap the riches inside and realize the self.

Thanks for your sharing.
Aum Saravanabhava Aum

***
I hope everyone will have a great weekend! May Shivaji watch over us his children and I thank him for all the riches he has given us with this cyber satsang.

Peace everybody!
Pranams
Har Har Mahadeva Jai Jai Tripurari
Aum Namah Shivaya

JC said...

Hi Shri Anon, Kavitha, The human form is a mobile library where one - being an integrated system of analogous computers - as a reader retrieves, in the ‘present’, information pertaining to events related with ‘past’ for comparison, analysis and reaching some conclusion at that particular point in time - that might change when some more data becomes available later…(thus the concept of ‘absolute truth’)…
‘My’ trauma was related with ‘my’ experience with crowd that occurred during ‘my’ childhood - under 10 years of age in the region of Aravali Range (that extends into Rajasthan in the west)...in ‘Indraprastha’ (where Indra/ Brahma/ Rama/ Arjun…etc are associated with our Sun…as its models at different times)…
However, when ‘I’ was under 13 (‘lucky for some’), my first visit with my elder brother (from New Delhi) for a 3-week-sojourn at Nainital (at Tallital, ie, the lower end of the lake) with my second uncle’s son who was posted there in a cooperative dairy, and where my first uncle’s son also joined us from nearby hill-station Almora was a memorable one for all three of us…
Those days in the early Fifties, Delhi wasn’t that close to Nainital as it has become today. We traveled to Bareilley by one overnight train to catch another one to Kathgodam, the foot-hill town. And, from there by bus we traveled by bus along the zig-zag hill-road. The head also turned particularly when many among the co-passengers had their heads out of the windows! For they were puking all the way!

What a relief it was to reach from the hot concrete jungle of a city the bus-stand at Tallital and have the first view of the lake located at over 6,000 feet above MSL surrounded by green hills with cool breeze caressing one’s form! It was virtually ‘love at first sight’!

kavitha said...

Hi Joshi Uncle,

Dont we all miss it. While i was searching for pictures and content on the web for my next post, I stumbled upon a few places in untouched Madhya Pradesh which attracted me so much that I feel i had already been there earlier sometime. Its familiar, like i already know the place exists but when i find it in reality its a crazy feeling of elatedness. I have MP on my destination list and no, Sanchi is not number 1.

This country is so beautiful, it is paradise on earth, its so miraculously pure if anyone would care to see it.

When i showed the pictures i had collected to my colleagues, they were simply spell bound and wanted to know where these places were.

Our own people dont know that such beauty exists scattered around this country, i could simply cry thanking God for giving us this visual treat.

They are not just temples and rivers, they are serious power centers and to just catch a glimpse of them is such a blessing!

Regds
Kavitha

JC said...

Hi Kavitha, That's why we are called "Apsmara Purush'! 'My wife' was born in M.P., now Chhattisgarh, which 'I' sw to some extent, such as, Chitrakoot falls, for example!

Continuing with my mental journey to Nainital: During those three weeks we three made it a point to ride as many times as it was possible a boat to Tallital, from Mallital where all boats were parked on the shore, ie, the upper end of the lake, where the ‘Flats’, ie, a sufficiently large area of level ground is available - at the foot of the China Peak, now renamed as Naina Peak - as the centre of all activities, viz. game of football/ cricket, horse riding, roller skating, cinema, Band Stand, etc by tourists and, last but not the least, visitng the Naina Devi Temple by the ‘believers in ritualistic practices’, of course…
Those days, visitors by road who arrived there in their privately owned cars were limited in numbers. And, sufficient space was available for all vehicles, including small-sized State Transport buses, at Tallital itself (But, not now – one finds it difficult to find a parking place. Saturn in the form of steel bodied motor vehicles is seen everywhere). As entry of vehicles was then prohibited on the Mall Road, it was comparatively a greater pleasure walking along the lake, either on the black-topped road, which once was meant for ‘Europeans’ only, or along the dirt road that was meant for the ‘Indians’ and was located on the same side of the lake, but at a lower level under the shade of Willow trees (which also is now black topped to allow one way up or down motor vehicle traffic, besides mobile human forms)…And, a few also used ‘Thandi sadak’ or ‘cold road’ along the western side hill (which is still used only by pedestrians) that had fewer buildings constructed thereon at higher levels, compared to the eastern side that now also has all the shops and some hotels on the foot of the hill, by the side of the road and has them also located at higher levels besides some boarding schools that are accessible by a few approach roads taking off from the main road…The locals used the terms ‘Malling’ and ‘Flatting’ to convey what they were engaged in!

We used to generally get out of the house and climbed some peak, descended and did some boating if it was possible. The charges for one hour those days for a 'double boat' that at one time could be rowed by two persons was 12 annas (3/4 of a rupee - whereas now it is Rs. 125/=) and for a single boat it was 8 annas (half a rupee)…After lunch prepared by our widowed aunt who resided with her son those days, sometime followed by a short nap, in the evening we used to again walk to Mallital, listen to Police Band’s performance, or Flatting, we used to again do boating down to Tallital and back, plying oars by rotation despite resultant boils in the palms! Only once did we experience fear, when we foolishly decided to hire a ‘single boat’. We had gone some distance towards the deepest point near ‘Pashan Devi Temple’ on the ‘Cold road’ and at some point my cousin stood up to take over oars from my brother when the smaller and thus light boat appeared as if it would turn over! He sat down and we decided to return to the lake-shore. During the return journey we all sat silently, not uttering a single word! Once safely back, we decided always to have the ‘double boat’!

JC said...

Shri Anon, Kavitha, Noteworthy was our descent from Naina Peak (then called China Peak), located around 8,000 feet above MSL, in just 20 minutes, ie, about 2,000 feet down to Lake level, whereas it had taken us perhaps over 2 hours to reach the peak via the beaten track. Being young and a bit adventurous, or maybe ‘foolish’, during the return journey we decided to take the pebbly route followed by rain water as it flows down! The plants along the route, although having thin stems, proved to have strong roots, for one had to hold them when one virtually slipped down the steep slope! Of course, it goes without saying that it was quite strenuous and oour legs experienced some pain for some time!
****
Also, from Nainital, one day we got down at Bhimtal from a bus that went beyond it and returned in the evening. We were at that time told by some local person that the lake was formed when Pandavas passed that way - during their journey in search of Shiva for cleansing their sins on account of killing of their own kiths and kins in the battle of Mahabharat – Bhim fell down here and the lake was formed by water getting collected in the socket of his eye! However, this time our taxi driver cum guide told us that the lake was formed when the Pandavas were thirsty and therefore Bhima struck the ground with his mace!

However, reading between lines, now ‘I’ can visualize Bhima/ Hanuman/ Ganesha, ie, all mace holders as models at different times of the planet Mars that is believably the “mooladhar’ of Mahashiva (Ganesh, the second son of Ma Parvati, as the ruler of earth), whose essence is believed to be housed at the ‘mooladhar’ of each human form also…

As we then had time on hand to see Naukuchaiatal also (the lake that has nine corners because of the natural peculiar configuration of the hills in that region), we walked there.

Those days it was virtually an uninhabited place with no railings etc around the lake, which was a bit scary also because in comparison with bluish water of Nainital its water appeared black.

And also legend had it that if someone saw all the nine arms of the lake at the same time, one woiuld die (of course, it isn’t possible to do so from ground level!)…

During the ‘present’ visit we saw that the area had been much more developed. The lake had proper railings, there was facility for boating and horse riding and also many buildings were seen, including a restaurant where we had tea. And, ‘I’ could relate the ‘nine arms’ of the lakes with Navgrah or Nine planets - Sun to Saturn - that are generally, ritually, worshipped by ‘Hindus’ in the form of Shivalings, either in some temple or even in open spaces (Gangadhar Shiva being related with planet earth, and also with human form that apparently has 8 chakras that hold the essences of the solar system, for eight dirctions, and the ninth one remains dormant like a coiled serpent and needs to be awakened for reaching ‘ananta’ or the unending Formless, whose influence range extends vertically upwards, skywards, as well as downwards, ie, the netherland - North and South Poles with reference to the neutral centre of the globe!)…

JC said...

Shri Anon, Kacitha, Also, ‘I’ recalled ‘my’ previous visits that varied from a few hours to a few days after the first one up to date, the next one being 11 years later, when ‘I’ escorted my sister-in-law back to her home via her uncle’s house in Tallital. Just one year later ‘I’ was back again for a few hours’ stay in my cousin’s in law’s house also located at Tallital. Thus, ‘I’ observed that my first three visits were related with Tallital.
Almost 27 years later, ‘I’ happened to visit again in connection with a nephew’s marriage traveling overnight by bus and stayed for two days and a night, but this time on the eastern side of the lake at a higher level, which obviously discouraged our walking down to the Mall once we reach there huffing and puffing…But, 10 years later ‘I’ was once again there with two of my daughters and a son-in-law and stayed in a hotel close to the Mall for a couple of days…
However, after yet another 8 years, this time ‘I’, with my younger brother’s family, stayed on the northern end of the Mallital at a high level from where ‘I’ could see the baldish appearing patch of Naina Peak, which is due to landslides in the long lost past and where consequently no plant life can grow (which reminded ‘me’ of the Bald Eagle adopted as their National Bird by the USA – like Garuda keeping an eye over the residents of Nainital!)…

Walking down to Mall, to Tallital and beyond for some distance on the road that leads to Delhi and back itself was tiring, even for my young nephews, leave aside any attempt to repeat ‘my’ climb to the Naina Peak, or even other smaller peaks...

However, seen overall, my visits apparently reflect my gradual progress from Tallital to Mallital via the eastern end or ‘left’!

hari babu said...

good collection of information in your blog. thanks for updating hidden points on gods and goddess