9.01.2010

Himalayas - A Living Power Center

 Shivling Mountain

When the ancient world leaves impressions of a superior world behind, we ignore it
When tradition tries to teach us its value we doubt it
When scriptures sing out the beauty of the superior world we don’t understand it
But when nature presents these secrets in gigantic imagery can we be blind to it?

The Himalayan soil echoes the presence of super powers of a different kind. Is it the beauty of this land or is it its magnetic presence, or is it its gigantic size that makes us feel ant like in this space or is it the presence of Gods that gives us this uncanny sense of bewilderment that leaves us slaves to its power?

This bewitching beauty added to the sheer size and unconquerable appeal almost makes anything on this soil appear Godlike. Daring to sound a little biased, the power of the supreme is felt far stronger here in these temples than in an adaptation anywhere else in the country. The feeling is not restricted to the shrines among these mountains alone, it envelops the earth that cradles the very temple.

From the theoritical stand point, there is no difference in what the temple of Ukhimath and Tungnath offer as compare to Tanjore or Ujjain. The power of the Shaivite rule echoes in stone as much on these high mountains as it does near a river in Thiruvanaikkaval or in a shrine like Ujjain. Yet there is an uncanny difference. Is it the lack of people, noise and endless queues, is it the lack of corruption or is it the stronger virgin appearance of this land or is there something more to it?

Baghirathi Mountain

The Himalayas present a platter of beauty, in snow capped mountain ranges rising one higher than the other with a majestic appearance that can humble our own presence. And yet we are familiar with only a few mountain peaks, each meticulously named after a person, symbol or event from our ancient mythologies. 

Kailash Parvat

The Maha Nirvana Tantra beautifully paints the possible aura of Mount Kailasa and Mount Meru, the most sacred mountain peaks in the mystical Himalayan range. Mount Kailasa, described to be the paradise of Lord Shiva towers above the Manasarovar lake on its north west side. This paradise is described to be the summer land of both lasting sunlight and cool shade, musical with the song of exquisite birds and bright with undying flowers. The air is scented with the sweet fragrance of the Mandara chaplets, resounding with the music and song of the celestial gandharvas. This mountain is Gana Parvata thronged with spirits of superior beings [devayoni]. And in this region, rises the peak of Mount Meru considered as the center of the world represented by a lotus. It towers above all nature clustered by the souls of many who have been blessed a home in these heavens, living here, and worshipping this supreme center of power and forming a string of stars garlanding around its pinnacle.

Such is the power of the Himalayas that it is written "He who thinks of the Himalayas, though he may not behold them, is greater than he who performs all worship at Kashi."

It’s uncanny that the description of Mount Kailasa in the Maha Nirvana Tantra matches with the description of nature when Madhana, the Lord of love descended on Kailasa to distract Lord Shiva and make him aware of the beautiful Parvati. It’s strange that on one side there is the description of the perennial warmth of spring and blooming flowers and on the other the reality we see is snow capped mountains and bleak regions.

And yet in this breath taking spectacle, there are mysteries that are so obvious, that we cannot look away from them. Chaukhamba, as the name suggests might be a mountain with four towering peaks, but when viewed from any direction, it presents the feel of a deadly trishul of Kala Bhairava. Kailasa has been described to be enveloped by spring and blooming flowers and blossoming love, but what meets the eye today is the powerful yet cold appearance of the dormant third eye on the center of its brow. But what is even  stranger are some staggering peaks that apparently have no character, but when the snow falls on them and the sky is cleared off the mystic clouds strange symbols appear inscribed on their very contours. The Om Parvat is an uncanny representation of the supreme, coincidentally carved out of rock in these bleak regions visible only when the heavens choose to display it to us. Trishul Mountain is another representation of the trident that has captured our imagination of religious symbolism.

Om Parvat

And then there are the other peaks that host sacred shrines at their feet or within them or are just named after mythological beings. While Mount Shivling and Bhagirathi are towering peaks with no apparent shrine or form, their presence is pronounced more by their geographical location, the sacred shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Gangotri speak of unknown powers of the other world that is yet to be touched and realized.

What leaves us wondering is the deep symbolic mysticism that is shrouded in these snow capped regions which makes an appearance to unsettle our otherwise uneventful ignorant lifestyles. Is there something beyond the spectrum of our daily life that we have not experienced yet? Are these mountains and scriptures trying to call us to something far deeper and potent that we fail to realize? How strange are these mountains that they melt our hearts when we set foot on their sacred soil?

To the sacred Himalayan Mountains that crown our land, I bow in reverence.

Photo courtesy: Google Images

7 comments:

JC said...

Ancient Hindus also were moved by the Himalayas and thanks to the only All Knowing, 'Absolute Truth' (Shiva the immortal soul) learnt to see His hand in everything and read His messages in 'Nature' in isolated regions...

JC said...

The wise ancient Hindus were great 'scientists' who developed correlation between earth (its centre as the essential part of our solar system/ infinite and ever spending universe) and the human form, which they realised was made from the permutations and combinations of essences of the selected 9 numbers members of the solar system, from Sun to Saturn...

They treated the Himalayas as the 'merudand' (spinal chord) of Lord Vishnu/ Shiva the earth (and its gravitational force called Sati), trending from west to east and having different energy centres along it, as it was also realised in the human forms from head to the tail-bone end (named 'mooladhar' or the basic seat) with the mostly unutilised energy that's available only to Shiva generally remaining locked down there (being related with time zero that can be reached only in a thoughtless stage),,,which the yogis considered essential to be raised to the head in order to realise the Absolute Truth, ie, know the Supreme being who resides within all and thus be able to communicdate with It,,,which an average human being didn't know about, and the way to do it, and didn't therefore attempt to attain it. And, therefore, didn't serve the real purpose for which it was born - due to lack of overall knowledge and of the right Guru to educate him/her...

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JC said...

Thanks for the photos of some selected temples!

Like each human being, who has a relatively elevated soul, each temple that comes up with the joint efforts of similar spiritual minded souls has a prsonality or spirit of its own. It is this spirit that draws humans in large numbers...

And just as an elevated human soul has its own charisma that helps enlighten other souls that are placed at relatively lower levels, temples also serve a similar purpose...

Wise ancient Hindus, for worship of the unknown and unseen creator, advised one to choose any deity (all being images of the one and only supreme soul) that helped in generating a sense of happiness or bliss (in 'India' each and every 'life', including mountain peaks that are beyond human reach even, can be found worshipped since time immemorial)...

JC said...

Thr ancient wise Hindus erected temples, generally with pyramid shaped vimanas, to help elevate souls within average householders for they didn't find much spare time on hand due to day-to-day needs related with material life at all places they thought had some special features...Thus one learns how the Himalayan regions particularly have temples erected as locations they related with Sati (Shakti or energy) the believable consort of Shiva (that is Earth, that receives 'somrus', or moonlight, ie, 'amrit' for its eternal sustenance in the physical form, from one Ice-age to another, just as, like its reflection, humans as models of earth need sleep every day during its one life-span on earth)...

JC said...

Happy Ganesha Chaturthi!

Reading Hindu mythologicl stories between lines, Ganesha, the favourite son of Parvati, is considered as number one among all devtas or gods (image closest to the formless god)...and is related with planet Mars whose essence is believed to be housed in human form at the mooladhr, reflected on earth in the Himalayan range in the North-east (where Kamakhya Temple is localed symbolically since time immemorial by ancient Hindus)...

Indian Temples List said...

Himalayas is the best place for all those devotees looking to meet the creator. Many Sadhus lived in the cold mountains chanting God's name to attain Moksha or Nirvana.