Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Kedarnath: All sins are destroyed by seeing Lord Narayana.

 Kedarnath: All sins are destroyed by seeing Lord Narayana.
Kedarnath: After seeing the Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga, all the sins of human beings are destroyed by having darshan of Lord Nara-Narayana.
The Himalayas have been a place of asceticism for sages and deities for centuries.  Great personalities gained spiritual power by doing penance here and increased the pride of India in the world.  Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are famous in the name of Chardham in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand state. These shrines are precious gems shining in the head-crown of the country.  Among them, the darshan of Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines is of special importance.  In relation to the Kedarnath Darshan coming in Dwadash (Twelve) Jyotirlinga in Kedarkhand, it is written that if a person travels to Badrinath region without seeing Kedarnath God, then his journey becomes fruitless ie futile -
अकृत्वा दर्शनं वैश्वय केदारस्याघनाशिन:।
यो गच्छेद् बदरीं तस्य यात्रा निष्फलतां व्रजेत्।।
The temple of Shri Kedarnath ji is situated on the peak named 'Kedar' of Mount Himalayas.  The holy shrine of Lord Badri Vishal is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River flowing in the east direction of this peak and Lord Shree Kedarnath sits on the banks of the holy  Mandakini River in the west.
Alaknanda and Mandakini are the sacred confluence of both those rivers at Rudraprayag and from there they form a stream and then join the 'Bhagirathi-Ganga' at Devprayag.  In Devprayag, Ganga comes out from the holy shrine 'Gangotri' of Uttarakhand. After Devprayag, the existence of Alaknanda and Mandakini merges into the Ganges and there, for the first time, Ganga flow on the flat earth of Haridwar.  After seeing Lord Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga, all the sins of human beings are destroyed by seeing Lord Nara-Narayan in Badri region.  And he also gets salvation.  The same intention is also expressed in the Koti Rudra Samhita of Shiva Purana-
तस्यैव रूपं दृष्ट्वा च सर्वपापै: प्रमुच्यते।
जीवन्मक्तो भवेत् सोऽपि यो गतो बदरीबने।।
दृष्ट्वा रूपं नरस्यैव तथा नारायणस्य च।
केदारेश्वरनाम्नश्च मुक्तिभागी न संशय:।।
The ancient temple of Kedareshwar (Kedarnath) Jyotirlinga was built by the Pandavas, which is situated at a height of 11750 feet of the mountain.  According to mythological evidence, 'Kedar' is the back part (part) of Mahish ie buffalo.
The height of the Kedarnath temple is 80 feet, which stands on a huge square platform.  Brown stones have been used in the construction of this temple.  The biggest surprise is that in the ancient times, how would this magnificent temple have been established by bringing those huge stones to such an inaccessible site in the absence of mechanical means?  This grand temple is a living proof of the devotion of the Pandavas to Shiva, their strong will and their muscle power.
Story in Shiva Purana
 There are two incarnations of Lord Vishnu called Nara and Narayana.  Both Nara and Narayan had done great penance at Badarikashram in the holy Himalayas.  They prayed to Lord Shiva to make a Shiva lingam of the Parthiv (soil) reverentially and devoutly dwell therein. When Shiva was present in the Parthiva linga, both (Nara and Narayan) worshiped him with reverange.  Constantly worshiping Shiva daily and being immersed in his meditation was the restrained routine of those ascetics. Satisfied with their worship after a long time, God Shankar said that I am very happy with both of you, so you ask for boon to me.  Pleased to hear Lord Shankar's talk, Nara and Narayan said with the feeling of public welfare - 'Deveshwar!  If you are happy and want to give us boon, then you can stay here forever to accept worship in your form. ' Lord Shankar, who took care of the world, accepted the request of those two ascetic-brothers and located himself as Jyotirlinga in Kedartirtha in the Himalayas.  Worshiped by those two unique devotees, Lord Shiva, known as Kedareshwar Mahadev, is always present there, in order to destroy all fear and sorrow and to wish to give his darshan to devotees.
The person who visits Badrivan and sees Nara and Narayan and Kedareshwar Shiva, of course he becomes eligible of salvation.
Greatness of Kedar region in Skanda Purana
 This Kedar region is very dear to Lord Shankar, irrigated by the rivers Mandakini, Ganga, Madhuganga, Ksheer Ganga, and beautified by hundreds of Shivalingas and covered with icebergs.  According to the story of Skanda Purana, when Maa Parvati asked the glory of Kedar region, Lord Shiva told her that he never leave it due to this area being more dear. He told Parvati ji that since I took the form of Brahmaji for the work of creation, I have always resided in this area .  Nandi, Bhringi etc. stand as guards (gatekeepers) at the entrance of this area. The human who contemplates this Kedar Yatra while staying at his residence, makes a program for it, his three hundred generations of ancestors get residence in Shiva lok. If a person, who is devoted to me with mind, speech and deeds, sees Shri Kedarnath ji, then even if he has committed a sin similar to the Brahmhatya, all of them are destroyed from only seen. Just like Lord Vishnu among the Gods, the sea in the lake, the Ganges in the rivers, the Himalayas in the mountains, Narada among the devotees, Kamadhenu in the cows and Kailash among all the Puris, the Kedar region is the best in all the regions.
 Story of Skanda Purana
Thus rejoicing in the glory of Kedar region, Lord Shankar told a story to Mata Gauri.  He said that there lived a violent 'fowler' in a village. He loved the meat of antelope and being a non-vegetarian, he used to commit a lot of misconduct. He used to hunt antelope and make them his diet.  One day he reached Kedartirtha in connection with the hunt. As he was wandering through the dense forests on the mountains in search of prey, he saw Muni Narada, he considered him a golden deer, as he was looking at him from far away. He climb an arrow on his bow.  By the time he set out to kill the sage Narada with the arrow, the sunset had gone.
At that time, the fowler saw there that a snake had swallowed the frog, but the dead frog became in the form of Shiva.  When he went a little farther, he saw that the tiger killed the deer, but the deer is going to the Shivloka with the Shiva Ganas. Seeing all these scenes, Fowler was confused and amazed.  In the meantime, sage Narada ji reached that fowler.  Seeing Narada coming to him in human form, that hunter expressed his desire to know from him in relation to the above events. Narada Muni told him that you are very fortunate to be present in this supreme holy pilgrimage.  As you have seen, even the living beings in this auspicious pilgrimage have attained Shivatattva while you looking this events.
After that the fowler (hunter) bowed in utter surprise and bowed down at the feet of Munishreshtha Narada.  He pleaded with Narada ji for his salvation.  Narada Ji preached and instructed him in relation to Lord Shiva.  According to his teachings, the hunter became a resident of the same Kedar region and he was immersed in the hymns of the Lord Kedareshwara.  By doing devotion to Kedarnath, the hunter who committed extreme violence, finally attained the ultimate state (Mukti).
In Skanda Purana, a different story of Lord Shiva in the form of Mahish(Buffalo) mentioned .  In the Kedar region, Devraj Indra did the penance of Lord Shankar.  In that time, the great demon Hiranyaksha was born. That monster defeated Indra, the king of the gods in battle, and asserted his authority over heaven.  The defeated Indra worshiped Devadheeva Mahadev along with the gods.  Ashutosh Lord Shiva was pleased with his penance.
He took the form of Mahisha (buffalo) one day and out from the earth in front of Indra.  He said- 'Devendra!  tell me .... who is your enemy....I will kill them all. When asked by Lord Shiva, Indra told the name of five demons including Hiranyaksha.  Bholenath went to the place  where of those powerful five demons were staying told by Indra.
There were also other fierce mighty companions of those demons.  All of them ran towards Shiva in the form of buffalo with weapons and arms, which Mahadev ji with his horns dipped in water and sent them into the Yamlok. He then asked Indra to ask for the boon.  Indra prayed to Pinakdhari Shiva and said that you should always stay in this area to protect dharma and all the three worlds.  Lord Shiva accepted Indra's request .

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