"Conventional wisdom says a single circuit of Mt. Kailash wipes out the sins of a lifetime, 108 parikramas guarantees enlightenment. A ritual bath in the sacred Manasa Sarovar lake will deliver a pilgrim to Brahma's paradise and a drop drink of its water relinquishes the sins of hundred lifetimes."(Unknown Author)
अस्त्युत्तरस्यां दिशि देवतात्मा हिमालयो नाम नगाधिराज|
पूर्वापरौ तोयनिधी वगाह्य स्थितः पृथिव्या इव मानदण्डः||
(महाकवि कालिदास रचित कुमारसंभव..प्रथम सर्ग..श्लोक क्र.१ .)
भारताच्या उत्तर दिशेला पर्वतांचा अधिपती असलेला हिमालय नावाचा देवता स्वरूप असा पर्वत आहे.पूर्वेस आणि पश्चिमेस सागरामध्ये घुसलेला असा हा पर्वत जणू पृथ्वीचा मानदंड आहे.तो इतका विशाल आहे कि ,त्याला देवतास्वरूप मानलेले आहे..
(महाकवि कालिदास रचित कुमारसंभव..प्रथम सर्ग..श्लोक क्र.१ .)
या उत्तुंग हिमालयाच्या प्रती प्रत्येक भारतीयाच्या मनी ओढ असणे स्वाभाविक आहे.त्याचप्रमाणे कैलाश आणि मानस या दोन्ही ठिकाणांबद्दल प्रत्येक हिंदुच्या मनात श्रद्धा असणे यात नवल नाही.कैलास आणि मानस यांचा पुराणांपासून थेट रामायण महाभारत या महाकाव्यातूनच नव्हे तर महाकवी कालिदासांच्या मेघदूत,कुमारसंभव या संस्कृत खंड काव्यामाधेही यांचा उल्लेख आढळतो..हिंदूंच्या हृदयात आणि संस्कृत साहित्यात व वेद पुराणात अढळ स्थान प्राप्त झालेले हे भगवान शिव शंकरांचे निवास स्थान(Abode Of Shiva )..आणि ज्यातून या विश्वाची निर्मिती झाली ते ब्रम्ह देवाच्या मनापासून उत्पन्न झालेले मानस सरोवर..(पुरुष आणि प्रकृती यांची प्रतीकात्मक रूपे)..हि तिबेट मध्ये आहेत..आणि तेथपर्यंत जाण्यासाठी ओलांडायचा तो विस्तीर्ण असा नगाधिराज..हिमालय.
“Harih Om - how was your trip to kailash”? This is a question often posed to me after I finished it in July 2004..
I am not sure how to verbalize an exalted experience of this nature, at the minimum it was a most memorable experience that simultaneously was very physically challenging, highly spiritual, emotionally elevating, intellectually inspiring and provided ample opportunities for solitude and closeness to GOD. “Om Namah Shivaya” – “mamepemehum” – Tibetan Holy mantra. To undertake a Yatra to Mt. Kailash, is to undertake a Yatra to your own divine self. The happiness and grace that a pilgrim can experience on such a trip are beyond words.
This region is steeped in religion and mythology and every year hundreds of pilgrims traverse some of the remotest and toughest regions of the Himalayas to pay their obeisance to the Lord. It is a land where Lord Shiva lives with his consort Parvati. According to ancient religious texts, the abode of creator Brahma is called Brahmaloka, the abode of Lord Vishnu is called Vaikuntha abode... the abode of Lord Shiva is called Kailash. Of the three, one can only go bodily and return in this life from Kailash having experienced divinity.
Hindus believe that Goddess Parvati has taken the form of the Manas Sarovar lake and that deliverance is assured for people taking a bath in Manas Sarovar. It is believed that Gods come to bathe every morning in this lake between 3 to 5 am and this time is called 'Brahmamuhurta'. The word Manas Sarovar is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Manas' which means mind & legend has it that Lord Brahma created this lake from his mind.
Mt. Kailash is most bewitching! Its beauty is over powering and from a spiritual point of view, it possesses a subtle magnetic vibration of a supremely high order. Mt. Kailash is considered to be the abode of Shiva and Parvathi, along with Devatas, Ganas, Yakshas, Yogis, Siddha purushas and Gandharvas. Mention of the Mt. Kailash Yatra is made in the Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Skanda Purana etc…. Kalidasa has mentioned about this holy Yatra in his Meghaduta.
In the book ‘Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection’ describing the thrilling spiritual experiences of Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Maha Swami - 35th Shankaracharya of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham, the Swamiji himself has stated that the night he took Sanyasam at his thirteenth year, he had a dream. “I found myself on the amazingly scenic summit of a tall, Ice clad Mountain... Though the mountain was icy I felt no cold. In front of me, I saw a huge crystal Shiva linga... suddenly there was a great flash of light and from the linga Lord Shiva manifested. The lord had one face and two arms”. The hill referred in this dream is of course Kailash and the crystal Linga refers to the crystal mount which is again Mt. Kailash.
Holy Manasarovar in the form of dark blue waters is the most beautiful, fresh water wonder lake at around 15,000 ft altitude – at the sight of it the mind dances with wonder and ecstasy said Sri Swami Tapovanam. Manasarovar is to the south of Kailash mountain. A bath in it is stated to take one to Brahma loka and to Shiva loka – as per Ramayana. It’s water is very sweet and said to posses medicinal properties. It is about four million years old. In skanda purana, it is stated that the lake was created out of Brahma’s mind. Hence it is called Manasa Sarovar.
“I could live and die on this heavenly lake without ever growing weary of the wonderful spectacle always presenting fresh surprises” – So wrote the famous Swedish traveler, Swen Hedin, who traveled over the region in 1907, recording the boundless joy of his wonderful experience..
“Feeling that the purpose of my birth had been accomplished, I congratulated myself on my good fortune” – So wrote Swami Tapovan Maharaj in his famous book – Wanderings in the Himalayas
The yatra was indeed memorable with all of us experiencing an inner satisfaction and joy that comes only from truly blessed events. It is said that each yatri to Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar has unique experiences based on their spiritual inclinations and the grace of the lord at various times during the trips.
Mt. Kailash has other names....Meru, Sumeru, Sushumna, Hemadri, Deva Parvatha, Gana Parvatha, Rajatadri, and Ratnasanu. It is the piller of universe and provides an environment to forget the outer world and experience the full truth - the divine self, a blissful state. Mt. kailash's East face is filled with Crystal, West face is filled with Ruby, South face is Sapphire and North face is Gold. That is the reason it gets the name "Ratnasanu". Nobody has even attempted to climb this holy mountain.
"It is faith in the name of the Lord that works wonders, for faith is life and doubt is death" - Sri Ramakrishna
To Be Continued......