Shri Shiva And Nandi"A seal from Mohenjo-Daro already shows a figure who looks like an early Shiva... Worship of Shiva may be the oldest surviving religious cult in the world... Other Harappan seals seem to suggest a religious world centred about a mother-goddess and a bull. The bull survives to this day, the Nandi of countless village shrines all over Hindu India."
Om, I am neither the mind, intelligence, ego, nor 'chitta,'
Nor the senses of smell and sight, neither ether, nor air,
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
I am neither the 'prana,' nor the five vital breaths,
Neither the seven elements of the body, nor its five sheaths,
Nor hands, nor feet, nor tongue, nor other organs of action.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
Neither fear, greed, nor delusion, loathing, nor liking have I,
Nothing of pride, of ego, of 'dharma' or Liberation,
Neither desire of the mind, nor objects for its desiring.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
Nothing of pleasure and pain, of virtue and vice, do I know,
Of mantra, of sacred place, of Vedas or Sacrifice,
Neither I am the eater, the food or the act of eating.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
Death or fear, I have none, nor any distinction of 'caste,'
Neither father, nor mother, nor even a birth, have I,
Neither friend, nor comrade, neither disciple, nor guru.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
I have no form or fancy, the All Pervading am I,
Everywhere I exist, and yet I am beyond the senses,
Neither salvation am I, nor anything to be known.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
Adi Shankaracharya, Tad Niskala
Lord Shiva was one of the deities Kash was told to visit to find out if Shri Mataji was indeed the Adi Shakti.
Appended below is part of the first fax sent November 1993 by his father to Malaysia to Dr. Balwinder Singh (brother), Vipin Kumar Kothari (friend), and Srender Kaur (wife).
In June 1994 Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the incarnation of the Devi on Earth residing in UK, was also read the fax contents by Harsh Mehra. She confirmed it was true. This is part of the fax pertaining to Shri Shiva:
"2) Lord Shiva
— He lives far out in the Universe in a Land completely different from ours.
— He is surrounded by mountains and He sits on the highest one.
— He has a cobra snake around His neck. The cobra snake is coiled 3 times round His neck, with its head on Lord Shiva's right shoulder.
— He has His hair tied up in a bundle on top of the head, with the rest of it falling down His neck and shoulders.
— He is holding a trishul, with another cobra coiled around it.
— There are 2 bowls on both His sides and there is smoke coming out of them.
— On one occasion Kash saw both Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna walking away after meditation and talking to each other in a language that was like the mantra he recited in i.e. Sanskrit."
Copy of first fax Nov. 1993 confirming above facts
"Naga, the cobra, is a symbol of kundalini power, cosmic energy coiled and slumbering within man. It inspires seekers to overcome misdeeds and suffering by lifting the serpent power up the spine into God Realization. Aum."
(Himalayan Academy, 1998. www.hinduismtoday.kauai.hi.us/welcome.html)
"Trishula, Siva's trident carried by Himalayan yogis, is the royal scepter of the Saiva Dharma. Its triple prongs betoken desire, action and wisdom; ida, pingala and sushumna; and the gunas — sattva, rajas and tamas. Aum."
(Himalayan Academy, 1998. www.hinduismtoday.kauai.hi.us/welcome.html)
"SANSKRIT: Often referred to as 'Devanagari,' the language of the gods, Sanskrit is probably the most ancient of human languages. Yoga uses many Sanskrit terms, as they cannot be exactly translated into English or any other Western language."
Yoga Mind and Body, Sivananda Yoga Videnta Centre, 1966, p. 163.
Shri Adi Shakti: The Kingdom Of God, 1999, pg. 143
Please note that at that early stage of the Devi's revelations the family had no idea where She had taken their 13-year-old son Kash. Even he had no idea and thought the mountainous region was somewhere in the Universe. Subsequently his father realized that the Divine Mother had taken him to Mount Kailash, a 'Hindu' fact he had no prior knowledge.
But why did the Devi take Kash to Mount Kailash upon his first request to see Shri Shiva? I extract from Colin Thubron's To a Mountain in Tibet:
"And so, in the West, it still seems. The most sacred of the world's mountains—holy to one fifth of the earth's people—remain withdrawn on its plateau like a pious illusion. For years I had heard of it only as a figment. Isolated beyond the parapet of the central Himalayas, it permeated early Hindu scriptures as the mystic Mount Meru, whose origins go back to the dawn of Aryan time. In this incarnation it rotates like a spindle at the axis of all creation, ascending immeasurable miles to the palace of Brahma, greatest and most remote of the gods, and plunging as deep beneath the earth. From its foot flow the four rivers that nourish the world, and everything created-trees, rocks, humans-finds its blueprint here. In time the mystical Meru and the earthly Kailas emerged in people's minds. Early wanderers to the source of the four great Indian rivers-the Indus, the Ganges, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra-found their wonder that each one rose near a cardinal point of Kailas.
So people discovered the heart of the world. It was a site of astral beauty, separated from its companion Himalayas as if by divine intent. To the pious, the mountain radiates gold or refracts like crystal. It is the source of the universe, created from cosmic waters and the mind of Brahma, who is yet himself mortal and will pass away. The sun and the planets orbit it. The Pole Star hangs immutable above. The continents of the world radiate from its centre like lotus petals on a precious sea (humans occupy the southern petal) and its slopes are heady with the gardens of paradise.
But the God of Death dwells on the mountain. Nothing is total, nothing permanent-not even he. All is flux. In the oceans around Kailas-Meru, beyond a ring of iron mountains, countless embodiments of Meru, each identical to the last, multiply and repeat themselves, dying and resurrecting into eternity...
The mountain is swathed in such a dense and changing mystique that it eludes simple portrayed. It was on to such a peak that the first Tibetan kings descended from the sky (eventually to be cut off and stranded). Hindus believe its summit to be the palace of Shiva—the lord of destruction and change—who sits there in eternal meditation. But it is unknown when the first pilgrims came. Buddhist herders and Hindu ascetics must have ritually circled the mountain for centuries, and the blessings accruing to them increased marvellously in sacred lore, until it was claimed that a single circuit expunged the sins of a lifetime. The mountain was dangerous to reach, but never quite inaccessible. Only in the nineteenth century did Tibet itself, swayed by a xenophobic China, become a forbidden land. And Kailas kept its own taboos. Its slopes are sacrosanct, and it has never been climbed."
Colin Thubron, To a Mountain in Tibet
Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (March 6, 2012) pp. 4-6
The Single-Nail Clogs
"A few weeks after Shri Maha-kailasa-nilaya Nirmala Devi had taken
Kash to visit Shri Shiva meditating on Mount Kailash, he informed his
father about one peculiar fact — that Shri Shiva was seen wearing
wooden clogs with a single, thick, wide-head nail. These single-nailed
clogs worn centuries ago are practically non-existent today. Kash has
never seen this type of footwear in all his life on Earth, but is
absolutely sure that Shri Shiva had them."
Shri Maha-kailasa-nilaya (578th): Residing in the great Kailas — Maha Kailasa means in Sri Chakra, the innermost Bindu and in the body the Sahasrara-Padma below the Brahmarandhra.
SHRI ADI SHAKTI: THE KINGDOM OF GOD 1999, pg. 173
Nandi, The Cosmic Bull of Shri Shiva
On one occasion the Primordial Mother took Kash to visit Shri Nandi, Shri Shiva's Cosmic Bull. This was done without any specific request to Shri Jagatmata, as neither Kash nor his family knew of Nandi. (So it was quite a pleasant surprise when Kash later explained about this transcendental experience to his father.)
As usual Shri Mataji asked Kash to put his palms above Her own. As soon as Kash did so he found himself elevated a few inches above the cloud cover. Soon they were moving at unimaginable speed across the universe and quickly reached their destination. Shri Shiva was besides His Bull Nandi.
Distant stars and other whirling planets littered the universe around Shri Nandi, who rested on invisible ground. They approached this Bull and sat before it. The bull was black in color, with a small hump and medium-length horns.
As usual the Primordial Mother requested meditation. All raised their kundalinis. Kash noticed that just before they began meditation Shri Nandi stopped moving and became still. Only after it was over did he stir again. Kash then bowed to Shri Shiva's bull again in Namaskar and left with the Supreme Goddess back to Her abode.
"In the Mahabharata, Shiva is not only worshipped as creator of the universe, but also as the primeval father. The great epic tells of Shiva living in the Himalaya mountains with his wife Parvati (a beneficent and mild form of the great goddess Mahadevi Shakti) and their two sons, Ganesha and Skanda. They also live with Shiva's constant companion and vahana ("vehicle") Nandi, the bull — a symbol of male strength and power."
Madhu Bazaz Wangu, Hinduism: World Religions
Facts on File, Inc., 1991, p. 45.
"In some ways, ancient India is with us still, visible and accessible as in no other early centre of civilization ... Gods and goddesses whose cults can be traced to the Stone Age are still worshipped at village shrines ... Its deepest roots go very deep indeed. A seal from Mohenjo-Daro already shows a figure who looks like an early Shiva ... Worship of Shiva may be the oldest surviving religious cult in the world, though it shows many important Aryan characteristics. Other Harappan seals seem to suggest a religious world centred about a mother-goddess and a bull. The bull survives to this day, the Nandi of countless village shrines all over Hindu India."
J. M. Roberts, Shorter Illustrated History of the World
Helicon Publishing Ltd., 1993 p. 64-9.
So the Hindu belief that Shri Shiva resides at Mount Kailash and that He has a bull called Nandi is
absolutely true. The Adi Shakti gave evidence of that too. There are
indeed many deep mystical facts of Hinduism that are all true. It is
most difficult to challenge this religion and its Holy Scriptures
easily the most spiritual, mystical, enlightening, and all-
encompassing. Without question the Sanatana Dharma bestows the
greatest benefit to humanity because it embraces and nourishes all
religions. The Adi Shakti's Divine Message to humanity wholesomely
embraces this joyous synthesis and religious harmony. Only the
Divine Source of all religions can give such evidence.
Note: Like the visitation of Nandi, the Divine Mother did on Her own reveal to Kash important mystical scriptural truths revered by the religious. She had to as both Kash and his parents were non-practicing Sikhs, and knew little about Hinduism. So She revealed to him the more popular beliefs.
However, there have been occasions when certain requests were declined by the Devi for good reason. Kash's father had began to check Hinduism and make requests for revelations or clarification. Some of them were quite unsettling, to say the least. One incident was when Kash was told to witness Her wrathful form of Shri Mahakali. The Divine Mother politely declined his request, perhaps because it would be too frightening for a child his age. Thus the most violent revelation was that of Shri Vihnu's incarnation Narasimha (half-man and half-lion) putting the demon Hiranyakashipu on His lap and ripping him apart. Kash had problems even explaining properly what happened as it was quite gory and filled with fierce rage and blood-curdling roars. So obviously the fearsome form of Shri Mahakali would probably have shocked Kash, perhaps causing him apprehension to approach the peaceful Divine Mother in future.
And who is Vishnu? - is an uncle of Shri Ganesh. His mother's brother is Shri Vishnu. So he was brought up you should say by Mahavishnu, at that stage. But Mahalakshmi adopted the principle of Shri Ganesh.
In the Kundalini chart you can see that the Shri Ganesha is connected on the left to the Ida Nadi. And the Kundalini is above that. So now what has happened is this that He transcended that part. And if He had to come for the redemption He had to come as the Son of Mahalakshmi. So it was Mahalakshmi who adopted Him, we should say really, conceived Him within himself as Christ. And He became Mahavishnu. Anything is possible in the family of gods and goddesses. Because they are gods. It is beyond human mind to understand how these things are working out in that realm. But now you have got realisation you can feel the cool breeze. So many new things are happening to you. Now believe me that there is no unholy alliances among the gods and goddesses. No unholy alliance. There is nothing that is human in them. They are all divine, pure....
Today is a special day when it has been asked that we should have Ekadesha Rudra Pooja And it is for all kinds of false religious sects and false gurus and false religions, which are followed in the name of God, or any religion that does not say about Self realization and does not achieve Self realization and does not get connected with God - Is false. So any such thing that is just faith and talks of God but has no connection with God cannot be a true religion. Of course, it gives a balance to people, but in giving that balance, if people live on that money and try to enjoy a wealth out of that money, then it is not even at the very lower level is religion. Like a balance, you, see, religion has to give a balance to begin with, but in that balancing when they tell, 'you have to be balanced, but give me money for that, you must give me money, give me all your purse, give me everything,' then that cannot be balanced, it does not even have a slightest thing or the blessings of God. Or any religion that makes you bow to anybody else but incarnation, is not a religion, that is another one which is absolutely false.
The real religion will give you a balance and will always talk about the ascent. But they will not ask for money or make one man something great as venerated. Thus, we should learn to discriminate between falsehood, negative things and real things. Once you develop that discrimination through vibratory awareness, or through your intelligence, you are in the control of yourself. And then you become that power of Ekadesha, when you establish your maturity.
Today, I bless you all, that you all become the power of Ekadesha Rudra and you develop that sincerity which takes you to that state."
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
"Today, we are doing a special type of Pooja which is performed in the
glory of, 'Ekadesha Rudra.'
Rudra is the destructive power of Shiva, of the Spirit. Now, one power which is His nature, is forgiveness. He forgives because we are human beings, we commit mistakes, we do wrong things, we get tempted; our attention is disturbed; so he forgives us. He also forgives us when we spoil our chastity, we do immoral things, we do thieving, and we do things that are against God, talk against Him. He also forgives our superficialities, jealousies, our lust, our anger. Also He forgives our attachments, petty jealousies, vanities and also possessiveness. He forgives our egoistical behaviour and also our subordination to wrong things.
But every action has a reaction, and when He forgives, He thinks that lie has given you a big grace-mark, and that reaction builds up within Him, as a wrath against those who are forgiven and try to do greater mistakes. Specially, after realization, because such a big blessing there is of the realization; you have got the light and in the light if you are holding onto your plate then His wrath goes up because, he sees how stupid you have been. What I am saying is that after realization specially He is much more sensitive that people who are forgiven and have been given such a big thing like Self realization, still they do wrong things then he is much more wrathful So, in the balance the forgiveness starts reducing and the wrathfulness starts increasing.
But when He forgives and as a result of that forgiveness you feel the gratitude, then His blessings start flowing towards you. He gives you tremendous capacity to forgive others. He pacifies your anger, He pacifies your lust, He pacifies your greed. Like beautiful dew-drops His blessings come on our being and we become really beautiful flowers. And we start shining in the sunshine of His blessings.
Now He uses His wrath or His destructive power to destroy all that tries to trouble us. He protects realized souls at every point, in every way. Negative forces try to attack a Sahaja Yogi but they are all neutralised by His tremendous power of protection. Through his vibratory awareness we are guided into right path. All the beautiful blessings of His are described in the Psalm 23...... The Lord is my Shepherd is all described how he looks after you as a shepherd.
But He does not look after these evil people. He destroys them. Those who enter into Sahaja Yoga and are still carrying on with their evil nature are destroyed. Those who come to Sahaja Yoga and do not meditate and do not rise are destroyed or they are thrown out of Sahaja Yoga. Those who murmur against God and live in a way that is not behoving a Sahaja Yogi, He removes them. So by one force, He protects, by another force, He throws away. But his destructive forces when they are built up too much, then we call it 'now the Ekadesha Rudra is active.'
Now, this Ekadesha Rudra will be expressed when the Kalki itself will start acting, means the destructive power which will destroy all that is negative on this earth and save all that is positive. So it is very necessary for Sahaja Yogis to expedite their ascent, not to be satisfied with the social life or married life or with all the blessings that God has bestowed upon you. We always see, what God has done for us, how He has been miraculous to us, but we have to see what we have done for ourselves, what are we doing about our own ascent and our growth."
Ekadesha Rudra Puja
Como, Italy - 16th Sept., 1984
"Today we are going to do Puja to Shri Shiva. As you know, Shri Shiva is
the reflection of Shri Sadashiva within us. I've already told about the
reflection. Sadashiva is the God Almighty, the one who sees the play of
the Adi Shakti. But He is the Father who is watching each one of His or
Her Creation. His support to Adi Shakti is entirely, fully strengthening.
There's no doubt in His mind about the capability of the Adi Shakti. But
when He finds that in the play of the Adi Shakti, the people or the world
as such try to disturb Her or to spoil Her work, then He gets into His
wrathful mood, and He destroys all such people, and maybe, He destroys the
On one side He is wrathful, no doubt, on the other side, He is the ocean of compassion and joy. That's why when He is reflected within us, we get our self-realisation, we get the light of our Spirit and we get into the ocean of joy. Also He is the ocean of knowledge, so those who get Self-realized get the knowledge of the Divine which is very subtle, permeating into every atom and molecule. The power of this knowledge is there. His style is such that, in his compassion, He forgives even very cruel Rakshasas, if they dedicate themselves to Him. Because His compassion has no limit and sometimes the same people who are blessed by Him try to trouble the devotees of the Adi Shakti. But it is just to create a drama, an event. Unless and until there is some drama, people won't understand. We had to have Ramayana, we had to have Mahabharata, we had to have Christ being crucified, we had to have Mohammed being tortured. All that drama was there because without events, people don't remember.
So in the spiritual life of human beings, they have seen lots of dramas between the blessings of Shiva and the powers of the Adi Shakti."
Sivaratri Puja, March 3, 1996, Sydney, Australia
"Situated in the south-western part of Tibet bordering the Kumaon
hills and Nepal, is Mount Kailash. It is supremely sacred mountain,
cosmology connected with Mount Meru, the great mythological mountain
that forms the axis of this world system. Being a central watershed
of Asia, it has always been the most sacred mountains for Hindus,
Buddhists, Jains and Bons.
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 Vaikunta abd 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."
Mount Kailash, Where the Heaven meets the Earth
Ganesha and Kartikeya
Parvati, Kali, Durga, Uma, and other goddesses are aspects of Jaganmatri, the Divine Mother of the World, variously names to signalize particular functions. God or Shiva in His para or transcendental aspect is inactive in creation. His shakti (energy, activating force) is relegated to His 'consorts,' the productive 'female' powers that make possible the infinite unfoldments in the cosmos.
Mythological tales in the Purana say that the Himalayas are the abode of Shiva ..."
Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi
Self-Realization Fellowship, 1974, p. 194-95
With its four facades facing north, east, south, and west, Mount Kailas looks like an enormous diamond. Seventy-five percent as high as Mount Everest, the mountain is one of the tallest peaks in the Himalayas. Nearby is the source of the Indus, Sutlej, and Brahmaputra Rivers. The source of the Ganges is not far away. On its southern face, a vertical gash crosses horizontal layers, creating the image of a swastika. The word comes from svastika, Sanskrit for well-being and good fortune. Buddhists regard the mountain as a mandala -— the sacred circle from which the sacred rivers flow like the spokes of the eternal wheel."
Colin Wilson, The Atlas of Holy Places & Sacred Sites
Penguin Books Ltd., 1996 p. 119.
"One of the greatest and most austere pilgrimages, Mount Kailas,
Himalayan abode of Lord Siva, is sacred to five religions. Pilgrims
perform a three-day, 33-mile circumambulation of the peak. At the
foot of Kailas lies Lake Manasarovara, symbolizing a quieted mind,
free from all thought. Kailas is the Mount Meru of Hindu cosmology,
center of the universe. within 50 miles are the sources of four
of India's auspicious rivers."
Hinduism Today, May 1997
"865 Kms from Delhi, stand Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar constituting one of the grandest of the Himalayan beauty spots. The perpetual snowclad peak of holy Kailas of hoary antiquity and celebrity, the spotless design of nature's art, of most bewitching and overpowering beauty, has a vibration of the supreme order from the spiritual point of view. It seems to stand as an immediate revelation of the Almighty in concrete form, which makes man bend his knees and lower his head in reverence. Its gorgeous silvery summit, resplendent with the luster of spiritual aura, pierces into a heavenly height of 6690 meters (22028 feet) above the level of the sea."
The Holy Mansarovar Lake
The PARIKRAMA or circumambulation of the Kailas Parvat is about 54 kms. Mount Kailas is revered in Sanskrit literature as the abode of the all-blissful Lord Shiva and his divine spouse Parvati, the all-enchanting Nature (Prakriti) which from 32 kms. off is overlooking the Holy Mansarovar and the Rakshas TaI, in the south. The holy Mansarovar or manasa-sarovara is the holiest, the most fascinating, the most inspiring, the most famous of all the lakes in the world and the most ancient that civilization knows. It is a famous lake in the Hindu mythology. The lake is majestically calm and dignified like a huge bluish green emerald or a pure turquoise set between the two mighty and equally majestic silver mountains, the Kailas on the north and the Gurla Mandhata on the south and between the sister lake Rakshas Tal or Ravan Harda on the west and some hills on the east.
"Mount Kailash, or Kangrinpoche, where Shiva and Parvati lie together
in bliss and where eternity meshes with time, lies hidden at the
western end of the Great Himalayas. All of the pilgrim routes to
the 'precious jewel of eternal snow' cross at least one pass above
Kailash stands alone, behind a sea of mountains where Tibet and India meet, its four faces to the four directions, with a great river flowing from each: the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej, and Karnali, a tributary of the holy Gangga. Here is the abode of Shiva, where the waters of heaven pass through the god's matted hair and become healing springs; the tirtha, the place where the waters meet, the focus of all Hindu pilgrimage. Some devotees say the Kailash is the Shivalinga; others that it is Mount Meru, the presence of eternal in time....
Pilgrims take three days to circle Mount Kailash, a walk of just over 30 miles. Every step is rich with prayers and praise of those who have walked the way before, for more years than humankind can recall....
Tibetans make three, five, or thirteen circumambulations of Mount Kailash, or even more. Sometimes they prostrate themselves, rising to walk the length of one prostration only, then once again falling to the ground. To circle the mountain in this way may take up to four weeks of patient and meditative movement. These pilgrims may then turn and return, rapt in their awareness of the eternal. The way has no beginning and no end."
Jennifer Westwood, Sacred Journeys
Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1997 p.78.
The disciple leads the prana until Mooladhara.
The air thus inspired awakens the lower Fire which was asleep, meditating on Pranava that is nothing else than Brahman,
And concentrating his thought, he rises the breath until to the lower Fire, until the navel and beyond, within the subtle body.
On the top of the body, over the head there is the lotus with thousand petals, shining like the heavenly Light.
It's that which gives the liberation. Its secret name is Kailash, the mountain where Shiva abides.
The one who knows this secret place is delivered from samsara.
Mountains of Mystery
"The Earth's most dramatic features, mountains are to Hindus the abode of Gods, the haunt of holy sages and the supreme pilgrimage destination.
Viewed through the eyes of a Buddhist or Hindu, mountains are mystical realms of Gods, heavens, spirits and spiritual masters. In Sacred Mountains of the World, a remarkable book by Edwin Bernbaum (University of California Press, 1997), the perspectives of mountains and lore from disparate cultures of the world are explored. Focusing solely on the prominent peaks of the Himalayas, the following article is excerpted from Bernbaum's work.
By Edwin Bernbaum, Berkeley
An enormous range 1,500 miles long, the Himalayas rise in the monsoon- drenched jungles north of Burma to sweep in a great arc of snow and ice northwest along the borders of India and Tibet, through Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal, up to the dusty glaciers of the Karakoram on the remote desert frontier between Pakistan and China. As the loftiest mountains on Earth, the Himalayas have come to embody the highest ideals and aspirations. The sight of their sublime peaks, soaring high and clean above the dusty, congested plains of India, has for centuries inspired visions of transcendent splendor and spiritual liberation. Invoking such visions, the Puranas, ancient works of Hindu mythology, have this to say of Himachal, or the Himalayas: In the space of a hundred ages of the Gods, I could not describe to you the glories of Himachal; that Himachal where Siva dwells and where the Ganges falls like the tendril of a lotus from the foot of Vishnu. There are no other mountains like Himachal, for there are found Mount Kailas and Lake Manasarovar. As the dew is dried up by the morning sun, so are the sins of mankind by the sight of Himachal.
Millions of years ago the summit of Mount Everest, today the world's highest mountain, lay beneath the Tethys, an ancient sea separating Asia from the Indian subcontinent. Through the gradual movement of the Earth's tectonic plates — till ongoing today — the two great land masses collided to fold and thrust up the peaks of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. Fossils formed in sedimentary rocks near the tops of the highest mountains attest to the submarine origins of the range. The fracturing of the Earth's crust also led to injections of magma, forming here and there, as a result of glacial action, magnificent walls and peaks of granite, but no volcanoes. The youngest mountains on Earth, the Himalayas have risen so recently within the last few million years that the watershed lies a hundred miles north of their crest. As a consequence, preexisting rivers have cut through the range, creating the deepest valleys in the world, such as the Kali Gandaki Valley between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri in central Nepal, nearly four miles deep.
The Himalayas are sacred for followers of five Asian religions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and the indigenous Bon tradition of Tibet. These religions revere the mountains as places of power where many of their most important sages and teachers have attained the heights of spiritual realization. According to Jain mythology, Rishabhanatha, the first of twenty-four saviors of this age, achieved enlightenment on Mount Kailas, the most sacred peak in the Himalayan region. There, in the vicinity of the same mountain, Shenrab, the legendary founder of Bon, is said to have taught and meditated. Sikhs, followers of an Indian religion that developed from the interaction of Islam and Hinduism in the fifteenth century ce, revere Hemkund, a mountain lake near the source of the Ganges, as the place where Guru Gobind Singh, the last of their ten principal teachers, practiced meditation in a previous life. The Himalayas abound with caves and shrines where Buddhist sages, such as the Tibetan yogi Milarepa, have meditated and attained enlightenment.
Hindus, by far the largest group in India with more than 800 million adherents, regard the entire range as the God Himalaya, father of Parvati, the wife of Siva. King of the mountains, Himalaya lives high on a peak with his queen, the Goddess Mena, in a palace ablaze with gold, attended by divine guardians, maidens, scent-eating creatures and other magical beings. His name, composed of the words hima and alaya, means in the Sanskrit language of ancient India the 'abode of snow.' As a reservoir of frozen water, the body and home of the God Himalaya is the divine source of sacred rivers, such as the Ganges and Indus, that sustain life on the hot and dusty plains of northern India. The ancient poets and sages regarded the range as more than a realm of snow; they saw it as an earthly paradise sparkling with streams and forests set beneath beautiful peaks. Above and beyond the earthly paradise of the Himalayas lie the heights of heaven....
Mount Kailas: One peak in the Himalayan region stands out above all others as the ultimate sacred mountain for more than half-a-billion people in India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Hidden behind the main range of the Himalayas at a high point of the Tibetan Plateau northwest of Nepal, Mount Kailas rises in isolated splendor near the sources of four major rivers of the Indian subcontinent — the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej and Karnali. Hindus also regard Kailas as the place where the divine form of the Ganges, the holiest river of all, cascades from heaven to first touch the Earth and course invisibly through the locks of Siva's hair before spewing forth from a glacier 140 miles to the west. Not far from the foot of the peak itself, at nearly 15,000 feet above sea level, reflecting the light of its snows, repose the calm blue waters of the most sacred lake of Hindu religion and mythology — holy Lake Manasarovar, 'Lake of the Mind.' The hardiest of Hindu pilgrims aspire to take the long and dangerous journey over high passes to bathe in Manasarovar's icy waters and cleanse their minds of the sins that threaten to condemn them to the suffering of rebirth.
At only 22,028 feet, Kailas is thousands of feet lower than Everest and other Himalayan peaks. Yet its extraordinary setting and appearance more than make up for its modest height. Kailas retains its grandeur when viewed from a distance. More than any other peak in the Himalayas, it opens the mind to the cosmos around it, evoking a sense of infinite space that makes one aware of a vaster universe encompassing the limited world of ordinary experience. It has served as an inspiration for numerous Hindu temples and shrines in the distant plains of India. The sight of the peak has a powerful effect, bringing tears to the eyes of many who behold it, leaving them convinced that they have glimpsed the abode of the Gods beyond the round of life and death. Neither Hindus, Buddhists, nor any Tibetans would ever contemplate trying to climb Kailas.
Hindus view Kailas as the divine dwelling place of God Siva and Goddess Parvati. There, as the Supreme Yogi, naked and smeared with ashes, His matted hair coiled on top of His head, He sits on a tiger skin, steeped in the indescribable bliss of meditation. From His position of aloof splendor on the summit, His third eye blazing with supernatural power and awareness, the lord of the mountain calmly surveys the joys and sorrows, the triumphs and tragedies, the entire play of illusion that make up life in the world below. The power of His meditation destroys the world of illusions that bind people to the painful cycle of death and rebirth. When He rises to dance, He takes on the functions of Brahma and Vishnu and creates and preserves the universe itself.
The [Buddhist] mandala of Demchog on Kailas presents the universe as a circle of mountains, oceans and continents arrayed around a mythical mountain at the very center. This mountain, called Meru by Hindus and Sumeru by Buddhists, plays a pivotal role in Hinduism and Buddhism as the divine axis of the cosmos. According to Hindu mythology, Brahma, the supreme deity in the form of the creator, lives on its summit, surrounded by lesser deities. Meru and Kailas appear as separate mountains in early texts of Buddhist and Hindu mythology, but later tradition has tended to bring them together and identify them as one and the same. Today many Indians and Tibetans view Kailas as the place where the invisible form of Meru breaks through to appear in the physical plane of existence. A pilgrimage to the mountain, therefore, represents for them a journey to the very center of the universe — the cosmic point where everything begins and ends, the divine source of all that exists and has significance. In circling the peak and paying homage to a vision of Siva or Demchog on its shining summit, they make contact with something deep within themselves that links them to the supreme reality underlying and infusing the cosmos itself. For most Hindus and Buddhists of India and Tibet, the journey to Kailas is, in fact, the ultimate pilgrimage, both in terms of the sanctity of its goal and the difficulty of the way.
Goddess of Bliss: In addition to the paradise She shares with Siva on Kailas, Parvati has her abode on a number of other mountains. As Nanda Devi, the 'Goddess of Bliss,' She dwells in beauty on the lovely peak of that name in the Himalayas northeast of Delhi. The highest mountain in India outside the principality of Sikkim, Nanda Devi soars in alluring curves of rock and ice to culminate in a delicate summit, poised at 25,645 feet above a ring of snow peaks that form a sanctuary protecting the Goddess from all but Her most determined admirers. The only break in their otherwise impregnable wall of rock and snow is the terrifying gorge of the Rishi Ganga, one of the sources of the sacred Ganges, named after seven sages of Hindu mythology who fled the oppression of demons to seek refuge with the Goddess before departing this world to become enshrined as seven stars in the constellation of Ursa Major. Shepherds and porters from nearby villages who venture into the area believe that they can sometimes hear the sounds of these sages — drums beating, the blare of trumpets and the eerie barking of dogs. The few foreign mountaineers who manage to penetrate the gorge, inching their way along the sides of sheer cliffs that plunge thousands of feet into the river roaring below, find themselves in a paradise of gentle meadows filled with flowers at the foot of the sacred peak, which stands like a temple in the middle of the sanctuary itself.
Nanda Devi lies in Uttarakhand, the principal area of pilgrimage in the Indian Himalayas. This region ranks second only to Kailas and Manasarovar in the degree of its sanctity for Hindus. Closer to the lowlands and much more accessible, it is visited by many more pilgrims, who come by the tens of thousands to bathe at Gomukh, the glacial source of the Ganges, and to worship at Kedarnath and Badrinath, lofty temples of Siva and Vishnu sequestered in narrow valleys beneath the icy thrones of the Gods themselves. The region is also the favorite haunt of holy men and wandering yogis, who come to follow the example of Siva and meditate in the sharp clear air of the heights, within sight of the peaks that lead to heaven and the goal they seek.
As the Goddess who resides on the highest mountain in the region, Nanda Devi has many shrines and temples dedicated to Her. One of the better-known ones is in the hill station of Almora, which affords one of the best views of the peak itself and the mountains that surround it. Although primarily a benevolent deity, Nanda can take on the form of Durga, the wrathful Goddess. The people of the region also view Nanda Devi as a benevolent source of life and renewal.
According to ancient Hindu mythology, a flood once covered the entire world. A sage named Manu was warned of the impending disaster and built a boat in which he survived. Vishnu incarnated himself as a fish and towed the craft to safety on a mountain peak. As the waters receded, Manu together with his family and the remnants of all living creatures went down the slope to repopulate the Earth.
The people of Uttarakhand identify the mountain of the flood as Nanda Devi, and one local group, the Rajis, still regard the peak as the abode of their ancestors. According to one legend, the seven sages accompanied Manu and remained behind to dwell in the company of the Goddess.
Annapurna and Machapuchare: Goddess Parvati dwells in yet another form on sacred Annapurna One, named like Nanda Devi for the deity said to reside on its summit. A range of peaks that includes Gangapurna, Machapuchare and Annapurnas One through Four, Annapurna rises in one long sweep above the lush green hills of central Nepal. Seen from the tropical valley of Pokhara in the twilight before dawn, the range's peaks appear to float like bluish-gray icebergs on a sea of liquid shadows. Etched with shadowed flutings, the corrugated face of Annapurna One — the highest summit at 26,545-feet — becomes a golden backdrop to the slender pointed peak of Machapuchare, the 'Fish's Tail.'
Annapurna means in Sanskrit 'She who is filled with food.' Unlike Nanda Devi, who can take on the wrathful form of Durga, Annapurna is regarded as a purely benevolent deity. A kindhearted Goddess of plenty, She is the Queen of Banaras, the holy city of the Hindus on the banks of the Ganges south of Nepal. Each year, after the autumn harvest, the people of Banaras celebrate a festival dedicated to Her called Annakuta, the 'Food Mountain,' in which they fill Her temple with a mountain of food — rice, lentils, and sweets of all kinds to be distributed to those who come to receive Her blessings."
Hinduism Today, February 1999
MOUNT KAILASH - the abode of Lord Maheswara
For most people, a trip to Western Tibet is virtually synonymous with a visit to Mount Kailash. The power of this strange, domed peak has gripped the imagination of the people of India and Tibet since time immemorial, with the result that it has long been one of Asia's most important (and remote) pilgrimage destinations. More recently, Mount Kailash's reputation as a sacred mountain as well as a place of natural beauty has begun to lure travelers and pilgrims from around the world. Beginning in 1984, when the Chinese authorities first opened Tibet to the outside world, Western visitors (the first since Lama Govinda in 1949) have begun to make their way into the area in trucks, land cruisers, and even a horseback and by foot. Today, it is still extremely difficult to reach the region, and the obstacle that people meet in trying to get here are frequently attributed to the sacred power of the mountain itself, which allows only those with sufficient spiritual preparation to gain a glimpse of its magical presence.
Mount Kailash is remarkable in that four of the largest rivers in Asia have their sources within 100 km (62 miles) of it; the Indus flowing to the north, the Brahmaputra to the east, the Sutlej to the west, and the Karnali (leading to the Ganges) to the south. As a mountain in this part of the world it is not particularly high, a mere 6,714m yet it is striking in the way it rises above the surrounding range and remains perpetually snow-capped. The stunning image of this white peak against the clear blue sky helps to explain the mountain's name in Tibetan, Gang Rinpoche, or Jewel of Snow.
Each of Mount Kailash's faces reflects different moods. The southern face reflects majesty or splendour; it is fully covered with snow. The western face is enveloped in an aura of compassion and benevolence. The northern face is stark, forbidding and daunting, while the eastern, only visible from a long way off, is mysterious and distant.
Traditional Buddhist cosmology has often connected Kailash with Mount Meru, the great mythological mountain that forms the axis of our world system. As the center of this world system, Mount Meru is often visualized surrounded by the various continents and adorned with the sun and moon and then offered to the buddhas and bodhisattvas as a mandala. In addition to Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Bon practitioners all hold Mount Kailash to be sacred. Hindus most frequently see the mountain as the abode of Shiva and his divine entourage. A well-known Sanskrit lyrical poem from the fifth century, The Cloud Messenger by Kalidasa, pays tribute to the mountain and its surroundings through a message sent by an exiled denizen of Kailash to his wife via a passing cloud.
The Jains, whose own faith was founded at the time of the Buddha in India, regard Kailash as the place where the first Jain saint gained emancipation. Followers of the Bon tradition in Tibet worship the mountain as the spiritual center of the ancient country of Shangshung and as the place where their founder, Shenrab, descended to the earth from the sky. Because of these and other religious association, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon ascetics and pilgrims have been drawn to the mountain for thousands of years. Once they arrive they gaze upon it, circumambulate it and sometimes settle down to practice austerities and meditation. The 11th century Tibetan Buddhist saint Milarepa is said to have resided there for 11 years. Padmasambhava is also associated with the mountain, particularly the valley on the western side, where he stayed in a cave.
"Ratnasanu sharaasanum Rajatadri Shrunga Niketanam
Singinikruta Pannageshwara Achutanana Sayakam |
Kshipradagda Puratrayam Tridivalairabi Vandhitam
Chandrashekaramashraye mama kim karishyati vyiamaha ||
In this way, Srimad Shankaracharya in his Chandrashekara Astaka glorifies the abode of Ishwara - the Holy Mt. Kailash. Even"Yama" the life taker can not touch the devotees who worship Parashiva he claims. This is Kubera's living place also. After his brother Ravana takes control of Lanke and Pushpaka Vimana, Kubera with the blessings from Parameshwara establishes Alakapuri in Kailash and becomes Yaksharaja.
"In Life, one gets what one deserves and not what one desires and He knows what one deserves - Swami Chinmayananda
Our ancients like Vyasa and great ones of recent times like Kalidasa have described this Kailas as the dear abode of Lord Mahadeva.
The Kailas peak full of dark black rocks with head adorned with glittering white snow stood like a leader amongst the long stretch of black mountains. 'My body experienced horripilation and my mind immersed in the ocean of bliss was overcome with joy'- Sri Swami Tapovanam
I started walking slowly with my eyes pinned on to the lovely forehead of the Mount Kailsh. I started walking forward but my eyes, being rooted on the beautiful forehead of the Kailasa Montain, were incapable of looking here and there or even determining the path to be taken - Sri Swami Tapovanam
Ye samprapthaha param stanam Dyana Yogarata Naraaha |
Na tesham punravrutti Grore samsara sagare ||
Sarvagra sarvadha shuddha paripurna Maheshwaraha |
Shiva tulya balopethaha param Shivapuram Gathaha ||
Ithtanthena theshu Kailaseshu vastum Shilamasyasthiti Kailasa vasi |
- Shivatatva Rahasya by Chikkeruru Linga Jois
It is mentioned in 'Shiva Dharmottra' that there is a separate Loka called 'Paramashiva Loka' which is accessible to only dyana yogis. Those dyana yogis who embrace this Paramashiva Loka will not return to 'samsara' sagara. They attain full satisfaction and live in total Bliss.
Yo veda dav svara proktho | Vedante cha pratishtithaha |
tasya prakruti Linasya | Ya paraha sa Parameshwaraha ||
Those who the Veda svara's are referring to, those who are proficient in Vedas, His oneness with Nature, who is GREAT is Maheshwara. When you visit Mt. Kailash - the Abode of LORD Maheshwara you can experience this total truth. We have to become one with Nature to get close to LORD. Mt. Kailash is Shiva and Shiva is Mt. Kailash.
Aham Brahmasmi, Shivaha kevaloham - Chidananda Rupam | Shivoham | Shivoham |
MOUNT KAILASH - the abode of Lord Maheswara
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