It is popularly known as Dev Bhoomi – Land of God. Such is the holy state of Uttarakhand that every step you take, leads you to a beautiful holy temple. Most Hindus in North Indian consider the Char Dham Yatra as the most important pilgrimage of their life time.
Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri, and Rameshwaram
While Badrinath is situated in Uttarakhand, the other temples are in different states.
So people go for a Chotta Char Dham Yatra – All four temples situated in Uttarakhand
Most pilgrims to the Chota Char Dham come from the famous temple town of Haridwar. Others leave from Haridwar’s sister city, Rishikesh, or from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. From there, the tradition is to visit the sites in the following order:
1.Yamunotri, the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the goddess Yamuna.
Yamunotri Holy Story:
According to the legend ancient, sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here. All his life, he bathed daily both in the Ganges and the Yamuna. Unable to go to Gangotri during his old age, a stream of the Ganges appeared opposite Yamunotri for him.
The temple and the place opens every year on the auspicious day of the Akshaya Tritya, which generally falls during the last week of April, or the first week of May. The temple always closes on the sacred day of Diwali in mid-October – first week of November, with a brief ceremony. The temple staff return to their villages and for the rest of the time the valley is gripped in no-man silence and covered with a white sheet of snow. With the melting of the snow next summer, the temple re-opens.
The daughter of the Sun god, Surya and consciousness, Sangya the birthplace of the Yamuna is the Champasar Glacier (4,421 m) just below the Banderpoonch Mountain. The mountain adjacent to the river source is dedicated to her father, and is called Kalind Parvat, Kalind being another name of Surya. Yamuna is known for her frivolousness, a trait that she developed because, according to a common story, Yamuna’s mother could never make eye contact with her dazzling husband.
2. Gangotri, the source of the Ganges (River Ganga) and seat of the goddess Ganga.
Based on Hindu mythology, Goddess Ganga took the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagiratha’s predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries. There’s a glaciar called Gaumukh which is considered to be the origin of river Ganges. Many years back I got dream the word “Gaumukh” and found this place. Its like cows face . Gau means Cow..hence the name Gaumukh.
3. Kedarnath, where a form of the Hindu god Shiva is venerated as one of the twelve jyotirling (linga of light).
Kedarnath is named in honor of King Kedar, who ruled in the Satya Yuga. He had a daughter named Vrinda who was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. She performed austerities for several years and the land is named after her as Vrindavan. However, Kedarnath and its temple exist from the Mahabharata Era when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance there.. It is one of the most important dhams amongst the char dhams (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri). ( courtesy – wikipedia)
Samādhi mandir of Adi Sankara
Samadhi mandhir of Adi Sankara is situated behind Kedarnath temple.
After serving for the welfare of Sanatana Dharma – Hinduism, Adi Shankara traveled to the Himalayan area of Kedarnath-Badrinath and attained videha mukti (“freedom from embodiment”). There is a samadhi mandir dedicated to Adi Shankara behind the Kedarnath temple.
4. Badrinath, the seat of the Hindu god Vishnu in his aspect of Badrinarayan
Holy Story of Bhadrinath temple based on puranas:
One legend explains the reason that Vishnu is shown sitting in padmasana, rather than reclining. According to the story, Vishnu was chastised by a sage who saw Vishnu’s consort Lakshmi massaging his feet. Vishnu went to Badrinath to perform austerity, meditating for a long time in padmasana. To this day, the area around Badrinath attracts yogis who come for meditation and seclusion.
One more logical Legend explains both name itself and sitting posture as this place was full of Badri (Bael Fruit,’Ber’ in Hindi) bushes and Vishnu meditating for couple of hundred years, beloved Lakshmi stood next to him sheltering him from scorching sunlight turned into a Badri herself called ‘BADRI VISHAL’ and her lord(Nath) became the BadriNath.
According to the Bhagavata Purana, “There in Badrikashram the Personality of Godhead (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities.”
The Skanda Purana states that
“There are several sacred shrines in heaven, on earth, and in hell; but there is no shrine like Badrinath.” The area around Badrinath was also celebrated in Padma Purana as abounding in spiritual treasures
That’s it friends. Hope you had a feeling of going on a Char Dham Yatra. Imagine thousands of devotees going on a Pilgrimage happily for darshan of God and facing the consequences of Law of Nature. Its a disaster for their relatives and close friends. People speak about sending money and other stuff but I honestly believe in Prayers.
I write this with tears in eyes because I feel really concerned for the devotees trapped in Uttarkhand during their pilgrimage due to heavy rain and flood. For most of us its is just a Breaking News and all we could do is feel pity for the devotees and we mind our business.
There’s a quote of someone – when one person dies, its tragedy and when many dies its statistics.
I feel each and every life that passed away in the holy land of Uttarakhand is a blessed soul for they have gone there for Darshan of Lord Shiva in Kedarnath and Lord Vishnu in Badrinath temple.
Chanting in mind for welfare of devotees in Uttarakhand,Dev Bhoomi – Land of God
Please remember any Gods, Goddess or True Saints you love and do Chanting in mind for welfare of devotees injured and still waiting to escape from remote places, temples and jungles. Pray Mother Nature to show grace on these innocent devotees and help them. I have experience of always remembering Mother Goddess for years after Tsunami 2004. She will surely show a way to at least few people.
Saints are very powerful too. When all of us do Naam Smaran – Chanting of Gods/Saints name it surely has a power to help people. Many of you will be busy with your work . I also have to go to work but I hope Sai gives me budhi to keep chanting Gods name all this day.
Sometimes, I feel that I am not doing any thing when such disaster happens and one of my friend asked me yesterday, Why you say that you care for people. You go and rescue people there. I told him there are many who has opportunity to go and do such service but its not possible for me.
At times I have tears in eyes remembering the feelings of these devotees and their relatives, friends.
Its easy to say its kaliyug. So Lord Shiva was angry on these devotees but the pain remains with these people who actually faced the disaster and their relatives.
So where ever you are, what ever you do, take few minutes to say a silent prayer to Shirdi Sai Baba and any Gods you love to help these devotees.
I plan to chant
all the day in mind as much as I can.
Raksha meaning to protect – Let the Gods and Saints protect devotees who go on a pilgrimage with love to have darshan of Gods.
India itself is Dev Bhoomi, Land of God. We are blessed to be born in a sacred land and we must do little we can when our brothers and sisters are in pain. Every one does their share of good deed. Some sends money, Some gives what they gave, Some might even give shelter. Many Army Men who are involved in saving people are truly blessed soul and the people or Uttarakhand also will be helping each other.
We live too far. So lets dedicate a days prayer and remembrance of God/Saints name for welfare of these devotees.
You can chant as you wish and trust me it really has its own power to save people.
After writing this article, I went to work and I was telling my friends about Uttarakhand and how people are still suffering there. How many people lost their business and livelihood. Think about their children and how they are going to run their family. We will forget this news story gradually but think about the people who depend on Uttarakhand tourism and pilgrimage.
I wasn’t continuously chanting as I can’t keep quiet but tried by best to chant when ever I could. I went to Nagasai mandhir in the evening and lit lamp. Today morning, I din’t got any ideas to write another article. May be Sai wants me to continue chanting in mind. I might be busy at work and might as usual speak to my friends etc but hope to keep remembering Sai to help people in Uttarakhand.
May Lord Ganesha break all obstacles in their life and help them reach home safe. May Lord Shiva and Ganesha bless the people of Uttarakhand with good life in the months to come.
Aum sri sai ram
Always in the holy feet of shirdi sai baba