Lord Shiva is a deity who is worshipped religiously by His followers all across the globe. Shiva for people is the symbol of hope, power and truth! In our neighbouring country Nepal, there is a Shiva temple which is believed to be the sacred abode of Mahadev. Pashupatinath is in the World Heritage Sites’ list of UNESCO since 1979. The temple is located 5 kilometres away from the capital city, Kathmandu on the banks of river Bagmati. Shiva devotees from around the world visit the temple for seeking blessings of the most powerful God. According to the caretakers of the temple, about 700,000 people flock the temple on the eve of Mahashivratri. The body of the 12 Jyotirlingas that are spread all across India is said to be at the Pashupatinath Temple. According to the Shiv Purana, this temple bestows blessings of Lord Shiva on His devotees!
History of PashupatinathThe legendary story narrates an incident where Lord Shiva one day was wandering in the forests, disguised as a deer. Lord Shiva was busy in enjoying the mesmerising beauty of the place when the Gods of the heaven thought that He should be called back for fulfilling His duties. Lord Shiva showed reluctance and dodged their attempts of catching Him. The Gods finally found Him and pulled Him upwards, but Shiva lost one of His antlers in the forest during the struggle. Centuries after the incident, a herdsman brought his cow Kamdhenu to the forest of Chandravan Mountain for grazing. People observed that the cow poured milk daily on one particular spot. The curious people after digging the place found a beautiful Shivlingam. Since then the Hindus started worshipping the Lingam as Pashupati- the lord of animals.
Directions of the Pashupati Lingam
There are four faces of Pashupati Nath Lingam :
- South (Dakshin) face is called Aghor.
- North (Uttar) face is called Bamdev.
- West (Paschim) face is called Saddojat.
- East (Purva) face is called Tatpurush.
- Ishan is the 5th face which is 90 degrees above all the faces and is invisible.
A Rudraksha Mala can be seen on the right hands of every face of the Pashupati Nath Lingam. Kamandalu is seen on the left hands.
Interesting Facts about the temple
- The prayers and the rituals of the temple are conducted by Indian priests of South India.
- This tradition of appointing only the South Indian priests dates back to 17th century and was started by the Malla kings of Kathmandu.
- The Chief priest is addressed as Raval and the priests under him are called Bhattas.
- Many old Shiva followers visit the temple when they feel that their end is near. According to them, river Bagmati meets Holy Ganges and so if they are cremated on the banks of Bagmati, they will attain Moksha.
- There is a widespread belief that the ones who take their last breath at Pashupatinath are born as humans in their next birth irrespective of the sins that they have committed in their present birth!
- Childless couples, if they perform a Pooja in the Sacred Temple, get blessed with a child. If you are a Shiva devotee, visiting this place would be truly an unforgettable experience!