India is a land where the devotees put their utmost faith in the deity they worship day and night! Do you know that there is a Lord Shiva temple in India where the devotees offer the broom instead of flowers and sweets to the Shivalingam? It has been rightly said that the Gods never discriminate between the gifts that their beloved devotees offer to them. The deities accept anything that is given to them with devotion and love. In India, there is a temple called Pataleshwara Temple where God of all Gods, Mahadeva is offered brooms before flowers, fruits, milk and other costly gifts.
Where is Pataleshwara Temple?
There is a small village called Beehajoi when one travels on the Agra highway towards the town Moradabad. The temple is exactly 250 kilometres away from the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow and the temple is about 160 years old. The brooms that are offered to Lord Shiva are not meant for cleaning the temple premises but for warding off skin ailments. On every Monday, people from all across India flock the place and pray to Lord Shiva for taking away their skin problems. In the Shravan Month, Lord Shiva is said to be in His most powerful form. During Shravan Maas, the temple experiences the huge rush of devotees who come to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
What is the significance of offering brooms to Lord Shiva?It is believed that the Temple has miraculous powers of curing skin maladies. There is a Shivalingam that is right at the centre of the temple’s sanctum. Brooms that are offered to this Lingam rid a person of their skin ailments. It is said that there are supernatural elements present in the temple’s premises which help in curing the skin illnesses of the devotees. This ritual is very old which is being practised since the establishment of the temple.
What is the story behind the Temple’s significance?Once, there lived a man whose name was Bhikhari Das. He was the richest person in the village but had only one problem. He had a skin ailment. He felt excruciating pain because of the black spots that were all over his body. He tried every possible treatment, but all his efforts went in vain. Once, he was going to his regular Ayurvedic doctor. On the way, he felt thirsty and went towards an Ashram for drinking some water. He knocked on the door of the Ashram and then went inside. A Mahant, who was cleaning the premises with a broom by mistake, touched the man. In a second, the skin ailment of the man went away and the pain that he was experiencing for so long, vanished!
The astonished Bhikhari Das was curious and asked the secret of this miracle. The Mahant said that he is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, and maybe the magic happens because of the blessings of Lord Shiva. Bhikhari Das wanted to thank the Mahant for relieving him from the pain and gave him a bag full of coins. The Mahant turned down the request and in turn asked Bhikhari Das to build a temple in the name of Lord Shiva. Bhikhari Das happily agreed and established a temple of Lord Shiva. Since then the ritual of offering the broom to Lord Shiva started. The fascinating fact is that people narrate incidents where people were cured of their skin ailments when they offered brooms to the lingam in the Pataleshwar Temple. As said earlier, India is a land of miracles and beliefs for it has been home to so many Gods, Goddesses and Saints!