The most sacred shrine of Kashmir in Tulla Mulla Gandarbal is 30 kms / 14 miles from Main city of Srinagar .The day we went was a bandh day and these parts were supposed to be having few fanatic stone thrower separatists. But.But after Gaganbir Sonmarg day trip I asked my driver to take us here.Army men were guarding its silent sacrosanct precincts.Very few come here now .Still locals selling Pooja material was present. We signed in through the gate as The guard gave us One More pandit to Pilgrimage look.We are from Gujarat Vadodra and that too marathi speaking minority there I told him despite his lack of interest.Swami Vivekananda and in past Adee Shankara and many greats of Indian ethos across India have visited this shrine.
Legend of Ragnya Devi -Ravanas deity
Satisar-Satee sarovar is the ancient name of the Kashmir valley.Kaha -water ,Shimira-mirage body,meaning Kashmir has a look of water bodies valley from ages.legend says that Rishi Kashyap did a Bhagiratha effort (herculean ) to drain what was a Full water body .It was bounded between what is now called Zabarwan mountains and Great Himalayan ranges in east and north & Pir panjal ranges in south and west .The Devi Ragnya was in Srilanka with Ravana but due to his misdeeds She ordered Lord Hanumana to bring her here in a secluded area far far from Ravanas’ Lanka.She came with her Nagas followers and selected Shadipora area as dwelling.She took only Milk Ksheer and other pure vegetarian offerings since then.Leather belt or those who have eaten any Non Vegetarian that day are Not allowed in.Surprisingly most Kashmiri Pandits are known to eat meat
She Goddess as The Creator of the Universe
She then came in the dreams of a Local Brahman Govindjoo Gaddoo asking him to row a boat to Shadipora .here a serpent would guide him to the spring of Milk from where the icons will be revealed to him.So the legend of Her arrival goes.Her Milk Kund is septa gonal-seven angles with head and Pad feet end at east.Mulberry tree grew within this kund on an Island .The small temple stands on that today.Icons are of Shiva Parvatee togather. Devi worship,woman God as The Creator of The Universe and concept that she is Mother nature whose mere part we Humans are is ingrained in Hindu Ethos since ages.In Kashmir Shaivism it rises to the level that without Shakti even the Shiva Mahadeva is a shawa= a dead body!Prakash the kinetic energy is She and Vimarsha the potential energy enlivened charged up by Her is the male counterpart God-Shiva.Sounds similar to the known Purusha- Prakriti concept.
Mother hood as symbol supreme of Devotion
You would ask why Mother a devi as creator supporter and destroyer of the Life,Universe? Hindus eulogise the Motherhood where a woman creates a Life and maintains it .Later she can punish her own child if misbehaves or crosses a line.Her love knows no bounds.Mother is the first and ever redy perpetual teacher whp inculcates all information,skills of Life,wisdom and Humane Values to the child she rears .This incomparable devotion when translated to spiritual level gives One the wisdom and enlightenment leading to a perpetual Bliss.Each generation needs to travel up this uphill path led guided by ones Mother.So be it.All the saints of India including Adee Shankaracharya came here to reach highest spiritual enlightenment .
Devi seated on head of Ananta Nagraj on 1000 petaled Rose
Devi the goddess Ragnya devi symbolised skills and knowledge on a material plane but highest wisdom which leads to enlightenment when looked through spiritual lens.She does not tolerate avidya false knowledge nescience which leads One to self destruction for sure.Sharda peeth where Shankara must have gone is ahead in Pakisntan occupied kashmir they say but this too was the main seat of saraswati where the greatest Rishis the wise lived. Astanagas including Vasuki are all supposed to be at her east head end with her symbolising all caste creeds downtrodden?
(to be contd….)
Consort of Devi is 100 faced Bhooteshwara Shiva
She energises the Potential Shiva who is in each of us Jeevas to achieve what we can to our full capacity.She guides us through four stages of conciousness called CHITTA-AGNEE-KUNDA -SAMBHUTAA..to realise our self fully,giving all we can or we could have.Devotion is the key that starts this Engine of spirituality.Ganesha, Kumara and surprisingly Bhimsen gaurd her head end. Present temple was rebuilt by HRH Raja Pratapsingh ji in 1912.Her annual pilgrimage is best on Jyestha Ashthmee may June each year,but any ashthmee 8 th moon day in its rising cycle is considered auspicious.
Ksheer kund changes Colour to indicate Times
Legend of the faithful tells us that if the colour of the waters where we should pour milk as offering is pale pink-light green our times are good .But if the colour changes to red the times will be bad.We saw good colors so hope peace would return to the valley of kashyapa rishi sooner despite demons who will be vanquished . Tall Chinars dominate the surroundings which seem desolate so are the Pandit homes outside its precincts.The forced migration of hindu minority Pandits in kashmir seems to be a forgotten story of Pakistan backed islamic mania that has gripped few converted kashmiris without realising their own ancient culture.It too harps on One God within all of us -aShiva in each jeeva energised by devotion in form of Shaktee Devi whom One should bow to knowing her actual Form and value.
Kashmiri Pandits Praying for return to motherland
It was April 12 2015 6 pm onwards when we visited this sacred shrine.Few pandits were singing hymns and aartee of the Devi in Kashmiri language that did not need understanding as we felt the devotion and pain in the voice.I had my eyes full of tears rolling down my cheeks even as I was taking pictures and recording video for my rare pilgrimage .My kuldevtaa is Renuka devi wife of Social reformer Sage Jamdagni mother of greater avatar Parshuram.You find this first family all across Himalayas eg Parvati valley Kullu Malana Tosh to obvious places. I had seen crowds at Hajrat bal shrine where Prophets hair is worshipped as an Icon by Sunni Muslims.Shiya are few here and are persecuted in all ways as in pakistan.They have only two Shikara ghats for earnings compared to 30 or more for Sunni wahabi Saud school of thought
Sloka of Devi Kheer Bhawani ji
Mother bestows her children equally according to devotion they offer..Logically it means more bhaktee one has towards ones goal more pure it is,more the efforts one puts in with dedication persistence greater will be the results.Inner will power is that Shaktee in material form induced b y easy icon worship.Common minds cannot perceive it all as just analogies with nirgun nirakaar abstract ideations put in place by the wise for evolution of gen next
Jai Veer Hanuman who brought HER here
Hanuman Marutee is universal Icon of strength of all forms -basically will power and controll over our weaknesses .This disciplined life of devotion in turn builds up our body physical strengths which furthur adds to spiritual one leading One to rise to ones full potential.One can give ones best to self,family society and the civilisation.Hanuman is not tribal icon as some ideate but all tribals all castes creeds across this vast varied land of faith had Him as icon of will power since ages.Still he is..
Aavjo-YOU will come back again (Gujarati)
As we left after a rapid evening visit to this shrine as it was getting late to reach a bandh ridden Srinagar the city of Sri-the Ultimate form of Devi female God.I thanked manzur Guru my driver who had driven us through closed shops feran clad bearded locals who were staring us back i thought all along our route,or my fear of disturbance by the Few made me think like that.But as Faiyazz a food server had told me before-WE have lost many things in Kashmir but have not lost our sense of hospitality so be sure you would not be hurt.May be a part of Goddess is still alive in most of them-my kashmiri brothers.