Shri Pashupatinath Temple of Nepal: There are Two Shri Pashupatinath temples that are famous in the world, one in Kathmandu in Nepal and the other in Mandsaur in India. In both the temples, the Murtis are of similar shape. Nepal’s Shri Pashupatinath Temple is located in Kathmandu on the banks of the Bagmati River and is included in UNESCO World Heritage. This temple is grand and attracts tourists from all over the country and abroad.
From the past, the entire land of the Himalayas has been the center of Maheshwar philosophy. In the forest festival of Mahabharata, the area of Lord Pashupatinath has been called Maheshwarpur and it has been said that by going to Maheshwarpur, offering fast to Lord Shankar and fulfilling all the wishes is fulfilled.
Also Read: 12 Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva
Shri Pashupatinath Temple
“Pashu” means Jeeva or Jiva and “Pati” means Swami and Nath mean owner or God. This means that Shri Pashupatinath is the lord or god of all the creatures of the world. In another sense, Pashupatinath means the master of life. Devotees who visit the Kedarnath in the high Himalayan region are believed to have a special connection with Pashupatinath in their journey to the four Dham of Uttarakhand.
माहेश्वरपुर गत्वा अर्चयित्वा वृषध्वजम्।
ईप्सितांल्लभते कामानुपवासान्न संशय ?
The importance of Pashupatinath and Kedarnath has been specially described in Shiv Puran. According to Shiv Puran, the head of the same Shiva Deity of Lord Shiva is Pashupatinath. Therefore it is said that even after the Char Dham Yatra, the yatra is not complete without seeing Pashupatinath.
The mythology of Shri Pashupatinath Temple of Nepal
There are many legends or mythology describing how it came into existence about the Shri Pashupatinath Temple of Shiva. Some of them are described below: –
- There is a mention in Skanda Purana about Shri Pashupatinath Temple. According to this, Seshapantak forest was especially loved by Lord Sadashiva. Lord Shankar roamed as an antelope with Parvati. All the gods were sad to find Lord Shiva among them, and searching for them, they became Sheshamantak. There, Lord Shiva appeared as a horned Trinetra deer. Brahma, Vishnu, and Indra recognized him and tried to tame him by holding the horn, but Lord Shiva jumped and reached across the Bagmati river, during which it is said that his horn was broken into four pieces. After this, Lord Pashupati appeared here in the form of Chaturmukh Linga. From then on he started living as a Pashupati on the west bank of the Bagmati River.
- There is a legend associated with Lord Shiva in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. According to this legend, Shri Pashupatinath Temple is also related to Shri Kedarnath Temple, one of the Panchkedars dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that when the Pandavas appeared to the Pandavas in the form of a bull by Shiva. Seeing the Pandavas, Lord Shiva took the form of a bull and started running away. Those who later entered the earth, but before they were fully absorbed, Bhima had caught his tail. The place where Bhima did this work is presently known as Kedarnath Dham. Since that time, Lord Shankar is worshiped in Shri Kedarnath in the shape of a bull’s back. It is believed that when Lord Shiva disappeared as a bull, the upper part of his torso appeared in the mouth of Kathmandu. Now there is a famous temple of Sri Pashupatinath. The arms of Shiva appeared at Tungnath, at Mukh Rudranath, at the navel Madmaheshwar, and at Jata Kalpeshwar. Hence Shri Kedarnath with these four places is called Panchkedar. There are grand temples of Shiva here. In the Puranas, this story is mentioned in detail in the name of the legend of Panch Kedar.
History of the Shri Pashupatinath Temple
This linga is believed to have been established even before the Veda was written. Shri Pashupati has been the presiding deity of the ancient rulers of the Kathmandu Valley. There is no proven history of the construction of this temple of the Pashupati sect, but at some places, it is mentioned that the temple was built by Pashupraksha of the Somdev dynasty in the third century BC.
It is also believed that the Jyotirlinga of Shri Pashupatinath Temple was reputed by the Gwalas. After the Gwalas, the Kirat kings (किरात राजाओ), the Lichchhavi dynasty (लिच्छवि वंश), and the kings of the Malla dynasty (मल्ल वंश) built this sacred temple from time to time and it acquired its present form by the time of the kings of the Shah dynasty.
In the devastating earthquake in April 2015, some of the outer buildings of the World Heritage Site of Shri Pashupatinath Temple were completely destroyed while the main temple of Pashupatinath and the sanctum sanctorum of the temple were not damaged in any way.
Priests of Shri Pashupatinath Temple:
Indian Brahmins were invited by the kings of Nepal from 1747 to serve the Lord in the Pashupatinath temple. Later a king of the ‘Malla dynasty’ appointed a South Indian Brahmin as the head priest of the temple. It was the South Indian Bhatt Brahmins who were appointed as the head priests of Shri Pashupatinath temple. During the period of the Prachanda government in Nepal, the monopoly of Indian Brahmins was abolished and the influence of worship was handed over to the Nepalese people.
Methodology of Shri Pashupatinath temple
Shri Pashupatinath Temple situated on the west bank of the Bagmati River, 5 km from the city of Kathmandu, is located as a specimen of attractive Nepali architecture. The roof of this magnificent temple is gold-plated and the walls are silver studded. This sacred campus of the Pashupatinath region has been a special place of worship for Hinduism as well as various sects.
Spread over an area of 264 hectares, the Pashupatinath region today has 235 diverse style seductive temples, which belong to various branches of Vedic religion such as Shaivites, Vaishnavites, Shaktas, etc. Two monasteries of Buddhists and a stupa and two Nanak monasteries are also located in this area.
Many monasteries, ashrams, and dharamshalas are here for the accommodation of devotees and saints. The temples like Gauri, Kirateshwar, Grihayakali, Baba Gorakhnath, Sitaram, Lakshmi Narayan, Lord Vishnu, Neel Saraswati, Mangalgauri, Bhasmeshwar, Mata Vatsala, Mrigeshwar, etc. are prominent.
The Methodology of Shri Pashupatinath Temple is also special. In the order of darshan, the circumambulation of the Lord Pashupatinath temple is completed first. Then there is the tradition of entering the temple. Lord Shiva is instructed to do only half the circumambulation. The water flowing northwards is also not crossed.
what we can do in the Shri Pashupatinath temple
Various religious events, festivals are celebrated throughout the year in the Shri Pashupatinath temple area. Due to special worship in Lord Pashupati Nath and other temples of the region, devotees continue to visit the festivals of Mahashivratri, Sheetalashtami, Harishayani, and Hari Bodhni Ekadashi, Srivayas Jayanti, Guru Poornima, Hari Table Teej, Navagatra, Vaikuntha Chaturdis, Bala Chatushdarshi, etc. is.
Apart from these festivals, the journeys conducted in the Pashupatinath region are also famous. Among which the verses Chaitya Yatra to Vaishakh Shukla Purnima, Trishul Yatra to Ashadh Krishna Ashtami, Sun to Ashada Shukla Saptami and Ganga Mai Yatra, Gai Yatra, Kharag Yatra, Chandra Vinayak Yatra, White Bhairava Yatra, Navdurga Yatra, Guheswari Yatra etc. are prominent.
Apart from visiting Pashupatinath, devotees also visit other religious places in Nepal. The Varah region of Sunseri, Halesi Mahadev of Khotad, Janaki Temple of Dhanusha, Devghat of Chitwan, Brajyogini of Kathmandu, Dakshin Kali, Budanil Kant, Swayambhunath, Mankamna Gorakha Kali of Gauraka, Kapil Vastu, and Valmiki Ashram are prominent.
Lord Pashupati Nath is also the God of the Gods, that is, Mahadev. His glory is found in the entire Vedic, mythological texts. The 16th chapter of Shukla Yajurveda is full of praises of Lord Pashupatinath.