Why Devotees Go to Kedarnath•
Posted on August 18 2022
The Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand dedicated to Lord Shiva is visited by several hundreds of thousands of devotees all over the world every year to pay their respects to their favourite lord. The Kedarnath Yatra marks an important pilgrimage undertaken by worshippers as part of their visit to the temple. The best time to undertake this yatra is between May and June or September and October. The Kedarnath temple is one of the four pilgrimage sites listed in Chota Char Dham, the other three being Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
A trip to Kedarnath with true devotion has various benefits or reasons, which is why Hindus try to undertake the trip at least once during their lifetime. Read on to know some of them.
Fulfilment of Desires
The deity in this temple is said to be very powerful. Lord Shiva is said to be very easy to please among most other Hindu gods/goddesses. Devotees believe that when they worship the lord with utmost devotion, the lord is happy with them and fulfils all that their heart desires.
Relief from Sins and Evil Forces
The Kedarnath shrine is one of the various temples in the country that is frequented by Hindus to attain moksha or salvation. Worshippers who render their heartfelt prayers to the linga here are bestowed by the lord to get relief from their sins. The water from the Udak Kund tank present to the south of the temple is considered to have water from the holy Ganges river. Followers who drink water from this tank at least once from the vicious and karmic birth and death cycle. Devotees are also blessed with protection from the evil forces surrounding them.
Ideal for Meditation
The atmosphere surrounding the Kedarnath temple renders a very calm and peaceful ambience. This makes it an ideal place for the lord’s devotees to engage themselves in meditating on their beloved god and offer their heartfelt prayers to Lord Shiva. There is ample space around the temple premises for devotees to engage in meditation or prayers.
Different Architectural Style
The jyotirlinga in Kedarnath is believed to be the most significant and purified jyotirlinga among all the jyotirlingas. Moreover, it is a swayambhu or self-manifested linga that emerged from inside of the earth. The linga has a pyramidal shape and is the highest of all jyotirlingas. The temple itself is constructed over a huge rectangular platform.
Distinctive Rites and Rituals
The rites and rituals in this temple symbolise north-south unity. Although the shrine is located in North India, the rites and rituals performed here are conducted by priests of the Rawal community from Karnataka. Interestingly, the pooja is not carried out by the head priest. It is done by his assistants who follow his instructions. The temple has five senior priests who take the role of the head priest in rotation. However, the pooja is always performed in the same sequence and pattern every time in Kannada language.
Protected by the Lord
Lord Shiva’s temple in Kedarnath is protected by none other than the Lord himself. The intense monsoon rains in 2013 is a standing example. The rains caused massive destruction in the form of landslides and slides in the surroundings of the town. However, the temple was the least unaffected and protected from destruction by a divine unseen power. A huge boulder that rolled during the landslide blocked the back portion of the temple and redirected the flow of debris and water, thereby saving the temple and its premises. The lord’s followers are of the firm belief that the boulder is actually none other than Lord Shiva.
The Kedarnath Temple is one of the oldest shrines in the country. It is believed to be more than 3,000 years old. There are several interesting tales surrounding this temple.
According to one legend, two incarnations of Nar and Narayan undertook rigid penance before a self-manifested Shivalinga. Their penance pleased the lord immensely and He requested them to ask for a boon. They immediately asked Lord Shiva to stay on as a jyotirlinga in Kedarnath where His devotees can worship Him to seek solace from all their miseries.
The shrine also has several references in the Mahabharata with citations of the Pandavas visiting the temple and the areas around it multiple times. One such citation talks about Arjuna’s visit to Kedarnath to meditate on Lord Shiva to seek the famed Pasupatastra from him. When Arjuna did not return for a long time, the other four Pandavas set out in search of him. In the course of their search, they eventually reached Kedarnath. It was then Draupadi was fascinated by the smell of the divine Kalyana Saugandikam lotus and requested Bhima to go in search of the flowers and get her some of them. Bhima met his brother Hanuman in Kedarnath during his pursuit of the flowers.