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|| Panchkedar Parva || Lord Shiva's Panchkedar Temple in India ||

In Search of Nectar in Debavhumi...

 When we think of Shivkshetra, the first name that comes to our mind is Kashi or Amarnath or Kailas's Manas Sarovar but for the Shaivites these five Shiva temples have a different significance.This Shiva linga is made of hard rock in the Kedarnath temple, one of the 12 jyotilings on the banks of the Mandakini river in the Garhwal mountains of Uttarakhand, India. 

The Kedarnath temple usually opens on Akshaya Tritiya and closes on Diwali.During the rest of the year, this idol of Kedarnath is worshiped at Ukhimath, 53 kilometers away from Kedar. The shape of this jyotilinga is similar to that back side of a buffalo.Devotees can touch this idol of Kedarnath with their own hands if they feel like it. All devotees have the right to worship the Jyotilinga here. 

Those who lose their mind can lie down on the floor and hug the Jyotilinga with both hands.The stone structure of the idol made of black granite stone is absolutely ancient. The door of the sanctum sanctorum is made of Nimkath with beautiful carvings. The roof of the sanctum sanctorum is decorated with different kinds of lotus flowers. Nandi Maharaj outside the temple is made of black stone.


From Mahabharata:-

Once Lord Nayayan made an idol of Shiva and worshiped it. Mahadev fulfilled the devotee's wish and started living in Kedar. That is why Mahadev lived in Kedarnath. The Sumeru mountain of the past is today's Kedarnath Pahar. At the foot of this Pahar, the Panchapandas first built the Kedarnath temple on the banks of the Mandakini river.  This temple was built in the 8th century by Adiguru Shankaracharya.

The battle of Kurukshetra is over. Dharmaraja Yudhishthira sits on the throne of Hastinapur.  But every time he looked at the empty thrones in the palace, his mind was gripped by an indescribable pain.  He remembers those old days.  The other Pandavas are suffering from the same pain as Yudhishthira, but none of them are able to tell their pain to anyone else, so the work of the Raj Sabha is going on according to the rules but there is no life in it.

In this situation one day Maharshi Vedvyas came and appeared in the royal court of Hastinapur.  He told Yudhishthira that Lord Panchanan is now staying in Kedarkhand after knowing the cause of Panchpanda's distress.  So go out for Devdarshan without delay.As advised by Maharishi Vedvyas, the Panchapandavas arrived at the beautiful Kedar Khand between the Alkananda and Mandakini rivers.  

Madmaheswar Temple

Then, to test the depth of the Pandavas' devotion, Mahadev suddenly assumed the form of a buffalo and proceeded to move in front of the Pandavas.Dharmaraja Yudhishthira realized that the buffalo was not an ordinary buffalo after seeing the bright and outward behavior of the Buffalo's Body.So, he immediately ordered Bhima to catch this buffalo, as Bhima advanced to catch the buffalo as told by his elder brother, Mahadeva in the form of a buffalo started running from there.

The Panchapandas did not give up and they also started running behind the buffalo. At one point, Bhima grabbed the buffalo's waist.  Then the buffalo left its back there i.e. at Kedarnath and proceeded further with the rest of the front, Pandavas' were convinced that Lord Nilakantha was examining them in the form of a buffalo.At that time Baikul Pandava also came with great enthusiasm and started running after the buffalo. 

       Kalpeshar Sivalinga

One time Bhima came to "Madamheshwar" and grabbed the belly of the buffalo, leaving the belly there, the buffalo quickly moved forward."Tunganath" came to the temple and Bhima grabbed one leg in front of the buffalo, keeping that leg there, the buffalo moved further forward, "Rudranath" came and Bhima grabbed the buffalo's mouth or jaws.Then, leaving the face there, the fierce sight of the broken body, the buffalo moved further forward, then when Parishranta Bhima came to "Kalpeshwar" and grabbed the buffalo's two tusks or the head with all his might, the rest of the buffalo's body fell off Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal.

Tunganath Temple

◆ Pandaberas worship to appease Lord Shiva at Kedarnath under the instructions of Maharishi Vedvyas.Finally they were able to appease God.

★ These five plateaus including Kedarnath in the Garhwal Himalayas have been worshiped as "Panchkedar" since late times.  It is said that if one comes to Kedar and does not visit Panchkeda, his visit to Kedar is not complete.               

It is also known that if one visits the "Pashupatinath" temple by visiting this "Panchkedar", he is considered to have visited Lord Shiva while alive, and after death the devotee is eligible to go directly to Kailasa to become a devotee of Mahadev.

This was today's topic " Panchakedar Episode".

■ Written by Mrityunjoy Saha from Sainthia...

You can also read these:

1) "Origin of Goddess Kaushiki  or "Kaushiki Amavasya" 

2) "Birth of Lord Shri Krishna"|| Who is God Shri Krishna? || About God Shri Krishna ||

3) || About Shivaratri Vows || Why is Shivaratri Vows done by women?

4) || Birth story of Basanti Puja || Why is this worship done?

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