The Legend of PASHUPATINATH
HAR HAR MAHADEV
The famous Pashupatinath Temple in Bagmati zone of Kathmandu is one of the most sacred temples of Hindu religion. The temple houses the seat of the Lord Pashupatinath. The temple complex is also listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1979.
When it comes to such famous and important religious places, it also includes a lot of stories revolving around it as to why this temple is situated here and what is the importance of the temple.
The sacred place of Pashupatinath is considered as the head of the body which is in the form of 12 Jyotirlinga in India. Jyotirlinga is a devotional object representing Lord Shiva.
The temple's existence dates back to 400 B.C. Making it the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. There are a lot of beliefs revolving around the temple. Some of them are:-
1. It is said that Lord Shiva was residing in the forest on the banks of Bagmati river in the form of swiftly running deer. Gods finally reached him and tried to stop him by holding him. But they could only grab his horn. Which in turn forced Lord Shiva to return to his divine form. The horn that was left with Gods was worshiped for a long time but it was buried and lost over the time.
Hundreds of years later; a man found his cow showering milk at one particular place. The man thought it to be really surprising and went on digging the place. And at that place, he discovered the linga of Pashupatinath.
2. Other legend goes saying that, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati halted at Bagmati while their journey to Kathmandu Valley. Both of them liked the area so much that they decided to spend more time thereby changing themselves into the form of deer. After some time people and gods started looking for Lord Shiva.
When they found Lord Shiva, he refused to leave the place. Even after a lot of convincing Lord Shiva did not agree to leave and announced that since I have lived in this place in the form of an animal; this place will be called as Pashupatinath; literally meaning Lord of all animals.
The total area of the complex is approximately spread over 264 hectares and has more than 500 temples. The main temple building is in the style of Nepalese pagoda structure.
The lingam inside is 1 meter high and faced in all four directions depicting different and most elements of the world. This particular lingam is always dressed in golden cloth also called as Suvarna Vastra.
The most important thing about the temple is that only 2 sets of priests i.e. 4 priests are allowed to touch the lingam.
The temple complex has 4 entrances in all direction. But the main entrance is the western entrance. The inner complex is open from 4 AM till 7 AM. But the main room where the lingam is kept is open from 5 AM till 12 PM for morning rituals and from 5 PM to 7 PM for evening rituals.
This particular temple complex offers a lot of options of Pooja (Hindu ritual where you worship God in various forms) that you would want to do to worship Lord Shiva.
The main ritual happens in the evening in front of the lingam which all Hindus try to catch up with. Apart from that, there is ritual that happens even at the Ghats on the backside of the complex. But let me remind you; these ghats are also the place where Funeral Rituals also take place for Hindus. So you can decide whether you want to go on that side of the complex or not.
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