Kathmandu’s Secret – Part 2 – Lord Pashupatinath
PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE, KATHMANDU
- Pashupatinath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It looks, feels & is – really ancient. You feel for a moment that you have stepped back in time.
- It is spread over few square kilometers & houses many other temples along with its main deity Lord Pashupatinath.
Lord Pashupatinath is housed in the centre, in a temple that boasts of extremely ancient architecture. Don’t miss the intricate detailing.
- It is bang on the banks of Bagmati river (which unfortunately is just a trickle owing to heavy pollution). You can look down from the corridors & catch a burning body or two, provided it belongs either to the Royal family or a family of high lineage. They are the only ones who have permission to cremate in the adjoining premises of Pashupati temple.
- Don’t miss doing a Circumbulation (Parikrama) of the 525 Lingams that have been installed in a Swastika maze. You have to walk through the created maze, passing all 525 Lingams, touching the main Lingam in the centre, and exiting again from a different end. It ensures good health, good life & longevity.
- Don’t miss grinding the huge Sandal (Chandan) stone & applying some paste to your forehead.
- Don’t miss churning the platform of burning fires (in small plates) with a sugarcane stick. It brings peace to your ancestors.
- Don’t miss the huge sitting Nandi Bull humbly facing his Master. It is majestic.
- Don’t miss sitting down for a few minutes in solitude & simply breathing in the vibrations.
PASHUPATINATH – AS `HIM-ANSHU’
Kathmandu is the land of Shiva. His name reverberates across the valley in the multitude of small temples that surround the valley. Barring Pashupatinath temple, most temples do no boast of any rituals – you can simply walk in, have a darshan, and touch the God.
In Shiva Purana, Shiva is referred to as Himanshu also, in the Purana’s description of this Himalayan valley (though there is no such reference to Kathmandu as a city per se). Him = snow capped mountain; Alay / Alaya = residence; Ansh / Anshu = a part. Shiva as Him-anshu is that form who has merged into the snow capped mountains, making it His residence, and has thus become a part of them. Lord Himanshu resides on the mysterious Mount Kailash peak in the majestic Himalayan mountain range.
PASHUPATINATH – THE ANIMAL GOD
Many long centuries back, a cowherd noticed a certain milky white cow straying from his herd every day. She would quietly return by evening, after emptying her udders of all milk. Puzzled by this occurrence, the cowherd once quietly followed the cow, only to see her dropping her milk over a stone, into a small earthly cavity. Curious, the cowherd went near to have to look as to what lay in that hole – and he discovered the Lingam of Lord Pashupatinath. This discovery later paved the way for the erection of this current temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu.
There is also a mention in the Shiva-Purana which says that when Shiva was craving solitude when the Pandavas of Mahabharata, were searching for Him to wash off their earthly sins; Shiva then took the form of a Bull & started running; the Bull was subsequently stopped by Bhima; Lord Shiva burrowed into Earth; but Bhima grabbed him by the tail, thus effectively stopping him. The hump of the Bull is worshipped as the holy Kedarnath Lingam, whereas the head of the Bull, that emerged at another end of the Himalayas, is worshipped as Lord Pashupatinath (pashu = animal; pati / nath = Lord).
PASHUPATINATH – GOD OF SMALL THINGS
In this form as Lord Pashupatinath, it is believed that Shiva radiates extreme compassion to beings of the lower order; creatures / life forms / people who cannot take care or fend for themselves. It is believed that He fends for them, takes care of them, and ensures full sustenance to them in their mortal life on earth; and when their end comes, He personally delivers them from the physical to the astral.
The only way to approach Lord Pashupatinath – as the God of Small Things – is in your most humble, helpless form. Shed your ego, your worldly possessions, your name & fame, your achievements & enter His temple with the mind of a newborn baby. Don’t be ashamed to show your lapses, needs & shortcomings, because that’s what He’s there for. And your sustenance & protection is assured in this life.
PASHUPATINATH – THE ALCHEMIST’S STONE
The fact that Baba Gorakhnath – the undisputed Master of Alchemy; the Valley where you leave all your troubles behind; and mystical Pashupatinath Lingam are all in the same radius of few kilometers – cannot be a coincidence. So what is the connection?
In the Shiva Purana, there is an extensive description of a certain Shiva-Lingam that is referred to, as the Parasmani –Lingam (pronounced paa-ras-mani).
Parasmani is a wishing-stone; a touchstone; the Alchemist’s stone. It is believed that finding such a touchstone has been the undying quest of Naths & Siddhas & Alchemists across centuries, across the world & across various civilizations. Having this stone grants a person the power of Alchemy – the power to convert base metal into gold.
Shiva Purana describes Lord Pashupatinath as the Parasmani Lingam. The wishing stone. The Touchstone. The Alchemist’s stone.
It could be perhaps the presence of this rare stone in this Himalayan valley that led Gorakhnath to the end of his search & he decided to reside here as his final earthly abode. What Baba Gorakhnath knew, we will never know because Naths & Siddhas are not famous for sharing secrets.
But what Gorakhnath did share for the common man about Alchemy was:
- The human body comprises of traces of metals & minerals.
- The key lies in mind-control.
- Every time we control a base-thought (an animal instinct) & successfully overcome it, we convert a small fraction of the base-metals in our human body to gold.
- The more we keep up this mind control, the more gold we will have in our body.
- The chemical name of gold is Aurum. The light which radiates from our body is called Aura. The more Aurum we have in our body, the stronger & more golden will our Aura be.
- At some stage in our combined mental penance & physical restraint – there will come a point where a significant amount of base-metals in our body has been converted to gold.
- This is the stage when we are blessed with a Healing-touch. Whatever we touch, gets purified.
- If we persist this over one lifetime & several subsequent lifetimes, we can all reach the level of Baba Gorakhnath – where with a single touch, we can actually / literally – convert base-metal into gold.
- When we reach that stage, further secrets of Alchemy will be revealed to us. Till then, start with a simple mastery over hunger, thirst, sex & wicked thoughts.
- Don’t search for a Master, the Master will find you. When the student is ready, the Master will appear. That is the catch-line of Naths & Siddhas.
So – from what we do know from the correlation of vedic texts & documented facts is that Pashupatinath is undisputedly a Parasmani Lingam. Here, Parasmani does not refer to the chemical composition of the stone, but to its magical properties that make it an Alchemist’s Stone. Lord Pashupatinath is a 4 faced stone Lingam. Legends say that the real Parasmani is hidden beneath the Pashupatinath Lingam, and it radiates its aura & power from there, allowing whosoever who touches the Pashupatinath Lingam – to gather its mystical vibrations.
BUT – the catch is – no one is allowed to touch the Pashupatinath Lingam except the Royal family of Nepal. Earlier it wasn’t so. Touch-darshan was open to one & all. But many decades back, a devout of Indian origin, wanting to test the power of this Parasmani Lingam, surreptitiously tried to scratch a steel spoon on the Lingam’s surface, hoping to convert it into gold. He was caught, as were several others who had gotten into the habit of scratching the Lord’s Lingam with coins, in the hope of conversion to gold. The price of that greed is the price we are all paying today by banning our entry into the sanctum-sanctorum.
What most people do not understand is that – even with the Alchemist’s Stone in the palm of our hand – it will be of no use to us – if we have not attained the SIDDHI to use it. That is the penance that has taken lifetimes for religious practitioners like Baba Gorakhnath – and it is not a science that is going to be gifted to a commoner on a platter. It is a mastery that has to be earned.
But that notwithstanding – when you are in the temple campus of Pashupatinath – don’t forget to wish & keep wishing. He knows what wishes to ignore; what can be given & what must be given. You will not come back empty-handed.
BUT – there is another catch here. You will have to collect your granted wishes from a different place – from the sanctum sanctorum of the temple of His Hidden Consort. Most are not even aware of this. Most return back after the darshan of Pashupatinath. But some, a chosen few, make it to Her altar. There – they receive from Her what He has granted to us.
Continued… Kathmandu’s Secret – Part 3 – His Hidden Consort