Saturday, 3 February 2018

The fascinating Brahma temple,of Pushkar, Rajasthan - one of a kind in India

Brahma temple Pushkar, Rajasthan, trip advisor
In the Hindu pantheon, there are so many deities and it is impossible to know every one of them. However,  fundamentally there are three gods (Trinity gods) - Brahma (creator), Vishnu (protector) and Shiva (destroyer). The latter two have innumerable temples dedicated to them and are popular in many states. As for Brahma, the creator, there are hardly a few temples dedicated to him. This being due to a curse cast on him by Shiva as a punishment for lying to him.  Brahma also goes by the name of Prajapati, as he is the creator of all living beings on this earth. 

Jagatpita Brahma Mandir at Pushkar, Rajasthan state  close to the sacred Pushkar Lake is said to be  the most important and famous  temple among  few of them.  
God Brahma has four heads, each facing the four cardinal directions. Originally he had five heads but Shiva removed one of his heads. The four arms hold the akshamala (rosary), the pustaka (book), the kurka (kusha grass) and the kamandalu (water pot). His mount is Hamsa. They represent  time, the causal waters from which the universe emerged, knowledge and the system of sacrifices to be adopted for sustenance of various life-forms in the universe. Along with his image one will find the images of Gayatri, Savatri alias Sarasvati, his consort. On the temple walls are found Vishnu, life-size Dwarapalas (sentinels) and a gilded Garuda (eagle-man, mount of Vishnu).

As for temple worship and puja protocols, a unique tradition is being followed here.  In the Garbagriha - sanctum only priests who have taken to Sanyasam  (asceticism) are allowed to conduct pujas. Married priests are not allowed inside the sanctum. The priests belonging to Parashar gothra have been traditionally taking care of the various aspects of the temple. 

This temple along with the Pushkar lake has  the unique distinction of being identified  by International Business Times as one of the ten most religious places in the world and one of the five sacred pilgrimage places for the Hindus in India. It is only one of its kind in the whole world. 

The  Brahma temple dating back to  the 14th century, is made of marble and stone slabs. One will find the image of Brahma and his consort Gayatri in the Garbagraha. The idol was installed as per Agama Sastras by Adi Sankara (720 AD) of Kaladi, Kerala.
Adi Shankara with Disciples, by Raja Ravi Varma (1904),wikipedia

Above image: Adi Shankaracharya an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. and established four Sankara Mutts across India.  He was instrumental in unifying and establishing the main  concepts in Hinduism. His works in Sanskrit discuss the unity of the ātman and Nirguna Brahman "brahman without attributes". His  elaborate  commentaries on the Vedic canon (Brahma Sutras, Principal Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita) lend  support to his thesis.  He also goes by the name of Adi Shankaracharya, Shankara Bhagavatpada, sometimes spelled as Sankaracharya, (Adi) Śaṅkarācārya, Born at Kaladi near Kochin, Kerala he died at a pretty young age in 820 CE; he was just 32 years old)...............................

Karthik pornima - - full Moon (October – November) is a major festival here and is being attended by a large number of  pilgrims. During this time the world famous Camel fair is held annually. Before entering the temple, pilgrims normally take a bath  in the  sacred lake of Pushkar. All Hindus worship Lord Brahma with the same zeal as they have while worshiping Vishnu and Shiva.  The temple is accessed through a flight of steps  at the entrance gate which has an archway. On the top are the pillared canopies which make the temple very graceful. The temple has the style of medieval times .
Pushkar lake and brahma temple. Flywidus
This area was  a place of pride centuries ago with 500 Hindu temples around it, many of which were large ones. Unfortunately, during the reign of Mogul ruler Aurangzeb (1658–1707) who was the most treacherous Muslim ruler India ever saw, a preponderance of them were desecrated and pulled down. Subsequently, most of the Hindu temples were rebuilt. One among them being the Brahma temple in the 14th century. Being a popular  place of worship, it is an important travel destination in the state of Rajasthan. 

The legend has it  this temple is said to have been built by sage Viswamitra. As for  its  location, it is believed, that Brahma himself chose it. The  great  Hindu philosopher Adi Sankara  of Kalady (Kerala; 8th century) renovated this temple. Maharajah Jawat Raj of Ratlam made additions and repairs  to the medieval temple without changing the original design.
Brahma temple, Pushkar, Rajasthan. Rajasthan
Brahma has two consorts -  Savitri and Gayatri  and  on the hills opposite of the lake are located two separate temples dedicated to them. The temple of Savitri is at the highest hill in Pushkar. She is in a sitting posture showing rage and resentment as she cursed God Brahma. The other consort' Gayatri' s shrine is at a lower hill atop the Ratnagiri hill over-looking Pushkar lake. She is  looking saddened over the rage of Savitri and is scared of earning the wrath of Savitri. 

Millions of people come and also take a bath in the holy Pushkar lake. Various rites and rituals are performed in this temple at that time. This is a yearly phenomenon. There are innumerable Hindu temples around Pushkar and a visit to this venerated place and the Pushkar lake will not disappoint you. Visiting this place will be a new experience blended with Bhakti and social intercourse. 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahma_Temple,_Pushkar