789 – Promise and a prayer

In the previous blog article, I wrote about a prayer and a promise. We had gone to a forest sanctuary for a holiday. In India, where ever there are mountains, there are temples perched on a peak. We visited two temples and in both places the guide told us that one’s wishes were always granted but one had to fulfill one’s promise. I thought that was ridiculous as my understanding was that one went to offer prayers with a genuine and sincere heart. The divinity always understood what the supplicant was asking. Yesterday when I read Swamiji’s lecture, I appreciated what our guide was saying.

We visited Garjiya Devi’s temple, which is located on a giant boulder. It is believed that Shiva spotted the Goddess Parvati floating on the water. He requested her to stay with him and she accepted his offer. Later the villagers saw her statue on top of a colossal rock in the middle of the river Kosi. Another legend is that to control the river Kosi when it floods, Bhairava asked his sister Garjiya to live there on the rock. It is said that after she came to live on the rock, the river has never flooded. The rulers of Ramnagar, discovered the temple in 1840.

The myth

It is a Shakti peeth (seat of Shakti, and a significant shrine). The villagers are convinced that the shrine will never submerge in the water, even during heavy flooding. There are steep steps which have to be climbed. Shiva’s temple is at the bottom and since Parvati is the daughter of Himavat, she is on the peak. She is a very powerful deity and she grants all wishes. However, if one does not fulfill one’s promise to her, a tiger comes and attacks the petitioner, according to the belief.

I now understand what our simple guide was saying. When we are entreating the divinity, we must offer our purest heart and a promise. Sometimes the promise is such that even we may not know it.

Aim Hrim Klim

Photo by Adityamadhav83 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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