Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Day 10: Pasupathinath, the national diety of Nepal

Pasupathinath, meaning the lord of all pashus (living and non living beings), is the most famous and sacred temple in the Hindu nation of Nepal. The bigger temple area is actually a collection of old ashrams, mini temples, matts (religious philanthropic centers that travellers can use to freshen up amongst other purposes), and stone inscriptions. The temple, built on the banks of the Bagmati River, attracts devotees by the thousands (or even millions) during the month of August (shravan) and Shivaratri. The day we decided to visit Pasupathinath was the last Monday of shravan, a day that is considered highly auspicious and visited by women who fast the entire month for the well being of their husbands;  on the last shravan Monday they seek the darshan and blessings of Pasupathinath, dressed in the colours of Red and Green denoting prosperity and well being, before breaking their fast. You can imagine how serpentine the queue must have been. It was about 2 or so miles long. There was no way we could get in let alone have the darshan of Mr. Pasupathinath. But there's no harm in imploring him. And when he decides to listen, his grace knows no bounds.

By a strange twist of situation, we found ourselves being enquiried by a police officer who wanted to know what we are doing near the temple complex looking at the crowd (we had walked quiet a bit alongside the queue hoping there might be a paid ticket counter or something). After ascertaining that we are indeed Hindus and with good intentions and from India, he actually let us in to the temple prahar and allowed us to join the queue as it entered into the temple boundaries from the streets below. What weird luck is this? Is cutting into the line not an injustice to all the ones who have been standing for so long? Before we even had time to consider these questions and feel bad (we will certainly not accept it if anyone cuts the queue back home), we were herded ahead by the crowd with no one seeming to mind us jumping in between. But my conscious didn't let me to settle - I was totally unnerved all along but didn't quiet know how I can make amends. But no time for all that - within about 5 minutes, we were in front of the main sanctom sanatorium and Lord Pasupathinath was in front of us. And it started pouring at exactly the same moment scattering the crowd here and there. With a great feeling of blessing and having been a subject of divine mercy, we moved to the Shankaracharya matt that was outside the temple complex to take shelter from the rain and meditate for a bit. As my guru says, whatever happens happens for the good; every moment is inevitable and to be cherished. These moments at Pasupathinath were certainly to be cherished for a lifetime.

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