Episode # 461 – The famed “Badrinatha-Kshetra” – History and Significance!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the significance of performing our regular “Tarpanam” and “Shraadham” and this is apart from the “Gaya-Shraadham” that we’ve to perform once in a lifetime. We’ve witnessed for the past couple of episodes, various myths circulating around us, with regards to the regular performing of our monthly “Tarpanams” and yearly “Shraadhams” and how it is important for all of us to adhere to these principles in our life. We witnessed a detailed accord yesterday, with comparisons to certain simple analogies as to how important it is for us to serve our “Pitru-Devatas”, whose “Anugraha” is extremely important for our well-being and a contented life. This is exactly what Sage Naarada is advising Yudishtra too. As the Paandavas enter slowly into the crucial phase of defending the “Dharma”, Sage Naarada feels the importance of Yudishtra and Co. obtaining the divine “Anugraha” of all the “Pitru-Devatas” as they embark into it. Such is the significance of the Gaya-Kshetra and readers should understand this clearly. 

Next in the list, is the famed Bhadrinaatha-Kshetra – We’ve already discussed this in quite a detail in our past few episodes as well. We’ve seen in detail how Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna originally hail from the Bhadrinaatha-Kshetra, as the Nara-Narayana combine. As Bhagawan Krishna is none other than Bhagawan Narayana and Arjuna is His disciple (Nara), the Bhadrinaatha-Kshetra assumes enormous significance. Normally, it is a practice for a few people to visit the Bhadrinaatha Kshetra immediately after the Gaya-Shraadham is over. There is something called as “Brahma-Kapaalam” in this Bhadrinaatha-Kshetra where, people perform the “Pinda-Pradhaanam” after the Gaya-Shraadham. There is a history behind this as well – Bhagawan Brahma’s fifth head (“Kapaalam”) is being pinched by Bhagawan Shiva, and somehow the head gets stuck to His hands. This is why, Bhagawan Shiva is also referred to as “Bhagwan Kapali”.  Now that the head has got stuck in Bhagawan Shiva’s hands, it can’t be broken at all, no matter how much He tried! This was creating a problem for both of them and in order to release the head from His hand, Bhagawan Shiva and Bhagawan Brahma ran in search of Bhagawan Vishnu all over the world. They finally came to this Bhadrinaatha Kshetra and prayed to Bhagawan Vishnu here. Acknowledging their prayers, with His drops of sweat from His chest, Bhagawan Vishnu frees Bhagawan Brahma’s head from Bhagawan Shiva’s hands and breaks into a hundred pieces! With this, Bhagawan Shiva’s hands were freed and Bhagawan Brahma was also freed from Bhagawan Shiva’s cusp! 

Thus, this “Brahma-Kapaalam” is still there in this Bhadrinaatha-Kshetra and it is near this Brahma-Kapaalam is the “Pinda-Pradhaanam” performed. Now comes the question – How do we obtain the “Pindams” and from where do we get them? Here, the Bhadrinaatha-Kshetra has its own significance – We need not prepare the “Pindams” (Rice balls) like we do in the Gaya-Kshetra. Here in the Badrinaatha-Kshetra, we get the “Pindams” ready-made in the temple premises itself. Normally, the “Pindams” are made using cooked rice and balls of this cooked rice are prepared. However, given the temperature in the location, it is next to impossible for us to boil rice. Since the Badrinaatha-Kshetra is amidst the Himalayas and it is snowy everywhere around, it is very difficult for us to even boil water. Amidst this cold, we’ve to take a “Punya-Snaanam” in the River Alakananda (RIver Ganga) and with the “Wet Vasthram” we’ve to wait for the “Prasaadham” (Pindams) to come from the temple premises. Once it comes, we’ve to hold the “Pindams” in our hands, which itself would be tough, given our hands would be extremely numb due to the freezing cold! This problem is not there in Gaya. Since Gaya is in the plain, the temperature is quite normal and is not extremely cold here. But in Badrinaatha-Kshetra, it is the opposite of what is there in the Gaya-Kshetra! Thus, the “Pinda-Pradhaanam” in the Badrinaatha Kshetra is also equally significant as that of the Gaya-Kshetrea”. 

So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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