In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important accord on how our “Sanaatana Dharma” gives enormous importance and utmost respect for women in the society. This is grossly against the myth that is floating around, which claims that our “Sanaatana Dharma” is a male chauvinist religion. This is extremely wrong and with the single accord on the “Pinda-Pradhaanam” that we do for our mother, this myth is completely destroyed. As mentioned yesterday, we offer as many as sixteen “Pindams” for our mother and just two for our father. Right from the time our mother has got married to our father, she has undergone enormous sufferings to bear us in her uterus, give birth to us, clean all our urine and excreta when we were babies, took enormous pain to grow us up, etc. and all the way till we become a fully-grown mature adult. Thus, for all these to happen, we should imagine how much of a sacrifice a mother would have made! In order to remember and respect this selfless sacrifice that our mother has made for us, we offer sixteen “Pindams” to her, and in turn, we can understand how much importance our “Sanaatana Dharma” is giving to a mother! Readers should understand this as we move on further.
Thus, we’re witnessing here, how important it is to perform the “Pinda-Pradhaanam” at the Badrinaatha Kshetra. Coming back to the context thus, while offering the “Pindams” here one by one, we wouldn’t be able to even hold the “Pindam” in our hands, due to the freezing cold! As we perform the “Pinda-Pradhaanam” procedure, many of us might even start having doubts – Whether this exercise is done for our parents, or for ourselves! 🙂 Because, we might start having doubts within ourselves, whether we would be able to survive in this freezing cold and with the wet cloth that we’ve to wear after we take the holy dip in the River Alakananda (River Ganga). Thus, such is the significance of the Badrinaatha Kshetra and readers should take the effort and time to visit this beautiful paradise on earth. Of course, apart from the spiritual significance, like I mentioned earlier, this Kshetra is surrounded by the great Himalayan mountains and would be full of snow everywhere. For a nature lover, this is the best picturesque place to be! On one side, we would be able to see the River Ganga with all its purity, gushing along with an enormous sound! On the other side, we would find the beautiful Badrinaatha Swamy temple and the “Brahma Kapaalam”. Of course, I can go on and on describing the beauty of this place, but readers should take time out to visit this place, so that this beauty can be experienced in person!
Moving on further, Sage Naarada explains about the next place – “Ganga-Dvaar”. This is the place where the River Ganga goes and empties itself into the ocean. This place is actually situated in the present day country of Bangladesh, towards the southern tip of that country. If we’ve to worship this from the Indian side, we should go to the place called “Haldia”, which is situated some 100 kilometres south of Kolkata in the east-Indian state of West Bengal. This is the place where the River Hoogly (A main distributary of River Ganga) goes and empties itself into the Bay of Bengal. This River Hoogly passes through the main metropolitan city of Kolkata, where the great pillar-less Howrah bridge stands today with all its beauty. An important “Shakti-Peetham” temple called “Dakshineshwar” is situated onthe banks of River Hoogly, north of Kolkata city, wherein Sage Ramakrishna ParamaHamsa attained the great enlightenment! The Dakshineshwar temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhavatarini (Goddess Parvati Devi), who is in the ferocious “Kaali” form. If one goes here and takes the “Punya-Snaanam” in the banks of River Ganga and worships Goddess Bhavatarini, all the sins get washed away immediately!
So for today, let us understand the significance of this place, and with this, we’re going to move on to the next important place – Chitrakoota, on the banks of River Mandaagini on one side and River Sharabanga on the other. Even today, we shall worship this place called “Chitrakoot” in the central part of our Bhaarata Desha, and if we take the “Punya-Snaanam” here on the banks of these two rivers, our sins are washed away speedily! Next, Sage Naarada talks about the significance of River Godavari, which is towards the southern part of India. The River Godavari originates from the Indian state of Maharashtra, and flows towards Andhra Pradesh and southern India. There are enormous amounts of Punya-Kshetras along the River Godavari, and one such place is “Panchavati”, wherein Bhagawan Rama, Lakshmana and Sita were residing here for a long time during their fourteen-year exile.
Thus, let us understand these points for today, and we shall continue this discussion further in the next episode as well! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂