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Damodar Kund Pilgrimage – Worshipping a Saligram Deity

damodar-kund
damodar-kund

Worshipping a Saligram Deity:

The amount of enjoyment Lord Naryan gets from the worship of a saligram exceeds even his pleasure when he is dwelling with Goddess Lakshmi in his own abode.

In Kaliyuga (the final time in the Hindu world cycle), those who worship with deviation a saligram with various kinds of offerings such as food, flowers, incense, lamps, sandal paste, music, and the reading of the holy texts, live happily in Krishna’s Dham for millennia.

Those who have darshan of a saligram, pay their respects, bathe, and worship it attain the virtuous reward of infinite gifts of cows. Therefore the rewards one receives from offering worship to Sri Raadharaman Dev, a self-manifest deity from the saligram are beyond words.

In 1962 Jaisingh Ghera Asharam was purchased by the foremost leader of the Caitanyite branch of Krishna worship, Parampuja Jagadguru Sri Purushottam Goswami ji Maharaj, known to his followers as Maharaj-Ji.

He is a direct descendant of one of the followers of the Six Goswamis. An energetic leader, he and his family and followers have established a thriving spiritual and cultural center at Jaisingh Ghera.

The center patronizes music and the arts, provides scholarship on Vrindaban as well as on the spiritual traditions of those who worship Krishna, and supports the Rasalilas with their associated arts. A building to house these activities was built, encompassing Jai Singh’s residence and a performance hall on the site of the old Rasalila platform.

Jagat guru

It has been Maharaj ji’s wish to perform puja at Damodhar Kund for many years, and this pilgrimage shall endeavor to carry out that historical moment.

This Yatra and puja will re-enact the pilgrimage made by ‘Gopal Bhatt’ more than 450 years ago.

‘Gopal Bhatt is generally thought to be the author of ‘Haribhaktilisa,’ a comprehensive work on rituals, though some say it was written by Sanatan Goswami, and that he played a large part in the compilation of it.

There are varying accounts of how he met Chaitanya and was instructed by him to go to Vrindavan. All sources agree that he was born in a village near Sri Rangam. He presumably arrived in Vrindavan sometime before 1541, the date by which’Haribhaktivilasa” must have been composed. It is said that on the full moon day of the month of ‘Vaishakh'( April-May) in 1542, he performed the first’abhiseka’ ceremony of Radharaman, a deity believed to have manifested itself out of a ‘saligram’ stone that he brought from the river Gandaki” (A.W.Entwistle)

Gopal Bhatt’s journey would have been more dangerous and life-threatening than the pilgrimage planned here, but no doubt his’saligram’ came from the ‘Kali Gandaki River’, where they are in relative abundance. The Damodar Kund region is drained by the’Bas Chu River, which joins the ‘Ghechan Chu River’ and then the Gandaki River near ‘Tsarang’. It flows on down to Pokhara.

The authour Alan Entwistle doesn’t elaborate further, but it is generally known that ‘ Damodar Kund’ is the purest source of ‘saligram’ and even then the interpretation of the’saligram’s markings is complex, and an expert eye is needed.

It is said that Gopla Bhatt performed the Tulsi puja, and the’saligram’ came into his hands beneath the surface of the kund.

Trip Map

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