KIRAN ATMA: Amarnath
Showing posts with label Amarnath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amarnath. Show all posts

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Where Is Amarnath?

 


“The Undying Lord” is the literal translation of  Amarnath. A Sacred location (tirtha) and pilgrimage destination devoted to the deity Shiva in the form of Amarnath, situated high in the Kashmiri highlands the Earthly abode of the Eternal, Auspicious and Undying Lord Shiva. 


  • The site's centerpiece is a limestone cave, where melting snow trickles through limestone cracks each year, gradually forming an ice pillar. 
  • This pillar may grow to reach more than seven feet tall at its tallest point, although the height varies greatly from year to year depending on the weather. 
  • The linga, a cylindrical shape inadequately characterized as a "phallic sign," is the most popular aniconic picture of Shiva. 
  • The ice pillar in the Amarnath cave is said to be a svayambhu, or "selfmanifested," linga of Shiva, according to Hindus. 
  • These lingas are not created by humans, but rather by Shiva himself, who chooses to show himself out of love for his followers (bhakta). 
  • Because Shiva is considered to be uniquely present, every svayambhu picture is thought to be especially holy. 
  • These locations are often seen as especially effective settings for prayer and worship. 


The Amarnath cave is located in a remote location that is snowbound for the most of the year. 



  • The pilgrimage takes place in the month of Shravan (July–August), with pilgrims planning their journey to arrive on the full moon day. 
  • The pilgrimage formally starts in Shrinagar's Dashanami Sanyasi akhara, where the akhara's leader (mahant) wields a silver mace as a symbol of his power. 
  • Ascetics are granted this status because they are living representations of Shiva, who is the ultimate ascetic. 
  • The village of Pahalgam is where most pilgrims begin their trip. 
  • They trek almost thirty kilometers to Amarnath from there, traversing two mountain ranges along the route. 


Despite the fact that the area is sparsely populated for the most of the year, during the pilgrimage season, camps and shops sprout up along the road, many of which are operated by local Kashmiri Muslims for whom the trip is a significant source of income. 


  • The mahant, the local pandas (Hindu pilgrimage priests), and a handful of Muslims from a hamlet near Pahalgam divide the gifts at the shrine equally, though the state has done so since India's independence. 
  • Parts of Kashmir were a war zone in the early 1990s, with Indian government troops fighting a variety of Kashmiri Muslim factions, some of whom sought greater self-determination and others seeking union with Pakistan. 


The journey, which goes through some of the most disputed regions, has been hampered by these issues. 



  • Several assaults on pilgrims were recorded in 1994, allegedly spurred by pilgrims shouting anti-Muslim chants, and in 1995, the pilgrimage was conducted with strong security supplied by the Indian army. 
  • Although there was no political unrest during the 1996 pilgrimage, several hundred pilgrims perished from hypothermia brought on by an unseasonably warm snowfall.


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