Showing posts with label Joshimath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joshimath. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are The Rawal Among (Nambudiri) Brahmins?

The top priest (pujari) of the Badrinath temple in the Himalayas is known as Rawal.

The Rawal is generally a Nambudiri brahmin who, in order to keep his rank, must stay unmarried.

Badrinath is one of the four dhams ("divine abodes") associated with the philosopher Shankaracharya, according to Hindu tradition.

Shankaracharya reportedly designated one Hindu holy location in each corner of the subcontinent, and at each created a Dashanami Sanyasi monastic institution (math) to teach scholarly monks, in order to counteract the spread of Buddhism and rejuvenate Hindu religion.

Badrinath is linked to the Jyotir Math in Joshimath, Himalayan town forty miles south of Badrinath, which is also where the god Badrinath is symbolically moved for the winter.

According to Badrinath temple records, Dandi Sanyasis, who were also Nambudiri brahmins, occupied the post of chief priest for many hundred years, the same caste into which Shankaracharya is said to have been born.

When the last of them, a non-ascetic Nambudiri brahmin, died without a successor in 1776, the shrine's protector allowed a non-ascetic Nambudiri brahmin to serve as the temple's priest.

This priest was granted the title rawal (from the term raja, which means "deputy"), and his extended family has been in charge of the shrine ever since.

The rawal was the only person who could touch Badrinath's picture and was in charge of conducting worship during the six months the temple was open.

Because of these responsibilities, the rawal was compelled to remain a bachelor, lest the ceremonial impurity associated with childbirth (sutakashaucha) prevent him from performing his obligations.

The rawals held exclusive rights to the offerings presented at the shrine until the Badrinath Temple Act of 1939 established a temple board as the final authority.

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Hinduism - What Is A Math or Mutt?


Math or Mutt is a commonly used term for a  "monastery" in India

Ascetics' residential place; generally a big, well-established residence for a group of ascetics belonging to a recognized order.

The philosopher Shankaracharya is said to have founded the four most famous maths: the Jyotir Math in the Himalayan town of Joshimath; the Govardhan Math in the Bay of Bengal city of Puri; the Sharada Math in the Arabian Sea city of Dwaraka; and the Shringeri Math in the southern Indian town of Shringeri.

The four main factions in the Dashanami sect Sanyasis, renunciant ascetics who are worshippers (bhakta) of the deity Shiva, have their headquarters in these mathematics.

Despite the fact that most maths do not have the same prestige as these four, they all function as ascetic and religious places.

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Hinduism - Where Is The Kalpeshvar Temple And Tirtha In India?

Temple and holy location (tirtha) in the Garhwal Himalayan area, some ten miles downstream from Joshimath on the Alakananda River.

The god Shiva manifested as Kalpeshvar, the "Lord of the Cosmic Age," is the temple's presiding deity.

The Kalpeshvar temple is part of the Panchkedar, a network of five Shiva-related shrines in the Garhwal area, including Kedarnath, Rudranath, Tungnath, and Madmaheshvar.

The Himalayas are said to be Shiva's home.

This five-site network is seen as a symbolic representation of his body.

Shiva's matted locks are represented as Kalpeshvar (jatas). 

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Hinduism - Where Is The Jyotir Math(Mutt) Located? What Are Three Important Maths In India?


The Sharada math, Shringeri math, and Govardhan math are the other three maths(mutts) or holy places said to have been built by the renowned scholar Shankaracharya.

The Jyotir math located in the northern quarter, in the town of Joshimath in the state of Uttar Pradesh, high in the Himalaya Mountains, and is related with one of the four geographical corners of the Indian subcontinent.

The Dashanami Sanyasis, the most prominent Hindu ascetic order, is said to have been founded by Shankaracharya.

The Dashanami ("ten names") ascetics are Shiva's worshippers (bhakta) who are divided into 10 divisions, each with its own name.

The 10 divisions are divided into four groups: Anandawara, Bhogawara, Bhuriwara, and Kitawara, each of which contains two or three of the ten divisions and is linked to one of the four holy centers.

The Anandawara group of the Dashanamis is related with the Jyotir math.


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Hinduism - Where Is The Joshimath?

Joshimath is a Himalayan town and holy place (tirtha) on the banks of the Alakananda River in Uttar Pradesh's Chamoli district.

The Jyotir math, one of the four mathematics (or ascetic living places) created by the philosopher Shankaracharya, is located in Joshimath.

Dashanami Sanyasis, or twiceborn renunciant ascetics, live in the Jyotir math.

The Jyotir Math is said to be where Shankaracharya reached ultimate awareness and wrote his comments on Hindu texts, according to local mythology.

Joshimath is known for its link to a temple devoted to Narasimha, the deity Vishnu's Man-Lion incarnation, in addition to the Jyotir math.

Shankaracharya is said to have founded this temple, which features numerous magnificent sculptural figures.

Joshimath is an essential stop on the way to Badrinath's temple, as well as the winter residence of Badrinath's presiding god, where he (symbolically portrayed by a wandering image) dwells and is worshipped while Badrinath is snowbound and unreachable.

Also see Narasimha's avatar.


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