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Badrinath: The First Dham Leading to Moksha

By January 15, 2022February 16th, 2023No Comments
Badrinath Dham

Badrinath – Heaven On Earth

Badrinath has a famous saying, ‘Jo Jaaye Badri, Wo Na Aaye Odri’. It means, the one who visits Badrinath temple, never comes back to odri (womb), in extension never takes birth on earth and achieves moksha (salvation). 

Lord Badrinarayan, a form of Lord Vishnu, is worshiped vehemently by Hindu devotees in this temple, situated in the shadows of Nar and Narayan Mountains of Uttarakhand. Disciples have to reach Chamoli district located on the banks of Alaknanda, through hilly paths located more than 3000 meters above sea level. Even though the climb is excruciating with low temperatures, pilgrims visit here in large numbers to pray at Badrinath

Badrinath is the first amongst the Char Dhams, four pilgrimage sites of Hindu religion. Hindu scriptures describe these Char Dham as the places which can help achieve moksha or salvation.  

The story of Badrinath is interesting and almost amusing. During the Satya-Yug, Lord Vishnu was looking for a place to do his meditation. He came across the beautiful Badrinath surrounded by Badri (berry) forests which seemed perfect for his needs. However, there was one little issue. It was already the home of Shiv and Parvati. Vishnu decided to trick the Divine couple out of their own home. 

Goddess Parvati was walking around in her palace when suddenly she heard the cries of a baby outside the main door. She called her husband Shiv and appealed to him to take the baby in. Shiv saw through the trickery and implored Parvati to look carefully. He pointed out how the baby had no footprints around him to show that someone had left him here in the cold, pressing on the fact that something was not right and Parvati shouldn’t touch him. The Goddess was in a fix but suddenly the baby wailed and Parvati’s motherly instincts took over. She ignored her husband’s warnings and brought the little one in, feeding him and playing with him. Once the baby was settled the couple decided to go to a nearby hot-spring to take a bath. By the time they came back, the baby had cleverly locked both of them out. Parvati was perplexed by this and asked Shiv to break the door or find another way in. Shiv refused to break the door as he did not want to scare the child and there was no other way in. Hence, they left the abode and Vishnu took the palace of Badrinath for his own meditation purposes. 

The name Badrinath has another important folklore about it. When Vishnu was meditating, Goddess Lakshmi came to find him. She noticed that it had been long since the Lord was meditating and he did not have any roof over his head. The Goddess took the form of a Badri (berry) tree and sheltered her beloved husband throughout the meditation. After many years when Vishnu came out of his meditation, he saw Lakshmi as a Badri tree completely covered in snow falling on her for a long time. He was pleased and affectionately blessed her that as she has also meditated in his presence for an equal amount of time, she shall reside next him as a deity of equivalent importance. 

Along with Badrinarayan and Lakshmi, there are many other deities that are worshiped in the temple. The Shaligram (black stone) avatar of Lord Vishnu is worshiped as Badrinath along with his counterpart Lakshmi as the Badri tree. There are also images of lord Kubera, Dev-rishi Narad, Uddhava, and Vishnu’s twin avatar’s Nar and Narayan. Along with them are idols of Lakshmi, Vishnu’s vehicle-Garuda, the 9 forms of Durga among others. It is important to note that all these images are made of black stone. The temple’s foot has the hot-springs of sulphur or tapt-kund where disciples go to take a holy dip. Their names are Narad kund and Surya kund and they hold spiritual as well as medical significance. 

Some lesser Known Facts About Badrinath Dham

In this video, InstaAstro brings you some lesser known facts about the holy Badrinath Dham : 

  1. Goddess Lakshmi took the shape of a large Badri tree to protect Vishnu from trepidations of the weather and was named ‘Badri Vishal’. Simultaneously, Vishnu came to be known as Badrinath, the husband of Badri. 
  2. Not just the temple, but the forests and mountains around it hold spiritual significance. 
  3. According to a mythological legend, god-sage Narad rebuked Lord Narayan for getting his feet massaged by Goddess Lakshmi which led the God to perform penance at Badrinath and hence he holds the lotus (padmasan) position in the temple. 
  4. According to historical legend, Adi Shankaracharya built the current Badrinath temple that houses the Badrinarayan deity in it in the 8th century. 
  5. It is believed that the mountains Nar and Narayan hold the doors or the path of Badrinath which keeps getting narrower as the distance between the two keeps reducing with time. It is said that the day shall come when they will completely close the gates of Badrinath

Also Read – Basant Panchmi: The Many Beautiful Stories Of This Colorful Day

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Chetna Kaushik

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