About Mansarovar

The Himalayas, the crown of the Indian peninsula has remained the cultural locus for its teeming millions. It is in the Himalayas, as the Skanda Purana records, where Lord Shiva lives, and there the mighty river Ganges fell from the foot of Lord Vishnu like "the slender thread of a lotus flower".

The myths descend down from Mount Kailash to the shores of Lake Mansarovar. It is said that Maharaja Mandhata has discovered the Lake. The legend goes: Mandhata had done penance on the shores of Mansarovar at the foot of the magnificent mountains named after him. According to the legend, there was a big mansion down below on its bottom. It is said to be the abode of the king of Nags – the serpent gods – and in the middle of the arc like surface of the lake once upon there stood a huge tree. Its fruits fell into the lake with the sound ‘Jam’; thus, the surrounding region came to be known as “Jambu-ling” or “Jambu-Dvipa” in the Hindu Puranas.

In some Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist works, Mansarovar is described as Anotatta or Anavatapta – the lake without heat and trouble. Buddhists believe that in its centre there is a tree, which bears fruits of celestial medicinal properties that may cure all known physical as well as mental ailments.

The human ideal of mount Meru rising from the descent of the seventh hell and rising to perforate through the loftiest of the heavens – the great mountain at the centre of the universe itself – comes to rest at Kailash. The Skanda Purana therefore acknowledges, “There are no mountains like the Himalayas, for in them are Kailash and Mansarovar”.

One myths goes that at the core of the Jambu, the landmass surrounding Lake Mansarovar, stood the glorious mountain of Meru with four colours and faces: white like a Brahmin, the priest, on its eastern surface; yellow like a Vaisya, the merchant, on the south; red like a Kshatriya, the warrior, on the north; black on its western side like a Shudra, the menial.

Today it stands as Mount Kailash: a rock pyramid 22,028 feet high. It embodies the age old concept of the ‘navel of the earth’, the ‘world pillar’, the ‘first of the mountains’, the ‘still point in the turning world’, ‘rooted in the seventh hell, piercing through to the highest heaven’. Consequently, the religious importance of Mount Kailash and its immediate hinterland of Lake Mansarovar is multifaceted. The region is venerated by all religions and ages in diferent ways. All the myths and legends surrounding the region at least prove one thing: the essential unity of all the religions.

Every object in this area is sanctified and each one is related to gripping legends. As one ascends through PARIKRAMA one encounters holy peak of RAVANA PARVAT, HANUMAN PARVAT, PADMASAMBHAVA, MANJUSRI, VAJRADHARA, AVALOKITESWARA, JAMBEYANG, SHAVARI, NORSENG etc. the learned address five of them as PANCHABUDHAS. The track takes one through Dhira Puk, Sbi4asthalandfmally to DOLMA (The highest point). This pass belongs to DEVI - PARVATI and is an important point of worship. This point is considered as the point of spiritual renaissance. One can have the best view of Mansarovar and Ravana Tel from the south west point of Kailash during Parikrama.

The grand view of Gulra Mandhata, Mansarovar and Ravana Lake hypnotises the onlooker into subliminal aura. Ravana is claimed to have prayed at this lake (Ravana Tal / Rakshas Tal) and had the audience with Shiva. Mansarovar was created by Brahma at the request; of the great Rishis. This mind born lake contains the essence of all the Vedas. This is the place for holy ceremonial bath: oblations to the ancestors are offered here. Both the lakes are full of swans.

The scriptures reiterate that that who take the holy dip at Manasarovar and carry out the Parikrama around Kailash are absolved of their sins through generations and is ab­sorbed into the Supreme Finality. To him, there is no rebirth, sorrows or joys: he is one with the ultimate - He is one with Shiva: He becomes the Shiva. SHIVOHAM. SHIVOHAM.

This is one of the most important pilgrim centres for the Buddhists. They worship DEMCHOK (BUDDHA in fierceful form) seated on the summit of Kailasa. It is also called Dharmapala - one version quotes the deity as a form of Shiva’s manifestation. The descrip­tions of the deity are more or less like Shiva. Devi is also given a similar form like Parvathi. They adore Kailash as KANG RINPOCHE and Manasarovar as TSO MAPHAM. Guru Rinpoche (the great Indian Master PADMASAMBHAVA who introduced Buddhism) and Saint Milerapa are greatly revered here by pilgrims. Since TANTRISM runs through the main core of Buddhism here, their customs and practices would be found running close and parallel to Hindu traditions. Like the Indians, they also consider DOLMA (DEVI) and GAURI KUND (Thuki Zingbu) as holiest spots. Buddhists strongly believe that pilgrimage to this place liberates them to NIRVANA. Many of their legends when interpreted rationally would find commonality with Indian approach.

The Jains acknowledge Kailash as ASHTAPADA and PADAMA HRADA. It is believed that ADINATI VRISHABDEVA, the first Tirtankara attained Nirvana here. A few claim that GURU NANAK meditated here. Across the river CHU, there on the Nyanri range stands an impressive temple. Inside this monastry there is a marble statue radiating peace and compassion. This statute is claimed to be that of Guru Nanak. A few call it Guru Rinpoche. Interpretations vary. The entire area echoes with spiritual vibrations. Even the agnostics shall discover new Balance amidst that fathomless serenity. One has to experience it. The common belief is that those who are ordained only could be there.