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Hari Parvat Kashmir

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Hari Parvat situated at the periphery of Srinagar city is an ancient and one of the holiest places of Kashmir. It is the abode of Mahashakti-the Divine Mother Jagatamba Sharika Bhagwati, also known as Maha Tripursundhari or Rajrajeshwari (locally called as harie). The eighteen armed Goddess Sharika is regarded as the Presiding Deity (Isht - Devi) of Srinagar city. The Godess Sharika is represented by a Sayambhu’ Shrichakra (Mahamaha Shrichakra), also called Mahashriyantra, which consists of circular mystic impressions and triangular patterns with a dot (bindhu) at the Centre. The mystic Shrichakra engraved on a vertical holy rock (Shila) is located at the middle of western face of Hari Parvat. The shrine can be approached from Deviangan by a flight of chiseled stones, numbering one hundred and eight. The number one hundred and eight has mystical signficance in Hindu mythology. It is perhaps due to the Goddess Shrichakra that the capital city of Kashmir is said to have derived its name of Srinagar (Shrinagra)

As per the ‘Visishtadhvaita’ doctrine, ‘Shri’ is the Divine consort of of the Lord and is said to play on intermediatory role between God and the human soul.

The Shrine of Chakrishwar has been a place of worship from the day, the Goddess Sharika manifested Herself in the form of a ‘Shila’ on the Hari-Parbat.

To worship the Supreme Godess, the devotees used to go to Hari Parbat regularly and reach the Shrine of Chakrishwar to be at the holy feet of the Divine Mother in the wee hours of the morning. Phagun Krishna Paksh Ashtami (Hora Ashtami) and Ashad Shukla Paksh Saptami, Ashtami and Navami (Har Satum, Har Aatham and Har Navum) are the auspicious days for the devotional congregational prayers at the Sharika-peeth Chakrishwar.

Ashad Navami (Har Navum) is said to be the Birthday of Sha-rika Bhagwati. On this day of Sharika Jayanti the devotees make sacrificial offering of ‘Teher-charvan’ (rice boiled with turmeric po-wder and mixed with oil and salt and cooked liver of goat) to the Supreme Goddess. This ritual is locally known as ‘Chout Kharoun’. On ‘Navreh’ (The new Year Day of Kashmiri Pandits, during the month of Magh and ‘ ‘Navratra’, the devotees regularly visit the Hari Parvat for special prayers and worship.

Shree Yantra or Shree Chakra
Shree Yantra is considered one of the most auspicious, important and powerful Yantras which not only gives the maximum benefit, but also proves beneficial for almost everybody. While this Yantra has been used as a source of attaining all worldly desires and wishes, the Yogis, saints and spiritual personalities, by virtue of their devotion, have used it as an instrument to attain the ultimate.

To attain the ultimate, the great spiritual personalities have always focused their energies on a “ Swayambhu” Maha Shree Yantra considered to be in the old city of Srinagar, Kashmir. While in India there are 52 energy centres, but the energy centre of Hari Parvat Srinagar is considered the only of its kind in the entire universe which has a great significance in terms of attaining spiritual bliss.

The word “Shree” means wealth and “Yantra” an instrument— and it makes the sense of “Instrument for Wealth”. At Hari Parvat, where the Shree Yantra is considered to be in the shape of a rock, people have craved for spiritual wealth and they attained what they wished.

The whole hill of Hari Parvat seems to be the multi-dimensional figure of geometrical figure of Goddess Sharika and at the corner of the hill is this magnificent and holy rock and those who have the eye to look at it can find different geometrical images in the shape of triangles, squares and pentagons . On gets lost while gazing at this energy centre as it emits different figures while concentrating on it.

Although most of the lines and shapes are not so visible due to the “sindoor” coated on it yet those who can see through, can identify themselves to be a part of this holy rock.

It was great painter-cum-scholar of Kashmir— Late Ghulam Rasool Santosh who was benefited by this Yantra in his art. Those who have gone through his art work, could see how Santosh painted Shree Yantra in his master-pieces in a bid to reach near to the ultimate.

Santosh could not carry forward his dream of deciphering all those geometrical figures emitting from this holy rock and kits sorroundings. There were many reasons for that.

After the mass migration of Hindus from the valley in 1990, this place is presently a little in a state of neglect although visited by people in one or two once in a blue moon. This author had an opportunity to visit this foundation rock of Kashmiri Pandits in recent past only to see some security personnel guarding it. Those on the guard had high regard for the place but were unaware of the importance of this Shila of Sharika— the Maha Shree Yantra. The security personnel posted at this place said that there exists a committee and it members visit quite often this place and also arrange religious functions. They, however, regretted that under the present circumstances, when Kashmir is in turmoil, this place is by and large ignored in terms of visit by devotees and daily prayers.

An elderly Muslim recalled those golden days when the Kashmiri Pandits in thousands would visit this holy place every day. The youngsters had no knowledge of this Yantra. A youth wondered how a person by name of Ghulam Rasool (Santosh) was obsessed with this rock and place.

This Shree Yantra has a great significance for Hindu community. Those who have its knowledge, categorize it in two forms— Evolution Yantra of Samyachar Order of Kashmir and Involution Yantra of Koulahar order of Kashmir.

There are nine folds of Shri Yantra— Outer three circles that depict the Chakra ruling the three worlds; Sixteen petals depicting 16 Yoginies associated with the attainment of desires; Eight petals— depicting power of speech, holding, walking, excreting, pleasure, abandoning, concentration and detachment; Fourteen triangles describing all good fortune and associated with chief nadis or currents of bio-energy; Ten outer triangles depicting Yognies of 10 vital breaths; Inner ten triangles depicting Shakties of 10 vital fires; Eight triangles depict powers that rule cold, heat, happiness, sorrow, desire and three gunas— Sativas, Rajas and Tamas; Central Triangle depicts Chakra giving all success and Bindu depicting Maha Tripura Sundari— the ultimate.

According to Kamlesh Tufchi, member Satisar Foundation, the entire hillock of Hari Parvat is a great Yantra. While Yantras are normally two dimensional, this Yantra is a three- dimensional and that is why it holds great spiritual importance, Tufchi said. The concept of three-dimensional Yantra is also vived by this rare picture that was clicked by the author on his recent visit.

This foundation rock of Kashmiri Pandits has withstood the evil and bad times. It is witness to number of occasions when Kashmiri Pandits had to migrate from the valley. It is also witness to the fact that Kashmiri Pandits have firm belief and faith in this energy centre, the description of which is in Nilmatpuran and Rajtarangani.

.Earlier, the Birthday of Jagat Amba Sharika Bhagwati used to be celebrated by performing a ‘Mahachandi Yagna’, which would commence on Ashad Saptami (Hari Satum) and culminate on Ashad Shukla Paks Navami (Har Navum) with a sacrificial offering of a lamb called ‘Raze-Kath’. Presently ‘Har-Naum’, the holy birhtday festival of the Goddess Sharika is celebrated at Chakrishwas Shrine with a night long singing of hymns and bhajans in the praise of the Goddess.

Some of the devotees prefer to do parikarma for the complete month of Magh right from the Lord Ganisha’s temple), passing through Devi-angan right upto Kathi-Darwaza. A legend from ‘Sharika Mahatmya’ records that inorder to save and free the residents of the valley (Satidesh) from the evil deeds of the demon, the Mother Goddess Ashatadushbuja Jagatamba Durga took the form of a bird (Haer in Kashmiri) On the day of Ashad Shukla Paksh Navami (Har Navum), it is believed to have carried a celestial pebble in its beak and dropped it on the demon to crush it to death.

A miracle happened and the celestial pabble is said to have assumed the shape and form of a hillock giving it the name of Sharika Parbat or Hari Parvat. Subsequently the Goddess Sharika (represented by the mystic ‘Soyambhu Shrichakra’) made Her permanent abode on the western face of the hillock (Hari Parvat) on the vertical rock (Shila) to assure the native people of Her presence and protection. The whole of Hari Parvat is a hallowed place. A number of temples and holy temples representing the different deities are located on its all sides. It is due to this belief that the devotees undertake a circumambulation of the whole hillock of Hari Parvat. The parikrama starts from the Lord Ganesh Shrine, which is located on the south-western corner of Hari Parvat. Inisde the temple, the deity is represented by a huge ‘shila’ from Lord Ganesh’s temple, there are two parikarama’ routes; one along the foot-hill of the hillock and the other along the fortified stone well, locally known as ‘Kalai’. The devotees have the option of taking either of the two routes. The next place of obeisance on parikarama route is the ‘Saptrishi sthapna (Satresh) which is marked by an open space on the slope of a hillock near a big boulder in the vicinity of a chinar tree. Here, the devotees ascertain their luck (locally known as ‘phall’) by random picking up of some rice grains scattered on the boulder.

Furtheron, the next holy spot on the ‘parikarma’ is the ‘sthapna, of the Goddess Kali, which is marked by a small temple adjacent to a Chinar tree. Infront of the Kali temple, a large flat chunk of pond measuring about ten Kanals or so is known as ‘Sidh-Peeth’-- a place of awekened Divine presence. The ‘Sidh Peeth’ is said to be invested with strong divine spiritual vibrations.

Next, on the parikrama route is a vast stretch of open space known as ‘Devi Angan’- the playfield of the Cosmic Mother. It is studded with small hutments for the purpose of worship and meditation. Due to its scenic charm and absorbing natural beauty, Devi-Anagan is also a place for religious and social festivities. Next holy spot on parkarama of Hari-Parbat is the ‘sthapna’ of Hari, represented by a rock located on the north eastern face of the hillock. The devotees after performing pooja here, take a symbolic ‘round turn’ parkrama infornt of the ‘Shila’ pronouncing loudly the holy words ‘Hari Kartum Yaeri (Mother Goddess bless me). Infront of Devi-Angon, the two perikarma routes, one along the fortification wall (Kalai) and the other below the foothill merge together. Next on the parikarma route, the devotees pay their obeisance to the Goddess Mahalakshmi a next and opposite to Mahalakshmi sthapna, on the left side of parikarma route, there is a temple called ‘Amber Kouls’ mandir, though some wrongly refer it as Ram Koul’s Mandir.

Next on the parikarma, falls the sthapna of ‘Vamdev’, which is located on the left side of the parikrama route. ‘Vamdhev’ is regarded as the Divine Consort of the Goddess Reghnya. Earlier, there existed a stone statue of Lord Vamdev and a small ‘dharamshalla’. The devotees also perform parkarma here. Pakhribal, the shrine of the mother Raghnya is the next holy spot on the parikarma route. It has a holy spring inside the temple complex. A ‘yagnya’ is performed in honour of the Goddess Raghnya especially on Shiklapaksh Ashatmi’ and other auspicious days. A small Hanuman temple located on the right side of the foothill is the last holy spot on the parkrama route. The circumbatation (parikarama) of the Hari-Parbat ends at ‘Kothi-darwaza’, which is one of the two main gates of the old township around Hari Parvat, the other being ‘Sangeen-darwaza’ towards Hawal. It is rightly believed that those who worship at Hari Parvat are deemed to have worshipped all the Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu mythology.

 

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