Hariparbat Temple -The abode of Goddess Sharika - watsupptoday.com
Hariparbat Temple -The abode of Goddess Sharika
Posted 04 Apr 2017 05:17 PM


Hariparbat is a sacred hillock which can be seen from about twenty miles away from the western side of Srinagar city. The mount is considered very holy as it is the permanent abode of Jagatamba Sharika Bhagwati-the most adorable and magnificent deity with eighteen arms(Ashtadushbuja), who takes good care of the universe and her devotees. Sharika Devi is believed to be an incarnation of goddess Durga. There are many shrines located on all sides the Hariparbat and amongst them; the Chakreshvar shrine perhaps, is the holiest one. The hillock of Hariparbat has been a place of worship from ancient times and is regarded as one of the holiest places of Kashmir. It is truly believed that those who worship at Hariparbat-Chakreshvar are deemed to have worshiped all the gods and goddess of Hindu mythology.

There is a legend associated with this hillock. According to this, Kashmir was once a vast lake of water. It was called Satisar because it was the abode of mother Sati “the consort of Lord Shiva”. A demon Known as “Jalodbhav” is believed to have lived near this hillock (Hariparbat).He had made the life of people very miserable. The inhabitants called on the goddess Parvati for help. She took the form of an enormous bird “herr”, which is the Kashmiri word for maina, and carried a divine pebble in her beak and dropped on the demon, which grew larger and larger until it crushed him to death. After that a miracle happened and the divine stone converted itself into the hillock that has been ever since called the Sharikaparbat or Hariparbat. Further, it is Sharika Ji who has given the hill its name as Hariparbat since ‘Hari’ is derived from the Kashmiri ‘herr’ which is a bird and ‘parbat’ means hill.

The entire hill of Hariparbat is a hallowed place. It is stated to be the powerful centre in attaining spiritual bliss. Many great saints of Kashmir have performed Sadhana at this place from time to time and got blessed with Sakhshat Darshan of Jagat Amba Sharika. Among them were saints like Pandit Madhov Joo Dhar, Bhagwaan Gopi Nath Ji, Krishan Kar, Jeevan Sahib and Peer Pandit Padhshah. The dedicated and firm devotee of Sharika Bhagwati Pandit Madhov Joo Dhar was blessed with a boon of a daughter, who later becomes a great saint known as Mata Roop Bhawani in entire Kashmir. Another saint Peer Pandit Padhshah has performed circumambulation of the hillock on his knees for forty days in the wee hours of morning to get blessed. Likewise, Bhagwaan Gopi Nath Ji has spent about nine months at Hariparbat-Chakreshvar and had got the Devi’s darshan on many occasions.

The holiness of Hariparbat can also be well understood by the number of shrines located on all sides of hillock. These shrines follow a unique pattern.First, the Lord Ganesha temple is situated on the south-western corner of Hariparbat. Next, the Satresh Sathapana( the seven sons of Lord Brahma) also, known as Saptrishis. Further on the next, appear the thapna of goddess Kali. Then, emerges a vast land known as Siddh-Peeth, which is a place of awakened divine presence. After that, appears a stretch of an open land known by the name of Devi- Angan-the play field of mother Sharika. The next holy spot is the shrine of Chakreshvar, where the thapna (establishment) of the goddess is signified by a shila (rock), smeared with sindhoor. Then appear the shrines of Maha Lakshmi thapna-the goddess of wealth, Koul’s temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the thapna of Lord Vamdev-the ‘consort’ of Ragnya Devi, Pokhribal- the shrine of Mata Rajnya and lastly a small Hanuman Ji temple. However, it is important to know that some of the above stated holy places are presently in ruins and could not be located easily.

In Hindu mythology, it is said that doing parikrama in a clockwise direction for an odd number of times is very pious. It is believed that offering parikrama or pradakshina (circumambulation) around the Hariparbat and particularly in the month of Magh is considered pious. This parikama (prakrum in Kashmiri) would begin from the temple of Lord Ganesha upto “ Kathi-Darwaza” .The devotees can prefer either of the two routes-one along the bottom of hillock and the other along the wall that encloses the locality around it. There are two main gates of this locality “Kathi-Darwaza” towards Chhati Padshahi and “ Sangeen Darwaza” towards Hawal.

- The Shrine of Chakreshvar

The revered shrine of Shri Shri Jagatamba Sharika Bhagwati is situated at the north-western slope of Hariparbat .This is also popularly known as the shrine of ‘Chakreshvar’, where the Goddess Sharika manifested herself in the form of rock (shila) on which a mystic geometrical pattern has been etched. This is the temple that the Hindus in general and Kashmiri Pandits in particular hold in the highest esteem. The shrine is as old as human settlement in Kashmir.It is dedicated to Jagatamba Sharika Bhagwati, who is believed to be a form of Durga Mata or Shakti.
“Jagatamba” means “the mother of all creation”; “Sharika” is her personal name and “Bhagwati” means “goddess”. So, Jagatamba Sharika Bhagwati is one of the many forms of Mahashakti. “Mahashakti” means “the great power or energy”. This divine energy assumes a human form in the shape of goddess Durga and her various incarnations. Sharika Ji is known by many names like Harre, Sharika Bhagwati, Maha Tripursundari, Rajrajeshwari, Ashtadushbuja, Durga, Mahashakti and Jagatamba.The goddess is the supreme mother of the universe and is regarded as the presiding deity (Ishat-Devi) of a section of Kashmiri Pandits.

Her shrine at Chakreshvar Hariparabt is not like a regular temple, but a lotus shaped concrete canopy beneath which lies a huge shila smeared with a paste of sindhoor (vermilion). The shila is the thapna (establishment) of Sharika Bhagwati.It is decorated with ropa varak (silver foils) and petals of red fresh flowers. The whole sacred rock seems to be like that Mata has hidden her face by turning closely towards the steep hill. Devotees pay their obeisance at the shila on a marble platform constructed for this purpose. There are two dharamshallas where devotees can stay for night. The sacred shrine can be approached from Deviangan at the foothills by a flight of 111 chiselled stones. The shrine is heavily guarded by Jawans of 82 CRPF contingent, who besides play a vital role during many occasions.

The mother Goddess reveals herself in a huge rock at Chakreshvar having mystic geometrical figures engraved on it. These are not an ordinary figures but represents ‘Shri Yantra’ or ‘Shri Chakram’ , also called Swayambha Maha Shree Yantra, which consists of circular mystic impressions and triangular patterns with a dot bindu at the centre.Usually, Shri Yantra are normally two types, however, the Yantra at Hariparbat is a three dimensional and is one of the most auspicious, important and powerful yantras. The description of this yantra are central red bindu, central white triangle, eight red triangles, ten blue triangles, ten red triangles, fourteen blue triangles, eight red lotus petals, sixteen blue petals ,three circles in yellow and the quadrangular ramparts all around constitute in Shri Chakram.

The figures have very important pattern and meaning in Shri Chakram. The central red bindu depicting Maha Tripur Sundari ( Bindu Triya), the central white triangle represents Chakra giving all success , the eight red triangles describing power that rules, the two groups of ten triangles(blue and red) represent Shakties and Yognis, the group of fourteen triangles describing all good luck, the eight red lotus petals depict different powers of human beings, the sixteen blue petals depicting sixteen Yoginies associated with the attainment of desire and the three yellow circles represent the Chakra ruling the three worlds.

However, the four triangles that point upwards represent Shiva and the other five pointing downwards represent Shakti. The intersecting triangles represent the creation, protection and absorption of whole universe by the pure divine force known as Sudha-Shakti. All these triangles are enclosed in a circle representing mystical lotus creation and the following circle with sixteen lotus petals describing sixteen phases of moon. The central point in the Bindu is chakra which symbolises union of Shiva with Shakti.

The most auspicious days for prayers at the shrine are Hure Ashtami (the eighth day of dark fortnight of Phagun month), Har Saptami, Har Ashtami and Har Navumi (the seventh, eighth and ninth days of Ashad month), Navreh (the new years day in Kashmiri) and the Navraatra days. However, Har Navumi is the birthday of Sharika Bhagwati. It is on this day, the devotees visit shrine in large numbers and make a sacrificial offering of Taher (rice boiled with turmeric powder and mixed with oil and salt). They also sing bhajans throughout the night to get blessed.

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