EKLINGNATHJI (PART-I)

Located about 23 kms away from Udaipur on N.H. 8, the Eklingji Mandir at Kailashpuri village has the ambience of calm and peace as it is suffused with the power of ‘mantras’ chanted here for centuries. It seems the air is charged with a power that enables deep reflection and quietens the mind.

According to scriptures, the holy place has been in existence since Satyug. After killing of Britasur, a Brahmin, Lord Indra began to suffer from fever. When there was no relief from fever, Indra went to his Guru Brahispati who advised him to go to Eklingnath and pray to him. Obeying his Guru’s order, Indra came to Kailashpuri and after ‘tapasya’ for a long time, he was cured by the grace of Eklingnath.

In Tretayug, frightened by Vishwamitra, Nandini, the daughter of Kamdhenu sought the refuge of Eklingnath. It was in Kailashpuri that she did ‘tapasya’ and pleased Lord Shiv and as a result she was victorious against the army of Vishwamitra and pleased Vashishtha.

During the last phase of Mahabharat in Dvaparyug, Raja Janmejai performed Nagyagna as a revenge of the death of Raja Parikshit. Nagraj Takshat was frightened and took refuge of Lord Eklingnath. Here, he built a kund in Kutilaganga that is now famous as Takshat Kund. It was here in Kaliyug that Yogiraj Harit pleased Lord Eklingnath with his ‘tapasya’.

According to Ekling Puran, once Goddess Parvati decided to test the wives of the Rishis. For this purpose, Lord Shiv agreed to take the form of a handsome young man and was able to disturb the wives in their ‘tapasya’. When the ‘rishis’ came to know about it, they were furious and cursed Lord Shiv and sent him to ‘Mrityulok’. First of all, he came down to Mandhanta city and then to Aravali hills where he was worshipped in his ‘linga’ form. He blessed his several

devotees. It was said that the ‘punya’ earned through the ‘darshan’ was much more than that through going on pilgrimage, doing ‘tapa’, giving in charity or performing big ‘yagna’.

The glorious history of Mewar starts with Bappa Rawal who belonged to Guhil Vansha, descendants of Lord Ram’s son Kush. The Guhils were defeated by the Mauras and almost all the members of the family were killed. However, the pregnant queen of Aparajit, father of Bappa Rawal, was able to escape and came to Nagda near Kailashpuri. She was given refuge by Purohit Vashishtha Rawal and in this village was born Bappa Rawal. When Bappa grew up, he was given the task of taking the cows of his host to graze and enjoyed doing this. One day, the host complained to his mother that one of his cows was not giving milk and the boy might have been drinking it. The mother was furious and scolded Bappa. The next morning, Bappa followed the cow closely but secretly. It entered a bamboo grove, stood quietly over a Shiv ‘lingam’ and milk began to pour automatically on the ‘lingam’. At this place, Shiv had appeared as a result of the curse by the ‘rishis’. Bappa was elated at the devotion of the cow.

There was another person, Harit Rishi, who was witness to this amazing scene. The Rishi was deeply impressed by the young boy and asked him who he was. Bappa related his complete story and requested the hermit to be his Guru. The hermit agreed to do so and said that in fact he had been waiting for Bappa. Bappa began to receive lessons of morality and was initiated in the mysterious rites of Shiv Aradhana.

One day the sage told Bappa that he was going to leave the mortal world the next day and he should meet him early in the morning. However, when Bappa reached the hermit’s hut, he saw his Guru was going up in a Viman. The sage asked Bappa to open his mouth and spot the betel leaf in his own mouth. However, Bappa did not want to take it in his mouth and it fell on his foot. The sage said that the betel leaf was ‘prasad’ and if Bappa had taken it in his mouth, he would have become the ruler of the whole world. However, he could rule over Mewar and would never face defeat. On this spot where this historic incident took place, stands today the famous Eklingnath Mandir.

The sage bestowed Bappa Rawal with the title of Ekling Diwan. And to this day, the Maharana of Mewar considers himself just as a minister and Eklingnath as the ruler. And that is why in all the official correspondence of Mewar on the left side of the top of the paper is written “Shri Eklingji” and on the right one “Shriramji” as the Maharanas are descendants of Suryavanshi Ram.

By the grace of Eklingnathji, Bappa was able to regain his lost kingdom and his first act after his success was to build the temple of Eklingnath.

Time and time again, the temple was ruined due to foreign invasion and was repaired and renovated several times. It was repaired in the reign of Maharana Hameersingh. It was repaired again during the reign of Maharana Mokal who also built a rampant around it. Later on, Maharana Kumbha extended the temple and constructed a separate temple to the north east of it that was named as Kumbh Mandap or Kumbh Shyam Mandir, popularity called Meera Bai Ka Mandir. In between the reign of Maharana Kumbha and Maharana Raimal, the temple was again in ruins. Maharana Raimal got repaired the edifice and installed a new idol.

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