By Bhirendra Khati and voice-over by Anshika Nigam
Our trip to the Kumaon Hills- Nainital, was finally coming to an end. We had a bus to catch in the afternoon for our return journey. Naina Devi temple was the last place on our bucket list. We had already been to Shoppers street, most of the lakes, the forest and Tibetan market.
In these days where commercialisation of places of worship is rampant, I have stopped visiting temples. Temple visits these days rarely give you serenity and peace of mind as once it used to give. I prefer japa (chanting) and meditation in a secluded place over temple visits; as I get my peace of mind and connect through the Universal Energy through these. However, a visit to the Naina-Devi temple changed my perception.
The temple is located at the far end of a beautiful lake. In fact, the lake has got its name as “Naini Tal” for being in the vicinity of the Naina-Devi Temple. The temple was at a walking distance from the hotel we stayed in; so we walked our way through the mountains to the temple.
India and mythology are synonymous. You will be deluged with tales as you roam from one place to another throughout India. About Naina-Devi Temple, legends say that when Lord Shiva roamed the world with grief and anger carrying the dead body of his beloved wife (Sati) on his shoulders, the order of the universe was disturbed. Shiva, who is also known as the god of destruction, is responsible to put all the things that are created in the universe to their logical end. To restore the chaos created by Shiva’s grief, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra to give a meaning to Sati’s charred body. Due to the massive force on being hit by the Sudarshan Chakra, the dead body got fragmented into its various organs. The places where Sati’s organs fell on Earth are known as Shakti Peethas. These places are sacred to Hindus and are revered highly. The Naina-Devi temple is one such Shakti-Peetha where eyes of Sati are believed to have landed. The word “Naina” in Hindi refers to the eyes.
Irrespective of what legends say, when you visit the temple, you find a serene ambience. The atmosphere of the temple is abounding with spiritual energy. Devotees of the Divine Mother come here from all across the country. By the time we completed our darshan, we could feel the grace of Divine Mother in our hearts. We felt our bodies charged with a new wave of energy and our minds in a state of tranquil. We sat there for a long time glancing at the horizon, which seemed like eternity, appreciating the marvel of nature. The serenity, scenic beauty, and the devotion in the atmosphere overwhelmed our hearts. Just to be present there was a pleasurable and gratifying experience.
Few experiences in life are so enriching that they provide you with a whole new perspective. Perspective of leading life with positive thoughts, understanding the deeper meanings of your existence and being one with nature, and acknowledging all forms of life with their uniqueness. At the same time one also begins to wonder about the scale of magnanimity of a nation like India- which is umpteen with such a rich heritage. With a heritage of world’s most ancient temples, each of which has a legendary story, these temples are indeed a powerhouse of energy.
With these thoughts in mind, we went on our way towards the hotel, cherishing the life-time memory we had just created.
The Author is Deputy Manager at Bharat Electronics.