Why did it happen?
This was nearly 15 years ago, we were travelling to the higher reaches of Badrinath. On the way back we went to a restaurant just outside the temple. We asked for some cow milk and told the owner to be doubly sure that it was cow milk and not powdered milk. He assured us and went into the kitchen. We waited for ten minutes and then I decided to take a look in the kitchen. To my surprise, I saw him boiling water and adding powdered milk to it! On confronting, he cheekily replied, “Now where do I get cows here?” I told him that if you people won’t send your cows to the butchers then you would have them and your character would be devik and not asuric, for this is what you all have become. How can you fool people at the dham of Vishnu?
Another time, on my visit to the Kedarnath shrine, I found families thronging the shrine in a picnic and holiday mood, film songs blaring and card parties galore. Inside the dharamshala surrounding the shrine, people were dressed as Shiva waving their trishul at me and simultaneously demanding money! It is too pathetic and sad for someone like me to describe in detail what all I saw and how I got out of there. These could not be the state of affairs of a Jyotirling and Vishnu Dham.
This was nearly 15 years ago, I dread to think what would be happening there now?
Suddenly the news flashed on television, “THOUSANDS KILLED IN LANDSLIDES AND FLOODING IN KEDARNATH,” “THE TEMPLE STANDS,” “SADHUS CAUGHT LEAVING THE AREA WITH JEWELLERY AND MONEY HIDDEN IN THEIR CLOTHES AND JHOLAS,” “VILLAGERS SELLING WATER AND FOOD TO THOSE STRANDED AT 10 TIMES THE PRICE,” “PEOPLE DESPERATE TO LEAVE, DEAD BODIES STREWN ALL OVER.”
Are we talking about a coveted Chaar Dham? Are we referring to a Jyotirling? Are we talking about real sadhus? Are we talking about human beings? And last but not the least, are we talking about people who went there looking for moksha?
It is important to note here that a rock rolled down and stopped just short of the temple while other rocks destroyed everything around. The temple STAIRWAY was washed away, Nandi’s statue and the temple UNHARMED, nothing else survived. This rock was like a dam which prevented the water and other boulders from hitting the temple. Is the message not clear that the statue of Nandi and the entire temple is standing while the stairway has been washed away? Shiv is telling us to not disturb him by our foolish actions. Such places should be left for sadhaks and for those who want to do penance. They should be out of bounds for family picnics.
Is this too uncanny or just a coincidence? No, it is neither uncanny nor a coincidence. Did this happen because a goddess temple was being shifted to make way for a hydel power project? I will give the reasons:
1] India is the third largest exporter of beef. Thousands of Nandis are separated from their mothers and killed to satisfy the greed of a few. The media and the politicians don’t pick up this subject as they believe it will turn communal. Though as per law it is illegal to kill cows and calves. I don’t see anything communal in this. It is just a blatant violation of the Indian law by powerful people. The biggest traders of skin and different kinds of meats are Hindus! Cows are killed by bashing them on their heads!
Lord Shiva had given a boon to Nandi, “Whatever is whispered into your ears will be heard by me.” One can imagine the pain and suffering of the animals and what all will be going to Lord Shiva’s ears.
2] Majority of people going to dhams don’t go there asking for moksha or for penance. They go there for a picnic, a family outing and in the process temples are visited and more wealth and health is asked for. Never have they bothered to feed a hungry human or animal on the road.
3] We have polluted the Ganga. Our water bodies are now poisoned. Trillions of tons of effluence goes into our sacred rivers. Extreme negative karma is created when this water poisons the animals, humans and plants it touches.
4] Majority of Sadhus are unsuccessful businessmen who have found religious blackmailing a good way of making money .They have opened big ashrams and are thronging religious melas in the hope of coming into the Forbes list of billionaires. Lot of them are selling asans and so called ayurvedic medicines to cure all diseases, known and unknown.
5] Majority of religious places are busy collecting wealth and filling their coffers. The money which they get as donations for helping the poor is used for making gold thrones. The fact is completely ignored that the founders had spent their entire lives in helping others and doing penances. They propagated moksha….not bhoga.
In this age, invaders like Mohammad Ghori and Mahmud of Ghazni or even the Afghan warlords would not come to loot these places and kill the inhabitants. Our armed forces are competent to handle all this, but then the Divine has to tell us that what we are doing is wrong. We are ruining our culture and making a mockery of our religion. The Divine has to find some way of telling us that we must change or else the creation will end and we will suffer in hell, for we are only responsible for all the harm we are causing to nature. We are destroying it by cutting trees, using pesticides, killing cows, polluting rivers and water bodies, turning ashrams into business models, desecrating places of penances and sadhna by our wild parties and by becoming completely selfish and insensitive to our neighbours.
Shiva has to intervene….Shiva has interfered. I pray for all the departed souls and hope for their salvation. May their near and dear ones find solace and peace. I hope that this would be the last calamity which our great civilization will face. I hope for a change…a new beginning.
(Yogi Ashwini is the guiding light of Dhyan Ashram. He is a master of Yoga, Tantra, Past-Life Revisiting and Healing Sciences.)