About Yam Dwar
Mount Kailash is the legendary mountain which is known as the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva. This is the spiritual center of the world and divinity seekers do parikrama (circumambulation) around Mount Kailash. In order to start parikrama, one must pass through Yam Dwar first. This is the prominent destination in Kailash Mansarovar Yatra which is situated in western Tibet at an elevation of 15,500 ft. Yam Dwar- as the name suggests Yam means the God of Death and Dwar means gate. This is the official start of your journey around Mt Kailash.
One who crosses the Yam Dwar becomes free from shackles of life and death. As per legends, Yamraj protects this place and any ill soul can not cross this gate to go beyond. Once you cross this point, you should leave everything to the lord. That’s why this holds important significance in the journey.
Tibetans call this place as Tarboche and they install prayer flag pole every year on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month. They also start and finish their Parikrama (kora) from this point. This place has beautiful arrays of flags all around the Yam Dwar.
When I reached Yam Dwar
I can’t say where I was going, no way our deeds can be purified. I have done many wrong things I regret, also many good things to be proud of. But when I came to YamDwar I realized that distance between me and soul is not that great.
With deep affection with the father of the universe, the very source of creation, Shiva himself had blessed me to touch his feet. What can be better than this feeling?
When our bus reached Yamdwar, mount Kailash was covered with clouds. Then suddenly lights became sharper, sounds became richer and then I was filled with a deep powerful presence of life i.e, the first glimpse of Mount Kailash. The Holy Mount Kailash, the cosmic center of Earth or the faith of billions of people was standing tall like the jewel of Tibet.
Surrender- first step towards devotion
Surrender (Aatma Samarpan) is that state of mind when you leave all your firm determinations. Whatever happens and comes your way is by the wish of the Lord. It is that state of mind when you surrender your mind, wit, wishes, desires, etc to the lotus feet of the Lord. After that, no question arises in the mind. And, this kind of surrender is the first step towards devotion (bhakti). You can surrender to your parents, master and eventually you start becoming like them. So, if you surrender to the divine, you become part of his ocean.
I tried to surrender completely to Lord Shiva that he will take care of. No one could help me or protect me except him. Now it was only Shiva and me in the journey of a lifetime – KAILASH parikrama.
The essence is to detach from all temporary materialism of the universe (your body, mind, family, relationships or anything else). And accept everything the way it is. Whoever empties and opens the heart for the supreme, light of truth definitely falls on him.
While walking on the Godly land of Tibet, I always tried to understand this as much as possible
सर्वेश्र्वराय सदाशिवाय महादेवाय नमः (Sarveshwaraya Sadashivyaa Mahadevaya Namah)
This means, Lord of all beings, who was always there, everything in the world is because of him. Oh Lord, my salutations to you!
A true example of surrender
Watch this video, how Tibetians do parikrama (kora in local language) by full prostration around holy Mt Kailash. It takes them more than a month to complete 1 kora. It actually becomes very difficult to breathe at such a high altitude on the difficult terrain of rocks and glaciers. I can’t even imagine what kind of fire must be burning inside them. They don’t have food to eat and no shelter for the stay. The only thing they carry is “Immense faith in the lord“.
If a person goes through this, I am sure he will be free from all the 5 vices which are Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Mad (Lust, Anger,Greed, Attachment, and Ego). It is their kind of Aatma Samaparpan and devotion towards the supreme.
And while doing this, they chant some mantra like “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha” means I prostrate to the liberator, to the mother of all Buddhas.
Pilgrimage – A gateway to salvation
Pilgrimage holds an important significance not only in Hinduism but in every religion and culture. People take dip in the holy river, visit old temples and go to difficult places to receive blessings. All such places like 12 Jyotirlingas, Panch Kailash, Panch Kedar, Shaktipeeth, etc have so much of positive energies and vibrations because Gods came down or Saints did tough Tapasya (penance) for ages.
But before receiving that, we should always empty ourselves. We should make space inside to absorb such powerful energies. All we need is to open ourselves before entering into awakened land. The essence of pilgrimage is to detach from the world and surrender to the Lord which is the gateway to salvation.
I have written this article on Yamdwar which lies near Kailash, but its significance can be applied to any place. Yam Dwar continuously reminds me that “Nothing lasts except the purity of Soul”
This is my first attempt at writing on Spirituality on HIDDEN ROADS. I hope you like it 🙂 My inspiration for this attempt is Santosh Gairola, please go through his amazing blogs on Viyali.
PC: I have taken the featured picture from http://www.kailash-yatra.org