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The healing powers of Faith – Char Dham

Upasana Kamineni Konidela

Wellbeing Curator

7 min read

Urlife.co.in is a wellbeing platform, that propagates healing in every form possible. My recent visit to Badri and Kedar changed my view on sickness. Young, old, fit or limping “Jai Bhole” was in everyone’s soul. People put aside their aches, pains, chills or altitude sickness and immersed themselves in the power of devotion to the lord. It clearly showed that faith is much stronger than any medicine, it can heal miraculously. “Belief is power” is something I truly believe in, and I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes. Have faith in Urself, UR religion and UR environment.

According to Hinduism, an individual’s life goals are divided into four aspects – Dharma, Artha, Kaam and Moksha. These four parts translate as duty, wealth & prosperity, worldly desires & salvation. Moksha is considered to be the ultimate life goal. It is the stage of ultimate freedom from the life and death circle. Moksha is also synonymous with self-realization, self-knowledge and oneness with God.

However, before the attainment of Moksha; an individual has to effectively get through the other three phases of life which is Dharma, Artha and Kaam. To achieve Moksha, you need to live your life according to the principles of Dharma, have pious feelings and do-good deeds. If your good deeds are more than your bad deeds – your soul will be set free and you will break the vicious cycle of birth and rebirth. You will be truly liberated and experience divine bliss!

What is Char Dham Yatra?

There is a lot of religious significance of the Char Dham Yatra in Hinduism. Therefore, all Hindus strive to go on this pilgrimage in their lifetime, at least once. This is because it’s believed that when one goes on this pilgrimage, sins are washed away and the gates of salvation (Moksha) are opened. It is said that individuals who finish the pilgrimage of Char Dham attain total peace of mind.

The Char Dham Yatra comprises of visiting four holy shrines to wash away sins. There are two types of Yatras – Badi Char Dham Yatra and Chota Char Dham Yatra. The Char Dham Yatra that takes places in the state of Uttarakhand is the Chota Char Dham Yatra.

The Char Dham originally referred to the four holy sites that are situated in the four corners of India – In the north, west, east and south. Therefore, the four established places which date back to the 8th century AD were Badrinath in the north, Puri in the east, Rameshwaram in the south and Dwarka in the west. A small pilgrimage tour was made in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas, out of the places, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

The usual pilgrimage tour takes around 11 or 12 days and is undertaken in a clockwise movement, from east to west. Hence, the sacred journey begins in Yamunotri Dham after which comes Gangotri Dham followed by Kedarnath Dham. It ends in Badrinath Dham – the most important pilgrimage site of Char Dham and Chota Char Dham. This is because it is believed that the pious Hindu leader, Adi Shankaracharya attained salvation here. The Char Dham Yatra’s starting point is Haridwar.
Yamunotri Dham

Yamunotri Dham - URLife Wellness Platform

Yamunotri is situated at the source of the holy Yamuna River. The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna who is believed to be the sister of Yamraj (the God of death) according to Hindu mythology. On the festival of Bhai Dooj, he is supposed to have promised her that those individuals, who take a dip in the Yamuna River, will not be sent to Yamlok (a place where people are taken to after death). Thus, they will attain Moksha.

Gangotri Dham

Gangotri Dham - URLife Wellness Platform
Gangotri Dham

The Ganga is considered to be the most sacred river for Hindus. Gangotri is situated at the original source of the River Ganga also known as the Ganges. This holy river for Hindus is known to be life-giving. It also purifies and cleanses individuals of their sins and misdeeds.

A dip in this river can wash away all wrongdoings and sins! This is because the holy water from River Ganga is believed to contain nectar that is very powerful. According to Hindu mythology, this nectar soothed and healed the throat of Lord Shiva when he had taken poison. Therefore, devotees carry the holy water from this river to worship Lord Shiva.

Kedarnath Dham

Kedarnath Dham - URLife Wellness Platform

Located in the state of Uttarakhand and named after King Kedar, the Kedarnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his incarnations. It is one of the most important sites of the Char Dham and contains one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya, who built the present temple, is also present here. As mentioned in the Puranas, the Pandava brothers came here for penance and were absolved of their sins by Lord Shiva for killing their cousins, the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra battle.

Kedarnath

My recent visit to Badri and Kedar changed my view on sickness. Young, old, fit or limping “Jai Bhole” was in everyone’s soul. People put aside their aches, pains, chills or altitude sickness and immersed themselves in the power of devotion to the lord. It clearly showed that faith is much stronger than any medicine, it can heal miraculously.

Badrinath Dham

Badrinath Dham - URLife Wellness Platform
Badrinath Dham

The Char Dham Yatra culminates at Badrinath Dham – the most sacred shine of the circuit. Lord Vishu is the God worshipped in this shrine. He is considered to be the preserver and protector of the Hindu Trinity that consists of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu.

The valley of Kedar-Badri is known to be the abode of Lord Shiva. It is believed that while Lord Shiva meditated, his wife Goddess Lakshmi provided shelter and shade over him as a Badri tree. Thus, the place is named Badrinath. This place is also where Adi Shankaracharya is said to have achieved Moksha, thus getting free from reincarnation.

Among the Char Dhams, Gangotri Dham and Badrinath Dham are connected well by road. For the Yamunotri Dham and Kedarnath Dham, pilgrims and devotees need to trek up to the temples. Among the two routes, the Yamunotri Dham is more difficult. It takes around six hours on this hilly road.

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