Friday Jun 14, 2024

Pushkar Brahma Temple- Rajasthan

Address

Pushkar Brahma Temple- Pushkar, Ajmer district, Rajasthan-305022.

Diety

Brahma Amman: Gayathri

Introduction

Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is situated at Pushkar in the Indian state of Rajasthan, close to the sacred Pushkar Lake to which its legend has an indelible link. The temple is one of very few existing temples dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Brahma in India and remains the most prominent among them. The temple structure dates to the 14th century, partly rebuilt later. The temple is made of marble and stone slabs. It has a distinct red pinnacle (shikhara) and a hamsa bird motif. The temple sanctum sanctorum holds the image of four-headed Brahma and his consort Gayatri(goddess of vedas). The temple is governed by the Sanyasi (ascetic) sect priesthood.

Puranic Significance

The most important is the Brahma temple. The structure dates to the 14th century. The temple is described to have been built by sage Vishwamitra after Brahma’s yagna (ritual). It is also believed that Brahma himself chose the location for his temple. The 8th century philosopher Adi Shankara renovated this temple. Pushkar is often described in the scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world, owing to the curse of Savitri(Saraswati), and as the “King of the sacred places of the Hindus”. Although now the Pushkar temple does not remain the only Brahma temple, it is still one of very few existing temples dedicated to Brahma in India and the most prominent one dedicated to Brahma. According to the Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha (Vajranash in another version) trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his weapon, the lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell on the ground at three places, creating 3 lakes: the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar (greatest or first Pushkar), the Madya Pushkar (middle Pushkar) Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar (lowest or youngest Pushkar) lake. When Brahma came down to the earth, he named the place where the flower (“pushpa”) fell from Brahma’s hand (“kar”) as “Pushkar”. Brahma then decided to perform a yajna (fire-sacrifice) at the main Pushkar Lake. In order to perform his yajna peacefully without being attacked by the demons, he created the hills around the Pushkar – Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and positioned gods there to protect the yajna performance. However, while performing the yajna, his wife Savitri (Saraswati)could not be present at the designated time to perform the essential part of the yajna as she was waiting for her companion goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Indrani. Annoyed, Brahma requested god Indra(the king of heaven) to find a suitable girl for him to wed to complete the yajna. Indra could find only a daughter (a gurjar milkmaid) who was sanctified by passing her through the body of a cow. Gods Vishnu, Shiva and the priests certified her purity as she had passed through a cow, it was her second birth and she was named Gayatri (goddess of milk). Brahma then married Gayatri and completed the yajna with his new consort sitting beside him, holding the pot of amrita (elixir of life) on her head and giving ahuti (offering to the sacrificial fire). But when Savitri finally arrived at the venue she found Gayatri sitting next to Brahma which was her rightful place. Agitated, she cursed Brahma that he would be never worshipped, but then reduced the curse permitting his worship in Pushkar. Savitri also cursed Indra to be easily defeated in battles, Vishnu to suffer the separation from his wife as a human, the Agni(fire-god ) who was offered the yajna to be all-devouring and the priests officiating the yajna to be poor. Endowed by the powers of yajna, Gayatri diluted Savitri’s curse, blessing Pushkar to be the king of pilgrimages, Indra would always retain his heaven, Vishnu would be born as the human Rama and finally unite with his consort and the priests would become scholars and be venerated. Thus, the Pushkar temple is regarded the only temple dedicated to Brahma. Savitri, thereafter, moved into the Ratnagiri hill and became a part of it by emerging as a spring known as the Savitri Jharna (stream); a temple in her honour exists here.

Beliefs

Pushkar Lake is revered as a sacred theertham. It is very good to settle here and give Dharmapana.. It is believed that fate will change if one visits this Brahma temple.

Special Features

The temple, which is set on high plinth, is approached through a number of marble steps leading to an entrance gate archway, decorated with pillared canopies. The entry from the gate leads to a pillared outdoor hall (Mandapa) and then the sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha). The temple is built with stone slabs and blocks, joined together with molten lead. The red shikara (spire) of the temple and symbol of a hamsa (a swan or goose) – the mount of Brahma – are distinct features of the temple. The shikara is about 70 feet (21 m) in height. The hamsa motif decorates the main entry gate. Marble floor (in black and white checks) and walls inside the temple have been inlaid with hundreds of silver coins by devotees (with their names inscribed), as mark of offering to Brahma. There is a silver turtle in the mandap, that is displayed on the floor of the temple facing the Garbhagriha, which is also built in marble.

Festivals

On Kartik Poornima, a festival dedicated to Brahma is held when large numbers of pilgrims visit the temple, after bathing in the sacred lake.

Century/Period/Age

14th century

Managed By

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Nearest Bus Station

Pushkar

Nearest Railway Station

Ajmer Station

Nearest Airport

Jaipur

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