Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ashram of Mahrishi Vashith Mohyal Gotra Rishi--Lau (Lav)

Maharishi Vashisht Ashram , the head of “Lau”...
Vashisht Vaid
According to the famous Hindu epic “Ramayana”, Brahmrishi Vashisht had an Ashram in Ayodhya that was spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land, where he lived with his wife” Arundhati’. Today all that remains of it is a small ashram in about one fourth of an acre of land. The ashram has within it a well that is believed to be the source of the river Saryu. This Vashisht Kund is situated near Chakra Tirtha in the city of Ayodhya. Vashisht Kund is a temple with a small round kund (pond) like a well.
Maharishi Vashisht is glorified in Rigveda chapter RV 7.33, extolling his role in the war of the 10 kings of Bharatvarsha, making him the only Maharishi besides the other rishi named Bhava to have a Rigvedic hymn especially dedicated to him. Maharishi Vashisht also wrote the famous treatise known as the "Vashisht Samhita" - a book on Vedic system of electional astrology, as well the famous “yog vashisht”is dedicated to him by Maharishi Valmiki. This treatise of Yog Vashisht, recounts a discourse of the sage Maharishi Vashisht to the young Prince Rama chandra, during a period when the latter is in a total dejected state. The contents of Maharishi Vashisht’s teaching to Rama is associated with Advaita Vedanta, explaining the illusory nature [Maya] of the manifest world and the principle of non duality of the manifesting “spirit”.

Vashisht kund:-
Now this Maharishi Vashisht Ashram is known as the Vashisht Kund. Vashisht Kund is a temple with a small round kund (pond) like a well.This is a beautiful temple which signifies the place where the 4 princes came to do gurukula vasa. That is, the 4 princes stayed here, at the Vashisht hermitage, to study. In fact so did all the kings before rama. The temple has lovely images of Vashisht and young Rama and his brothers which are almost life like. Looking at them one can actually imagine the 4 princes sitting around their Guru and learning. They look so eager to get on with their learning. At the basement of the main murti are multiple other murti’s of Saptarishi, Vashisht with his wife Arundhathi, Kamadhenu cow, Hanuman, etc. When you come out of this underground temple are into an open courtyard, there are steps that go further down to a water tank. The miracle is that the water level in this tank changes with the water inflow into the river Sarayu. There is no direct visible connection to the river yet the tank is influenced by how much water the Sarayu carries. This small tank which can be seen from the top. It is a very serene and calm place. The fruit of bathing in the kund is the attainment of knowledge like Vashisht Maharishi according to the prevalent belief of the seers.

Brahmarishi Vashisht was the Guru of the Solar Dynasty [Suryavansha]. The King at that time was King Ishvaku who was the king of Ayodhya. He was a noble king and thought of the well being of his subjects. He approached Sage Vashista telling him that the land had no water and requested him to do something to let the kingdom have adequate water. Sage Vashisht performed a special prayer and the river Saryu is said to have started flowing from this well. Saryu is also known as Ishvaki and Vashishti. It is said that the well is connected underground with the river. Many spiritual people who visit this ashram find an enormous spiritual energy around this well. It is one of the seven famous spiritual Tirath's for hindus to attain moksha or liberation, as it is written in the Garud Purana that Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya [Haridwar], Kasi [Benares], Kanchi [Kanchipuram in south India], Avantika [Ujjain], Puri Dvaravati[Dwarika] are the seven Moksha or liberation giver cities.
Ayodhyā, Mathurā, Māyā, Kāsi, Kāñchī, Avantikā I Purī Dvārāvatī chaiva saptaitā moksadāyikāh II - Garuḍa Purāṇa I XVI .14

There is also another Maharishi Vashisht ashram past Rishikesh on the way to Kaudiyal on the Devprayag route that is known as Vashisht Guha Ashram. The ashram itself is located on the banks of the River Ganga [Ganges] and it is a very beautiful place. It has a cave with a Shiv Ling in it. There is also another small cave to the side facing the river Ganga.

Maharishi Vashisht is one of the nine 9 Prajapati’s or creator rishi’s, the mind consciousness of one of the manifested bodies of the Navagraha’s [nine plants] in our solar system, which happens to be Neptune and reflected to our planet earth through the planet Jupiter [Brahaspati , the Dev Guru]. Maharishi Vashisht is the chief author of the 7th Mandala of the Rigveda.[In actuality there are 10 or Das Prajapati’s but Saturn [Shani] plays both mother and father role [Shiva/Shakti] , as Mahakaal and Mahakaali, thus only nine are consdiered as the prajapati,s out of this 10 number prajapati group].
The city of Ayodhya is situated on the right bank of the river Saryu, and it is about 6 km from the city of Faizabad, Ayodhya, which is a popular pilgrim centre. This town is closely associated with Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. During Lord Gautam Buddha’s time[Shakyamuni], the city was called Ayojjhā in Pali language, which was mostly used by the Buddhst literary people like the sanskrit by hindu priesthood, and it was called Ayodhyā in Sanskrit which lord Gautam Buddha visited, , which he also visited and stayed there for some time. The city is also important in the ancient history and heritage of Buddhism in India, with several Buddhist temples, monuments and centers of learning having been established there by the Mauyran kings, as well as the kings of Gupta dynasty like Chandragupta Vikramaditya.

Ayodhya reached its glorious peak as known to history during the reign of the Guptas kings all over India. In Ayodhya there are two earth mounds [Tila’s] known as the Mani Parbat and Sugriv Parbat. The first of these ancient earth mounds is identified with a stupa built by the Emperor Ashoka, while the second is believed to be an ancient monastery.

About 2000 years ago during King Vikramaditya’s of vikrami samvat’s fame who relocated this long forgotten place, it was called Saketa, [Śāketa,is a sanskrit word meaning the abode of Lord Vishnu or Vishnuloka], which was later on conquered by the chinese Kushan/Yuezhi Emperor Kanishka, arround 127 AD, who patroned Hindu religion and made it the administrative centre of his eastern territories, and during the time of the visit of the Chinese pilgrim monk, Xuanzang, [huentsang] in 636 AD, it was again known as Ayodhya.

The ancient city of Ayodhya, according to the Ramayana, was founded by Manu, the law-giver of the Hindu. For centuries, it was the capital of the descendants of the Surya dynasty of which Lord Rama was the most celebrated king. Ayodhya during ancient times was known as Kaushaldesa or the kaushal janapada.
Skanda and some other Puranas rank Ayodhya as one of the seven most sacred cities of India. It was the venue of many events in Hindu mythology. Today pre-eminently a temple town, Ayodhya is famous for its close association with the epic Ramayana. It is a city of immense antiquity full of historical significance and sacred temples. The Atharvaveda described Ayodhya as "a city built by Gods and being prosperous as paradise itself."

The illustrious ruling dynasty of this region were the Ikshvakus of the solar dynasty commonly known as the descendants of Surya or Suryavanshi’s . According to tradition, the king Ikshvaku was the eldest son of Vaivasvata Manu, who established himself at Ayodhya. The Earth is said to have derived its name `Prithivi’ from Prithu, the sixth king of this solar lineage. A few generations later came Mandhatri or Mandhata, in whose line the 31st king was Harischandra, who is known widely known as the Satyavaan Raja for his love of truth. Raja Sagar of the same clan performed the Ashvamedha Yajna and his great grandson Bhagiratha is reputed to have brought Ganga on Earth by virtue of his penance. Later in the time came the great Raghu, after whom the family came to be called as Raghuvamsa. His grandson was Raja Dasaratha, the illustrious father of Rama, with whom the glory of the Kausala dynasty reached its highest point. The story of this epic has been immortalized by Valmiki andlater rewritten by the great saint “Tulsidaas”, immensely popularized by the great masses through centuries.

Ayodhya is a city of temples yet all places of worship here are not only Hindu. At Ayodhya several religions have grown and prospered simultaneously and at different periods. Remnants of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam can still be found in Ayodhya. According to Jain tradition, five Tirthankaras were born at Ayodhya, including Adinath (Rishabhadeva) the first Tirthankar.

Nageshwarnath Temple
The temple of Nageshwarnath is said to have been established by Kush, the son of Rama. Legend has it that Kush lost his armlet, while bathing in the river Saryu, which was picked up by a nag-kanya, who fell in love with him. As she was a devotee of Shiva, Kush erected this temple for her. It is said that this is the only temple to have survived till the time of Maharaja Vikramaditya, the rest of city had fallen into ruins and was covered by dense forests. It was by means of this temple that Vikramaditya was able to locate Ayodhya and the sites of different shrines later erected here.

For Ayodhya the nearest airports are Faizabad Airport (India) (5 km), Amausi Airport (Lucknow-134 km), Allahabad Airport (Allahabad - 166 km)
Ayodhya is situated on the broad gauge Northern Railway line on Muhal Sarai – Lucknow main route. And the cities of Ayodhya/Faizabad are connected to various parts of the country with the train service:
Ayodhya is Connected by road to several major cities and towns. Some of the major road distances are: Lucknow (134 km), Gorakhpur (132 km), Jhansi (441 km), Allahabad (166 km), Sravasti (109 km), Varanasi (209 km) and Gonda (51 km).

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