Shiva and Mount Kailash
There is a mystical, deep and meaningful connection between Lord Shiva and the snow-clad mountain Kailash. Many stories revolve around Lord Shiva and His abode in Kailash. It is said that Lord Shiva still lives in Kailash and is in His deep meditative state. His Supreme presence has made the mountain even the more divine and mystic.
Since ages, a lot of people have been attracted to Mount Kailash. There are many stories about mystic animals and vegetation on this Mountain. Many who tried to scale the Kailash have lost their lives.
No human has thus ever been successful in scaling the mount Kailash. There is a rich history that is associated with Lord Shiva and His abode in the Kailash mountains.
According to the ancient texts once Narada Muni was having a conversation with Lord Brahma, and while talking, Narada asked Lord Brahma about how Lord Shiva and Sri Kubera are associated and this is when Lord Brahma narrated the entire rich history behind the association of Lord Shiva and Sri Kubera which throws light on true devotion and Lord Shiva choosing Mount Kailash as His abode. Let us understand and learn ‘Why Lord Shiva stays at Kailash?
Story of Gunanidhi
A long time ago, there lived a Brahmin named Yagyadutt in Kampilyanagar. He was renowned for performing the Somayagya. He had a wife and son, the son was named ‘Gunanidhi’. Yagyadutt was a religious man and always followed a disciplined and good life.
He never indulged into bad practices or kept bad company. On the other side his son Gunanidhi who despite being a scholar kept bad company and indulged in gambling. Yagyadutt’s wife was aware of her son’s activities but she lied to Yagya Dutt about Gunanidhi and always praised the son for having good conduct.
One day as Yagyadutt was passing by a place he saw a gambler on the street wearing Gunanidhi’s ring. Surprised and shocked, Yagyadutt asked the gambler about the ring on which the gambler said that Gunanidhi lost this ring in gambling to him and many other valuables too.
Angered by this, furious Yagyadutt broke all ties with his son and wife and married another woman. He commanded Gunanidhi and his mother to leave the house. Gunanidhi felt sad and understood his mistake and he walked a long distance. After being tired from walking for hours together Gunanidhi sat under a tree. He witnessed a bunch of villagers going towards the village temple with food in their hands. He got up and started following them. As he reached the temple he sat at the entrance and waited until the prayer service was accomplished. Once all the villagers started going back to their homes from the temple and as it started becoming darker at night, Gunanidhi entered the temple slowly and walked towards the place where food offerings to the deities were kept. The diyas at the temple were getting dim and he couldn’t see properly as it was dark and night already.
In order to see properly, he tore a piece of his own cloth and rolled it into a wick and put it in a lamp and lit it. He then picked the food that was offered to the deities and started fleeing away from the temple. One of the devotees noticed this and he gathered all the villagers to the scene and everyone bet Gunanidhi addressed him as a thief who stole food offered to gods. They beat him to death.
Yamduta, the lord of death came to take away Gunanidhi’s soul, at the same time the Shivganas came and stopped Yamaduta from taking his soul. They informed Yamduta that Gunanidhi had observed the Shivratri fast with complete devotion, read Shiva stories and chanted Shiva mantras and also lit the diya tearing a piece of cloth he was wearing.
The Shivganans also explained to Yamadut that Gunanidhi would take rebirth as King of Kalinga. The Shiva Ganas thus took Gunanidhi’s soul to Shivaloka.
Story of how Gunanidhi became Dama
As predestined, Gunanidhi in his next life took birth as the son of King Arindam who was the King of Kalinga. In this birth, Gunanidhi was named ‘Dama’. After the death of Arindam, Dama succeeded the throne of Kalinga as a king. Dama was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and he ordered his volunteers to renovate all the temples of Lord Shiva that were under his jurisdiction. He also made a rule that all His subjects would worship Lord Shiva.
King Dama became Kubera
Dama took rebirth as Vishrawan to Sage Vishrawa who ruled over Alkapuri, which was designed and built by the celestial architect Sri Vishwakarma. Vishrawan who was Gunanidhi and Dama in previous lives, in this life too he was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and performed severe Tapasya for many years to please Lord Shiva. Appeased with Vishrawan’s Tapasya, Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvati appeared in front of Vishrawan. Lord Shiva asked Vishrawan to ask for a boon and it shall be granted. On hearing Lord Shiva’s voice Vishrawan was overwhelmed and happy but as soon as he opened his eyes he was unable to see the Lord because of the Holy and divine radiance. Vishrawan requested Lord Shiva that he wanted to see him and thus grant him sight. Lord Shiva gave him sight and Vishrawan was surprised to see Goddess Parvati standing beside Lord Shiva and got jealous. As soon as the feeling of jealousy came in Vishrawan he lost his left eyesight. Goddess Parvati was astonished by the way Vishrawan looked at Her, She asked Lord Shiva, the reason for the jealousy Vishrawan had on which Shiva replied that Vishrawan too underwent a lot of penance and did severe Tapasya but was shocked to see that You (Goddess Parvati) through your penance and rigid Tapasya could achieve this position in my life and thus got jealous. Vishrawan asked the Lord to stay around him forever on which Lord Shiva granted him the boon and agreed to His request. After being blessed by Lord Shiva and Parvati, Vishrawan offered his respect to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Before leaving, goddess Parvati told Vishrawan that he would be known as Kubera since he looked at Her angrily and that his hatred and jealousy towards the goddess was noticeable. As soon as She said this, She and Lord Shiva went to live in the Kailash Parvat as promised to Vishrawan to stay near him forever. Kailash is situated near Alkapuri in the Himalayas.
This is why Lord Shiva lives in Kailash.
According to Srishti Khanda of the Rudra Samhita, Shiva Purana, once Lord Shiva heard about Lord Kubera and the severe tapas he was undergoing to please Lord Shiva. On hearing this Lord Shiva started playing His Damaru, the sound of this Damaru was clearly heard by all the three lokas (Dev Lok, Prithvi Lok and patal lok). Lord Shiva appeared in front of Kubera where he was doing his Tapasya. The sound of Lord’s Damaru was so loud that Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma too appeared where Lord Shiva was. When Kubera opened his eyes he saw the trinity standing in front of him. Overwhelmed with joy, Kubera offered Lord Shiva his seat. Kubera also offered seats to Lord Vishnu and Brahma. He then offered worship and prayers to Lord Shiva and also paid equal respect to Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Appeased by Kubera’s devotion, Lord Shiva decided to stay near Kubera and thus ordered Vishwakarma who was a celestial architect to design and built a beautiful abode at Mount Kailash during an auspicious time. After this Lord Shiva along with consort goddess Parvati lived in their heavenly abode at Mount Kailash.
Lord Shiva and His actual abode as stated in Ancient Texts
Mount Kailash on this planet, is the impression of the genuine residence of Lord Shiva which lies on the fringe of the Vaikuntha Loka or the para-vyoma – the profound sky. Brahma Samhita (Chapter 05, Verse 43) certifies this as follows:
goloka-namni nija-dhamni story cha tasya devi-mahesha-hari-dhamasu teshu
te prabhava-nichaya vihitash cha yena govindam adi-purusham hat aham bhajami
The Bhagavata Purana specifies another reference about the house of Lord Shiva – Kubera had once acquired the appreciation of Lord Shiva for being an ardent devotee thus, from that point onwards Lord Shiva decided to stay at Kailash Mountains and He also made Kubera the chief in-charge of finances. Thus, Kubera became the financial officer of the Swarga-loka and He ruled the North- Eastern course. Satisfied with Kubera’s dedication, Lord Shiva alongside Parvati Devi and His other company took up home on Mount Kailash, which was a complete contrast to the outside material universe. Ruler Brahma intended to suggest that, “In the event that you (Narada) go see Lord Shiva on Kubera’s Kailash, you won’t have the option to see completely how much more prominent Lord Shiva is than I. You ought to visit the Mahesha Dhama.”
In this Mahesha Dhams which is otherwise called the Shivaloka, Lord Shiva’s plushness is unparalleled with consistently existing castles, planes and assets. For example, riches, sense of pleasure, freedom, religion and commitment to the Supreme Lord. His images of incomparability, for example, adornments, Chamara, imperial umbrella, and so forth outperform those of Lord Brahma and the different Devatas. Here, Lord Shiva venerates the Personality of Godhead in His structure as Sri Sankarshana, who has a huge number of snake hoods. Both Lord Shiva and Lord Sankarshana are the developments of the Supreme Lord and subsequently, non-extraordinary. At the point when the ideal opportunity for destroying the material universe comes, Rudra who is accountable for the method of obliviousness shows up from Lord Sankarshana. Any living being who sees Lord Shiva adoring Lord Sankarshana, for example, one extension of the Supreme Lord revering the other development of the Supreme Lord is surely bewildered, particularly when Lord Shiva moves in happiness and offers lovely supplications.
(From the Bhagavata Purana, Canto 01, Chapter 2, Verse 93)
Thus, The Himalayas is a Sanskrit word where the word Him – signifies “day off” and the word “alaya” means place of a day off, otherwise called the radiant residence of Shiva, the realm of Shiva an unmistakable spot where Shiva is found and accepted to remain at Kailash Mansarovar in a state of deep meditation. The Kailash is the divine abode of the Supreme, which is quiet, scenic, serene and with no obstacles from the material world and breaks from the rest of the world. Legends state that Lord Shiv has astutely picked the Himalayas as his home as it is the endowment of nature and the best spot on the planet to contemplate, meditate and have complete control over your mind, body and senses. Lord Shiva has been related to complex nature and “Rudra” who isn’t related to the material world and the impurities it holds. Thus, according to many devotees, Lord Shiva lives in Kailash far from the material world.
Mount Kailash is a Mountain that cannot be climbed by anyone and should never be attempted to trek upon. The Russians did a profound examination on Mount Kailash and demonstrated that the mountain is undoubtedly the axis and nodal point of this world.
In short, Lord Shiva went to stay at Kailash as a promise made to His ardent devotee and is believed to still stay there.