Significance of Lake Mansarovar in different religions
Annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra to be held at autonomous region of Tibet is an annual pilgrim and has impressive religious significance for Hindus, Buddhist and Jains. Lake Manasarovar is a freshwater lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China and is located around 940 kilometres away from Lhasa. Lake Mansarovar is situated around 4,590 meters above mean sea level.
Lake Manasarovar comparatively is round in shape and has circumference of 88 kilometres and surface area of around 320 square kilometres. Lake Manasarovar has very much importance due to its proximity to sources of River Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Indus, and Ghaghara.
The name of the Lake “Manasarovara” has been originated form Sanskrit language words “Manas” and Sarovara” referring to lake of mind. As believed in Hindu Mythology, Lake was first formed in the mind of the Lord Brahma after that it occurred on the Earth.
Hindu Faith with Kailash Mansarovar Yatra According to Hindu Belief, Lake Manasarovar is a representation of purity and a path to absolute salvation. A sip of water from Lake Manasarovar would abstain one from sins committed by him during a hundred lifetimes and let him for absolute stay at the abode of Shiva after death. Other pious region for what lake Mansarovar is revered for being place of origin for great rivers as Brahmaoutra, Ghaghara, Indus and Sutlej and has made Kailash Mansarovar a most revered spot for pilgrims travelling to the place for thousand years. It is believed that Lake was first formed in the mind of Lord Brahma and later on surfaced on the earth. It is also known to be as “Manasa sarovaram", that is a combination of Sanskrit words “Mind” and “Lake”. The lake is also known to be summer abode of the hamsa (Swan). The hamsa is symbolic of wisdom and beauty. It is represented in Hinduism as the Supreme Spirit, Ultimate Reality or Brahman in Hinduism. The flight of the hamsa symbolizes moksha, the release from the cycle of samsara.
Buddhist Faith with Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: The Buddhists association with lake is associated with legendary Lake Anavatapta where Maya is believed to have conceived Buddha. Due to this believe one can see a good number of monasteries on its shores, the most recognized one of them is ancient Chiu Monastery developed on slant of the hill, looking downward as it has been made out of the rock. The lake has close references in Buddhist literature as associated to teachings and stories. Buddha is also considered to stayed and meditated at this lake many times. Lake Manasarovar is also the related to the meditative Tibetan tradition, "The Jewel of Tibet".
Jainism Faith with Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: In Jainism, Lake Manasarovar is associated with the first Tirthankara, Rishabha. As mount Kailash known to be as Meru Parvat or Sumeru in Jainism close to Ashtapada, the mountain next to Mt. Kailash, where the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhadeva, attained Nirvana or moksa.
Lake Manasarovar, Myths and Beliefs
Lake Manasarovar is culmination of Holy Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, making a round of Lake Manasarovar and bath at the lake is believed to abstain one from his sins of 100 years according to Hindu religious beliefs. However, there is more information is associated with Lake Manasarovar around its place of location as well as its existence. At the location of the lake at South of Mount Kailash there are two lakes Manasarovar (Mapam Yumtso) and Rakshas Tal (Lhanag Tso). They are known to be the highest bodies of fresh water in the world. Lake Manasarovar is situated at the height of 4558 meters just 15 meters above Rakshas Tal connected with a channel named “Ganga Chu”. Both lakes are situated around 10 kilometres apart.
It is said that when two golden fishes living in Manasarovar Lake start fighting between them, the one that was losing the battle started running towards Rakshas Tal by digging the ground and thus was Ganga Chu channel was formed. This channel also turned the salty water of Rakshas Tal to be the sweet one. Among the two lakes, Lake Mansarovar is considered to worth more venerated in Hinduism and Budhism. Hindu Believe lake to a mental image first evolved in the brain of Lord Brahma whereas in Buddhism at this take Queen Maya the mother of Lord Buddha took bath before giving birth to him.
An overview of Mount Kailash Inner Kora
Geographically, Mount Kailash is located at the southwest corner of Ngari, the western province of Tibet. The Glacier immediately below Mount Kailash facing towards north is Ghangjam Glacier. An important point of reverence in Hinduism as well as Buddhism, in earlier time there were about four monasteries around Mount Kailash.
This parikrama includes about 34 kms of walking journey involving Asthapath, Nandi parvat, Atmalingam, Saptarishi cave and Kuber kunda. The surface as covered along the Kora Parikrama Route is primarily consisted of rock, crevices, snow and ice. There no other settlement exists here except two small monasteries. The Kora or the Parikrama around Mt. Kailash starts and ends at Tarchen that is also known as Darchan in Tibet, a small temporary settlement at the base of the Mount Kailash.
On the very first day of journey there is hiking to Asthapath and night at tented camp. From Asthapath one can explore Serlung monastery and can have a closer view of Mount Kailash from here. Next to it is visit to Atmalingam, Saptarishi Cave at second day of Inner Kora and overnight at near Samtarishi Cave. After it occurs the inner kailash kora of nandi parvat by crossing high pass in between Mount Kailash and Nandi Hill known as Nandi La and Khandosalgam La and then one return back to Darchen by evening.