Amarnath pilgrims dismayed to see Nandi Idol around cave ‘relocated’ this year…!

TNN Bureau. Updated: 8/5/2022 12:03:08 PM Front Page

SB may relate it to legend, ardent devotees say faith, spiritual bliss equally vital

Jammu: As holy Amarnath pilgrimage has reached its conclusive phase, ardent Shiv devotees who have been visiting shrine annually for decades have left with a feeling of unhappiness-ironically not for lack of arrangements or any other inadequacy on part of the government, instead for a spiritual reason.
They are saddened for the fact that a large Nandi idol which was mounted in front of the cave some years ago has been displaced and installed somewhere at base camp Pahalgam. This idol of Nandi is made of silver and according to sadhus was appropriately installed in front of ice Shivlingam in the holy cave.
Its mount not only presented a graceful and harmonious look but more importantly fulfilled the mandatory condition, rather a pre requisite of its presence in front of shivlinga, as we see in all Hindu temples, maintained one sadhu Akash Giri who comes for pilgrimage every year from Assam.
This idol placed adroitly on a platform used to be a divine sight for pilgrims while performing darshans, but this year when the pilgrimage commenced after a gap of three years the pilgrims were dismayed not to see it anymore around the cave. This was conveyed, though not in appropriate quarters and the response they got it has been relocated to Pahalgam.
While the Shrine Board authorities may contend and relate its displacement from cave with the legend that Lord Shiva left his Nandi which he used to ride at Pahalgam (Bailgaon) seen as first sacrifice of endeared belongings while proceeding towards holy abode.
If that was so, then who and why this idol was first installed near the cave, is the question many ask. However, many regular visitors also maintain traditionally there never used to be any idol around the cave in the past. It was found to be installed only few years back much to spiritual satisfaction of pilgrims. But now its sudden displacement has surprised pilgrims who associate Nandi as inherent part of all temples of Lord Shiva everywhere.
There is more than this aspect in terms of faith and rituals associated with presence of Nandi around the shiv lingam. Legend may have it to say Nandi was left behind in Pahalgam but its presence within the cave premises could not have altered the traditions much, says Vikram Sharma from Yamunanagar, Haryana . We often see asking for fulfilment of wishes at temples while whispering the same into ears of Nandi Maharaj….. it simply would give some satisfaction and bliss to pilgrims performing this ardous journey every year, he said adding ‘faith is important than any reason”.
Authorities must reinstall one idol there as it neither interferes with climate nor inclement conditions, he asserts. However, when contacted no one was available from Shrine Board to have their version on the issue.

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