KAILASH A JOURNEY TOWARDS ENLIGHTENMENT
Mount Kailash, located in far west corner of Tibet is the most sacred peak of Asia . The beauty of the 6638 meters (21,778 ft) high peak is echoed in various mythological and literary works. Mt. Kailasa or Mt. Kailash (Tibetan: Gang Tse or Gang Rinproche; Chinese: Gangdisi Shan) is a striking peak in the Himalayan mountains of western Tibet. The source of some of the longest rivers in Asia, Kailash is a sacred mountain for four faiths: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and followers of the indigenous Tibetan religion of Bön. Next to the mountain are two sacred lakes, the most important of which is Lake Manasarowar. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva, the god of destruction and regeneration, resides at the summit of a legendary mountain named Kailasa or Mount Kailash which is regarded in many sects of Hinduism as paradise, the ultimate destination of souls and the spiritual center of the world. This legendary mountain has long been identified with the striking peak in the Himalayas that now bears its name. Shiva is therefore believed to dwell at its summit. Some traditions say the mountain is Shiva’s linga, while Lake Manasarowar is the yoni of his consort. The importance of this holy mountain in Hinduism is reflected, among other places, as the famous Ellora Caves in India, where the largest and most important rock-carved temple is dedicated to Mount Kailash. Tibetan Buddhists believe that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok (also known as Demchog or Chakrasamvara), who represents supreme bliss. They also say it was on this sacred mountain that Buddhism displaced Bön as the primary religion of Tibet. According to legend, Milarepa, champion of Tantric Buddhism, arrived in Tibet to challenge Naro-Bonchung, representative of Bön. The two magicians engaged in a great sorcerous battle, but neither was able to gain a decisive advantage. In Jainism, Kailash is known as Mount Ashtapada and is the site where the founder of their faith, Rishabhadeva, attained liberation from rebirth. In Bön, the religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet, the mountain is believed to be the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen. No pilgrims climb Mt. Kailash; all four religions believe it would be a serious act of sacrilege to set foot on its slopes. Legend has it that the only person to have reached the summit is the Buddhist champion Milarepa (who flew to the top in the 12th century) and that all others who have ventured to defy the taboo have died in the process.
Mount Kailas , located in far west corner of Tibet is the most sacred peak of Asia . The beauty of the 6638 meters (21,778 ft) high peak is echoed in various mythological and literary works.
Every year, thousands make pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back hundreds of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. Followers of the Bönpo religion circumambulate the mountain in a counterclockwise direction.