Read here! The compelling story of Brahma Kapal, Badrinath

Brahma Kapal Temple at Badrinath

Brahma Kapal

  • Brahma Kapal, a platform on the banks of the Alaknanda River, is also where Pind Daan is performed.
  • The Badrinath Temple, one of Hinduism’s most revered temples, is located in this town and forms part of the Char Dham Yatra.
  • Brahma Kapal is 200m from Badrinath Temple.
  • It is 500 km from New Delhi.
  • Lord Vishnu is honoured in this temple. The Badrinath Temple is the most important of the Sapta Badri’s seven temples.
  • At Brahma Kapal, Lord Shiva severed Brahma’s fifth head (Kapala), fulfilling his vow to the Devas, Brahma’s head got entangled in Lord Shiva’s hand.
  • Lord Shiva was cursed with the Brahmahathi Dosha.
  • When Mahalakshmi put Bhiksha in the Kapala, the curse was lifted and the Kapala got off Lord Shiva’s hand.

How Brahma Kapal got its name

For Hindus, Brahma Kapal is particularly significant since it is thought to be the location where people pay reverence to the souls of their ancestors. Brahma Kapal, a flat platform on the banks of the Alaknanda River, is also where cherished seniors’ death rites are performed.

It’s about 2 kilometres from Badrinath’s hills. All of the supplies needed to complete the seniors’ funeral rites are readily available at surrounding stores.

It is claimed that Lord Brahma resides in Brahma Kapal, and that when their family members do their last rites or shraddha karma here, the departed souls are freed from the cycle of birth and death.

Several pundits (priests) can be found here, sitting with samagri (materials) to perform the ceremonies.The Brahmanical triad is comprised of three members: Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. Brahma is the deity of creation, and he is often regarded as the Creator of the cosmos.

Brahma Kapal Badrinath in winters
Brahma Kapal Badrinath in winters

A person’s subtle body is made up of his mind and intellect, or his complete thinking process. The subtle body of man is responsible for the construction of his gross body as well as the world he lives in. The sort of physical body a person has is determined by his ideas. 

The individual’s ideas are also accountable for the sort of reality he encounters around him. As the mind thinks, so the world thinks. If a person has positive thinking, he sees a positive world. If his ideas are negative, he will perceive a negative reality. 

Duryodhana saw vice everywhere, but Yudhishtra, a virtuous man, saw goodness everywhere. There is no world when ideas are absent. There are no thoughts, no world, in profound slumber. This phenomenon may be observed not just in the microcosm but also in the macrocosm. 

The cosmic subtle body is the sum of all living creatures’ subtle bodies. The Hiranyagarbha, a cosmic subtle body, is supposed to be the creator of the entire cosmos. Brahma is the name of the creator.

Five Heads of Lord Brahma

According to tradition, Brahma was born with only one head. However, when he made Goddess Saraswati from one of his limbs, he instantly fell in love with her. 

Goddess Saraswati, on the other hand, was trying to flee from him due to her shyness. Lord Brahma now produced four more heads for himself to maintain watch of the movements of Goddess Saraswati in all directions. 

The five heads worked together to keep a close eye on all four cardinal directions as well as the upward direction to report the whereabouts of Goddess Saraswati (This was why, when Goddesses Saraswati wanted to get away from Lord Brahma at Prayag, she took the form of a river which flowed into the earth, the only direction in which Brahma could not see).

Lord Brahma strode over the entire universe with his five heads, swelled with pride and glory at the magnificence of his creation. He was critical of the Devtas and the other Trimurtis. 

He became vain and disagreeable, and the Devas were soon irritated by his actions. They contacted Lord Shiva and begged him to put an end to Lord Brahma’s newfound pride.

Devas approach Lord Shiva for help

“Maheshwara,” they called out in unison, “Lord Brahma’s deeds are getting increasingly difficult to bear.” We find it difficult to listen to his self-serving ramblings about his own accomplishments. “Please put a stop to this.”

Lord Shiva nodded as if he didn’t need any explanations about the circumstance. Omniscient knew everything and told all the Devtas that everything would be well soon.Brahma Kapal Temple

The Devtas had convened to devise a simple plan to enrage Lord Brahma and thereby Lord Shiva. They all felt that the best and simplest solution was to just send him to Kailash. “With that largemouth of his, he’s bound to irritate Maheshwara sooner or later,” one of the Devtas remarked. 

Everyone agreed on the concept and proceeded to Lord Brahma. They simply told him to go to Kailash to meet Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma agreed immediately.

So Lord Brahma entered Kailash, anticipating a long-awaited amicable chit-chat with a co-trinity. Lord Shiva went on his daily tour of the cosmos, and Devi Parvati was the only one present. 

When the holy mother saw Lord Brahma from a distance, she assumed Lord Shiva had returned and ran to him with the ingredients needed for Paada Pooja. Shakti began adoring Lord Brahma’s feet without even glancing up. 

Lord Brahma remained silent, savouring the show of adoration.

Lord Shiva entered at that point. A single look at Lord Brahma’s sheepish expression was enough to explain everything. His rage sprang forth.

Brahma, Lord Brahma, stammered!

Shakti looked up, and seeing Lord Shiva’s enraged expression, she immediately realised her error and fled the scene.

“Just because Shakti didn’t see your face and offered Paada Pooja to you, does that imply you accept it without protest?” Lord Shiva said.

Lord Brahma merely hung his heads, his chattering mouth zipping for the first time.

“Because it was your five heads that started this entire mess, may you be without them!” Shiva yelled. And with a swift motion, Lord Shiva severed Brahma’s fifth head, fulfilling his vow to the Devas. Lord Brahma became four-headed, as we know him today, and walked away quietly, his heads bowed in shame.

The Brahma Kapalam

However, that was only the beginning of Lord Shiva’s unending torment. Lord Shiva was cursed with the Brahmahathi Dosha because he tortured Lord Brahma, the foremost Brahmana. Lord Brahma’s skull (Kapalam) became entangled in Lord Shiva’s hands and refused to budge.

Lord Shiva was taken aback by this previously unknown complexity. He was now stuck with the skull in his grasp. In his panic, he begged Agni, the supreme cleanser of all things, to blow the Kapala from his grasp. 

However, no matter how hard Agni tried, he remained unsuccessful. To make matters worse, Agni was also infected with the Dosha.

Lord Shiva was now terrified. He travelled all over the world in pursuit of a solution. Parvati came to her husband’s aid at that point. “Swami, only Vishnu can deliver you from this agony.” Visit numerous Sthalas and receive bhiksha at the Kapala. You will be rid of the Dosha at the point where the Kapala overflows.”

Brahma Kapal Pind daan
Pind Daan at Brahma Kapal

As a result, Lord Shiva travelled from place to place as Bikshadanar, carrying the Kapala in his palm, in search of release from the curse. Wherever he acquired bhiksha, it would vanish as soon as he touched the Kapala, and the Kapala would remain empty.

 

Shiva Washes Away the Brahmahathi Dosha

So, after hopping from one area to another, he arrived in Thirukkandiyur. There, Sthala Perumal dispatched Mahalakshmi to bestow bhiksha on Lord Shiva. Mahalakshmi, too, appeared in all her grandeur and began dumping bhiksha into the Kapala. 

The Kapala spilled and fell to the earth all at once (Some legends also claim that Lord Maha Vishnu cut his chest and offered the pouring blood into the Kapala). 

Shiva was immediately freed from the curse and hailed Lord Vishnu for his prompt assistance. Lord Vishnu was given the name HaraSaabaVimochanar after he cured Lord Shiva of his curse. Lord Shiva remained as Brahma Sira Khanedeeshwarar in his position. 

The temple is located across from the Hara Saaba Vimochanar temple.

In other versions of the storey, Saraswati is substituted by the feminine form of Lord Brahma, ‘Satarupa,’ who is then affected by Manmadh’s arrow.

Manmadh was a devotee of Lord Brahma, and after a long tapa, he was given three arrows that, when used on anyone, increased their love and romance. Manmadh used the first arrow on Brahma himself to test the arrow. 

Lord Shiva became enraged when he saw Brahma’s attraction to Satarupa and chastised him for his deeds, believing that Satarupa was like a daughter to Lord Brahma. Lord Shiva was the one who chastised Lord Brahma in every rendition. 

Shakti’s act of Paada Pooja is not taken into account. These traditions are only a means of conveying the law of karma to mankind; even the Supreme Lord, the Trinity, cannot escape it! 

Whether it’s Lord Brahma for the wrong attraction or Lord Shiva causing harm to the Creator himself.

 

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