Nepal in the Mahabharata Period, Part 45

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BY: SUN STAFF - 27.12 2018

Kedarnath Temple and the Body of Kedarnath Bull

The Yadava dynasty's presence in Nepal, and the events that preceded and followed.

Doleshwar Mahadev

Bhaktapur, Nepal is home to a temple with a very interesting connection to the Mahabharata Period. Known as Doleshwar Mahadev, this abode of Lord Shiva is located at Jangam math in Sipadol village, near Bhaktapur. For the last 4,000 years, devotees have been searching for the missing head of Lord Kedarnath, who assumed the form of a bull in a pastime with the five Pandava brothers. In recent years it was determined by temple priests that the deity at Doleshwar was indeed the missing head of Kedarnath Bull.

Doleshwar Mahadev Temple

After the Battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas renounced their kingdom and departed for the high Himalayas. Upon reaching the Kedarnath region, they wished to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva for the loss of lives that took place during the 18-day war. But Lord Shiva was not ready to forgive them, and he took the form of a bull in order to avoid them. The Pandavas soon realized that the bull was Shiva himself, and tried to stop it from running away by pulling on his tail. Suddenly the head became separated from the body of the bull, and the Pandavas were unable to find the head.

The Head of Sri Kedarnath Bull

Since that time, the hump-backed linga at Uttarakhand's Kedarnath Temple has been worshipped as the torso of that divine Bull, but the head was never reclaimed. Devotees have been searching for the head since the Mahabharata Period, believing it to be hidden in the Himalayas. It was not until 2009 that temple priests determined that the deity at Doleshwar Mahadev Temple in Nepal is indeed the long-missing head of Kedernath.

The Head of Sri Kedarnath Bull

Their conclusion was based upon various links between Kedarnath and Doleshwar temples. For example, the Shiva deities found at both shrines are 4,000 years old. A stone scripture found at Doleshwor was written in Kannada, an Indian language, and the priests at both shrines are selected from brahmanas in the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Priests at both temples affix the word 'ling' after their names to convey their dedication as Lord Shiva's servants. Both temples have a cluster of five Shiva shrines. And the presiding deity of priests at both temples is Birbhadra (Virabhadra), an expansion of Shiva created by his wrath after the yagya of Daksha, at Kankhal.

On August 22, 2009, the head priest of Kedarpeeth, Bhim Shankarling Shivacharya installed a two-foot high deity of Lord Shiva Doleshwar at the Bhaktapur temple. This deity represents Kedarnath Temple's official recognition that the famed Mahabharata relic resides in Nepal.

A plaque was also unveiled, announcing that Doleshwar Mahadev at Jangam math is indeed the head of Sri Kedarnath. Rudra Abhishek was performed, and a month of religious rituals and festivities followed.

Doleshwar Mahadev Temple

The pieces of the puzzle first began coming together when Bhim Shankarling Shivacharya happened to visit Jangam math in Nepal and was surprised to see the striking resemblance of rituals followed in both Kedarnath and Doleshwar mandirs.

Kedarnath Temple along with Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, comprise the sacred Char-dham, described in many past Sun Features.

Sheela Lekh-Inscription, Doleshwar Mahadev Temple