Muktinath - place where one is liberated instantly (2023)

Muktinath is one of the 108 Divya Deshams located in the Muktinath Valley at the foot of the Thorong La Pass in the Mustang region of Nepal. Among the 106 Divya Deshams on earth, it is the only one that lies outside India. It is Mukti Kshetra, one of the Char Dhams of Nepal, which awards liberation to devotees. Not to forget the fact that it is one of the Ashta Swayam-Vyakta Kshetras (Eight self-manifested dhams).

The following shloka will give you its essence:

gandakyamcha uttare teere girirajasya dakshine

dasayojana vistheernaam mahakshetra vasundharaa

salagramo mahadevo devi dwaravati bhaved

ubhayossangamo yatra muktisttattra na samsaya

“On the northern banks of the river Gandaki (also called Narayani), and to the south of the Himalayas, lies the holy region of Salagrama, which extends to ten yojanas, where Dwaravati merges into Salagrama. Undoubtedly such a place is capable of awarding moksha.”

(Video) sadhguru talks about muktinath Nepal for ultimate liberation Muktinath mustang jomsom

Muktinath is equally important to the followers of Sanatana Dharma, Jains and the Buddhists. Being located amidst the heavenly views of the Himalayas, you will feel at peace instantly and become joyful. This sacred land is also called Shalagrama Kshetra due to the presence of Shalagramas in the sacred Gandaki River. The Shalagramas are the worshipable forms of Lord Vishnu formed by Vajrakeetas which don’t need to be carved and installed separately.

Origin of Muktinath

Also known as the Mukti Kshetra or Shalagrama Kshetra, it has a transcendentally beautiful lila which has inspired and continues to inspire countless devotees to visit and relish the darshan of this holy dham.

Once upon a time, Lord Brahma was worried about the increase in the number of people who were committing sinful activities. While thinking so, drops of sweat rolled down his cheeks (Ganda). All the drops of sweat which rolled down his cheeks collected together to form a girl called Gandaki. This girl resolved to perform hard penances.

The devatas started fearing for their very existence when she started performing the penances. They were trembling and hence, offered Gandaki a boon in return for her abstinence from penances. It wasn’t an easy task for the devatas in the case of Gandaki who desired to become the mother of all the devatas. They informed her that such a desire was out of the limits of their power to fulfil.

Hearing this, Gandaki became furious and cursed all the devatas to be born as worms in the earth below. The devatas counter-cursed her that she would become Jada or ‘inert matter’. Lord Brahma came to know of these developments and became worried. He consulted Lord Indra and Lord Shiva on the issue.

When they could not find a solution, all the three went to Lord Vishnu together.

(Video) Muktinath# one of the world's highest temple# place for liberation# one of the char dham# Educul

Lord Vishnu said that the curses could not revoked now that they have been pronounced on each other. Rather they should use the curses to work it to their mutual and universal benefit.

After considering the situation for a while, Lord Vishnu announced that He would start residing in the Chakra Tirtha near Mukti Kshetra and the devatas should go to Mukti Kshetra as Vajrakeetas eating into the pebbles there. Also, Gandaki should flow through the universe as a river covering the Shalagrama Shilas.

The Shalagrama Shilas are obtained only from the sacred Gandaki river flowing through the Mukti Kshetra in Nepal.

Sacredness of Gandaki

The scriptures speak high about the glories of the Gandaki. All the devatas reside in its waters. The mere sight of its sacred waters would cleanse a person’s mind of all material contamination. Bathing in its sacred waters would grant one freedom from the effects of sinful reactions.

Drinking or honouring a drop of the sacred Gandaki would cleanse the negative karma of a person who speaks ill or filthy words. It could be said in short that a human being would get freedom from the cycle of birth and death on coming in touch with the sacred waters of the Gandaki, not looking at the sins committed.

In fact, not just human beings, even other living beings get the same benefit by coming in contact with even a drop of her waters.


Holy Places in Muktinath

A few holy spots come together to form this Mukti Kshetra. They are listed below –

Muktinath Temple: It is the most visited sacred attraction dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Lord Muktinath, who awards liberation. This small temple built in the pagoda style architecture stands at an altitude of 3800 metres above sea level. The deity is also called Padmapani i.e. One from Whose lotus feet sacred waters flow.

He is accompanied by His consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi who are standing while the Lord is of human size in the sitting posture. Lord Adi-Shesha is seen serving the Lord as His umbrella. Garudadeva and other Shalagramas are also worshipped in the sanctum.

Three walls enclose the temple and have 108 Gomukhis (water spouts in form of cow’s mouth) jutting out. The sacred waters of the Gandaki flow out through these Gomukhis simultaneously. You can take a holy bath in these waters, also called Muktidhara by quickly walking under these Gomukhis from one end of the wall to the other end in one go. There are two small tanks in front of the temple called Muktikunda where you can take a holy dip in its icy-cold waters too before having darshan.

Gandaki River: This sacred river originates in the upper Mustang region of Nepal. It is famous for the Shalagrama Shilas of Lord Vishnu. The river is said to be the daughter of Lord Brahma being born from his sweat. It is known as Sapta-Gandaki in Nepal being one of the largest rivers there.

Damodar Kund: Lying in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal near the border with Tibet, it is the source of the Shalagrama Shilas which represent the various avataras of Lord Vishnu. Being the source of the sacred Gandaki too, you can reach there by trekking through a route different from that of the temple.

Jwala Mai Temple: A temple of eternal blue flame located to the east of the main temple inside a Tibetan style Dhola Mebar Gompa. Also called as Gandaki Chandi Temple, this flame has been burning above an underground water stream for many centuries. It is said that Lord Brahma had lit this flame originally. You have to kneel down with your head bent to see this divine flame.

(Video) Muktinath Temple - Place of liberation or moksha

Best Time to Visit Muktinath

Visit ideally in the months of March, April, May prior to the rainy season and the months of September, October, November post the rainy season.

How to Reach Muktinath

If visiting Muktinath is your calling, the Muktinath Yatra by Tirtha Yatra would be highly recommended to fulfil that calling.

Muktinath is not easily accessible owing to its location and climate. Travel to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal first to reach there. Jomsom is the gateway to Muktinath and other holy places nearby –

By Road: You can reach maximum up to Jomsom by road from Kathmandu/Pokhara via bus or jeep. Pokhara is 200 km away from Kathmandu and is generally covered by the road route. The road route from Pokhara to Jomsom via Beni is fine during the summer or spring season but the rainy season can be pretty risky. You will have to spend a lot of time and energy changing vehicles at Beni and walking during the rainy season to avoid floods and landslides.

By Air: The Pokhara Airport connects you to Jomsom via regular small flights in the summer or spring seasons. These flights happen only in the mornings during clear weather. You will reach Jomsom in just 20 minutes by flight.

By Helicopter: Helicopter services are available from Pokhara Airport to Muktinath and back. It is the best transportation option if you are willing to spend money and provided the climate is good.

For those reaching Jomsom via flight or road, they can travel further up to the Muktinath Temple by walk, pony ride or hire a jeep/motorbike/tractor upon arrival.

(Video) Muktinath Yatra 2022 | Nepal | Yathra Time


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