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Naala Karunamaya

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Nala Karunamaya (Shristikanta Lokeshwor)

Nala is one among the famous settlements in Banepa of Kavre district, Nepal. According to historical records dating back to 651 B.S., this place was known as “Uparimanalang Gram” by its name. According to legend, during Satyayug there was a drought for twelve years in the Nala Desh during the reign of Dirgharath King. After which, under the direction of Shree Madaryavalokiteshwar Karunamaya, asthami brata was conducted by the devotees of Karunamaya. The king, queen and the citizens participate in the Asthami feast and continuously chanted the name “Lokeshwor“. Following this, it is believed that the kingdom prospered and the king, queen and all the subjects were saved. According to the legend, during the reign of King Dirgharatha, the statue of Shristikanta Lokeshwor which was in Nagiripur (Nala)was stolen and it was found there at Bungamati.

Legends regarding Nala Karunamaya

There are various stories and legends about how Shristikanta Lokeshwor was established in Nala. According to a legend, the statue of Karunamaya in Bungamati was theft by the devotees that were coming from the north (Tibet). When Vasuki Naag knew about the theft of the idol, Vasuki Naag initiated a strong storm and heavy rainfall. Consequently, when the statue of the idol was brought to present Nala, a strong storm, accompanied by lightning and rain occurred. Thus, the rivers Punyamata and Nandimata flooded. While the thieves who were carrying the statue couldn’t cross the river and the statue of the idol immersed in water. Thus, they left the statue there and proceeded forward. Moreover, the temple of Vasuki Naag Deity has been established in front of the Karunamaya temple in the middle of the Lake.

After the statue of Lokeshwor was immersed in the river, the King of Banepa, Paneju of Bungamati and Pode of Banepa had a dream that the idol of Shristikanta Lokeshwor was drowned in the river. After which, all of them three came to the same place that they saw in their dreams. When all three realized they had seen the same dream, they began to believe that the dream was not just a coincidence and started searching for the statue in the river. After searching for a long time in the deep depths of the river, they found the statue of Shristikanta Lokeshwor. Thus, they immediately took the deity out from the river and established it at the place where the present temple of Nala Lokeshwor stands.

In the Kathmandu Valley, majorly there are four Lokeshwars: Srishtikanta Lokeshwar of Nala, Anandaadi Lokeshwar of Chobhar, Aryavalokiteshwar of Janbahal, and Padmapani Lokeshwar of Bungamati, also known as Rato Machhindranath. Among all these Lokeshwars, Srishtikanta Lokeshwar is considered the first Lokeshwar. According to this belief, it is said that from Lokeshwar, the creation of gods and goddesses such as Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar, Chandra, Surya, Agnidev, Vayudev, Lakshmi, Kubera, Prithvi Mata etc., has been established. Therefore, Nala Karunamaya is also recognized by the name of Srishtikarta (the creator) or Srishtikanta Lokeshwar. Song (bhajans) about who and how the creatures were created by Srishtikanta Lokeshwar is also popular and it is sung on a daily basis within the temple premises.

Worships and Festivals

The statue of Srishtikanta Lokeshwor was originally located in Bungamati, but due to the theft of the statue, a statue of Lord Buddha has been installed in the temple of Srishtikanta Lokeshwar in Bungamati. Therefore, the priests of Rato Machhindranath in Bungamati are inevitable during different worships, festivals and Jatras of Sristikanta Lokeshwor. Along with this, in case of any wrath or any unpleasant incidents in the temple or even in the case of extinction of the lineage of priests, the tradition of appointing new priests of Sristikanta Lokeshwor by the Panejus (Priests) of Rato Machhindranath is prevalent.

Every year, on the day of Shree Panchami, the role of the priest who perform daily worship in the temple is switched. Likewise, starting from the day of Falgun Shukla Paksya Chaturdashi the Jatra of Sristikanta Lokeshwor begins and Choyalabhu is celebrated. Similarly, on the day of Purnima, Snan Parba (bathing ceremony) of the deity is celebrated. On the second day, the Dashakarma Puja is performed, which is also known as Dhusa. Similarly, on the third day, Dashkarma Puja is performed along with Homa i.e. fire rituals. The fourth day i.e. Chauthi is the final day of the Jatra of Sristikanta Kokeshwor. On the day of the Jatra of Srishtikanta Lokeshwar, along with Lokeshwar’s khat, the khat of Dipankar Buddha is also taken on a procession around the Banepa city, behind the khat of Sristikanta Lokeshwor. After the procession is over, Prasad is distributed among the devotees. After the Jatra is concluded, there is a tradition of distributing one-one oil-lamp (diyo) to the devotees present there as a symbolizing the successful completion of Jatra of Sristikanta Lokeshwor.

Furthermore, the priests of Rato Machhindranath also perform the worship rituals of Sristikanta Lokeshwor from the Falgun Shukla Paksya Chaturdashi till Chauthi.

References

Banepa kaa devi devata – Book

Yagyaraj Shakya – Pujari, Rato Machhindranath

नाला करुणामय (सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वर)
काभ्रे जिल्लामा पर्ने बनेपाको प्रसिद्ध वस्तीहरु मध्ये नाला पनि एक हो। वि. सं. ६५१ तिरका अभिलेखहरुलाई हेर्दा यो ठाउँ उपरिमनालङ्ग ग्राम नामले प्रख्यात थियो। किम्बदन्ती अनुसार सत्ययुगको कुनै एक समयमा नगिरीपुरमा (नाला देश) दीर्घरथले शासन गरिरहेको बखत बाह्र वर्षसम्म पानी नपरेर अनावृष्टि भएको थियो। सोहि बखत श्री मदार्यावलोकितेश्वर करुणामयको निर्देशनमा करुणामयकै सेविकाहरुद्वारा आयोजित अष्टमी व्रतमा भाग लिएर “लोकेश्वर” को नाम बारम्बार स्मरण गरेकाले राजा, रानी र प्रजा सबैको उद्दार भएको भन्ने वर्णन पाइन्छ। कथन अनुसार, दीर्घरथ राजाकै शासनकालमा नगिरीपुरमा रहेको लोकेश्वरको मूर्ति चोरी भएर बुङ्गमती पुगेको थियो।

नाला करुणामय सम्बन्धित किम्बदन्ती
सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वर नालामा कसरी स्थापित भए भन्ने सम्बन्धमा विभिन्न कथा एवं किम्बदन्तीहरु रहेका छन्। किम्बदन्ती अनुसार नाला करुणामयको बुङ्गमतीमा रहेको मूर्तिलाई उत्तरतिरबाट (तिब्बतबाट) साधकहरु आई करुणामयको मूर्ति चोरेर लागेका थिए। ती साधकहरुले त्यो मूर्ति चोरेर लिएर गएको भन्ने थाहा पाएपछि वासुकी नागले ठुलो हावा हुरी चलाइदिए। जसकारणले गर्दा, उक्त मूर्ति लिएर आउने क्रममा हालको नालामा आइपुग्दा ठुलो हुरी, बतास चलेर पानी पर्न थाल्यो। पुण्यमाता र नन्दीमाता नदीमा बाढी आएकाले त्यस ठाउँभन्दा अगाडी जान लाग्दा, मूर्ति खोलामा डुबेकाले उनीहरुले करुणामयको मूर्तिलाई त्यहिँ छाडेर गएका थिए भन्ने किम्बदन्ती प्रचलित छ। तिनै, वासुकी नाग देवताको पश्चिम फर्केको मन्दिर, करुणामयको मन्दिरको ठिक अगाडीपट्टी पोखरीको बिचमा रहेको छ।
सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वर, नदिमा त्यस अवस्थामा रहेका कारण उनले बुङ्गमतीका पानेजु, बनेपाका राजा र नालाका पोडे (द्योता) लाई आफू नदीमा रहेको भन्ने सपना देखाए। त्यसपछि, उनीहरु तीनै जना सपनामा देखेको ठाउँमा आए। तीनै जनाले एकै खालको सपना देखेको थाहा पाएपछि त्यो सपना संयोग मात्र होइन भन्ने लागेर उनीहरु नदीमा मूर्ति खोज्न थाले। नदीको गहिरो वहावमा धेरै समय खोजेपछि उक्त मूर्ति भेटिएको र उक्त देवतालाई नदीबाट झिकेर हालको नाला लोकेश्वरको मन्दिर भएको ठाउँमा स्थापना गरिएको भन्ने किम्बदन्ती पाइन्छ।
त्यस्तै, काठमाडौँ उपत्यकामा मुख्यतया: चारवटा लोकेश्वरहरु रहेका छन्: नालाका सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वर, चोभारका आनान्दादी लोकेश्वर, जनवहालका आर्यावालोकितेश्वर र बुङ्गमतिका पद्मपाणी लोकेश्वर अर्थात् रातो मच्छिन्द्रनाथ। यी सबै लोकेश्वरहरु मध्ये सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वर सबैभन्दा पहिलो लोकेश्वर मानिन्छ। यिनै लोकेश्वरबाट ब्रह्मा, विष्णु, महेश्वर, चन्द्र, सूर्य, अग्निदेव, वायुदेव, लक्ष्मी, कुवेर, पृथ्वीमाता आदि देवीदेवताहरुको सृष्टि भएको धार्मिक मान्यता छ। जसकारणले गर्दा पनि, नाला करुणामयलाई सृष्टिकर्ता वा सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वरको नामले चिनिन्छ। सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वरले कसलाई र कसरी सृष्टि गरे भन्ने बारे गीत (भजन) समेत प्रचलित छ, जुन गीत मन्दिर परिसरमा प्रत्येक दिन गाइने गरिन्छ।

पर्व पूजा
सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वरको मूर्ति सर्वप्रथमत: बुङ्गमतिमा रहेको थियो, तर सो मूर्ति चोरी भएका कारण बुङ्गमतिमा रहेको सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वरको मन्दिरमा शाक्यमुनि बुद्धको मूर्ति प्रतिस्थापन गरिएको छ। यसैकारण पनि बुङ्गमतिका रातो मच्छिन्द्रनाथका पुजारीहरू, नाला लोकेश्वरका विभिन्न पूजा पर्वहरुमा सम्मिलित हुने अभिन्न पात्र रहेका छन्। यसका साथै, कुनै कुनै दैविक प्रकोपहरुले अथवा मन्दिरमा कुनै नराम्रा घटनाहरु घटे भने अथवा पूजारीहरूको वंश विनास भएको खण्डमा, रातो मच्छिन्द्रनाथका पुजारीहरू गएर नयाँ पुजारी नियुक्ति दिने प्रचलन रहेको छ।
यो मन्दिरमा वर्षको एकपटक, श्री पन्चमीका दिन मन्दिरमा नित्य पूजा गर्ने पूजारीहरुको पालो फेरिने प्रचन रहेको छ।
त्यस्तै, मन्दिरमा फागुन शुक्लपक्ष चतुर्दशीको दिनदेखि छोयलाभू मनाएर जात्रा सुरु गरिन्छ। त्यस्तै, पूर्णिमाको दिन जीवन्यास निकालेर पूजा गरिन्छ भने परेवाको दिन देवतालाई स्नान गराइन्छ। द्वितीयाको दिन दशकर्म पूजा गरिन्छ, जसलाई ढुस पनि भनिन्छ। त्यस्तै, तृतीयाको दिन होम गरेर दशकर्म पूजा गरिन्छ। चौथीको दिन जात्राको अन्तिम दिन हो। सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वरको जात्राको दिन लोकेश्वरको खट सँगसँगै, खटको पछिपछि दिपंकर बुद्वको खटलाई पनि शहर परिक्रमा गराइन्छ। त्यसरी पूजा गरेर, जात्रा सकिएपछि भक्तजनहरुलाई प्रसाद ग्रहण गराइन्छ। साथै, जात्रा सकिएपछि भक्तजनहरुलाई जात्रा सकियो भन्ने संकेत स्वरुप एक-एक वटा बत्ती दिएर पठाइन्छ। चतुर्दशीदेखि चौथीसम्म रातो मच्छिन्द्रनाथका पुजारीहरू, सृष्टिकान्त लोकेश्वरको मन्दिरमा गएर पूजा अर्चना गर्ने गर्दछन्।

सन्दर्भ
बनेपाका देवी देवता – किताब
यज्ञराज शाक्य – पुजारी, मछिन्द्रनाथ मन्दिर
हर्ष नारायण कर्माचार्य- पुजारी, चण्डेश्वरी मन्दिर

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