A Himalayan blunder

By Shivi Verma

August 2013

The Uttarakhand disaster has raised many questions among seekers. Shivi Verma speaks to some spiritual masters in quest of the answers

The goddess strikes!
Could the dislodging of the Dhari Devi statue have triggered the catastrophe, ask locals.

On June 15th, 2013, the ancient deity of Dhari Devi was removed from her temple to be shifted to another location to facilitate the construction of a dam, which locals were opposing ever since the conception of the project with the belief that the moving of the Dhari Devi would somehow agitate Kali. Exactly on the next day a massive cloudburst and flash flood started in Uttarakhand, which devastated Kedarnath, washing the city completely away. Previously, in 1882, an attempt to shift the Dhari Devi shrine was immediately followed by havoc in Kedar Valley. There is some strange connection between this guardian goddess and the Kedarnath jyotirliñga.

Dhari Devi is a temple on the banks of the Alakananda River in the Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand. It houses the upper half of a deity of goddess Kali; the lower half of the idol of Kali is located in Kalimath Temple. These joint temples are aligned exactly at NE-SW direction symbolising Kali as sleeping with her feet in NE direction and head in the SE direction. The Kedarnath jyotirlinga is exactly North from Kalimath symbolising the Shiva-Shakti relationship and is constantly calming the devi who is in the South (Mars direction, anger, agitated and at war). There are energies we human beings do not understand as yet and it is best to let these spiritual shrines where these energies are contained alone.

-Sanjay Rath

The horrifying picture of a raging river swallowing up lands, farms, forests, houses, hills and people, as it thundered down the mountains two months ago, is still fresh on our minds. Uttarakhand, with its bare, ravished landscape, is a standing testimony to the havoc unleashed by nature’s vengeful fury. Thousands lost their lives, thousands went missing, and several thousands were wounded and separated.

The irony behind this devastation is that it visited those who were on a pilgrimage to one of India’s most sacred spots. The Chardham yatra, covering Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, is the annual destination of millions of faithful Hindus, driven by the many reasons that take people to such places – the fulfilment of a vow, to experience the power of such sacred spaces, to perform tapasya, or to win the favour of the gods. And yet the undisputed truth is that disasters often visit pilgrimage spots. Why so, and
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