Out of all the mythological tales that I have heard about Lord Shiva abode at Mount Kailash, the story of Yam Dwar remains the most inquisitive one. There are certain mysteries about Yam Dwar that are yet to get a concrete answer. No one can stay inside this door for long, else the person wouldn’t survive. There are claims that have been made by the local people but the exact reason on why does it happen is still unknown. Another mystery surrounding Yam Dwar is that no one knows from where or when it was constructed. There were research conducted through the reading of the stones but no one has been able to find anything concrete. But, more than that I was also intrigued to know why Yamraj decided to personally guard Mount Kailash, the answer of which I got after I completed my Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Yam Dwar: The Gateway to the God of Death at Mount Kailash
Yam means Yamraj (known as the God of death in Hinduism) while the Dwar means Door. Yam Dwar holds an important relevance on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route, because everyone is required to pass through this door, before starting the three days of Parikrama around Mount Kailash. There cannot be an escape from it.
One must pass through this gate because it is believed that after a person crosses this gateway of Yamraj, they are freed from all the negative energy surrounding them and get liberated from all their past sins. It was a promise of Yamraj to the Shiva, that he wouldn’t allow anyone to enter the surroundings of Kailash with negative energy and therefore it is believed that Yamraj guards this door personally
Who is Yamraj and why he guards Yam Dwar at Mount Kailash
The Yamraj, who is believed to be the brother of Saturn, is known as the god of Death in Hinduism. It is said that once a person is about to die, it is Yamraj who comes to take the soul of the person from the earth to the heaven, where he shall evaluate your sins and decide the grant of your next life. Yamraj is considered to be the first human to die who went to the heaven and hence became its monarch.
One of the mythological text states that once there was a man who was unwilling to die in the hand of Yamraj, when he came to receive his soul. Instead, he ran to a Shiva temple uttering the “Maha Mritiunjaya” mantra. It is said that it is then that Shiva appeared and ordered Yamraj to leave this man. But tied in his duty, Yamraj refused which infuriated him and Lord Shiva killed him.
Yamraj was given another life by the Shiva, when the other gods intervened and that is when Yamraj promised him that a person who would visit his abode at Mount Kailash with faith, will be freed from all the sins. He shall personally look into it and that’s how Yam Dwar is believed to be originated
Things to keep in Mind while circumambulation around Yam Dwar
- You would need to take three circles in clockwise motion, before passing through Yam Dwar
- Don’t stay inside for long according to the local beliefs
- Once you will cross Yam Dwar, DON’T LOOK BEHIND till the time Yam Dwar is out of sight
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