Saturday, July 14, 2007

Aurangzeb -- As he was according to Mughal Records -- Part VI -- Receiving idol of Srinathji

Aurangzeb's temple breaking spree was in full swing after his general order of 9th April 1669. The idols were being broken and temples desecrated in a show of mad religious frenzy and in remorseless pursuit to fulfill the demolition of the shariat. These were the circumstances which formed the backdrop of Shri Nathji's journey from Govardhan near Mathura to a small village in Mewar (Rajasthan) which in course of time became one of the most important centres of the Vallabha Sampradaya.

The idol which adorned the temple at Govardhana near Mathura before it could be touched by Aurangzeb's hatchet-men, was taken by Damodar Gosain to Bundi, Kotah, Kishangarh and even Jodhpur but none of the Rajput states felt strong enough to face the wrath of Aurangzeb. At last when Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar was approached, he assured the worried Gosain (the priest) that Aurangzeb would not be able to even touch the idol of Shri Nathji without treading over the bodies of one lakh of his brave Rajputs.

Shrinathji's idol was then brought to Mewar, the Maharana himself receiving the Lord on the border of his state on 5th December 1671 at Sihad village which after the deity came to be called Nathdwara.

The tradition goes that when Gosain and his party reached Sihada village in Mewar, the wheels of Shri Nathji's chariot got stuck up in the sand and despite all efforts, the chariot would not move a finger's length. Happily, this was taken as a sign that the God did not wish to proceed any further and has chosen the place as his abode.

In the above painting the wheels of Shri Nathji's chariot are shown having stuck up in the sand, the Maharana Raj Singh is receiving the idol of Shri Nathji with utmost reverence, the Gosain is standing nearby. Shri Nathji is in the curtained chariot, only his face being visible.

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