The sacred Sharada Peeth in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) is one of the many shrines whose soil has been used for the Bhoomi Pujan of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya Wednesday, August 5.
Yesterday was a very emotional day for all Hindus when a centuries-old dream finally came true. Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally performed the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony at Ayodhya. While addressing the luminaries, after performing the historic Bhoomi Pujan, PM Modi had said that the pious task of the construction of Ram Mandir has been strengthened by the soil of various holy shrines and sites from across the country and the water from various holy rivers.
Holy soil from various religious places and waters from 151 rivers were offered in the small pit that had been dug for the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’. One such shrine whose soil is now a part of the foundation of the Ram Mandir is that of the Sharada Peeth. This ancient shrine is situated in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), the area which was illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947. It is one of the three most sacred sites for Kashmiri Pandits situated on the banks of the Neelum River.
The soil of Sharada Peeth, whose ruins lie in the PoK, was sent by the Save Sharada Committee through the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for the Bhoomi Pujan ten days ago.
It is a very big thing, especially for Kashmiri Pandits: Save Sharada Committee Convenor, Ravinder Pandita
Save Sharada Committee Convenor Ravinder Pandita had handed over the pot with the sacred soil and flowers from the shrine to the VHP on 25 July. Expressing immense pleasure over the auspicious occasion, Pandita said: “The fact that Sharada Peeth’s sacred soil could be a part of Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir’s Bhoomi Pujan gives immense pleasure to all the Kashmiri Pandits. “It is a very big thing, especially for Kashmiri Pandits. We are extremely happy today”, said Pandita, who hails from Kashmir and has been living in New Delhi, fighting for the Sharada cause for decades now.
Holy soil from Sharada Temple in Neelum Valley, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) has reached #Ayodhya on the historic occasion of Bhoomi Poojan today. Video from Save Sharada Committee’s Ravinder Pandita. On a day when Imran Khan is helplessly roaming around in Muzaffarabad. pic.twitter.com/d1ZuflbDOX— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 5, 2020
Speaking to the media the Sharada Peeth convenor said: “Just like the Ayodhya issue, the shakti sthal of Sharada Peeth too is a very old issue and so if the former could get solved, this should also be solved,” says Pandita, hoping that access to the shrine would someday soon be possible.
“If I could visit Kartarpur which I did last year, I should also be able to go visit the Sharada Peeth,” he says reiterating his long pending dream.
Meanwhile, Manjunath Sharma, a resident of Karnataka and an active member of the Seva Sharada Peeth, who had arrived in Ayodhya with the soil said that he was there on the instructions of Chief Ravindra Pandit of Sharda Peeth.
Sharma said: “Actually Indian citizens are not allowed in PoK. So a member Bharatvanshi Venkatesh Raman and his wife, originally from Karnataka and living in China, were sent to PoK by passport from China. The couple arrived in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), from Hong Kong. After reaching PoK, he came to Delhi via Hong Kong with offerings and holy soil from Sharda Peeth. Here he handed over this soil to me.”
“Along with this, I also brought holy water from the Anjana mountain of Karnataka, which is considered to be the birthplace of Hanuman, a devotee of Ram.”
The Sharada Peeth in PoK is one of the 18 Shakti Peethas
The Sharada Peeth is about 207 kilometres north of Muzaffarabad in PoK. The last time any Indian could take a yatra to the shrine was in 1948. Swami Nand Lal, a Kashmiri sadhu, who initially had his ashram at Sharada town, had last visited it. He had to move his ashram from Sharada to Tikker village after the partition.
This shrine is significantly important for Hindus because it is said to be one among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. It is believed that the Sharada shrine is where Sati Devi’s right hand fell when Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan chakra to stop Lord Shiva from performing the Tandava Nritya. Lord Shiva was carrying the body of Sati Devi while he was dancing. Sati Devi’s body was cut into various pieces when Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra on Lord Shiva and the places where her body parts fell in India and Srilanka went on to be called the Shaktipeethas. There are 18 such places and they are called Ashta (8) Dasa (10) Shaktipeethas and Sharad Peeth is one of them.