The Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, situated in Pushkar, Rajasthan is one of the very few temples which is dedicated to the lord of creation, Lord Brahma. Located close to the Pushkar Lake, the Brahma temple is speculated to be almost 2000 years old. It is built out of marbles and stone slabs. The temple is believed to have been constructed by the great sage Vishwamitra, whilst Lord Brahma himself selected the site of temple. Pushkar has also been described in scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world. Though it does not remain the only Brahma temple in the world, but it is listed in the ten most religious places of the world and the five most religious places for the Hindus in India. The temple is constructed out of marbles and stone blocks. The statue of Brahma is in a crossed leg position which represents him as the creator of the universe. Saraswati sits to the right of brahma, and Gayatri to the left.
According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha (Vajranash in another version) trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his weapon, the lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell on the ground at three places, creating 3 lakes: the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar (greatest or first Pushkar), the Madya Pushkar (middle Pushkar) Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar (lowest or youngest Pushkar) lake.
When Brahma came down to the earth, he named the place where the flower ("pushpa") fell from Brahma's hand ("kar") as "Pushkar". Brahma then decided to perform a yajna (fire-sacrifice) at the main Pushkar Lake. In order to perform his yajna peacefully without being attacked by the demons, he created the hills around the Pushkar – Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and positioned gods there to protect the yajna performance. However, while performing the yajna, his wife Savitri (called Sarasvati in some versions) could not be present at the designated time to perform the essential part of the yajna as she was waiting for her companion goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Indrani.
Annoyed, Brahma requested god Indra- the king of heaven - to find a suitable girl for him to wed to complete the yajna. Indra could find only a Gujar's daughter (in some legends, a milkmaid) who was sanctified by passing her through the body of a cow. Gods Vishnu, Shiva and the priests certified her purity as she had passed through a cow, it was her second birth and she was named Gayatri. Brahma then married Gayatri and completed the yajna with his new consort sitting beside him, holding the pot of amrita (elixir of life) on her head and giving ahuti (offering to the sacrificial fire). But when Savitri finally arrived at the venue she found Gayatri sitting next to Brahma which was her rightful place. Agitated, she cursed Brahma that he would be never worshipped, but then reduced the curse permitting his worship in Pushkar. Savitri also cursed Indra to be easily defeated in battles, Vishnu to suffer the separation from his wife as a human, the fire-god Agni who was offered the yajna to be all-devouring and the priests officiating the yajna to be poor.
Endowed by the powers of yajna, Gayatri diluted Savitri's curse, blessing Pushkar to be the king of pilgrimages, Indra would always retain his heaven, Vishnu would be born as the human Rama and finally unite with his consort and the priests would become scholars and be venerated. Thus, the Pushkar temple is regarded the only temple dedicated to Brahma. Savitri, thereafter, moved into the Ratnagiri hill and became a part of it by emerging as a spring known as the Savitri Jharna (stream); a temple in her honour exists here.
The temple is visited by pilgrims and also by the holy men and sages, after taking a ceremonial sacred bath in the Pushkar lake. It is also a practice that visit to the Brahma temple is followed by worship of his consort Gayatri, followed by visits to other temples as convenient.
Three aratis are held in the temple: Sandhya arati in the evening about 40 minutes after sunset, Ratri Shayan arati (night-sleep arati) about 5 hours past sunset and Mangala arati in the morning, about 2 hours before sunrise.
The 8th century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara renovated this temple, while the current medieval structure dates to Maharaja Jawat Raj of Ratlam, who made additions and repairs, though the original temple design is retained. Pushkar is often described in the scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world, owing to the curse of Savitri, but also as the "King of the sacred places of the Hindus". Although now the Pushkar temple does not remain the only Brahma temple, it is still one of very few existing temples dedicated to Brahma in India and the most prominent one dedicated to Brahma.
The priests at the Brahma temple refer to a strictly followed religious practice. House-holders (married men) are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum to worship the deity. Only ascetics (sanyasis) can perform the puja to the deity. Hence, all offerings by pilgrims are given, from the outer hall of the temple, through a priest who is a sanyasi. The priests of the temple, in general in Puskkar, belong to the Parashar gotra. Once a year, on Kartik Poornima, the full moon night of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik (October – November), a religious festival is held in Brahma's honour. Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy Pushkar Lake adjacent to the temple. Various rites are also held at the temple during the fair. Special rites are performed on all poornimas (full moon days) and amavasyas (new moon days).
From Jaipur International Airport the temple is around 151 Km. From Pushkar Terminus Railway Station it is around 3 km and 14.7 km from Ajmer Junction. Autos and Taxis are easily available.
The temple is at a walk able distance of 1.2 km from Bus station, Choti Basti.
- 6.00 am to 1.30 pm, 3.00 pm to 9.00 pm
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