For my traveller friends , I have been doing some travelling and research on some offbeat destinations in India and, here is a fresh post.Another hauntingly beautiful story from India! Another post on one of the tp amazing destinations of India!
How many of you know about Khatu Shyamji?Very few, I believe.A lot of Indian travellers too are unaware of this quaint sounding village in the Indian State of Rajasthan.
So, what is so special about Khatu Shyamji?
Thousands of years ago, in ancient India, lived a warrior who wanted to witness the Great War or Mahabharata.He had noble intentions of helping the weaker side win the war, but, Lord Krishna could see it that this warrior would unwittingly finish both the two competing armies and no won would win the war! So, this warrior was persuaded to part away with his head as sacrifice .He accepted the suggestion willingly and thus, the legend of Khatu Shyamji was born.The name of the warrior was Barbareek.
Who was Barbareek?
Barbareek was the grandson of Bhim, the second Pandava. Bhim possessed the power of 12, 000 elephants and had a son, called Ghatotkach.The latter gave birth to a son who rivalled his grandfather in strength and bravery and was named Barbareek.
Barbareek sets out to watch the War!
One day, the young man, after hearing numerous stories and accounts of the preparations of War, decided to go and watch it.The War was being fought between his grandfather and his 4 brothers (Pandavas) and their cousins, the Kauravas.While, the Pandavas were 5, the Kauravas were 100 in number. The latter had an army of 11 akshauhinis while the Pandavas had just 7!Clearly, the Pandavas were outnumbered but, they had Lord Krishna with their side, who was a great diplomat and military strategist.Akshauhinis are military units.
All these days, the young man had accumulated a great strength by propitiating the Lord of Fire, Agni and had been blessed by the deity with some terrific weapons.
Barbareek visited his mother and took her leave promising her that he would support the weaker side in the War.The mother was satisfied as her in laws were militarily the weaker side.
Barbareek and Krishna
Lord Krishna was the supreme strategist on the side of the Pandavas and he was always alert to real and potential threats to his friends.
One day, he saw Barbareek, resplendent in his armour and astride his chariot, whizz by.”Halt, O, young man! What is your name?” Barbareek gave his introduction , not knowing that his interlocutor was Krishna.
But, then what will you do in that War, Krishna persisted. Well, Sir, I would fight for the weaker side and definitely side with the Pandavas, Barbareek replied.
Krishna pondered over the warrior’s reply and be came acutely aware of the consequences of Barbareek’s role.The Kauravas would first expose a part of their army to their rivals and after that part was annihilated by Bhim and his mighty brother, Arjun, would become weaker! Barbareek would then side with this weakened side.The Pandavas would then expose a part of their army to their enemies and the remainder would become weaker .Barbareek would then side with the Pandavas.The see saw would continure endlessly, resulting in the annihilation of both the Kauravas and the Pandavas! Krishna had a real crisis on his hands!
What if I gave you the power and ability of watching the War long distance, from here, Krishna asked the young restless warrior?
How, is it possible, Sir, Barbareek asked Krishna? I am Krishna, my son , so don’t worry about it, Krishna replied.
Barbareek had heard about Lord Krishna and was all at attention now. Please let me know, Sir, he asked.
Well, I will take away your head and place it here and you will see the entire War with your eyes, do not worry about it.But, you won’t be able to walk or hold your arms.And, my son, thousands of years from now, people of this land will venerate you as my other form, you shall have the same name as I have!
Barbareek did not think for once and acceded to Lord Krishna’s offer. The lord took out his discus and after beheading the young Barbareek, placed his head on that very spot where the warrior was standing. That spot is now marked as the temple of Khatu Shyamji.
Who was the bravest of them all?
When, the war ended,and the Pandavas emerged victorious, there was a bitter debate among them- who was the bravest of them all?Each Pandava thought of himself as being the bravest!
The debate was settled when Lord Krishna asked the beheaded Barbareek- My son, you have been watching the entire War for 18 consecutive days.Who, in your opinion was the bravest warrior?
My Lord, Barbareek answered, I could only see you in the whole of the battle field..you were the strategist, you were the weapons deployed and you were the warriors fighting each other. It was you, you and only you in the battle field!
How to reach Khatu Shyamji temple?
The temple is located some 260 kms from Delhi on the National Highway-8.Continue driving from Delhi till Shahpura. There is an exit towards the temple town at Shahpura.
If you are coming from Jaipur towards Delhi , the distance would be approx. 100 kms.
Khatu Shyamji is considered an important pilgrimage centre by Indians and it is estimated that annually 50 million pilgrims reach this temple town.
Barbareek or Khatu Shyamji is revered in his child form and is offered gifts of a small cot (khat or bed) along with pillows and bedsheets ! The deity is perennially resting on his cot.!!
Note; Images have been sourced from the internet