Listening to Bhagwat Katha at Badrinath is a cherished wish of many devotees. If you happen to choose to visit Badrinath in this year’s pilgrimage season, you cannot afford to miss the Bhagwat parayan in your itinerary. Across the years, we have noticed that our pilgrims cite the Bhagwat Katha at Badrinath as the highlight of their entire traveling saga. Well having enjoyed the Bhagwat Katha for ourselves at the holy shrine of Badrinath, we definitely understand why.
Of all the 18 Puranas, Shrimad Bhagwat enjoys the highest adulation. In fact, it is held in such high esteem that it is nicknamed as the ‘fifth Veda’. This can be attributed largely to its emphasis on bhakti to reach God-realization rather than on Jnana (knowledge), karma (detached action) or mental discipline (raja yoga). In fact, bhakti narratives consider sincere devotion to God as its path and goal. That the Purana sings primarily of the tales of Shri Krishna-as a mischievous child growing up in Vrindavan, as an amorous teenage lover with whom gopis are infatuated with, as a warrior prince who leads Pandavas through the trials and tribulations of the Kurukshetra war, as the beloved king of Dwarka-gives the devotee a myriad number of choices in transmuting one’s earthly attachments as love for the Divine Beloved. Mothers seek in Him their beloved child, women a symbol of their romantic longings, men and women in need of practical, yet righteous counsel his wise counsel in ‘Bhagavad Gita’. One is reminded of a tale told of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the celebrated nineteenth-century Indian mystic who was considered by many as the incarnate of Sri Krishna himself, of a woman who approached him lamenting that in spite of her best efforts, she does not feel any love for God, to which the sage enquired if there exists anyone whom she loves dearly. The woman cited her niece, a small baby who evoked such motherly love in her heart, hearing of whom the sage advised her to love him as Lord Krishna Himself. One can expect to come across many such tales that are sure to enrich one’s spiritual understanding during Bhagwat Katha at Badrinath.
Sages and saints advocate such rigorous and ascetic practices to attain self-realization which can intimidate a common man. But what Bhagwat Katha tenderly shows a devout heart is that there exists a different path to God that traverses through one’s heart, for which all that is required is one’s sincere longing and true devotion for God. Participating in a Bhagwat Katha attracts thousands of devotees because the Purana gifts multitude of stories of Lord Krishna that can act as a catalyst to engender sincere devotion in even the hardest of hearts.
But then the question arises, what makes Bhagwat Katha at Badrinath more special compared to those organized elsewhere? Well, read along to find out why bhakt seek to immerse themselves in the stories of Shrimad Bhagwat in the sacred premises of Lord Badrinarayan temple.
The mythical river of Vedic times, Saraswati, emerges out of her subterranean trails near Badrinath in the village of Mana, only to merge with the waters of Alaknanda River a few hundred yards away. Saraswati River does flow astonishingly close to Vyasa cave. Legend has it that the cave is where Sage Vyasa dictated the epic of Mahabharata to Lord Ganesha. One might know that hagiographic accounts credit authorship of not just Mahabharata, but all the 18 Puranas including Srimad Bhagavata and ancient classics to Veda Vyasa. Does it come as a surprise that the river Saraswati, known as the embodiment of Goddess Saraswati herself, flows close to the site venerated as having borne witness to the fecund creative origins of some of our greatest spiritual literature? Can you think of another place more suitable to hear Bhagwat Katha then perhaps near wherein Veda Vyasa was struck with creative inspiration for our beautiful spiritual epic eons ago?
Venerated monks are invited every year to recite Bhagwat Katha at Badrinath. Hearing Lord Krishna’s tales from such esteemed monks such as Swami Avdheshanand Giriji Maharaj is an opportunity the devout ought not to miss. The spiritual potency of the recitation increases when it is performed by a persona steeped in the ocean of true inner contemplation of God. If you wish to take part in Bhagwat Katha at Badrinath, you need to look no further than us since we will gladly arrange your itinerary such that you get to savour the divine experience so beautifully it will last a lifetime in your memories.