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Navratri 2022: Four Famous Akhand Jyoti Temples

It is generally believed as per religious scriptures that chanting done in front of Agni, or diya, yields better results. Ghee diya should be lit on the right side whereas oil diya is to be lit on the left side of God/Goddess.

Akhand Jyoti is burnt continuously on all nine days of Navratri to just indicate that hope should never be relinquished as a little ray of light can dispel looming darkness all over the area. Devotion, just like light, can light our lives, just as a spark can ignite a wildfire. There are temples in India that have carried on this tradition of Akhanda Jyoti from ancient times. They are listed below.


Goddess Akhandwasini Temple at Golghar, Patna

A two story house near a narrow lane at Golghar, Patna, is drawing thousands to its premises, and crowds gather during Navratri, waiting from 6 am to have a darshan of the Akhand Jyoti that has been burning for the last 101 years.

There is a mysterious background to this occurrence. Way back in 1914 a devout bhaktha by name Vishwanath Tiwari had procured an ‘Akhand ‘Jyoti' from the Kamakhya temple of Assam and brought it home to worship it. He was just a lad of about 10 years of age, when he acquired this deep which he installed on the Poornima day of June 1914. This apart, this one room temple has a smaller akhand diya that is lit using ghee while the bigger Akhand Jyoti uses mustard oil, to keep its flames burning all the time. Twice, every day, the diyas are filled with oil and ghee in the temple which opens for the devout around 5.30 am. Aarti is held during Navratri in this temple for three times, and the Brahmins from Bettiah, a city in Bihar, arrive to conduct the Navratri puja rituals.

Ashtami and Navami days are the busiest here as the temple opens 24 hours whereas totally 12 to 15000 devotees gather to celebrate the nine days of Navratri. With a prestigious clientele comprising of ministers and bureaucrats this temple serves the creamy layer and the underprivileged in the same manner. Bhandara bhog is offered to goddess and distributed on 02 october beyond the dusk hours.

People fondly address this temple as the Shri Akhandvasini or Jai Matadi temple, which has a 3ft tall statues of Goddesses Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. Devotees offer turmeric, flowers, vermillion and coconut to Goddess Durga and they are efficiently guided by the residents of this temple here.


Asamai Temple At Koh-e-Asamai Mountain, Kabul

At the foot hills of the daunting mountain ranges of Koh-e Asamai mountain of Kabul, stands the Asamai temple, that attracts crowds to its Akhand Diya that has been burning uninterrupted for over 4000 years here. The Ashamai mountain is justifiably called so, as the locals believe that a goddess of hope or Asha resides on the top of the hills. The very fact that it has survived wars one after the other for several decades back in time, proves that Ashamai is indeed a temple of hopes that it provides its devotees hopes to survive the challenges and struggle.

To honour the Goddess of Hope, Afghan Hindus and Muslim men and women did gather to attend the inauguration of the newly built Asamai Temple at the top of the mountain in Kabul.

This temple is also famous for a stone idol named ‘Punishir ka jogi'. It was named so because of a saint who lived here and penanced. When the local people became a constant source of distraction for his tapasya, he turned himself into a stone.


Rajarajeshwara ( Sahasrarjun) Temple, at Maheshwar

The temple of Rajarajeshwara at Maheshwar is widely known for its 11 monolithic lamps that keep burning all the time. Here a special vow done, is sure to get back those things you lost or misplaced. People pray for health and longevity here. The devotees donate the ghee in generous amounts to the temple to keep its Akhand diyas burning. Due to tremendous contribution of ghee from devotees, the temple authorities were forced to set up a two storeyd building just to store the ghee containers. Kajal made of Akhand diya is known to have mystical powers that can protect the devotee from evil eye.

Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Raj Rajeshwar. Situated near the Ahileshwar temple, the Rajareshwar temple is more known as the temple of the 11 Akhand Jyoti diya that burn day and night. Also known as Ravaneshwar temple the temple exhibits architecturally rich designs on walls, and ceilings inside the sanctum in which the 11 monolothic akhanda diyas are situated that burn even today. Around 1.25 kg of desi ghee per lamp is used up on a daily basis. Devotees bring in large quantities of ghee to keep the flames of the akhand diyas burning.


Badrinath Temple, Uttarakhand

The most wonderful example of a holy shrine with a constantly burning Akhand Deepak is the Badrinath temple, where the Lord is in the form of Nara and Narayana. The temple is open only for 6 months during the year as it takes six months to complete one day of the Devas. When the temple is closed for any human devotee, sage Narada from the celestial abode descends in to continue the puja to the God for the next six months. The lamp that is lit by the human priests for 6 months remains fully lit upto the next months even with its doors closed for entry.

The lamp that keeps burning for such a long time, certainly has some scientific basis behind it. Around 2000 years ago, Adi Shankaracharya had prepared a recipe for the oil to be used in the lamp. He used certain herbs that were mixed in ghee made of cow's milk and these were supposed to be prepared by girls below ten years of age. This mixture does not emit carbon dioxide and needs very small quantities of oxygen. So it is a perfectly flammable mixture which can keep a lamp burning continuously for six months. Since time immemorial, people of Mana village near Badrinath prepare this mixture for the temple.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Kindly consult the concerned expert before practising or implementing any information and assumption.

Story first published: Friday, September 30, 2022, 10:13 [IST]
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