Mansarovar and rakshastal lake
Lake Mansarovar is a high altitude freshwater lake fed by the Kailash Glaciers,near Mount Kailash . The lake is sacred to four religion Hinduism,Jainism, Buddhism.
Lake Rakshastal is a saltwater lake and it lies just west of Mansarovar and south of Mount Kailash . Despite of being located geographically close to each other ,Lake Mansarovar is characteristically opposite to Rakshastal.
Lake Mansarovar freezes in the winer and is one of the highest freshwater lake in Asia. It is relatively round in shape .It flows into the Rakshastal and together the two lakes flows into the Satluj basin.
significance in hinduism
It is believed to be created in the mind of Brahma first and then manifested on earth . ‘Manas’ means mind and ‘sarovar’ means lake .The lake is round shaped and considered to be a symbol of light and brightness .
Mansarovar is believed to be the abode od Hamsa ,who is the vahana of Brahma .Hamsa is an important element of subcontinent representing wisdom,beauty and purity
It is said that during a special occasion ,all devatas visit lake Mansarovar and take bath in the holy water. Some mysterious light or sparks are noticed at the site by some pilgrims .
Not just Hinduism ,mansarovar is also sacred to other religions .For example ,the Jain scriptures say that the first Tirthankara, Rishabha, attained nirvana here. The Buddhists equate this lake with lake Anavatapta, which in Sanskrit means ‘the unheated’. Anavatapta is believed to be the lake lying at the centre of the world, which also happens to be the place where Maya conceived Gautama Buddha, the enlightened one. The lake is regarded holy in the Bon religion too. Legends say that when Tonapa Shenrab, the founder of the Bon religion, visited Tibet for the first time, he took a bath in this holy lake.
Mansarovar is located just at the origin of three rivers -Karnali, Brahmaputra, Sindhu and Sutlej.
It is believed to the same location where the demon King ,Ravana performed extreme penance to please Lord Shiva .Ravana used to make offering of one of his ten heads everyday at this lake .Finally Shiva was pleased by his devotion and granted him boons.
When Ravana was visiting Kailash ,he took dip in Rakshastal . On his way he saw Parvati and was filled with lust losing all his virtues. So ,it is prohibited to take bath in this lake . As there are no plants or wildlife around the lake, its lifeless surroundings caused the Tibetans to refer it as “the Ghost Lake”. Visitors who approach the lake must be respectful to avoid inauspicious mishaps.
Crescent shape of this lake symbolises darkness and negative energies . It is believed to be created by the Gods of demons.
Due to the high salt content of its water the surrounding area is devoid of vegetation and wildlife . This also symbolises the lack of prosperity due to presence of negative energy .
There is a short river named Ganga Chhu, which connects Lake Manasarovar with Rakshastal, believed to be created by Rishis to add pure water from Manasarovar. In the Tibetan Language the lake is also called the Dark lake of Poison .
The significance of these two lake is that they present the two characterstic of humans,one which is positive and constructive and the other which is negative and destructive ,although closely related just like the two lakes present at close location .