Holy Places – Hindus outside India

The Swastika Stone on Ilkley Moor

The Swastika Stone on Ilkley Moor

India has many holy places. In addition to man made temples, rivers such as the Ganges and mountains such as Mount Kailash are considered holy. Like the temples, these are considered as places where the physical world is closer to the domain of the Devas and of God. For Hindus outside India visiting such places might be a once in a lifetime pilgrimage. I hope that I will one day be able to visit these sacred sites, but I have not been in a position to do so yet.

However there may be holy places nearer to home. Some of these places may have been recognised as holy in ancient times. Originally the message of the Vedas was known through the world. Symbols such as the Swastika stone on Ilkley Moor show that these places were revered by our ancestors. The atmosphere of sacredness and the closeness to the spiritual world is still present today.

Janet's Foss, Malhamdale

Janet's Foss, Malhamdale

Other places might give themselves away because of the feeling of sacredness. I have often felt this when walking in the mountains, certain peaks just have that kind of atmosphere. People may be attracted to them without knowing why.

The River Aire has been selected as a place where Hindus can scatter ashes. One of the tributaries of this river flows through Janet’s Foss, a site that has a mystic atmosphere . There is a legend that a “faerie queen” lived here. Could this be a Devi, and this river in England used for Hindu burials be a lesser sister of Ma Ganga in India? I don’t believe that this was a conscious thought when Hindus applied for permission to scatter ashes in the Aire, but I like to think so. When people undertake things for spiritual reasons, things happen in the way they are meant to.

It’s ironic that as an English convert to Hinduism I now have a stronger connection to my land and my ancestors than I did before. Perhaps it’s not surprising though, as Hinduism preserves the belief in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the whole world is one family, which has been lost in much of the world in modern times.

The photographs used in this article are licensed under the Creative Commons License and were sourced from the Wikipedia. articles “Janet’s Foss, and “Swastika Stone.

5 responses to “Holy Places – Hindus outside India

  1. Hey,

    Happy to read a new entry again!

    A friend of mine from Hungary went to Mount Kailash this summer. She could spend only few days there around.
    Now I am happy she is back safe and sound thanks to God.
    Hoping you will also manage to get the some day.

    Another topic (request if possible):
    Could you write about specific symbols of Shaivism (trishula or trident, linga, etc.) in details, please? I am asking you because many a western people misunderstand them in certain ways, and it would be good to hear about them from one who may know more about it in a view different from that of the western.
    Is that possible?

    Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Shaivite Hindu Symbols: The Trishula « Western Hindu

  3. Pingback: Why don’t you follow the Celtic religion? | Western Hindu

  4. If I will get a chance I will do Pilgrimage to this place ..Swastika thing is amazing ..Swastika is one of the most sacred symbol of we hindus.Even Mahabharata talks about Europe and other places who are are santani kingdoms http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/philosophy/aryavarta-india-before-5-000-years-ago

    however it felt very bad to know how early civilizations were destroyed by Abhrahmic faiths..

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