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Dank Naath

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Dank Naath Temple

Location - Dakor, Khedaa District (Gujaraat, India)
Name of Shiv - Kapaal Mochan

Dakor, in its earlier phases as pilgrimage center in Gujaraat, was famous for the Dank Naath Temple, a place of Shiv worship. In the later phases it developed into a Vaishnavite center with the growing fame of Rana-Chhod Raaya Jee temple, which was built in 1772 AD. Today this place is known not only as a pilgrimage center but also a trading center where one can get the articles related to Poojaa, and other rituals. The present Dakor owes its splendor not to Dank Rishi but to Bodanaa, a great devotee of Lord Krishn. In his previous birth, he is supposed to have lived in Gokul and been a cowherd called Vijayaanand. On one "Holee" day, all the cowherds except Vijayaanand worshipped Lord Krishn. His wife too worshipped Lord Krishn. But Vijayaanand was proud and stayed at home. Lord Krishn came to his house in disguise of his friend and sent him to perform Holee Poojaa. Coming back, he realized that his friend was none else but Lord Krishn.

Next day they played colors. Lord Krishn got lost and fell into the river. Vijayaanand went after him where Lord Krishn revealed his true self. Vijayaanand begged forgiveness. Lord Krishn took pity on him and solaced him with a boon that he would be born in Gujaraat again in Kali Yug after 4,200 years as Vijayaanand Bodanaa in the house of a Kshatriya and his present wife Sudhaa would again be his wife, called Gangaabaaee, when He will give them a glimpse (Darshan) and relieve them by giving them emancipation (Moksh).

So as the legend would have it, "Vijayanand Bodanaa, a Raajpoot of Dakor, becomes a staunch devotee of Lord Krishn. He used to let the basil plant (Tulasee) grow in an earthen pot and carrying it in his hands with him used to go to Dwaarakaa to worship Lord Krishn with the said Tulasee leaves every six months . He did this continuously, unfailingly and untiringly till he was 72 years old, then he began to find it increasingly difficult to pursue this ritual. Seeing his plight, Lord Krishn told him that on his ensuing visit to Dwaarakaa, he should bring a bullock-cart with him and Lord Krishn would accompany him to Dakor as He was exceedingly pleased with his devotion.

Accordingly, Bodanaa went to Dwarakaa with a bullock-cart. The hereditary priests of Dwaarakaa (Gugalee Braahman) asked him as to why he had brought a cart with him. Whereupon, Bodanaa replied that he had done so to take away Lord Krishn to Dakor. Looking to the ramshackle cart, they did not believe him but nevertheless locked and sealed the sanctum sanctorum of Dwaarakaa Temple for the night. At mid night, Lord Krishn broke open all the doors, awoke Bodanaa and asked him to take Him to Dakor. Shortly afterwards, Lord Krishn called upon Bodanaa to rest in the bullock-cart and drove the cart himself till they reached the vicinity of Dakor. Here (near Bileshwar Mahaadev on Dakor-Nadiad road) they rested for some time. Touching and holding a branch of Neem tree, Krishn woke up Bodanaa and asked him to take over. Since that day, this Neem tree is found to have one sweet branch though the rest of the branches are bitter and it forms the subject of a well-known Gujaraatee song (Bhajan).

In Dwaarakaa, when Gugalee Braahman found the image of Krishn missing, he chased Bodanaa and came to Dakor in pursuit of the image. Bodanaa was frightened but Lord Krishn told him to hide the idol of the deity in the Gomatee tank and meet the Gugalee. Accordingly, Bodanaa hid the idol and went to meet the Gugalee with a pot of yogurt to pacify them. They became angry and one of them threw a spear at Bodanaa. Bodanaa fell down dead while the spear hurt him. The spear also hurt the image of the deity hidden in Gomatee tank and the water turned red with Lord Krishn's (Ran Chhod Raaya Jee's) blood. It is said that even today the earth of Gomatee tank, where the image lay, is red while rest of the tank has brown mud. In the midst of Gomatee tank, over the place where Lord Krishn was hidden, a small temple having the Lord's foot-prints is constructed and this temple is linked with the bank of Gomatee Tank by a bridge.

Even with the death of Bodanaa, the Gugalee Braahman were not appeased. Requesting Lord Krishn to return to Dwaarakaa, they sat on the bank of Gomatee tank and went on a hunger strike. At last, Lord Ran Chhod Raaya Jee (Krishn) directed Gangaabaaee, wife of Bodanaa, to give gold equivalent of his weight and ask the Gugalee Braahmn to return to Dwaarakaa. Poor lady, the widow of Bodanaa, was a pauper and could not afford doing so. By a miracle, the idol became as light as a golden nose-ring (1 1/4 val i.e. 1/2 gram in weight) which was all that the widow of Bodanaa, Gangaabaaee, had. The Gugalee were disappointed but the Lord mercifully directed that they would find after six months an exact replica of the idol in Sevaaraadhan Vav (well with steps) at Dwaarakaa. The impatient Gugalee looked for the idol sometime earlier than they were told and as a result, found an idol which, though similar to the original one, was smaller, Pilgrims to Dakor still visit the places stated to have been associated with the legend viz. Where the branch of Neem tree under which Lord rested while coming to Dankpur subsequently turned sweet; where the idol was hidden in the Gomatee tank; whereon the balance was set up to weigh the original idol which Bodanaa had enshrined.



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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on September 26, 2013