Mānasa-sarovara

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Manasa-sarovara, MAnasa-sarovara, Maanasa-sarovara


Mānasa-sarovara literally means ‘lake that emerged out of Brahmā’s mind or heart’.

One of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for a devotee is the mount Kailāsa and the lake Mānasa-sarovara. The four-faced Brahmā while doing penance in the Himalayas is said to have created it out of his mind (or heart) and hence it is named so.

Geographical Significance of Mānasa-sarovara

  • It is in Tibet at a distance of 32 km (20 miles) from the mount Kailāsa.
  • Several rivers like the Sindhu (Indus), Sutlej and Brahmaputra originate from here.
  • Its water is crystal clear and very cold.
  • It is 90 meters (300 ft.) deep.
  • It abounds in swans and ducks.
  • There are eight maṭhas or monasteries on its banks.
  • Some of the monasteries contain the images of gods like Kālī.
  • It is situated at a height of 4500 meters (15,000 ft.) above the sea-level.

Worship of Mānasa-sarovara

  • A bath in it is considered to be highly meritorious.
  • Its actual circumference is 89 km (55 miles). However, the route of circumambulation is 113 km (70 miles).
  • Those who visit this lake, often undertake the circumambulation of the mount Kailāsa also, which takes about 2 to 3 days.
  • There is a twin lake called Rākṣasatāl, where Rāvaṇa is said to have performed tapas (austerity) to please Lord Śiva.

References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore