Teerth Yatra

I couldn’t find the origin of Teertha Yatra or its original purpose. Most documents mention it eliminates Paap (sin). It appears that this incentive (elimination of paap) is there to encourage Teertha Yatra, not the main original purpose.

A few of original purposes (I am assuming) would have been to enable people to:

  • know about various groups/ people & their way of life, living in different parts of the country; develop tolerance towards others’ way of life, learn living techniques from others.
  • develop sense of gratitude towards great deeds done by saints; natural features like rivers, mountains etc.; reverend deities etc. and imbibe their qualities of dedication, selfless service, bravery, hard work, perseverance, and so on.

The website indica-teertha-yatra mentions four types of teertha: Daiva, Asuras, Arsha, Manusha. I would add natural landscapes.

  • Daiva - those that are created by godsg. Kashi, Mathura, Ayodhya, Badrinath, Pandarpur, Kedarnath and so on
  • Asuras - those associated with asuras and demons like Gaya (by Gayasur)
  • Arsha – those established by rishis like Vasistha, Prabhasa, Naranarayana, Adi Shankaracharya,
  • Manusha - those created by kings, beings like Ambarisha, Manu Kuru, Siddhas, Yogis e.g. all teerths with based on temples as destination.
  • Landscapes – like rivers, mountains, etc. e.g. Ganga Ji, Yamuna Ji, Godawari Ji, Prayagraj, Kailsha, Mansarovar, Goverdhan

At most of the Teerths, a grand temple and/or a temple complex is built, this promotes faith-based pilgrimage. Otherway around too, a grand temple does become a Teerth.

Teerth Yatra is [and should be] performed in groups and not solo. Ideally, the groups should meet people enroute and living around the teertha place, learn their culture and then (if available) go to the deity and get the blessings.

This Sanaatani pillar using the essential philosophy of Omni-Present Brahma, brings people closer and re-enforces the quality of acceptance of all.