(40) Why Go on a Pilgrimage?
A devotee goes on a pilgrimage to recharge his or her spiritual batteries. Imagine a car. If its battery is run down it will not move. Same is the case with us. When we approach Paramatma with a pure heart he is bound to give us what we want besides making us feel happy. A pure heart comes of a pure mind. The mind is like a monkey. It has to be controlled. Devotion to Paramatma helps us to control the mind.
Bhagwan’s murti radiates divinity. One should be worthy to receive these divine radiations. For that faith is required.
The Sanskrit name for a pilgrim spot is dham. There are four principal dhams. They are situated in the four corners of the country. Badrinath in the Himalayas (north), Rameshwaram in the south, Dwarka in the west and Jagannath Puri in the east. Except Badrinath, the other three dhams are on the sea coast. The presiding deity in three dhams is Shri Krishna (Vishnu). At Rameshwaram it is Shivji. His murti was installed by Ram Bhagwan who is an avatar of Vishnu. He did it before going to Lanka to defeat Ravan.
In olden days it was difficult to go to dhams on a pilgrimage. And yet thousands flocked to them. Now, thanks to trains, planes and buses, the pilgrim traffic has increased. Besides these four, there are thousands of other pilgrim spots in our country – on high mountains, in deep jungles and holy river banks.
All Sampradays also have their own sacred pilgrim places.