Jharkhand Home of the Rishis
Jharkhand, a relatively newly formed state in north-east India, is rich in nature’s bounty. It contains the Santhal Parganas which have been the traditional lands and forests inhabited by the Santhalis since ancient times. Santhalis are one of the major and most ancient tribes of India. They thrived in the abundant forests of ancient Jharkhand and have preserved their unique culture and way of life over the centuries. The Santhalis continue to follow their traditional religion and social laws which is devoid of any caste system. They are skilled, honest, hardworking, and independent and continue to live in harmony with nature as they have done for thousands of years.
Jharkhand was once covered by dense jungles which were inhabited by rishis, realized sages, who came there to perform tapasya, austerities, and sadhana, spiritual practices, because of the isolation, suitability and serenity of the place. During this deep mythological past which we now may refer to as the age of enlightenment the Vedas and Puranas were recorded and committed to written manuscripts. Rikhia, a tiny village located within the Santhal Parganas of Jharkhand preserves the memory of that time and derives its name from the Sanskrit word rishiya – the land of the Rishis.
“Baba Baidyanath is an awakened shrine where the devotee’s pleas are heard immediately and never go unanswered.”
Deoghar The abode of Shiva and Shakti
In close vicinity to Rikhiapeeth is the temple town of Deoghar, which literally means ‘home of the Gods’. The main temple enshrines Baba Baidyanath, the jyotirlingam, oval shaped stone, which is worshipped as a symbol of the illumined consciousness of Lord Shiva. It is naturally formed out of a single rock and its magnificence and power draws hundreds of thousands of devotees. Narad Muni in his description of Baidyanath Dham to Hanuman describes it as the only place where Lord Shiva grants boons to each and every person whether deserving or undeserving, sinner or saint.
A feature of Deoghar is the annual kanwariya mela, festival, held in the month of Sravan (July/August), in worship of Baba Baidyanath. This is an auspicious time for bathing the jyotirlingam with Ganga water and millions of devotees, rich and poor alike, walk barefoot 104 kilometers from Sultanganj carrying Ganga water in their kanwars or earthen pots. At that time Deoghar resounds with the auspicious mantra Om Namah Shivaya, and the presence of Shiva becomes intense.
Deoghar is also a very important shaktipeeth, spiritual place where the cosmic mother is worshipped. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying the dead body of his consort Sati, it was cut into sixty-four pieces, and different parts of Sati’s body fell in the sixty-four peethas, important places for worship of Shakti. Her heart fell at Baidyanath Dham and thus it is known as the Hridaya Peeth or place of the heart. Swami Satyananda said, “Deoghar is the cremation ground of Devi, the place where her heart fell millions of years ago. It is also the birthplace of a new Devi. The message for the awakening of women will go out from here.”
Deoghar is an important seat of both Shiva and Shakti for they are both eternally present here and their influence is all pervading.
How to Reach Rikhiapeeth
There are daily international flights into New Delhi and Kolkata. Closest domestic airport is Patna (approx 4 hours by train from Rikhiapeeth)
By Rail to Jasidih
The nearest railway station is Jasidih (10 kms from Deoghar) which is on the Howrah (Kolkata) – Patna – Delhi line.
The following train times are subject to change and travellers should confirm all times with India Rail or your local travel agent prior to travel.
From Delhi/Patna (be sure sure to check whether you are leaving from Delhi or New Delhi station).
The following trains stop at Jasidih Junction.
Kolkata to Jasidih Junction
Train No. Train Name Arrival
2303 Howrah New Delhi Poorva Express 12.23
2305 Howrah New Delhi Rajdhani Express 17.46
2023 Howrah Patna Jan Shatabdi Express 18.26
New Delhi to Jasidih Junction
Train No. Train Name Arrival
2304 New Delhi Howrah Poorva Express 11.48
2306 New Delhi Howrah Rajdhani Express 08.39
2024 Patna Howrah Jan Shatabdi Express 08.58
Visit the Indian Railways website for up to date times Indian railways official website
06432-290870/09102699831/ 09304-488889/ 09204-080006
Rikhiapeeth, P.O. Rikhia, Dist. Deoghar, Jharkhand, India 814113.
For reply within India, please enclose a stamped self addressed envelope.
www.rikhiapeeth.net for satsangs of Swami Satyananda.