An Embodiment Of Spiritual Virtues: Bijeshwori Temple
25, Mar 2019 | nepaltraveller.com
The deity Vajrayogini’s essence is of great passion; free of selfishness and illusion
Situated on the west bank of Bishnumati River in Dhalko, Kathmandu is Bijeshwori Temple which was established in 1655 AD. The temple also goes by the name Vidheshvari Vidhya Yogini, a Newar-Buddhist temple, dedicated to the Vajrayana Buddhist deity Vidhyadhari Vajrayogini in her form as Akash Yogini. The name of the deity ‘Vidhyadhari’ typically means the ‘Knowledge Holder’ who is the presiding goddess of this temple.
Vajrayogini’s sadhana originated in Nepal between the tenth and twelfth centuries. Each aspect of the goddess’s form is designed to convey a different spiritual meaning. Her vibrant red coloured body symbolises the blazing fire of spiritual transformation as well as life force, blood of birth and menstruation. Her face represents that she has realised all phenomena are of one true nature in emptiness, the arms symbolise the realisation of truth and her eyes, the ability to see everything in the past, present and future. Vajrayogini’s essence is of great passion- a passion that is free of selfishness and illusion.
Bijeshwori Temple is considered sacred to both Hindu and Buddhist followers. It is a significant pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists since the temple is affiliated to Buddhism. Some of the Hindu disciples also regard the place as a sacred Shaktipeeth.
In the temple, the main idol depicts the image of Vajrayogini in her form as Akash Yogini flying through the sky, her right leg bowed up at the knee behind her and her left leg is pulled facing her bosoms with her left arm. Holding a Vajra in the right arm, the goddess holds a khatvanga staff which lays on her left side shoulder. The visitors to the temple are strictly prohibited to take any pictures of the deity.
The temple sustained major destruction during the 2015 Earthquake. As of now, the reconstruction process is underway while most of the artisan driven works having archaeological and religious importance have been completed.