Kashi (Varanashi)-Its History and Importance, Temples, Ghats and Kaal Bhairava.
For thousands of years, Kashi has been a cultural centre in northern India, and it is strongly tied with the Ganges. Hindus believe that dying here and being cremated along the banks of the holy Ganges river can help people escape the cycle of rebirth and achieve moksha, making it a popular pilgrimage destination.
The city is famous for its numerous ghats, stone slab embankments along the river’s edge where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. The Dashashwamedh Ghat, the Panchganga Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat, and the Harishchandra Ghat are notable because they are where Hindus bury their deceased.
Lord Shiva, one of the three main deities, together with Brahma and Vishnu, established Kashi, according to legend. During a battle between Brahma and Shiva, Shiva tore off one of Brahma’s five heads. As was customary, the victor took the head of his murdered opponent in his hand and let it hang from his hand as an act of humiliation and a symbol of his own bravery. A bridle was also placed in the horse’s mouth. Brahma’s head was so desecrated, and Shiva kept it with him at all times. The hanging head of Brahma slid from Shiva’s hand and vanished into the ground when he arrived in Varanasi in this state. As a result, Varanasi is revered as a sacred site.
The city remained a significant centre of Hindu devotion, pilgrimage, mysticism, and poetry, contributing to its status as a cultural and religious education centre. In Kashi, Tulsidas authored the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem about Rama’s life. Kabir and Ravidas, two more key personalities in the Bhakti movement, were born in Varanasi.
The word “Kashi” literally means “to be luminous,” or “to be a light tower.” Kashi, according to Mark Twain, is older than legend. Nobody can ever figure out when this place was built. Kashi was thought of while Athens was not. Kashi was there when Rome didn’t even exist in people’s minds. Kashi existed when Egypt did not. It is that old, and it was constructed as a city-like instrument to bring a union between the “micro” and the “macro” — this tiny human person has the phenomenal possibility of merging with cosmic reality and experiencing the pleasure, ecstasy, and beauty of becoming one with cosmic nature.
Many similar devices have existed in this country, but to build a metropolis like this is a crazy goal — and they did it thousands of years ago. The number of shrines was 72,000, which corresponded to the number of nadis in the human body. The whole thing is like a “mega human body” manifesting to make contact with a larger cosmic body. As a result, an entire tradition developed that if you go to Kashi, that’s it. You don’t want to leave because why would you want to go someplace else once you’ve linked with cosmic nature?
Kashi- The Most Ancient city on this Planet
Kashi is claimed to be the world’s most ancient city. The task was to capture historical traditions and culture that are the outcome of human ingenuity.
For centuries, Kashi, also known as Varanasi or Benares, has been the ideal pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Varanasi is the world’s oldest inhabited city. This city is located on the banks of the Ganges River. Varanasi is one of India’s most important holy destinations, with Hindus wishing to visit at least once in their lifetime. People think that if they take a bath in the Ganga River, their sins will be washed away.
Kashi is “more ancient than history, tradition, and legend combined, and appears twice as old as all of them combined.” The ancient ‘Janapad’ (kingdom) of Kashi had its capital in the holy city. Many spiritual saints and sages are linked to the city of Benares. In Sarnath’s deer park, Buddha preached his first sermon. In the eighth century, Parshvanatha, the first master of the Jains, was born in the town. Varanasi is the earthly incarnation of heaven.
Every devout Hindu aspires to walk the sacred ‘Pankoshi path’ at least once in their lives, bathing in the five ghats of Assi, Dashashwamedh, Adi Keshav (Varuna-sangam), Panchganga, and Manikarnika in proper order on the same day. Over 80 ghats, or embankment stairs, span for four kilometres along the Ganges’ left bank.
Varanashi is a ‘tirtha’ (bridge) connecting heaven and earth, a place where gods come to see this world and mortals move to the next. Parvati, Shiva’s wife, arrived at the City of Light with him. The town’s name is derived from a mixture of two rivers: the Varuna and the Assi.
Knowing your body’s limits is the most important thing you can do in life. You were born the day before yesterday and will be laid to rest the next day. Today is the only day you have left. Existence is like this. Life must blossom before death arrives. As a result, we set up every mechanism we could think of across the country to achieve this goal. This kind of mechanism can be found in a lot of places.
Unfortunately, most of them are broken, including Kashi, which is severely disrupted, although the energetic part of it is still rather active. This is because the physical construction of such areas, such as Dhyanalinga, is always simply a scaffolding. Kashi is said to be on top of Shiva’s Trishul or trident, rather than on the earth, according to tradition. Kashi is said to be on top of Shiva’s Trishul, or trident, rather than on the ground.
“In my experience, the real structure of Kashi is around 33 feet above the earth,” Sadguru explains. We should not have erected anything taller than 33 feet if we had any wisdom. We have, however, because sense has always been a precious commodity in the world.’ The energy structure might be up to 7200 feet long, according to geometrical estimates. It was given the name “Tower of Light” because those with eyes to see could see that it was a very tall edifice. It didn’t end there; it also provided you access to the unknown. The goal is to achieve something that only a human being could attain within himself or herself, using an orderly process distilled from thousands of years of human realisation.
It’s like reinventing the wheel and going through a lot of tedious processes if you have to figure things out on your own. However, if you must comprehend through the knowledge of others, you must be humble. This arrangement was made in order to carry a large number of people. People arrived and established a variety of methods and systems. There were nearly 26,000 shrines at one time, each with its own means for achieving enlightenment. When this mechanism known as Kashi was in full splendour, these 26,000 shrines acquired satellites, and various angles of the temple became little shrines of their own, bringing the total number of shrines to 72,000. This isn’t something that happened overnight. Nobody knows when the basic framework was created.
Sunira, who lived some 40,000 years ago, is said to have come here hunting for something. It was already a bustling metropolis at the time. No one knows exactly how ancient it is in terms of antiquity. Shiva was drawn to the city because it was so lovely. It was already a fantastic city before he arrived. They discovered three layers of temples that had all been shuttered for a long time only a few years ago. This indicates that the city sank through time and was rebuilt several times, one on top of the other. Because the ground recycles itself throughout time, the city is made up of three to five levels.
The Shiva Mythology And Kashi
Kashi’s folklore is based on the fact that Shiva himself once resided here. This is where he spends the winter. He lived as an ascetic in the Himalayan highlands, but when he married a princess, he had to make compromises. And, as a graceful man, he decided to relocate to the plains, where Kashi was the most magnificently constructed city at the time.
“If I’m going to be king, Shiva has to leave, because being a king with him around isn’t going to work.” People will congregate in his vicinity. “There’s a lovely storey here. Shiva had to leave Kashi for political reasons. The gods feared that if Kashi was not properly administered, it would lose its reverberance, so they appointed Divodasa as a king. He did, however, impose a condition: “If I’m going to be king, Shiva has to leave, because being a king with him around isn’t going to work.” People will congregate in his vicinity.” So Shiva and Parvati set off for Mount Mandara, but Shiva had no desire to dwell there. He wanted to return to Kashi, so he despatched messengers first. They went and fell in love with the city so much that they never returned.
Shiva then dispatched 64 celestial women. “Somehow corrupt the monarch,” he added. We can send him packing if we detect something wrong with him, and I’ll return.” They came in and established themselves throughout society, attempting to corrupt it. But they were so taken with the land that they forgot about the mission and moved in.
He then dispatched Surya Deva. He also came — all of Kashi’s Aditya temples are dedicated to him — He was so taken with it that he decided not to return. Surya Deva felt humiliated and afraid that he wouldn’t be able to complete Shiva’s task because his love for the city outweighed his commitment to the mission, so he turned south, tilted to one side, and sat down.
Brahma was then dispatched by Shiva. Brahma himself arrived and fell in love with it, never to return. “I cannot trust any of these individuals,” Shiva said, and he dispatched two of his most trusted ganas. They both arrived — they couldn’t forget Shiva, after all, they are Shiva’s people — but they were so taken by the site that they thought, “This is the only place Shiva should live, not Mount Mandara.” Then they became the city’s dwarapalakas.
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