Author Topic: varanasi  (Read 2089 times)

matthias

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varanasi
« on: October 08, 2010, 01:53:27 AM »
dear forum,

my travel to northern india comes closer and closer, I will arrive in delhi 13th of october.
I want to go to kathmandu also, and I want to stop in varanasi for a week or so, I thought about asking members of this forum if they know some teachers in varanasi that I could try to see?

the city seems to be very loaded with energy, as far as I can see...I wasnt there jet, but it really fascinates me..

so maybe if you have some ideas, about ashrams that I could visit or temples or a special ghat...whatever let me know...

much love
matthias

silentgreen

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Re: varanasi
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2010, 10:07:07 AM »
Varanasi is the most ancient place of learning and one of the holiest pilgrimage for the Hindus.
It is a land for Moksha and situated on the banks of river Ganga. It is said that dying in Varanasi confers liberation. In the cremation ground of Manikarnika Ghat (where fire is said to burn all 24 hrs), Sri Ramakrishna had the vision of the Divine Mother of the Universe walking amidst the funeral pyres of the deceased, untying the knots of their ignorance and Lord Shiva whispering the Taraka mantra into their ears.

The mythological story about Kashi is as follows:
Prior to the creation of the universe by Brahma, Lord Shiva created a wonderful city known as Panchakoshi. Lord Vishnu spent time in this beautiful area and once when he tilted his head there a gemstone fell from his ear. Hence this place came to be called Manikarnika. (Mani is the Sanskrit for gem and karnika for ear). Lord Shiva then scooped up the entire Panchakoshi area on his trident and waited for the process of creation. After Lord Brahma finished creating the universe, Lord Shiva set Panchakoshi in the place now known as Kashi and decided to rest eternally as the Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirling. So Kashi is said to rest on the trident of Lord Shiva. Baba Vishwanatha and Ma Annapurna are the principal temples of Kashi.

Varanasi has the unique distinction of having separate temples  dedicated to all the nine forms of Mother Durga:
- Shailaputri
- Brahmacharini
- Chandraghanta
- Kushmanda
- Skandamata
- Katyayani
- Kalaratri
- Mahagauri and
- Siddhidatri

Apart from the temples, Varanasi is famous for its buring ghats (Assi Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Harish Chandra Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Tulsi Ghat). One can take a boat ride on the river Ganga and see the ghats. The fire at the Manikarnika ghat is said to burn all 24 hours. Since it is said that dying in Varanasi confers liberation, many old persons prefer to die here. Taking a bath in the river Ganga is itself auspicious and pilgrims after taking bath in the river visit the temples.

Varanasi is famous for the great saints who lived there:
- Ramananda (c.1400–c.1470) the pioneer of the medieval bhakti movement in north India.
- Kabir (1440–1518), the famous poet and mystic and son of a poor weaver couple
- Guru Ravidas (c.1398–c.1448), born in the cobbler community and was popularly known as Raidas.
- Tulsidas (1543–1623), a great devotee of Lord Rama
- Trailanga Swami (c.1607–1887), famous for his yogic powers and resided on the Manikarnika Ghat. Sri Ramakrishna said about Trailanga Swami: "I saw that the universal Lord Himself was using his body as a vehicle for manifestation. He was in an exalted state of knowledge."
- Swami Bhaskarananda Saraswati (1833–1899)
- Swami Karpatriji (1907–1982)
and many others

Sarnath:
At Sarnath near Kashi Bhagavan Buddha set in motion the ‘wheel of Dharma’ with his first sermon following enlightenment. Sarnath has a huge Buddhist monastery as well as three stupas and an Ashokan pillar with a lion capital on top. The Sarnath museum is renowned for its sculptures, of which the meditative Buddha and the Ashokan Lion Capital are the most famous. Saranath is also home of the Mahabodhi Society, which was started by Angarika Dharmapala on his return from the World Parliament of Religions — where he had been one of Swami Vivekananda’s co-delegates.

Finally the famous Banaras Hindu University is itself a great tourist spot.

The atmosphere of Varanasi is charged with spiritual energy.
(However one needs to look beyond the present day commercialisation which is prevelant everywhere).
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

ramanaduli

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Re: varanasi
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2010, 04:16:54 PM »
Dear Silentgreen ji,

Very nice information. You have not written about Adi Sankara who got jnana from Shiva.


Ramanaduli

silentgreen

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Re: varanasi
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2010, 05:17:44 PM »
Thanks ramanaduliji  for reminding. The incident goes as follows:

Shankara travelled to Kashi, where a young man named Sanandana, hailing from Chola territory in South India, became his first disciple. According to legend, while on his way to the Vishwanath Temple, Sankara came upon an untouchable accompanied by four dogs. When asked to move aside by Shankara's disciples, the untouchable replied: "Do you wish that I move my ever lasting Atman ("the Self"), or this body made of flesh?" Realizing that the untouchable was none other than god Shiva himself, and his dogs the four Vedas, Shankara prostrated himself before him, composing five shlokas  known as Manisha Panchakam.

- from Wikipedia
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

matthias

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Re: varanasi
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2010, 06:14:11 PM »
thank you dear silentgreen

you know of a saint or scholar that I could visit in varanasi?

much love
matthias

Subramanian.R

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Re: varanasi
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2010, 12:52:59 PM »



Dear silentgreen,

Excellent note on Kasi.  I have not seen Kasi.  Tiruvannamalai is
enough for me.  But Sri Sankara has glorified Kasi as one of the
12 Jyotirlinga Kshetras, where Viswanath remains as embodiment
of grace.  Annapurna or Visalakshi is there to feed the Jivas.

Kasi seems to have some wondrous aspects:

1.  There, the dead bodies do not smell.

2.  The smoke coming out of burning bodies are not offensive.

3.  One does not get fever or cold even if he bathes 20 times a day.

4.  There, even the wet firefood burns without smoke as if they are
     well dried ones.

5.  Even if one dashes against or touches another who is normally
     considered impure, because he had just then finished the
     cremation of his parent or some relative, does not get himself
     impure.

6.   Unlike south Indian temples, any one can do abhishekam with
     Gangajal to Viswanatha, and can even touch the deity.




Arunacahla Siva. 

silentgreen

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Re: varanasi
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2010, 09:16:37 AM »
Dear matthias,

I do not know about any saint in Varanasi right now.
I have been to Kasi many many years back.

Dear Subramanian.R ,

Nice information on Kasi.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

matthias

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Re: varanasi
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2010, 06:46:56 PM »
Iam in delhi for two days now, even if I heard so many bad things about this city I love it very much...

its dirty and the air is very bad, but its also very wonderful here, I feel totally at home, a old man even started to talk with me in hindi when I visited a temple, his loving smile vanished when he realized that Iam a foreigner...

dear silentgreen
thats ok,I think it will be enough to see kasi, if delhi feels so good, then I suppose that this city is even more vibrant

I will do this at the end of my journey, so that I feel comfortable to be alone in such a city...

thank you all for the information.

matthias