Wednesday, May 10, 2017

1010. A pilgrimage to Kashinagara

The landscape between what was once the two rivers called Varuna & Assi before the decent of Holy Ganga is Varanasi. When Ganga made her appearance the two rivers joined her. It was then the land got the holy tag and became the place of “learning & burning”.

Learning not just the Para vidya (lower knowledge) but also the Apara Vidya (higher knowledge), burning not just the mortal remains but also the inner enemies within. Lower knowledge being the art of knowing about the things outside us, while the higher knowledge is the art to know about our Self.

As we took the pilgrimage to the oldest city of the world called Kashinagara, we were told by our boatman that if you happened to take a sag of rice and start to pour a hand full of it on the deity situated in the every temple the rice in the sag may get over but the temple count won't. Every house in the by lanes of Kashinagara has a small temple.

The most significant among them is the Sri Kashi Vishwanatha, Maa Vishalakshi, Maa Annapurna, Sankat mochan Hanuman, Kshetrapalaka Kala Bhairava.

We happen to take the Aarti seva at Sri Kashi Vishwanatha and were at the temple doors at 2.30 A.M. After a thorough security check we were allowed into the temple. There were around 200 seva karthas and we were allowed to sit in front of the sanctum which has doors on all four sides.

The Shiva linga which was unusually not at the center but at one corner was visible to all. The aarthi ritual started with Abhisheka (anointment) with water from Ganga, milk, curd & jaggery. This ritual was performed chanting Rudrachamakam. Abhiskhekam was followed applying scandal oil to the linga and decorating with flowers. The Shiva linga was immersed with lots of flowers and then camphor was lit on the four sides of the Linga. The sounds of Damaru and Shanka filled the air with the swaying of aarthi lamp. This was an enchanting moment the chant “Har Har Shambho Mahadev Kashi Vishwanatha Gange, Sadashiv Maa Parvathi Sanghe" was loud and clear.

Before making the trip to this holy city I read about Kashi in some books and blogs. One of the seeker from Japan had posted about her experience as a write up in her blog. She admitted that though she did not know much about the rituals performed she could relate to them.

One of her friends responding to the write up wanted to know if Kashi and Ganga were clean. The response this Japanese lady gave was thought provoking. She wrote thus: "I am here at this oldest holy city not to gauge or assess how clean the city is nor am I here to give a test report on Ganga water. I am here to cleanse my inner self. I will have done my part if I can clean my inner self without polluting the outside of me".

No comments:

Post a Comment