Near Kashi, Ganga flows in the shape of a bow. Hence it acquired
special importance. A king called Deivodas expanded this area.
Varanasi is located in
Uttarpradesh, in the Gangetic plains.
Purana of kashi vishwanath jyotirlinga
Nirvikar cahitanya and Sanatan Brahma have assumed the form of Saguna
Vishwarupa from the initial Nirgun Roopa or form. The Shiva Shakti roopa became
the Purusha (man) and Stree (the woman) again. Prakriti and Purusha (Nature and
man) (Shiva-Shakti) were once ordained by Shiva to do tapas in the universe in
order to create the best being. He specified the best place for this purpose.
When a prayer was held, Nirgun Shiva, with His own powers and aura, created a
wonderful city called Panchakoshi. Vishnu, who resided there, spent a lot of
time praying to Shiva after which several watersprings originated there. Vishnu
was amazed at this wonderous event, and even as he tilled his head, a gemstone
fell from his ear. Because of this place, it was also called Manikarnika. The
entire Panch Koshi area of Manikarnika waters were then gathered into the
Trident by Shiva. Then from the navel of Vishnu was born a lotus flower with
Brahma in it. Brahma was ordained by Shiva to create a world, at which Brahma
created this wonderful world. It had fifty crore Yojanas of area and fourteen
lokas. In order to save the lives of these who are bound by their own actions or
karma. Shiva kept panchakoshi city away from the entire universe. In this city,
Shiva Himself established the saviour Muktidayak JyotirLinga, which He can never
leave. Shiva removed this very Kashi from His Trident and set it in this mortal
world. It was not to be destroyed when Brahma’s day ends, but during Pralay
i.e., final destruction of the world, Shiva saved it by keeping it safe in his
trident. So the kashi is called avimukta kshetra. In Kashi, the Avimukteshwar
Linga is there forever. Those who can never hope for salvation, attain Moksha
This holiest city of Panchakoshi, with its capacity to destroy every
conceivable sin, is the vehicle of a special Moksha by the name “Samyugha”. That
is the reason why this city which is ruled by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha, is the
place, where even divines want to die. Sarwaguna from inside and Tamoguna from
outside, are the qualities of Rudra here. When prayed to, Vishwanatha Bahagavan
Sri Shankar made this abode and resided there with Parvati.
Glory of Kashi
Kashi city is the place for Moksha and Ganga. Those who live here attain
Mukti or Salvation, even without having to travel to any place of pilgrimage.
Any one, be it a man, woman, young, old, Sahava, pure or impure, Prasuta,
Aprasuta, Swadesh, Andaja, Udibhaja, of whatever caste, all attain Moksha. There
is not an iota of doubt in this. Whatever a person may be doing, eat, sleep or
anything else, if he departs from this world from Avimukteshwar, he definitely
attains Moksha. Any small act of goodness or Punyakarya, takes away all the
sins. Good as well as bad people are born on this earth. But by living in Kashi,
both attain Moksha. Later, several people came forward to build this temple. A
king by the name Banar developed this city of pilgrimage. About one and half
thousand beautiful temples were built here. The tower of the Vishweshwara temple
is a hundred feet high.
Kashi nagar is so great that even if the universe is to be destroyed in
Pralaya, it would remain intact. Dandapani and Kalabhairav guard this city. They
stay there forever. On the Ganga banks eighty four bathing ghats are located.
There are also several teerthkundas. They have been there right from the times
History of the Vishwanath Temple
Varanasi, which was a pious place of pilgrimage for the hindus, soon became
an eyesore and source of jealousy for the Muslims. From 1033 to 1669 AD Kashi
came under several destructive attacks. Temples were demolished and Masjids
built there instead. But due to the dedication of the Hindu devotees, the
JyotirLinag pilgrimage place continued to develop. During the reign of the
British and the Marathas, this place really developed well. Even the Jaina and
Boudha monks helped to keep the place of the city intact.
The Kashi Vishweshwar temple as we see it now was built by Ahalya Devi Holkar
in 1777 AD. In 1785 AD, the then King of Kashi, Mansaram and his son Belvant
Singh built many more temples near Varanasi. In 1755 AD, the Avadh pantof
pratinidhi (representative) got the old temple of Bindumadhava repaired and
renovated it beautifully. The kalabhairava temple was built by Srimant Baji Rao
Peshwa in 1852 AD.
King Ranjit Singh had the Kashi Vishwanath temple towers covered in gold. A
huge bell hangs in the temple. It was donated by the King of Nepal. Surrounding
Saranath, there are many Budhhist stupas, Viharas and Chaitra grihas. In 1931 AD
the mahabodhi society had built a very beautiful Buddha temple in Saranath.
The Hindu devotees visit Kashi to make offering. Here they perform many
rituals and consider themselves blessed. Along side, several foreign tourists
visit this place regularly. Places worth seeing include Ghats, temples,
tapobhoomi and the scenic beauty of the surroundings. Kashi Kshetra and Sri
Vishweswara JyotirLinga are connected as the holiest shrines in the world. The
Ganga water here is considered as the nectar of the earth. Dying in Kashi or
performing the final rites is considered as the way to the Heavens. Kashi -
Rameshwar(1) yatra is the prime pilgrimage for the Hindus.
Jaya Ganga, Jaya Vishwanath, Om Namah Shivaya. The entire area
echoes with these chantings. The Gods in Varanasi are described in Sanskrit in
the following way:
“Varanasitu Bhuvantrya sarabhoota’
Ramya Nrinaam Sugatidakhil Sevyamana”
Atragata Vividha dushkritkarinopi’
Papakshaye virajasaha sumanaprakashah”
- Narada Puran