Islamic Fundamentalism, Methodology, and their goals in the context of India.


“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” (Koran 9:5)

HINDU TEMPLES WERE ATTACKED in many parts of the country on Chaitra Navratri and Ram Navami this year. These attacks were done in a well-planned and systematic manner. What was the reason for such attacks? These riots are just a glimpse of the events of history.

CHAITRA NAVRATRI:- The festival of Navratri is celebrated twice a year. The Hindu New Year also begins with Navratri, in the month of Chaitra (hence, the name CHAITRA Navratri). Chaitra Navratri is celebrated for nine-days.

RAM -NAVMI:- One of the holiest festivals of Hindus. As Christians celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Christ, in the same way, Hindus have an ancient tradition of celebrating Ram Navami as the birthday of Lord Shri Ram.

LET US BISMILLAH (start of a task)

A Muslim youth, Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi, attacked security personnel guarding India’s famous Gorakhnath temple. Two security personnel were seriously injured. The Muslim youth was chanting the slogan of Allah o Akbar. (Allah is the greatest ) This was the beginning of a series of Islamic attacks on Hindu temples. Security force personnel tried to capture Murtaza alive at the place of the shooting and were successful. Preliminary investigations found evidence of Murtaza’s connection to ISIS through the Internet. Investigations of Murtaza’s bank account revealed that money has also been sent to Syria from his account several times. Murtaza was brainwashed by the internet. He was struggling to bring Islamic rule to India and was ready to make any sacrifice for his goal. He is another example of the fast-growing internet jihad in the Islamic world. The return of radical Islamic rule in Afghanistan has no doubt raised the spirits of the hardline Muslims of India, but due to this victory, the Islamic extremists are also making it easier to recruit new people to their gang.

What message do radical Muslims want to give by killing Hindus across the country and looting temples on the holy festival of Ram Navami? What message do the fundamentalist Muslims tried to give who raised slogans of raping Hindu women after the temples were set on fire? Is this an attempt to repeat history? Is this an attempt to spread Islamic terrorism (Jihad) in South Asia? Is this attack an attempt to show the superiority of Islam over other religions?

a. Hardcore Muslims of India strongly believe in the supremacy of Islam.

b. Hardcore Muslims are always eager to initiate violence.

c- Most of the Muslims of India also believe in the concept of the Caliphate nation like the Muslims of other countries of the world.

dInternet Jihad is now spreading its wings in India too.


Robert Smith, Aurangzeb’s Mosque at Varanasi, 1814. Watercolor on paper

Aurangzeb Mosque or Alamgir Mosque Varanasi. The meaning of the name Alamgir is Conqueror of the world. This name is generally used for Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb had demolished an ancient Vishnu temple on the banks of the Ganges. This mosque was built at the same place from the ruins of that temple.

A. SUPREMACY OF ISLAM

Islamic superiority according to theology

DOUBLE STANDARDS:- Believers and Non-believers should be treated unequally. Allah says this himself in the Quran.

THE NON-BELIEVERS SHALL BE STERNLY PUNISHED, BUT THOSE THAT ACCEPT THE TRUE FAITH AND DO GOOD WORKS SHALL BE FORGIVEN AND RICHLY RECOMPENSED.

KAFIR:- The word Kafir is commonly used by Muslims in abusive language. “But in Shariah, it is a legal term. According to Shariah, he who is not a Muslim is a Kafir.” Fatawa-i-Rizvia.

“O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.” (Koran 8:65)

The Muslims of India completely believe in the supremacy of Islam. The Muslims of India cannot turn their back on what is written in the Quran. The things written in the Quran, according to them are the orders of Allah and it is the ultimate duty of every Muslim to follow these orders literally. To maintain the superiority of Islam over other religions, Muslims repeatedly attack not only on religious places of other religions but also on modern democracy and the democratic system.

Ordinary Indian Muslims and the pride of being superior

In the year 1194, Islamic invaders destroyed almost all major Hindu temples in Varanasi( the holiest city of Hindus) and mosques were built over Hindu temples. I spent almost three months in Varanasi searching for ruins of temples demolished in 1194, during which I interacted with hundreds of Muslims. Almost all Muslims consider themselves descendants of foreign Islamic invaders. (While most of them have converted to Islam in some specific point in time.)

Every Muslim considers himself of a winning race and Hindus a cowardly community. He has the evidence to prove his point.
An old Muslim man showed me a Mughal era building and said that this building is a witness of Islamic superiority. I immediately questioned, “But,Why ?” He replied, “Look at the carvings on the walls of this building, see the strength”, I then counter responded by saying that there were many ruins in the city, which are more beautiful and stronger than this building which were built before the Islamic civilization. I wanted to draw the attention of the old Muslim to some pre-Islamic remains found in Banaras. The old Muslim laughed and said you don’t know, the ruins and pillars you are talking about are not all before the Islamic civilization, but the beginning of the Islamic civilization.
All these buildings and there pillars were built by the jinns who came to India with the Sultan’s army. Jinns (supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology and theology.)

Islam gives a very narrow interpretation of history. Muslims deny to accept the history of thousands of years before the religion of Islam came to India. An ordinary Indian Muslim wants to accept history only as a document of the victory of Islam.

B. EAGER TO VIOLENCE:-

The concept of the first attack is taken from the Qur’an.

In a conflict with another religion at any level, Islamists follow Qur’anic concept of war They want to take full advantage of the first attack. Their first goal is to create fear in the heart of the enemy and the greater the fear, the greater the chance of winning the battle.

STRIKING TERROR-INTO THE HEARTS OF THE ENEMY FROM THE PREPARATORY STAGE OF WAR

“The infidels should not think that they can get away from us.
Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can
master so that you may terrorize them. They are your enemy
and Allah’s enemy.” (Koran 8:59)

LET US RAPE

On the festival of Ramnavami, the Islamic mobs setting the temples on fire repeatedly shouted that now the rape of Hindu women should be started. Believers in Islam have successfully used rape of Hindu women as a weapon many times in the modern history of India.

1947 – At the time of the partition of India-Pakistan.
1971 – At the time of the creation of Bangladesh
During the separatist movement in Kashmir
Even today in Muslim majority cities in West Bengal.

THEOLOGICAL JUSTIFICATIONS FOR RAPE

“It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with the female captive. Allah the almighty said: ‘[Successful are the believers] who guard their chastity, except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are free from blame[Koran 23:5-6].”

“If she is a virgin, he [her master] can have intercourse with her immediately after taking possession of her. However, if she isn’t, her uterus must be purified [first]….

C. Caliphate

At the time of India’s independence, many prominent Muslim leaders were of the opinion that the independence of India meant the rule of Hindus. As a result, many Muslim leaders of India appealed to the Afghan government of that time to invade India and establish an Islamic state here. Many Muslim leaders of India were in favor of a colony of an Islamic nation rather than an independent and sovereign nation. As a child, I have seen posters of Saddam Hussein being put up by Muslim shopkeepers during the Gulf War. In France, if a magazine publishes a funny cartoon of Muhammad, there is a protest on the streets of India, and government property is set on fire. Islam is a unique ideology that does not fit into the modern concept of nationalism. Similarly, the modern concept of Liberty, Freedom also does not match with Islamic ideology. According to the concept of Islam, freedom means religious rule.

D. ELECTRONIC JIHAD

“This is a war of ideologies as much as it is a physical war. And just as the physical war must be fought on the battlefield, so too must the ideological war be fought in the media .” (Nasser Balochi , member of ISIS’s social media team)


Smartphones are being used by fanatics as an information grenade. There are thousands of Islamic groups active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. who are engaged in brainwashing Islamic youths day and night. Due to social media people may soon be sorted on the basis of opinion and religion. From one room, one can spread their hate message to the entire world in a few seconds with a tool that fits in the palm of his hands. This is quite different from the 1980s when Islamic organizations had to publish magazines to run their propaganda or distribute video cassettes to madrassas and mosques. Zakir Naik, a famous Islamic thinker of India, continued to invite people to Jihad as an Islamic preacher for a long time. On behalf of India’s oldest political party Congress, he was called the messiah of Hindu-Muslim unity, when his reality was exposed, he fled from India, even today the number of followers of Zakir Naik is in lakhs.

INDIA MUST CRACKDOWN ON RADICAL ISLAM

India has no option but to win. Islamic fundamentalism cannot be defeated in a day, it requires long-term plans.

Intruders should be completely stopped


Bangladeshi and Rohingya Muslims who have illegally infiltrated India, have a large number of people involved in the incidents of robbery, rape, and kidnapping in India.
Such people have a long criminal history, they are always trying to carry out criminal incidents by colluding with local criminals.
In any Hindu-Muslim conflict or Islamic procession, they get involved for a small amount of money. Cab bills, NRC bills are the need of the moment. There should also be a provision for strict action against the local people who give shelter to the infiltrators, and such people should be given long sentences under the new law.

All the taxpayers of India should raise their voices against this infiltration. These infiltrators are eating taxpayers’ money like termites and making the country hollow. The money that hardworking people give to the government in the form of taxes cannot be wasted on such people.

Mullah, Masjid, Madrasa Alliance

A common Muslim thinks only what the clerics of Madrasa and Masjid put in his mind. The policy of Muslim appeasement adopted by the Congress government for vote bank now needs to be stopped. Immediate action is needed by identifying the madrassas spreading hatred. Once WikiLeaks also disclosed the huge amount of funds received from Saudi Arabia in mosques of India. according to WikiLeaks, some mosques, madrasas, and educational institutions of India had received seventeen hundred crore rupees from Saudi Arabia for the propagation of radical Islamic ideology. The state and central governments also need to keep a close watch on money transactions from madrasas and mosques.

There is no difference between radical Islamic ideology and Islamic terrorism. Radical Islamic ideology is not limited to the followers of Islam, or to a particular geographical area. India is a multi-religious, multi-language, and diverse country, any kind of fundamentalist ideology can create instability in the society here.

An impartial interpretation of history is essential.

The history of India after independence has been written by the Marxist gang. This is completely fake. Marxists devoted the history of India to one ideology. Red terrorists left no stone unturned in glorifying Islamic imperialism.
Islam is a peace-loving religion. Religious fanaticism has no place in Islam???????? What is the basis for writing and stating these things? This may be a political statement, maybe it is also correct from the point of view of vote bank politics and Muslim appeasement, but is this propaganda capable of explaining Indian history ???
If a person has studied the history of India only in the courses of schools and universities, that is he has only read the Marxist interpretation of the history of India, then he knows absolutely NOTHING and if SOMETHING then that is also FALSE. The time has come to bury the fictional historiography of Marxists just like their out-of-date ideas. History should be explained on the basis of truth and not on the basis of Marxism.

References

1.THE KORAN (N.J DAWOOD Best known for translation of The Koran)

2.The Qur’anic concept of war (Brig. S.K.Mallick)

3.GOD’S TERRORISTS The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (CHARLES ALLEN )

4.ISIS THE STATE OF THE TERROR (JESSICA STERN AND J.M. BERGER)

5.THEY MUST BE STOPPED (BRIGITTE GABRIEL)

6.THE WORLD OF FATWAS OR THE SHARIAH IN ACTION (ARUN SHOURIE)


HOW KASHI IS RESHAPING INDIAS FOREIGN POLICY

THE NATIONAL FLAG OF ANY COUNTRY is not just a piece of cloth, it is a symbol of that country’s culture, history and tradition. On the arrival of the Prime Minister of Nepal in Varanasi, common people stood on both sides of the road carrying the national flags of India and Nepal. Surprisingly some people were also carrying saffron flags. Saffron color is a symbol of Hinduism The shared culture, religious literature, civilization of Nepal and India can be represented just by this one flag. Maybe some people were trying to convey this message while hoisting the saffron flag.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba along with his wife Arju Rana reached Varanasi, the cultural capital of India.
By the way, Varanasi is a holy city for all the Hindus of the world and every Hindu desires to visit Kashi at least once in his lifetime. After worshiping at Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, the Prime Minister of Nepal wrote in the visiting book-

“We are Blessed in this birth to have Baba’s darshan. We thank the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath for this.”

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba also offered prayers at the famous temples of Kaal Bhairav ​​and Pashupatinath in Banaras.

*PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE VARANASI*

PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE(Nepali mandir , Kath mandir) VARANASI

Lord Shiva is also known as Pashupatinath. The Pashupatinath Temple of Varanasi is a replica of the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal. The Pashupatinath temple of Varanasi was built by the Maharaja of Nepal. This temple in Varanasi is also popular as Nepali Mandir or Kath Mandir. Kath means wood. A lot of wood was used in the construction of this temple, hence it is also called Kath temple. The management and conservation of the temple is carried out by the Government of Nepal.

*VISHWANATH TEMPLE *


A painting from the early eighteenth century, with a giant Nandi statue built by the Maharaja of Nepal in the courtyard of the Vishwanath temple


A flower covered idol sits in the court of the Golden Temple, Benares.(1926)

The famous Vishwanath temple of Banaras was demolished by the Muslim ruler Aurangzeb after which he built the Gyanvapi Mosque at that place. Vishwanath temple was rebuilt at this place by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1777-80 AD. A huge Nandi statue was established in the courtyard of Vishwanath temple by the Maharaja of Nepal.

39 Gorakha Training Centre:

Presently there are 39 battalions serving in 7 Gorkha regiments in the Indian Army. Gorkhas are mainly ethnic people of Nepal who have been serving in the Indian Army. At present, there is a Gorkha Training Center in Banaras itself. These examples reveal the intensity of relations between Varanasi and Nepal.

NEPAL & INDIA’S RELATIONS THROUGH THE CORRIDOR OF HISTORY .

According to Hindu religion, Lord Shri Ram was a resident of Ayodhya. Mata Sita, the wife of Lord Shri Ram, used to come from the ancient Videha kingdom (these parts of Mithila lie presently inside Nepal).

*GAUTAM BUDDHA *

Gautam Buddha was born in 624 B.C.E in Lumbini, near Kapilvastu, which was, at that time the capital of the Shakya Republic, which also lies in Nepal now. According to the believers of Buddhism, there are four major pilgrimage centers of Buddhism.
Lumbini (Birth)
Bodh Gaya (Enlightenment)
Sarnath Varanasi (Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon here)
Kushinagar (Death ,  Parinirvana)
these places fall in the border areas of Nepal and India.

*Nehru the cause of the Himalayan blunder*

After India’s independence, Nehru, the so-called champion of foreign policy, had no interest in Indo-Nepal relations. Nehru favored imperialism of the Soviet Union rather than nationalism. Nehru’s prejudices were the biggest obstacle in the betterment of Indo-Nepal relations. Nehru considered Hindu religion to be backward and orthodox, so he looked down upon the thousands of years of common heritage and culture of Nepal and India and this heritage was of no importance for him.
Nehru was a staunch opponent of the monarchical system of governance. His opposition was also based on the baseless facts of Communist propaganda literature and the fake revolution of the Soviet Union. During a meeting with CHOU EN LAI of China, he mocked the great Indian female freedom fighter ~ Rani Lakshmi Bai, describing her as a landowner and a symbol of monarchical rule rather than honoring her love and sacrifice towards the nation. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2020/11/13/nehru-architect-of-spineless-india/
Nehru’s bureaucrats also used to give more importance to his ideas than the interests of the country with an intention to please him.
Nepal is a small country from the geographically perspective and depends on other countries for many of its needs. Not getting importance from Nehru and to fulfil its needs, the ruler dynasty of Nepal started looking for an alternative to India. Soon this option emerged as China. China found a partner in the form of Nepal while trying to push the Soviet Union to become the leader of the communist nation and replace Soviet influence in the countries of South East Asia. Even after Nehru’s death, India’s bureaucracy remained devoted to the Gandhi family, and the Gandhi family was devoted to the Soviet Union, due to which India always stood with the forces opposing the monarchy in Nepal. Due to this attitude of India, the feeling of hatred towards India in the elite class of Nepal continued to grow progressively. After the Indo-China war, China further instigated the anti-India sentiment among the people of Nepal. As a result, countries which emerged and belonged to the same history, same culture, same religion and the same civilization became fiercely opposed to each other.

Rajiv Gandhi and Indo-Nepal Relations :-

The Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi was in Kathmandu on a state visit to Nepal. Rajiv Gandhi also went to Pashupatinath temple with his wife (Sonia Gandhi). The head priest of Pashupatinath objected the entry of Sonia Gandhi into the temple. According to the tradition of the temple, the entry of non-Hindus in the temple is prohibited. (Sonia Gandhi is a Catholic Christian.)
Rajiv Gandhi asked the King of Nepal to intervene in this matter.
The King of Nepal expressed his inability to Rajiv Gandhi and said that he cannot interfere in religious matters. The King of Nepal believed that his intervention would hurt the sentiments of the Hindus of Nepal and India, who see and respect the King of Nepal as the protector of Hinduism.
Rajiv Gandhi considered this incident as his personal insult, while the people of Nepal thought that India was now trying to interfere in Nepal’s internal matters.

Rajiv Gandhi gave his consent to overthrow the monarchy in Nepal after coming back to India. India’s Foreign Department engaged in all kinds of assistance to the Maoists who were demanding opposition to the monarchy in Nepal. Due to this act of India, the feeling of discontent towards India in Nepal’s royal family and general public flared up.

Vicious game of China

The Maoists supported by India were actually only the well-wishers of China and no one else. Soon Nepal and India’s Maoists started acting like imperialist agents of China by sidelining India, now both India and Nepal were facing China-backed terrorists due to Rajiv Gandhi’s personal ego. Soon the monarchy was abolished from Nepal and the democratic government was established, but in reality it was not a democracy but a victory for China’s imperialism. Due to Rajiv Gandhi’s failed foreign policy, India lost its buddying country Nepal and to make matters worst turned it into an enemy.

Chinese imperialism and Indo-Nepal relations

Many countries of the third world have been entangled in the Debt trap of China. Countries in South Asia like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives are gradually becoming colonies of China. Nepal should take a lesson from the current situation in Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan. At the same time, India should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal. The main source of income of Nepal is the tourism industry and most of the tourists in Nepal go from India. About eight million Nepalese work in India, India accounts for sixty percent of Nepal’s total exports. There are immense possibilities of tourism in Nepal, with the cooperation of India, Nepal can earn a lot of foreign exchange in this field. Buddhism is one of the major religions of the world. There is a large number of Buddhists mainly in countries like Japan, China, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Korea etc. A large number of tourists from these countries come to the major pilgrimage sites of Buddhism, all these Buddhist sites mostly lie around the Indo-Nepal border area. India Nepal can jointly earn foreign exchange from these tourist places. This would not only economically strengthen Nepal, and benefit it, but would also strengthen Indo-Nepal relations once again, hopefully correcting the mistakes which were committed in the past.

Prinsep sahib who dearly loved Benares.

Who is sahib??

Sahib is an Arabic word. This word is commonly used in India in a respectful context. Even today, the method of addressing government officials by calling them ‘sahib’ is prevalent.
In the British Raj, British officers were also called sahib.
One such British officer was James Prinsep. Even today an Indian takes this name with great reverence.

This photo is probably a little before Prinsep went back to England from India. The spots near his eyes reveal his deteriorating health.

BIOGRAPHY:-

JAMES PRINSEP WAS BORN ON 20TH AUGUST 1799 IN BRISTOL, ENGLAND. He was known in his school as a brilliant student. James wanted to be an architect and started training for it. But because of keeping eyes on the subtle maps for a long time, his eyes started getting bad. As a result, James had to give up his education as an architect. His family members were concerned about James. But one day a friend of his father, working in India House, informed him that the company needed an assistant connoisseur in Bengal and that James could be appointed to the post if he had acquired the requisite qualifications in this field. James found this proposal favorable and in 1817 began training in numismatics.

In the first half of 1818, James received a certificate of proficiency from the Royal Mint. James’s younger brother Thomas had also completed the probationary period of Bangla Engineers. So both brothers together on 26 May left England for India in 1819. After a journey of about four months, both the brothers reached Calcutta on 15 September where they were received by their elder brother Henry Thobe, who had already well established himself in Calcutta. At this time the government had decided to establish two more mints in addition to the Calcutta mint, one of which was in Banaras. In 1820, another famous scholar, Horace Heyman Wilson, came to Calcutta from Benares and reported that he had prepared the mint there. On Wilson’s return, James was sent to Benares as the head of the mint.

JAMES PRINSEP REACHED BENARES ON 26TH NOVEMBER 1820. No one would have imagined that this young British officer is going to do an incomparable amount of job in contributing to the history of India. History of India especially ancient India history can never forget the contribution of James. Soon Princip fell in love with this ancient city. His letters show that he was very keen on the scientific study of this city and soon he got involved in this work with full engrossment.

There is hardly a multi-faceted genius like James in human history proficient in many disciplines The same person was a journalist, engineer, scientist, chemist, actor, singer, inventor, painter, writer, epigraphist, archeologist, academician, population scholar, a town planning expert, everything.

Unfortunately, Prinsep was short-lived, he died at the age of forty. He spent almost ten years of his life in Banaras. After resigning from his job due to illness, he went back to England. But his health kept on deteriorating. The sad news of James’s death came to India on 22 April 1840. James Prinsep had done so much work in Banaras that if his work has to be accounted for, then a book will also fall short for it. It is not possible to throw light on the works of James in just a single post My purpose in this post is also not to give information about the great works of James. For a few days now, the sketches of James Prinsep have been attracting my attention those sketches are as relevant today as they were in James’s time. Undoubtedly, these sketches are unmatched in terms of art, but the beauty they depict in the daily life of Varanasi has no match.

RUINS OF VISHWANATH TEMPLE FROM THE EVES OF JAMES


Sketch of the ruins of the famous Vishwanath temple in Banaras by James Prinsep
Image – Ruins of the present Vishwanath temple

This sketch of the Vishwanath temple was published in the book Benares Illustrated written by James. This book was lithographed in England, published from Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1833.

The famous Vishwanath temple in Banaras was demolished in 1669 by the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. After the demolition of the temple, a mosque was built on the ruins of the temple. This disputed structure still exists today. The way James has depicted the ancient ruins and pillars of the temple in his sketches is commendable. James’s sketch of the disputed structure of Gyanvapi Mosque is probably the only sketch of it made at that time. James very eloquently depicts the artifacts and geometries on the main entrance and pillars of the temple. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2021/12/06/the-search-for-hindus-lost-temples-in-the-city-of-templesvaranasi/

RAJA MAN MANDIR GHAT

The first and the second pair of photographs below are of the same place, first photograph of each pair being the sketch drawn by James. Try to find out yourself the similarities, THERE ARE A TONNE OF THEM!!!. After finding them out you will realize that there is hardly any change in the buildings since James time.


THE MAN MUNDIL OR HINDOO observatory BENARES BY JAMSE PRINSEP (1832)
MAN MANDIR TEMPLE

Sketch of the ornate windows of the Man Mandir temple by James

ORNATE WINDOWS OF THE MAN MANDIR TEMPLE

Many temples were built in Banaras during the reign of Akbar. Whatever temples were built during the reign of Akbar, the credit goes to Raja Todarmal, Govardhan, and Raja Man singh. After closely inspecting the major buildings of Banaras, James came to the conclusion that the building of Man Mandir Ghat was the oldest building present at that time in its complete form. Till then the Manmandir building was not damaged in any way. Ornate carved jharokhas (WINDOW) are made in this building. Man Singh had built this building so that the travelers could stay there. Sawai Jai Singh(II), a descendant of Man Singh, who was also a famous astrologer, had built an observatory inside this building. Bishop Haber had also visited this observatory, at that time this observatory was no longer in use.

Smaller mosque of Aurangzeb, with the north minaret covered with scaffolding, Painting by James Prinsep (1826)
ALAMGIR MOSQUE VARANASI

PANCH GANGA GHAT

The old name of Panch Ganga Ghat was Bindu Madhav Ghat.

There was an ancient temple of Lord Vishnu here. On the orders of Aurangzeb, this famous temple was demolished and a mosque was built there which is known as Alamgir Masjid. One of the major works done by James in Benares was to strengthen the foundation of the minarets of this mosque. The foundation of this mosque was very close to the river Ganges, due to constant exposure to water, it got submerged and there was a danger that it could fall any time soon. This place was always crowded with pilgrims, so there was always a danger of loss of life and property. James first made a platform of bamboo and wood to provide support around these towers, this type of platform is known as Scaffolding, then each brick was removed from the minarets, then the foundations of the tower were strengthened and the bricks were put back in their place. These meth Later these minarets were removed by the Archaeological Department.

MANIKARNIKA GHAT

Eve of an eclipse of the moon ~ 23rd November 1823

MANIKARNIKA GHAT

Many Hindu festivals in Banaras have a tradition of taking a holy dip in the River Ganges. James made this sketch on one such Hindu festival. James had also counted the total number of people taking bath during one such Ganga bathing festival. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2021/01/18/makar-sankranti-is-an-ancient-hindu-festival-or-the-burden-of-old-tradition/
For this James adopted a very simple method

Three days and three nights before the eclipse(Grahan) on 21 May 1826, peons and acolytes were stationed in pairs at the five main entrances to the city. These five gates were Nadesar, Beniram Udyan (now known as Beniabagh), Jagatganj, Ausanganj and Hanuman Gate. The method used by James was as follows, the security personnel stationed at the five gates of the city, gave pebbles to each devotee, which were taken back when they returned. Similarly, the same order was given to the boatmen operating on the ghats – Rajghat, Gaighat, Kalighat Manmandir, Shivala and Ramghat. The total sum of all these figures was close to some fifty-five thousand, but James said that the eclipse that occurred on this occasion was very small and so, it would not be wrong to conclude that on the occasion of longer lasting eclipses, the population gathered here could be more than a lakh.

In such a short time, James made so much effort to improve the life of the common people, James not only loved the people of the city but also the soul of the city. The people of Banaras believe that in the last thousand years, hardly anyone has contributed as much as James to improve this ancient city. Undoubtedly the people of Banaras will never forget the contribution of James Prinsep.


The most nationalist voice of India which Gandhi ignored.

One of the most effective voice against British Imperialism, during India’s freedom struggle, was— Sachindra Sanyal. Gandhians (Gaandhivadi, Blind devotees of Gandhi) sought to crush this personality under Gandhi’s imaginary idealism, The communists who occupied the educational institutions of the country were only devoted to their fatherland they believed in a murderous ideology and the idolatry of their dictators. They carved such an image of Sachindra Sanyal’s character in everyone’s mind that everybody hated him, except the true nationalists because they knew what he was after and were very familiar with him. Sachindra Sanyal – The most belligerent, most patriotic, and the most visionary voice in India’s freedom struggle.

JAWAHARLAL NEHRU & THE DISCOVERY OF INDIA

Nehru was born in a wealthy family. At the age of fifteen, Nehru went to England and attended the Harrow School there. In those days, children of the rich families in England used to attend the Harrow School. After attending the Harrow School, Nehru pursued a degree in law from Cambridge. Nehru returned back to India in 1912. Even after returning back to India, for years, Nehru’s “Knowledge about India” was limited only to the anti-Indian talk in the British newspapers and the conversation about India that took place in the British elite houses. Nehru was much more like a British youth, unaware of India and its history(the real history not the bookish one). Once he was back in India, he took up the profession of law like his father in his hometown of Allahabad. Due to lack of interest in law, he started taking interest in politics. Around 1920, a movement against the British started among the farmers of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Around 200 farmers who came from different, remote villages came together and decided to appoint Nehru as their lawyer to present their legal case in the Allahabad court. Many of the farmers who came to meet Nehru at his home had traveled hundreds of kms on foot. Nehru decided to travel with the farmers to see their actual economic conditions. He traveled to many remote villages to understand the problems of the farmers. Nehru wrote that he had no idea about the plight of the farmers. Nehru used to travel to the villages, talk to the farmers, this was a very new experience for him, so while talking to the farmers, Nehru used to prepare many notes. Nehru used to travel in his car. (It was a great deal in India during the 1920s to own a car and travel in it. It was simply a true sign of luxury). Even nowadays there aren’t very metalled roads in the remote villages so you can easily understand what would have been the condition of the roads back in those days, people of many villages worked together to repair the road so that Nehru’s car could reach their villages. Understanding India with the help of notes like a school-going child, watching the life of a common man like a prince was it a fancy hoax or a blatant imitation of Lenin’s way of using peasants as weapons to seize power in the Soviet Union???

MAHATMA GANDHI & MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH 

Mahatma Gandhi also came back to India after spending a long time abroad, mainly in South Africa. Because of his long struggle abroad

Gandhi became quite a popular personality in India. Despite his fighting image and huge popularity, Gandhi didn’t become a role model for the youth. After the end of the Satyagraha movement of 1921, Gandhi contributed nothing to the political movements that followed in India for the next 10 years. In the meantime, Sachindra Nath Sanyal and other revolutionaries kept a light of hope in the hearts of the people of India, fighting against the biggest imperialist power of the world in severely adverse conditions. Nehru, the President of the Congress, during the meeting in Lahore in 1929, also had to admit in a veiled voice that it was the revolutionary youth who did not let the torch of freedom against the British Empire in India be extinguished even in the most difficult circumstances.

Who was Sachindra Nath Sanyal :-

1. Sachindranath Sanyal as a Revolutionary

He was the only revolutionary in India’s freedom struggle who was sentenced to life imprisonment twice. Sachindranath Sanyal had a life span of fifty years out of which he spent twenty-one years in jail. Sachin Da was a close associate of Subhas Chandra Bose, Ras Bihari Bose, some of the most important revolutionaries of India’s freedom struggle. Sachindra Nath Sanyal was also the political teacher (GURU) of many great revolutionaries like Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Trilokya Chakraborty, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Nalini Kishore Guh, Baba Prithvi Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Lala Hardayal, Ajit Singh. 

2. Sachindranath Sanyal as a revolutionary thinker

Sachindra Nath Sanyal was not only a great revolutionary but also a great revolutionary thinker. Sachindra Nath Sanyal was the one who created the trend of serious study of political literature among Indian revolutionaries. Sachindra Nath Sanyal wrote many articles, many revolutionary pamphlets, apart from this he also wrote books like Bandi- jeevan , Deshvasiyon se nivedan (request to the countrymen), Vichar- Vinmay (exchange of ideas) Sahitya ,Samaj aur Sanskriti , (literature, society and culture )etc. Sachindra Nath Sanyal was the founder of “Hindustan Republica Association”  Sachindranath Sanyal’s ideas were completely nationalist, completely original. His writings were greatly Influenced by Hindu ancient religious texts, Hindu sanyasis, and Hindu culture.

Bandi Jeevan:– This book written by Sachindra Nath Sanyal is in my opinion the best work written by any Indian revolutionary ever. This book got the status of Gita among the Indian revolutionaries and was translated into more than twenty-eight languages. For more detailed information about Sachindra Nath Sanyal’s life and his monumental work please visit:-  https://nithinks.com/2021/08/12/sachindra-nath-sanyal-a-great-forgotten-freedom-fighter/

The School of revolutionaries:- 

After India’s independence school’s course books have always been written by Marxist writers. In these books only Lenin, Stalin have been glorified and only the revolutionaries influenced by communist ideology have been given place. Sachindra Nath Sanyal has been dealt with in two lines.

I spent my childhood in the hometown of Sachindra Nath Sanyal, yet my whole knowledge about Sachindra Nath Sanyal was limited only to 2 facts till my school days.

These 2 facts were -:   1) Sachindranath Sanyal was the founder of the Hindustan Republican Association. 2) Sachindranath Sanyal wrote the Book Bandi Jeevan. I knew nothing else other than these two facts about Sachindranath Sanyal, during my school days.

While graduating from Banaras Hindu University(BHU), I learned for the first time that Sachindra Nath Sanyal was a resident of Varanasi during a lecture by my history teacher in class who was discussing about the contribution of Varanasi to the freedom struggle. Ravindra, a boy in my class also had good knowledge of this subject. When the teacher left, I asked Ravindra, “Where do you get to know all this stuff from?” He smiled and said from the wall of the school!! I was confused I didn’t understand what he meant. He revealed “I have been an alumnus of the Bengali Tola School. The main building of the school has the names and information related to Sachindra Nath Sanyal and some of the revolutionaries written on it who were former students of that school”.

I had seen the building of Bengali Tola School from a distance, this school is situated on the road which links Godauliya to the Banaras Hindu University. A few days later, when I went on that route again, I remembered Ravindra as soon as I saw the school building. I parked my cycle near the school gate and went inside. The main building of the school is situated at a distance of about 10 meters from the school gate. As told by Ravindra, the names of some students and teachers were written on the wall of the main building who had made an important contribution to India’s freedom struggle.

An unfinished story that taught me a lot

About five-six years after this incident, when I started my journalism career and started writing in some magazines, a magazine company requested me to write an article on India’s Independence Day. While writing on this subject, I was thinking about what should I write next in this article when it suddenly struck me and I remembered the revolutionaries lodged in the building of the Bengali Tola School. I thought of writing a separate story on these revolutionaries. Years later, I reached the campus of the Bengali Tola school once again. I carefully wrote the names of all the revolutionaries written on the wall of the school on a piece of paper and went home. I thought this was a simple story which I will finish soon. When I was back home, I called my colleague, the great photographer friend of mine “Dinesh Bhaiya” whose name I have also mentioned in my second last post regarding the Vishwanath Corridor Project, and requested him to mail me the pictures after taking the photo of the stone plate on the Bengali Tola school.

I was addicted to reading in those days. I used to go to a library nearby and I used to think that information related to these revolutionaries will be and must be available in abundance in these libraries. I thought that many experienced journalists have become familiar with me now as I have been working with them for quite a long time, I will take help from them on this subject. I thought that I will take photographs of places related to the life of revolutionaries. I will collect information from the residents of the places related to the life of the revolutionaries. I also had a time of about fifteen days, so I was pretty sure that I would be able to complete this story comfortably in the stipulated time. But when I started working on the story I found that I was completely wrong. There was no special information available on this subject in the library near my house. Even the old and experienced journalists didn’t seem to have any specific information on this subject.

I got the biggest shock when I came to know that no one even knew about the places of residence of most of the revolutionaries. I started searching for literature, documents, and books related to this subject in the old libraries of Banaras. I would say that I was able to find some literature related to the subject but it was spread across dozens of books, so I had to study patiently and read all these books to write the story which was certainly not possible in fifteen days. Some names were suggested to me by my journalist friends, from whom, they thought I could get as much information as possible, but once again it wasn’t possible to meet all these people just in fifteen days. So I just decided to drop this idea of mine to cover this story on the revolutionaries of Varanasi and I decided that I would cover it afterwards.

Later, while doing journalism, I found the famous book Bandi Jeevan written by Sachindra Nath Sanyal in the Carmichael Library, one of the oldest libraries in Varanasi. Note: – It is also a coincidence that in the book Bandi Jeevan, Sachindra Nath Sanyal has also mentioned about the Carmichael Library. Sachindra Nath Sanyal also used to come to this library to leaf through the pages of some books. A few years back this book has been republished by a Delhi publication.

While working on another article in those days, I was introduced to Bhattacharya Ji, a homeopathic doctor, despite being a doctor by profession, his knowledge of history was commendable. During a conversation about Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Dr. Bhattacharya advised me to meet Bhaduri Ji. A few days later I reached the address that Dr.Bhattacharya had given me. I met Bhaduri’s son, I explained the reason for my visit, he urged me to sit in his dining room and wait for some time. While talking to him I came to know that Bhaduri Ji has himself been a freedom fighter and has also been imprisoned during the freedom struggle. Bhaduri ji’s was also a great scholar, his son told me that while India’s one of the greatest filmmakers and Oscar award winner Satyajit Ray was in Varanasi during the shoot for his famous film “Feluda”, he came to take some advice from his father(Bhaduri Ji) at his home. Now Bhaduri Ji was old and he had difficulty in speaking, so his son requested me not to ask too many questions from him. (Bhaduri Ji’s age was around 90 by that time) I agreed immediately. Bhaduri Ji’s son gave him support from his shoulder so that he can walk and brought him to the place where he made me sit, I also without wasting any time immediately asked whether he had ever met Sachindra Sanyal? He answered “Yes, I met him thrice” I was completely baffled by this answer of his, I wasn’t accepting this answer at all. Suppressing my excitement a bit, I asked him if there was any special thing about him that he remembered. Bhaduri Ji told me that the last time he met him was probably in 1939 near Niranjani Akhara. (I did know that Sachindra Nath Sanyal had also been an associate of Subhas Chandra Bose and had been an editor of Subhash Chandra Bose’s mouthpiece Agragami paper around 1939, this paper was published near Niranjani Akhara). Referring to his last meeting, Bhaduri Ji said “Sachindra da told me that soon Hindus will have to fight on two fronts — against British imperialism and also against Islamic Imperialism. Because of some personal reasons I have changed the name of some of the people in this post so they aren’t 100% accurate.

There was nothing surprising in this because, on both of these subjects, Sachindra Nath Sanyal used to write equally in his writings.

I touched Bhaduri’s feet and returned back.

By meeting Bhaduri Ji it became very clear that Sachindranath Sanyal was probably the only revolutionary who had foreseen the terrible problem that was to come. The reason for this was his philosophy which stood on the basis of reality, Sachindranath Sanyal was the voice of a common Indian, he didn’t explore India sitting in a car. Nor did he believe in Gandhi’s mere idealism and the world of imagination. Gandhi’s idealism became helpless in front of Jinnah’s Two Nation Theory. His idealism disintegrated like a straw in the face of the massacre of millions of Hindus and the demand for the new nation of Pakistan.

Sachindra Nath Sanyal had no prejudice towards Muslims, but he strongly opposed the Muslim leaders because he knew that the Muslims gave their preference to Muslim countries and not to India. He has mentioned this in his writings in many places. He strongly opposed a Muslim leader who said that Kabul government should attack India and establish an Islamic state. The Muslim leaders had a sense of indifference towards India, they considered the pride of Turkey as their pride. Even today there is a large number of Muslims in India who believe in the spirit of the Muslim Brotherhood instead of India and don’t even regard themselves as Indians. Even today some political parties can be seen supporting Muslim extremists in the lust and greed of votes. The fake idealism and the goody-goody ideas of the fancy cannot suppress the truth. It is necessary to teach the actual thoughts of Sachindra Nath in the textbooks of schools, colleges, and universities, this true son of Mother India should also get a proper place in history.

Who is a True Sanyasi?, What is a Sanyasi’s Dharma according to Swami Vivekananda?

Life introduction

Swami Vivekananda’s Ancestral House – Kolkata . Now this house has been transformed into a museum.

BIRTH:- Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 in his ancestral house in Gurumohan Street, Kolkata. Swami Vivekananda was born on the day of Makar Sankranti according to the Hindu calendar. Makar Sankranti, one of the most famous and sacred festivals of Hindus, took place on 12 January in 1863. The birthday of Swami Vivekananda is also celebrated as National Youth Day in India. The Government of India mentioned the significance of the day- “It was felt that the Philosophy of Swami ji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration to the Indian youth”. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MAKAR-SANKRANTI PLEASE VISIT:- https://nithinks.com/2021/01/18/makar-sankranti-is-an-ancient-hindu-festival-or-the-burden-of-old-tradition/

FAMILY MEMBERS AND SWAMI VIVEKANADA’S OTHER NAMES:- FATHER:- Vishwanath Dutta

Mother:- Bhubaneswari Devi

NAME:- Narendranath Dutta 

Nickname:- Naren 

Childhood name:- Bireshwar (Biley)

Siblings : Haramani , Swarnamayee , Kiranbala ,Jogendrabala , Mahendranath , Bhupendranath

Death:- 4th July 1902, Swami Vivekananda leaves his mortal body.

WHY DOES SWAMI VIVEKANANDA HAVE SO MANY NAMES? 

First image in the slideshow – Vireswar Mahadev temple in Varanasi

Second image in the slideshow – The room in Kolkata in which Swami Vivekananda was born.

Bhubaneswari Devi(Swamiji’s mother) offered her worship to Lord Shiva daily. At the end of her worship, each day she prayed to Shiva while offering pranam, “O Shiva, give me a son on my lap.” she already had a few daughters. But how could she live without a son? So, she offered daily worship to Shiva for a son. She had even asked one of her relatives, who lived in Benares (Varanasi)to offer daily worship to Vireswar Shiva there on her behalf. God heeds to whatever is asked from him with devotion. Bhubaneswari Devi’s wish was also granted. On January 12, 1863, in the early morning, she gave birth to a son. The child was named Vireswar after Vireswar (Shiva) as Bhubaneswari Devi believed that she was granted her son as a boon from the lord. But their family members thought that “Vireswar” was a bit to difficult to be pronounced and used in daily life. So everybody in the house used to call him Biley, which thereby became his Nickname. He was named Narendra Nath Dutt at the annaprasshana ceremony but still he remained Biley for all his family members. (Info source:- Vivekananda for children -publisher: Sri Ramkrishna Math Chennai) For more information about this subject please visit: https://nithinks.com/2019/09/19/bileybanarasvivekanandavaranasi/

How Narendranath Dutt got the name Swami Vivekananda.

Because of Vivekananda’s sweet nature, his guru Ramakrishna Paramahansa used to call him “Anand”. Khetri King Ajit Singh, after meeting Narendra Nath Dutt, found him very meritorious along with his sweet nature, so Raja Ajit Singh started calling him “Vivek + Anand” thus yielding the name Vivekananda. The word swami is commonly used in North India to express reverence for a sadhu. Soon the general public and newspapers also started using this same name to address him. He also participated in the World Religions Conference Chicago 1893 as Swami Vivekananda. For more information about this subject please visit: https://nithinks.com/2020/12/03/hindu-philosophy-and-the-importance-of-peace-9-11-1893-9-112001/

According to Swami Vivekananda: – Sadhus in India can be divided into four-types. (1) Sanyasi (2)Yogi (3) Vairagi (4)Panthi

SANYASI: Sannyasis are often the followers of Shankaracharya and are non-dual.(ADVAIT). Shankaracharya :- A Great philosopher and Hindu religious leader who was born in Kerala in 700 CE(disputed). He was instrumental in providing a solid foundation to Advaita Vedanta. He became a sannyasi at the age of eight. Like Swami Vivekananda, he also died at a very young age. He established four Dhams. These Dhams are considered very holy and sacred even today. Every hindu desired to visit these Dhams at least once his/her life. These four Dhams are as follows

Badrinath:- It is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state.

Dwarka: – It has also been the capital of Shri Krishna during the Mahabharata period. At present, this city is located in the state of Gujarat.

Jagannath Puri:- It is located in the present province of Orissa. Lord Krishna, Balarama, and her sister Subhadra are worshiped here.

Rameshwaram: – It is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, it is believed that while going to Sri Lanka, Shri Ram installed the idol of Lord Shiva and worshiped him here.

YOGI: Yogis are monistic but their special emphasis is on yoga. Due to different practices of yoga, a different category has been added to them. For more information about yoga and yogis please visit. :https://nithinks.com/2021/06/20/yoga-how-tech-yogi-saw-the-light-of-the-future-in-the-brahmastra-of-the-hindu-nationalists/

VAIRAGI : Vairagis are the followers of Ramanuja(born :25 april 1017 CE) and other dualistic masters.

Ramanuja : (Vishisthadwait ) Non- Dualism. He was born in the Tamil Nadu state of South India. Ramanuja believed that Bhakti does not mean worship-recitation, Bhajan-Kirtan. He believed that meditation is the true devotion to God. Ramanujacharya presented Bhakti in an ideal form and also provided a philosophical basis for Bhakti.

PANTHI : Panthis include both duality and non-duality. They established themselves during the Mughal period.

“Sannyasa, in essence, means to love death. Not self-annihilation but rather knowing that death is inevitable, offering oneself, in mind and body, completely, to the good of others”.

The very first duty of a sannyasi is public service. The only goal of a sannyasi is to sacrifice his whole life in the service of others. In ancient Hinduism, very high merits were set for a sannyasi. While becoming a sannyasi, a person has to perform his funeral rituals that take place after his death, with his own hands while he is alive! this is known as Atma-shraddha. By the end of this ritual the sannyasi attains complete freedom from his family, friends, worldly obstacles, after this any kind of worldly attachment is prohibited for him and his only goal is public service. Now no obstacle can stop or frighten him in the way of his public service because he has already conquered the biggest fear, the fear of “DEATH“.

Family background (There was a tradition of becoming Sanyasi in the Dutta family)

Vivekananda’s mother was a pious woman and his father Biswanath Dutt also had a special interest in Hinduism. Vivekananda’s ancestors also had unwavering faith in the Hindu religion and culture. Vivekananda’s grandfather’s was Durgaprasad. Durgaprasad ji had great reverence among the sadhus and sanyasis. Later he renounced worldly attachment and became a sannyasi himself. It is believed that one night he left the house and no one ever saw him again. The life of Swami Vivekananda was also deeply influenced by the eminent sannyasis, yogis, sadhus of that time. A clear impression of the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Pavahari Baba, Tailang Swami is visible in the literature of Vivekananda. In those days social, economic, and religious changes were taking place rapidly in Bengal. Old beliefs were falling apart, a new society was being born, it was the time of Bengal’s renaissance. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, who studied from the Presidency College of Kolkata(the same college from where Vivekananda studied), created a stir in the gentleman society of Kolkata by writing a wonderful book “Anand Math”. This book was based on a historical incident of the Sanyasi rebellion. Instilled in the spirit of sannyasis sacrificing everything for their motherland, for their religion, this book soon became popular all over India. Later on, this book became as holy as the Bible for Hindu nationalists. And what to say about the popularity of Vande Mataram, a poem which was mentioned in this book. Later on, this poem became so popular that it came to be known as the national song of India. For more information about Anand Math and the sanyasi rebellion please visit: https://nithinks.com/2021/08/12/sachindra-nath-sanyal-a-great-forgotten-freedom-fighter/

We do not consider anyone else as a mother – we believe only in the motherland. (Anand Math)

Most famous image of Swami Vivekananda.
Swamiji’s portrait photographed by Thomas Harrison, at his studio in Central Music Hall, Chicago. Seven such ‘Chicago style cabinet card photographs known as the Harrison series were taken in September 1893 during the World’s Parliament of Religions. Coloured posters based on this photograph were printed by a lithographic company and displayed all over Chicago
. source: THE MONK AS MAN (SANKAR)

Contribution of Swami Vivekananda to Sanyas Ideology

Hinduism does not consider any one person, idea, or book as paramount. Hinduism has a gradual history of thousands of years. Various philosophers, sannyasis, scholars in different periods added different ideas to it over time. Twenty-six hundred years ago, BUDDHA while giving a public welfare sermon said, “Don’t follow my teachings in a permanent manner. When I told them, the circumstances were different, take your own decision according to the time and circumstances that you are subject to.” Due to Islamic imperialism and then the British Raj, for centuries, there were no changes in the Acharya Samhita (CODE OF CONDUCT)of the sannyasis there were also no changes in their functioning, due to the lack of necessary changes over time, the sanyasi class was getting cut off from the common people, becoming irrelevant in the society. In such circumstances, Swami Vivekananda came like a breeze of fresh air, he tried to oppose and change the things of the sannyasi society which have become irrelevant in the modern times.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN? BY BECOMING A MONK, HAVE I BECOME DEVIOD OF FEELING??

Swami Vivekananda had a lifelong attachment with Varanasi, the holy city of Hindus, the city of his beloved Lord Shiva. Elaborating this topic of how Vivekananda is linked to Varanasi in this post would be totally bizarre as it is a vast topic for discussion. I have written a separate post on this topic so if you want to read more on this topic please visit https://nithinks.com/2020/07/05/the-unknown-life-of-swami-vivekananda/

Swami Gambhirananda (Eleventh President of Ramakrishna Mission and a famous scholar) once mentioned an incident and told that during his stay in Kashi, once Swamiji got very upset after hearing about the death of someone close to him. Pramada Das Mitra saw Swamiji weeping. Seeing this, he said, “Does it suit a sannyasi to be distressed like this?, Do worldly attachments and weakness of human nature befit a sannyasin”? Hearing this Swamiji replied “WHAT DO YOU MEAN? BY BECOMING A MONK, HAVE I BECOME DEVIOD OF FEELING”?? A true sanyasi’s heart is more tender and affectionate than that of an ordinary man. It must be more tender and affectionate than an ordinary man, to understand others feelings and help them in the way they want. We are, after all, humans.

 AND THEN CAME THE FIERY DECLARATION, ‘I DO NOT ACCEPT THAT FORM OF SANYAS WHICH EXPECTS ME TO HAVE A HEART OF STONE!’   The details of this event are given in Sankar’s book THE MONK AS MAN.

First Image in the slideshow – When Swami Vivekananda came to Varanasi in 1888 he stayed in the house of Pramada Das Mitra this is a postcard written by Swami Vivekananda in his own handwriting mentioning the same.

Second image in the slideshow – Bengali Dyhodi, Pramada Das Mitra’s ancestral house in Varanasi.

Third image in the slideshow – An Imaginative painting made by Kripa, one of my fellow painter, describing how Gopal Lal Villa might have looked in 1902 when Swami Vivekananda stayed there when he visited Varanasi for the last time before leaving his body.

Last Image in the slideshow – How Gopal Lal Villa looks at present.

Who was Pramada Das Mitra ? Pramada Mitra was a friend of Swami Vivekananda. He lived in Varanasi. Swami Vivekananda stayed at Pramada Das’s house many times when he was in Varanasi. Pramada Dasa was a distinguished scholar of Hinduism. He had a very firm grip on Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages. He translated Gita from Sanskrit to English and also the British national anthem English to Sanskrit. He also taught Sanskrit to Swami ji during his stay in Varanasi. Pramada Das Mitra remained a friend of Swamiji for his whole lifetime. A few days before his death, Swami Vivekananda visited Benares for the last time in 1902 and this time he stayed at Gopal Lal Villa, the garden house of Raja Kali Krishna Thakur. By this time Pramada Das had passed away and his son Kalidas Mitra had come to Gopal Lal Villa to meet Swamiji.

Vedas teach morality, the first words are, Let the mother be your God” and that she is. When we talk of woman in India, our idea of women is mother. The value of women consists in their being mothers of the human race. That is the idea of the Hindu. TAITTRIYA UPANISHAD 1.11

THE MOTHER IS THE GOD IN OUR FAMILY. THE IDEA IS THAT THE ONLY REAL LOVE THAT WE SEE IN THE WORLD, THE MOST UNSELFISH LOVE.

Vivekananda’s mother – Bhubaneswari Devi Ji

Swamiji always remained in touch with his mother. Even after becoming a sannyasi, Swamiji handled all his responsibilities. After the death of his father, Swamiji carried the financial responsibilities of the family on his shoulders, helped his siblings, and never let his mother feel lonely. Swami Vivekananda had mentioned on many occasions that “whatever I am today is because of my mother”.

READ THE VEDAS AND UPANISHADS, AND DRINK TEA –NO HARM IN IT!

A tea shop located near one of the Ghats in Varanasi

Today it may seem surprising that at one point in time there was a ban on drinking tea for sanyasis. Drinking tea and making tea was prohibited in many Hindu monasteries. This was for the reason that any kind of intoxicant or stimulating food is prohibited for sannyasis and tea was considered an agitating drink at that time, but Vivekananda changed this tradition. Swami ji used to make tea in the monastery and all the sannyasis used to drink tea with pleasure. In the Ghats of Varanasi, where rituals related to the Hindu religion take place all the time, tea shops are plentiful and at any point in time, a crowd of Hindu devotees can easily be seen at the tea shops. Not only this, the people who come to attend the funeral of the dead person can be seen drinking tea at the cremation Ghat Manikarnika, Harishchandra, whenever I see people involved in religious rituals and funerals, drinking tea at the Ghat of Varanasi. I think that if a young sannyasi had not got tea recognized in Hindu monasteries, would it have been possible for so many tea shops to exist in Varanasi on the Ghat. With the ease with which Hindu ascetics are seen enjoying tea, no doubt they have to be deprived of this divine drink. If you want to read more about how Swamiji contributed in making tea one of the most popular beverage in India and about how tea slowly got famous in India please visit : https://nithinks.com/2021/06/10/a-happily-tea-adict-country/

Swami Vivekananda was a versatile character. He contributed in many fields. In the same way, he had influenced people of different thinking from different countries. Swamiji has been a source of inspiration to people like Nikolai Tesla, Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi. My effort here was just to introduce the reader to how swamiji left his immpression on sannyas and ascetics. I have written this post based on what I saw during my stay in Kolkata, places associated with Swamiji in Varanasi and based on what I came to know from the family members of Pramada Das Mitra.


Vivekananda’s three stories that can change your life.

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy – by one, or more, or all of these – and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.”

Swami Vivekananda

IN THE DARK AGES OF THE ISLAMIC RULE, except for a few exceptions, hardly any unique work was created in the field of economics, painting or literature in India. Islam is an anti-artism religion (Islam demands complete dedication, as a result, even today music, art, painting are banned in radical Islamic countries, or art is discouraged from the side of the ruling class). Surprisingly, India remained associated with its pre-Mughal period because of Hindu folk literature. With the help of this ancient Hindu folk literature, a common Hindu not only remained aware of the fundamental elements of his culture and religion but also took inspiration from this ancient literature in solving the problems of daily life. How was this possible? This became possible due to the storytelling art of Hindu sages. This unique art kept the common man in one thread.
The great saint of modern times, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, played a great role in the Bengal renaissance by telling short inspirational stories.
Many such short stories are archived in the famous book THE GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA written on the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. He took the help of ancient, intuitive, tales to bring welfare ideas to the common people.

Sri Ramakrishna

Swami Vivekananda, the great disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, who himself was a sanyasi, was also a great storyteller. Swami Vivekananda was a forerunner of the Hindu renaissance and a multi-faceted personality. Swami Vivekananda was the first person who introduced the countries of the West to Vedanta literature, Hindu philosophy and yoga. He tried to remove the absurdity and superstitions from the Hindu religion. Above all Swamiji made people realize that the Hindu civilization was one of the richest, rich in culture, rich in traditions, rich in art forms, rich in every aspect that anyone could probably think of. Unfortunately, Swamiji died at a very young age. He had a total life span of thirty-nine years, five months and twenty-four days.

“TO THE HUNGRY RELIGION COMES IN THE FORM OF BREAD”

Vivekananda believed “Service to the poor is the biggest religion”. This was a revolutionary initiative in those days, no one had ever taken such an initiative before. Daridra Narayan:- Swami Vivekananda urged people to see God only in the poor. Swamiji said that serving the poor, trying to solve their problems is like serving God. Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s idea of ​​”service to the poor”. Later on, Mahatma Gandhi further publicized and spread the idea of ​​service to the poor.

Swami Vivekananda as a Narrator:-

Swami Vivekananda told the stories of ancient Hindu literature, he also told stories related to some of the true events of his difficult life to the people in a very interesting way. These inspirational stories and Swamiji’s life experiences are relatable even today.

an eighteenth-century Hindu monk

“In a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart. ”

Pavahari Baba:- There is a town named ‘Ghazipur’ which is situated at a distance of about 75 km from the famous Hindu city of Varanasi. A sadhu resided in this city, who was famous by the name of Pavahari Baba. Pavahari Baba used to reside in a pit made underground. He ate very little and spent most of his time meditating. He just had two vessels which he used for cooking and eating food and this was probably the only property(if you could possibly call it one) that he possessed. His philosophy of life was based on the belief that God is omnipresent. He considered all human beings, animals and birds as God. Once a thief came to his abode (pit). Knowing that Pavahari Baba was asleep, the thief took one of his pots and carefully came out of the pit. Suddenly Pavahari Baba woke up. Seeing that the thief was carrying one of his utensils, Pavahari Baba ran after him. When the thief saw that Pavahari Baba was chasing him, the thief started running too, but when the nearby locals saw that Pavahari Baba was chasing someone, they caught the thief for him. ( Pavahari Baba had quite a great reputation in the society so the people always tried to help him whenever it was possible). In no time, Pavahari Baba was also there. And to the people’s surprise, Pavhari Baba also gave his second vessel to the thief and said, “God why did you leave it, please take it too”. People were astonished by this act of Pavahari Baba. They wanted to know the reason for this from him, He said “I used to think that I have completely given up Maya, I have no attachment to any mortal thing, but now when I think about it I am realizing that I have become attached to these two utensils. God wanted to remove Maya from me through a thief. So by the will of God, I have got rid of this Maya as well.

Note: – Swami Vivekananda’s disciple Margaret Elizabeth Noble (Sister Nivedita) while referring to Pavahari Baba, wrote that if Swamiji was influenced by a person in his life after his guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa, then that person was Pavahari Baba.

WHAT IS MAYA???

Once Narada Muni asked Lord Krishna “What is Maya please explain it to me”.
Lord Krishna asked Narada Muni to follow him. After walking a long distance together they reached a desert. It was very hot there. Lord Krishna told Narada Muni that he was very thirsty and due to tiredness, he was unable to walk anymore, so Narada Muni decided to go to a nearby village and bring some water for him. Knocking on the door of a house, he asked for drinkable water. While he was waiting for the house owner to bring the water, he saw a beautiful girl in that house who was the daughter of that house owner. He became so engrossed while talking to that girl that he completely forgot that he came there, just to ask for some water for his master Lord Krishna and that he is waiting for him to return. After talking to that beautiful girl throughout the day, Narada Muni asked the girl’s father for her hand. Taking the permission of the girl’s father, he married that girl. Time passed. His father-in-law had now passed away. Narada Muni was also the father of three boys now. He felt that he was leading a happy life.

Once there was a flood in that village. Narada Muni decided to leave the village with his family to escape the ravages of floods. With one of his hands he held her wife’s hand, with the other he held two of his boys and made the third one sit on his shoulders. Narada Muni entered the floodwater intending to quickly cross the flood but unfortunately, because of the strong current of the water, his wife and children started flowing away from him. Soon Narada Muni’s wife and children disappeared from his sight. He too got washed away in the strong currents of the flood. Narada muni went far ahead while flowing in the strong current of the flood. When the flow of water subsided, Narada Muni found himself on the bank of a calm river. The moment he realized that his family wasn’t there with him, and remembered what happened, Narada Muni started crying. Just then, he heard a whisper in his ears. “It’s been half an hour Narada, you didn’t bring water.” Narad Muni was stunned to hear this. Half an Hour! Only half an hour had passed! According to him, twelve years have passed by, and all these events happened just in a time interval of half an hour. THIS IS WHAT MAYA IS.

VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY

“The one theme of the Vedanta philosophy is THE SEARCH AFTER UNITY. The Hindu mind does not care for the particular; it is always after the general, Nyay (justice), the universal. “what is it that by knowing which everything else is to be known.” That is the one search.”

TWO BIRDS were sitting on a tree. Both had golden wings. The bird which was sitting on the top branch was calm, majestic and engrossed in itself. The bird which was sitting on the lower branch seemed very playful. The bird sitting on the lower branch sometimes ate bitter fruits, sometimes sweet. On eating a bitter fruit, she became calm and after eating a sweet one, she became happy and playful once again. For a while she got only bitter fruits to eat, so she calmed down and looked at the bird sitting on the top branch, but soon she forgot about that bird. And was once again back in business eating the fruits bitter and sweet. She ate a bitter one once again and looked at the bird above which was not affected by the bitter and sweet fruits. While eating fruits, the bird sitting on the lower branch hopped onto the branches above her and because of this at one point in time, she reached the same branch where that calm and serious-natured bird was sitting. But what did she see? There was no bird there, the bird was astonished to see this but after thinking about this for some time she realized that the calm and serious bird was just a reflection of her good qualities.

“TALK TO YOURSELF AT LEAST ONCE IN A DAY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS A MEETING WITH AN EXCELLENT PERSON IN THIS WORLD.”

Have Historical Temples been destroyed in the construction of The Kashi Vishwanath Dham?

ARTIST:- WHITE GEORGE FRANCIS (1829) ‘Tuthera Bazaar (THATHERI BAZAR) Benares Crowded street of Benares. We can get a rough idea of how the streets of Banaras might have looked when Bernier and Tavernier came to visit Banaras.

TWO FAMOUS FRENCH TRAVELERS FRANCOIS BERNIER and TAVERNIER came to Varanasi between 1660 and 1665. There statements revealed the way of life in Varanasi around the 1660s. The description of Bernier and Tavernier shows that even in the 17th century, Varanasi was a major city from trade and religious point of view. While Bernier was amazed by the grandeur of the city, Tavernier condemns the city’s narrow, slippery streets. Tavernier also wrote that the crowded environment around the temples was not at all suitable for bullock carts and horse carts.


PUNDA or Panda ~ a person who performs rituals at places like rivers, Ghats, especially at places of pilgrimage, etc.

BENARES (KASHI,VARANASI) VISHWANATH TEMPLE & MAHATMA GANDHI

BENARES. I ARRIVED THERE IN THE MORNING a panda. (a person who performs rituals at places like rivers, Ghats, especially at places of pilgrimage, etc.) Numerous Brahmans surrounded me, as soon as I got out of the train, and I selected one who struck me to be comparatively cleaner and better than the rest. It proved to be a good choice. There was a cow in the courtyard of his house and an upper storey where I was given a lodging. I did not want to have any food without ablution in the Ganges in the proper orthodox manner. The panda made preparations for it. I had told him beforehand that on no account could I give him more than a rupee and four annas as Dakshina, and that he should therefore keep this in mind while making the preparations. The panda readily assented. ‘Be the pilgrim rich or poor,’ said he, ‘the service is the same in every case. But the amount of Dakshina we receive depends upon the will and the ability of the pilgrim.’ I did not find that the panda at all abridged the usual formalities in my case. The puja was over at twelve o’clock, and I went to the Kashi Vishvanath temple for darshan. I WAS DEEPLY PAINED BY WHAT I SAW THERE. When practicing as a barrister in Bombay in 1891, I had the occasion to attend a lecture on ‘Pilgrimage to Kashi’ in the Prarthana Samaj hall. I was therefore prepared for some measure of disappointment. But the actual disappointment was greater than I had bargained for. The approach was through a narrow and slippery lane. Quiet there was none. The swarming flies and the noise made by the shopkeepers and pilgrims were perfectly insufferable. Where one expected an atmosphere of meditation and communion, it was conspicuous by its absence. One had to seek that atmosphere in oneself. I did observe devout sisters, who were absorbed in meditation, entirely unconscious of the environment. But for this, the authorities of the temple could scarcely claim any credit. The authorities should be responsible for creating and maintaining about the temple a pure, sweet, and serene atmosphere, physical as well as moral. Instead of this, I found a Bazaar where cunning shopkeepers were selling sweets and toys of the latest fashion. When I reached the temple, I was greeted at the entrance by a stinking mass of rotten flowers. The floor was paved with fine marble, which was however broken by some devotee innocent of aesthetic taste, who had set it with rupees serving as an excellent receptacle for dirt.


BENARES HOLY COW FLOWERS FAIR (FROM JOURNEY TO INDIA )

Vishwanath Gali (outer wall of Vishwanath temple) painting by Jan Ciągliński-1907 (Museum: National Museum in Warsaw)
The problems that Mahatma Gandhi wrote in 1902 can be seen in this famous painting. There is a crowd of devotees in a narrow street adjacent to the temple, some people are selling flowers in this narrow street.

The above paragraph is the way in which Mahatama Gandhi has expressed Varanasi and Vishwanath temple in his bookThe story of my experiments with truth.’ Gandhiji mentioned this bitter experience of his in Varanasi before he got into politics and became popular. This is probably the agony of most of the common visitors of Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. Gandhi’s experience very well reflects the compulsion of millions of Hindus who were torn between 5000 years old religion and medieval convenience in Varanasi.


In almost all religious festivals of Hindus, Ganga bath at the Ghat of Banaras and Shiva Darshan in Vishwanath temple is prominent. In all such religious festivals, a large number of people bathe in the Ganges and visit Vishwanath temple, due to which the streets leading to the temple are littered with people.

My Experience as a Banarasi Citizen:- I am a devout Hindu, but unlike others, I am not interested in religious activities instead I am more interested in the historical importance of temples. Like any other visitor, I have also seen all these problems, the noisy environment near the temple, the loud noise of the shopkeepers, the visitors, the suffocating atmosphere due to the limited space. All the major religious festivals of Banaras are associated with the tradition of bathing in the Ganges and darshan in temples, as a result, the situation becomes worse during festivals. Waiting in queues for hours to enter the temple, cumbersome, complicated, and boring procedures were an integral part of the darshan process.

Why are the streets leading to the temple narrow, crowded and slippery.

The oldest remains of Varanasi city were found in the Rajghat area which shows that the city extended from Rajghat to Assi Ghat. Since ancient times, the area adjacent to the Ganges has been considered the most sacred as the Ganges river itself is considered sacred, due to which a whole series of temples are located in this limited area. For this reason, this ancient area of ​​​​the city has been a densely populated area for centuries. In addition to the local citizens, the devotees, and the people associated with various occupations also add up to the multitude due to which there is always a large crowd in the narrow streets of Varanasi. Ok, so this answers the question “Why the streets are narrow and crowded ?” now the third part. “Why are they slippery?”

After a holy bath in the Ganges, devotees visit the Vishwanath temple for Shiva Darshan, a tradition that has been going on for thousands of years.
At the time of the darshan of Lord Shiva, Gangajal(Ganges water), flowers are offered to him.
Due to this tradition, many shops adjoining the temple sell flowers and Gangajal in small earthen pots. Devotees can enter the temple premises only barefoot. Generally, the devotees take off their shoes at the same shop from where the devotees get Gangajal and flowers. In exchange of this service, the devotees give some money to the shopkeeper according to their will and reverence(there are no fixed charges for such services related to god). The narrow lanes leading to the temples become slippery as the Ganges water spills due to wambles made by the devotees as they enter the temple.

Vishwanath Temple Corridor Project

PM Modi inaugurates Kashi Vishwanath Dham(Credits: PMO India )

The project of expansion of the Vishwanath temple by the Government of India was welcomed by all sections. With the expansion of the temple, the centuries-old problem of “congestion” of the visitors was finally resolved, while the possibility of expansion of religious tourism in Varanasi was also strengthened. Since ancient times, many people get employment in Varanasi with the help of temples, and religious activities, while others though not visible directly get employment through temples, and religious activities in an indirect way. Inaugurating the new courtyard of Vishwanath temple, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi told that earlier the area of ​​the temple courtyard was three thousand square feet and now it has been extended to five lakh square feet. A new pathway has also been created from Ganga Ghat to the temple, now devotees can easily take a bath in the Ganges and have Lord Shiva’s Darshan at the Vishwanath Temple. Varanasi is not only a major city for Hindus but also for Buddhism and Jainism. After attaining enlightenment, Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon here in Sarnath, Varanasi has been the birthplace of four out of the twenty-four Tirthankaras of Jainism. Every year lakhs of devotees from all over the world come here to Varanasi. The age-old Shiva Darshan tradition of Varanasi has now improved further and more devotees than before can easily carry out the tradition of Ganga Snan and Shiva Darshan without any hassle. The creation of new employment is also hidden in the expansion of the ancient temple. It is expected that with the expansion of the Vishwanath temple, the number of devotees will increase and the tourist industry of Varanasi will also get a huge boost.

The Prime Minister said the invaders attacked this city, tried to destroy it. The city is witness to the history of Aurangzeb’s atrocities and his terror. Who tried to change civilization by the sword, Who tried to crush the culture with fanaticism. But the soil of this country is different from the rest of the world. If there is an Aurangzeb, said the Prime Minister, Shivaji is also there. If any Salar Masood comes, then brave warriors like King Suheldev make him taste the might of India’s unity. And even during the British era, the people of Kashi knew what happened to Hastings, said Shri Modi.

GLIMPSES OF VARANASI HISTORY:- The process of converting temples into mosques, which started with the conquest of Varanasi by Ghori and Qutubuddin Aibak, continued for almost 500 years. The struggle of Hindus to get back their temples also continued with it. Hindus built new temples whenever they got a chance, these temples were then demolished again by the Mughal rulers. The process of temple construction and temple demolition came to a standstill in Akbar’s reign, but the construction of new temples gained its full flow during the reign of the Marathas.

The temple of Kashi Vishwanath was demolished by Aurangzeb in 1669 and a mosque was built at that place. Vishwanath temple was then rebuilt near this place by Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1777. Varanasi has been the holiest city for Hindus in the whole India, with the reconstruction of the Vishwanath temple, Hindu devotees started visiting Varanasi once again. During that time, due to the devotees coming from different places across the country to Varanasi, the pandits of that particular place also came and settled in Varanasi. These pandits not only used to get the religious work done for the devotees coming from their respective areas, but they also used to make arrangements for the accommodation of the devotees at their own homes. It was the dream of every affluent Hindu to build a temple in Varanasi. Such people got great prestige in society. Small temples were built near Vishwanath temple in Varanasi by the princely states, rich people from every corner of the country. Priests were appointed in the temple. Many Pandits of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bengal, Nepal came and settled in Varanasi, many Pandits who were natives of Varanasi were also appointed in such temples because the Pandits of Varanasi had a great reputation. The number of local pandits, pandas, priests who performed religious rituals in Varanasi was already quite large, due to the settlement of non-native pandits, this number grew even larger. It was a normal process in those days, pilgrims coming from all over the country would stay here, bathing in the Ganges and visiting the temple, the pandits getting the religious activities done, arranging food for the devotees, etc. In other words, taking full care of them, in return a sum (Dakshina) was given to them by the devotees, this Dakshina was the means of the employment of such pandits. Later, due to the development of new and faster means of transport, the religious journey of Varanasi, whose tour took months to get completed, became just a matter of a few days. Travelers tired of long journeys (bullock cart or on foot) used to rest for a few days in Varanasi and were refreshed to return home back again. The development of railways changed the modalities of the age-old tradition to a jiffy. There was a huge increase in the number of Hindu visitors, but the number of devotees staying in the city started decreasing day by day. Due to the paucity of time in the modern lifestyle, it was not possible for the devotees to devote much time to religious rituals and due to the development of hotels, dharamshalas, devotees had many options to stay in the city and not just one. Such changing circumstances had limited the sources of income of the Pandits of Varanasi to a great extent.
When Mahatma Gandhi came to Banaras (1902), he found such pandits at the railway station searching for devotees who would stay at his residence and perform religious rituals so that the pandits could earn some income. which he has described. This shows how the railways had influenced the religious practices, prevailing beliefs of India till 1902. (The first train in India ran in 1853)


From this picture, the situation can be understood that how the construction work has been done on the temples. Temple buildings are hidden inside houses (Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Many such small temples of Banaras were built by the people and handed over to the Pandits, which later became the private property of the Pandits. There are many cases pending in the courts of Varanasi regarding such properties and the general public has no clue about the management of these temples. The succeeding generations of Pandits converted those temples they had got into guest houses for accommodation. Temples were hidden within the boundary walls of the houses, not only this but the new buildings were also sometimes constructed adjacent to some temples. Many times when I passed by from such areas, I was curious to know about these temples, by looking at the walls of the houses and seeing their peaks. Some of these temples were wonderful as they had beautiful art engraved on them and were worth seeing. Most of the time I used to wonder “How were these temples inside the houses ?” My knowledge was only limited to books and the books were silent on this subject. I got the answer to this question from one of my seniors whose name I can mention ~ “Dinesh Bhaiya”, my photographer friend from the early days of journalism, who also had his ancestral home in that area. Dinesh Bhaiya’s knowledge about Varanasi was amazing, this was the reason why I also used to call him the pantomath of Varanasi, a great photographer, above all a great person. Unfortunately, he passed away a few months back, I always feel his absence, especially while writing a blog post on Varanasi.

At the time of the expansion of the Kashi Vishwanath temple, all these temples were taken inside the new courtyard of the temple under the corridor. 314 buildings were purchased by the administration by paying reasonable amounts for the respective buildings, there were temples inside 40 such buildings, these were accommodated inside the building through encroachment, it was a complicated process to get back such temples but it was possible with the cooperation of the people.

Varanasi is the holiest city of Hindus and the sentiments of all Hindus are attached to this city. This fact was used by some political parties for their petty political gains. They described the action of breaking the encroachment of temples as demolition of temples. Surprisingly, the media of the country and abroad was divided into two parts.

  1. Local media(Vernacular media)
  2. National & International media

During the removal of the structural encroachment of temples, the debris of the buildings that encroached upon the temples was being posted by the leftist media with captions as “temple demolition”.

Local media(Vernacular media): -Firstly the local media was publishing the news of the encroachment of the temples but as most of the people in the city were aware of it, so in the efforts of publishing something new and sensational and also because of media’s own cut-throat competition, the local media started publishing fake stories about such temples. Suddenly the temples built in the 18th and 19th century were stated to be thousands of years old, the people living in the houses where such temples were situated, were declared to be criminals by the local media for hiding the temples. The media suddenly took the role of the judiciary, they started presenting history in a distorted way, there was, as if, a competition in the local media about which newspaper can publish the maximum amount of fake news on this topic and thereby create the maximum possible amount of sensation so that to result in an increment in their sales.

National Media:-
The national and the international media were engaged in a different game, especially the left side. In the Soviet Union, the leftists who have justified the destruction of churches seized church property, and plundered church gold suddenly became messiah, protecting temples to spread their propaganda and fake news. The images in which the structural encroachments of the temples were being broken down were being shared with captions that the temples are being broken down. Trick photography has been an old weapon of the Red Terrorists. Soon the big guns of the media also started analyzing the incident in their own way. Even the Washington Post and the New York Times didn’t take long to catch up to this phenomenon. Soon they also started writing long articles on the demolition of old temples. What surprised me the most was the fact that many sites for Travel And Tourism were also mentioning this fake news.


Thanks to social media and citizen journalism for sharing the truth, it was because of them that this propaganda didn’t take long to get exposed.
Today the new courtyard of Vishwanath temple is complete and all these temples are not only preserved but are also in a much better condition than before. Many media groups and people are of the view that the antiquity of the city is being destroyed in this effort to beautify the city and I think this kind of view is incorrect. Varanasi is an eternal city, this city is still in its original form as it was thousands of years ago, it has naturally accepted the changes over time so it is pointless to say that its antiquity and archaism are being destroyed.

Prime Minister added that this whole new complex of Vishwanath Dham is not just a grand building. This is a symbol of the Sanatan culture of our India. It is a symbol of our spiritual soul. This is a symbol of India’s antiquity, traditions, India’s energy and dynamism. The Prime Minister said “when one comes here, they will see not only faith but will also feel the glory of the past here. How antiquity and novelty come alive together. How the inspirations of the ancient are giving direction to the future, We are witnessing this very vividly in Vishwanath Dham complex “.


THE SEARCH FOR HINDUS LOST TEMPLES IN THE CITY OF TEMPLES(VARANASI) .


These pillars date back to 8th- 9th century or perhaps even earlier. These pillars of the grand temple are now a part of the mosque.

BELOW IS A PARAGRAPH FROM TAJUL MASSIR FIRST OFFICIAL HISTORY (SULTAN CHRONICLE) OF THE DELHI SULTANATE. WRITTEN IN PERSIAN BY SADRUDDIN HASAN NIZAMI

He purged by his sword the land of Hind (INDIA) from the filth of infidelity… and the impurity of idol-worship, and left not one temple standing… When he arrived at Mirat (Meerut) all the idol temples were converted into mosques. He then marched and encamped under the fort of Delhi. The city and its vicinity were freed from idols and idol-worship, and in the sanctuaries, mosques were raised by the worshippers of one God. The royal army proceeded towards Benares,(VARANASI) which is the Centre of the country of Hind, and here they destroyed nearly one thousand temples. The temples were converted into mosques and abodes of goodness, and the ejaculations of bead-counters and voices of summoners to prayer ascended to high heaven, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated.

ISLAMIC IDEOLOGY WAS LIKE A tremendous storm of destruction for Varanasi, which was the center of many religions like Hindu, Buddhist, Jain … The land where Mahatma Buddha had preached non-violence, peace, public welfare to the world, was facing immense destruction from the havoc of an ideology that emanated from Arabia. Countless temples were demolished by Muslim invaders, all over India, some of the most prominent Hindu temples, which were destroyed by Muslim invaders, were later rebuilt. But many temples are still mosques and remain unchanged.
Temples in Varanasi, the holiest city of Hindus, were demolished for the first time in 1193-94. The Hindus had to struggle a long time to get their temples back. Surprisingly, many of the temples that were demolished in 1193-94 and from whose rubble the mosques were built on the same site are still reminiscent of Islamic imperialism. After independence, the history of India was no longer independent. Nehruvian, Marxist fake historians wrote a fake history of India, the whole game of historiography in India was inspired by the political-history writings of Communist historians of the Soviet Union. All the civilizations of the world have seen defeat, cruelty, blood, tears, and learned from their mistakes.
AFTER INDEPENDENCE, BOGUS MARXIST HISTORIANS DISTANCED INDIANS FROM THE NATURAL ART OF MAN’S LEARNING FROM MISTAKES, WHICH WE ALSO CALL EXPERIENCE.

History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” GEORGE ORWELL

There are many such mosques, dargahs in Banaras(Varanasi) which have been built from the ruins of the temple. But in this post I decided to focus on the region around Rajghat for a couple of reasons listed below.

RAJGHAT AREA

  1. Varanasi is not only the holiest city of Hindus, but it also ranks among the oldest cities in the world, the oldest signs of this ancient city are found in the Rajghat area, undoubtedly the most famous, sacred and ancient temples of Hindus must have existed in this area.
  2. When Qutbuddin Aibak and, Sahabuddin Ghori conquered Banaras in 1194, the king of Banaras was Jaichand. Many such temples fall in the Rajghat area, which had immense reverence for Jaichand.

JAICHAND’S KINGDOM

WHO WAS JAICHAND? Jaichand was a powerful Gaharwar Rajput king of eastern Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Bihar. Jaichand’s father was Vijaychandra and grandfather was Govindchandra. Even today, a large population of Gaharwar Rajputs is found in Varanasi and nearby towns. Unfortunately, Jaichand is counted amongst the most traitor kings of India and it is believed that Jaichand had an old enmity with another famous Indian king of that time, Prithviraj Chauhan. It is considered that Mohammed Ghauri was invited to India by Jaichand to humiliate and to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan. There is no evidence on this subject, but no doubt these things have ruined the reputation of Jaichand.

In the present world scenario, it becomes necessary to unveil the false history and learn from experience. In recent times, it is necessary to know the history of these temples to understand the incidents like the unprovoked killing of Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan the destruction of a large number of Hindu temples, the rise of Islamic extremism in West Bengal.

A Knowledge of History, even of the darkest past, can be quite useful, even for the future. (Anatoly Markusha, Miracles on wheels)


Rajghat:- Here the remains dating back to 2000 BC have been found in excavations.

RAJGHAT :- THE CROSSROAD OF HISTORY.

According to Hindu ancient scriptures, the ancient city of Varanasi was settled at the present Rajghat place. In recent years many ancient remains of Varanasi city have been found in various excavations near Rajghat. Surprisingly, many times the temples mentioned in the ancient scriptures have been confirmed on the basis of the remains found here. The city of Varanasi is named after the Varuna and Asi rivers, Varuna and Asi thus Varanasi. Close to Rajghat, the Varuna river confluences with the Ganges, the most major and important river of Varanasi. Some ancient Hindu temples which are now mosques or have been rebuilt are located near Raj Ghat. Rajghat comes in the oldest area of Varanasi, this is also one of the reasons why I chose this area for my research.

72 PILLARED MOSQUE


In 1194 CE this temple was demolished and a mosque was built over it. Even today, these pillars of the temple seem to convey the story of the destruction of temples and the massacre of Hindus.

72 PILLARED MOSQUE:- There is a mosque near Raj Ghat which is known as the 72 pillared mosque. The structure of this mosque is completely different from the normal ones. There is a hall inside this mosque, which is about 150 FEET LONG AND 25 FEET WIDE . There are 72 very beautiful pillars in this hall, the geometric art made on these pillars is worth seeing. These pillars date back to the Gaharwar kingdom or perhaps even earlier. All the pillars are made of sandstone. Paintwork has been done on all the pillars. For this reason, the beauty of the age-old ancient art engraved on it looks diminished. For the conquering religion, the defeated religion and civilization has no meaning, according to Islamic theology, idol worship is a serious crime and this temple had to bear the punishment for this crime, The Muslims around the mosque were very humble and were also eager to help me, but they were prejudiced, they had their own arguments. They all agreed that the pillars of the mosque were ancient but they all believed that the Islamic artists who came with Qutubuddin Aibak and Ghori had built them. Some had philosophical arguments, they were adamant that the pillars of the mosque were built by jinns. (Supernatural creatures in early pre-Islamic Arabian religious systems). When they realized that I was Hindu, they gave a suspicious expression. I even had to resort to a little lie to click the photos of the interior of this mosque.

ELEVENTH CENTUARY BANARAS(VARANASI) & ADI KESHAV :-

Adi means ancient, The word Keshav is synonymous with Lord Vishnu. Adi Keshav means the ancient temple of Lord Vishnu. It is known from the Gaharwal inscriptions that the temple of Adi Keshav at Adi Keshav Ghat has a great reputation.


VARUNA SANGAM GHAT OR ADI KESHAV GHAT

ADI KESHAV GHAT:- ACCORDING TO HINDU RELIGIOUS TEXTS The importance of Adi Keshav Ghat has been mentioned in Kashi Khanda, Matsya Purana and Linga Purana. This ghat is also known as Varuna Sangam Ghat. According to Kashi Khanda after being advised by Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu put his first step in Kashi at this ghat After he washed his foot he left a foot impression on the ghat where he installed a Statue of his own. This site is also known as Padodak Tirtha. It is believed that a holy dip at this spot helps to free the devotees from the circle of life and death. Bhudevi, Sridevi and Keshavaditya are also worshipped at this temple. The temple of Adi Keshav has a Sabha mandap and a Garbha Griha. This place has been mentioned in the writings of Chandradev, Madanpal, Govindchand, and Jaichand.


ADI KESHAV TEMPLE

This ghat exists even today at the confluence of the rivers Varuna and Ganga. Adi Keshav Temple is built near this Ghat. It is known from a copper plate inscription from Chandravati that is dated back to 1100 A.D that Chandradeva (King of Chandravati) donated gold and silver, with thousand seals, at the Adi Keshav temple and donated thirty-two villages as Brahmadeya(land gifted to Brahamanas) to five hundred brahmins. According to Kamauli copper plate inscription, in 1168 AD, after taking a bath at Adikeshwar Ghat, with the permission of his father Vijaychand, Jaichand took initiation in the service of Krishna devotion and donated a village to Prahraj Sharma on the occasion. The second copper plate inscription about Jaichand also shows that he was a devotee of Adikeshav. An inscription by Govindchand also reveals some Shaiva and Vaishnava temples of the Gahadwal-era. After bathing in the Ganges in Banaras, he donated a house situated in the city of Banaras to the great Dayin Sharma. All these historical details show that the Adi Keshav temple was an ancient temple, this temple had a great reputation and the ruler of this area at that time – Jaichand, had a deep attachment to it.

The most ancient remains of the Adi Keshav Temple.

Adi Keshav temple was demolished in the Islamic invasion of 1194. Hindus in Varanasi tried to get back their temples as soon as they got the right opportunity, but there is no evidence whether or not this temple was reconstructed, the reason why it wasn’t reconstructed is possibly because Jaichand was associated with it and he is considered as a traitor. Or perhaps over a period of time, due to the increase in the number of Shiva-temples in Varanasi, the importance of this temple decreased as it was dedicated to Lord Vishnu not Shiva. Or maybe due to the increase in the population of the city in other areas, the popularity of this temple was affected. It is difficult to say anything about this temple as there are no historical documents available on this subject. Then afterwards this temple was rebuilt in 1807 by Sindhia of Gwalior. At present, the lowest part of the temple seems to be ancient, and from it’s appearance, it appears to be built in Gaharwar era. The upper part of the temple, built-in 1807, maybe important from the point of view of reverence, but the ancient art of temples is missing in this temple.

LAKKAD SHA MOSQUE AND MAJAR :-

Near Bhainsa Sur Ghat, there is Lakkar Shah Mazar and Masjid. This mazar is adjacent to the main road and is built at a height of 15-20 feet. From seeing it, it seems that this tomb is built on the ruins of a Hindu temple.
On top of the platform made of stone, it seems that someone has placed a separate tomb and a building built above the tomb.
Looking at this tomb, it seems that this small building has been constructed in three different periods.

  1. The base seems to be the remains of an ancient temple, 15 feet in height and about 30 feet in length and width. Such bases are commonly found in ancient Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas.
  2. The tomb may have been built on the ruins of this temple in the 12th – thirteenth century.
  3. Seeing the domed building reflecting Islamic architecture style above the tomb, it appears that this structure was built in the Mughal period. Hindu temple pillars can clearly be seen in this Islamic structure at the four corners and at the entrance.

SHARIABAD :- After the Hindus got defeated in 1194, new localities of muslims were built here, and during this time many mosques, dargahs, and graveyards were also built. Almost all these dargahs, Islamic cemeteries, and mosques were built by demolishing Hindu temples. In those days this area was known as Shariabad. During the Mughal period, this area was known as Baag-Badshah.

BATTLE FOR SOULS:-

The fundamental principle of Islam, “destruction of idolatry”, was hindering conversion, as a result, thousands of Sufis adopted a new path of jihad —- these Sufis talked of unity instead of Hindu and Islam contradiction. JEHAD FI-SABILILIAH is not the exclusive domain of the professional soldier, nor it is restricted to the application of military force alone. A Sufi musical Kauwali was developed by mixing Islamic verses with Hindu mantras.
These Sufis converted the graveyards of Islamic warriors into a new shrine. Many supernatural tales were created about these Islamic warriors, surprisingly these were the Islamic warriors who were responsible for the massacre of Hindus, the biggest enemies of idolaters. This package of jihad became popular very quickly and played a major role in the spread of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. Many such tombs, graveyards came into existence in the Rajghat area between 12th-13th century.
Presently some of the main MAJARS (TOMB) are:-

1.Rauja Chandan Shahid
2.Rauja Ajgaib Shahid
3..Rauja Palang Shahid RAUJA means shrine or tomb. It is also known as Maqbara,majar,Dargah.
SHAHID means Muslim martyr.

RAUJA CHANDAN SHAHID

RAUJA CHANDAN SHAHID :- This tomb is located at Rajghat on the opposite side of Adi-Keshava Temple. Undoubtedly there must have been an ancient temple here, presently a mosque, Chandan Shahid tomb and some tombs in open ground can be found here. Both Hindu and Muslim devotees can be seen at the mazar. The tomb is full of Islamic culture and traditions. The mosque, the tomb are all painted in holy Islamic colors. [GREEN] Some calendars are hung on the outer wall of the mausoleum, with photographs of Mecca-Medina and some with verses of the Qur’an covered in glass frames, the whole atmosphere was medieval. When I tried to enter a room in Chandan Shahid tomb, a young boy stopped me and requested me to put the Islamic cap on my head. When I asked the reason for this, he said that this is the tradition here. He had some Islamic caps which he kept for the visitors who were not wearing one. Inside the Mazar, the pillars of the room were all green. I also smelled some kind of Itra (Islamic perfume) there which was literally disgusting. It still makes me shiver whenever I think of it’s smell.

RAUJA AJGAIB SHAHID There is a mosque, a holy tomb built on the rear side of the mosque and a hall possibly the buildings of this place have been repaired and rebuilt so many times that there is no trace of the pre-Islamic invasion. Only a few stone stairs are visible which look old, which are attached to the platform, just on this basis it is impossible to say anything about it’s history.

RAUJA PALANG SHAHID :- IN THE SHADOW OF THE SWORD


These pillars which seem to be a part of a temple became a part of the tomb(MAZAR) in 1194 CE


This pillar of the tomb does have some kind of ancient Hindu deity’s art made over it but it’s impossible to tell anything about the art or the deity because of the thick layers of paint on it.

There is another major tomb in front of Ajgaiz Shahid on the Grand Trunk Road itself, this mazar is known as Palang Shahid. This place was an old cemetery, the description of this cemetery is also in the Banaras Gazetteers. The boundary wall of the cemetery is new. When entering through the main gate, there is a graveyard, when walking further into the graveyard there are three buildings and some more graves built on a square stone platform. These three buildings are-:

  1. A mosque
  2. A tomb with a dome shaped roof.(Note that this tomb is not of Palang Shahid.)
  3. The main Tomb of Palang Shahid . This tomb is situated right in the middle of the square stone platform. Modern tiles are installed on the tomb. This tomb has four pillars and a square shaped roof which has the dome built over it. The four pillars and the square roof built on these pillars is a pre-Islamic structure. If we take a look only at the four pillars and the square shaped roof over it, ignoring the domed structure and the tomb, it seems to be the CHAUKI of an ancient Hindu temple. It appears that the tomb and the dome built on top of the square roof are not the part of the original structure but have been separately placed over it. CHAUKI or CHOWKI :-In all Hindu temples, this type of structure is found near the main entrance of the temple, which is called Chauki (square seat).

Beautiful geometric designs and some figures are engraved on the four ornate pillars of the Chauki .These figures might be of Hindu deities. These figures aren’t very clearly visible because of the thick coats of paint above them. Another thing that caught my attention was the poster on this mazar. On the poster there was a sword with a picture of Mecca and the fundamental principles of Islam were written. THERE IS NO GOD EXCEPT ALLAH, MUHAMMAD IS THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH.

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

JUST BELOW THE LANTERN- LIES THE DARKNESS

Learning nothing from history has somehow become the destiny of India.

Vasanta College for Women is adjacent to Adi Keshav Temple in Rajghat area. This college was established in 1913 by Annie Besant. Annie Besant was a British woman who was influenced by Hindu religion culture, she had a major role in introducing the western countries to Hindu religion and culture. She was also a major contributor to India’s freedom struggle and social movements.
In Rajghat area, I visited the ruins of many ancient temples, tombs, mosques, graveyards, etc., near Keshav temple, along my way I crossed Vasanta College for Women, I talked to the girls there and asked to know their views. I tried this many times but I got disappointed in every single one of my attempt. To my great surprise, these graduating students didn’t knew anything about the history of the ancient temple adjacent to the wall of their college, nearby madarasas, dargahs. Only a few girls had went to the Adi Keshav temple and they too had a religious outlook not historical. They had no idea about the history of Islamic conversion, they had no idea about this dreadful period of Islamic imperialism history.

No one had even seen Chandan Shaheed Mazar, everyone had the same opinion about it – it is a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity, When I asked them how? They immediately threw the answer as “We don’t know” .

This selective way of looking at history is a product of Nehruvians.
Completely political, completely devoted to the family, in the present world when there is a conflict between Islam and other religions, how much will this ostrich attitude help us? Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon here in Varanasi (Sarnath), barely five kilometers from Rajghat. After attaining enlightenment in Gaya, Buddha had entered Varanasi through this historical route Uttar Path, whose teachings in Sarnath based on peace and non-violence, two and a half thousand years ago were known as Dhamma Chakra Parivartan. The Buddha’s knowledge, the holy land of Sarnath, were completely destroyed by the havoc created by Islamic imperialism in 1194. India lost much of its knowledge of Buddha. (Centuries later, some British historians discovered some Buddha relics in the excavation of Sarnath, and India got a chance to get acquainted with the thoughts of Buddha again.)
The reason why Hindus were defeated was because they had very limited knowledge outside there geographical area, this ignorance is prevalent in Hindu society even today. Only the future will tell for how long a civilization that has not learned anything and still not ready to learn anything from its experiences will survive.

ASHOKAN PILLAR, IT’S HISTORY AND IMPORTANCE.

After the independence FOUR -FACED LION (LION CAPITAL)was adopted as THE EMBLEM OF INDIA. The lion capital was excavated from SARNATH, and this was a part of ASHOKAN PILLAR The emblem of India reflects India’s traditions, glorious history, and heritage. Undoubtedly, this statue of four lions is a unique example of ancient sculpture in India. It can be seen as the emblem of the Government of India on all the major buildings, medals of honor,(Param Veer Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, Ashok Chakra), passport etc. It can also be seen on the currencies issued by the Government of India, present slightly above the bottom right corner of each note beside its value.

ASHOKA RAJA – THE KING WITHOUT SORROW

Why is Emperor Ashoka counted among the greatest rulers of not only India but the world?

Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousness’s and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, and shines almost alone, a star. From the Volga to Japan his name is still honored. China, Tibet, and even India, though it has left his doctrine, preserve the tradition of his greatness. More living men cherish his memory today than have ever heard the names of Constantine or Charlemagne. (Outline of History )H.G WELLS

EMPEROR ASHOKA IS PROBABLY THE FIRST EMPEROR IN HUMAN HISTORY TO ESTABLISH A PUBLIC WELFARE STATE. About 2260 years ago from today, Emperor Ashoka established the whole India as a nation and succeeded in establishing non-violence, and moral force as the most essential element of state building. Fortunately, the words and deeds of Ashoka are still present among us. According to Charles Allen :- ” some seven edict rocks, eleven edict pillars, another nineteen more modest sites bearing what are usually referred to as the Minor Rock Edicts and perhaps a dozen more inscriptions in various forms that can be attributed to Ashoka.”

He was always ready for public business “at all times and at all places, whether I am dining or in the ladies’ apartments, in my bedroom or in my closet, in my carriage or in my palace gardens, the official reporters should keep me constantly informed of the people’s business”. If any difficulty arose, a report was to be made to him immediately “at any hour and at any place”, for, as he says,” work I must for the commonweal”.


SARNATH (VARANASI 1904-5) The treasure of ancient Indian history can clearly be seen in this picture. If you have been to the Sarnath archaeological site museum try to find out some of the objects you saw there in this picture.(Hint: Can you find the huge stone” CHATHRI” in this image.) There are many such objects in this image. Try to find out them yourself.

OLD MULGANDH KUTI VIHAR. THIS IS THE SAME SITE WHERE THE HISTORICAL OBJECTS ARE KEPT IN THE ABOVE BLACK AND WHITE IMAGE.

SARNATH :- PROCESS OF REDISCOVERY

Sarnath is situated at a distance of about 12 km from the main city of Varanasi. Lord Buddha gave his first sermon here in Sarnath. DHAMMA CHAKRA PARIVARTAN (TURNING THE WHEEL OF DHARMA) Buddhist monasteries, temples, pillars and some stupas were built here by Emperor Ashoka during his reign. Afterwards Sarnath was completely destroyed by the Muslim invaders.

XUANZANG :- Xuanzang (HIUEN TSANG) a famous Chinese traveler who visited India during the reign of Harshavardhana. Hiuen Tsang spent about fifteen years of his life in India. In the year 637 CE, Hiuen Tsang visited Sarnath. The memoirs of his visit to India, and the description of India during Harshavardhana’s reign, were described by Hiuen Tsang in his book Si-Yu-Ki. The description of the major monuments, temples, Buddhist monasteries, stupas, Ashokan Pillar of Sarnath by Hiuen Tsang was the source of inspiration for the archaeologists of Sarnath excavation to find something new and interesting.
The Lion Capital was found during the excavation between 1904-05 in Sarnath. The ancient wall of Mulgandha Kuti Vihar can also be seen at the excavation site. The statue of Buddha meditating adjacent to the wall of the temple of Mulgandha Kuti Vihar is also clearly visible. The Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple was built at the place where Gautam Buddha used to meditate during his stay at Sarnath. Fragments of the Ashokan Pillar can also be seen a few feet away from the wall of the temple. It seems that a woman is cleaning a pillar that has been found during excavation, who has covered herself with a cloth to avoid the scorching heat of the sun. Presently Buddha’s meditating statue, Lion Capital and a lot of other things that were found during the excavations are preserved at the Sarnath archaeological site museum.

ASHOKAN PILLAR :- CONJECTURAL VIEW OF LION CAPITAL WITH PILLAR AND CHAKRA

The Ashokan pillar built during the reign of Emperor Ashoka can be mainly divided into five parts. 1. Shaft 2. Bell shaped vase covered with inverted lotus 3. Abacus 4. Capital 5. Wheel

Pillar :-

A few feet away from Mulgandha Kuti Vihar in Sarnath, the pillar was found in a fragmented form. The total height of the pillar is assumed to be 45 feet and it is made of sandstone. The lower part of the pillar was built on a stone base. Apart from Ashoka’s inscriptions Kushan period and Gupta period inscriptions are also carved on this pillar. Ashoka’s warning is in Brahmi script.
This Ashokan Pillar at Sarnath was a monument to the event of turning the wheel of Dharma, and it was established during the reign of Emperor Ashoka to maintain the integrity of the Dharma Sangha. The Ashokan period inscription on the pillar shows that Emperor Ashoka was not very happy about the divisive forces that were arising within Buddhist Sanghas. And for this reason, in this very inscription, Emperor Ashoka has warned the monks, nuns who try to divide Buddhism and the Buddhist Sangha.

Whoever creates deity in the Sangha, whether a monk or a nuns, will be forcibly put on white clothes and thrown out of the Sangha.

THE SCRIPT OF THE TEXT IS BRAMHI AND THE LANGUAGE IS PRAKRIT. Even in this warning of Emperor Ashoka, there is no glimpse of violence from anywhere, this warning shows the extent to which Ashoka had assimilated the Buddha’s teachings of non-violence. According to the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang, there was a huge Buddhist monastery at this place, about 1500 Buddhist monks and nuns resided in this monastery, perhaps this is why Ashoka has written this inscription for this monastery at Sarnath mentioned by Hiuen Tsang. Presently the remains of this ancient Buddhist monastery are spread over a wide area around the Ashokan Pillar.

Lion Capital preserved in the Museum of Sarnath

Bell shaped vase covered with inverted lotus :- Lotus flowers are found all over India. Since ancient times, lotus flower has been given special importance in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religious texts. The images of Gautam Buddha found at Sarnath and other places in India depict Lord Buddha sitting, standing, meditating, preaching on a lotus flower as well as it is also a sign of the womb of Buddha’s mother Mayadevi. Seeing the importance of lotus flower in Indian culture, it also has the distinction of being the national flower of India.

ABACUS:-

The abacus structure bears living replicas of four animals and four wheels with 24 spokes. These animals are lion, Bull, Horse and Elephant. A wheel with 24 spokes is shown after each animal. There are different opinions among historians regarding the figures of animals built on the abacus.

MR BELL believed that the four animals built on the abacus are symbols of the animals living on the four corners of the ANOTATTA lake.

DAYARAM SAHNI also got a glimpse of the Anotatta lake in these animals.

ANOTATTA LAKE :- This lake is located in the Himalayas and according to Buddhist scriptures is the focal point of the world. Many historians consider that the present Mansarovar lake is the one that is referred to as the Anotatta lake in some places. The rivers Ganges, Vankshu, Indus and Sita are believed to be originating from this lake. This lake is considered one of the holiest places of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains.

BRIJ WASI LAL . :- According to B.B Lal, (Renowned archaeologist of India) the Rakshastal near Mansarovar Lake, also known as Ravantal, was known as Anotatta Sarovar in ancient times. The Sutlej river originates from the Rakshastal or Ravanatal.

DR. BLOCKH:- He believed that these four animals are symbols of INDRA, SHIVA, SURYA, and DURGA From the depiction of these animals on the Ashokan pillar, he concluded that these three Gods and Goddesses had accepted the greatness of Gautam Buddha and had come under his shelter.

DR. FOGEL :- He believed that all these animals are just ornamentation, and they have been used on the abacus of Ashokan Pillar only from the point of view of art.

MANSAROVAR (WIKIPEDIA)

B. MAJUMDAR :- The most detailed, practical explanation of the animals carved on the Ashoka Pillar has been given by Majumdar, which also seems to be the most appropriate one. According to him, lotus is not only a sacred flower described in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religions, as well as it is a sign of the womb of Buddha’s mother Mayadevi. Similarly the four animals engraved on the abacus, and the 24 spoked wheels represent major events in the life of the Buddha.

ELEPHANT:- Elephant is a symbol of the dream of Mayadevi, (mother of Buddha). From this dream, Mayadevi realized the arrival of Buddha in her womb. According to this story, Maya Devi, the mother of Buddha, had a dream before he was born. In the dream, Mayadevi saw a white elephant, which is entering her womb from the right side with a white lotus in her trunk. The queen discussed the dream with the king. The king mentioned this incident to all the astrologers in his court, and wanted to know more about this dream, all the astrologers unanimously called this dream auspicious and something very special.

GALLOPING HORSE :- The horse is a symbol of the temporary royalty of the Buddha.

LION(THE ONE ON ABACUS):- A lion with twitching tail , Lion symbolizes Gautam Buddha being Shakya Simha.(Lion of a Shakya clan )

TAURUS

TAURUS:- It is the symbol of the birth sign of Buddha. Some historians associate it with ancient plowing and seed sowing. (Here it symbolizes the planting of new ideas by the Buddha).

TWENTY -FOUR SPOKED WHEEL :-

Twenty-four spoked wheel of the MORAL LAW. The twenty -four spokes on the spinning wheel symbolize the twenty four Pratyay (teachings) of Buddhism. The spinning wheel in the middle of the national flag of India is also taken from here. It is known as ASHOKA CHAKRA because it was built on the Ashokan Pillar. Note that these four, twenty four spoked wheels are the ones that are made on the abacus facing the four directions and not the 32 spoked wheel at the top. Also note that the 32 spoked wheel cannot be seen on the actual lion capital which is kept in the Sarnath archeological site museum because it was found broken, though its fragmented pieces might be seen which are kept in such a manner to illustrate how it might have looked and this is also the reason why the 32 spoked wheel might sometimes be seen in the replicas of the capital.

THE LION CAPITAL :-

The famous four addorsed lions. The figure of four lions is built on top of the abacus. These four lions are standing with their backs to their backs. The jaws of these lions are open and the tongue is sticking out. The well-structured venison and mane of these lions are shown very beautifully.
THE FOUR LIONS ARE SYMBOLS OF BUDDHIST MONKS PROCLAIMING BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS IN ALL FOUR DIRECTIONS.

THE THIRTY TWO SPOKED WHEEL :-

DETAILS OF WHEEL OF THE LION CAPITAL

This wheel (The symbol of the Buddhist law), originally adorned the ‘Lion Capital as a crowning member, supported on a short stone shaft. The stone shaft was not discovered from excavation but the thickness can be estimated from the mortice hole, 20.5 cms. In diameter, drilled into the stone between heads of the four seated lions. Four fragments of the rim portion of the wheel and spoke remains were found. The total number of spokes was presumably 32. These 32 spokes perhaps are indicative of the 32 chief signs of a Great Man (Mahapurusha Lakshana) as described in the Buddhist text Lakkhan sutta of Dighnikaya. I personally believe that the Ashokan Pillar found in Sarnath is not only the national symbol of India, but the it is the embodiment of the entire heritage of India. Ashokan Pillar is a symbol of Buddha’s teachings, Ashoka’s welfare state and a symbol of India’s civilization and its gradual development. Even from the point of view of ancient Indian sculpture, the Ashokan Pillar is incomparable among all the ancient art works.

My last post that I wrote about Sarnath was the longest post that I ever wrote in my whole carrier and still it was not enough to write about every single thing in detail this is not surprising considering the fact that Sarnath is such a huge place to learn and discover about history. One such important thing that I was unable to write about in detail was the the Lion Capital and the Ashokan pillar that is why I decided to write this post. If you want to read more about Sarnath and its history please take a look at my last post about Sarnath where I have tried to describe Sarnath as a whole and have also written about some places that you might want to visit if you are coming to Sarnath. I am mentioning the link below you can read it from there. https://nithinks.com/2021/10/27/light-of-asia-sarnathvaranasi/

LIGHT OF ASIA:- SARNATH(VARANASI)

India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only. (MARK TWAIN)

GO TO BENARES or Kashi, that most ancient of cities, and give ear to her murmuring. Does she not tell you of her immemorial past-of how she has gone on while empires have decayed, of Buddha who came to her with his new gospel, of the millions who have gone to her through the ages to find peace and solace? Old and hoary, decrepit, dirty, smelly, and yet much alive and full of the strength of ages, is Benares. Full of charm and wonder is Kashi, for in her eyes you can see the past of India, and in the murmur of her waters you can hear the voices of ages long gone by.” (GLIMPSES OF WORLD HISTORY )


SARNATH: GAUTAM BUDDHA GAVE HIS FIRST SERMON HERE

S ARNATH is situated a few kilometers away from the main city (old city) of Varanasi. At present, the increasing population and expansion of the city has made Sarnath a part of itself. The most modern part of Varanasi is being developed near Sarnath and this area will be known as New Kashi. (Varanasi city has been known as Kashi and Banaras in ancient times.) The area around ​​Sarnath is still very open and free from congestion as compared to old Varanasi. Varanasi morning is very famous. (SUBEH-E-BANARAS ) It is a very ancient tradition of Varanasi to take a dip in the holy Ganges at dawn, and then to perform darshan in temples. The day begins with Hindu rituals in the morning, following thousands of years of tradition, the resounding bells of temples, the rush of people to take a holy dip in the Ganges, the sound of holy verses, all these things together give the impression of a different world. Mark Twain has put it very well in words- “I think Banaras is one of the most wonderful places I have ever seen. It has struck me that a westerner feels in Banaras very much as an oriental must feel while he is planted down in the middle of London”. (MARK TWAIN) FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2021/08/07/eight-chapters-of-varanasi-that-everyone-must-read/ Varanasi is the holiest city of Hindus, for this reason, Hindu monks, saints, pandit, priests can be seen everywhere. They can be easily recognized by their saffron clothes. Surprisingly, at a short distance, the nature of the morning changes completely. Sarnath, a few kilometers away from the main Varanasi, has a completely different dawn. Here Buddhist monks from many countries of the world can be seen meditating early in the morning. Hindu monks and Buddhist monks have one thing in common – saffron-colored clothes. Like Buddhist philosophy, Jain philosophy is also an integral part of India’s spiritual tradition. Shreyansnath, The eleventh Tirthankar of Jainism, was also born near Sarnath, so Sarnath has special significance for the followers of Jainism too. There is also a Jain temple of Shreyansnath among the ruins of Buddhism in Sarnath. In spite of so much diversity ideologically and religiously, there is no conflict of any kind – but uniformity. For thousands of years tolerance and equanimity have been the hallmark of Indian culture which can be clearly felt in Sarnath. INDIA HAS BEEN A SHELTER FOR RELIGIOUS DISPLACED PEOPLE FOR CENTURIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2020/12/03/hindu-philosophy-and-the-importance-of-peace-9-11-1893-9-112001/ When Jewish temples were being demolished in the Roman Empire, many Jews came and settled in South India. (Centuries later, after the establishment of the Jewish country of Israel, many of these people migrated to Israel, but many people are still residents of India) After the arrival of Islam in its native place Iran, Zoroastrianism was almost wiped out, surprisingly Even today, the largest number of Zoroastrians (Parsi) in the world live in India. (Parsi religion is related to Baby Jesus) After the partition of India, Pakistan became a Muslim nation, today Ahmadiyas and Shia Muslims do not get the rights that Sunni Muslims have, while India is a Hindu majority democratic country, here a large number of Ahmadiya, Shia Muslims reside and they have all the rights which any other Indian has. Millions of Tibetan refugees are living in India after China’s occupation of Tibet. In modern times when words like coexistence, tolerance, fraternity, globalization are used, they have been included in Hindu civilization and philosophy for thousands of years. Anyone can use Sarnath as a magnifying glass to understand India’s thousands of years of culture, civilization, coexistence, tolerance, potential, and respect for all religions and ideologies.


Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon in the deer park at Sarnath—-
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BUDDHA

Dhamma Chakra Pravartan. FOR THE HAPPINESS OF THE MANY FOR THE WELFARE OF THE MANY

Gautam Buddha made these ancient lines of Rigveda (ancient Hindu scriptures c 1500-1000 BCE) the basis of his teaching. There was a message of Bahujan (People in the majority )Politics has its own dictionaries. At present, some political parties in India interpret this word according to their own will. On the other hand, the Buddha’s messages made a fundamental change in Hinduism, which made Hinduism more acceptable, and rich, while China, Japan found a teacher in the intuitive teachings of the Buddha. One of the oldest living cities in the world, Varanasi, was also called KASHI in ancient times The word Kashi has its origin from the word Kash. It means light. Here light does not signify just light(The one which is made up of photons). Here the word Light is used with a different context meaning “Light of knowledge” FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2020/12/01/dev-deepawali-festival-of-light-city-of-light/ Undoubtedly the teachings of the Buddha further enhanced the prestige of Varanasi. Varanasi has been a city of knowledge while also being an important religious and commercial center since very ancient times. By the pre-Buddha time, the city of Varanasi had seen the climax of its capital of knowledge and was now on a downfall, few other places in India emerged as new temples of knowledge, posing severe challenges to Varanasi. Even after this challenge, Varanasi was one of the main education centers of India, perhaps only then Buddha choose this city for his first sermon.

Why is there so much contradiction in the name of Sarnath? To understand this, one has to understand a little ancient Hindu way of life. (I have seen many tourists getting confused about the name, so I want to make this topic clear here.)

Rishipattan OR Ishipattan:-Many sages(rishi) Hindu monks resided in the forest of Sarnath near Varanasi, Due to the abundance of sages, this place was known as Rishipattan. For this reason, in the ancient Pali language, it was called Ishipattan.

Sarangnath: – In ancient Hindu religious texts, this place is referred to as Sarangnath. The word Sarangnath is derived from a combination of two words. These two words are – Sarang + Nath. Sarang means deer and Nath means lord. Sarnath also has an ancient temple of Lord Shiva which is known as Sarangnath Temple. Many historians believe that due to this Sarangnath Shiva temple, later this place was named Sarnath.

Mrigdav (Deer -Park):- There is also a belief that when Bodhisattva had incarnated in the form of a deer, he had sacrificed his life to save a pregnant deer from the king who came on a hunting expedition. Later influenced by the incident and due to remorse, the king banned deer hunting in this entire area. For this reason, this area came to be known as Mrigdav (Deer -Park). From a scientific point of view, this story doesn’t seem appropriate, but this story is very important from a philosophical point of view. Sacrificing one’s own life for the survival of an organism is probably the biggest example of human sacrifice. This type of story is described in many places in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain literature. A story similar to this is described in the Shiva-Purana, how a hunter sacrificed his life to save a pregnant deer and even today Shivratri, a major festival of Hindus, is celebrated in the memory of this story. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT :- https://nithinks.com/2021/03/14/mahashivratrishiv-barat-and-varanasi/ If anyone wants to see the peak of non-violence, then its divine philosophy can be seen in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain literature. This is because the spirit of non-violence and equanimity is prevailing in our society for thousands of years.

*Some important monuments of Sarnath*

CHAUKHANDI STUPA

CHAUKHANDI STUPA:- Locals call it Sita – Rasoi. Historians believe that this is the place where Buddha first met his five disciples. Built of bricks on a four-sided base,(chaukhandi) this structure is a Buddhist stupa. The height of this stupa is 93 feet from the base. Buddha came to Sarnath after attaining enlightenment at Uruvela. (Bodh -Gaya) The great traveler Hiuen Tsiang also visited this stupa when he came to Sarnath. He has described chaukhandi stupa in great detail in his travelogue. This stupa dates back to the Gupta dynasty. (early 4th century) Presently the structure of Chaukhandi Stupa can be divided into two parts. The first part is the ancient Stupa which was built during the Gupta Empire. There is an octagonal structure on top of this stupa. From a distance, it appears that someone has kept it separately on top of the stupa. There is a stone plate on this octagonal structure, which shows that this Top structure was built during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Mughal emperor Humayun had rested at this place for one night, in memory of this incident, his son had built this monument here. How can a victorious civilization change the history of a defeated civilization? There are many monuments and temples in India whose foundations represent a Hindu civilization. The ideology of Islam did not originate on the soil of India, it was the ideology of Arabia which had its own rules and regulations.

DHARMARAJIKA STUPA:-

DHARMARAJIKA STUPA:-

Ashoka(268–232 BCE) also built Dharmarajika Stupa at Sarnath. Unfortunately, in 1794, the men of JAGAT SINGH the minister of the Raja of Banaras, dug out and completely demolished this stupa for bricks to build the famous locality of Kashi, Jagatganj (this locality is named after him). This happened unintentionally because they had no idea of ​​its historical importance. According to Mr. Duncan, in this stupa at the depth of 18 cubits, some bones, and gold leaf, pearl grains, and gems were found in a marble box inside a stone vessel, but because of the unawareness of Jagat Singh’s men, they were flown into the Ganges. In 1905, excavations by the Archaeological Department revealed that the Dharmarajika Stupa, built by Ashoka, had a diameter of 44 feet 3 inches. In the 5th or 6th century, a second enclosure was built around the stupa by a second cover, about 16 feet wide, a strong wall was drawn around it and four doors were installed in it. In the 7th century, the circumnavigation path was filled up and stairs were installed to reach the stupa. In the ninth and tenth centuries, there were also some changes. In the twelfth century, the stupa was again covered with cover and this cover was the last cover of this stupa because only after this the Muslims destroyed Sarnath. I would like to make one thing clear here that this entire incident was published in 1799 in the fifth volume of Asiatic Researches published from the Asiatic Society.
JONATHAN DUNCAN referred to this event in his essay (AN ACCOUNT OF THE DISCOVERY OF TWO URNS IN THE VICINITY of BENARES) on pages 131 and 132 in a book published by the Asiatic Society. This incident grabbed the interest of historians towards Sarnath.

MULGANDH KUTI VIHAR

THE HOLY PLACE WHERE LORD BUDDHA USED TO MEDITATE

Mulgandha Kuti Vihar in History:-

The place where Lord Buddha used to meditate during his stay in Sarnath, later a grand temple was built at the same place. This temple came to be known as Mulgandha Kuti Vihar. This holy temple was demolished by Muslim invaders. Presently this holy temple is just a ruin. But even today the ruins of this temple testify to the grandeur of this temple. According to Hiuen Tsiang, the height of this grand temple was 61 meters. The Mulgandha Kuti Vihar temple was built on a square base, each side of this square base was 18.29 meters. The huge, grand form of this temple can be imagined from the thick walls of the base of this temple.
The Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsiang was mesmerized by the amazing beauty of this holy temple. He wrote that ” The height of the top of the temple from the ground is about 61 meters. Gold-plated temple, whose steps were made of stone. Inside the temple was a life-size statue of Buddha in the Dharma-Chakra turning posture made of bronze.” It is not a difficult task to draw this conclusion based on the description of the temple by Hiuen Tsiang. After the description of Hiuen Tsiang, there has been a lot of changes in the buildings and place of Sarnath.

NEW MULGANDH KUTI VIHAR:-

The new Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple was built in 1931 by the Mahabodhi Society. New Mulgandha Kuti Vihar Temple is situated in a beautiful garden. The main gate of the garden and the main gate of the temple are made in a straight line. Inside the new Mulgandha Kuti Vihar, there is a shining golden-colored statue of Lord Buddha. On seeing this statue, it becomes clear that the presently installed idol in the new Mulgandha Kuti Vihar is a replica of the sandstone statue of Lord Buddha which was found by the archaeologists in Sarnath near the ruins of old Mulgandha Kuti Vihar.

The bright golden color of the statue is reminiscent of Hiuen Tsiang narration. Undoubtedly, every effort has been made to give New Mulgandha Kuti Vihar its true form and also to make it look like the old one. This effort of the Mahabodhi Society is commendable. There is a bell made of copper on the main gate of the vihara (temple), this bell was gifted by the Imperial family of Japan.

I have come from the Eastern Country of Cherry Blossoms to this sacred Land of Lotus Flowers, to offer my humble devotion to our Lord Buddha. This is the greatest privilege I have been looking forward to, for many years.

KOSETSU NOSU THE MAGICIAN OF COLORS FROM JAPAN

MAGIC OF KOSETSU NOSU:- Anyone entering the temple is astonished, by the huge murals on the inner wall of the temple. Very bright colors have been used in making these paintings. All these paintings are based on famous incidents from the life of Lord Buddha. These paintings are made by famous Japanese painter Kosetsu Nosu. He came to India to draw sketches of the Ajanta caves. He used this experience in making murals on the walls of the New Mulgandha Kuti Vihar. Japanese frescoes on such large canvas are rarely seen anywhere else in India

DHAMEKH STUPA (PLACE WHERE GAUTAM BUDDHA GAVE HIS FIRST SERMON TO HIS FIRST FIVE DISCIPLES).

” THEN PLEASE LISTEN , MY FRIENDS. I HAVE FOUND THE GREAT WAY, AND I WILL SHOW IT TO YOU. YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO HEAR MY TEACHING. THIS DHARMA IS NOT THE RESULT OF THINKING. IT IS THE FRUIT OF DIRECT EXPERIENCE . LISTEN SERENELY WITH ALL YOUR AWARENESS”.

Geometric patterns and arts on Dhamekh stupa.

DHAMEKH STUPA

It is a solid cylindrical structure. It is built of bricks and stones. Its height is 43.6 meters and its diameter is 28 meters. This stupa is built at the exact place where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon to his first five disciples. The stupa was built by Ashoka in 249 B.C., then at this place, the stupa was rebuilt in 500 C.E. Beautiful artworks and geometry are made on this stupa. I USED ONLY THE SANDALWOOD, THAT WAS BROUGHT FROM KASHI ONLY AND NO OTHER PLACE. MY DRESS WAS OF KASHI CLOTH,AND MY TUNIC UNDERROLE AND CLOAK WERE ALSO FROM KASHI. (BUDDHA –JATAKA TALE)

The dead body of Buddha was also wrapped with cloth made of Banaras.(MAHAPARINIBBANA SUTTA)

This ornamentation also reflects the glorious history of textile art of India especially Varanasi. The fame of Varanasi’s textiles is described in pre-Buddha literature (2600 years ago). In those days, Varanasi’s muslin was considered to be the best in the whole India, now those clothes are no longer available, but the design of the clothes of that time can be understood from the decoration made on the stupa. We should never forget that in ancient times the indigo from India was used to dye clothes in Egypt and the Egyptians wrapped their sacred mummies in muslin cloths made from India. Even today, there is a tradition of wearing Banarasi sarees(Banarasi saree is a special type of saree, which is worn by Hindu women on auspicious occasions.) there is a great resemblance between the designs made on Banarasi sarees and the designs made on the stupas.

ASHOKAN PILLAR

1905 Excavation of Sarnath.

ASHOKAN PILLAR

About twenty five hundred years ago, an immortal voice of knowledge was ignited in the holiest city of the world’s oldest religion. In the light of this knowledge, after two hundred years, a great ruler tried to find new ways for the welfare of the subjects and established the world’s first welfare state.
Centuries later, a Chinese traveler, again impressed by the light of this knowledge, traveled to Mrigdav to understand its original form, and on the basis of that travelogue, history came alive again after centuries. Everything is threaded in one thread, India and its history will always be indebted to people like James Prinsep, James Ramson, Alexander Cunningham, Major Kittoe, C. Horne, F. O. Oertal, John Marshall, H. Hargreaves, Daya Ram Sahni. The lower part of a pillar built on a stone base was found during excavations to the west of the Dhamek Stupa in the winter of 1904-5. Soon more parts of this pillar were also found during excavations nearby. Presently the fragmented pieces of the Ashokan pillar are kept safe in a glass showcase. Three articles were mentioned on this pillar. The first article is in the Brahmi script of the Ashoka period, this article shows that Ashoka was determined to stop the division in Buddhism. According to this mandate, “Whoever creates a deity in the Sangh, whether a monk or a nun, will be thrown out of the Sangh “. A few feet away from this pillar, the top part of the pillar (CROWN) “statue of four lions with their backs to the back” was found. The brilliance of this statue not only introduced Indians to the glorious history of India before the Islamic invasion but also opened the doors of endless possibilities of discovery in ancient Indian history.

LION CAPITAL OF ASHOKA

The most famous of the Mauryan sculptures found at Sarnath and the most beautiful from the point of view of art is the Lion Capital[ [The top of the Ashokan pillar]. Its height is seven feet. Its shape is like a full-grown lotus. Four lion figures are made on the abacus. The abacus is kept on top of the bell-shaped vase covered with inverted lotus which is in turn kept on the shaft. Together these four lions are carrying the load of the wheel of Dharma, which is now broken and cannot be seen in the image. The abacus on which the four lions are standing are also having with images of a Taurus, an elephant, a horse a lion, and a twenty-four spoked wheel of the [MORAL- LAW]. There are differences among scholars regarding the shape of these animals. Some scholars believe that all these animals are symbols of various Hindu deities, and their depiction on the Ashokan Pillar concludes that these three Gods and Goddesses had surrendered to the Buddha. Many historians have denied this idea and called it a high flight of imagination. Some scholars consider these animals to be only ornamental. Some historians associate this animal with the life of Gautam Buddha.

ELEPHANT: Elephant is a symbol of the dream of Mayadevi, (mother of Buddha). From this dream, Mayadevi had realized the arrival of Buddha in her womb.
According to this story, Maya Devi, the mother of Buddha, had a dream before he was born. In the dream, Mayadevi saw a white elephant, which is entering her womb from the right side with a white lotus in her trunk. LION:- Lion symbolizes Gautam Buddha being Shakya Simha.(Lion of a Shakya clan ) HORSE:- The horse is a symbol of the temporary royalty of the Buddha.
TAURUS:- It is the symbol of the birth sign of Buddha. Some historians consider it to be a bull and associate it with ancient plowing and seed sowing. (Here it symbolizes the planting of new ideas by the Buddha). TWENTY -FOUR SPOKED WHEEL:- Twenty-four spoked wheel of the MORAL LAW. The 24 spokes on the spinning wheel symbolize the 24 Pratyay (teachings)of Buddhism. The huge spinning wheel that the four lions were carrying is now in a broken state and cannot be seen on the top of the Lion Capital. The fragments of this Moral Wheel are kept in the Sarnath Museum. There were 32 spokes in this wheel, these thirty-two spokes represent the 32 characteristics of great men, which are described in the Lakhan Sut of the Dighanikaya of Buddhism. There is no doubt that from the point of view of art and workmanship, this column-heading is unmatched in the field of Indian art. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, was a brilliant scholar and well-versed in history. Nehru graduated from Cambridge and returned to India, he was greatly influenced by the discoveries and works related to the ancient history of India. Nehru’s political philosophy is greatly influenced by Gandhi as well as Buddha and Ashoka. Ashoka’s impression on Nehru is evident in the books (GLIMPSES OF WORLD HISTORY, The Discovery of India ) written by Nehru. Nehru named his daughter Indira Priyadarshini. The word Indira means Indu (moon). On the other hand, the word Priyadarshini is the feminine form of Ashoka’s name Priyadarshi. Priyadarshi or Priyadarshini means one who is dear to sight.

After the independence of India, when the matter of choosing the national flag and national emblem came up, Nehru without any hesitation chose the Lion Capital. Similarly, the spinning wheel in the middle of the national flag of India is also taken from this Lion capital of Ashoka(it can be seen in the abacus of the Lion Capital). The national emblem and national flag of any country is not just a monument or a piece of cloth, it is a symbol of that country’s history, culture, struggle, people’s spirit, social fabric developed over the years. In fact, the national emblem and the national flag are the physical evidence of that country.

BUDDHIST MONASTERY

BUDDHIST MONASTERY had progressed a lot during the time of Ashoka. Mrigdava continued to be a major center of Buddhism even further. There was also a Buddhist monastery, in which about 1500 monks and nuns lived, which is described by Hiuen Tsiang. The huge pillar mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang at a distance of some furlong from this monastery is the famous Ashokan Pillar, on which Ashoka’s warning regarding Buddhist monks and nuns is inscribed. Islamic invaders had tried to destroy the Buddhist monastery completely, and they were successful in this, but with the help of modern technology, the ruins of this Buddhist monastery have been discovered again. The ruins of this Buddhist monastery are spread over a wide area. In these ruins, many small stupas, meditative statues of Lord Buddha made on bricks, animals, birds, and geometric art have been made to decorate it. Currently, the Taliban are trying to destroy statues of Buddha , Buddhist monuments, for such Islamic extremists, these Buddhist monasteries are an example that Buddha’s thoughts are immortal and no terrorist ideology can destroy them. For twenty-six hundred years the thoughts of Gautam Buddha, imbued with the public welfare spirit, are as relevant today as they were twenty-six hundred years ago.

Sarnath Museum

Sarnath Museum:- India’s first on-site museum. During the excavation in Sarnath, such a huge amount of historical idols, artifacts, utensils, seals, ornaments, etc. were found that it was a difficult task to take them all the away to a museum and Sarnath also had its own historical importance. For this reason, a grand museum was built at this place. The museum building is a beautiful building made of stone. This museum was designed by James Ramson on the lines of a Buddhist vihara. The construction of this building started in 1904 and was completed in 1910. Within this grand building, more than six thousand objects of historical importance found in Sarnath are kept. These historical objects were found here in the excavations of Alexander Cunningham (1835-36). Major Kittoe ( 1851-52), C. Horne(1865), F. O. Oertal (1904-05), John Marshall (1907), H. Hargreaves (1914-15), and Daya Ram Sahni (1927-32). For those interested in Indian ancient history, this museum is not less than a treasure. I will write a separate post in the future about the items collected in the museum. I have written in detail in this post about the Lion Capital of Ashoka (National Emblem of India) stored in the museum.

BODHI TREE PEACE AND HARMONY IN THE NEXT MILLENNIUM IN LINE WITH BUDDHISM

Bodhi Tree, related to The Bodhi Tree, Sarnath

BODHI TREE AND THE COMPLEX

A Peepal tree was planted here during the inauguration of the new building of Mulgandha Kuti Vihar. Sanghamitra, the daughter of Emperor Ashoka, took the branch of the tree under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment to Sri Lanka and planted it in Sri Lanka. (Anuradhapura) A Branch of this sacred tree was then brought from Sri Lanka and planted in Sarnath. And so we can say that indirectly this is the same tree under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment!!!! Now, this is a huge tree. Under this sacred tree, there are huge statues of Mahatma Buddha and his first five disciples.


A HUGE BELL IS INSTALLED AT SOME DISTANCE FROM THE SACRED TREE. I reached the courtyard of the sacred tree around 6 o’clock in the evening. It was evening and almost all the tourists had left. There was a serious, calm atmosphere. The birds were also returning to their homes, I could hear their voice as they were on their way towards home. I also heard some peacocks from time to time, the voices of birds were not creating any disturbance in the atmosphere of peace. I was sitting on the stone steps of Mulgandha Kuti Vihar temple thinking something when a temple employee came to me and said softly “Sir now it is time to close the temple so please vacate this campus.” I agreed and was preparing to leave when I saw some people carrying candles towards the holy tree, I asked the staff and came to know that it is time for the evening worship of the holy tree. I asked the employee can I watch this program? He smiled and said ” Of course”, just take permission from the monks who made this program successful. I moved towards those monks and expressed my wish, they happily granted me permission. After a few moments these monks started the circumambulation of the sacred tree, while doing the circumambulation, also started lighting diyas on the small statues of Buddha around the tree. Now the monks started reciting religious mantras while doing the circumambulation. I could not understand even a single word of this religious mantra, (I understood that the language was something special it didn’t sound like Sanskrit at all, but I was not able to figure out the language itself on my own)later I came to know that the monks were using the Pali language. The original teachings of Buddha are in the Pali language. Pali language was commonly used at the time of Buddha and Sanskrit was the language of the elite people and Brahmanas. Today Pali language is taught in the universities of Varanasi but common people never use it, the Pali language is not used even in the surrounding areas of Sarnath.

The teachings of Lord Buddha at the time of turning of the wheel of Dharma are engraved on a piece of a stone parasol at Sarnath; It contains the four noble truths of Buddhism. The script of the article dates back to the last Kushan period. Stan Kono says that this is the only account of Pali received from North India and it shows that the Pali Tripitaka existed at that time and people in Banaras knew and read it.

It was a wonderful experience to listen Buddha’s teachings in the original language after thousands of years, at the same place where Buddha gave his first sermon. A transcendental experience among images of the Buddha preaching to his first five disciples. (Kaundinya, Vappa, Bhadriya, Mahanaman and Asvajit)
For a moment I felt as if Buddha was giving his first sermon to his disciples, and I am witnessing that moment too.

(MRIGDAV- DEER PARK) :- The old name of Sarnath was also Mrigdav. Here hunting of deer was banned. Keeping this history in mind, a Deer Park has also been developed here. Various types of deer have been kept. Apart from deer, some other animals and birds can also be seen here.

Many temples have been built on this holy place by other Buddhist countries. Undoubtedly these temples are very important from the point of view of tourism and also from the point of view of art. What to say for the tourists who are fond of selfies?

MUST- VISIT TEMPLES IN SARNATH

NICHIGAI SUZAN HORINJI. (Japanese temple)

The original name of this temple built by the Japanese government is NICHIGAI SUZAN HORINJI. The locals know it as, the Japanese temple. This temple has been built on the basis of the famous temple of Kyoto( the cultural capital of Japan). Sandal wood has been used extensively in the construction of this temple. This temple is a symbol of the close relationship between the cultural capital of India(Varanasi) and the cultural capital of Japan(Kyoto ).

The courtyard of the temple is divided into two parts. The main temple is situated in one of the parts of the courtyard. Lord Buddha is shown in a lying posture inside the temple, this statue of Lord Buddha and the roof of the temple are made up of the precious sandal wood. In the second part of the temple courtyard, there is a stupa made of marble. Huge statues of Gautam Buddha in a seated posture are constructed in all the four directions of this stupa. On the basis of these statues, the teachings of Gautam Buddha are inscribed in Japanese, Hindi and English. On the road leading to the stupa, there is a miniature replica of Lion Capital on both sides. A very beautiful archway has also been constructed that leads to the Stupa.

Chinese Temple :-

Tourists are not seen here due to it’s simple look from outside, I liked the calm atmosphere here. This temple was built in 1939. The building of this temple is yellow in color. The architecture of China is reflected in the construction of the temple.

The Chinese temple depicts Hiuen Tsiang’s journey to India.

TIBETAN TEMPLE :-

The Tibetan Temple was built in 1955. There are two lion statues at the entrance of the temple. These lions represent the art of Tibet. The two deer at the main entrance of the Tibetan temple represent the ancient name of Sarnath ~ Mrigdava. On entering the courtyard of the temple, a giant golden-colored statue of Gautam Buddha attracts attention. Gautam Buddha’s statue in a meditative posture is installed in a mirror showcase under the shade of the sacred Peepal tree.
There is a stone-carved stupa here. This stupa shows the gratitude of Tibet towards India. This stupa also tells the story of China’s imperialism and tyranny. China’s attack on Tibet and Dalai Lama‘s exodus to India along with more than ten thousand Tibetan people or the unprovoked death of millions of people due to China’s atrocities on Tibet are all mentioned here.

SARANGNATH TEMPLE :-

SARANGNATH TEMPLE POND

Many historians believe that due to the ancient temple of Sarangnath, this place got its name as Sarnath. Sarnath or Sarangnath means lord of animals, for this reason, Lord Shiva is also known as Pashupati. It is believed that when the influence of Buddhism was increasing, Adi Guru Shankaracharya established a Shivling wherever he traveled, the ancient temple here also has a Shivling established by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. A fair is also held here in the month of Sawan. There is a beautiful ancient pond in front of the Sarangnath temple. The construction of ponds was a common practice with ancient temples in Hinduism. The Sarangnath temple is built on a stone base. On seeing this temple, the picture of Chaukhandi Stupa naturally emerges in the mind. There are stairs to reach the temple. The courtyard of the temple is small but is covered with the shade of banyan, peepal tree. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PLEASE VISIT:- https://nithinks.com/2021/03/10/dawn-of-civilization-and-shiva-shiva-ganga-varanasi/

Jain Temple :-

Jain Temple