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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

Varanasi has also been a major city for the followers of Jainism. Varanasi has been the birthplace of four out of twenty-four Tirthankaras of Jainism. During the excavation of Sarnath, important sculptures and artifacts related to Jainism were found which are kept in the Sarnath Museum. Shreyansnath was born in the Sarnath region. The jain temple dedicated to Shreyanshnath is in Sarnath. This Jain temple is adjacent to the Dhamek Stupa. The courtyard of this temple is covered with peepal and banyan trees. I found one thing astonishing, many trees of Peepal and Banyan can be seen in Sarnath area, have there been abundance of Peepal and Banyan trees since historical times? These two trees are considered very sacred in Hinduism, Jainism, and also in Buddhism or since the archaeological excavations, these sacred trees have been planted in the campuses of Hindu, Buddhist, Jainism monuments, temples. Perhaps both these reasons are true, but at that point of time, it was very relaxing to see these trees in the courtyard of the temples. Banyan and Peepal trees are huge, due to their spread they protect the entire temple from the scorching heat of the sun, provide natural coolness and they also allow visitors to relax.

Thai Temple

Presently the Thai temple situated in Sarnath is the biggest center of tourist attraction. This is because of the huge statue of Buddha. This temple is situated in a big garden. This temple has been built by the government of Thailand. The architectural influence of Thailand is evident in the construction of the Thai temple. The building of the temple is not grand, but it looks very attractive because it has been constructed in the middle of a large garden. Inside the temple, there is a huge golden-colored statue of Buddha. There are also some other statues in the courtyard of the temple.
As I told earlier the huge statue of Buddha in the courtyard of the temple is the main tourist attraction here. The height of this statue is about 80 feet. This statue was completed in 14 years. It was made when the Taliban tried to destroy an ancient statue of Buddha in Afghanistan.

GULABI TEMPLE ( Vietnamese temple )

The Vietnamese temple is known by the local residents as the Pink Temple (GULABI MANDIR). Perhaps the temple got this name because of its archway. The Vietnamese temple is located in a village about two kilometers away from the main Sarnath. The path to the Vietnamese temple leads through narrow streets of the villages. The weather was pleasant so I decided to visit the Vietnamese temple on foot. (Here in India you will never prefer traveling on foot in summer because of the scorching heat of the Sun which will exhaust you in a very small amount of time) There is also an ancient Maa(MOTHER) Durga temple near the Vietnamese temple. The huge meditative statue of Lord Buddha was visible even from a far distance. The statue of Lord Buddha installed in this temple is seventy feet high. This statue is installed on a square base. An archway has also been constructed, a similar archway is also present in the Japanese temple. This temple is at a short distance from the main Sarnath, but still the number of tourists here is negligible.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the statue of Emperor Ashoka built in the courtyard of the temple. In this statue Emperor Ashoka carries the Lion Capital as a Royal Rod. The credit of spreading the teachings of Buddha all over the world goes to this great Indian emperor. The heart-change and public welfare spirit of this great victorious emperor is still an example for the world. Sarnath is also a witness to the construction work of Emperor Ashoka.

Teachings of Gautam Buddha and Ashoka

DEVANAMPIYENA PIYADASI:- ( THE BELOVED OF THE GODS)

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

Devanampiyena Piyadasi is defined in the Brahmanical Purana as the Raja Ashoka. (THE KING WITHOUT SORROW). One who has no sorrow. Emperor Ashoka has a different place among the great kings of India. Ashoka has got this special place in Indian history not because of a great conqueror but because of the first welfare ruler in the world.

A journey from CHAND -ASHOKA ( Cruel Ashok ) to DHAMMA (One who cares for others) ASHOKA

Ashoka was the king of most parts of monolithic India (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan). Ashoka’s empire extended to the Hindukush Mountains (Afghanistan), the Godavari coast in South India, Bangladesh in the east, Iran in the west. Ashoka was known as Chand Ashoka during this period of his life. Chand Ashoka means cruel Ashoka. Ashoka brutally suppressed his opponents, the opposition arising in the state and the kings of other states during this period of life. 261 BC: Ashoka attacked Kalinga (present-day Orissa province).

Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, conquered the Kalingas eight years after his coronation. One hundred and fifty thousand were deported, one hundred thousand were killed and many more died from other causes. After the Kalingas had been conquered, Beloved-of-the-Gods came to feel a strong inclination towards the Dharma, a love for the Dharma and for instruction in Dharma. Now Beloved-of-the-Gods feels deep remorse for having conquered the Kalingas.

Ashoka’s heart was filled with compassion due to this fierce bloodshed, Ashoka felt defeat in his victory, realizing his mistake, in a way, this was Ashoka’s rebirth, a new journey that was the beginning of the transformation from Chand Ashoka to Dhamma Ashoka. Ashoka now decided to play the role of a father, not a ruler and devoted his entire life to the welfare of the people. He is the only military monarch on record who abandoned warfare after victory.

ASHOKA THE GREAT, BUDDHA’S TEACHING & SARNATH

Emperor Ashoka was not only a conqueror, great ruler, and the father of the world’s first public welfare state, but he also had a keen interest in the construction of buildings, monuments. Many historians believe that Indian art was at its peak during the reign of Ashoka, and after that, it declined. The remains found in the excavation of Sarnath tell a completely different story. An unbroken stream of gradual development is visible in the remains found from Sarnath. The sculptures found from Sarnath show that Indian artists were constantly trying to refine their art. Sarnath progressed a lot during Ashoka’s reign. Many associations of Buddhist monks and nuns were established here during his reign. The Dharmarajika Stupa(which was unintentionally demolished by the men of JAGAT SINGH), Dhamekh Stupa, Ashokan Pillar, Buddhist Monastery and other buildings and monuments at Sarnath are evidence of Ashoka’s interest in construction and architecture.

Korean temple

The priest of the Vietnamese temple informed me about the nearby Korean temple. My next destination was—Korean Temple. The Korean temple is located at a short distance from the Vietnamese temple. On my way to the Korean temple, I saw a big pond. The pond was natural and was not made by anyone. Lotus flowers were abundantly there in the pond. Lotus flowers have great importance in Buddhist philosophy. People accustomed to the modern lifestyle of metropolitan cities, who have seen lotus flowers only in artificial ponds, should stay here for some time. Due to being away from the main Sarnath, the number of tourists remains negligible here too. The main building of the Korean temple is two-storied, in addition, there are some monuments and statues in the temple courtyard.

GURU DHAM YOG TEMPLE VARANASI

Varanasi, the holy city of Hindus, is also called the CITY OF TEMPLES in fact there are innumerable big and small temples in Varanasi. VARANASI HAS BEEN THE CENTER OF YOGA AND TANTRA PRACTICE SINCE ANCIENT TIMES. During the Mughal period, idol-worship and yoga practice remained inactive. Under the rule of Marathas, once again the traditions related to Hindu religion were restored. Many new temples were built in Banaras during this period. E.I.C ~ The East India Company’s dominance was established over Banaras from 1781, but the construction of temples continued unabated.

Presently one such temple is the Yoga Mandir in Gurudham locality of Varanasi. This temple is famous for its unique architecture.

RAJA JAI NARAYAN GHOSHAL

This temple was built by Raja Jai ​​Narayan Ghoshal of Khedderpur  (Bengal) in 1814. He is also credited for starting the system of modern education and for establishing many schools in Varanasi.

Raja Jai ​​Narayan Ghoshal was a man of great vision. He was the first to recognize the turning point of time during the rule of the East India Company. Raja Jai ​​Narayan Ghoshal was interested in the modern European education system, he was influenced by it. During his stay in Varanasi, Raja Jai ​​Narayan Ghoshal found that the condition of Hindu education system is very pathetic. Hindu education has remained confined to religious knowledge only. The Hindu education system was almost completely destroyed during the Mughal period. Jai Narayan Ghoshal established a school in Varanasi in 1814 along with the Yoga Mandir. This school is known as Jai Narayan Ghoshal Vidyalaya.

Octagonal architecture of the Yoga Mandir in Guru Dham(top view). The design consists of four concentric octagons of different sizes. The different octagons have been shown with different color and the entrance is shown at the top in the image. The orange colored octagon is the boundary of the temple whereas the red, green, blue colored octagons are the three floors of the main building.

TEMPLE STRUCTURE

As I mentioned earlier the structure of Guru Dham temple is octagonal. The structure of the temple immediately caught my attention, I was thinking that at that time was there any special custom in Banaras to make buildings, wells etc. related to Hindu religion in octagonal shape??? The reason for this was that I have seen many octagonal wells in temples, dharmshalas built by the Marathas in Benares in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. So, there could be a possibility of this statement of mine being true, but of course I can be wrong as well as there is no concrete evidence on which I can claim so. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2022/05/31/the-agony-of-the-ancient-wells-of-one-of-the-oldest-routes-in-india/


WINGED LION

Bishop Haber had mentioned in his letter that Jai Narayan Ghoshal was also influenced by the teachings of Christianity due to being in contact with Mr. Kori, the priest of Banaras. This can be clearly seen in the construction of the Yoga Mandir of Jai Narayan Ghosh.

GURU DWAR AND WINGED LION

The main gate is built into the wall. (GURU-DWAR) Guru is used in a wide sense in Hindu culture. Guru means teacher, elder, and is used to offer respect to someone. On both sides of the main gate there are statues of a lion-like figure. The Winged lion represents Saint Mark the Evangelist, patron of Venice. Saint Mark the Evangelist of the Republic of Venice was the heraldic symbol of the patron saint of the Republic.

The Gurudwar is built on one side of the octagonal wall, apart from this the gates built on the remaining seven sides are named as Saptapuris.

Saptapuris:- According to Hindu religion, these seven cities are very holy and salvific.
1.Kashi
2.Ayodhya
3.Mathura
4.Maya (Haridwar)
5.Dwarkadham
6.Avantika (Ujjain)
7.Kanchi

According to the belief of Hinduism, Kashi is the most sacred amongst all of them. Within Kashi there are different localities named after the other 6 cities. It is said that if a person is not able to travel to the other Puris (holy cities), then he should visit the localities named after these Puris in Kashi itself and this would be equivalent to visiting the other puris as well.

Jai Narayan Ghoshal was an advocate of Western education and had friendly relations with the people of the Christian missionaries of Varanasi. English language, British History and Bible were also a part of the school curriculum in the school founded by Jai Narayan Ghoshal. The cross ~ the holy icon of Christianity, is clearly visible on the gate above.

When entering through the Guru Dwar (main gate) there are two small temples- Each one of them having an idol of a hindu deity one of the deity was Lord Hanuman(left), however I was not able to identify the other deity(right).

PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE THREE FLOOR OCTAGONAL BUILDING OF THE YOGA MANDIR

The construction of the temple is based on the philosophy of attainment of God from the Guru and then the attainment of Yoga zero from God. Many historians believe that the construction of this temple is based on the Samkhya philosophy of Kapil Muni. The stairs leading from the ground floor to the first floor are built on the lines of human Kundalini (Spine, coiled snake) and Nadis. (Nerve, Blood Vessel, Pulse) According to Shaiv ​​Tantra, the power of every human being is stored in kundalini .

Manuscript painting of a yogin in meditation, showing the chakras and the three main nadis.

First Floor(The ground floor):-

There are 32 stone pillars outside the sanctum on the bottom most floor of this temple and there are 24 pillars inside the sanctum. The building has four doors. This floor has always been idol-less.

Second Floor:-

There are narrow roads Kundalinuma (coiled snake)from outside and inside to reach the second floor of the building. It is believed that an idol of Radha-Krishna was installed on the second floor. But now these idols aren’t there.

Third floor:-

This is the last floor of the temple. The roof of this floor is circular. The third floor of the temple symbolizes the SHUNYA (space).

A corridor leads forward from the three-story octagonal building. At the end of the corridor comes a verandah. The floor of the verandah is made of stone. On both sides of this floor there are figures like small houses.


The total number of these house-like figures is seven. The ceiling of the first and last rooms is circular whereas the roofs of the other five houses in between the first and the last one are conically shaped.

On the opposite side there must have been similar figures, except one, all the others seem to have been destroyed. Going a little further, there is a European styled building and this is the last structure present inside the temple.

The European styled building.

The unique temple built by Jai Narayan Ghoshal was in a very dilapidated condition a few years ago. Because of its religious and spiritual importance, it was declared a monument of national importance in 1987. In 2007, it was taken over by the Uttar Pradesh State Archaeological Department and they got it renovated. From 2016 it has been opened for the general public. Its restoration work has not been completed yet. But now its condition is much better and for this the archaeological department deserves great credit.

HOW DID NUPUR SHARMA EXPOSE RADICAL ISLAM

Who is Nupur Sharma? And why suddenly this name is in the headlines?

Nupur Sharma is a politician associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party and was it’s spokesperson. When a Muslim man ridiculed about Hinduism during a debate on TV, in response she raised the issue of the age of Muhammad’s wife Ayesha at the time of her marriage with him. Later Nupur had also apologized for her statement, keeping in mind the sentiments of the Muslims. To avoid controversy, BJP expelled Nupur from the party.

A quick response was seen across the country regarding this incident, where most of the Hindus were seen standing in favor of Nupur, while the Muslims of the country showed deep resentment towards Nupur. Soon the Muslim protests turned into violence and there were several incidents of stone-pelting across the country. Soon, some Muslim countries also gave rhetorical reactions to this trying to show as if they were the messiahs for the followers of Islam.

Is Nupur responsible for Muslim violence?

Blindly jumping to the conclusion that Nupur Sharma is responsible for the violent protests by Muslims across the country is a diversion from the truth. In recent times, stone pelting has been used by Muslims as a weapon against non-Islamic people. There were also incidents of firing on security forces by Muslim mobs at many places. So, Islamic fundamentalism is responsible for the violent protests of Muslims, not Nupur Sharma.

Few months before the incident

Many temples were attacked by Muslims on Ram Navami, the holy festival of Hindus.
Tableaux taken out by Hindus in Muslim-majority areas were attacked and it was argued that passing of Hindu tableaux in Muslim-majority areas disrespects Islamic belief (Idol-worship is haram in Islam). If you want to read more about this topic please visit this blog post of mine :- https://nithinks.com/2022/04/27/islamic-fundamentalism-methodology-and-their-goals-in-the-context-of-india/

Your Lord inspired the angels with the message: ‘I am with you. Give firmness to the Believers. I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes.” (Koran 8:12)

Terror of Namazi Army


Looting, desecrating the shrines of other religions has become a symbol of Islamic power, solidarity. After offering prayers on Friday, the worshipers are on the road armed with stones, non-Islamic people, their houses, their commercial property, their religious places, their democratic symbols (national flag, buildings of national importance) everything is on their target. Non believers especially Hindus, Christians can’t even think of passing through Muslim areas on Fridays, this fear is what they regard as their victory.

Who is Ayesha and what is her importance in Islam

AYESHA WAS THE THIRD WIFE OF MUHAMMAD (the founder of Islam). She also had a major role in writing the Islamic historiography. Forty-four years after the death of Muhammad, she had done all the work of propagating Islam. Her most important contribution is considered to be in the writing and compilation of hadith. Ayesha herself has narrated many incidents related to the life of Muhammad in the hadith.

What is Hadith?

The Quran is the holiest religious text of Muslims. Muslims believe that the Quran is the book of Allah. Every word of the Qur’an is a statement of Allah. Whereas hadith is a collection of the events that Muhammad experienced in his life. According to Islamic teachings,
The Hadith describes the habits, actions, and sayings of Muhammad. Thus the book hadith is considered as the second holiest book after Qur’an by the Muslims. There are six different collections of hadith.

AISHA NARRATED :

(The example of this statement by Nupur during the TV debate became the subject of controversy).

The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six years. We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became All right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Sahih Bukhari volume 5, book 58, number 234)

Why was there a controversy when Nupur did not present any wrong or made up facts?

These statements were said by Ayesha and are stored in the hadith, so why is there controversy over it?

Till now not a single Islamic religious leader could muster the courage to come forward and say that Nupur’s statement is wrong.

According to Ayesha, she was married to Muhammad at the age of six. And when she was nine, she went to live with Muhammad.

How can Nupur’s quote of Ayesha be an insult to Islam?

The real problem is the superiority concept of Islam.

So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief non Muslims) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).” (Koran 8:39)

For Muslims who believe in fundamentalist ideology, to be a true Muslim, it is not only enough to believe in Islam, but it is also necessary to have hatred towards other religions. If you want to read more about this topic please visit this blog post of mine:- https://nithinks.com/2022/06/04/what-does-freedom-mean-to-indian-muslims/

Under Islamic rule-:

  1. Every Muslim should have a feeling of hatred towards other religion, while people of other religion should respect this feeling of Muslims.
  2. Every Muslim should get the freedom of openly discussing the shortcomings, superstitions of other religions and he should get the right of making fun of non-Islamic religion because considering other religions as inferior is one of the basic elements of Islam.
  3. Islamic customs, culture, holy books can not be questioned by any non-Islamic in any way, if he does so, his head would be cut off according to Islamic law.

See, not just in India but the Muslims all around the globe should understand one thing clearly that medieval thinking is of no use in modern times. If you make spreading hatred towards other religions a necessary part of your own religion, then the followers of other religions will also become bound to make their attitudes also the same towards you. Today, when the world is becoming so much global, such thoughts can be very dangerous.

So, will these modern Muslims be able to ask this question from the Mullahs and the Maulanas?

Islam is such a religion in which there has never been any change with time, nor has there been any reform, as a result, the believers of Islam face problems in reconciling with other religions. When these people started targeting Nupur Sharma, the Islamic fundamentalists forgot that now everyone has access to every single bit of information which they have.
Muslim religious leaders are facing great difficulty in answering the questions of the so called ‘non-believers’ for them. Generally a common Indian Muslim looks to the Maulavi of the madarassas, the Maulana of the mosques, for the interpretation of Islamic scriptures, these mullahs administer the madrasas, mosques like they are the one and only true speakers and are sitting as a contractor of truth. Nupur Sharma has also presented a direct challenge to the leadership of modern Muslims by raising the question, now it has to be seen whether Muslim organizations answer the questions by calling themselves modern Muslims or keep silence as usual from the fear of Mullahs, Maulanas.

What does freedom mean to Indian Muslims?

MODERN INDIA AND THE CONCEPT OF FREEDOM

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

These lines are composed by the great Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. In these lines, he has depicted the pain of a subordinate country, a country that has been subjugated by another one and made a slave. The poem delivers the message of humanity, it tells us there is love for truth and knowledge, it tells us the history of Indian culture of devotion to truth and knowledge, and requests the Supreme Lord to maintain a graceful gaze on the country. There is nothing in this poem that hurts any religion nor there is something that hurts the sentiments of the religious group of any kind. And everyone excepts this except……., The Indian Muslims. For them, it does hurt their religious sentiments because the words used in this poem do not match the Islamic culture they want.

It has also been clearly explained in the constitution of India that India is a secular country. According to it, the state will not promote any religion, and the government will treat all religious groups equally and provide them with equal opportunities.

Islam is an imperialist ideology of Arabia and has its own terminology.

“When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle, smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”

Most of the Muslims in India feel that the secular constitution of India is against the basic spirit of Islam. Most Muslims believe that the so-called BOOK OF HEAVEN ~ AASMANI KITAB (KORAN) is supreme.

1 .THEY WANT FREEDOM FROM INDIAN CONSTITUTION:-

The Muslims of India want any dispute to be resolved according to Islamic law, which is not possible in a progressive, democracy. Imagine that tomorrow if all religions like – Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, and Buddhist start demanding special rights for their religions, then what kind of disorder will spread in the society. The entire constitutional structure of India will collapse and the whole country will become a victim of anarchy. To keep the country united, it is a must to maintain the supremacy of the Constitution. Muslims believe that the constitution is man-made and they draw inspiration from the Koran. Not only this, Muslim organizations and religious leaders also advocate for the followers of other religions to accept the supremacy of Islam.

2. THEY WANT FREEDOM FROM NON-ISLAMIC RULE

Many Muslims of India are still living under the illusion that other Muslim countries will help them, especially the Gulf countries, in converting India into a Muslim nation. Good education, clean drinking water, and better hospitals are never a part of Muslim demands. A true Muslim feels that the root of all his problems is the rule of non-Islamic people, as a result, he opposes the democratic system and democratic government every time, everywhere.

MADARASAS:-

Maulana has the right to solve people’s doubts on religious-related issues. All these Maulanas, Maulvis are educated in madarasas. The curriculum of madarasas has been running unchanged since the time of Aurangzeb(a ruthless Islamic ruler in the history of India who is known to have destroyed tonnes of Hindu temples, built mosques from temple ruins, and imposed jizya tax on Hindus.) In addition to religious education, madarasas also claim to have modern education for show, but that is only to deceive the government agencies. In fact, madrasas are just the nurseries of fanatical ideology which are only creating hatred in the society.

They believe that Sharia is the only solution to all the problems.

Most of the Muslims of India describe Aurangzeb’s rule as the Golden Age of Islam. Muslims are of the view that according to Islamic law, Islamic state must be established over India because the native Hindus here are a defeated civilization, an inferior race and it is necessary to have superior rule over them.

They try to show that they are more Muslim than actual Muslims:-

When women from some Muslim countries were protesting against the mandatory requirement to wear the niqab, Muslim girls from the Indian state of Karnataka were protesting across the state demanding permission to wear burqa in classrooms.

Hamid Ansari, the 12th vice president of India, had also advocated the establishment of Islamic Courts in every city of India. How dangerous such expressions can prove to be for a country, made by a person who has held one of the highest constitutional posts of the democratic system. Isn’t this the formation of a parallel government on the basis of religion? How justified is the demand for a separate judiciary on the basis of Islamic laws in a democratic country? Will it be limited to the separate judiciary only? Recently, the Madras Court has expressed concern over Muslim intolerance. In one incident, people from areas where Muslims were in majority wanted that other non-Islamic religious activities such as religious processions of Hindus should be banned as it hurts their religious sentiments.
Can the country, which has been a victim of Islamic terrorism for centuries, face Islamic terrorism again? The Muslims of India should understand one thing clearly that after the partition of India-Pakistan on religious grounds, the Muslims who have accepted to live in India, have to accept the democratic system of India. India is not an Islamic nation. And two types of law systems, that too one based on the interests of a single religious group can’t coexist in a country, it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain the supremacy of the constitution.

TO INDIAN MUSLIMS I WANT TO ASK ONLY ONE QUESTION. in the recent all-India Muslim conference, why did they not open their mouths on the Kashmir issue? Why did you not condemn the action of Pakistan? These things create doubts in the mind of people. So as a friend of Muslims, I want to say a word and it is the duty of a good friend to speak frankly. It is your duty now to sail in the same boat and sink or swim together. I want to tell you very frankly that you cannot ride on two horses. Select one horse whichever you like best. Those who want to go to Pakistan can go there and live in peace! Let us live here in peace to work for ourselves……

Sardar Patel 6th January 1948

Sardar Patel’s words are equally true even today. Nation is supreme. And respecting the sovereignty of the nation is a must. The Muslims of India will have to accept the nation as paramount.

The agony of the ancient wells of one of the oldest routes in India

SCORCHING HEAT AND DRINKING WATER PROBLEM As soon as you open your eyes in the morning and take a look at the newspaper, you start feeling the heat. A large part of the newspaper’s front page is devoted to rising temperatures. Every single newspaper, television, and social media page is filled with reports of new … Continue reading “The agony of the ancient wells of one of the oldest routes in India”

SCORCHING HEAT AND DRINKING WATER PROBLEM

As soon as you open your eyes in the morning and take a look at the newspaper, you start feeling the heat. A large part of the newspaper’s front page is devoted to rising temperatures. Every single newspaper, television, and social media page is filled with reports of new records of heat and temperature every day. The summer season is not just a sign of mercury rising. Its most frightening aspect is the LACK OF DRINKING WATER. With the advent of summer, water scarcity starts in parts of the country. Naturally, there are endless sources of water in India, but still, THEY CAN’T QUENCH EVERYONE’S THIRST. HOW??? The water crisis is not a natural problem but a result of the irresponsible attitude of government institutions, bureaucracy, and the declining participation of ordinary people due to lack of awareness.

AN ANCIENT HINDU TALE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK


The four brothers, Kudan, Budhan, Sarman, and Kaurai, get up early in the morning and go to their work on the farm. In the afternoon, Kudan’s daughter would come to the farm, carrying everyone’s lunch. One day, like every other day, she was once again going to the field carrying everyone’s meal, but this time she stumbled upon a sharp stone. She was very angry. She tried to dislodge the stone with her sickle. But the sickle changed from iron to gold as soon as it hit the stone. Picking up the stone, the girl came running to the field and told everything to her father and uncles in one breath. There was no limit to the surprise and happiness of all. Everyone soon returned home. They came to know that the stone they found wasn’t an ordinary one, it was Paras. A special type of stone that turns every item made out of iron into gold. Kudan felt that sooner or later this news will reach the king and then he will just snatch the Paras stone away from them. So wouldn’t it be better if they just go and tell everything to the king straightaway? All four of them thought that this was the most sensible thing to do so all the brothers reached the court and narrated their experience to the king.
The King neither took the Paras stone nor the gold obtained from it He instead said: “Go on doing good deeds with the help of this stone and from the gold obtained through this stone CREATE AS MANY PONDS, WELLS AND WATER SOURCES AS YOU CAN FROM THE HELP OF THIS PARAS STONE.

Focusing on the topic that this tale is scientifically incorrect and that a stone can’t exist that can change articles made of iron to gold is absurd. The only message that the story wants to convey is that WATER IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN ANY OTHER NATURAL RESOURCE, WHETHER IT BE GOLD OR WHETHER IT BE A MAGICAL STONE THAT CHANGES OTHER STUFF TO GOLD.

This is a story from the book Aaj Bhi Khare Hai Talab I read years ago.

WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BUDDHA

The route from Rajghat to Pandeypur has been used to enter the city of Varanasi since ancient times. About two thousand six hundred years ago, Gautam Buddha came to Sarnath following this route. This route is also used in Panchkoshi parikrama, an ancient religious festival of Varanasi. Due to both the ancient and religious importance of this route, many temples and ponds are located on this route. But I believe that due to the modern water distribution system, the wells are neglected a lot of times, so I have decided to focus my attention on the wells in this post. I have walked a lot for gathering knowledge and information about various subjects to write my posts, so it isn’t tough for me to walk long distances.
I started my padayatra (Walk) of about seven kilometers from Panchkoshi Marg at five in the morning.

Immediately after the holy confluence of Ganga and Varuna, a path leads to Sarnath, after going some distance on that path, an old well is present. This well is situated on a platform of about six feet on the ground. At first glance, it appears that this well is not in use for years. Some stairs are also there which are made to go to the platform of the well. Climbing these stairs and peeping into the well, I saw that

1. An iron ladder has been placed in the well which goes to the bottom and is used for cleaning the well.

2. An iron pipe was connected to a motor to draw water from the well.

3. The structure of the well was octagonal.

I came to know that the water of this well is not used for drinking but for some other purposes like washing vehicles, and cleaning the nearby houses. All the nearby houses depend on taps and hand pipes for clean drinking water.

After going some two-three hundred meters ahead, I saw another well that was completely covered. I got to know from the locals that this well has been covered since 1980 as the facility of water in taps and hand pumps has made it so irrelevant.
There was a drain on the platform of the well. A beautiful figure was made at the end of the drain. It got to know from the local people that this well was used for bathing. People used to drag the water of the well with a rope and take bath on the platform of the well itself.

The water that was used in bathing was not wasted, through the drain built on the platform, it was stored in a stone vessel nearby from which the cattle can drink it. This well clearly shows the historical tradition of Hindus of saving every single drop of water.

Going a little further, a holy place of Hindus falls “Kapil Dhara”. This is an ancient religious place where there is also a beautiful pond.


There is an ancient well on the road leading to Kapil Dhara, it has been renovated many times, at present the water of this holy well is not in use. On the opposite side of the road, there are several Dharamshalas (the word Dharamshala refers to a shelter or rest house for spiritual pilgrims.) which were once used as resting places by the pilgrims. Every Dharamshala has a temple and a well of its own. Anyway, the condition of the wells is pathetic as they are not in use for more than a century.

KAPIL HRID OR KAPIL DHARA AND PANCHKOSHI PARIKRMA


It is difficult to say how ancient the history of Panchkoshi Yatra is, but during the Islamic rule, there were many attempts to stop it. With the strengthening of the Marathas in the eighteenth century, temples began to be built once again in Banaras and the Panchkoshi Yatra came into vogue again. Keeping in mind the convenience of Hindu pilgrims in Panchkoshi Yatra, all these buildings, Dharamshala’s, and wells were constructed and renovated. Most of these buildings were built by the Maratha rulers.
Panchkoshi Yatra was also very famous in South India in the eighteenth century. In South India, the people who did the Panchkoshi Parikrama were considered to be worthy of special merit.

Kapil Dhara Dharamshala and its ancient wells

The famous Vishwanath temple in Banaras was rebuilt by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar from 1777-to 1780. Many temples were built in Banaras during the reign of Marathas. This Dharamshala of Kapildhara was also built in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century by the Marathas.

Dharamshala Gateway

Shiv temple inside Dharamshala

Ancient wells located in Dharamshalas



Octagonal well inside a Dharmshala. Well, water is no longer in use. Once a year, it is cleaned during the Panchkoshi Yatra.



The structure of this well is hexagonal. This well was built later. The name of the person who built the well is written on its wall. According to the inscription on the wall, this well was constructed in 1890 AD. Some domesticated cattle gather around the well (as can be seen in the image above this one) to get relief from the sweltering heat.


There were pillars on the four corners of this well, out of which one pillar was broken. The shape of the urn can be clearly seen on the remaining three pillars.

Providing information about the deserted Dharamshala and the plight of the holy wells, the priest of Kapildhara Tirtha said that “In the older days, the pilgrimage was a tedious task of months.” Today, due to better means of transport, pilgrimage has become very easy. There are more pilgrims than before but now there is no need for them to stay in Kapildhara. Pilgrims coming from remote parts of the country prefer to stay in main city hotels. They come here by bus, or car and leave after spending some time. The new modes of transport have made the Dharamshala and the wells irrelevant.

SHIV TEMPLE:-

I noticed a small Shiva temple on the side of the road. This Shiva temple made of sandstone looked attractive. The Shiva temple on a square platform made of stones is completely safe and preserved even today, but the Dharamshala adjoining this temple is now almost destroyed. The well attached to the temple has been closed and is not in use. Some shopkeepers near the temple told me that a large part of the temple courtyard is part of a school adjoining the temple boundary. I could not see that part of the temple as the school was closed. The temple building dates back to the 18th century.

Partially destroyed entrance of Dharamshala.

HANUMATAISHWAR MAHADEV

Bright red color has been used on this temple. This is also an ancient temple. Throughout my journey, I found that this was the only temple in which the well is still in use and people use its water for drinking.

SWARG BHUMI (paradise Land)

According to mythology, there was a great emperor in ancient times in India whose name was PRITHU. From whom the earth received her (Sanskrit) name Prithvi.”

It is believed that King Prithu performed the Ashwamedha Yagya at this place in Varanasi. Since then this place is known as the holy land in Hindu scriptures. The very ancient, historical Sarangnath pond is located here. (Historians believe that due to this pond, this place is known as Sarnath. Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon in Sarnath itself.)

ancient well of heaven

PRITHESWAR OR PRITHVISHESHWAR

HISTORY:-

This was an ancient well, which was rebuilt by Baijnath Ji of Banaras in 1753 AD. In 1851 AD, this well was again renovated by Gopinath Ji, Veni Ram Ji, and Kripa Ram Ji of Maharashtra and the Shiva temple and Dharamshala located on the well were constructed by the Gyani Fateh Ram Ji. Later, the work of repairing this well and the building was completed by other people as well.

Structure

This is an octagonal well. The well is located in the middle of a two-story building. There is also a temple on the top floor of the building. This well is also not in use.

Most of the ancient wells on this route are octagonal.
Surprisingly, the local people and especially the youth have no idea about the history of this ancient route. Whereas the ancient religious texts of Hindus, Jataka tales, Buddhist literature mention detailed description of this path. Undoubtedly, local history has found no place in the school curriculum.

Many other wells are also present on this route, which were destroyed or only their remains are left. Images of some such ancient wells.

History of Hindu struggle and attainment of Shivling.



The Hindu side claims that the old Shiva linga was found from the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. In the drawing of James Prinsep, this part of the temple is depicted as Mahadev. In this article, I have written in detail on this topic below.

HISTORICAL REASON

VISHWANATH TEMPLE OF BANARAS OR VISHVESHVAR TEMPLE is a major reason for the religious struggle that has been going on for centuries between Hindus and Muslims.
The army of Muhammad Ghori and Qutbuddin Aibak defeated the king of Banaras a prominent North Indian king of that period ~ Jaichand. According to Islamic belief, no other religion can be practiced under Islamic rule. Idol worship is a crime in Islam and Banaras was the center of idol-worshipping of Hindus for thousands of years.

As a result, all the major Hindu temples of Banaras were demolished and their property was looted by the Muslims.

Some major Hindu temples were demolished and mosques were built at that same place from their rubble. Surprisingly some of the temples which were demolished in 1194 and were converted into mosques, still survive in Banaras though only their leftover remains can be found. 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/

AS SHARIAT LAWS WERE IMPOSED IN THE CITY the pity-minded Hindu kings of India began to express their loyalty to it. The rule of Banaras was handed over to an Amir (Governer) so that he could suppress paganism and yet satisfy people with his justice. (Justice here refers to Sharia Law)

IBN AL- ATHIR, a Muslim chronicler wrote that after plundering the city of Banaras, the loot was loaded in 1400 camels and sent to Ghazni.

HAR -HAR MAHADEV, HOW HINDUS FOUGHT BACK AND REFUSED TO CONVERT

Soon Banaras recovered from this setback and the Hindus tried to take their temples back. And a BLOODY STRUGGLE BEGAN. The Vindhya hills around Banaras were a great place for guerilla warfare.

According to some Afghan Islamic scholars and Islamic historians, about one lakh fifty thousand Muslims were killed in this conflict by the Hindus.

This anarchy ended only when Islamic rulers accepted religious freedom to Hindus in this way the process of demolishing the temple and rebuilding it continued……………….

Some of the major events during this period

A- IN 1194, ALMOST ALL THE MAJOR TEMPLES OF BANARAS WERE DEMOLISHED. The Vishwanath temple would have been demolished for the first time during this period.

B- PADMASADHU, a monk, built the temple of PADMESHWAR in Varanasi in 1296 AD in front of Vishwanath temple in Banaras. This shows that the Vishwanath temple existed at that time, so the Vishwanath temple must have been rebuilt between 1194 AD and 1296 AD.(Fuhrer Sharqi Architecture of Jaunpur )

C- In 1447, the Vishwanath temple was demolished again by Sultan Mahmud Shah of Jaunpur.

D-During the reign of Akbar, with the help of minister RAJA TODARMAL, NARAYAN BHATT once again constructed the Vishwanath temple around 1585 AD.

E- On 18 April 1669, Aurangzeb issued a decree ordering the destruction of the Kashi Vishwanath temple. This decree document is still safely preserved in the Asiatic Society Kolkata.

F- The construction of the temple was once again completed between 1777 AD and 1780 AD by MAHARANI AHILYABAI of Indore.

KHALIFA -TUL ARD

Khalifa-tul Ard, that is, he has been called upon to play the role of being a successor to earth. The earth has its own potentialities. It, too, has been created for a purpose. But man has been sent down as a responsible being and he is here to secure improvement of earth, of making this brown earth of God green. He is here to introduce order and reform, in the light of Heavenly mandate, what has been deformed by Satanic forces.

Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (Aurangzeb)

Aurangzeb was a staunch Sunni Muslim. Unlike his ancestor Akbar, he was not at all an advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity, nor was he in the mood to give any concession to the Hindus, also unlike Jahangir, he was not at all interested in any kind of building and construction work of gardens, minarets, buildings etc.

Shah Jahan followed Sharia law. Under the guise of this, he tried to break the Vishwanath temple in Banaras, but due to the strong opposition of the Hindus, his army could not break the Vishwanath temple, but then also 63 temples were destroyed in Benares during the reign of Shah Jahan. As a true Muslim, the expansion of Islam was the main goal of Aurangzeb’s life, he resolved to do the unfinished work of his father.

Aurangzeb probably wanted to make all the Muslims of the world as well as the Hindus feel the superiority of Muslim religion over other religions. Soon the Sharia laws were re-imposed on Banaras. Under the Sharia law-:

a. Jizya tax was imposed on Hindus.
b. All Hindu schools were closed.
c. The name of Banaras was changed to Muhammadabad.
d. The Vishwanath temple of Banaras and some other famous temples were demolished.

Saqi Mustad Khan has written extensively on this subject in Maasir-I- Alamgiri.

Demolition of Vishwanath Temple in Banaras

(18th April,1669) , it reached the ear of His Majesty, the protector of the faith, that in the provinces of Thatta, Multan, and Benares, but especially in the latter, foolish Brahmans were in the habit of expounding frivolous books in their schools, and that students and learners, Musulmans as well as Hindus, went there, even from long distances, led by a desire to become acquainted with the wicked sciences they taught. The “Director of the Faith’’ consequently issued orders to all the governors of provinces to destroy with a willing hand the schools and temples of the infidels ; and they were strictly enjoined to put an entire stop to the teaching and practicing of idolatrous forms of worship. On the 15th i Rabi’u-l akhir it was reported to his religious Majesty, leader of the Unitarians, that, in obedience to order, the Government officers had destroyed the temple of Bishnath at Benares.


The Presently disputed mosque. I have deliberately selected the black and white images so that the walls of the old temple which are currently being painted with lime are clearly visible.

Aurangzeb also wanted to break the order of Hindus repeatedly taking back their temples, To carry out his plan, Aurangzeb took some cruel decisions and implemented them.

  1. As per the orders of Aurangzeb, the Vishwanath temple in Banaras was demolished, the sanctum sanctorum (the holiest part of the temple where the idol of God is installed) was also demolished and leveled and a mosque was constructed at the same place from its rubble.

2. After the construction of the mosque on the main part of the temple, a Islamic graveyard was also constructed in the courtyard of the temple. It can be clearly seen in the drawing of James Princip. Generally, in Hindu belief, temples are never built at such a place where the rituals related to the dead person have been completed. In future, Hindus cannot build any temple at this holy place, undoubtedly this must have been the intention behind the construction of this graveyard.

3. Aurangzeb’s intention was not only to destroy the most sacred temple of Hindus, but he also wanted to humiliate Hindus forever. For this a part of the temple was deliberately left out so that the Hindus always felt inferior, and the feeling of a conqueror remained among the Muslims.


The wall of the ancient temple is clearly depicted in the book Benares illustrated, in a series of drawings written by James Prinsep, published in 1833.


This can be better understood from James Prinsep’s drawings. In the temple courtyard, the place where the mosque was built is shown point-wise. This place is still in the possession of Muslims due to the construction of the mosque.

THE MARATHAS

After Aurangzeb’s death, the Mughal Dynasty got weakened due to struggles for inheritance of the throne, several governors proclaiming themselves independent rulers, and most importantly the Marathas and Sikhs challenging the Mughal Empire. The politics of India in the eighteenth century was very similar to the politics of the seventeenth century in Germany. The old dynasties were subsiding and the struggle for the throne to fill their place was at its peak. Soon Banaras overcome the shock it got from Aurungzeb’s side and the Hindu Maratha rulers came to dominate Banaras.

Maratha’s also got the Mughal rulers of that time to write an assurance to compensate for the destruction of the Vishwanath temple by Aurangzeb in Banaras.


Malla Rao thought of demolishing the Gyanvapi mosque and building a temple on it, but due to the dilemma of the Pandits of Banaras, this work was postponed. Because of the struggle to inherit the throne in the country, the Marathas couldn’t even pay much attention to it.

In 1781, the East India Company’s dominance over Banaras was established. The East India Company’s effort was to avoid Hindu-Muslim conflict as much as possible. In the year 1777-80, the temple was rebuilt again by the Maharani Devi Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. The disputed site (the mosque built by Aurangzeb was left intact) still remains in the same condition presently.

In 1809, a Hindu-Muslim riot had also taken place over the Vishwanath temple, which got controlled with great difficulty, hundreds of people died in this riot.

Mr. Watson, the Magistrate of Banaras at that time wanted an end to this quarrel and therefore requested the officers of the Company to HANDOVER THIS PLACE TO HINDUS.

Unfortunately, doing this was not possible in the future due to the complex political conditions of India in those days. Later, learning from the revolution of 1857, the British focused on maintaining the status quo in the Hindu-Muslim religious dispute, due to which the Vishwanath temple dispute still continued.

The area inside the red boundary in this picture is still occupied by the mosque. This is the reason for the present Hindu-Muslim tension. The present courtyard of Kashi Vishwanath temple has been expanded. It has been expanded from three thousand square feet to five lakh square feet, but the disputed structure of the mosque remains the same.

INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE SURVEY

A. Hindu artworks on the walls, and statues of some Hindu Gods and Goddesses have been found in the survey of the mosque.

B. A dome of the mosque rests on the top of the temple.


The place indicated by the arrow is the sacred pond described by James Prinsep. Presently, Muslims use this pond for Wuzu. Wuzu is an Islamic process.

C. In the survey, a small pond was found in the mosque’s courtyard, and a Shivling was also found inside the pond. This is not at all a fact of utter surprise because James Prinsep has described this pond very clearly in his book ‘Benares Illustrated in a Series of Drawings’.

The principal lingam of Mahadeo stood in an ornamented reservoir in the centre,(center) having a drain below to carry off the Ganges water continually poured over it by day and night. Mundip signifies vestibule: Dundpan and Dwarpal are respectively the staff-bearer and door-keeper. The latter situation is held by Kal Bhyro, the offspring of Shiva’s rage; the former appointment was conferred upon Hurikeshu, a Yukshu, or one of the attendants upon the Deity of riches, in reward for his having abandoned the sports of youth to devote himself to ascetic meditation at Kashi. Tarakeswur and Manikeswur are two inferior lingums of Shiva.

To a large extent, it is possible that this is the holy pond of the Hindus as described by James. Presently, Muslims use this pond for Wuzu. Wuzu is an Islamic process. Cleaning the body before offering Namaz includes washing hands, mouth, head, feet, and inner part of the nose. I think a few more ancient mysteries can be uncovered by examining this holy pond.

One thing is clear the scientific analysis of the ancient Vishwanath temple done by James in 1831 is still unmatched. There is no difference between the conclusion of James and the condition of the Vishwanath temple today.

AT LAST, WE ARE THE FREE PEOPLE

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
GEORGE ORWELL

With the independence of India, India got a new constitution and there was also hope of a solution to this issue. After independence, instead of handing over their holy place to Hindus through a new law, the Congress party made it more controversial. Nehru, who believed in the communist ideology, felt that Hindu political parties could take advantage of this problem in elections, so it would be right to keep the temple-mosque dispute entangled in the cumbersome court proceedings. According to a section of the law, the status quo before 15 August 1947 in a religious dispute shall be maintained. It was the political compulsion of Nehru and Congress to maintain the Hindu-Muslim dispute over Vishwanath temple otherwise it might have got resolved years before.

Presently, this disputed mosque near Vishwanath temple is a living example of Islamic imperialism. Hardly any Muslim goes to this mosque to offer prayers, but this disputed temple definitely knocks the eyes of every Hindu. Most of the foreign travel writers who have visited this place in the sixteenth century and after believed that THIS PLACE SHOULD BE HANDED OVER TO THE HINDUS. These foreign travel writers have explained their side in detail in their writing. Any person who looks at this disputed mosque objectively rather than from a religious point of view will come to the conclusion that no doubt this place should be handed over to the Hindus. After all it was built by demolishing their ancient temple.


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 :-