MAHASHIVRATRI,SHIV BARAT AND VARANASI

The word Kashi
(Benares,Varanasi) has its origin from the word Kash. Its means light. Here light does not mean just light. Light here means “Light of knowledge”. Nalanda, Taxila, and Varanasi were the major centers of education in ancient times.

Shivaratri is a major religious festival of Hindus. This festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the deity of Hindus. It is believed that on this day, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married. It is a tradition to celebrate this auspicious day in the name of Shivaratri. Since when this festival started, it is unknown.

The mention of this festival is found in the major Puranas of Hinduism, Skanda, Linga Purana, and Padma Puranas. Skanda was the son of Shiva and Parvati. also known as Murgesh in South India. A lot has been written in the Puranas on the religious beliefs of Varanasi and the history of Shiva worship. Although Shivaratri is celebrated all over India, Varanasi is the city of Shiva, so the excitement of Shivaratri is seen here a lot more. On this day, after taking a bath in the Ganges, people visit the Shiva-temple. All Shiva temples in Banaras are full of people, the decoration of the major Shiva-temples is unique.

When, wearing only the Kaupina, Lying on the sands of the holy Ganges in Benares,(Varanasi) When shall I weep aloud, “O Lord of ghouls”, Saying this, and whole days shall pass like moments?(Swami Vivekananda -The Complete Works)


There is also a tradition of fasting on the day of Shivaratri. As Shivaratri is the day of the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and it is described in the Puranas, similarly the practice of fasting on this day has been going on since ancient times. And Shiva Purana mentions the practice of fasting. Shivaratri and fasting is a description of glory.

This ancient story shows the importance of non-violence in the teachings of Hindus, Buddhists, and Jainism. With the development of time, the concept of non-violence became stronger. Gandhi’s imagination of Ramrajya and his attachment to non-violence was based on the Hindu religious tradition that has been going on for thousands of years.

SHIV RATRI KATHA

Shiva Ratri Katha:-——– According to this legend mentioned in Shiva Purana, there was a hunter. His name was Chitrabhan, due to economic circumstances he had to take a loan from a businessman. Chitrabhan could not repay the loan at the appointed time, due to which the merchant took Chitrabhan captive. After some time Chitrabhan released him from prison on the promise of repaying the loan.

The hunter went to the jungle to hunt for money and with the desire to be debt-free. There was a pond in the forest. The hunter climbed a tree near the pond and eagerly waited for the wild animals to come to the pond to quench the thirst. While waiting for the arrival of the wild animal, the hunter fell asleep on the tree. It is believed that on that day it was Shivaratri and due to being hungry the fast of the hunter was completed.

After waiting for some more time a pregnant deer came to drink water. Seeing him, the hunter raised his bow and arrow and aimed at the pregnant deer. Then the deer got noticed on the hunter’s movement deer said, I am from the womb, I will give birth soon. Will you kill two creatures together? It would not be appropriate. I will come to you soon after giving birth to my child, then you can hunt me. Hearing deer the hunter took off his bow and the deer also left from there.

After a while, another deer came to drink water near the pond. The hunter carefully targeted this deer. Deer pleaded with the hunter and said, “I have gone in search of my husband. I will come back to you after meeting my husband. The hunter also let this deer go. hunter Began to think about the events. a little more time passed.

Now the third deer appeared. This deer was with her little children. The hunter raised his bow thinking of aiming. deer spoke “ I will return these children to their father. Let me go now The hunter refused to do so. He told me that I have left two deer. deer said that hunter believes me, I promise to come back. The hunter felt pity for him, he also let him go. hunter again started waiting for a wild animal. It was morning while waiting. The hunter was amused when he saw a deer again. Then that deer sadly said to the hunter, if you have killed three deer and children coming before me, kill me too. Do not delay. Because I can not bear this sorrow. I am the husband of those deer. If you have given them life, then leave me too. I will come back to meet my family. The hunter let him go as well. Despite being hungry and worried about his future, the hunter felt very good. The hunter found that his heart was now filled with compassion.

DEER FAMILY WAS PRESENT IN FRONT OF THE HUNTER
This short, simple, beautiful story teaches the importance of non-violence, it is rare.

SHIV-BARAT:-

HAR-HAR MAHADEV

Shiva Barat also comes out of many temples of Varanasi on Shivaratri. Anyone can join this procession. The Shiva Barat is a way of depicting events related to Shiva’s life in the tableau. I thought of becoming part of the Barat emanating from the ancient Shiva temple (Mahamrityunjaya) of Varanasi described in Kashikhand. By six o’clock in the evening, I was in the courtyard of this very ancient temple in the most ancient region of Varanasi. There was a long queue of visitors, I bought something to anoint Shiva from a nearby shop. Ganga- Jal (water of Ganges ) in a small clay cup some BEL- PATRA , some flowers. I got sandalwood paste, on my forehead from the priest at the shop. Now, like a true Shiva devotee, I joined the queue to enter the temple. The crowd was echoing with Har-Har Mahadev slogans. After about forty-five minutes I entered the temple. People said that due to corona, this time the crowd is very less, due to which the number of aged people in the devotees was seen quite low. Came out after the divine darshan of Mahadev. It was hearing from the people that the Barat is still an hour to come out, and one should go on the main route to see the Barat well. The path of the temple is narrow, so I intended to go to Maidagin, the main road. Knowing that Maidagin is five minutes away, I intended to have a look at other ancient temples (mentioned in Kashi Khand) near Mahamrityunjaya temple.

Almost all the temples were smaller than the Mahamrityunjaya temple. The temples were also comparatively less crowded. One thing surprised me a lot – the visitors to these temples were completely unaware of the historical aspect of the temple. The importance of the temple was only religious to him. Many of the youths were also unaware of the religious aspect, only due to tradition, they were there. This locality of Varanasi is like a time machine that can throw you in ancient times in one stroke. Many sacred texts of Hindus mention this area, &temples but school books are silent on this subject. The fake Marxist historians at school and university are busy teaching imported history. Suddenly the music playing in a loud voice was a gesture of the Barat, I too departed to Madaigin with fast steps.

A lot of tableaus was seen at the Maidagin Crossroads. The events related to Shiva’s life were depicted in all the tableaux. Some old-fashioned horse-car was also seen. People told that the dignitaries of the city are sitting on them. In the crowd, all the hands were mobile, all were engaged in capturing this memorable event on mobile. I enjoyed the tableaux for about half an hour and decided to enjoy another practice.

Thandai ,Bhaang & paan .

JAI-JAI SHIV SHANKAR KAANTA LAGEY NA KANKAD KI PYALA TEREY NAAM KA PIYA.

Thandai a popular soft drink in Varanasi. Thandai is made from a mixture of natural things, including rose petals, almonds, fruit seeds, milk, etc. Cannabis is also added to it on Mahashivaratri. I also came to enjoy a famous, Thandai shop at the Maidagin. Nearly a dozen people were at the shop. Surprisingly almost all the people reached there only after seeing the Shiva-baraat. Thandai was being served in a clay -cup(kullhada) naturally. Cannabis was also kept in a vessel. People were adding cannabis to the thandai according to their capacity. I told the storekeeper that this is my first time to tell me the right amount to drink cannabis. take suggestions from the shop owner or else this experience can be overwhelming. The practice of drinking cannabis in Shivratri is also very old. At one time, there was elaborate preparation in temples as well. SIL-BATTA sil (flat -stone) batta (a cylindrical grinding stone) was used to grind cannabis before the arrival of electricity. In a Shiva temple (In the seventeenth-eighteenth century, many temples were built by the Marathas in Varanasi.) I saw a sil equipped with geometric art. This Shiva temple is located on Panchkoshi Marg.

After thandai , I reached a paan shop. I felt a wave (BHANG KI TARANG) while chewing the betel leaf. Different experience. With small steps, I walked towards the house with this memorable experience. (If you come to Varanasi and want to experience cannabis, then go to any famous thandai shop. It is best to eat cannabis in thandai. Before drinking cannabis(bhaang) keep some points in your mind.

  1. Before consuming cannabis, make sure to know its quantity from the shop owner.
  2. Never drive after drinking cannabis.

MAHADEV KRIPA

Dawn of civilization and shiva (SHIVA, GANGA & VARANASI)

In Shiva, who is the Lord of this Universe, Or Vishnu, its soul, I see no difference, But still, my love is for Him

Who has the young moon on His forehead.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Oh when will that time come,

When in a beautiful full-moon night, Sitting on the banks of some river, And in a calm, yet high notes repeating

“Shiva! Shiva! Shiva!” All my feelings will come out through the eyes In the form of tears?

When, wearing only the Kaupina, Lying on the sands of the holy Ganges in Benares,(Varanasi) When shall I weep aloud, “O Lord of ghouls”, Saying this, and whole days shall pass like moments?(Swami Vivekananda -The Complete Works)

Dawn of human civilization:- The unique relationship between Shiva, Ganga and Varanasi.

In Hinduism, there has been an ancient concept of city God and village God. According to this concept, there is a belief in Hinduism that every city, village was built by a different deity for people to live. Perhaps our expression of economic, social freedom of the villages also developed from similar sentiments. 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/

Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru

Glimpses of world history: ———– “Some old inscriptions from south India tell us how the members of the panchayats were elected, their qualifications and disqualifications. If any member did not render accounts of public funds he was disqualified.  Another very interesting rule seems to have been that near relative of members were disqualified from office. How excellent if this could be enforced now in all our councils and assemblies and municipalities.” (Jawaharlal Nehru)

This question will probably be one of the most difficult questions in human history, who first came into existence in Shiva, Varanasi and Ganga? It is impossible for a very ordinary person like me to answer this question, and I have no such attempt. My effort is just an attempt to shed light on the sacred relationship of Varanasi, Ganga and Shiva and its historicity. Mark Twain is probably the best on this subject.

As we mentioned the city deity – Shiva is honored with the city deity of Varanasi (Banaras, Kashi) is one of the oldest cities in the world. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2019/12/31/oldest-living-city-happy-new-year/ The Ganges river goes a long way until it reaches the sea from the Himalayas.(About fifteen hundred miles) Many ancient and religious cities of North India developed on the banks of river Ganges.(HARIDWAR,PRAYAGRAJ-Allahabad, KANPUR,VARANASI,MIRZAPUR,FARRUKHABAD,KANNAUJ,BHAGALPUR,PATNA,HAJIPUR,MUNGER,KOLKATA etc.) But the way the river Ganges behaves in Varanasi is not seen anywhere else. For more information about this subject please visit :-

Rajghat :- Remains of ancient Varanasi city found in archaeological excavations.
Lal Khan’s tomb amidst these ruins shows the influence of Islamic imperialism on Varanasi. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2019/10/07/islamic-imperialism-breaking-of-idols-hindu-struggle-past-present/

Almost all the great historians are of the opinion that ancient Varanasi city was near Rajghat. Near Rajghat, the Varuna River meets with the Ganges River, due to this river, the city got its name Varanasi. And in ancient times this river got its name due to the Varan (a species of trees) The river Varanavati is mentioned in the Atharva Veda.( period:-1000-900BCE)

Standing on a bridge built on the river Ganges near Rajghat, the crescent structure of Varanasi city is clearly visible. Always has a tradition of showing the Ganges River and the crescent moon on the forehead of Shiva. Beyond the imagination, amazing thousands of years old Shiva’s image, the unique SANGAM (GANGES MEETS VARANASI) of Ganges and Varanasi can be seen even today. Our ancestors, who had imagined such beautiful, accurate images of Shiva’s human form thousands of years ago, would undoubtedly have good knowledge of geography, mathematics and literature. It is a miracle that the seals of many Shiva temples have been found in the excavation of Rajghat, which has confirmed the Shiva-temples mentioned in the Puranas.(DATE:-c 250 CE )

I love the area where the holy river Ganges flows in Varanasi. (SHIV Matsya Purana)

Many historians, archaeologists have estimated from the material obtained from the excavation of Rajghat that the ancient Varanasi city existed in 11th or 12 century BC.

Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same—-Walt Whitman

Markandeya Mahadev: – On the border of Varanasi-Ghazipur, another holy river, Gomti, meets with the Ganges. The place of this confluence is located in a village called Kathy. The importance of this place, and the antiquity can be inferred from the fact that the description of this temple is also mentioned in Mahabharata. —-

‘मार्कण्डेयस्य राजेन्द्रतीर्थमासाद्य दुर्लभम् ।

गोमतीगङ्गयोश्चैव सङ्गमे लोकविश्रुते॥

(MAHABHARAT -PAGE 241)

The temple building has been changing over time, some historians believe that the Sangam place was also at some distance in ancient times. I personally feel very attached to this temple, because my mother’s village is near this temple, she used to come here since childhood, her habit continued in the later days as well. It seems to me that my mother used to feel connected to her ancestors in this temple more than religious significance.

My father was a civil engineer, (He was a graduate of India’s most prestigious civil engineering college and Asia’s oldest civil engineering college, Roorkee.)He also had reverence for the temple. Father’s scientific thinking about rivers, soils, and excellent knowledge of history used to make the journey to any historical, religion place interesting.
Visiting this temple in Shiva-Ratri is of great importance. Many stories related to Hinduism, are prevalent about this temple. Many stories related to here are also mentioned in Hindu, Buddhism, Jainism religious texts. There is a deep reverence for the temple in the surrounding area.

This freedom came from the feeling that all human lives were interrelated, a certainty that they flowed into each other—a happy feeling that all events took place not only on the earth, in which the dead are buried, but also in some other region which some called the Kingdom of God, others history, and still others by some other name.(Boris Pasternak)

Veereshwar Mahadev: – The mention of this temple of Varanasi is also found in the Kashi Khanda. This temple was of great importance in ancient times. This temple is situated on the banks of the Ganges near Scindia Ghat. The event of the birth of Swami Vivekananda, the world-renowned philosopher of modern times, is also associated with this temple. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2020/07/05/the-unknown-life-of-swami-vivekananda/

Birth of Vivekananda, Shiva temple and Varanasi.

Bhubaneswari was worshiping lord shiva in one of the houses in that locality. At the close of the her worship , she prayed to Shiva everyday while offering pranam, “o Shiva , give me a son on my lap.” she had a few daughters already . but how could she live without a son? so, she offered daily worship to Shiva for a son . she had even asked one of her old relatives at Benares (Varanasi)to offer daily worship to Vireswar Shiva there on her behalf . god heeds to whatever is asked of him with devotion in a simple heart . Bhubaneswari’s prayer was also granted. In the early morning of January 12,1863, she gave birth to a son .the child was named  Vireswar after Vireswar Shiva as his mother believed that she was granted her son as a boon from the lord . but the name was too difficult to be used as a nickname.so everybody in the house used to call him as a Biley.  he was named NarendraNath Dutta at the annaprasshana ceremony but still he remained the same Biley for all .(Vivekananda for children -publisher : Sri Ramkrishna Math Chennai)

Panch Ganga Ghat: – a is among the five major and oldest ghats of Varanasi. This place is described in the Matsya Purana as an area of ​​influence of Vishnu .Its ancient name was Bindumadhav Ghat. This Ghat got its name from the ancient temple of Bindumadhav (Lord Vishnu). In the seventeenth century, this ancient temple was demolished by the Islamic ruler Aurangzeb, and a mosque was built from the rubble of that ancient temple. Since then the name of this place became Panch Ganga in place of Bindumadhav. For more information about this subject please visit :—

Indus Valley Civilization :- (2350-2000 BCE)

The remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, Shiva are also there. Shiva also has a name Pashupati. Pashupati means God of animals. Under the Indus Valley Civilization, a stone seal was found at a place called Mohenjodaro, in which Shiva is in a yoga pose (AADI YOGI) and is surrounded by a variety of animals. Shiva’s crown is like a trident, this seal is kept in the museum of Delhi.

One thing is clear that according to our convenience, we call Shiva by religion, civilization culture, deity and nature by any name Shiva is prevalent among all. Man himself is a creation of prehistoric times. The imagination of man’s prehistoric period, the sequence of development, Shiva is included in himself.
According to Hindu religion philosophy, God is omnipresent. Shiva is the history of human development journey from the beginning of nature till date. Shiva is the symbol of power – the combined power. Shiva is the symbol of any endeavor for the welfare of human life.
Shiva is the symbol of the communication of spiritual power. Shiva is the basis of nature and human relations, , and these cooperation.