Are there not many holy places on this earth?
Yet which one of them would equal in the balance one speck of Kashi’s dust?
Are there not many rivers running to the sea?
Yet which of them is like the River of Heaven in Kashi?
Are there not many fields of liberation on earth?
Yet not one equals the smallest part of the city never forsaken by Shiva.
The Ganges, Shiva, and Kashi: Where this Trinity is watchful, no wonder here is found the grace that leads one on to perfect BLISS!
I begin in BENARAS, the city on the banks of river Ganges is one of the oldest cities in the world – as old as Athens / Jerusalem / Peking. It is this place that Lord Shiva made it his permanent abode, since the dawn of creation. This is the place where great sages like Gautama Buddha, Adi Sankara taught; this is the place of exuberance. The most astonishing factor is how the AGORAS have been misinterpreted / distorted versions spoken and depicted by them.
The greatest of the rivers SARASWATHI which is the holiest of all, now dried up, Ganges being an off shoot, a lot of research and lot energy money spent only now we know that the THAR DESERT is the dry bed of the great river.
Translating certain portions of Sanskrit may be misconstrued. In those points I have quoted it in Sanskrit and transcribed them in English. Any error found is absolutely mine and not those who are helping me in proof reading and / or the publishers.
Quoting Mark Twain “Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together “.
INCREDIBLE INDIA … a different perceptive…
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
TRUTH of this great nation, the BHARAT.
HINDUISM – pillaged and plundered over centuries ahead of its times and beyond the comprehension of the average mind, which is filled with what has been dished out, maligning and with ulterior motives of changing a way of life – HINDUISM: it is a way of life, a path of ACCEPTANCE & TOLERANCE, which has been misconstrued as DEFEAT: – NO HINDUISM “IS PASSIVE ASSERTIVENESS which over rules RELIGIOUS FANATICISM & ARROGANCE OF SUPPOSED SUPERIORITY”, as claimed by others.
The HISTORY OF AGORAS, in BENARUS, MYTHS & REALITY
I will begin the history of AGORAS, the guardians of LORD SIVA, the destroyer, in the TRINITY of HINDUISM.
AGORAS considered themselves the guards to Lord Shiva & acted accordingly. Their perception in simple modern language, if I can put it, it would be thus:
MYTH & FACTS OF BENARUS – Before, I go into the History of the AGORAS, it is necessary to mention, not well known FACTS of the TRADITIONS, as practiced, as per norms.
1) In the Hindu tradition – only the recognized priest, as he alone is supposedly aware of AGAMA VITHIGAL, inside the SANCTUM SAMCTORUM (defined as KARBAGRIHAM): The only exception is the KING, who is entitled to perform the rituals (this can be seen in Padmabha Swami temple in Trivandrum & Kathmandu in Nepal, even today.)
2) In Benares – this legacy does not exist – it is not a deviation from the DICTUMS of the Hindu scriptures; the ISHA UPANISHAD (which in fact the smallest of the Upanishads), states this. An ordinary person can touch, wash, clean, apply flowers, give him a bath – sounds extraordinary – this is a significant part of worship established by the AGORAS (more of this later);
3) In all temples, one sees Lord Vinayaka FIRST; in the temple of Lord Viswanathar, it is the opposite – you see Lord Vinayaka, called SAKSHI SOLLUM VINAYAGAR, in other words, he is the witness to us visiting the temple of Lord Viswanathar.
4) YAMA, the God, who is responsible for tallying the ‘death toll’ is not, permitted entry into the city of Benares.
5) The authorized deity is KALA BHAIRAVAR, who keeps tally of accounts.ONE has a darshan of KALA BHAIRAVAR, when he/she completes the visit to Benares and seeks his permission to leave.
6) Earlier all the 11 GHATS, had burning pyres of the dead, now it is restricted to only two; the most fascinating factor in these ‘ Ghats ‘ one sees multiple pyres – SANS STENCH; the reason being the body is dipped into the river Mother Ganges, and then lifted to the pyre- one is also astonished at the waiting list. This is done by a sect of people called DOM (unfortunately they are considered as ‘ out casts’, but they have no qualms about it; a dead MAN is draped in WHITE & a woman in coloured, invariably
In RED – NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE.
7) The purohits who perform the ‘ last rites’. DO NOT PERFORM the usual and other normal rites, for any other function. The DOMS who are responsible for the pyres[no match sticks can be used to light a pyre – they must take it from the DOMS
These are all interrelated & the story will continue.
The AGORAS, supposedly the GUARDS of Lord SHIVA, (these are people who truly believed and continue to do so.) One must visit the KUMBH – NONE KNOW WHERE THEY COME FROM, where they live, but never miss a KUMBH.
It is believed that the ancient of the AGORAS, or, the HEADBOF THE CLAN, lived in Benares, treated Lord Shiva as a friend rather than GOD. He believed that he was there to protect him and not vice- versa.
There are 3’interesting LEGENDS of this Guardian Chief.
1) The Mughals, always under the misconception that destroying Benares, would destroy Hinduism, during one of their pillaging/plundering of the City, decided to desecrate/destroy Lord Viswanath (name given to Shiva in this shrine), where totally confused, for when they entered the city, they were floundered, on seeing which was the LINGAM they needed to destroy – by which time the Lord was moved and dumped into a well, called GNANAVAPI. The well still exists. The Mughals, under the illusion that the temple had been destroyed, built a Mosque there. The Mosque still exists – but one can enter the mosque for his prayers (defined as NAMAAZ) – only through one of the gates of the great temple of LORD VISWANATH.
This requires a little more attention& by the grace of GOD, will submit the other 2 legends a little later.
Though the city map of BENARUS was drawn only in 1822, the history of the city is as ancient as civilization itself.
The HINDU MYTHOLOGY, not much are recorded versions, but has it – has been carried by word of mouth from generation to generation.
No other city has been PILLAGED & PLUNDERED, AS MUCH AS THIS CITY, a SYMBOLIC REFERENCE TO HINDUISM. The Muslims over a period of time made several attempts to destroy, what they conceived – DESTROY BENARUS, ONE DESTROYS HINDUISM – Unfortunately for them this never happened. Every time this city was pillaged/plundered, it rose like the PHOENIX, the bird that never dies, as mentioned in the GREEK MYTHOLOGY.
BENARUS – THE MYTH & TEALITY – PART- II
The Muslims perceived that the STRENGTH of HINDUISM arose out of BENARUS. This itself is FALSE. Very few of us know the fact MOTHER GANGES is an off shoot of the river Saraswathi which dried up totally, due to seismological changes in the Himalayan range. The original HOLY RIVER IS/WAS SARASWATHI.
Ganges as it is presently known and identified as the HOLY RIVER, is but an off shot of SARASWATHI. Till date, researchers who originally claimed that the MOHANDAJARO- HARAPPA civilization was the oldest – now realize that it is not so. The recent increase archaeological survey in and around the THAR DESERT has significant importance, as the THAR desert, is the finishing point of river Sarasvati drying up & thus sprang the INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION.
THIS BEING THE BASE, we shall get into the History of the AGORAS!
– BENARUS – CITY OF LIGHTS – MYTHS & REALITY.
. The history presented will be and is based on FACTS & MYTHS. If anyone finds errors in the presentation made, it would be mine alone and I will stand corrected.
To begin with – A GORA actually means BEAUTIFUL, unlike its false misinterpretations like in any language.
Are these related, interwoven, or they are but MYTH alone.
No. There is no MYTH, these are all FACTS.
During sexual union of a man & a woman, only one CELL, clings onto one ovule of the woman; so in simple mathematical equation it is 1+1=2, but it does end there, mathematically. But here, the cell and the ovule merge and create – it is not merely 1+1 = 2,but let me ask this question, who are how this merger decides, which of the union becomes the skin/nerve/muscle/nail/finger/leg/limbs/- one can keep multiplying the bodies of the part!
In other words, this union of cell multiplies itself into atoms/neutrons/protons – whatever scientific term one wishes to use; the AGORAS were or considered themselves thus, as protectors of the DESTROYER, OF THE TRINITY, namely, LORD SHIVA! Or was Shiva merely the DESTROYER? Is that a MYTH?
This is the beginning and the end; the MYTH & TRUTH OF HINDUISM, where BUDDHA sought to move through to Saranath. A place beyond comprehension, a city ancient and revered.
THE CULTURAL HERITAGE, IS SO HIGH, THAT, the narrow Gulley’s, the stray dogs are harmless, the cows do not butt you, and the usual riffraff motorists co- exist with these animals.
THE CHANT OF THE NATION – BHARATH.
The year was 340 B.C.
A hunted, haunted, Brahmin youth vows revenge, for the gruesome murder of his father. Moving away from the accepted norms & principles of the day, he becomes a brilliant ‘ strategist ‘ and armed only with a wily mind, he unites, the haggard BHARAT against the demi- God Alexander and stops the invader at the gates.
Pitted against odds, he pulls of an astonishing victory and establishes Chandra Gupta Mayuraya, as the undisputed King of BHARATH.
Satisfied, but a little bored, he beckons to the call of his lady love, recedes into the shadows and scripts, ARTHASAHTRA.
THE MAN WAS CHANKAYA.
It was in 6th Century B.C. that Sun Tzu wrote his ART OF WAR. The similarity between the 2 legends is so easy to follow, for the campaign & strategy employed by both are similar. Did Sun Tzu come to India? How come, if not, he has scripted all done by Chanakaya nearly 3 centuries earlier? Where and how the link came?
Moving into very modern times ERICH VON DANIKEN, in his CHARIOTS OF GODS, raises a lot of queries, all seems unrelated, yet, related. Moving across Diana L.Eck’ s BANARAS – ** CITY ** OF ** LIGHTS ** raises queries on the lost civilization – till today the dry belt of River Sarasvati is a matter of contention & queries; Are these related,interwoven,or they are but MYTH alone.
No. There is no MYTH, these are all FACTS. TRUTH of this great nation, the BHARAT. HINDUISM – pillaged and plundered over centuries ahead of its times and beyond the comprehension of the average mind, which is filled with what has been dished out, maligning and with ulterior motives of changing a way of life – HINDUISM: it is a way of life, a path of ACCEPTANCE & TOLERANCE, which has been misconstrued as DEFEAT: NO HINDUISM IS PASSIVE ASSERTIVENESS which over rules RELIGIOUS FANATICISM & ARROGANCE OF SUPPOSED SUPERIORITY, as claimed by others.
This is BHARATH, – INDIA, as described at present.
About the Author
A post graduate in English , a degree in law ,a PG diploma in IR&PM, an MBA from Brigham Young, actively socially involved ,2015 deluge – Cuddalore being the focal point ,, responsible for 3 Veda padasala, 2 ghosalas, hails from a middle class family ,a nationalist, passion for everything done, a book to be released shortly .