Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Benares. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Benares. Sort by date Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is Benares?


On the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, there is a city and a holy center (tirtha). 

Benares is an anglicized version of the name Varanasi, which is one of the city's original Hindu names, along with Kashi and Avimukta. 

  • The titles Avimukta, Varanasi, and Kashi are all used to refer to the whole city, but in this case, they refer to concentric holy zones around the Vishvanath temple; Avimukta being the smallest, followed by Varanasi, and lastly Kashi. 
  • Benares, like all other pilgrimage sites along the Ganges, is revered for its closeness to the river, especially since the Ganges flows in a northerly direction at Benares, which is considered fortunate. 
  • The Ganges is an important element of Benares' identity, and it is the focus of most of the city's religious activity. 

The deity Shiva, however, is the most significant holy presence in the city. 

  • Benares is Shiva's home on Earth and the location where he never departs, thus the term Avimukta ("never forsaken"). 
  • The most significant Shiva temple is the Vishvanath (“Lord of the Universe”) temple, which is spread across the city—some ancient, some modern, and some almost forgotten. 
  • Vishvanath is one of Shiva's twelve jyotirlingas, a collection of holy Shiva locations. 

The Moghul emperor Aurangzeb demolished the old Vishvanath temple and replaced it with a mosque; the current Vishvanath temple was constructed close to the original spot. 

  • Benares is one of the seven holy towns where death gives soul freedom because of Shiva's everlasting presence (moksha). 
  • Shiva is said to appear to the dying individual at the time of death and give his salvific knowledge. 
  • Shiva's presence may also be felt at the holy location Manikarnika Ghat, which is located in the center of the city rather than on the outskirts like most other sites. 
  • Shiva gives humans a lesson here as well; particularly, Shiva warns them of their impending demise. 
  • This is not to make people sad or depressed, but to encourage them to pursue a genuine religious life. 

Benares is an excellent location to die or immerse oneself in spiritual life due to the presence of the Ganges and Shiva; yet, it is also an exceptionally lively place to live. 

  • It has a long history as a trade hub and market town, and it still is today, despite the fact that the creaking wooden boats that formerly traversed the Ganges have been replaced by other modes of transportation. 
  • Weavers and metalworkers, many of whom are Muslim, are well-known in Benares. 

For at least a few millenia, it has also been known as a cultural hub. 

  • From grammar to astrology to medicine, Benares is still one of India's most significant hubs for ancient Sanskritic study. 
  • It is also a hub for music, dancing, and the arts, and it has been home to a slew of Indian religious luminaries, including poet-saints Tulsidas, Ravidas, and Kabir, among others. 

Diana Eck, Banaras, 1999, provides a comprehensive account of the city and its inhabitants.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is The Benares Hindu University?

Benares Hindu University is a Hindu university in Benares, India. 

Madan Mohan Malviya (1861–1946), a nationalist politician in India, established an educational school in 1916. 

  • During World War I, the Indian independence movement took on a more active tone. 
  • One way that this activity expressed itself was via the establishment of educational institutions that allowed Indians more influence over the purpose, tone, and content of the colleges. 

Benares Hindu University was established to preserve Hindu cultural and philosophical traditions, as well as to educate students in the sciences and prepare them for contemporary life. 

  • This goal represented the founders' modernist thought as well as their deep devotion to Hindu heritage. 
  • It is still one of India's best institutions, especially for studying traditional Indian culture.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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Hinduism - Where Is The Manikarnika Tirtha In India?


("Jeweled earring") Manikarnika - Sacred location (tirtha) in the city of Benares, Uttar Pradesh, on the Ganges River.

The place is named after the Manikarnika Kund, a bathing (snana) pond allegedly built by the deity Vishnu and into which a god Shiva's earring fell, sanctifying the tank by its presence.

In current times, the place is primarily known for the Manikarnika Ghat cremation ground.

The cremation site is located on the outskirts of most Indian cities, since its association with death makes it an inauspicious location.

The Manikarnika cremation site, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Benares.

Despite the natural human tendency to avoid and reject death, it is paraded in broad view in Benares—not to upset or depress people, but to force them to face it.

Death has long been seen to be a powerful motivator for religious practice.

Because Benares is one of the Seven Sacred Cities, dying there brings with it the promise of ultimate liberty.

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13 Notable Yogis


One hundred and twenty years ago, Sri Sadasiva Brahman, a renowned Yogi, lived in Nerur, near Karur, in the Trichinopolly district. He wrote the books "Atma Vilas," "Brahma Sutras," and other works. He was in Samadhi at the time. Floods in the Cauveri river engulfed him, burying him in earth. His body was frozen under the soil for many months. The agriculturists plowed the ground, injuring the Yogi's head. A small amount of blood dripped from the wound. They were completely taken aback. They dug the ground up. Sadasiva Brahman stood up and stepped out from his Samadhi. Any obnoxious people once came to beat him with sticks. They attempted to lift their hands, but they were unable to do so.

They remained as if they were sculptures. When he was walking about as an Avadhuta, he visited the Zenana of a Nawab almost nude. The Nawab became angry and used a large knife to sever his side.

Sadasiva Brahman smiled as he walked away. The guy, according to the Nawab, should be a great Sage. He took the maiden's hand in his and walked after the Sage. “O my Lord!” the Nawab exclaimed on the third day. As a result of my folly, I had to cut off your wrist. Please excuse me.” With the other side, Sadasiva merely touched the cut piece. A new hand appeared. Sadasiva forgave and blessed the Nawab.


Jnaneswar is another name for Sri Jnanadev. He was the world's greatest Yogin of all time. He was born in Alandi, which is about seven miles from Poona. His Samadhi is already there. All suspicions are dispelled if one reads the Gita penned by him by the hand of the Samadhi. Lord Krishna considers him to be an Avatara. He merely touched a buffalo when he was a kid. It was a recitation of the Vedas.

He had complete command of the elements. When he didn't have a vessel to cook in, his sister baked bread on his lap. At the age of 22, he joined Samadhi while still alive. He drew up all of the Prana and surrendered his physical body to the Brahmarandhra. He started writing Gita commentary when he was 14 years old. His Gita commentary is widely regarded as one of the greatest. He was elected President by a large assembly of Sanskrit Pandits in Benares.


Sri Trilinga Swami of Benares, who was born in Andhra Pradesh, lived in the 1950s. He existed for a total of 280 years. In Manasarovar, he made his Tapas (Tibet). He was once seen by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in Benares. When he first came in for Tapas, he took some money with him. He opened a milk shop and gave away free milk to the homeless, Sadhus, and Sannyasins. He used to remain under the Ganga for up to six months at a time. He used to sleep with his foot over the Sivalinga in Kashi Visvanath's Temple. He once snatched the Governor's sword and hurled it into the Ganges. When the Governor ordered it back, he dove into the sea and returned with two knives, which the Governor couldn't spot. Any nefarious characters sprayed lime-water into his mouth. Sang Pachar Kriya immediately pumped it out of his anus.


Sri Gorakhnath, like Sri Jnanadev of Alandi, was a brilliant Yogi. Suraj, a Brahmin, lived in Chandragiri village, on the banks of the Godavari. Sarasvati was the name of his wife. They didn't have any girls. Yogi Matsyendranath went to Suraj's house for Bhiksha. Sarasvati pampered the Yogi with delicious food and Sraddha. She cried in front of him because she didn't have a kid. Yogi Matsyendranath blessed her with a pinch of holy ash and child blessings. She gave birth to a son afterwards. When Matsyendranath was twelve years old, he returned to Sarasvati and took the boy with him. He dispatched the youngster to Badrinarayan to perform Tapas. Apsaras and other Devatas descended upon him to molest him. He remained steadfast and triumphed over all temptations. He possessed incredible Siddhis. Matsyendranath also gave Gorakhnath, his disciple, all of his powers and Vidyas.

Sri Gorakhnath went to Badrinarayan in his 12th year and performed Tapas for 12 years, surviving solely on air. Gorakhnath had incredible Yogic abilities. Gorakhnath took the form of a lady by his Yogic powers and entered the inner apartments of the palace when his Guru Matsyendranath entered the dead body of a Raja (Parakaya Pravesh) to follow the instructions of Sri Hanuman to bear an offspring for a certain Rani (Kamarupa Siddhi). In another case, he created a clay toy child and gave it to the children of a particular village as a playmate. He turned a part of a mountain into gold and then returned it to its original state. On a rock, he urinated. It was transformed into gold. He fed everyone by spreading only leaves in a Kumbhamela on the banks of the Godavari, but he served various rich meals to everyone's taste. In the same Mela, he gradually shrank in size and took the shape of a mosquito (Anima Siddhi). He burned himself to ashes with his own Yogic strength and reverted to his original form. He completed Akasagamanam (walking in the sky). In this way, he was able to do several Siddhis. His disciple was Raja Bhartrihari.


At Daroli village, 14 miles below Gangotri, the Ganges' source, Swami Krishna Ashram is a living saint. He's been living there for the past eight years, naked in an icy area where an average man would need a woollen coat, a Gothma, and a half-dozen blankets. He was a Siva Bhakta, a devotee of Siva. He threw away all of his Puja vessels and traveled to Varanasi, where he took Sannyasa and stayed for a year. After that, he went to Hardwar and abandoned the Danda to become an Avadhuta. He was also in Uttarkashi. When he was bitten by sharp, large flies and blood was dripping from his body, he would never harass the flies. His stamina was incredible. Once in the Kshetra, an ignorant servant mocked him by pouring very hot Dhal on his hands for not carrying any vessel for Dhal. Swami Krishna Ashram drank the Dhal despite his scalded lips and paws.

Another Swami by the name of Bhuma Ashram lives in Daroli in a naked state. Krishna Ashram considers him a mentor.

Both Sadhakas must possess Titiksha, or the strength of stamina. This is one of Sadhana Chatushtaya's sixfold virtues. Read Chapter II of the Gita, Slokas 14 and l5. Titiksha, you will realize the significance of this virtue.


Among the Yogins, Yogi Bhusunda is one of the Chiranjivis. He was an expert in the art of Pranayama. He is said to have constructed a large nest, resembling a mountain, on the southern branch of the Kalpa Vriksha, near the Mahameru's northern summit. This was Bhusunda's home. He was a Trikala Jnani Trikala Jnani Trikala Jnani Trikala Jnani Tri He could stay in Samadhi for as long as he wanted. He lacked interest.

He had ascended to the level of supreme Santi and Jnana. He was there, blissed out by his own Self, and he is still there as a Chiranjivi. He knew everything there was to know about the five Dharanas. By using the five techniques of concentrating, he had found himself immune to the five elements. It is said that when all twelve Adityas scorch the earth with their fiery rays, he would reach up to the Akasa through his Apas Dharana. He'd be in the Akasa via Agni Dharana as fierce gales shattered the rocks to splinters. When the earth and the Mahameru were submerged, he would float on top of them by Vayu Dharana.


In Kailas, Tirumula Nayanar was a brilliant Yogi. Through the grace of Nandi, Lord Siva's Vahana, he possessed all eight great Siddhis. He was Agastya Muni's mate. He traveled from Kailas to Varanasi and remained there. He then traveled to Chidambaram, Tiruvavaduturai, and other nearby towns. He went to Tiruvavaduturai's temple to worship Lord Siva and remained there for a while.

He once visited a garden on the Cauveri River's shores. He discovered the remains of a caretaker of a herd of cows there. He found that all of the cows had gathered around the cowherd's body, weeping bitterly. Tirumular's heart was moved by this. He felt terrible for the cows. He left his body in a certain location and joined the cowherd's dead body. Throughout the day, he looked after the cows and returned them to their homes. The cowherd's widow, who was unaware of her husband's death, hosted Tirumular, who was dressed as her husband's actual body. Tirumular turned down the bid. He desired to return to his own body. When he went looking for his body, he didn't find it where he expected it to be. And he realized it was all due to Lord Siva's goodness. He then went to Avaduturai with the cowherd's body and sat underneath an Asvattha tree on the temple's western side, writing a precious book called "Tirumantram" in Tamil. It is a 3000 verse book that contains the Vedas' meaning.


Mansoor was a Brahma-Jnani Sufist. Four hundred years before, he lived in Persia. “Anal-haq! Anal-haq!” he kept chanting. This refers to the Vedantins' "Soham" or "Aham Brahma Asmi." The Badshah received reports that Mansoor was an atheist (Kafir) who was always saying "Anal-haq." The Badshah erupted in frustration. Mansoor was to be cut into sections, he ordered. His commands were carried out. And back then, the flesh fragments were uttering "Anal-haq." Since he was a full-fledged Samadhi Jnani and had complete identification with Brahman, he felt no harm. He was unconcerned with his appearance. The bits of flesh and bones were then thrown into the flames and reduced to ashes. Even back then, the ashes said, "Anal-haq." Throughout his life, he performed several miracles. Even Jnanis have the ability to perform miracles if they so wish and deem it appropriate for the situation. Sadasiva Brahman and the other Jnanis performed miracles. Every day, reflect on the lives of great men. You'll make it on the spiritual journey.


Milarepa had been deeply impressed since his childhood by the impermanence and transience of all circumstances of earthly life, as well as the sufferings and wretchedness in which all beings were submerged. To him, life resembled a massive furnace in which all living things were roasting. This filled his heart with such piercing anguish that he was unable to feel even a fraction of the divine bliss experienced by Brahma and Indra in their heavens, let alone the earthly joys and delights afforded by a life of worldly glory.

In the other hand, he was so enthralled by the vision of immaculate purity, by the chaste beauty in the description of the state of perfect freedom and omniscience associated with the attainment of Nirvana, that he didn't care if he died in the search for which he had set out, endowed as he was with full faith, keen intellect, and a heart overflowing with all-pervading awe.

He was able to demonstrate transcendental knowledge in the control of the ethereal and spiritual nature of the mind by soaring across the sky, walking, sitting, and sleeping on the air until obtaining transcendental knowledge in the control of the ethereal and spiritual nature of the mind. He could also create fires of fire and springs of water from his body, as well as convert his body into whatever entity he wished, persuading nonbelievers and leading them to religious pursuits.

He was flawless in the four stages of meditation, and as a result, he was able to project his subtle body and be present as the presiding Yogi in twenty-four holy places where gods and angels congregate like clouds for divine communion.

He had the ability to direct gods to elementals and have them carry out his orders instantly, in order to complete all tasks. He was a master of spiritual abilities. He was able to traverse and frequent all of the Buddhas' myriad holy paradises and heavens, where the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas reigning therein favored him with Dharma discourses and listened to his in exchange, such that his travels and sojourns there sanctified the heaven-worlds.


Napoleon Bonaparte was a highly focused person. His popularity was entirely due to his ability to concentrate. He had a variety of illnesses, including epileptic episodes, Brady cardia, and so on. He would have been much more effective if not for these afflictions. He was free to sleep wherever he wanted. He'd start snoring as soon as he got into bed. He'd wake up at the same second the alarm clock went off.

It's a form of Siddhi. He didn't have any Vikshepa or shilly-shallying on him. He possessed a Yogi's highly evolved Ekagrata. He could pull any single idea from the brain pigeon-hole, focus on it for as long as he wanted, and then push it back until he was done. In the middle of a busy war, he will sleep soundly at night and never worry. This was all due to his ability to focus.

Concentration has the ability to do something. Nothing can be accomplished without mental focus.

Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone and Balfour possessed a high level of mental acuity. They will fall asleep as soon as they went to bed. Make a mental note of the phrase "at this very moment." They'd never throw a ball.

As in the case of worldly people, for perhaps 15 to 20 minutes in bed. Consider how tough it is to fall asleep quickly after lying down. They had complete say of their sleeping patterns. They could even get out of bed whenever they wanted without the use of an alarm clock. Sleeping and waking up at the same time is only one indication of the influence of focus to a certain extent. Some people can fall asleep immediately after a long day's work, but they are unable to rise at the prescribed time. This is also an example of a very common occurrence. Concentration allows us to do miracles.


Kabir once tied a large pig to the front post of his house's verandah. Kabir invited an orthodox Brahmin Pundit to his home to discuss a philosophical problem. In front of the building, he saw a pig. He was agitated, impatient, and frustrated. “Dear Sir, how is it that you have tied a nasty animal that eats human excreta so close to your house?” he asked Kabir. You \shave no Achara. You are a scumbag. You are unfamiliar with the Shastras. You are illiterate.” “O Shastriji, you are dirtier than I am,” Kabir answered. I've bound the pig to the front post of my building, but you've tied the pig to your mind.” The Brahmin was irritated and left without saying anything. “If the mind is pure, you will find the Ganges in the cup,” says Man changa katorie me ganga. The value of mental purification cannot be overstated. Nothing will be accomplished on the spiritual journey without it.


To learn Latin, a certain man went to a Latin teacher. He spent a week with the instructor.

He found that the majority of the terms had a ‘o' at the top. He believed he needed to add the letter 'o' to the end of every word. He was fluent in English. He assured the teacher that he learned Latin and, with the teacher's permission, he returned to his hometown. He arrived at his home and tapped the handle, saying, "O, dear-o, wife-o, open-o, door-o." He assumed it was all in Latin.

Many scholars in Yoga and Vedanta are close to the learned Latin scholar mentioned above. They remain in the Ram Ashram Library or with Sadhus for a few days, learning the names Kundalini, Mula Chakra, Nadi, Pranayama, Maya, or Pratibimbavada, and then moving from place to place. Yoga and Vedanta are philosophies that can be practiced for 12 years under the guidance of a Guru. Then only one person would be able to master the subjects. Yoga and Vedanta can never be seen as a source of income. One need not mix with worldly people after learning a few words about Yoga and Vedanta. Perfection of Yoga needs a lot of practice time under the guidance of a great teacher.


An aspirant approached a Gorakhnath Panth Mahant. Those who worship Gorakhnath wear large black celluloid or glass earrings. The Mahant pierced the aspirant's head, installed large earrings, and bestowed upon him the lovely name Yogi Ishvarananda. For three months, he stayed in the Ashram. He didn't make any moral strides. “This is not the proper path,” he thought to himself. Let me take a different route.” He then left the Ashram, wandered through dense jungles, and approached a Fakir, begging for initiation. The Fakir circumcised him, gave him a Mantra, and sent him on his way.

I requested that he grow a long beard. This did not please him either. Take a look at this bad aspirant's pitiful state. The ulcers in the ears have not yet recovered. He was in a lot of discomfort due to septic inflammation. There was a lot of pus coming out. He was still in a disturbed state of mind, and this situation further added to his fears. He commented thoughtfully that this was not the way to find the Guru. He made the clear decision that he would not wander, that he would stay in one solitary location and practice Tapas with continuous prayers to God. He chose a location and performed Tapas with honesty. This cleansed him and prepared him for the next stage. After a two-year time, a Guru emerged in front of him and introduced him into the profound mysteries of Yoga. Aspirants today are doing the same thing, hopping from place to place in search of a Guru. It's pointless. They must purify themselves in order to live a Yogic life. And if they come into touch with an Avatara by accident, they would not gain much if they do not have a solid base for a Yogic existence.


The yogi maintains mental power over the organs and functions of the body through different activities. He sculpts his body as though it were concrete. In front of the King, a Swami in London demonstrated how to stop his heart. A large number of capable doctors were present at the time and treated him. Desabandhu halted the radial and temporal pulses on both sides at will in 1926, as well as the heart's beatings for a brief while. 

In the Bombay Medical Union, he staged a protest. Hatha Yogi Hari Das, who buried himself underneath the earth for forty days after closely closing his nose, lips, ears, and eyes with wax, came back alive in Maharajah Ranjit Singh's Court in Lahore. Gunangudi Mastan, a Mohammedan Yogi, was buried in Madras.

Any Yogins are able to glide. Khechari Mudra is to blame for this.

Yogi Pratap was doing Viparitakarani Mudra at the time. Onlookers were asked to cover his head with mud on both directions. He stayed in that spot for the whole two hours. In Varanasi, German traveller Paul Deussen observed this firsthand. Varanasi's Sri Swami Vishuddhananda once brought a dead sparrow back to life. 

For a true Yogi, nothing is unlikely.

Hinduism - Where Is Kashi In India?

 (“shining”) One of the city of Benares' traditional names.

Benares is one of the Seven Sacred Cities mentioned in the Hindu scriptures, where death brings ultimate emancipation of the soul.

In a more narrow sense, the word Kashi refers to the biggest of Benares' three ancient holy zones.

It encompasses everything inside the Panchakroshi Yatra path, a circuit that circles the city and defines the region's outer edge.

The fabled account of the jyotirlinga, the "pillar of light" where the deity Shiva is claimed to have originally emerged, is the inspiration for the name Kashi.

The pillar of light, according to legend, not only landed in Kashi but was also a form of Kashi, emphasizing the city's holiness above all other locations on Earth. 

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Hinduism - Where Is The Vishvanath Temple?


At the Vishvanath temple in Benares, the deity Shiva appears in his manifestation as the "Lord of the Universe." Shiva is represented in Vishvanath with a linga, a pillar-shaped image that represents Shiva's symbolic form; the Vishvanath linga is one of Shiva's twelve jyotirlingas, a network of locations thought extremely important to Shiva and where Shiva is uniquely present.

Benares, also known as Varanasi, is one of India's most holy towns; it is especially dedicated to Shiva, with Vishvanath being the most significant of all the Shiva temples there.

The original temple was destroyed by the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb, who built a mosque on the site, and the only part of the original temple that has survived is the Gyan Vapi ("well of knowledge"), into which the original Shiva linga was reportedly cast (to prevent it from being desecrated by Aurangzeb's soldiers).

The original temple was established in 1776 on a location next to the pre-sent temple by the Maratha queen Ahalya Bai Holkar.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore eventually covered the temple in gold, earning it the moniker "Golden Temple." Even in previous centuries, the closeness of the Vishvanath temple and Aurangzeb's mosque made for tense relations between the Hindu and Muslim populations, and Benares, like many other northern Indian towns, has seen its share of bloodshed.

The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu activist group pushing for the "return" of this and other northern Indian landmarks by force if necessary, has recently taken up the demolition of the old Vishvanath temple as a political issue.

The existence and activities of the VHP have heightened tensions between Hindus and Muslims in general.

Given the political benefits that these confrontational techniques have yielded, it is probable that they will continue in the future, and that the Vishvanath temple will remain a focus of strife.

Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - What Is Avimukta?


Avimukta has the literal meaning of “unforsaken” in the Sanskrit language.

The term Avimukta has two meanings:

  • it refers to the portion of Benares(Benares is an ancient city in India also known as Varanasi today) regarded to be the city's holy heart, in the area focused around the Vishvanath Temple; 
  • and it refers to the part of Benares considered to be the city's sacred heart, in the territory centered around the Vishvanath Temple. 

The term Avimukta comes from the idea that Shiva never leaves this location, and as a result, its proponents say that it is the holiest site on the planet. 

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In the direction of Kundalini Yoga, an experienced Purnayogi has eight main Siddhis: Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Prapti, Prakamya, Vasitvam, and Ishitvam.

1. Anima: The Yogi will shrink to whatever size he wants.

2. Mahima: The antithesis of Anima. He has the ability to grow to whatever size he desires. He has the ability to enlarge his body to enormous proportions. He has the ability to occupy the whole universe. He will take on the form of Virat Svarupa.

3. Laghima: He has the ability to turn his body into cloth or feathers. This Siddhi is used for Vayustambhanam. Control is also exerted to a limited extent in Jalastambhanam. Plavini Pranayama makes the body lighter. Swallowing huge draughts of air causes the Yogi's real gravity to decrease. With the assistance of this Siddhi, the Yogi will fly across the heavens. In a single second, he will fly thousands of miles.

4.Garima is the polar opposite of Laghima. The Yogi's specific gravity increases as a result of this. Through drinking draughts of air, he will make his body as big as a mountain.

5. Prapti: When a Yogi stands on the ground, he or she has the ability to hit the highest objects. He has the ability to touch the sun, moon, and sky. The Yogi obtains his desired artifacts and divine energies through this Siddhi. He gains the ability to forecast future events, as well as clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, thought-reading, and other abilities. He may communicate with animals and birds in their native tongues. He can also communicate in languages he is unfamiliar with. He has the ability to heal all illnesses.

6. Prakamya: He has the ability to dive into the sea and emerge at any moment. Benares' late Trilinga Swami used to spend six months living under the Ganges. It's the method by which a Yogi will become invisible at times. Some writers describe it as the ability to access another person's body (Parakaya Pravesh). Sri Sankara joined the body of Benares' Raja Amaruka. In Southern India, Tirumular penetrated the body of a shepherd. This was also done by Raja Vikramaditya. It's also the ability to maintain a youthful beauty for an extended period of time. This was the influence of Raja Yayati.

7. Vashitvam: This is the force of taming and keeping wild animals under order. It is the ability to hypnotize others and make them obey one's desires and commands with the use of willpower. It is the control of one's impulses and passions. It is the ability to subjugate men, women, and the elements.

8. Ishitvam: Attaining spiritual power is what Ishitvam is all about. The Yogi ascends to the role of Lord of the Universe.

The Yogi who has this strength has the ability to bring the dead back to life. The deceased could be brought back to life by Kabir, Tulsidas, Akalkot Swami, and others.

You may also want to read more articles on Yoga and Holistic Healing Here.

Hinduism - Where Is Varanasi?


Varanasi is the traditional name for Benares, the holy city.

Varanasi may refer to the whole city, but in a more particular sense, it refers to one of the circular holy zones around the city's ceremonial core, the Vishvanath temple.

Avimukta is the smallest of these zones, Varanasi is the second, and Kashi is the biggest.

Varanasi's sacred zone is defined as the area between the Varana and Asi rivers, which are the traditional boundaries of the city of Benares, but Varanasi's boundaries do not extend as far inland as Kashi's.

~Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - Where Is Guptakashi In India?


 ("Kashi's Secret") In Uttar Pradesh's Himalaya Mountains, there is a village and a holy spot (tirtha).

The Mandakini River, one of the Himalayan streams that join to form the Ganges River, runs through Guptakashi.

The Pandavas, the five brothers who are the heroes of the epic Mahabharata, are the site's founding story.

The Pandavas travelled to Benares (also known as Kashi) in search of an encounter with the deity Shiva, but Shiva ran away and hid in Guptakashi, according to tradition.

The two holy places in Guptakashi are Shiva temples.

Shiva is venerated in one of these temples as Vishvanath, the "Lord of the Universe," who is the presiding god in Benares' most significant temple.

The other is devoted to his Ardhanarishvara figure, which features a feminine shape, clothing, and decoration on the left side and a male form, dress, and ornamentation on the right.

The argument that Guptakashi is a "hidden" Kashi demonstrates the flexibility of the Indian holy landscape, where one place's holiness may be taken by another.

This is a strategy to claim part of Kashi's majesty as a holy place while attributing power to a much smaller and more distant location.


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Hinduism - Who Was Aurangzeb, The 'EVIL' Moghul?

Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707) was a Mughal emperor who reigned from 1658 to 1707. 

The last of the Moghul dynasty's great emperors, whose reign saw the empire, which at its peak spanned much of the Indian subcontinent, disintegrate into tiny kingdoms. 

  • Aurangzeb was a stern and religious Muslim who is often depicted as a Hindu foe. 
  • In contrast to his great-grandfather Akbar, the "good" Moghul emperor, he is the "evil" Moghul emperor. 

Aurangzeb undoubtedly ordered many significant acts of iconoclasm, the most famous of which being the demolition of the Vishvanath temple at Benares. 

  • Documents from his reign also contain instructions that the Hindus of that city be allowed to practice their faith without hindrance. 
  • One explanation for these inconsistencies is that the demolition of the Vishvanath temple and other acts of iconoclasm were carried out for political rather than religious reasons, in order to punish local people for rebellion and noncooperation. 
  • One piece of evidence supporting this idea is that the Mahanirvani akhara in Benares fought Aurangzeb's troops the year before the Vishvanath temple was destroyed.

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Hinduism - What Is Panchakroshi Yatra?


Pilgrims circumambulate the outer bound ary of Kashi (the biggest of the three concentric ceremonial regions located in the city of Benares) and visit 108 temples along the route on this round tour (yatra).

The voyage is said to be five kroshas long (approximately 10 miles), therefore the name.

The pilgrims' trek defines the holy city's bounds, symbolically circling the whole planet.

Although the most well-known Panchakroshi Yatra is in Benares, and the word is most often associated with this city, many other holy locations (tirthas) have comparable pilgrimage itineraries, and this procedure of circumambulating a sacred site is a frequent ceremonial pattern.

~Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - Who Was Narayana Bhatta?


(1513–1570?) Narayana Bhatta - He was the patriarch of a scholarly family and the most famous scholar and commentator on dharma literature of his day.

Narayana's father had moved to Benares, a Sanskrit study center, from the city of Paithan in central India.

Narayana's works were mostly nibandhas ("collections"), which were collections of Hindu learning.

Nibandha compilers collated fragments from the Vedas, dharma literature, puranas, and other canonical religious books on a certain issue into a single volume.

Apart from his unrivaled grasp of these ancient books, Narayana was also known for his erudite interpretation and commentary, using the criteria that the Purva Mimamsa philosophical school had created to interpret the Vedas, the earliest Hindu holy scriptures, to these works.

He was a guy whose personal sanctity was matched to his vast scholarship, according to legend.

He is said to have accomplished a miracle by forcing rain to fall out of season, persuading the Muslim rulers of Benares to allow the construction of the Vishvanath temple.

~Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - What Is The Hindu Symbolism Associated With Cremation Grounds?


Cremation Ground 

 is a place where people go to die. 

It is literally a location where corpses are burned, but it also has a major symbolic significance in Hindu culture. 

The cremation site is associated with death and impurity (ashaucha), making it a very unfavorable location that is often said to be haunted by evil wandering ghosts. 

The cremation site is typically situated on the outside of a community, both to avoid any interaction with this source of inauspiciousness in daily life and perhaps to symbolically reject the fact of death by relegating the cremation ground to the “unsettled” world. 

One well-known exception to this norm is the cremation site at Manikarnika Ghat in Benares, which is located in the heart of the city. 

Because Benares is also the abode of the deity Shiva, its prominence symbolically compels the people to face the reality of death, but it also increases the hope that death will offer ultimate soul freedom (moksha). 

Similarly, although most people avoid the cremation site because it is considered unlucky, certain religious adepts select it as their location of living and religious practice on their own will. 

This may include ascetics who are merely imitating frightening Shiva figures that are believed to live on cremation sites. 

Tantra practitioners may dwell on a cremation site to proclaim the fundamental unity of all reality and transcend the false ideas of purity and impurity. 

Also see cremation. 


Hinduism - What Is The Gyan Vapi Temple/Well/Pool At Benares?

Gyan Vapi ("knowledge pool"). The only remaining element of the ancient Vishvanath temple in Benares is a well.

The temple was one of the most revered Hindu locations in ancient India, and its name relates to the deity Shiva in his incarnation as Vishvanath, "Lord of the Universe." In 1669, the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb's forces demolished the temple and replaced it with a mosque.

Although the demolition of the temple is often depicted as an act of Muslim iconoclasm, according to Gyan Vapi's narrative, Aurangzeb may have meant it as a political message to punish local opposition.

The figure of Shiva as Vishvanath was thrown into the well to safeguard it from sacrilege, according to local mythology, and it remains there to this day. 

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Hinduism - Who Was Madan Mohan Malviya?


Madan Mohan Malviya was a Hindu activist and the founder of the Benares Hindu University from 1861 until 1946.

Malviya was a member of the first generation of Hindus who sought to retake India from British control; these men were highly educated, politically engaged, and devoted to traditional Hindu culture.

Benares Hindu University was established in 1916 with the goal of preserving Hindu cultural and philosophical traditions while also educating students in science and preparing them for the contemporary world.

Aside from his educational efforts, Malviya organized and supported Hindu religious concerns, including a prohibition on cow slaughter and resistance to a planned dam on the Ganges River at Haridwar, the Hindu pilgrimage city.

Because the project would have impeded the Ganges' free flow, he spent most of 1914 and 1916 rallying opposition in the hopes of reaching an agreement with the government.

See M. A. Parmanand's Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya, 1985, for a shining description of his life.

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Hinduism - Who Was Ahalya Bai Holkar?


Ahalya Bai Holkar (r. 1761–1795) In the Holkar dynasty, there was a Hindu queen.

The dynasty reigned over one of the successor republics that arose following the split of the Maratha empire, with its headquarters at Indore, in central India.

She rose to power at a period when the Moghul dynasty's authority had been significantly diminished, and she attempted to fill the political vacuum that had resulted.

She was able to wield true political influence over most of north-central India throughout her lengthy rule.

She was also a prominent royal patron at Hindu pilgrimage places like as Benares, where she supported the renovation of the Vishvanath temple, and Haridwar, where she is reported to have paid for the construction of a ghat, which is a structure that leads to a holy bathing (snana) location.

More information may be found in Govind S. Sardesai's 1986 book, A New History of the Marathas.

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Hinduism - Who Are The Doms(Jati) Of Northern India?

Traditional Indian society was built around a collection of endogamous groupings called jatis ("birth"). 

The group's ancestral occupation, over which each group had a monopoly, was used to arrange (and establish their social rank) these jatis. 

The Doms are a jati whose ancestral employment was cremating corpses in old northern Indian culture. 

They have a poor social position due to their frequent interaction with dead corpses, which are considered the most brutally filthy of all items. 

Despite their low rank, some Doms are quite rich, notably those who oversee the cremation ghats in Benares, since a corpse cannot be burnt without their participation. 

Any flat region on a river's bank is referred to as a ghat. 

The majority of the time, ghats are used for bathing (snana), but in certain situations, they are also used to burn corpses so that the ashes may be thrown into the river to "cool" them ritually. 

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Hinduism - What Is Bhang?


Crushed marijuana (Cannabis sativa) paste or dough, which is often combined with spices or other flavorings before being shaped into a ball. 

It's consumed as an intoxicant or combined into a "cooling" milk-based drink known as thandai. 

  • Eating bhang is often frowned upon by respectable people, but it is popular in certain groups, especially among ascetics. 

Despite this widespread condemnation, bhang is frequently taken as part of the Shivaratri and Holi holiday festivities, even by those who abstain from it the rest of the year. 

  • The former is devoted to Shiva, who is known for his addiction to the drug, while Holi is linked with breaking down societal barriers and allowing people to do things that are usually forbidden. 
  • Aside from being eaten during special occasions, it may also be consumed in specific locations, such as during a pilgrimage. 

  • Several of the most well-known Hindu holy places (tirthas), including Benares, Puri, and Haridwar, have government-run bhang kiosks where pilgrims may get their fix.

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Hinduism - What Is The Ancestral Vocation Of Doms Jati?

Traditional Indian society was built around a collection of endogamous groupings called jatis ("birth"). 

The group's hereditary occupation, over which each group has a monopoly, was used to organize (and determine their social status) these jatis. 

The Doms are a jati whose hereditary occupation was cremating corpses in traditional northern Indian society. 

They have a low social status due to their frequent contact with dead bodies, which are considered the most violently impure of all objects. 

Despite their low rank, some Doms are quite rich, notably those who oversee the cremation ghats in Benares, since a corpse cannot be burnt without their participation. Any flat region on a river's bank is referred to as a ghat. 

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