WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF MANIKARNIKA GHAT IN KASHI ?
THE HOLIEST SITUATION UPON EARTH--
Manikarnika Ghat is also one of the oldest and most sacred Ghats for Hindu religion and mythology. It is said that cremation at this site ensures that one’s soul rests in perpetual peace upon their earthly demise. For centuries, a funerary rite at Manikarnika Ghat has been thought to provide one with immediate liberation from the endless cycle of rebirth. GHATS OF VARANASI--- The riverfront steps that lead one to the banks of the river Ganges is a sight to see, for there are approximately eighty-seven Ghats in the city of Varanasi alone. The majority of these were constructed following 1700 AD when the city was part of the Maratha Empire. Whilst the majority of the Ghats were built for bathing and some were created for ceremonies, only a few, like Manikarnika Ghat, are principally reserved for cremation as a form of funerary rite. FOUR LEGENDSON THE CREATION OF MANIKARNIKA---- 1-Manikarnika Ghat is associated with the Hindu Deities Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. According to some Hindu tales, Lord Vishnu dug a pit by using his Chakra whilst Lord Shiva observed him. An earring (Manikarnika) fell inside the pit unnoticed while both were preoccupied.
2-Another account claims that Mata Sati sacrificed herself by setting her body on fire after one of the sons of Lord Brahma, Raja Daksh Prajapati, attempted to humiliate. Subsequently, Lord Shiva took Mata Sati’s body toward the Himalaya. During this journey her body began to fall onto the earth. Shakti Peeth (a place of worship to the goddess Sati/Shakti) was then established in each place her body parts had fallen. In this story, Mata Sati’s earring fell down at Manikarnika Ghat.
3-In a third tale of Manikarnika Ghat’s origin, Lord Vishnu struggled to please Lord Shiva for centuries and pleaded with him to reconsider the destruction of Kashi (a holy city). Lord Shiva arrived in Kashi with his consort Parvati, to grant Vishnu’s wish. On the banks of the Ganges he dug a well for bathing and it was during his bath that a precious ear ornament fell into the well - consequently providing the name for the location.
4-Finally, a playful myth involves Lord Shiva falling down after frolicking in an aggressive manner, and as he tumbled the earring fell on the earth and the Ghat of Manikarnika formed.
THE HOLY SITE OF MANIKARNIKA---- --
The Manikarnika Ghat is epitomized by the juxtaposition of the sacred well of Manikarnika Kund, ploughed by Lord Vishnu during the time of creation and destruction. The Ghat is also famous for its temple dedicated to Shiva and Mata Durga, built around 1850 AD by the Maharaja of Awadh.
The funerary sanctuary is one of the key places for the Shaktism sect of Hinduism and the temple is a holy shrine for devotees, providing visits to the site on a daily basis. It is here that the pond Chakra-Pushkarini Kund, also known as Manikarnika Kund, can be found as well. Devotees believe that the Charanapaduka (footprints) of Lord Vishnu are in a round marble slab, for the deity is said to have mediated for many years at the Ghat. THE IMPORTANCE OF CREMATION IN HINDUISM---- The burning of one’s body upon their demise is fundamental in Hinduism, for the soul is purified and freed from the body. The cremation process is crucial in achieving nirvana, and the ritual’s many stages must be completed correctly or the soul will not transition to the afterlife.
Handled mostly by the Doms (a Bengali Hindu caste), bodies are brought shrouded in cloths and put on bamboo stretchers in preparation for the cremation ritual. The human remains are then consigned to the flames – with the hot ashes of the bodies acting as a reminder of the predestined destruction of everything within the world. 07 FACTS ABOUT MANIKARNIKA----- 1-“Benares. This holy city of the Hindus was at the height of its prosperity at least a thousand years before the birth of Christ, and was already old when Plato taught in Athens and when the earliest Roman fortress rose upon the Palatine.“Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity. The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death. Tomorrow, when resurrection comes, The heart that is not in love will fail the test.” ”Without an understanding of myth or religion, without an understanding of the relationship between destruction and creation, death and rebirth, the individual suffers the mysteries of life as meaningless mayhem (extreme disorder) alone.”
2-Manikarnika Kund is a sacred pond located next to Manikarnika Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras). Each year in November it is dug out from the dirt which covers it up from the holy river floods of the rainy season. This large rectangular structure, with surrounding steps is mythologically related to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The Chakra-Pushkarini Kund or “Discus Lotus-Pond” is said to be so ancient that it was present before King Bhagiratha brought the Ganges to Varanasi and is supposed to have been dug by Lord Vishnu at the time of creation with his disc. 3-The word “Manikarnika” refers “Jeweled Earring” and this name was given because Lord Shiva’s earring fell into the well when it was a very large lake. This historic place symbolizes creation, and the cremation ghat next to it is all about death, the hot ashes of the burnt bodies nearby makes one remember the inevitable destruction of everything in the world. 4-Many pilgrims take a bath here after performing the rituals of cremation. It is also said to be lucky for couples to take a bath together in this well.if only the bone of a person should touch the water of the Ganges, that person shall dwell, honored, in heaven.” 5-This place has a great significance not only in Hindu mythology and way of life but also in the philosophies of life and death as this is the “Maha-Shmashan” or the Great Cremation Ground of the entire Universe,,, where Lord Shiva gives Taraka mantra ( “Prayer of the crossing”) in the ear of the dead. Ghat is especially sacred and that persons cremated there receive moksha and are granted instant salvation, it is an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths. 6-Manikarnika Ghat symbolizes mortality of the world and is one of the oldest and most sacred Ghats in Benaras.It is lying at the center of the five tirthas which are representing both creation and destruction. There the mortal remains are consigned to flames with the prayers that the souls rest in eternal peace.There stands the sacred fire (dhuni) which might be the oldest fire, it is said that this place is the “navel of the world”. This is the place where one comes face to face with life and death. 7--This historic place symbolizes creation, and the cremation ghat next to it is all about death, the hot ashes of the burnt bodies nearby makes one remember the inevitable destruction of everything in the world.
THE KEY POINT---- UTTARVAHINI MA GANGA---- 1-This great river is associated with all the three trinities Brahma ,Vishnu and Shiva. MA GANGA rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India ... The term Uttarvahini Ganga is used to refer to places where the Ganges river has a northward flow. 2-For the majority of its route, the Ganges flows in a generally southeasterly direction, from the Himalaya mountains in western Nepal to its delta emptying into the Bay of Bengal. However, there are several places where the meandering of the river leads to a northerly flow, which is considered auspicious among Hindus.Haridwar is one of them ,,,‘Hari’ terms belongs to Lord Vishnu and ‘Dwar’ represents door. Also known as Hari Dham. Here Ganga is Uttarayan for a little. 3- The Ganges merges with five more rivers like Varuna and Assi ,,,, which is why this place is known as Varanasi. BUT IN KASHI,,,,, the Ganges has a more distinct northerly flow than at Haridwar & THIS IS THE MAIN REASON OF CONSIDERING KASHI ,,, SO PIOUS ..... ......SHIVOHAM....