IS THE REAL KASHI A GREAT CONTACT FIELD FOR MEDITATORS?
WHAT IS THE SCIENCE OF KASHI?-
1-Essentially, there are two fundamental ways of looking at the existence. One thing is, people believe there is a god somewhere and when he has nothing to do, he will create a creation. This is one kind of belief system. Or in other words, that which people refer to as god is transcendental. It is not associated with creation; it is something that he throws out. Another way of looking at the creation is that it is cosmogenic.
2-The word “cosmogenic” comes from two words, “cosmos” and “genesis.” Cosmos, in Greek, literally means “made to order.” Or in other words, it is made to a plan, not a random happening. It is not something that fell out of somebody’s mouth or hands, but something that is consciously created. Anybody who pays a little attention will clearly know that it is not happening haphazardly, it is in a process of genesis or evolution, always from within itself. 3-When the yogis saw the nature of the cosmos - as to how it is evolving from within itself, and its ability to evolve is quite limitless - they were tempted to make their own.Essentially, what this means is, everything in creation, one way or the other, is a micro replica of the cosmos itself - that goes for the human body too. Everything in the existence is just a micro version of the cosmic possibility. Based on this, many things have been done. 4-In Kashi, they built a kind of instrument in the form of a city which brings a union between the micro and the macro. This little human being can have a phenomenal possibility of uniting with the cosmic reality, of knowing the pleasure, ecstasy and beauty of becoming one with the cosmic nature. Geometrically, Kashi is a perfect manifestation of how the cosmos, or the macrocosm and the microcosm, can meet.
5-There have been many instruments like this in the country. For example, Dhyanalinga itself is just that manifestation, but we have our limitations, so we could only create a small capsule of the cosmos. If one is willing, it is willing to open endlessly because it is a device that facilitates the ultimate possibility. 6-To create a city like Kashi is a mad ambition and they did it thousands of years ago. There were 72,000 shrines, the number of nadis in the human body. The whole process is like a manifestation of a mega human body to make contact with a larger cosmic body. It is because of this that the whole tradition came up, “If you go to Kashi, that is it.” You don’t want to leave the place because when you get connected to the cosmic nature, why would you want to go anywhere else? 7-The legend of Kashi, goes by the fundamental that Shiva himself lived here. This is his winter place. He lived as an ascetic in the upper regions of the Himalayas, but when he got married to a princess, compromises had to be made. And being a graceful man, he decided he would move to the plains, as Kashi was the most fabulously built city at the time.There are a few
tirthas that are eternal - Kashi is one such. There has never been a time on earth when Kashi - Varanasi - was not a tirtha. It is man's oldest place of pilgrimage, so it has a greater value.
8-So many people have been liberated, experienced peace and sacredness there, the sins of so many have been washed away there - a long, long continuity, and so the suggestion that one can be freed of sin has gone deeper and deeper. That suggestion becomes faith to a simple mind, and if such trust is there, the holy place will become valuable; otherwise it is useless. Without your cooperation, a tirtha cannot help you. And you will be able to give your cooperation only if the holy place is very ancient and historical.
9-Hindus say that Kashi is not a part of this earth, but a place apart; the city of Shiva is separate and indestructible. Many towns will be built and will be destroyed, but Kashi will remain forever. Gautam Buddha went to Kashi, all the Jaina tirthankaras were born in Kashi, Adi Shankaracharya also went to Kashi, Kabir went to Kashi: Kashi has seen tirthankaras, incarnations and saints, but all are no more. Not one of them remains, but Kashi does. The holiness of all these people, the benefit of their good work, all the achievements of their lives, their collective fragrance is absorbed by Kashi and it has acquired their life streams. This makes Kashi separate from the earth, at least metaphysically.
10-On this city's roads Buddha has walked, and in its lanes Kabir has given religious discourses. Now it has all become a story, a dream, but Kashi has assimilated everything within itself. If someone with absolute trust and faith enters this city, he can again see Buddha walking on its roads, he can see Tulsidas and Kabir.... If you approach Kashi like this then it is not just an ordinary city like Bombay or London, it will take on a unique spiritual form. Its consciousness is ancient and eternal. History may be lost, civilizations may be born and destroyed, may come and go, but Kashi keeps its inner life-flow continuous.
11-Walking on its roads, bathing near the banks of its river, the Ganges, and sitting in meditation in Kashi, you also become a part of its inner flow. To think that "I alone can do everything," is dangerous. The divine in many forms can help. In temples and holy places that help can be sought; their whole
arrangement is to provide help.There are many things connected with such places which can't be understood - but they do happen. Such things cannot be intellectually clarified or made into mathematical formulas, but they do happen.
12- If you sit somewhere alone in meditation, you are unlikely to feel aware of the presence of the few souls who may be around you. But in a tirtha, such an experience can be very powerful. It may become so deep sometimes that you feel your own presence less than that of the others.
For example, Kailash has been a holy place for Hindus as well as for Tibetan Buddhists. But Kailash is absolutely desolate, it has no houses and no human population - no worshipers, no priests.... But whoever sits in meditation in Kailash will find it fully inhabited. From the moment you reach Kailash, if you are capable of going into meditation you will say that is inhabited by many souls, and wonderful ones too. But if you go there and cannot meditate, then Kailash is empty for you.
13-Researchers believe that there are no inhabitants on the moon. But those who have some experience of Kailash will not agree that that is true about the moon. The astronauts will not find any signs of habitation there, but it does not necessarily follow that there is no one there just because the astronauts
don't find anyone.In Jaina scriptures there are detailed descriptions of the gods residing on the moon; but since astronauts have reported that there is no life on the moon, the Jaina saints and sadhus are embarrassed.
All they can say is that the astronauts have not reached the real moon; otherwise they will have to admit that their scriptures are wrong. There has been a Jaina belief, over twenty thousand years old, that there is life
on the moon, but they don't know what kind of habitation.That life form is like that of Kailash or that of any other tirtha.
14-When you get down from a train at the Kashi station, you see the gross form of Kashi, made of mud and stone: any tourist can go there and return. But there is a spiritual form of Kashi which only those who are introspective will be able to reach - those who can go deep into meditation. For them Kashi will be different, very beautiful, beyond the imagination, whereas the earthly Kashi is dirtier and more foul-smelling than any other city. That is only the visible Kashi. Some would say that the other Kashi, the beautiful one, exists only in the imagination of the poet - but that Kashi is also there.
15-The real Kashi is a great contact field for meditators. One who reaches through meditation, reaches the spiritual Kashi: on its remote banks he might come across people he could never have imagined meeting. On Kailash
there is some form of unearthly habitation. It is more or less certain that about five hundred Buddhist siddhas regularly stay there; five hundred individuals who are enlightened buddhas will always remain on Kailash. If one of them wants to go on some other mission, he will not go until some other buddha arrives to take his place.
16-But a minimum of five hundred enlightened buddhas must always stay there to make Kailash a tirtha. Only when one reaches such a tirtha does one meet disembodied souls, but it is not possible to meet them unless there is some fixed physical location; otherwise where would you meet disembodied souls, which cannot be seen? So Kashi is a place where you can sit in meditation and enter that inner world to establish communication with such souls. A tirtha cannot be understood intellectually, because it has nothing to do with the intellect. The real tirtha is hidden somewhere near the physical indication of it.
17-Another important thing is that when an enlightened person gives up the physical body, his compassion compels him leave some physical signs behind to help those who had walked with him, who had practiced austerities and made a lot of effort to become enlightened but had not succeeded. For those some guiding indications and symbols should be left so if they need they can establish a connection with him. In this world, although physical bodies are lost, no soul ever is, so some process has to be established to make contact with unembodied souls.
18-Tirthas do the same work as is done by radars today: radars reach where the eyes cannot. Stars which cannot be seen with the eyes can be detected by radar. Now through the tirtha communication can be established between those who have left us, and with those from whom we have become separated. Tirthas were established by those who left for those who are still on the path - for those who have not yet reached, for those who can still go astray.
19-Those left behind may occasionally need to ask something, to know something, which may be absolutely necessary for further progress, and without which they may go astray. They don't know what their future is, they don't know the road ahead; so for needy seekers such as them special arrangements were created - such as tirthas, temples, mantras, idols, and so on.They are all rituals, but still they are definite processes to be gone through.
20-One thing has to be remembered about meditation; it is a long journey and there is no shortcut. Anyone who says there is a shortcut is befooling you. Many meditative techniques require one to sit still and silent. But for most of us accumulated stress in our bodymind makes that difficult. Before we can hope to access our inner powerhouse of consciousness, we need to let go of our tensions.
21-A man becoming a meditator is the greatest responsibility in the world. It is not easy. it cannot be instant. So from the beginning never start expecting too much and then you will never be frustated. You will always be happy because
things will grow very slowly.Meditation is not a seasonal flower which within six weeks is there. It is a very very big tree. It needs time to spread its roots.
THE LEGEND OF KASHI;-
1-A city as old as time ; that has seen the world turn, tides change and generations of humans born and die. Varanasi or Kashi, which has been standing the tests of time for over 5000 years is said to be done of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. In Mark Twain's words, " Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legand, and looks twice as old as all of them put together. "
2-There is a beautiful story. Shiva left Kashi because of some political reasons. The gods were afraid that Kashi would lose its reverberence if it was not properly managed, so they asked Divodasa to become the king. But he put a condition, “If I have to become the king, Shiva has to leave, because with him around, me being a king is not going to work. People will gather around him.” So Shiva, along with Parvati, left to Mount Mandara, but he did not want to stay. He wanted to come back to Kashi, so he first sent messengers. They came and they just loved the city so much, they didn’t go back.
3-Then Shiva sent 64 celestial women. He said, “Somehow corrupt the king. Once we find some fault in him, we can send him packing and I’ll come back.” They came, they entrenched themselves all over the society, wanting to corrupt it, but they loved the place, so much they forgot the mission and settled down. Then he sent Surya Deva. He also came - all the Aditya temples are for him - he loved it so much he didn’t go back. Surya Deva was so ashamed and scared that he could not fulfill Shiva’s mission because his love for the city was greater than his commitment to the mission, so he turned south and tilted to one side and settled down.
4-Then Shiva sent Brahma. Brahma himself came and loved it, and he did not go back. Then Shiva said, “I cannot trust any of these people” and he sent two of his most trusted ganas. Both of them came, they could not forget Shiva, they are his people, but they loved the place so much and thought, “This is the only place Shiva should live, not Mount Mandara.” Then they became dwarapalakas of this city. Shiva sent two more, Ganesha and another, they came and took charge of the city. They started preparing the city, guarding the city, they said anyway Shiva has to come, there is no point in going back. Then Divodasa was tempted with mukti. He did not fall for any kind of corruption, but he was tempted with mukti and he took it. Then Shiva came back. 5-These are all stories to tell you how much they longed to be here, not because of pleasure, but because of the possibility that the city offered. The city was not just a dwelling place, it was a mechanism to go beyond all limitations. It was a mechanism for this tiny little organism to connect with the larger organism of the cosmos.