Thursday, December 02, 2010

காசி பயணம்

An ideal place I would consider to be my retirement home. That is what I have to say about Kasi. There cannot be a more perfect concoction of traditional and modern outlook. Both Ganga Matha and Gomatha are too very generous in Kasi that milk flows as free as Ganga throughout the Kasi town. Every street has one or two yadav brother’s shop as its face lift. And these shops provide everything right from hot milk, malai, dahi and to add to all these bread bajji(that is how my south Indian mind perceives this stuff).

I think this is the only town where in sanatana dharma’s varnashram is still existing atleast with slightest resemblance to original version. We still have dhobhies, mallas(boatmen) and yadavs doing their respective jobs. Not to mention, we still have Brahmins who stick to vaideegam in huge number in this holy place. Seeing the scenario there, I do not think that people repent for still following their caste based jobs.

We landed straight at Allahabad and had a short stay at shiva madam. We performed Veni Dhanam. A religious ceremony wherein woman gives small part of her hair as dhanam to triveni matha. This veni dhanam just happens once in life time of a woman. Boat ride in Triveni was refreshing. After Hiranya Srartham, we proceeded towards Kasi. I was too very excited to reach kasi.

Three full days in Kasi was tight packed. I never felt that I am new to the holy place. After our first trip to Vishwanath Temple, subsequent trips were relatively easier. Viswanath Temple was always full up with both humans and monkeys. While we humans patiently wait in long queue to have darshan of Lord Viswanath, the monkeys patiently wait on temple walls and gopurams to get a chance to grab any edible stuff the devotees have. The unique thing about Viswanath temple is that every God except Annapoorni is only in Lingaroopam. Dandapani, Vishu are all there in Viswanath temple but in Lingaroopam.

After pitru karma and visits to Annapoorni and Viswanath Mandir, one day was planned for visiting other temples in and around Kasi. One temple which I visited with much devotion was Lord Kalabairava’s temple. He is the guard of Kasi. There are eight Kalabairava temples in each of the eight directions of Kasi. It is said that any person who visits Kasi should pay a mandatory visit to lord Kalabairava’s temple also. Another mandatory visit is to Choudi Amman’s temple. Only on visiting her, the Kasi trip gets completed.

The fourth day was planned at Gaya. It was tedious day at Gaya. Pitru karma lasted almost till three o clock. When we were in Akshaya Vat, Sastrigal enthusiastically narrated gaya asuran’s tale that we were all ears to hear it. After fasting for full day, we had a so so meal at around 4 PM. Then immediately we headed towards Budh Gaya.

For our fifth day, we were back to Kasi. Left with no religious rite to perform, the whole two day were entirely for us. We utilized these two days to have a hearty darshan of Lord Viswanath and Annapoorni. Annapoorni devi was too very kind to us that one day she fed us her prasadam and the next day she fed us a full meal. We were really excited and happy to eat her prasadam. I felt as if Annapoorni has showered her full grace on me(us).

With lot of good memories which will stay with me for years to come, we were ready to head towards Bangalore.


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