Gods in Kasi

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I am not a very religious person. Neither am I a worshiper of any of our gods. But I find Shivji very close to my heart. He loves Kasi and can’t tolerate being away from his city. He feels the separation very concretely and physically. And he is not afraid of owning whatever feelings he has for his beloved city. There are many stories in the Purans about gods and goddesses and I have heard many of them, but a god’s love for a city on the earth: that’s not at all common. Brahma and Vishnu, the two-third of the trinity, live in their respective abodes away from the earth. Although Vishnu’s incarnations are known to have missed/wept for their places of birth on the earth (Ayodhya and Vrindawan) it’s their leela. When Mahadev is tricked out of his city and has to stay away from it, he actually weeps for it and its not his leela. He tells Parvati how he yearns for his return. And that city is Kasi. Har Har Mahadev.

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Hanumanji is another god I find very appealing as an idea. As a child I was told, and had full faith in what I was told, till I lost faith, that when someone read Hanuman Chaalisa 100 times, his wishes will be fulfilled and that Hanumanji always protects his devotees. I used to be a regular reader of the Chalisa for many years. Then I stopped believing naively. Out went the strength of faith and entered doubt. Today, even though I don’t believe in the existence of Hanumanji as a god, I still feel drawn towards the idea of a font of strength: the celibate, immortal, brilliant, mighty god of strength. Jai Bajrang Bali.

I have a very close relationship with both Mahadev and Hanumanji. My grandmother is behind all that.

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4 thoughts on “Gods in Kasi

  1. Are those pictures from the temple with the golden roof? Foreigners were not allowed into or near it because of terrorism threats. There were soldiers everywhere, and we had to even leave our bags at a check-point to merely peer over the wall while being squeezed in the narrow streets. Later we say Indian people standing inline for 4-5 hours to visit the temple for a few moments. Namaste. . . . Anne

    • Changing times have changed my city so much that it’s been years I’d been to Kasi Vishwanath Temple (with the golden roof). It’s not because I don’t want to, but because the whole place has been converted into some kind of war zone. I grew up passing through the temple area, even with my bicycle. Today, I can’t take even my camera there. Still, they have not succeeded in totally ruining my city. Keep visiting. Namaste.

  2. I think people are divided into two categories- believers and non believers. And you were always a believer whether in Hanumanji or in kasi. See, the major thing is that you are getting comfort in something and the minor is what is that thing. Whether it is remembering any god or place or doing something like reading. Tendulkar might feel same pleasure while watching his own innings or Amitabh in his own movie which you feel while thinking about Kasi but if i talk on psychological ground I would suggest you to stop thinking so much about your birth place because it can decrease your attachment with your family and thus leading you to an isolated person like wordsworth. Life is about working till death and not about oscillating for something eternally pleasurable. Many before you committed this mistake and nobody dropped tears on their death. Just decide what do you want to do?

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