Thursday December 14, 2017

Banaras: A land that has conserved the essence Hinduism for over 3000 years

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By Rituparna Chakrobarty

Varanasi has been a famous centre of Hindu religion for at least three thousand years. In the ancient Hindu literature also Varanasi has invariably been dealt with as the Dharma-Kshetra which means the religious area.

It is not for nothing that Varanasi has been called India in miniature. A bird’s-eye-view of Varanasi as a center of religion and monastic aspect reveals that practically all religious sects have their branches in this city. From Buddhism to Islam, all the religions have been able to exist here in harmony,

It may not be possible to describe in detail the various centers and monastical establishments connected to various communities and sects. But a general survey reveals that practically all ancient and modern persuasions have their representation in this holy city.

Why Varanasi has so much influence on people?

Most people from across the globe come to visit the Kashi Vishawnath temple. According to Hindu mythology out of 12 Shivlingam disseminated one of its linga is situated here in Vishawnath.

According to the Kashi khand- the so called directory of Kashi, there are 811 temples and 288 tirthas in Varanasi. Out of it 513 are Shiva lingas, 49 Vishnu temples, 75 temples of Devis and 71 idols of Lord Ganesha and rest consists of Surya, Bhairava, Yoginis and many others.

It is believed that the city was devotee of Lord Vishnu as it was ruled by the emperor Adi Keshav who belongs to Vaishnva sect and there was no existence of Lord Shiva. But with due change in time Shiva liked the place and he invited all the other Hindu gods-goddesses to have a stay at Kashi.

In puranas the four names used to  describe the religious state viz: Kashi, Varanasi, Avimukta and Antargriha.

Religious and monastic Institutions

Sarnath

Beyond Hinduism it adds more religious fervour to followers of Buddhism and Jainism.

Buddha had met the five Brahmans whom he preached his sermon known in Buddhist phraseology as Dharama-chakara-Pravartana, after attaining Nirvana here in Sarnath.  Ashoka later built a Stupa at this place which is known as Chaukhandi Stupa.

The countries like Tibet, Myanmmar, Sri lanka, Thailand and Japan have built their own monasteries in the place.

People from various countries come to visit the city  to rejuvenate their lives as they gain mental peace and sanity from visiting this religious place. Also they found themselves closer to the god as it is believed that this land is pathway to the heaven.

  • A really good article comprising with important information helps to know the history of Varanasi. Thanks to author Rituparna Chakraborty

  • Good one but it could have been in more words. Banaras simply deserves an elaborate story.

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5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

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Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

family vacations
Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

Family vacations
Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  She can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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Mann Ki Baat: Modi Recalls ‘Khadi Movement’, Urges People to Use Khadi

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Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi

New Delhi, Sep 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent ‘Mann Ki Baat’ show, memorialized ‘Khadi Movement’.  He urged the masses to promote khadi usage and take it forward as a movement. “I had earlier mentioned that Khadi was not a cloth but a movement which should be taken forward,” Modi said in the 36th edition of his monthly radio programme, “Mann Ki Baat”.

Stating that he has observed a surge in the people’s interest towards Khadi, the Prime Minister said that the sale of the fabric has also increased due to which the employment among poor people has seen a rise.

“We must work towards lighting lamps in the houses of people engaged in the Khadi industry this Diwali,” he said.

“The Khadi ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi was defunct for the last 26 years, however, it has now been revived,” Modi added. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi: Don’t believe in vote bank politics, Nation comes first

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

Varanasi, Sep 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, said that the BJP did not believe in vote bank politics as the country was above party politics. This is his second day of the visit to his parliamentary constituency in Varanasi.

Modi told a gathering that he had launched a major war against corruption and the corrupt to ease the life of the common man. He also said cleanliness was worship for him as it could rid the poor of various diseases and a lot of economic burdens.

“Governance for us is not about votes or winning elections. The priority is the development of the nation. For us, the country is bigger than party,” he said, in his address to farmers in Shahanshahpur on the outskirts of Varanasi.

He said most of the problems faced by the common people in India were rooted in corruption.

“I have launched a war against it and will take it further to ensure that graft is weeded out from the country.”(IANS)