Monday February 18, 2019

Religious Capital of India: Find out what makes Varanasi so Holy to Hindus!

The Hindu faith has entitled seven cities as the holiest, also known as Sapta Puri

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Varanasi, religious capital of india
Varanasi, religious capital of india

Varanasi:

Popularly known as the religious capital of India, Varanasi or Banaras, is situated in Uttar Pradesh, and is the location of the holy river Ganges. Varanasi holds the same importance to Hindus as Jerusalem is to Christians.

The Hindu faith has entitled seven cities as the holiest, also known as Sapta Puri. Varanasi is one of the seven cities including Haridwar, Mathura, Ujjain, Ayodhya, Kanchipuram and Dwarka.

Varanasi is considered pious for its ghats, music and the pure air of nirvana. The air of this city has mystifying fragrances of incense, evening aartis and hymns by the ghats, and has a rich heritage of learning, music and culture that make Varanasi the religious city of India. People often wish to proceed to heavens in their old age through the way of Varanasi.

Yogakshema: The ancient Indian concept of Good Governance

Banaras or Varanasi is considered holy by Hindus and Non-Hindus across the world, also because this city is popularly known as the city of Ganga and Shiva.

Aikya Linga, Varanasi. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Aikya Linga, Varanasi.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • It is believed that when time began to tick for the first time, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were present in this city, formerly called Kashi.
  • Kashi has links with mythical beings and is the home to many legends. Buddhist and Mahabharata scriptures are found in Varanasi. ‘Sri Ramcharitmanas’ the holy Hindu epic by Tulsidas was composed here.
  • The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has an idol of his ‘lingam’. Temples of Varanasi are considered Shiva’s abode in ‘Skanda Purana.’ It is also an important city of Nepalese for it also has the Kaal Bhairav temple built by the King of Nepal at the Lalita Ghat.
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Indian PM Narendra Modi offering prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Innumerable ancient temples make it one of the oldest cities too. The Durga temple built in the 8th century has innumerable monkeys residing there. Built in 1964 as a dedication of Lord Rama, the Tulsi Manas temple was built where Tulsidas wrote Ramcharitmanas.

– by Chetna Karnani, at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

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Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)