Terms

Kashi

Kashya or Kashayapa is the Ruler of Kashi (cf. Shiva), or spiritous liquor (cf. Soma). Kashi is also a city known as Karashar or Qarashahar, and was once the ancient city of Agni or Yanqi. The word ‘Kashi’ originated from the word ‘Kas’ which means to shine. Kashi is said to be the ‘original ground’ created by Lord Shiv and Parvati, upon which they stood at the beginning of time. It is also the ground which lies at the confluence of the Bhagirathi, the Varuna and Asi rivers (and has the right to be called Varanasi – a combination of Varuna and Asi). Because of this, Uttarkashi is considered a tapobhumi (a place of meditation), a location whose vibrations are conducive to the multiplication of knowledge and learning. This land has been considered sacred from time immemorial. According to the Skand Puran, this sacred land was ‘panch kos’ wide and also as long – which makes it 12 miles in length and in breadth. There are other Kashis in India (Guptkashi, Gaya Kashi, Dakshin Kashi, Shiv Kashi) but it is only Poorv Kashi (Kashi of the east, Benaras or Varanasi) and Uttarkashi (Kashi of the north) that have the Vishwanath temple located within them. It is believed that in Kalyug, when the sins of the world threaten to overcome humanity, Lord Shiv will move from Kashi (Varanasi) to Uttarkashi for the good of mankind. It is for this reason that Uttarkashi has a duplication of the temples and ghats that are located in Kashi. These include the Vishwanath Mandir, the Annapurna Mandir, Bhairon Mandir (Bhairon is considered the protector of Lord Shiv and must be propitiated before prayers are offered to Lord Shiv), Manikarnik Ghat and Kedar Ghat. http://uttarkashi.nic.in/Public/mythology.htm
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