Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima, reverentially, the most important day for the followers of Buddhism, commemorates Lord Buddha's enlightenment in 588 B.C and also his attainment of the highest of spiritual goals, 'Nirvana' in Bodh Gaya and 'Parinirvana' (or "final cessation") in Kushinagara. Alternatively called Buddha Jayanti, this day consecrates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. As the name itself suggests, Buddha Purnima is observed on a bright full moon in the Vaisakha month (April/May), a time especially suited for introspection, charity and puja. This year, Buddha Purnima in India will be celebrated on May 14, 2014.
Historically, the importance of Buddha Purnima goes back to the era of Chinese scholarship where the day is mentioned in the works of the Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien. Buddha Purnima is known by different names in different countries. As per the native tongue of different countries, Nepal observes 'Swanyapunhi', Singapore upholds Lord Buddha's teachings on 'Vesak Day', Indonesia celebrates 'Hari Waisak', while Thailand commemorates this day as 'Visakha Bucha Day'. Buddha Jayanti is celebrated across south-east Asian countries that have a recognizable Buddhist population. Countries that observe Buddha Purnima include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tibet, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Korea, China, Cambodia, and Japan.

वैशाख पूर्णिमा को बुद्ध पूर्णिमा भी कहते हैं। यह गौतम बुद्ध की जयंती है और उनका निर्वाण दिवस भी। इसी दिन भगवान बुद्ध को बुद्धत्व की प्राप्ति हुई थी। भगवान बुद्ध का जन्म, ज्ञान प्राप्ति और महापरिनिर्वाण ये तीनों एक ही दिन अर्थात वैशाख पूर्णिमा के दिन ही हुए थे। हिन्दू धर्मावलंबियों के लिए बुद्ध विष्णु के नौवें अवतार हैं। अतः हिन्दुओं के लिए भी यह दिन पवित्र माना जाता है।
इसी कारण बिहार स्थित बोधगया नामक स्थान हिन्दू व बौद्ध धर्मावलंबियों के पवित्र तीर्थ स्थान हैं। गृहत्याग के पश्चात सिद्धार्थ सात वर्षों तक वन में भटकते रहे। यहाँ उन्होंने कठोर तप किया और अंततः वैशाख पूर्णिमा के दिन बोधगया में बोधि वृक्ष के नीचे उन्हें बुद्धत्व ज्ञान की प्राप्ति हुई। तभी से यह दिन बुद्ध पूर्णिमा के रूप में जाना जाता है। बुद्ध पूर्णिमा के अवसर पर बुद्ध की महापरिनिर्वाणस्थली कुशीनगर में स्थित महापरिनिर्वाण मंदिर पर एक माह का मेला लगता है। इस मंदिर का महत्व बुद्ध के महापरिनिर्वाण से है।
श्रीलंका व अन्य दक्षिण-पूर्व एशियाई देशों में इस दिन को 'वेसाक' उत्सव के रूप में मनाते हैं जो 'वैशाख' शब्द का अपभ्रंश है। विश्व भर से बौद्ध धर्म के अनुयायी बोधगया आते हैं और प्रार्थनाएँ करते हैं।

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Adi Keshava Ghat

In Ghadavala inscription (c. C.E. 1100) this ghat was referred as Vedesvara Ghat. This is assumed to be the oldest and the original (Adi) site of Lord Visnu (Keshava). The temple complex of Adi Keshava has a pleasant pastoral setting on he bank above the confluence of the Varuna and the Ganga rivers. Among the oldest puranic listings of sacred sites in the city, this is one of them. This sacred spot is fully eulogized in the MP (185-68), the VP (3.34-50), the KKh (84.109; see also 51.44-82). This was the most favorite holy site of the Gahadavala kings, as evident from the Gahadavala inscription that" a great number of regal ritual occasions in Varanasi included the worship of Adi Kesava or a dip in the Ganga at the Varana confluence: (Niyogi 1959: app. B as in Eck 1982:233). The ghat was made pucca in 1790 by a Divan of Scindhia State.

Shri Panch Agni Akhada Ghat

Shri Panch Agni Akhada Ghat is named after Shri Panch Agni Akhada Formed in 1136 AD.Has headquarters at Varanasi and branches at Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain, Tryambakeshwar, Bareilly, Ahmedabad, Junagarh, etc. Also called as 'Brahmacharis' Akhada.
Prominent Mahants: Mahant Ambikanandji.

Sant Ravidas Ghat

Sant Ravidas Ghat is another important Ghat of Varanasi. Sant Ravidas Ghat is named after the great Sant of 15th Century Sant Ravidas. 

Sant Ravidas Temple

Sant Ravidas Temple is located at Raj ghat, Varanasi, near River Ganges at a distance of about 5 km from Varanasi railway station. It is dedicated to Sant Ravidas & his statue is installed in its sanctum.