The city of Varanasi enjoys a mythological prominence ever since anyone comes to know about the place. Earlier, it used to be a temple of Lord Shiva. If legends are to be believed, it’s a place where Shiva resides. Anyway, coming back to this post! Today, you are going to learn about Manikarnika Ghat. Oops, did that sound like Jhansi ki raani ghat? Yes, you guessed that right. The ghat has been named after Lakhshmibai who was born in this place.
Philosophical Aspects of Manikarnika Ghat
Being one of the holiest cremation grounds amongst sacred ghats, this riverfronts resides alongside River Ganga in (Uttar Pradesh. Hindus consider death as the gateway to some other life, which results from the karma of the person. As per the beliefs, a dead body’s soul gets moksha, and that is the reasons why it breaks rebirth cycle while cremated here. The old people always wish to come here and enjoy the ghat’s charisma to make their death insignificant and painless and to get pondered upon.
Where is the ghat located?
Manikarnika Ghat has been flanked by Dashashwamedh Ghat as well as Scindia Ghat. This ghat is located in Varanasi.
Manikarnika Ghat in Historical Terms
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call this ghat one of the oldest one in Varanasi. Manikarnika Ghat enjoys a mention in the Gupta inscription (5th century). It has been revered in the Hindu religion.
Manikarnika Ghat also enjoys the prominence of being a Shakti peeth. After several oppositions by Lord Shiva, Sati never listened. Instead, she went to the Yagya ceremony that her father, Raja Dakhsh (one of the sons of Lord Bhramha) conducted. Given that Dakhsh never liked Lord Shiva, he insulted Shiva in front of Sati. On this attempt, she decided to sacrifice her life and jumped into the fire.
Lord Shiva took the dead body of Sati and took it to the Himalaya. On the unending sorrow of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu decided to send the divine chakra which would cut the body into 51 pieces. These pieces are known as Shakti peeth, and there are ekanya Shakti peeths. One of them is in the Manikarnika Ghat. Sati’s ear jewelry had fallen here in this ghat.
Is it one of the Shakti Peeths?
As discussed already, Manikarnika shrine happens to be a significance important place of worship, especially for the Shaktas, It lies near Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The place’s etymology is because of the mythology. As per the legends, Sati Devi’s Ear ring had fallen in the Manikarna ghat. This is the reason why it is named so, manikarnika means Ear Rings in Sanskrit.
According to the Hindu mythology, it teaches that this particular ghat has been sacred and people always attempts at cremating here due to the fact that it will help them achieve mokhshya.
Vishnu also pleased Lord Shiva after numerous ages of tapasya and convinced him to prevent Kashi from getting destroyed.
Lord Shiva with his beloved Parvati visited Kashi to grant Vishnu his wish. If mythology is anything to be believed, then Vishnu dug one kund on Ganga’s river bank for bathing. When Lord Shiva bathed a Jewel from the earring fell inside the well. This might also be the reason why the ghat is prominent as Manikarnika, Another myth concerning the ghat is that the ear ring from Shiva fell while he was in tandav dancing. It fell on earth and this is how Manikarnika Ghat got formed.
So, these are the mythological stories of the ghat. If you are planning to achieve mokhsha here, it would definitely be a divine experience.
Featured Photo of ‘India-5362 – Manikarnika Cremation Ghat’ by Dennis Jarvis under CC BY-SA 2.0