D A S A S W A M E D H G H A T
Dasaswamedh ghat (Teerth) is one of the important and sacred ghats in Varanasi. This Ghat is almost in the center of all Ghats in Varanasi. It is a spectacular and most busy Ghat. It is on the west bank of the sacred Ganga river. Just nearer to this Ghat, there is a lane leading to Lord Vishwanath temple. There is a small temple of Ganga maa at this Ghat. Every day in the dusk, Ganga Aarti will be performed by the priests here. Thousands of people will gather here to see Ganga Aarti. It is very beautiful to see this Aarti. Different types of Aartis will be given to Ganga maa as a token of respect or tribute to the Ganga river. Ganga Aarti will be given at different places to Ganga river, in Gangotri, Rishikesh, Haridwar, etc, but this is the most spectacular one.
Many people stand in boats and see the Aarti. After the Aarti is performed people lit Diyas (oil lamps) and make them float on the Ganga river. That Diyas floating on the river glittering like stars in the dark sky. It looks very beautiful to see for everyone.
There are many boats, both motor and ordinary, available at this ghat from where people will hire them and go for a fun ride to see different ghats on the river banks. The main bazaar in Varanasi will directly lead to this Ghat. To reach this ghat many rickshaws and autos will be available from different places in Varanasi. Many people prefer to go on a walk in the evenings while doing shopping.
Taking bath at Dasaswamedh ghat is considered very sacred. There are many priests available to perform Pitru Shraddhas at this ghat. Doing Pitru Shraddhas here is considered very sacred, as it benefits both Pitru devas and the doer. Dasaswamedha ghat was built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao in the year 1748 and later Holkar Raani Ahalya Bhai rebuilt it in the year 1774.
There is a legend behind this Dasaswamedh Ghat. It says that after exile from Kasi Lord Siva stayed in Mt.Mandara. Even though he was happy there, He felt unhappy about leaving Kaasi. He was always thinking about Kaasi going back, as he liked Kaasi very much. He sent Yogini devatas and Surya deva to Kasi to find a way to evict Divodas from Kaasi. They failed to do it and stayed in Kasi permanently. He thought seriously to find out a suitable person to do his work. He remembered Lord Bramha and called him. Lord Bramha came to Mt.Mandara and met Lord Siva there. He ordered Bramha to go to Kasi and find a way to evict King Divodas from Kasi, as Bramha previously had given a boon to this king Divodas to stay in Kasi.
Lord Bramha came to Kasi to find the way. He tried in many ways to evict Divodas from Kasi, but he could not succeed. At last, He met the king Divodas in the guise of a pious Brahmin priest and said Lord Siva likes Kasi very much.
He wants to do Ashwamedha Yaga in Kasi and urged his help. King Divodas promised him to do all assistance to him. Lord Bramha performed ten Ashwamedha Yagas on the banks of river Ganga in Varanasi. Hence the name Dasaswamedh ghat came to this place. This is a very sacred place. Previously this place was called ”Rudra Sarassu”. Lord Bramha commemorated a Linga here by name ”Dasaswamedheswara”, and also called ”Brahmeswara Lingam” and stayed in Kasi permanently, as he could not face Lord Siva again.
Those who perform Pitru Shraddha, tarpans, Japa, Homa, Tapa, Daana, Snaana, Archana, etc., in this Teerth will get Akshaya Phala (eternal benefit). Those who take bath here will get rid of all sins and get Moksha easily. Those who take bath especially in Jyeshta maas, Shukla Paksha Vidhiya to Dasami will get rid of all sins done in all previous lives. On Dasahara, Vijayadasami is also very precious to take bath in this Teerth. Lord Bramha stayed in Kasi till Lord Siva enters Kasi and gave a grand welcome to Lord Siva in this Teerth.
Dasaswamedh Ghat (Teerth) is a very sacred place as Bramha stayed here. It is also sacred because Mahavatar Babaji will often attend secret meetings held in a hidden cave situated underground of this Ghat. It is not visible to the human eye.
KING DIVODASS (RIPUNJAYA)
The King of Kasi
Who is this Divodass? How he has evicted all Gods, including Lord Siva from Kasi? This is the question lingering in all minds who read about Kasi.
Para Bramha – Parameswara is the only God in the entire Universe. He is the creator of the Universe. He filled in every atom of the Universe (Vishwam—Vishnu ). He is Omni Present, Omni Potent, and Omniscient. He is called Para Bramha. He is the only one. No second to Him. He is the only God who created the entire Universe, including Kasi, the Avimukta Kshetra. He is called Lord Vishveswara, as Jyotir Linga.
In Padma Kalpa of Swaayambhu Manvantara (First Manvantara), there happened a drastic famine (Maha Kshama) in the world, which lasted for 60 long years. No food to eat, no water to drink. All living beings died for want of food. All the land became barren. Everywhere all ponds, tanks, wells, all water sources dried up. People cried for food and water. They eat one another, killing each other. Everywhere hues and cries. Even The creator Lord Bramha cannot do anything to eradicate the deadly famine.
At that moment he came to know about a Rajarshi, who belongs to the Manu family (Manu Vamsa), by name ”Ripunjaya”. Bramha went to Ripunjaya and requested him to rule this land, which is stricken by severe famine. Lord Bramha presented him with a beautiful Naga Kanya by the name of Ananga Mohini, to marry her and rule the land. After hearing the request of Bramha, he asked Bramha why he has selected him as the King for Varanasi. Lord Brahma replied that he has selected him like a king because he respects and abides to follow Dharma and also capable of eradicating famine from this land and rule the country with justice and peace. He named ”Ripunjaya” as ”Divodass” from thereafter.
Divodass accepted the request of Lord Brahma, with one condition. The condition is that all deities including Lord Siva, should leave Kasi at once and go to their abode, then only he can rule this land with justice and peace. Lord Brahma accepted the condition of Divodass. He decided to meet Lord Siva and convince Him of the precondition of Divodass. He met Lord Siva, then Lord Siva asked Brahma to follow him to Kusa Dweepa as he is going to give a boon to the King of Mandara, who is doing severe penance. Both went to Mt.Mandara along with their followers to give a boon to the King of Mandara. The king of Mandara bowed before them and asked Lord Siva to stay in Mandara of Kusha Dweepa permanently with all his followers (Parivar Devatas) as he was living in Kasi, the Avimukta Kshetra. Lord Siva granted the boon to King Mandara saying Tadasthu. Lord Brahma felt very happy and informed Lord Siva about the condition put forth by Divodass and he accepted the same keeping in view of severe famine. Lord Siva accepted their requests and stayed in Mt.Mandara permanently, on his behalf placed Jyotirlinga in Kasi.
Even though Lord Siva stayed in Mt.Mandara with his Parivar, his mind was lingering around Kasi, as he loves Kasi very much. Moreover, he promised to stay in Kasi permanently. So, Lord Siva was unhappy at Mt.Mandara and tried to find a way to go back to Kasi. He could not force King Divodass to leave Kasi, as he is ruling the land with justice and peace.
On the console of Mata Parvati, Lord Siva sent yogini Ganas to Kasi to find a way to evict king Divodass from Kasi. They could not succeed in their job and stayed permanently in Kasi. Then Lord Siva sent Surya Deva to Kasi. He also tried in many ways and finally stayed in Kasi permanently. Then He sent Lord Brahma to Kasi to do His job, as he has granted permission to King Divodass to stay in Kasi. He too failed to do the job entrusted to him and stayed in Kasi permanently, afraid to face Lord Siva. Lord Siva with very much frustration, sent Ganapathy to Kasi to find a way to evict Divodas from Kasi. Ganapati also tried his level best to evict king Divodass from Kasi but failed to do it and decided to stay in Kasi permanently. Lord Siva felt very much unhappy with the events and finally sent Lord Vishnu to Kasi to do His job. Lord Vishnu along with Maa Lakshmi came to Kasi and stayed in disguise and observe the situation in Kasi. They came to know that they could not succeed in ordinary ways. So, they changed themselves to Buddha Sanyasis and started preaching religious beliefs of people with completely false perspectives (Pashandamata). They deliver their teachings with a sweet voice to the people of Kasi and spread selfish materialistic ways in the people and also succeeded in their attempts. People started to follow them (Adharma). Thereby the king became weak at his morality. He was unhappy with the people and met Buddha sanyasi for help. He spoke with the king sweetly and suggested he install a Siva linga in Kasi, to get his mind peaceful.
Finally, on a holy day, the king placed Siva linga in Kasi with great fervor. Suddenly a divine vehicle (Divya Vimaana) came down from the sky and took King Divodass to Heaven with his physical body. Thus the King Divodass got Moksha.
Lords Bramha and Vishnu welcomed Lord Siva back to Kasi. Lord Siva felt very happy and all the Trio stayed happily in Kasi, the Avimukta Kshetra. Lord Siva placed Siva linga on Mt.Mandara permanently on his behalf.
Lord Siva bless you all.