Sunday, Jul 03, 2022

Gyanvapi Complex: History Of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Its Present And Future

The wounds of history may heal if Muslims return Krishna Janmabhoomi and Kashi Vishwanath. It may open the doors to lasting amity between the two communities.

Photograph: Tribhuvan Tiwari

Kashi is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its name is mentioned in the Rg Veda, where it’s called a moksha nagri, for it is believed that whosoever dies in Kashi attains immediate salvation. Therefore, Hindu believers in their old age prefer to surrender their life to God at Kashi. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is of utm­ost religious importance in the Hindu religion. Many gre­at saints like Adi Sha­n­k­a­racharya, Gos­wami Tul­sidas, Ramakrishna Par­amhansa, Swami Day­ananda Saraswati, Swa­mi Viveka­n­a­nda and Guru Nanak had come to Varanasi to bathe in the holy waters of the Gan­ges, followed by darshan of the holy jyotirlinga.

In Sanskrit, vapi means a well, and gyan means the knowledge that liberates. Thus, gyanvapi ref­ers to a well of knowledge. It was created at a time when even the holy Ganges had not desce­n­ded to earth. Lord Shiva dug this well with his trishul to get water for his puja. He then deli­v­e­r­ed a spiritual sermon to his consort Parvati. Thus, the well came to be known as gyanvapi.