Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Varanasi for his two-day visit, during which he will inaugurate phase 1 of the newly-constructed Kashi Vishwanath Dham. The project is aimed at transforming pilgrims’ experience of the temple town. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. In the famous Hindu temple, it is believed that Kashi rests on the trident of Lord Shiva. Many believe that this is the temple where one can achieve salvation. Inside the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the Jyotirlinga of Shiva, Vishveshvara or Vishvanath.
The Vishveshvara Jyotirlinga has a very special and unique significance in the spiritual history of India. It is here that Lord Shiva gives the ‘Tarak mantra’ to the ones who are about to die. According to the scriptures, it is believed that Lord Bholenath himself resides in the 12 Jyotirlingas. By worshipping here, one gets freedom from sins and all their desires are sure to be fulfilled.
Also, there is a ‘Well of Wisdom’ situated in between the temple and a mosque adjacent to it. It is said that the idol of Shiva was hidden in a well when the news of Aurangazeb, the sixth Mughal emperor, planning to destroy the temple spread.
The mythology of Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple, the 7th Jyotirling out of 12 Jyotirlingas, is situated on the Western Ghats of the river Ganges in Varanasi. It is believed that Kashi is considered to be one of the most beloved places of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
According to mythology, the temple of Kashi Vishwanath has been stated in the Skanda Purana. Lord Shiva’s mother-in-law was worried that her son-in-law does not have an abode. For his wife, Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva asked the demon, Nikumbha to make a place in Kashi. Shiva along with Goddess Parvati started living there. She was so pleased that she offered food to everybody and was worshipped as Annapoorani. On the other hand, Lord Shiva is known to be the master of all in Shaiva literature. But the Lord himself seeks food from the Devi, that too, in a begging bowl.