I am not able to contain my tremendous excitement that for the first time, I shall be going on a 7-day Yathra to Varanasi with my 70 y.o. mother! To understand my excitement, you have to know the origin of Varanasi and its spiritual significance for seekers.

So what is a Yathra?

“Yathra” means travelling to a place which puts one in a highest state, in another words, it is about going to a place which gets you back to your own space called Kshetra. Kshetra is a place which stands for certain spiritual energy, certain ideology. The concept of Yathra is unique to Hinduism because way before any religion had invented any pilgrimage, Hindus were doing pilgrimage more than 10,000 years ago. Hindus go to the energy fields to experience and strengthen their seeking. Yathra is the fabric of India which is enlightenment.

Varanasi is one such powerful Kshetra. According to Vedic purana (Vedic recordings of Gods and Goddesses), Varanasi is the oldest city of India. The story goes like this – from Mount Kailasha after Mahadeva (Lord of all gods) got married to Parvathi (Devi), he wants to stay with all the Ganas and Ganapathi and Subramanya as a large beautiful community. Mahadeva came down from Kailasha with his great disciples and followers and established the city for himself. This place is called Ananda Vana, Mahadeva’s first quarter where he lives. This is the first Sarvajna Peetha (seat of learning) that Mahadeva established from which all the rishis learned. Then River Ganga descended to have the blessing of Mahadeva, River Varuna and River Assi also joined her. Hence, Varanasi was older than River Ganga. At that time, this place was called Ananda Vana. Varanasi has seven layers of cities under it, meaning in the course of time, this city had sunk and rebuilt over 7 times. The whole city is a consolidated experience of Advaitha (non-duality) of millions of enlightened beings. With that enlightenment energy, the city was built, that is why it is called “Suvarna Bhoomi” (the Golden City).

This city has the world’s largest floating population where per day three lakh (300,000) people enter the city and leave the city. Per month there are almost 90 lakhs (9 millions) of visitors! The Varanasi streets are very famous because they are very narrow. Varanasi and Benares are different names of Kashi. From the Akashic Record by Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji), it was revealed that the streets were drainage because, in those days, you can live in this city only if you have mastered the science of flying, levitation!

The Vedic science of flying was done in those days in three ways: Mani, Mantra, Oushadha. “Mani” means, the technology: You will have your own small flying machines, or even larger ones like the Pushpaka Vimana. “Mantra”: You have mastered the science of Pranayama. Just by balancing the breathing flow, you pump in so much of Samana energy into you. It will raise your body and move. “Oushadha”: There are special herbs. You just hold them under your tongue; the prana which goes inside will just stay in your body and it will just become weightless and rise and you can move!

So Varanasi is a city of people who can fly, who have the capability to fly. In Sathya Yuga, the flying was only by “Mantra”. In Dwapara Yuga, it was by “Mani”. In Tretha Yuga, it was by “Oushadha”. In Kali Yuga – current age, people fall on the ground and walk on the drainage.

Another must-visit place is the Vishswanatha temple. The whole of Hinduism is centred on Vishwanatha, the small deity of this city. The beauty of this temple is it reminds you of the space you generate inside you, the devotion you generate inside you! The incredible space you achieve is God!

The next highlight of Varanasi is the Manikarnika Ghat. The Manikarna is a symbol of listening. Manikarnika Ghat is a largest cremation ground where hundreds of bodies are being burnt daily 24/7. Whether you are 10-years old or 90-years old, by seeing these bodies getting burnt will teach us so many truths about death. According to the Purana, Mahadeva gave the boon of whoever dies in Kashi and is burnt in Manikarnika Ghat or Harischandra Ghat, they will be liberated. Swamiji once told us that the souls who died in Varanasi, Mahadeva continuously does his job of disconnecting the umbilical cord through which the karma baggage gets shifted, he then initiates them and liberates them.

He added that for parents above 60 y.o., if they can come to Varanasi and experience the mystical Shivoham process in his presence, they will have a strong bio-memory which will give them a painless graceful exit. That would be the best gift I can give my mother – a painless graceful exit. This trip is also going to be an extraordinary completion between the mother and daughter.

In essence, Varanasi (Kashi) is a holy city that has to be experienced in one’s lifetime. When you have the right context of the yathra, in the presence of an enlightened master, going through the process of Shivoham in Inner Awakening, this 3 powerful combination is unimaginable. Don’t miss the next Inner Awakening in 2016 happening in Varanasi. Namaste 😀