On Thursday November 14th 2019 my sister and I left for our very long awaited trip to Kashi. I had been dreaming of going there for the last few years, and finally it was happening.
Once we landed at Kashi we checked into our lodgings which was located on the ghats itself, with a big balcony overlooking the beautiful Ganga. We started our trip that morning with BABA's darshan in a very cute shop in one of the small narrow galis of Kashi. The shop sold sarees and also had a lovely BABA temple at the back. They were performing Abhishekam to BABA when we happened to enter the temple and so we got an opportunity to honor BABA with abhishekam in Kashi on that Thursday.
The day had a beautiful dream like quality. We enjoyed the yummy street food in Kashi, visited the world famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, spent a lot of time in the temple complex and were able to perform a puja there as well (for everyone's wellbeing). In the evening we went to the famous Manikarnika ghat, where bodies are burnt 24/7 and there is constant reminder in the air that this body of ours is unreal, and it is only the soul which lives forever. Our scriptures say that whoever is fortunate enough to die in Kashi attains Moksha at the hands of Lord Shiva.
After Manikarnika ghat, we walked over to the Dasashwamedha ghat, where the world famous Ganga Arti takes place every single evening of the year. As you know Maa Ganga is honored and revered in Kashi, as she takes a detour on her journey to the ocean and comes to Kashi only to pay her respects to Lord Shiva, who resides in Kashi.
When we got there, the arrangements for the arti were still underway. There were several large podiums near the river bank, and every podium was decorated beautifully. We were lucky enough to find a very comfortable sitting spot near the podium in the center, (where the musicians were set up to sing the arti), and sat down there.
Upon sitting down, I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with how the day had progressed, the many divine blessings my sister and I had received, and I was overcome with devotion, love and gratitude for BABA, as I knew he had made this trip happen for me, as it had been my deep wish to visit Kashi for a long time, and he knew it.
At this point, I closed my eyes, turned within, and thanked BABA profusely for everything. I was feeling so happy and so joyful and so loved by BABA at that moment, I was in bliss. I stayed that way for a few minutes, and then slowly opened my eyes.
BABA is so beautiful, his response is so quick. This is what happened in the next moment. As soon as I opened my eyes and looked up towards the Ganga Arti podium, I saw one of the organizers of the Ganga Arti, call out to me, motioning to me with his hand to get up and come to him. I got up and went, and next thing you know, he was asking me to light all the diyas that were placed around the central podium of the Ganga Arti !!!
Out of thousands of people gathered there the organizer picked me !!! It was no coincidence, BABA heard my prayer of gratitude, acknowledged it, and responded immediately, by giving me this golden amazing once in a lifetime opportunity. In a daze and thanking BABA again and again I went to the podium and joyfully lit all the diyas placed there !!! After that my sister and I enjoyed the beautiful Ganga Arti, and needless to say the rest of my trip was equally blessed. The next day, we got to do Mangala arti in Kashi Vishwanath early morning, take a beautiful sunrise cruise along the Ganga, have a full bath in the Ganga at the predawn hour of 5am and visit so many beautiful temples, and ashrams in Kashi.
We also went to Both gaya and Sarnath on the same trip, and when we were leaving Kashi, the last darshan at the airport was a HUGE picture of BABA hanging in a shop (as shown below).
BABA blessed this trip and he gave me such a beautiful internal experience of Kashi, that words fail me. My memory of Kashi will always be an extremely precious one, with this incident, of lighting diyas at the banks of the Ganga, etched in my mind forever.
May BABA bless all,
OM SAIRAM ❤️❤️❤️