So continuing with my Banaras tales BANARAS #1
I had basically gone to Banaras to celebrate my daughter’s Annaprashana.. ( for the new readers, my in laws stay in Banaras )
So Annaprashana is a ritual in hindus, where the child on completing 6 months is initiated to food..
With a puja done to appease Annapurna Devi ( the goddess of food) the child is blessed by the elders present..
There is ritual where in they keep a plate in front of the baby with articles ranging from the holy book of Hindus…(The Bhagwad Gita) Vermillion..(Indicating beauty) Money..(wealth ) Stethoscope (as we are doctors) Books and pen (Indicating education, Gold ( prosperity) and many such things..
And what did my daughter Rhea choose???😉 Sindoor( Vermillion) and money next…😜🙈
She must have found the red box of vermillion quiet appealing or so it seems..
After a week or so I visited the local markets again just to explore them I found a temple called Khichdi Baba.( Khichdi is like a porridge made from rice and lentils)
Khichdi Baba Temple Is Located In Dashashwamedh Road near Kashi Viswanath Temple..
My Mil told me that people who wish to feed the underprivileged come here and make donations and that money is used in making Khichdi and feeding them..
It’s a small temple right in the market with a huge vessel in front of the idol, indicating the cooking of khichdi..Interesting indeed I thought..
The legend has it that Lord Shiva once claimed to Goddess Parvathi that everything material that exists in this universe is ‘Maya’ (Illusion), including food. Goddess Parvathi, the manifestation of all material things, enraged with Lord Shiva, disappears. Everything comes to a standstill, and people are left with no food to feed themselves. The whole Earth becomes barren.
Unable to watch everyone suffering, Goddess Parvathi comes to Varanasi (Kashi) as Goddess Annapurna and sets up a kitchen to provide food for everyone. Hearing this, Lord Shiva goes to her with an alm bowl and requests her to provide him ‘biksha’ (alms), and tells her he now realizes that the material world can never be dismissed as an illusion. So, Goddess Parvathi provides ‘biksha’ for Lord Shiva..
Hence,in Varanasi, annadhanam ( an offering of food) is widely carried out by trusts as well as individuals..
You will find many such temples near the Ghats..
The ones I saw was the Kali temple and one dedicated to the river Ganga..
More in the next post until then stay happy, stay cheerful and goodbye May😉