Harishchandra Ghat of Varanasi is a historic and Puranik Mahashmashaan. Famous King Harishchandra , known for his truthfulness served here under a Chandala. Harishchandra was famous for his truthfulness. Once he donated his entire kingdom to sage Vishvamitra in dream. Next day Vishvamitra came to him and asked him handover his kingdom. Harsihchandra had a board outside his palace declaring “Any desired donations are given here without a question”.
To keep the truthfulness of claim, King Harischandra donated his kingdom to Vishvamitra, Vishvamitra wanted to take the test of Harishchandra. he asked for Dakshina further. King Harishchandra has to sell himself to a Chandala and his wife and son to a pious Brahman. Queen became a maid servant and King became servant of Chandala and started cremating dead bodies.
Vishvamitra was not satisfied even then. He took the form of a serpent and bit Harishchandra’s son Rohit. Harishchandra’s wife Shaivya brought their son’s body to cremation Ghat. Being and honest truthful employee, Harishchandra asked her to pay some duty to let her cremate.
Shaivya didn’t have anything , Finally she started tearing her Sari in half to give it to pay the duty of cremation ground.
Gods in heaven melted on her supreme sacrifice and Harishchandra’s honesty. King of Devas Indra, other Devas, Rishi Vishvamitra, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva appeared in front of them. They all praised Harishchandra’s truthfulness, honesty and his and his family’s commitment for the cause of Dharma.
He received his kingdom back. His son was revived. He was reunited with his wife. King Harishchandra attained ‘Moksha’ after his life was over on Earth.
The cremation ghat where Harishchandra worked is now called Harishchandra ghat. It was a big Ghat some centuries ago and sadhaka used to make huts and do their sadhanas in this Mahashamashan back then. Now with population and development the area of ghat has shrunk in size.
Harishchandra Ghat exceeds in significance among all other Ghats in Varanasi. Even Manikarnika ghat does not supersede the greatness of Harishchandra Ghat.
Its is said that if the body is cremated in Varanasi the Soul receives Moskha.
Harishchandra Ghat is a MahaShmashan. Cremation ground of a pilgrimage place are called Mahashmashan. These Mahashmashan are related to subtler realms more closely than normal cremation grounds. It grants them with some special prowess.
If a body is cremated in a Mahashmashan , the soul remains in Preta body only for 10 days.In Hindus ‘Dashami shradh’ is the day when this Soul will get his liberation from Preta body.during this 10 days the Preta drinks the water tied in Ghat with Peepal tree in MahaShmashan.
A Peepal tree in a Mahashmashan has special significance. Sitting below this tree relives you. The ghosts problems are alleviated and health improves.
A lamps burnt from sesame(til) oil on its roots decreases the malefic effects caused by Saturn.
Circumbulating 11 times of fulfills wishes. Circumbulating 21 times diminishes poverty. Circumbulating 51 times cures diseases. Circumbulating 101 times grants progress in business, grants wealth and happiness. It can grant children as well.
Plant a Peepal Tree as much as possible. It is an act of great punya.
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