Between Destruction and Creation

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“Without an understanding of myth or religion, without an understanding of the relationship between destruction and creation, death and rebirth, the individual suffers the mysteries of life as meaningless mayhem alone.”
(Marion Woodman – Canadian author, b.1928)

Manikarnika Kund is a sacred pond located next to Manikarnika Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Each year in November it is dug out from the dirt which covers it up from the holy river floods of the rainy season.
This large rectangular structure, with surrounding steps is mythologically related to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The Chakra-Pushkarini Kund or “Discus Lotus-Pond” is said to be so ancient that it was present before King Bhagiratha brought the Ganges to Varanasi and is supposed to have been dug by Lord Vishnu at the time of creation with his disc.
The word “Manikarnika” refers “Jeweled Earring” and this name was given because Lord Shiva’s earring fell into the well when it was a very large lake.
This historic place symbolizes creation, and the cremation ghat next to it is all about death, the hot ashes of the burnt bodies nearby makes one remember the inevitable destruction of everything in the world.
Many pilgrims take a bath here after performing the rituals of cremation. It is also said to be lucky for couples to take a bath together in this well.

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