Alamgir Mosque & Trailinga Swami’s Ashram

Alamgir Mosque & Trailinga Swami’s Ashram

The Holy Places in Varanasi comprises of not just temples but some mosques as well and of them one of the most important and beautiful ones is the Alamgir Mosque. It also has the distinction of being Varanasi’s largest river side structure.

History of the Alamgir Mosque, Varanasi

It is believed that at the spot where the Alamgir Mosque now stands there once stood a Vishnu Temple. Built by a Maratha chieftain Beni Madhav Rao Scindhia in the 17th century this was one of the city’s biggest temples extending from Panchganga Ghat to Ram Ghat. Unfortunately however within a few decades after it was built, it was destroyed by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and in its place came up the Alamgir Mosque. The mosque which was built in its stead is also no doubt a very impressive structure. It happens to be referred to by the name of Beni Madhav Ka Darera as well.

 

Trailinga Swami’s Ashram:

On January 22nd we will celebrate the Maha Samadhi of Trailinga Swami, a great yogi and an important figure in the Devi Mandir tradition. To honor the birth of such a great soul into the world, we will be publishing a series of Trailinga Swami stories, told by Shree Maa in Bengali and translated into English by our beloved Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

Trailinga Swami, also spelled as Trailanga Swami, was an Indian Saint from Banares who was recognized as an Avadhuta, a great Saint, by Ramakrishna, Yogananda, and other Saints of his time.

Trailinga Swami underwent tremendous sadhana for over 250 years and attained to the greatest heights of spiritual knowledge. Even during his life many people met him and realized him to be an incarnation of Shiva.

Both Shree Maa and Swamiji have the greatest respect for Trailinga Swami. Maa keeps his image on her altar in the Devi Mandir, where she worships every day, and she has had an intuitive sense of him for many years of her life.

Shree Maa has shared many stories from Trailinga Swami’s life with us as a source of inspiration for perseverance in our sadhana. These stories are a great source of spiritual wisdom that shows us not only what was possible for Trailinga Swami, but what is possible for all of us through the power of spiritual discipline.

In one such story, Trailinga Swami went out into the river to rescue a sinking boat single-handedly. Trailinga Swami knew that everyone had the same potential to do anything, but that sadhana enlivened that potential.

He said, “Those who forget their own nature, their Godly essence, forget the power within themselves. Our real nature most often is mistaken by others. They prefer to believe in a miracle of the supernatural, rather than the inner strength of the powers that all of us possess.” For him, the boat rescue was merely another proof of the power of the God within.

Trailinga Swami’s ashram is a small Temple located in Varanasi on the Panchganga ghat, the confluence of India’s five holy rivers  There is a murti of Lord Krishna at the entrance and to the right side there is a huge Shiva Linga. It is said that one-day Trailinga Swami dove into the Ganges and came up with a huge stone that now serves as the Shiva Linga. There are pictures of Trailinga Swami with Ramakrishna and Vivekananda throughout the entrance of the Temple.

Shree Maa and Swamiji have visited there many times to offer Ganges water to the Shiva Linga and pranams to the samadhi of the great saint.


Alamgir Mosque
Alamgir Mosque side view
Alamgir Mosque front view
Trailinga Swami
Trailinga Swami

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