A place where you check in to die!
Varanasi or Kaashi, is a holy city in India where people travel in search of moksha. What is moksha? According to Hindu believe Moksha, refers to various forms of emancipation, salvation, enlightenment, liberation, and release. In its soteriological and eschatological senses, it refers to freedom from life troubles and materialistic things, the cycle of death and rebirth. Located on the banks of river Ganga, Varanasi is considered one of the holiest place in the country. One of the most famous spot of the city is Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan. Here, people check in to die. Yes you heard it right! Moksha Bhavan is the only place in Varanasi where people come to die. It’s not a horror story or a haunted realm, not even a place offering mercy killing but it’s a place for people seeking peace and harmony.
What does Moksha Bhavan look like?
Every year the city receives thousands of visitors seeking moksha. To attain salvation, people take many steps such as diving into the river Ganga to wash of their sins or practice penance for the same. But Varanasi is not only visited to take moksha but also visited to spend the last moments of their lives. And for this, there lies Moksha Bhavan- a 12 room hostel. A place which is not for the ones seeking adventure and joy, not for the wandering travelers but for the ones who are already on their death beds. These people visit the Bhavan to spend the final days of their lives. However, living the Bhavan is not as what you think like. You just can’t come in and stay here forever till you die- living here has its own terms and conditions. People cannot stay here beyond two weeks. If you don’t die within this time frame, you are politely asked to leave the place and give your room to the new guest.
According to a report by Reuters, around 14,578 people have checked in the Bhavan as of July in 2019. While most of them have attained salvation, the others, who couldn’t die, had to leave with disappointment. Around 300 people stays in Moksha Bhavan with every above 60 years of age. They charge a very minimal amount of Rs.20 for electricity and water. Poor people who can’t afford this money are also allowed to stay at the hostel. They receive minimum 800 people are year, while most of them coming in winters. The Moksha Bhavan plays soulful songs and ‘bhajans’ three times a day, upon which people are seen admiring the melody of the songs.
Bhairav Nath Shukla is serving as a manager of the place for last 44 years. He lives there and pray for the salvations of the visitors. His family including his children are now use to of seeing dead and witnessing mourning relatives. Throughout his life and during his tenure at the hostel, Shukla has seen around 12000 deaths. And through his experience he narrates several principles of life and salvation. The life lessons he has seen are remarkable and we would like to point out some.
Resolve all your life conflicts before you die!
Yes, this one is extremely important. It is crucial to resolve all your conflicts before you go. These fights, disputes, clashes and tussle of life keeps a burden on your heart- it keeps it heavy. Everyone is having a conflict, either with others or within themselves. Shukla has seen many stories again and again where people resolve their conflicts moments before they die. There are also many stories where some don’t even get the change of resolvement. So, he concludes that we should not carry the burden till the last moments of our lives but try to resolve your conflict as soon as it started.
Don’t reflect bad behavior, try to filter it:
Everyone on this planet has both- good and bad traits. So instead of concentrating on the “bad traits” of the people outrightly, we should look out their good traits. Nurturing bitterness for people comes from focusing on their negatives. We should always try to filter the bad attributes of the people, and make them aware about their positives. Because no one in this world is perfect- only those, who embraces both negative and positive can consider a life beyond the realm of outer beauty.
Find beauty in simple things:
Finding beauty and happiness in simple things is the best way to appreciate the beauty of life. All our life, we are seen running after materialistic things only to find emptiness in the end. Amidst this chaotic rat race we forgets about what truly matters to us. Nobody knows when they are going to die or which day is their last day- so isn’t it better to find joy in the little things that we do? Seeking good about people, enjoying the nature even watching the sky can give a lot of peace than wearing a diamond or owning a Mercedez.
Treat everyone same:
When we treat everyone same and equal, despite of their colour, race, gender, caste, or ethnicity, we find ourselves in less conflicts and negatives. Life becomes much difficult when we start judging people, treating them differently and building divisions within ourselves. When we judge others it’s not their negatives but a reflection of negative inside us. In Moksha Bhavan everyone is welcomes and treated equally regardless of where they came from and that’s the beauty of the place!