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தீர்த்த யாத்திரை

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தீர்த்த யாத்திரை

We (I, my wife and my 2 children) last visited India in 2009. We arrived at Delhi and went to Varanasi. We stayed there for a few days and took Ganga jal with us. We went down south to Rameswaram and gave our Gangal jal to the priest to perform abishekam of Ramanatha Swamy. With that, we had the satisfaction that we have performed ‘Kaasi yaattirai’.
But my maternal uncle told me that for the Kaasi yaattirai to be complete, one has to follow the following: 1. First visit Rameswaram, take sand and go to Kasi. 2. Do pooja for Kasi Viswanathar with the sand and take the Ganga jal. 3. Visit Rameswaram again and perform abishekam for Ramanatha Swamy with Ganga jal. 4. Return home and perform ‘சமாராதனை’.
My wife gave her interpretation as below:
Kasi has always been an attraction for all Hindus. In olden days, people from the South had to travel for long to reach Kasi. Impressed by the divinity of the place, the visitors might get an idea not to return home. In order to encourage them to remain in samsaaram, they had to be brought back to home. So, elders prescribed that a visit to Rameswaram is a must after visiting Kasi to get the full benefit of Kasi yaattirai. Since they were travelling for a long time with fasting etc, a feast was also prescribed in the name of ‘சமாராதனை’.
Even Kanchi Paramacharya, has interpreted the சித்தர் வாக்கியம் “ஆடு காண போகுது பார் போகுது பார்!” as follows:

“ஆடு என்றால் நீராடு. அதாவது கங்கையில் ஸ்நானம் பண்ணு என்று அர்த்தம். காண என்றால் சேது தரிசனம் பண்ணு என்று அர்த்தம்.
போகுது பார் என்றால் திரிகால சந்த்யா வந்தனத்தாலும், கங்கா ஸ்நானத்தாலும், சேது தரிசனத்தாலும் நம் பாபம் தொலைந்து போகிறதைப் பார் என்று அர்த்தம். காசிக்குப் போய் கங்கையை எடுத்துக்கொண்டு, சேதுவான ராமேஸ்வரத்துக்குப் போய் ராமநாத சுவாமிக்கு கங்காபிஷேகம் பண்ணும் சம்ப்ரதாயத்தைத் தான் சொல்லிருக்கிறார்”. (ஆதாரம்: “Sree Gaayathree” by Uma Hariharan, Giri Trading Agnecy Private Limited).

I am confused. Can anyone clarify the concept of காசி யாத்திரை ?

Lokah samasthaa sukhino bhavantu.
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