Vishwakameshwar Temple, Varanasi
Long time back, there was a boy called Vishwakarma who stayed in the Gurukul (residential school) for his education. As was the practice, a student was required to carry on domestic chores and do service to his Guru (Teacher), Guru Patni (Teacher’s wife) and their family.
Once the teacher asked Vishwakarma to construct a shelter which should never become old. Teacher’s wife asked him to stitch one dress for her without using any cloth. The dress should neither be big nor small. The teacher’s son asked Vishwakarma to prepare one slipper which should not be made of leather and it should be convenient for the wearer to run very fast in water. The teacher’s daughter asked him to prepare one pair of golden ear tops. Further, he was asked to prepare girls’ play things made of ivory. There were several such demands from the Teacher’s family. The demands went on increasing from all quarters.
Vishwakarma was flabbergasted. In those days, respect to Guru was accorded highest priority and any refusal or disrespect was viewed seriously. Vishwakarma left the Guru’s house without telling anyone and reached a forest, not knowing what had to be done. In due course, he came across an ascetic and he fell at the latter’s feet. Vishwakarma narrated his woes to the ascetic, who told him to go to Kashi and worship Lord Visweshwar. Since Vishwakarma did not know the way to Kashi, the ascetic offered to take him there.
Both of them reached Kashi and the ascetic took leave of Vishwakarma. Some intuition told Vishwakarma that the ascetic was none other than Lord Shiva. Vishwakarma soon installed a Shiv Ling and started worshipping Lord Shiva intensively for several years. At last Lord Shiva appeared before him and granted him a divine wish. Vishwakarma told him of his woes pertaining to his teacher and his family.
Lord Shiva was highly pleased with the veneration that Vishwakarma had for his Guru. He blessed the latter with all the divine powers which will enable him (Vishwakarma) to produce/make/manufacture various machineries, weapons, idols, necklaces and all other things which are needed by mankind. By the divine powers, Vishwakarma would also be able to construct various temples/buildings and beautify existing temples/palaces etc.
Vishwakarma was extremely happy with Lord Shiva’s generosity. Lord Shiva also stated that the devotees who worship the Ling installed by Vishwakarma will attain Moksha. Lord Shiva further stated, he will be available in the Ling which is called Vishwakarmeshwar and devotees will always be blessed by the Lord. (Kashi Khand, Chapter 86). The above chapter in Kashi Khand also speaks about the respect which students should have for their teachers.
Vishwakarma later on became the celestial architect. Even today, Vishwakarma Jayanti is celebrated in North India and Bengal and on this day all factories remain closed. The workers perform pooja of machinery and other tools/equipments etc. and give a respite to their tools. Vishwakarma’s idol is installed at various places/workshops and after pooja/archana etc. the idol is immersed in the Ganges/River.
Legend / Local stories
How to Reach:
Vishwakarmeshwar is located at Ck.7/158 in the premises of Atma Veereshwar temple. The location is as given in the book by Pt. Kedar Nath Vyas and confirmed by the authors during their personal visit. However, Pt. Kuber Nath Sukul in his book “Varanasi Vaibhav” has given the location as Brihaspateeshwar temple which is opposite the above location. On enquiries with the locals, they confirmed the first location. This place can be reached by boat through Scindia Ghat. Alternatively one can travel in cycle rickshaw upto Chowk and walk down the gullies to reach the temple.