The Meaning of KASI:
The word ‘Kasi’ has a rich history in Indian culture. Today Kasi is used as a Hindu name, meaning Shining or Illuminating. Going back further into Indian traditions, Kasi means simply ‘Nourishment‘.
The Origins of KASI in Indian Culture
Once Hindu Lord Shiva told his consort Parvati that the world is an illusion and that food is a part of this illusion called maya.
The Divine Mother who is worshipped as the manifestation of all material things, including food, became angry. To demonstrate the importance of her manifestation of all that is material she disappeared from the world.
Her disappearance brought time to a standstill and the earth became barren. There was no food to be found anywhere and all the beings suffered from the pangs of hunger.
Seeing all the suffering, Mother Parvati was filled with compassion and reappeared in Kasi and set up a Kitchen.
Hearing about her return, Shiva ran to her and presented his bowl in alms saying, “Now I realize that the material world, like the spirit, cannot be dismissed as an illusion.” Parvati smiled and fed Shiva with her own hands. Since then Parvati is worshipped as Annapurna, the Goddess of Nourishment.