Jab Mein Tha Tab Hari Nahin‚ Ab Hari Hai Mein Nahin,
Sab Andhiyara Mit Gaya‚ Jab Deepak Dekhya Mahin

Panch Ganga Ghat
At the beginning of the devotional journeys of Kabir Saheb, one place is known as the most remarkable. The Panch Ganga Ghat on the shores of the Ganga in Varanasi is known as the turning point in Indian spiritual history. It was on the steps of this Ghat that Swami Ramanand initiated Kabir Saheb. The Panch Ganga Ghat therefore is linked with Kabir Saheb.
Each Ghat in Varanasi has its own story and has its roots in Puranic tradition.
The Panch Ganga Ghat also has it distinctive story but as the factual remanent of the encounter of Kabir Saheb with Swami Ramanand it is the most valuable.
It is a fact that when Kabir Saheb initially pleaded to Swami Ramanand to accept him as a student, the Swami rejected him. Swami Ramanand was not very fond of initiating a Muslim weaver as his student.
Kabir Saheb knew all about the Swami and he also knew that Swami took his daily bath in the Ganga. Each day very early in the morning Swami used the steps of the Panch Ganga Ghat to get to the Ganga. At the time of his baths it was still dark and Kabir Saheb used the twilight in his benefit. One day at 4 am when Swami walked down the steps of the Panch Ganga Ghat, Kabir Saheb in a incomparable way got the Swami to recite the Ram Naam Manta to him.
The memorable steps of the Panch Ganga Ghat have witnessed the accedence of the Guru, the determination and greatness of the student in its most beautiful aspect.
No remains of the Ashram of Swami Ramanand can be found. During the Muslim ruling of India, the entire Ashram was destroyed. It is unclear where the Ashram stood. Some scholars think that the ashram might have been positioned someplace between Visheshvarganj and Maidaigin.
It is a legitimate fact that the ashram stood at certain distance of the Panch Ganga Ghat because of the mention of a passage in Bhaktamaal. It is written that Swami used to rush to the steps of the Pancg Ganga Ghat. It seems clear that for Swami, the steps were no more than a stairway to get to the Ganga. In historic perspective however the place is of utmost importance and reflects a landmark in the Kabir pilgrimage.
It would be of great value if the Kabirpanthi community made effort to preserve the place. Some kind of historic monument or a memorial stone marking the footprints of Kabir Saheb could have been erected. It is very sad indeed that no such commemorative work is ever established.
It is both a great pity and a very shameful fact that the very spot where the spiritual journey of Kabir Saheb began, this true place of worship, is known to be an ordinary step to the Panch Ganga Ghat.