Brahma once weighed the heavens against Kashi. And Kashi, being heavier, sank while the skies, despite all the gods who lived there, rose upwards.Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You
The three worlds form one city of mine, and Kashi is my royal palace therein.
Are there not many holy places on this earth?
Yet which of them would equal in the balance one speck of Kashi's dust?
Are there not many rivers running to the sea?
Yet which of them is like the River of Heaven in Kashi?
Are there not many fields of liberation on earth?
Yet not one equals the smallest part of the city never forsaken by Shiva.
The Ganges, Shiva and Kashi: Where this Trinity is watchful, no wonder here is found the grace that leads one on to perfect bliss.
Kashi Khanda 35. 7-10
Varanasi sits above the earth as a 'crossing place' or tirtha between this world and the 'far shore' of the transcendent Brahmn.
Diana L Eck
Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.