Kashi was home to several historic Shiva temples. The Dandapani Temple is one among them. Kashi Khand mentions the significance of this Temple.
A long time ago, a Yaksha by the name of Ratnabhadra gave birth to a child by the name of Poornabhadra. Poornabhadra began living a happy life when Ratnabhadra passed away, but even though he was trouble-free, he yearned to have kids.
Kanaka Kundala, his wife, heard of his wish and requested that he visit Kashi to worship Lord Shiva. Poornabhadra complied with his wife’s request. His wife soon gave birth to a handsome kid named Harikesh as a result of his love for Lord Shiva by singing Bhajans.
Harikesh eventually became eight years old and began to have a religious predilection, which is a mental predisposition or tendency. Additionally, he began to worship Lord Shiva by creating clay Shiv Lings. Harikesh refused to listen when he was asked to help out around the house. One wonderful morning, Harikesh left his house and began to travel around without alerting his parents. He recalled an instance from the past when a Sage had advised his father that Varanasi (Kashi) was the greatest place for someone who had no clear destination.
Harikesh began worshipping Lord Visweshwar as soon as he landed in Kashi (Shiva). Lord Shiva was speaking about the numerous facets of Kashi when he and Goddess Parvati were at Anandavan (Kashi). He also said that individuals who die in Kashi will not experience reincarnation and that those who live there will be happy. They are truly deserving of appreciation.
(The beauty of Kashi as recounted by Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati in Chapter 32 of the Kashi Khand) While these conversations were taking place, Lord Shiva saw that Harikesh’s body had entirely lost all of its weight. He was skeletal in appearance and severely underweight.
The youngster’s passionate devotion to Lord Shiva stirred Goddess Parvati, who prayed to God to bless the boy appropriately. Lord Shiva then walked up to the youngster and gave him a kind touch. When the youngster saw the Lord gleaming like a billion Surya’s, he was overjoyed. He began singing Lord Shiva’s praises. The kid was given a blessing by Lord Shiva, who predicted that he would remain in Kashi as a savior of the worshippers of the god.
With his supernatural abilities, he will repel evil forces from the sacred spot. Additionally, Lord Shiva commanded that the Yaksha will always be accompanied by Samparam and Utparam, two of his Shiv Gans (Harikesh). Harikesh was referred to by Lord Shiva as Yaksha Raj, or “King of Yaksha,” and it was agreed that anyone who did not worship him would not enjoy the benefits of Mukti in Kashi. Additionally, Harikesh received the title of Dandapani (the one with the staff in his hand).
Lord Shiva said that devotees who take a bath in Gyan Vapi Teerth, do rituals for their ancestors, and then worship Dandapani will be blessed by him (Lord Shiva) and become exceedingly prosperous.
According to Kashi Khand, Dandapani would stay or remain south of Lord Visweshwar, drive out all evildoers, and let only good people worship Lord Shiva in Kashi.
All of the challenges in life are gone for those who worship Dandapani in Kashi, and they experience great happiness. They will undoubtedly reach Mukti.