Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

Jun 24, 2010

Monsoon, rains and longing....

Welcome to the 6th edition of “Shadow Dancing with Mind”
The Mumbai Monsoon is here and the sky has opened itself to pour its sorrows of summer in the deluge of rains and the sea surges to meet the sky with her high tides and high waves… The days are slightly chilly and the sun takes it own time to come up or set down in the evening. Some times just takes a break and let the clouds play around … It’s the most romantic season of the city Mumbai. And I feel it too, miss her and want to just fly away to her…

So in the "Whispers" you hear poetry of love, longing and loneliness... and one from a Russian Poetess, Marina Tsvetaeva, whose life story matches the poignant stories she pours in her verses.

The untold story “Yogi Baba” goes into a flash back and the 6th Chapter starts on the one night in my village, when Yogi Baba was just a child, carefree, fun loving and horsing around the country side with his mates…

"Still life" follows the Monsoon through out the coastal town.

The Reader: I would love to introduce Rahul Sankirtayan, who despite not attending any college, was asked by A Russian University to be a professor. He was the most travelled writer who gave a lot to Indian Literature.

Hope you like this edition of Shadow Dancing with Mind; look forward to seeing your comment this week too. I really appreciate when you write to me or leave me comments here. It gets me going, week by week. Please feel free to join in and suggest if something that you don’t like.

Om Namah Shivaya

Yogi Baba - A story untold; Begining of the 6th Chapter

Chapter 6
She was wearing a cream white sari which reflected the moonlight so well that her walk was like a shimmer of moonlight playing on quiet lake. A sensation of flowing accompanied her movements as she held her slender waist with one hand and other was swaying gently as she walked out of the small Durga temple in front of our house. I was sleeping out side our large country house in the hot summer night along with one of my brother, few cousins and the caretaker of our farm, Prasad Chacha (Uncle). I had to always fight with my mother to get the privilege of sleeping outside under the neem tree as she always considered me too young to sleep outside, even after my constant reminder that I have just celebrated my 10th Birthday. For me, after a exhausting day of horsing around the village, it was the best place to rest; among the stars, in the comforting arms of the neem tree. It was very soothing to scour the night sky for any moving stars and many times I have followed some star moving across the night sky, from one end to another. The two months of vacations were the most precious times of my year as we all move down to our village, thousands of Kilometers away from Delhi on the foot hills of Himalayas, to spend all our waking hours in the lap of nature. Playing in the fields, running around with the other boys from the village, riding the buffalo in the small lake just out side our village or taking a small walk over to a tributary river to Holy Ganges for a refreshing swim. Almost all my nights were spent out side of the house besides the neem tree that I have seen growing along with our temple, me and my brothers. I had always considered the tree as an elder, talked to him quite a few times after coming out of the temple or in the evenings when ma refused to give in to some demand. Our temple of Goddess Durga Ji, for ages, was just a small mound of earth, near the young neem tree, with the vermillion smeared on the top of the some small stones, placed on top, which was assumed to be the forehead of Goddess and slowly it has acquired walls around and then finally a roof top when one of my brothers got his first salary abroad.

Tonight, just before this woman from the village came out of the temple after, what I believed at that time, her prayers, I woke up with a start. I could still feel the echoes of the bell hung in the temple, within me. As she passed by me, she paused for a second as if she sensed me awake. I could feel her thinking, but then she moved on. The tiny bells on her anklet sounded softly like music riding the small breeze that was flowing in from the jasmine tree, near our well, to my house, caressing me under a beautifully moonlit sky. The woman kept on moving within the sound of nights deep sighs. Mixed with the sweet smell of Jasmine, her body odor of sandal wood played on my senses and I was floating slowly in and out of a beautiful dream like state. The firefly’s followed in her wake as if in trance, the clouds moved swiftly so they can shade her delicate body from the fierce moon light that now highlighted her profile more brightly. As she crossed the Hibiscus flower plant, that used to provide all the flower requirements of the temple since my childhood, she stopped and slowly looked back to see if I am still pretending to sleep. As she looked over my face, I could feel the very gentle touch of her eyes but I still kept my eyes shut. Her long dark hairs were gently floating with the wind and her sari fluttered softly as she turned once again to go. Slowly I gathered some courage and got up to follow as silently as I could. She moved on to the narrow path, between the two small fields that served as our kitchen garden, leading to our ancient well. The well has had served us for generations and slowly it has become our most favored spot as it served as our local gossip center, bathing Ghat, catching up with other village boys and planning visits to raid the local Mango Groves and much more. Prasad Chacha used to draw out water in buckets and bath us under, what seemed like a continuous running stream of the nearby mountain. Few feets away, there was a mango and Jack fruit tree around providing shades in the day and in the evenings, the flower bush, Raat ki Rani (Hasnuhana also known as Night Jasmine) provided the most interesting and sweetly scented back drop for our night time ghost stories among the us and kids from village houses just beyond the well.

As I followed her, I realized that she knows that I am behind, by her conscious slowing down, but continued walking. As she reached the well, she took the rope and the small pot, which is usually kept there for drawing water and handed over to me, without any note of question or even looking at me, asking in soothing soft whisper, which competed with the soft music of the breeze that was blowing, to draw out some water for her to drink. I had actually never done that before as ma was scared of us going around the well for she feared that one of us, brothers, will some how fall in. Although her presence near me was making me more nervous, but the childlike desire to impress her kept me rooted to the spot and finally I threw the pot in the well after tying it with the rope as I had seen Prasad chacha do many numbers of time. After a customary wait of water to fill in the vessel, I drew it out slowly. Never once looking at her but knowing fully well that her eyes are on me. Slowly I untied the pot and turned around to give her water as she position herself slightly bent on her knees, her face down with her cupped hands to her lips. I could see her dark hair, flowing gently all over her and the white sari and the cupped palm waiting for the water to be poured in. Slowly in small gulps she drank the water and as she raised her face to thank me, I saw her face for the first time and I just dropped dead on the ground. Her eyes were red, her tongue was long and almost fully out of her mouth and blood red, which looked dark black in the night moonlight. Her face was dark black and lips smeared in blood, and a thick line of  fresh blood, slowly trickling down from one side of her mouth.

Next day, when I woke, I had high fever, shivering and nervous but strangely did not feel any fear. That was the beginning of my meeting her, our temple Goddess Durga Ji in the form of Kali, and the first step towards my destiny. Now after many decades, I realize that how beautiful it all was, my first meeting with her - love at first sight, an affair which has continued through out my life. But for the village, it was one of those happenings that keeps villagers around the night fires going on with stories, till morning. Even today, when the elders of the village meet me, they never fail to remind me of the morning when I was found near the well, sleeping in mud and water, oblivious of anything around me. Many of them still remember my ma praying to Goddess Durga in our temple the whole day and my grandfather's big feast organized with a long prayer ritual, to ward off the evil, that took me to the well that night. Now after decades, village folks have made bigger stories around that morning and how I was saved that day by our temple Goddess by fighting the big witch who was carrying me away. Many even swear to have heard the clash of swords and lightening strike, and swear that by the time they could come out of their mud houses, they saw the witch that was running away after throwing me near the well.
Some times, Yogini Vashudha, your questions also become an experience of long time back, in my memory. And I, just like those simple villagers, make bigger stories around that small seeds. Some times, Vashudha, I also think of the seed, implanted in my clam like memory and unconsciously put layers upon layer of my yearning, passion and longing before bringing it out in the open to my own solitary self – the loneliness along with the beauty of the pearl.

… To be continued

WHISPERS: Love, longing and loneliness...


Rain, rain Come again
Love, Longing and Loneliness...
Submitted for Thursday Poets Rally WK 30


My window
In the rains
Forgoes its work
Leaves the wall, blank
Jumps in the puddle
Below
_________


Even before the eyes
Could release
First torrent of pain
Even before thoughts
Sink
And nudge us
Over the edge
Spread me in your
Desert places, Star
And
Drum up a passionate dream
______________
Shashi 1989

The sea
Needs all of the sky
For herself
Pregnant with rain
And I needed all of you
As complete
As my pain
____________

I recently stumbled upon Russian Poetess and loved here poetry very much. Her poetry has a sense of loss and even her life's story is sad and felt very emotional after reading her biography. Some times, life's twist and turns take you to places where you can not just do any thing but surrender to it. Click here if you would like to read about her in the Wikipedia

Here is one of her verses
________________________
My Poems...
My poems, written early, when I doubted
That I could ever play the poet’s part,
Erupting, as though water from a fountain
Or sparks from a petard,

And rushing as though little demons, senseless,
Into a sanctuary, where incense spreads,
My poems about death and adolescence,
--that still remain unread! --

Collecting dust in bookstores all this time,
Where no one comes to carry them away,
My poems, like exquisite, precious wines,
Will have their day!
______________________
Marina Tsvetaeva, 1913
Translated by Andrey Kneller

This post is Submitted to Thursday Poets Rally Week 30 
Click to submit your own here and read some interesting writers
Got the perfect poet award from the Thursday Poets Rally WK 29 and here is my Acceptance Haiku
_________
Rain dance in lust
Breeze caresses in mist
And she hides behind my memories
______________________________________
Thanks for the award.
Click here to go back the starting page to read more from my blog


THE READER : Rahul Sānkrityāyana

Rahul Sānkrityāyana (1893-1963) was one of the most widely traveled scholars of India, who spent forty-five years of his life on travel and away from home. He became a buddhist monk(Bauddh Bhikkhu) and eventually drew towards Marxist Socialism. He was also an Indian nationalist, having been arrested and jailed for three years for creating anti-British writings and speeches. Sankrityayan was given the title of Mahapandit, meaning great scholar.

Childhood
He was born Kedarnath Pande on 9 April 1893 to an Orthodox Hindu Bhumihar family in Azamgarh district[citation needed], in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. As his mother died at the age of twenty-eight and his father at the age of forty-five, he was brought up by his grandmother. His earliest memories as recorded by him were of the terrible famine in 1897. At age 9, he ran away from home in order to see the world, but later returned.

Sankrityayan only ever received formal schooling at a local primary school, though he later studied and mastered numerous languages independently, as well as learned photography.

Travels
His travels took him to different parts of India, including Ladakh, Kinnaur, and Kashmir. He also covered several other countries including Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Iran, China, and the former Soviet Union. While traveling, he mostly used surface transport, and he went to certain countries clandestinely, like Tibet where he went disguised as a Buddhist monk. He made several trips to Tibet and brought from there valuable manuscripts of Pali and Sanskrit, several books and paintings. Most of these formed a part of the libraries of Vikramshila and Nalanda Universities and were taken to Tibet by fleeing Buddhist monks during 12th century and onwards when the invading armies had destroyed these universities. Some accounts state that Rahul Sankrityayan employed twenty-two mules to bring back the loads of part of these materials, from Tibet to India.
In honour of him, Patna Museum, Patna, has a special section, where a number of these and other items have been displayed.

Personal life
Sankrityayan was married when very young and never came to know anything of his child-wife. Accepting an invitation for teaching Buddhism at Leningrad University during his stay in Soviet Russia a second time, he came in contact with a Mongolian scholar Lola (Ellena Narvertovna Kozerovskaya). She could speak French, English, and Russian and write Sanskrit. She helped him in working on Tibetan- Sanskrit dictionary. Their attachment ended in marriage and birth of son Igor. Mother and son were not allowed to accompany Rahul to India after completion of his assignment.
Late in life, he married Dr. Kamala, an Indian Nepali lady and had a daughter (Jaya) and a son (Jeta). He accepted a teaching job at a Sri Lankan University, where he fell seriously ill. Memory loss, diabetes, high blood pressure and a mild stroke struck him. He died in Darjeeling in 1963.

Books
Sankrityayan was a multilingual linguist, well versed in several languages and dialects, including Hindi, Sanskrit, Pali, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Persian, Arabic, Tamil, Kannada, Tibetan, Sinhalese, French and Russian. He was also an Indologist, a Marxist theoretician, and a creative writer. He started writing during his twenties and had written around 150 books and dissertations.

One of his most famous books in Hindi is named Volga se Ganga, meaning “(A journey) from Volga to Ganga” and is an attempt to present a fictional account of migration of Aryans from the steppes of the Eurasia to regions around the Volga river; then their movements across the Hindukush and the Himalayas and the sub-Himalayan regions; and their spread to the Indo-Gangetic plains of the subcontinent of India. The book begins from 6000 BC and ends in 1942, the year when Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian nationalist leader has given a call for quit India movement. The book is remarkable for its historical elements interwoven with fiction.

Stay in Soviet Union
Although he did not have any formal education, in view of his knowledge and command over the subject, University of Leningrad appointed him Professor of Indology in 1937-38 and again in 1947-48. His book also published in bengali language. more than ten books have been published in bengali.
Rahul Ji's Tomb Stone in Darjeeling

STILL LIFE

The Rain Drenched Worli Sea Face from the Sea Link

R K Laxman's "common man" join in, watching over rain clouds

Another common man walks around


A rare rainbow show, up in the sky

Still drops on my car's roof top

Krishna reflected in the rain, An altar in my car


Romantically involved with the rain and the sea

Under the ever green tree...

Jun 13, 2010

The rituals, chantings and nature - Jageshwar, A Temple town of Lord Shiva

Hi Friends...

Welcome to the 5th edition of “Shadow Dancing with Mind” and this has one of my very memorable trips to a very powerful temple in Himalaya’s , known as Jageshwar (Click here - Read more about the Temple Town in Wikipedia) . The legend has it that this place, Lord Shiva was in Child like nature and he used to give boons to any one whoever asked him and whatever… so once on his trip to Kedar Nath in Himalaya’s Shankaracharya, one of the most prominent spiritual guru’s, realized that this way Lord Shiva will give any thing to any one whether deserving or not, so in his simplicity, he pushed the Shivalinga deeper in the ground so that he will not be able to listen to every one’s request. Interesting and simple story, whether true or not, but tells a lot about the local people and their simplicity.

Today is also the day when my father passed away four years back and I bring here one of the verses that I wrote years back when he died just to release one of my big knots. And there are many other verses too…

And my untold story of “Yogi Baba” is getting through… Hope who are following like the dilemma Yogi Baba is facing in his spiritual life.

This week’s still life has some of interesting moments from the Indian Railways platform – A panorama of rural life and many things happen here too….

The book section where I usually discuss some books that has influenced me is still not going on as I have been too busy to type what I liked about the Black Swan and I think it’s not ready to come into existence on my blog yet so I am letting it be….

NEXT WEEK:
The reader: Rahul Sankritayan’s book about his travels.
Inspired street : An interesting personality from Spiritual realm “Swami Yati Dharmananda”
Whispers will let you feel the pain and the frustration of not doing what one wants to do.
Still Life is a dynamic page, I will not be knowing what I am going to put up, so please enjoy the surprise.
Yogi Baba: I just dont know what its going to be as its developing even as we speak.

Hope you like this edition of Shadow Dancing with Mind; look forward to seeing your comment this week too. I really appreciate when you write to me or leave me comments here. It gets me going, week by week. Please feel

Om Namah Shivaya

Yogi Baba - A story untold; Begining of 5th Chapterf

As the Ashram came in view around the corner, he could hear the footsteps following him. He stopped and looked around but did not find any one. But he was sure that it was not the cold winter breeze that was following him, not even the falling leaves or some innocent wild animal from the forests that surrounded the Ashram. Rishikesh, its heard that are full of wild animals but he never had encountered one in his various trips deep inside to meditate for weeks together. In fact he always felt comfortable there deep in the jungle as he knows that there are many wild animals wearing clothes roaming in and around the holy land – Dev Bhoomi. But today his heart was not so calm. Yogini has again turned his answers into bigger question. He had feared answering Yogini last time but at that time he thought he has the answers with him. And he did answer her. But today after so many days, she came back to him with her wide and swollen eyes (Yogini has never cried in the last six months he has known her so why today?) and asked him in her simple innocent way that does he know the answer he gave him last time, makes her more vulnerable than strong. She told him that now that she has the answer to her inner fears, she feels more weak and “Yogi baba, you have make me strong before I throw myself into the cleansing fire”. Does she know that by answering he even feared himself that he might not be able to say it once again? But Yogini in her own very innocent way asked him to help her and touched his emotions that are still raw although he has tried to dull them through various meditation, chanting and penance.

Is the footstep that is following him, coming from his inner fear? Is he still alive? It could not be, as Ashutosh died almost 12 years back. He himself did the last rites for him on the same bank of Holy Ganges that soothes his nerves whenever he looses his peace within him self. But then why this fear? Is Yogini coming over to ask him to come to Ashram as she has been doing it for last few months before he finally asked her to stop coming as it breaks his chain of thoughts and cycle of meditation? But still he knew that many times she, as was her nature, followed him from a distant. Not knowing that he always heard her coming and it always broke his concentration. Why there are so many questions and doubts in him today, why these question now? Again he heard the foot step and he slowly turned around to face his fears and he was right. Ashutosh Upadhyaya was standing there, smiling slightly in his charming way, which used to get so many of his girl friends, from another life in the city, sigh and hang on to his lips with their lusty eyes. He could raise his look beyond his smile and he did not want to see his eyes as yet. May be later when he has more courage to face his deep dark black eyes like the Mansarovar Lake – deep, heavy, calm but enquiring eyes. That is what he feared from him, his enquiring eyes and he knew if he look into his eyes now, he will have to answer his deepest fears to him and he was still not ready. But the setting sun was with him and even though if he had tried to see his eyes, he could not have seen him as the tree cast long shadow across his face and his eyes simply merged in the darkness that was there around him and within his self.

But why is he following him and how did he come to know where he will be? He wanted to ask him, what he wants now after destroying everything in his life that he cared for, felt for or wished for. What more he can give him now and what a Yogi can give who has nothing but only search for answers and may be few answers. And this chain of thought clicked and he understood that this shadow was also there to ask him for answers, just like Yogini Vashudha. Is Yogini talking to him too, Yogi baba wondered, did she asked him the same question that she asked him? He was sure if she did ask him then she has the answers too, as Ashutosh was never weak with girls with innocent eyes, even if she is a Yogini. She is asking him just to know that what Yogi Baba now thinks. Is he still fighting his inner daemons or he has moved on to the blissful path along with the holy river submerging in the holy waters all his emotions, belongingness and touch.

He heard the sound of bell before he could hear the breeze that carried the sound to him and breaking his fearful encounter with Ashutosh. He again looked around and Ashutosh was not there. He could not be sure now whether he saw him or not and the setting sun with the darkness, that was hanging from the deodar trees, was playing tricks with him and his fears. In the distance he could see, Yogini’s white sari and the typical childlike way she walked. She was looking at him with her innocent smile though he knew that she could not have seen him just yet as he was still in the shadows of the darkness that the jungle carried around and also he was sure that he could not see her smile too but still he could feel her smile.

But why that is making him feel light and the fears of her answers uplifting from his heavy heart. Is the answer that he has to give her is within herself? Yogini, are you asking me to find the answer within me or within you? Yogini, do you not know the answers to all that you ask…

….To Be Continued Next Week

WHISPERS

Today is the day when my father passed away four years back and I wrote these words in my blog four years back, when I heard about his passing on while I was in training in Bangalore. I still have the same raw emotions in my heart and these words still bring on the pain.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR

He was there when I took my first steps
He was there when I fell down and cried
He was there when the only thing I did
Was to suffer and make him cry too
He was even there when
I got up to leave
Him all alone
He came to drop me off, with a smile

Now, he is knocking on heavens door
And I am far away, holding my breath
Waiting and watching him
To take his last few left
Though ventilators have taken over
Within the watch full eyes of
My young doctor brother
And I fear the ring of my mobile
My brother gave him only
50-50 Chance
And promised to call me
When the other 50% chance
Turns into 100%

My thoughts, my fears
Have now transformed into chanting of my soul
With each breath
His thought comes
And He smiles
Watching me holding my breath
While He waits upon the threshhold
Counting on and on
Knocking on heavens doors

Now I smile
_________________________


WHISPERS OF DISTANT STARS
The valley silently
Unfolded herself
As you walked across
To sit besides me
And smile

The birds talked to
Tall and silent Deodar Trees
In their melodious songs
And you reached out
To hold my hand

Looking through the setting sun
Smiling through the distant stars
Whispering to me
In the bird songs
That you missed me

And I turned around
To find you
Far away from me
But
I could still kiss you
_____________________________

I have enjoyed reading Haiku's and love the way those paint pictures with words, so here are few of them of my own, let me know if you see the picture. I usually dont follow the strict rules of the japanese style of haiku's and take writers liberty so I hope the purists here would not mind it. Click here to know more about HAIKU

SHE SLEEPS
She throws her legs
Unwrapping
My dreams

SUPPER
Between bites
Her eyes find me
I reach out to remove a crumb from her lips
_______________
Om Namah Shivaya

The Temple Town Jageshwar - A valley of chants

The trip to Jageshwar (Click here : To read more about the temple Complex in wikipedia) was something that was planned by my younger brother Ami- Amitabh, almost year ago when he was blessed by a beautiful angel Anumeha in our house and he believed that it was only because he asked for her at this amazingly beautiful temple in the lap of Himalaya. So he was out to ensure that all brothers’ (Ok we are five brothers) are there for this trip and Anumeha’s birthday celebrations. Since he is a smart person, ofcourse he is, as he is one of the few lawyers I know who don’t practice but consult, convinced me and my younger brother from Singapore to get our son’s one very important ritual of Upanayan Samskar (where one gets to wear the sacred thread and finally gets counted as full Brahmin,) done at this temple too. ensuring that we are there for this trip. So we all were there in Delhi on 2nd June, Me from Chennai, brothers from Singapore and Norway and Ami from Mumbai while my brother and mother were staying in Delhi already. We also had our maternal uncle, who was one of the most famous priests from state of Bihar, for performing the rituals and few of our select relatives and friends. And it was a wonderful trip.


Here I am not going to bore you all with the details of what we did day to day etc but will talk with pictures to give the feel of the place and will talk about my impressions and about meditation in the days that I was there. I was convinced, to begin with, about the positivity of the temple, the vibration of the temple because of the devotion of the people around me. So I took this opportunity to do Chanting of Lord Shiva’s Mantra and used this time to connect with the nature again... On the sides we have had many powerful rituals that we were to be performed there, Maha Mrityunjay Japa (The chanting of power over Death) Matri Puja (Performing prayers to respect the mother and elders), Upanayan Samskar (Sacred thread ceremony) of two of our kids and then the birthday celebrations of our angel daughter Anumeha. So here I am going to talk to you all about my search within and hope it makes sense.


My journey started with my flight from Chennai to Delhi and then from Delhi to Kathgodam by train and then by road to Jageshwar through winding roads of Uttrakhand State of Northern India in Himalayas. The Indian Platform’s are a panorama of life and various dramas that happen around there. But this time I was shocked to see a very sad incident happening on the platform. I love to get off the train as and when I can and all the platforms of Indian Railways are a beautiful place to watch the life happening but this time I never expected to find a family in turmoil. As I was having the tea, which is the most common thing to do on Indian platforms, I heard some commotion and when I looked around I found a Kashmiri (I think) family walking towards us and there were heated discussion going on in the family.

This one person was shouting and a beautiful Kashmiri girl (I believe wife of the person) was just listening and then she said something which incited the man. He rushed towards her with hands raised and before the old women of the family could hold him or come to the rescue of this woman, he hit her squarely on her face. She just started crying but the beast in the man was still not pacified and was waiting for some more provocation which as usual with emotions, the woman immediately provided. That was enough trigger for this man, who turned around and found a piece of a brick lying around and rushed to hold his wife by hair and hit her with the brick in his hands, before any one can react and come to the rescue and then just walked off.

We were all shell shocked and someone then called up some cop and they were all packed off to the station master cabin. Soon our train also started and I am sure that the cops will now have a field day with the family and put them in deeper trouble then the family was already in. Domestic violence is not new to me but this drama unfolding in the full public glare got me thinking about the plight of women in our society, specially those uneducated ones from the country side. But then there is an ongoing campaign called “Ring the Bell” in Mumbai about the domestic violence where people are asked to come to this mobile police van and ring the bell if they have seen or heard or know some one suffering from the domestic violence. So it is not confined to the rural India I guess.


On this somber note, my train journey started for the final leg to Kathgodam and from there we took the road to reach Dev Bhoomi – Holy land of Jageshwar. As me and my younger brother from Norway had planned to use all the free time available from the rituals, visits to the temple, for mantra chanting, we set about first checking the places that will be suitable for the Mantra Chanting with a perfect view of the Temple if not within the temple. The temple in itself was a great place to be in and meditate but then the temple premises gets locked by 8PM and as I know the best time for the chanting are in the early mornings or later in the night when the silence prevails and the mind is comparably calm compared to the day time. So on the first night me and my brother started walking around to find out a place for meditation, after the temple closed on us. There was a stream all around the temple and as we walked across a bridge to cross over to the other side of the stream and see if we can find a place high enough to give us a clear view of the temple, I felt a sudden chill. A negative thought crossed my mind and I could feel the visible darkening of the place around me so I asked my brother to stop on the bridge itself and just relax. I chit chatted with my brother for few moments and then after some time we decided to go back and find some place to meditate where we were staying. So we climbed to the roof top of our guest house and sat down and meditated for almost an hour before we wound up for the day at around 1AM.

Next day early morning when I went to the temple for chanting and looked around and found the place where we stopped last night, then only I realized that the bridge over looks the cremation ground and they burn the dead near by.

After my early morning chants, I roamed around the temple town and could find few getaways around. The most beautiful place was almost 500 meters high from the Jageshwar Temple. It took me a while to climb to that place but it was worth the effort. From this place, where there was another small Shiva temple and if you sit there you can see the Jageshwar temple below and the moment you close your eyes, you could find yourself sitting in the Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum) of the Child Shiva of Jageshwar and meditate. The Temple looked so lovely in the lap of the most beautiful surroundings and tall deodar trees that I almost spend the entire day there but then I had many other things to do.

So I reluctantly walked back towards my guest house after spending few hours of the early morning, meditating, chanting and watching the sun rise over the hills. As I walked down, some one called me out by saying “Namaste” (A hindu form of greeting and paying respect) and I realized that some one is talking to me. This person, his name I later got to know was N D Bhatt, invited me to his house and asked me to have a cup of tea which was actually what I needed at that time. So I gracefully accepted this offer and he went inside his small house to make tea while I enjoyed his small but lovely house garden and played with his dog Pompi. Then he told me about the elephant caves on the way to Brihad Jageshwar, and we discussed few things about the town and the trek. And then he took me to his own temple in his house compound (In India, most of the religious people have a temple in their own house and if in the city, they have one corner for the Gods) and then he took me to his house roof top to see the view of the valley.. and it was really lovely place to sit and have tea. Some times I wonder why I usually get to have these kinds of people coming to me and letting me have most profound experiences of simplicity.

One of the very interesting thing about Jageshwar was that it was in the valley and all around, if one has to find a place, then one has to walk up… so it was difficult in the beginning but once you reach the place you get to have the perfect view of the temple from far and also the most interesting feeling of being in the lap of nature. It was like the echo of the mantra that one was chanting comes back to you like a prayer and one simply gets submerged in it. There was also a very nice and lovely walk towards one village nearby. One gets to walk almost one KM of path across a ridge with a simple railing around and usually in those walks, a neighborhood dog used to accompany me. It was fun to be with him as he was very playful and just loves the company of some one who is around. This place was soothing and got me thinking, working in my mind about things that are there in my memories, the thoughts that are taking birth in my sub-consciousness which needs to get manifested and generally to be within my self and contemplate.

Usually in these walks, I used to get company of many positive thoughts and feelings and love. Walking hand in hand with those emotions, used to make me feel so loved and the adrenaline rush used to push me to walk farther and farther.. and usually I used to get back only by time the breakfast which was served in the guest house.

Then there was this place just opposite to our guest house which, though not directly in line with the temple, was a very silent and secluded spot, among the tall deodar trees where I could talk to my innerself freely. There was a big boulder under a tree which was perfect for the sitting and meditating. The view in the front opened out to the clearing like it was waiting for the flower star angles to just walk out of the forest beyond, waving and smiling and come over to sit next to you. It was an interesting place to be within one self and also to still one’s mind. It took me many hours of being there to realize that in the silence that prevailed there, one can actually still one’s mind.
Then the most important day was the trek of 3 KMs of steep climb up the mountain to visit Brihad Jageshwar, the temple that is supposed to be older than the Jageshwar temple we were visiting. The trip, one can actually do in a car (11 KMs) which we did with the temple priest earlier. But I felt like walking to the temple, as walking usually gives one’s thought more firm ground. The temple priest on the way back from the Brihad Jageshwar yesterday was saying that the Yogi’s from Himalaya’s are used to come here in the night and pray to Lord Shiva and then move on to their respective places in the forest deep in the valley below or back to the Kailash mountain – the adobe of Lord Shiva. The trek to the temple was exhausting but dotted with many beautiful impression and scenarios. The meditation there was very deep and some how my trip coincided with some of the Sadhu’s too. They were there in the temple before I reached, chanting and I just joined in the chanting and it was one of the most profound experiences of the day. The reverberations of the chants as it got soaked into my being, uplifted me like I was floating leaf moving all over the valley.

It was so fresh and soothing that the trip back to the temple town, in the valley below, was over with out me ever realizing it, I was so much engrossed in the process of internalizing the reverberations of the Chanting of Shiva Maha Mantra and the powerful vibrations of the temple.

Just to share with all, here is a link to one of the most beautiful renderings of the Mantra which I like very much by one of the very interesting singers of foreign origin, associated with ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Krishna Das for you to hear if you like.


And here are some images from the trek ....
The path



The Bridha Jageshwar Temple



The Deep Valley behind - A sheer drop of 1 KM, which is known to have Sadhu's in meditation
__________________________________________
Om Namah Shivaya

STILL LIFE

The images from the Railway Platforms in India....
The Railways... and the platform

The Supper
The Beggar

The Thinker

The band stand on the platform


The information Super Highway
(The News Paper Kids)

Jun 2, 2010

Shiva at Jageshwar, Himalaya's and Rituals

Hi,

Welcome to the 4th edition of “Shadow Dancing with Mind” and let me tell you on the outset that I have been busy with my trip to one of the very important pilgrimages to Jageshwar Baba - Lord Shiva's temple, supposedly one of the 12 Jyotirlinga's of Shiva. So this week I was not able to work on the The Reader - Where I was supposed to write about Black Swan and Fooled By Randomness written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and the Inspired Street.

So please bear with me.

I want to thank a special friend who took the pains to read each one of my postings and commented about them to me personally on the email with advice to correct. So if you notice there I have changed the sequence of the Topics in order of what I do and what I talk about. As per the comments I am pushing things that I do in the sidelines where my friends want to read what I do rather than what others do.


NEXT WEEK:

I am going to share my thoughts, my times of meditation and some of the rituals that we performed in Jageshwar. I am going to work on the many knots that are still within me and share those moments of cleansing

Hope you like this edition of Shadow Dancing with Mind; look forward to seeing your comment this week too. I really appreciate when you write to me or leave me comments here. It gets me going, week by week. Please feel free to ask your friends to join in to have something creative and spiritual to look forward to every week.

Om Namah Shivaya
Shashi

Story Untold - Yogi Baba (Begining of Chapter 4)

The First page of the fourth Chapter of the book in making....

The still air in the late night stilled her heart more. She was not afraid but feared her heartbeats. As the skipped beats moved silently between her one thought to another and she wavered from calling him to not calling him. Stealthily her emotions starts moving to make her feelings detach her love from one memory to another and making them taste bland even in her own mind. And he was not even aware about her diminishing love by memory to memory. How things have moved from being arranged to a chaos of not known future. And she sighs, and let her breath move out into the open and her breasts heaved up and down to let the nature know that she is not happy about things shaping around her.

He had called today, when her mobile was in the bedroom and she was cleansing herself of the thoughts that crowded around her mind. One by one, layer by layer she bared her emotions, stripped off the colors of possessiveness and made the wisps more whiter than the smoke that wafted around her temple deity who smiled benignly at her naivety. But then he was insistent and called again, after sending her a message that to call him back when she is free. How complicated is the life around him has become. Why does not he understand? The constant ringing made the echoes ring louder in her mind and reverberated in her thoughts more and more. She can not even she his face now as its getting obscured by the dark clouds that were gathering in her mind. She thought why does he do that again and again?

And She fell asleep. “Wake Vashudha, Wake up” the thought kept ringing in her dreams. She was not even going to escape him even in her dreams?
... TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
_____________
Om Namah Shivaya

WHISPERS: And The Bell Tolls Forever

CAN YOU WALK WITH ME A LOT MORE

You focus on intense words
And me, on the silence within
You shackle your thoughts
With your language
And me, with my need for space within
But you know
I will and you may not
Walk all the way along
As you, my love, will
Fall out of rhythm
And burn out
Chained to the memories of past
________________________

AND THE BELL TOLLS FOREVER

A bell tolls
Friends join in to walk
With me to the end of the path
Carrying on heavy shoulders,
This last journey, and
All that was not said
And all that silences
Which will echo forever in our hearts.

Some where,along the way
Silence waits for the desert spaces
To speak up
And break our lives
Into small grains of sand
Which pours within the Hour Glass
Of our togetherness

Some where - a blast-off to distant stars
In the cloud of dust
In the drum beats of
Shiva's Tandav* dance.

Some where, Love alone
Worships the intensity of our togetherness
Or
Truthfulness of our belongingness.
And
Remains
A mute spectator to the "Tandav"* of emotions

Silence some time does sound
In, Our lives like the primordial sound

That reverberates all the life
That has gone by
And
A bell tolls forever
Calling in lost soul
Or soul mates
To be in the valley of lost flower stars

"OM"
_________
Tandav is the eternal dance of Lord Shiva, a dance of destruction as well as creation...


_________________________
Om Namah Shivaya

Submitted to One shot Wednesday Poetry WK 13, 
Click here to have a look and read some of the great people and post your own.




Also submitted to Thursday Poets Rally WK 34
Click here to Read Others

STILL LIFE

Some times we come across very interesting moments in life with out even thinking about the same and the following pictures are from there. There are some interesting moments of my life from the temple town of Lord Krishna from Jagganath Puri to Dakshineshwar Temple. From Hills of South India to even pictures from my car, from still life of China to stills of one of the major solar event after centuries in India.

One of very interesting images from the Ooty bar

Rains on the petals of flower in my house...


Krishna watches over me in my car... along with Ganesha, one of the God's who is the one who clears obstacles on the journey of life

One of the rare events in India of Total Solar Eclipse after centuaries and one of the interesting pictures that I have taken


On the banks of Holy River Ganges in Dakshineshwar Temple, one of the most power temple of Kali, Goddess Shakti, Consort of Lord Shiva and the human display of insensitivity of environment

Puri and the traffic, Man Made chaos on the temple town of Lord Krishna where Lord banned even the God of Death Yama to enter in the City


Face Off in Shanghai...


Face on..... Nanjing Shhanghai


Still Life on my car top in Rains...


One of the most interesting pilgrimage I did on Christ's last walk in Gods own country in Kerala

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