My Bachi, little creature who had\has a huge impact in our lives. It been a year since he is gone but we still miss him the same. I still wonder how he might have returned back to this world – again as a dog, a cow which stared at me, the lizard which refuses to leave my room, a human whom I might meet after some years; or is his karmic debt cleared and he is gone for good.
DP Photo Challenge: Scale
The two things I enjoy as a pedestrian in India is the simplicity around me and the colors. Even after such technological advances you can always find places where people and things move at a turtle pace and it all looks so peaceful and connected to nature.
Cattle herd returning home after leisurely grazing the whole day. BIT Mesra, Ranchi, the place where I was brought up and completed my education. Life there is so slooowww, nothing much has changed yet. All the while I was there I wanted to move to the city and to fast life and now I spend humongous amounts of money for a peaceful day or two.
Shopping market at Church Complex, Ranchi.
Love the Indian shops they are all so colorful and bright. They never fail to change my mood 🙂
DP Photo Challenge: Pedestrian
O Fire, please wake up, please get up. And in your arising, wake us up as well. You are the one who gives us what we ask for, as well as what comes to us unasked. You are the remover of illness. In this house of fire practice, please be seated. Along with you, may all the benevolent divine forces be seated, too. May those doing this practice also be seated.
Lately I have been reading a Trilogy: Aghora by Robert E. Svobodha. There is so much overwhelming information in the book and personally I feel like believing every word of it. As per the Tantric Philosophy, Agni – fire is a visible divine energy and acts as the bridge between humans and the ethereal being, it is through fire that we can communicate with the cosmos and the ethereal being be it – gods, goddess, ghosts, demons etc.
In India Homam – fire ritual is performed during most of the auspicious ceremonies. During Homam\Havan oblations or any religious offering is made to the fire. It is believed that as the ethereal beings have no body they eat through smell so the offerings that go into the fire are consumed by them and once they are pleased you get to make a wish. There is a darker side it also but that depends on humans and not the ghosts 🙂 .
DP Photo Challenge: Bridge
Storytelling – India’s oral heritage, I remember spending evenings with my grandmother listening to the many stories and I always wondered how she remembers so many of them. Not only my grandmother but also my aunts and other elder people in the family, if you sit with them they always have a story to tell or a riddle for you to solve. I used to love those times and still cherish them.
This story board in Ujjain reminded me of those days. This is the story of King Bhatruhari and Vikramaditya as told by Late Guru Peer of Nath Sampradaya who used to live in Bharthari Caves, Ujjain. By looking at it I can tell you he tried his best to translate it from Sanskrit, the reason why the grammar is displaced but I couldn’t help appreciate his efforts to tell the story in a foreign language so that today’s generation gets reminded of their heritage.
For those who find it tough to read it and understand, below is the story in simple english;
First story (The one in BLACK ink)
Bhartruhari was so much immersed in romance and sex, that he wrote 100 stanzas on ‘the art of romance and sex‘, now famously called ‘Shrungara Shataka‘. All the stanzas are on sensuality and sexual pleasure.
King Bhartruhari was obsessed with his youngest wife Pingala, she was beautiful and charming. Once king’s brother complained to the king about the affair of queen with king’s charioteer and advised him to banish her for the sake of the kingdom. King was too obsessed with her to heed to his brother, in fact when the queen heard of this from her sources, she manipulated the king and banished his brother from the kingdom
One day a yogi came to his court and presented the king with an apple, which he said would bless one with ‘youth and longevity‘ on eating (stories say that the ascetic got the apple as a boon from the gods and that the apple was from the Kalpavruksha- ‘wish fulfilling tree’).
The king wanted queen Pingala to have the apple, so that she would always look young for him.
Queen Pingala gave the apple to the charioteer. She wanted him to be young and strong.
The charioteer was in love with a prostitute, he gave her the apple to eat.
The prostitute thought ‘it would be better if someone deserving ate this‘, she always liked the king, he was noble and pious, his long living also meant the peace and stability of her kingdom, so she took the apple to the king and give it to him.
King Bhartuhari was surprised to see the apple with her, and enquired how she got it. She told him how she got it from the charioteer, king sent men to bring the charioteer, he told the king that he got it from the queen, and confessed of his affair with the queen.
Bhartruhari realized the fleeting nature of the pleasure from worldly objects, he wrote a poem about the incident which changed him in his Niti Shataka. (100 stanzas on Moral conduct)
“(She) whom on I contemplate, is not passionate for me, she loves another;
that whom she loves, loves another;
One whom he loves, loves another.
Refuse (disdain to) that woman, that man, Cupid, me.”
Deep Vairagya (dispassion) arose in him, he gave up the desire for his wife, realizing his mistake he brought his brother back and crowned him, renouncing the world he lived rest of his life as an ascetic. Bhartruhari wrote Niti-Shataka and Vairagya Shataka during his later years.
Second story (The one in RED ink)
On top of this casket he had placed the replica of a man made of delicious sweetmeats. As the devis enjoyed the hearty meal and were about to leave, one of them happened to glance at the special replica. She stayed back while the others left and tasted it.
She praised the tasty food and wondered aloud as to who could have kept the tasty human replica there. At that moment, Vikramaditya showed himself. Taken aback, the goddess asked him to express a wish. He said that she should never cross to this side of the river . Pleased by his courage, she agreed. The goddess was Bhukhi Mata and the king made a temple in her honour on the other side of the river. Since then, she never came to trouble the people of Ujjain and no more young men needed to be sacrificed!
Source: Bhukthi Mata story
DP Challenge: Heritage
View from the Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
This is a small pond in the middle of the desert land. As far as you can can see there is no vegetation, but Earth is kind enough to provide us with some life sustaining water. Mother Earth is kind and caring but we have lost respect for her.
Sometime back I came across a news that people in China are buying fresh air packets manufactured in Canada. I’d rather plant trees for the rest of my life than get into a situation like that. As Sadhguru says, “Right now we are looking at ecological concerns as an obligation to fulfill. It is not an obligation, it is our life.” So lets start caring for the other life around us.
DP Photo Challenge: Earth
Sometime back I went to this music concert to hear Dr L Subramaniam on violin but I was taken by surprise by this man; Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. He plays Mohan Veena which is this own creation. His music is so mesmerizing that I have no words, you have to witness it yourself to know the power of live music; what it can do to you and your soul.
I am glad I had a chance to hear to his music and that definitely wouldn’t be the last one.
To listen to one of this mesmerizing work click here
DP Photo Challenge: Surprise
Doesn’t matter if you are from North India – South India – East or West; Rich or Poor every Hindu in India loves Lord Ganesha and performs Ganesh Puja. We do it at the beginning of any new event as he is the God for New Beginnings, Prosperity and Obstacle Remover. Only after the Ganesh Puja is performed you feel safe and secure in your mind that nothing bad will happen whatsoever and still if you face challenges Ganesha will take care……
Ganesh Chaturthi which is observed once a year, used to be the busiest time in the year when I was young. There was this huge list of items I helped my mother procure for the puja. I used to go around my colony and the gardens to get them and my mother used to say “Even though I am doing the puja, you will reap the benefits as you are working hard for it” and that alone was enough motivation year after year…
DP Photography Challenge: Security
The evening aarti at the Harsiddhi Mata Mandir, Ujjain where hundreds of people gather daily to witness the 736 lamps that are lit and to pray. Harsiddhi means “Attainment of Shiva”. Some come here to pray for spiritual gains and some come for materialistic gains and some come to take selfies. The aura that is created here every evening takes you to a transcendental state and I was happy to witness it.
DP Photo Challenge: Wish
Capturing nature in its extremities can be a challenge, I got a taste of it when I tried to capture the stormy thunderous night. All drenched, I took more than a 100 shots and managed to get just one good enough one.
DP Photography Challenge: Against The Odds
Solitude is a choice that provides freedom and space from the demands and interruptions created by others. It paves the way for self-reflection, clarity and to be self-reliant.
Regularly spending time alone is good for our mind, soul, and body.
DP Photo Challenge – Solitude
Gardening – my new found hobby these days, which is keeping me busy on weekends and away from painting. It is so relaxing and addictive but I hate buying those plastic pots so I started using some of those water bottles and other to be trashed plastic as pots and am focusing on planting small herbs in them. So here my little mint herb in a re-purposed pot.
DP Photo Challenge: Repurpose
The name a person bears through life is something he or she must carry, and it is sometimes the only thing others have to judge you by before they meet you. Your name travels ahead of you like a portent of things to come, a thing from which others make assumptions about you. Are these assumptions always fair or accurate? Of course not, but people continue to make assumptions, regardless.
Here’s a interesting story about the importance of a name:
“Puli Vesham” – predominantly famous in coastal Andhra where folk artistes done the role of a tiger and dance to the drum beats (dappu) of percussion artistes. The original folk dance was a demonstration of strength and fierce fight between the hunter and the tiger.
The best part of the ‘puli vesham’, many say, was the head gear depicting the various moods of the tiger. Usually the head gears depicted the ferociousness of the animal.
Though it has lost patronage we can still find it in small towns and villages where artistes are trying to keep the culture alive.
DP Photography Challenge – Resilient
Travel Musings & Cartoons of a Desi Wanderer- Click on the destinations for Countrywise travel guides
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