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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 

Rameshwaram March 2010


There are 4 chardhams. ie 4 pilgrimage places which needed to be visited by devout Hindus. In the north: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri Jamnotri (I have been to Badrinath and Gangoti)
Then the Ancient sages urged one to travel the 4 corners of our blessed Bharat Desh to seek blessings.
So again we have 4 chardhams: Badrinath in the north, Dwarkanath in the West, Rameshwaram in the South and jagannathpuri in the East.
I have visited Badrinath, where my son in law Mohan took me,Dwarka where my husband took me. My next desire was to visit Rameshwaram...I tried several times but obviously the Bulaava had not come, so I had a private conversation with the Lord where I told Him that if He wanted to invite me to His Dhaam He would have to arrange it for me...I would not lift a finger and miraculously it did!

Yes, I am being blessed by an elephant...and we must remember that Ganpati removes obstacles...and does'nt He have an elephant head?
Incidentally, it is a real elephant and it felt great!


Ram kehne ka mazaa jiskee zubaan par aa gayaa
dhanya jeevan ho gaya chaaron padaarath paa gayaa
I have heard: 'Ram se bada Ram ka naam'
And here, the stones floated on the Ocean with the name of Sri ram inscribed on it!
Sham Keswani with the floating stone in a small tub of water!


With Sham and Kanchan Keswani, my gracious hosts. This is the Gopuram in Meenakshi. The door through which one enters the main Temple. It was built in the 17th Century. various Kings built it along the 600 years.
There are countless beautiful pillars on the corridors of the Temples in Madurai, Meenakshi and Rameshwaram. At one point I rested at one of the temples which had Rudrakshas as curtains. Looking at the Pillars was a mesmerizing experience. What a rich culture does our Motherland have!


At Madurai, Meenakshi Temple. From Madurai we drove to Rameshwaram. I must tell you something interesting! After Sri Ram returned triumphant to Rameshwaran after having killed Ravan. Sri Ram could not escape the 'dosh' of having killed a 'Brahmin'so he had to atone. How? by bathing in 21 rivers. So Sri Ram called 21 rivers to Rameshwaram. So we follow His foot steps. We first bathe in the Ocean and while we circumbulate the Temple, we have a 'lota' of water poured over our head from 21 different wells. The strange thing is that every water tasted different and the water was clean and clear!
Another coincidence? On the flight back from Bangalore, I had a gentleman sitting next to me who is a de-salienation expert. Unofficially he said that the taste being different was a sort of 'miracle' but scientifically it comes from different platelets in the Earth!


Look up the map. This is the spot in Rameshwaram where I am told Sri Ram built the bridge to Lanka. At this spot, the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal meet!
We could see the tip of Lanka. If you google Ram Setu (Bridge) it is visible from Satellite! There are 9 submerged islands (5 with Sri Lanka and 5 with India) on which the bridgewas built! It is only 18Km to Sri Lanka. Sri Ram took the help of brilliant architects called Nal and Neel...Do you have any doubt? of what of the fact that Sri Ram and Nal and Neel were brilliant!

For those who know the Ramayan. Sri Ram prayed to the Ocean before He could build the bridge. The Sea promised to be calm. Today, the inhabitants gleefully and with faith and gratitude observe that the Ocean has kept its practice. No Tsunami came to their coast while it devastated those nearby.


This is the point from where Sri Ram surveyed the best point from where to approach Lanka to redeem Seeta. saw a temple called Govinda Raman. Sri Ram took upon Himself the name because it was at this spot that Vibheeshan surrendered himself to Sri Ram. Vibheeshan was Raavan's brother.


In Bangalore, I visited the beautiful Aashram of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

 

My Trip to Bangalore

Some years ago (sorry, no exact date)

Last weekend I had an interesting stay in Bangalore.

It was Shivratri, so I decided to visit Shivji. He majestically sat as an enormous Murti of Bhola Shankar in an open-aired Temple. It was beautiful and the 'darshan' was magnificently organised. Once entered and was confronted by Shivji whose feet you barely reached up to, even if you happen to be 6 feet tall. There is no ceiling, hence you can witness the 'Ganga' flowing down from His tied up hair. As you follow the queue, you first enter a cave in which are reproduced the famous Shiva Lingams around India. The original  Lingams are 'swayambhu'. Do you know what that means? Well, it means that they are not man-made. The original venerated  Lingams are a product of the elements.

As you emerge from the cave, you find yourself at the Lord's feet. As I found my way there, and bowed at His feet, the bhajan strains I heard were:

'Kehne ki zaroorat nahin, aana hi bahut hai,
is dar pe tera sheesh, jhukaana hi bahut hai,
jo kuchh hai tere dil mein woh sab usko khabar hai,
bandey tere har haal pe Maalik ki nazar hai'
Aana hai to aa raah mein, kuch pher nahin hai,
Bhagwan ke ghar der hai, andher nahin hai'

Which means: 

All you need to do is to come to the Lord's feet,.
There is no need to make a petition as He knows what lies in your heart and what you may be going through.
He may take His time but pay heed, He will.

As I moved on teary eyed, a 'Havan' was going on. You could buy the 'aahuti' and 'ghee' (offerings) and pour it along with your prayers into the sacred fire. I was impressed at the arrangements, but not surprised, after all, it was all a Sindhi's doing. 

In Bangalore, I also got to see 'The School of Ancient Wisdom' It is dedicated to the Self-transformation of individuals through Higher Consciousness. It is so beautiful that you have to see it to believe it.  This project is the baby of a dedicated soul who would rather, that I not mention her name. However I find it difficult not to state that I believe that she sold her property in prime location to follow her dream. I shall  also not mention the name of my charming hostess in Bangalore. But I shall thank her through this column as well. May the Good Lord protect her and keep her forever under His care.

 

 

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