Monthly Archives: March 2015

A train journey

I had a conversation sometime back with an acquaintance who just rubbished my quest for spiritualism. Which reminded me of this post written in 2011. Posting it again…please do have a read

I took the train this time while going to Goa from Visakhapatnam. Yes, plane would have been better, but it was both time-consuming as well as expensive. ( yes time-consuming; there is no direct flight and I had to go to Hyderabad, then from there to Mumbai and then to Vasco. In each airport I had to wait for 4-5 hours for the next flight and each time there would be security check and luggage to take care of. Train was a better option).

My co passengers were good. The compartment was clean. And my son made some friends. What more could I want.

There was this girl P, studying in the first standard who was playing the most with my son, well-behaved and neat and had this cute smile which gladdened me.  But it was her mother whom I admired the most. The way she was handling the kids was wonderful. And the patience she had…she went on answering the kid’s questions without asking why you have so many questions and without raising her voice. Just wonderful!!

The kids settled down for their afternoon siesta. She took out a magazine to read and I took out my chanting beads. After some time she asked me,

‘So you are religious?’

‘No I am into spiritualism,’ I replied.

‘Huh? Meaning?’

‘Spiritualism has a broader spectrum. It leads to the Absolute truth. Religion is the path we choose. ‘

You mean Religions like Hinduism, Christianity etc are just paths to know the Absolute truth.’

I smiled and returned back to my chants. She was quiet for some time contemplating. It suited me fine, I wanted to finish my rounds before my son woke up.

‘What do you do apart from chanting?’, She asked.

‘Read. Attend discourses, Discuss with my fellow travelers.’

‘What discourses do you attend?’

‘Discourses on the Bhagvad Gita and Bhagvatam primarily.’

‘Do they help you ?’

Oh yes. Bhagvatam has the entire history right from the time the universe was created, It has science, geography everything. And The Gita tells us how to conduct life.’

‘These classes err discourses are in the morning?’

‘NO, in the evening.’

‘So your husband looks after him’, she said pointing at my son’

‘No both of us attend these classes. Sonny stays with me, does his coloring or practices his writing. I f he is bored there is always somebody to look after the kids.’

‘So your husband too likes such stuff’, she asked.

‘Yes we started on this journey together. Its always better to be on a path together isn’t it, otherwise it becomes difficult.’

She nodded. ‘But you said there is always somebody to look after the kids, you mean like a babysitter?’

Yes I said.

‘But to leave your kid with a baby sitter for SUCH classes….Why? I mean is it necessary. Isn’t it much better to spend time with you kid then attend such lectures.’

‘You are in full-time job isn’t it which means that after school your daughter spends time with a baby sitter or maybe a creche’

She nodded.

‘You do this job because it satisfies you and fetches you good money’.

She nodded again.

‘Attending such classes satisfies my intellectual curiosity and fills me with infinite peace and joy’, I replied.

We parted with a hug. I had learnt a lesson (on good parenting) and she too I suppose had learnt one.

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The yearnings of the soul

Life seems to be a tightrope walk. The one in the corporate ladder has projects and deadlines,  parents struggle between, career and home. So where does it leave the spiritual aspirant?

Tight Rope Walker Stickman Clip Art

Life is a tightrope walk for them too.

Some time back one acquaintance had remarked, ‘It is good for you that you don’t have distractions. I mean, you don’t have parties to attend, you don’t have social image to adhere to, you can just care for your family and that’s it’.

For a second I felt guilty and incomplete. I mean I was standing in front of a career woman and what am I?

But then reality stuck. And I told her about my schedule. And she said, ‘how can you manage so much?’

But thats the beauty of a spiritual life. I won’t say I lead a pure life…I still have miles to go before I reach that landmark.

I have often heard from some seniors and the visiting dignitaries that time stretches in holy dhams. The 16 rounds of japa you struggle with each day to finish can be done quite easily and with better concentration in any holy dham. I am yet to experience that but then time does seem to stretch when you do something which your heart desires and yearns.

Some five odd years back when I had heard someone saying that japa is what the heart craves for; the soul wants its permanent identity; I had rubbished the whole idea. I was young and happy with my life. Caring for my child, writing and saas bahu serials were enough to keep me happy. But then in a desolate moment, I sat down and chanted. No, I didn’t have a japa mala or the beads to chant; I just chanted. And thats when everything changed. I was happy. I didn’t know why but I was happy. It was much later that I could understand that I was just responding to the call of my heart. And that is why I was happy.

And the journey became better and better. Along the way I lost a little of obsessiveness while gaining a lot of peace and happiness. Not a bad bargain, eh?

Earlier the tightrope was between social obligations, housework et all. Today it is between japa, reading and sevas. So which one is better. Definitely the second. Because I can do it all and still have time.  I am happy and can make others happy too.

So what is the moral? The moral is do what your soul craves for. Make yourself happy and when will you be happy……. when you attend to the yearnings of the soul.

Image source: downloadclipart.net

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GAURANGA!!

The ‘look’

I caught a glimpse as I turned,

I retraced my steps,

I saw,

and then I stared.

The beauty,

The twinkle in the eyes;

The mischief;

All held me.

I stood there,

transfixed,

The world moved,

Around me.

I stood,

Nothing shook me,

Nothing touched me,

As I gazed.

Your beauty;

arrested me,

Your gaze;

Beckoned me.

And I have been

Mesmerized ever since.

That was my first encounter with Krishna. The more I read or heard of him, the more enchanted I became. It is just about four years back that I came to know of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

When Krishna was about to leave this planet (when He came as Himself in Dwapar Yuga); Rukmini was teary eyed. She said that who would take care of the people, who would guide them. For the next yuga was Kali; the age of quarrel and hypocrisy. And then Krishna had replied that he would come again in Kali as his own devotee and would show how to really live.

True to his words in 1486, there was born a brilliant son at the house of Jagannath Misra and Sachidevi in Navadvipa. It was poornima and whats more, there was a lunar eclipse. While the people bathed in the Ganges to the sound of Krishna and Hari, the boy whose complexion was of molten gold was born. He was born underneath a Neem tree and so was nicknamed as Nimai.

Nimai grew up to be Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was also known as Gauranga because of his complexion. And he practically showed how a bhakti yogi should live. He made it clear that the yuga dharma of Kali yuga is sankirtan i.e. congregational chanting and wherever he went he encouraged people to take up chanting.

I just pray at the Lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that wherever I am, whatever situation I am, I may be able to follow, the path which he has laid down.

Happy Gaur Poornima to all!!

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