Day 4/5 – Kurukshetra, Haryana
Now that I had the fortune of seeing Krishna Janmabhoomi and Vrindavan, it was time to go to Kurukshetra, one of the most holiest places in Hindu Sanatana Dharma, where the Lord gave Arjuna, and the world, the Bhagavad Gita. As the cousins range on either side of the battlefield for the “mother of all battles”, Arjuna worries about killing his family and friends on the other side. Bhagavad Gita is the conversation (700 shlokas) that transpires between the Lord and Arjuna, at the end of which Arjuna stands up transformed and ready to fulfill the Lord’s Master Plan.
[Pilgrimage] reconciles the spiritual and the material, for to go on pilgrimage is to make the body and its actions express the desires and beliefs of the soul. – Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
In 7 years every cell of your body gets replaced by a new cell. There must be a permanent point inside you around which this process is happening, the point of no cell and no-thing, the site of the holiest pilgrimage – Shunya
Whether you consider a pilgrimage as a spiritual sojourn, or a yearning to visit architectural, religious and/or historical sites, a pilgrimage transforms you. Read about my pilgrimage to Braj Bhumi spread over five days in September of 2022. We covered Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Nandagaon, Govardhan and Barsana; and finally drove across to Haryana and ended it in Jyotisaar, Kurukshetra.
I admit I am one of the privileged few. I have a maid, a servant, a driver and a gardener. But thanks to COVID19, I can no longer avail their services. So since March 16th, I have been planning, cooking, cleaning, de-stressing, and managing one bedridden patient on palliative care, his nurse, another senior citizen who just turned 75, my husband, my older daughter who graduates this year, my younger one who just finished high-school, and a 3-year old pug. In total, a household with 6 adults, 1 teenager and 1 dog. And all this while also working from home.
But this blog is not about how Corona helped me become superwoman (ahem!), managing family, house work, office work, and in-house counselor with elan and grace.
This blog is about my father-in-law’s death and how Corona played a key role in the way he passed away.
Eating well is a form of self-respect – Colleen Quigley
The appetite comes during eating – Russian proverb
I used to visit my paternal village at the foot of the Western Ghats near Mysore every summer. Grandparents, one uncle and six aunts and their families, distant relatives, neighbours who came to see us – the house was filled with people at all times. And as you can imagine, feeding 30+ people for a very minimum of twice a day would have been utter chaos.
I surrender to Thee
My heart, my soul, my pride, my ego
What I have, what I don’t
My tears and my failures, my successes and my highs
All laid down at your Feet
My mom passed away just 2 weeks ago. But I really feel the need to write my thoughts down as quickly as possible before routine, daily duties, and the real impact of her death hits me.
Two momentous things happened in the week before my mom passed away. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court passed a verdict allowing passive euthanasia and declared the validity of a living will. Ironically, I was reading the newspaper headlines as my brother, his wife and I were heading to Aster Medcity to see Dr. Ramkumar, Pain and Palliative care specialist.
Image courtesy: http://everythingfunny.org/tag/humorous-comics/page/69/. All rights reserved.
When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle – Osho
Plan your work, and work your plan – Napoleon Hill
Sounds contradictory, don’t they? Live in the moment? Yes do. Plan for tomorrow? Yes, of course. So what do we do? Both.
Is that possible? When you are in the moment, your breath and your mindfulness is focused on what you are doing now. If you are watching TV, that is the only thing you are doing – not planning for the next day’s meeting or worried about your kid coming late. On the other hand, planning for the morrow means taking a long term view of your objectives and life goals, working them backwards with timelines and to-do lists, and executing them based on the schedule. Are both possible? Let’s see.
Spiritual Intelligence is the Intuitive knowledge of the Self, others, situations and techniques to achieve the desired objectives of the world. – Awdhesh Singh
We had IQ. Now we have EQ. The day is not far off when we judge a person based on his spiritual quotient (SQ). We do not need to search far and wide to seek the qualities a spiritually aware person must possess. Our religious books abound in them. In fact, The Sreemad Bhagavatham extols 28 qualities of an enlightened soul or devotee. (SB Canto 11, Chapter 11, Verses 29-32). The Bhagavad Gita details upto 28 signs of a person who is dear to God (BG Chapter 12, Verses 13-19).
But are these qualities possible in today’s world? Aren’t they impractical and outdated? How about ambition, fire in the belly, and a go-getting attitude that every person needs today to succeed?
Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in – Anonymous
A mind free from all disturbances is yoga – Patanjali
A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist (JNANI) and greater than the fruitive worker (KARMI). Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogi – Shloka 46, Chapter 6, Bhagavad Gita
Yes, everyone does it including our Prime Minister. In fact, yoga is the new black. Everybody talks about it, buys the latest accessories for it, and loudly proclaim that it does wonders for them. And the benefits? They rave over their new-found flexibility, the decrease in back pain, the increased energy, the insights into the workings of their bodies….the list is endless.
Immersed in all these loud claims and endorsements, I think we are forgetting the real reason why we should practice yoga. To become a yogi.