Pilgrimage to Braj Bhumi – Part 3 – Kurukshetra
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 to Braj Bhumi – Part 1 (Mathura)
[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.
The Lost Art of Eating
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.
Total and Complete Surrender
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
How the Supreme Court and Aster Medcity helped my mom die peacefully
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.
Live in the moment or plan for the morrow? Yes!
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.
Four signs of a highly spiritual person
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?
The real reason you need to practice yoga
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.
Yoga vacation at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, Neyyardam, Kerala – all you need to know!
Yoga vacation. The phrase conjures up visions of serene settings, enlightened devotees, and peaceful yoga practitioners. You get all these and more during a yoga vacation at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram at Neyyar Dam, near Thiruvananthapuram (aka Trivandrum – the state capital of Kerala).
I have been to the Sivananda ashram at Neyyar Dam three times over the last 2 years for a yoga vacation. I have usually stayed at an average of 4-5 nights during each of my visits. While I have joked about my experience there in a previous blog, these vacations have been an immense grounding experience in our life. During our first visit, Mukund and I had no clue what to expect. But by the third visit, we quickly and easily slipped into the ashram schedule, even though it was a year since our previous visit.
Here are a list of things you need to know about visiting the Sivananda Ashram at Neyyar Dam for a yoga vacation.