At the feet of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba..

14.11.2016:

03.45 hrs – Our bus reached one of the famous shrines in India, Shirdi. Many a people from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat visit this shrine every year to offer their prayers and my mom so wanted us to visit this temple from a long time. Though this was not a part of my plan at first, Mythri told me that we can visit the temple and I readily agreed. I don’t know how it happened, but everything came to us  like a miracle. Firstly, we didn’t know that we will make it to this sacred place. Secondly, the bus reached so early leaving us with a chance to attend the aarti and thirdly, it so happened that today i.e. 14.11.2016 is a full moon day of the ‘Karthika’ month, which is considered to be one of the most auspicious months according to the Hindu tradition.

03.50 hrs – We started looking for an auto-rickshaw to our resort and one needs to bargain hard with these auto-walas, otherwise you will be on the verge of getting looted. Though we bargained hard, as it was the wee hours and there were not many autos around, we paid him a hundred rupees to drop us at our resort and asked him to wait for few minutes so that we can reach the temple in the same auto and thank God, he agreed.

04.05 hrs – Checked-in to the hotel and quickly refreshed ourselves and made a move. The whole idea is to attend the aarti. Aarti is an ancient yet living ritual that takes place every day across India. We left our mobiles back in our rooms as mobiles were not allowed inside the temple complex. Though there were cloak rooms there to safe keep our belongings, we don’t wanted to waste our time there. 04.30 hrs – Started back to the temple and it was so cool early morning. When the driver dropped us at the entrance of the temple, we started running so that we could be among the first people who can get a chance to see the aarti. But we were late by few minutes and we had to stop in the ground floor and watch the aarti in the LCDs that were arranged there 😦

Aarti (aa meas ‘complete’ and rati means ‘love’) is part of a Hindu puja or act of religious worship and is always performed facing the deity. Integral to any aarti puja is the circulation of the lamp around the deity, which acquires the deity’s power. The priest then offers the lamp to the devotees, passing on the deity’s blessing. In the temples of South India, the lamp may use camphor or oil, and it is then presented to the devotees, who hold their hands over the flame and touch their hands to their eyes. The simple gesture signifies a desire for spiritual insight: “May my eyes be opened up to the knowledge of the unity of life.” And the temple icons are often wrapped in silk fabric and beautified with ornaments – these offerings are another way of enhancing the relationship with the Divine, and is part of the ritual of temple worship.

The aarti is performed at Shri Sai Baba’s Mandir, which is the place where his body is resting in Samadhi. We moved towards the deity when once the aarti was completed and we had a good darshan (sighting) of the Lord Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. The Samadhi (resting place) is constructed of marble stones and the railings around it are of ornamental decorations. The unique feature of this temple is that it is visited both by Muslims and the Hindus equally and the Muslims offer Chaddars (Shawls) to drape the Samadhi. The idol present here is made up of Italian marble and is life size.

Shirdi Sai Baba is a guru of the Nath tradition, a tradition formulated by Lord Dattatreya based on the instructions of Lord Krishna. The text Sripada Srivallabha Charithamrutham mentions the saint Sripada, incarnation of Lord Dattatreya, calling upon Hanumanji to take birth as Shirdi Sai Baba. The distinct feature of the Navanath tradition is the absence of formal procedures or teachings; everything happens in the presence of the guru. Proximity to the guru is paramount; by just being present in his energy field, one gets cleansed and liberated.

Considered to be one of the greatest gurus, it is told that Shirdi Sai Baba often asked for the two coins of shraddha (devotion) and saboori (patience) from those who came to him. The path may sound simple but it is difficult in practice – since even a speck of ego or doership is unacceptable. Had our darshan and gone around the temple complex to see the other important features of it. Dwarakamai, which was an old mosque and Lord Sai turned it into Dwarakamai is situated on the right side of the entrance and has two levels. The importance of this is that it hosts all the things once used by Shri Sai Baba and the legend is that this is the very place where Sai has proved that God is one – Sabka Malik Ek Hai!

They gave prasad (sugar coated boondi) and we were out of the temple by 06.00 hrs 🙂 . For me, this trip would always remain a miracle, as everything was so hassle-free and smooth 🙂 🙂

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Food for thought #15

“To die tomorrow was no worse than dying on any other day”

 

“Everyday was there to be lived or to mark one’s departure from this world”

 

“Death stills everything”

 

“Humility is a good thing, but overhumility is near to crookedness; silence is a virtue, but undue silence bespeaks a deceitful mind”           – Chinese Proverb

 

“God created only two kinds of people – good people and good-for-nothing people”

Mother’s Day – It’s Everyday….

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Today I want to take a break from my routine writings. As the world is set to celebrate the Mother’s day, I too would like to wish all the great mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.. For me, as a child of a wonderful mother, everyday is a mother’s day though.. 🙂

When I sat on my couch thinking what should I write about my mother.. A question hit my mind. The question is Will I ever be able to write a great story or an epic which could be sweeter than the word “Mother”? Yes, the word “Mother” itself is a great epic which no other could ever beat.

As I could not write a story, I thought of singing a raga for her.. Again another question.. This time it is, Can I sing a better swara (music note) than the swara “Mother”? Isn’t it the Mother, who is the supreme swara for the song of my Soul?

While struggling about where to start and what to write.. The frame of the Almighty on my wall drew my attention. This time it’s a flow of questions and theories… Whether it is Lord Ganesha for the Hindus, or the Jesus for Christians, they too have their mothers. Even though they are Gods, they too were born by sharing an umbilical cord with their mothers. It is only a mother who can give birth to anyone. Doesn’t this mean that “Even a God must have been born from a mother’s Womb”? Then “a Mother who can only give birth to a God or to any other great mother, is THE GREATEST OF ALL”?

I think my quest is over. Finally, I found out what I should write.. I should write thanking my mom for everything..

Thank you mom.. Thank you for

                                Bringing me into this world by sharing your blood and flesh..

                                Teaching me to rise by holding my fingers..

                                Guiding me to walk in the right path always by correcting my wrong steps..

                                Searching me when you don’t hear me..

                                Wiping off my tears, when I cry..

                                Soothing me when I was in discomfort..

                                Helping me to find myself, when I was lost..

                                Blessing me to live for an eternity by saying “God Bless U”..

                                                It’s U my dear mom.. It’s U..

                                                Without U, there is no I..

                                                U r my mornings.. U r my evenings..

                                                U r my dusk.. U r my dawn..

                                                U r my success.. U r my defeat.

                                                       U r my name.. U r my fame…

                                                U r my happiness.. U r my sorrow..

                                                U r my best pal.. U r my best critique..

                                                U r my strength.. U r my weakness..

                                                U r my breath.. U r my expression..

                                                U r the happiness of my heart and mind..

                 On this Mother’s Day, what can I give my greatest mom other than saying that “If given a chance, will be born to her as the same child and always bow my head in front of her with utmost reverence”

I once again wish all the mothers A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY..

 

Thank you Sushma for the wonderful doodle.. 🙂 

https://www.facebook.com/Paper-Pankh-Illustrations-by-Keerthi-1694095504164337/

 

MOM – The Prime Source of All

Admiring the greatest potential of one of the verses from Taittiriya Upanishad which conquers Respects to Mother, Father, Guru and Guest as they are all forms of God!

Maatru Devo Bhava; Pithru Devo Bhava;

Aachaarya Devo Bhava; Athidi Devo Bhava; 

These primary roles of life are the most important to any clay that is getting molded along the journey. It is of relative nature and not absolute that who plays what in each of our lives. Yes, it is not absolute and cannot be equated to everyone. But the four roles keep popping up as we travel. Some travel along, some wrap up once their destination is reached, possibly before us or even after, which is beyond science to detail. A Mother dedicates her everything to express and bind the family with the extra love and care that everyone at home and surrounding her feels important and special. A Father proves to be the power house of motivation to step up and stay strong at all occasions. A Guru shows the path that is beautifully carved to take us not just through a journey that is beyond materials and pleasure, it is for generations to be built morally strong. A Guest shows us the form of God driving us to stay calm and patient enough to tackle through whenever arrived. On the whole, the package of these 4 roles could be played by anyone in all of our lives, but is played, in many cases, very well enacted!

The “Adi Para Shakthi” that represents the Sattva Guna and consort of Lord Brahma is the goddess of wisdom, creation, learning, compassion, peace, art and much more. With me and out of the three women that I was blessed with to color the canvas of my life, my MOM becomes the Adi Para Shakthi!

This woman I flavor was born in a small village called “Boningi” near the town of “Srirangavarapu Kota (S.Kota) of ViziaNagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. The blessed parents were Shri. Venkata Rao Inaparthi (Veeravasaram in West Godavari district) and Smt. SarojiniKoti from Mulaparru (West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh). Connected much to her father (like all daughters of course), she has been the youngest of all four siblings. Siblings getting offers those days to move to maternal or paternal grandparents place for education being common, my mom and elder aunt stayed back with their parents.

Mom’s father (my grandfather) was a Village Development Officer serving for the state with high moral values and discipline that took an appropriate post to serve the people. Being a Marxist and Socialist, he had always thought about and for people and their welfare is utmost importance. He received the title of “Guruvu Garu” in all hearts. Mom’s mother (my grandmother) hailing from a traditional family of values carried with her the pillar of support to supplement Granpa’s thoughts. She has been a complete and thorough home maker that Grandpa never had the slightest worry of the house when at work and even back home! A true role model to my Mom!

Balancing her boat with the respect that her father has earned through his living and the love that mom has inculcated, my mom relished the values through her upbringing. Values and Ethics were her nerves. Her childhood memories have always kept me envious though she has given me better than the best always and is still thriving to. My mom had excelled in her studies though she continued in the village itself and also gained equal interest and passion in extracurricular activities. The childhood pranks being the vitamin for the rest of the life, my mom treasures the stolen mangoes from her Uncle’ orchards, building mud castles and houses, bunking classes with truth quoted justification, tasting a delicious secretive jaggery and many others that remains fresh as discussed or revisited. Good is always to be balanced, not necessariy with the bad, has been my point from the start. Will see what life had poured and blessed my mom with and how it took a turn!

Stay tuned…