Washing hands Chasing Gods

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India Spiritual Travel

Indians have a saying for those who give a spirited chase to their goals “hath dho ke peeche …” This is what occurred to me on a rainy day and hence the title.

Thought to catch hold of God,
I should travel from the topmost part of India to the bottom most, but my endeavors have stretched only till Vaishnodevi & McLeodganj in North and Pondicherry & Kanyakumari in down south.
My knowledge is far from spiritual experiences so I am in a similar state as Sarah MacDonald in ‘ Holy Cow’.

In Haridwar, I observe the Ganges getting dirtier due to community bathing by men who flaunt their obscene, old, torn H shaped attires (if you know what I mean). In Pondicherry where people find peace, I get upset for not being allowed to appreciate a tree in Auroville for the lack of time at hand. In Rishikesh, I remember the tasty food by Chotiwalas more than anything.

In Kukke Subramanya, I pay more attention to celebrity pictures of those who visited for Kaal Sarpa Dosha including Sachin. And in McLeodganj, I meditate at the roadside market which sells accessories and antiques. Sadly that’s me !

Roadside market in Mcloedganj, India by Travel Jaunts

Roadside market in Mcloedganj, India by Travel Jaunts

My Spiritual Journey

Parents and grandparents introduced me to the temples and pujas, but true credit goes to my ‘nose’ which threw so many tantrums post surgery that I got slipped into the world of spiritual solace. Coming across those doctors who make faces like you will die the next day and prescribe hundreds of tests for simple problems is the first step towards spirituality.

Spiritual introspection

Spiritual introspection before surgery in Manipal

For most problems, complaining to God in Amitabh Bachchan style does provide some relief. But unlike Amitabh Bachchan who went to the temple towards the end in Deewar, I say temple temple here I come, with my own wishlist every time.

Kangra Devi in Himachal, India by Travel Jaunts

Kangra Devi in Himachal, India by Travel Jaunts

Of all, it is Lord Shiva who I have related to since childhood. Anytime I’ve been denied the due, instead of catching the collar of bosses, boyfriends and mom-in-laws, I’ve run to Lord Shiva. It’s only for my own health that I had to look beyond Shiva temples. I’m not the one who really believes that God is accessible in temples and can be moved by pujas only, but I like our culture which makes it easier for the girl to gain brownie points with in-laws and in turn please her home hero too . That’s a different spiritual level altogether.

In Bangalore, Kempfort gets the credit for my maximum ‘ first job, single status’ visits (and school of ancient wisdom for my post surgery visits)
Kempfort Shiva never filled the blanks matching my wishes but I am thankful that the same Shiva in Ujjain and Srikalahasti granted my wishes immediately, VIP class .The Lord at Tirupati took time, by then it was like what the heck, justice delayed is justice denied. Not God’s fault, amidst the South Indian screams of Govindaaaaa Govindaaaaaaa and the rush to reach Mt. Tirupati, God works in random order.
 Kempfort temple, Bangalore India by Travel Jaunts

Kempfort temple, Bangalore India by Travel Jaunts

The two places where God did make me feel important are Siddhivinayaka and Vaishnodevi. Year 2002, it was early morning and my first visit to Siddhivinayaka in Mumbai. I entered the overcrowded temple and wished for a special puja for which pre booking was required, and was impossible at that time. It just so happened that a lady came up to me and said, ‘take my ticket and do the puja, am getting late for work.

I was happily surprised since I hadn’t even uttered my wish.

Second time recently, in Vaishnodevi..
  Vaishnodevi temple by Travel Jaunts

Vaishnodevi temple by Travel Jaunts

My first visit, delayed by about 7 years, became special when a policeman who controls the crowd told me, ‘Phir se andar jaana hai doosri baar darshan ke liye, aarti hone wali hai, tujhe jaane doonga, jaldi teeka mitao, bachhe ka bhi aur husband ko bhi bula lo.‘ Initially the Karnataka citizen in me thought, ‘ sabka sapna money money’ but then I soon realized, ‘wow am not that big a sinner. God does know me’.
My spiritual journey and relationship with God has been weird. Somedays I’ve kept the fast without even water throughout the day and someday I have puked throughout the night in the name of Shiva’s Somras.
Some days I’ve done all kinds of yoga, japas and tapas and somedays have slept in glory, postponing my sincerity for the next day. Am such an average human that becoming spiritually fashionable is quite challenging. The only permanent shift in my life has been ‘Tulsi tea and veg food‘ despite being an ardent fan of Mutton Roganjosh.
Nevertheless, marriage and after-effects like children, at times act like sparks in lighting the spiritual growth lamp inside. Both me and my husband have visited more temples than any other types of places in seven years of our process of learning to tolerate each other and our kid 🙂
    Baijnath in Himachal by Travel Jaunts

Baijnath in Himachal by Travel Jaunts

On a serious note, my quest for solutions to my insignificant health issues has introduced me to many a good things and great souls. Reiki, pyramid meditation, kriya yoga, numerology, Louise Hay’s heal your life‘ (courtesy my friend Shalini), Yogananda’s ‘Autobiography of a yogi’, writings by James Redfield and Brian Weiss.

 I’ve learnt that forgiveness is liberating, thinking good doesn’t let you collapse when you lapse, and evening Aarti on the banks of Ganga in Haridwar is truly majestic.
My spiritual journey is still on though with really long big breaks in between.
It is an experience, a way of life…and I am trying hard to meditate to get that ‘Ek idea jo badal de aapki duniya’. But a long way to travel I guess!

PS. – Top 10 spiritual tours in India

  • Chardham yatra- Rishikesh, Yamnotri, guptkashi, uttarkashi, kedarnath, badrinath, Haridwar
  • Vaishnodevi  & Amarnath in Jammu & Kashmir
  • Rishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi , Sarnath, Bodh gaya.
  • Dakhineshwar in Kolkata.
  • Golden Temple Amritsar
  • Shirdi in Maharashtra
  • Somnath and Dwarka in Gujarat
  • Mcleodganj in Dharamshala
  • Tirupati, Srikalahasti, Sabrimala and Kukke Subramania in South India
  • Mathura Vrindavan Gokul
  • Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar in MP
  • Ajmer

 

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7 Comments

  1. Siddhartha November 20, 2011
  2. Sanjukta November 20, 2011
  3. The Traveler November 20, 2011
  4. The Traveler November 20, 2011
  5. Divs November 20, 2011
  6. The Traveler November 21, 2011
  7. Pungi Master November 25, 2011

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