Skip to main content

Featured Post

2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Vedic Rites to be performed during the Kashi Yatra

The purpose of a Kashi Yatra for most people is the performance of Vedic rites for their ancestors, and it was the same for us. My in-laws were performing all the rites, and we had nothing much to do. In fact, we weren’t allowed to accompany them to Gaya at all, as it is apparently considered inauspicious for those whose parents were alive to see the Akshaya Vatam and the Vishnu Padam. However, my curiosity about the rituals made me ask a number of questions which were thankfully answered in detail by two young people- the manager of the Kanchi Math at Kashi and the vadhyar or pundit who officiated at our rites. Both of them were extremely helpful, and it is entirely thanks to them that I have been able to write in such detail about Kashi as well as the surrounding places, even those we did not visit. At my request, I was given this list of the rites that are traditionally performed during a Kashi Yatra. I share this with all my readers in the hope that it may be of some use to them too. I have provided contact numbers of some people there who will be able to arrange everything for anyone who desires to perform these rituals. To read the full article, click here.

Comments

  1. Namaste
    Real good write up enjoyed every bit of it..........Keep writing & thanks once again for sharing. God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I saw your query on the HT electronic version today and was curios to find out more about you. This is a very interesting post. I enjoyed your writing style. Keep writing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I saw your query on the HT electronic version today and was curios to find out more about you. This is a very interesting post. I enjoyed your writing. Keep writing …..:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you very much, Sai and Sujata....

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavanteshw

Rama Temple, Gokarna

To my right , the waves rush to the shore, eager to merge with the sand. To my left, the same waves crash against the rocks, their spray diverting my reverie as I ponder over the beauty of nature, and wonder what first brought people here. Was it this beauty that encouraged them to build a temple here, or was it the fresh, sweet spring water flowing from the hill here that made this place special? No matter what the reason, I am glad my auto driver brought me here. We are at the Rama temple in Gokarna, just a few minutes away from the Mahabaleshwara Temple, yet offering so different a perspective.

The Power of 8 - The Ashta Dikpalas and Ashta Vasus at Khajuraho

The four cardinal directions form the axis on which a temple is built, and are thus the basis of temple architecture. Leading from them are the eight directions, which are believed to be guarded by the eight guardians, or Ashta Dikpalas . In the temples of Khajuraho, great care has been taken by the sculptors to carve the Ashta Dikpalas on the walls, both inside and outside. They not only guard the temple, but also look over us as we circumambulate the shrine, protecting us by their presence. They are augmented by the Ashta Vasus , celestial beings which represent natural phenomena. Together, they enhance the idea of the temple as cosmos, enfolding within it, all the aspects of nature, both, on earth, as well in space.