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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

Happy Diwali !!!!!

One festival is scarcely over that its time for another! Its now time for Diwali - the one festival which is celebrated over the length and breadth of our vast nation. While for some, it is the beginning of the new year, the day to start new accounts with, for some it is the day they welcome the goddess of prosperity into their homes. For some, it is the day Lord Rama entered his city after vanquishing the asuras, a day to be celebrated by lighting  up the house, while for some, it is the day Krishna defeated Nararakasura, and thus to be celebrated by having the purification bath and celebrating the dawn of a new life. For most, it is simply the best festival, the one where you get to wear new clothes and burst firecrackers. 

What does Diwali signify for me? Well, for me, the attraction of the festival lies in the simple clay lamps or diyas, which I love to buy,decorate and light. Not for me the wax candles or the electric lights. The simple mud diyas filled with oil seem to light up my life! And of course, how could I forget? This is also the one festival where I give up the traditional 'maa - kolam' - the rangoli with wet rice flour, and create beautiful patterns with dry flour, and coloured powder. It is usually a project by itself, one taking up most of the afternoon so that the lamps can be lit before sunset, and placed strategically on the rangoli to show it off best!

This year, I shall miss all these, for I shall not be at home. I am taking a break and spending the Diwali vacation at Tirupati, fulfilling a cherished dream of a leisurely visit, spending a few days at the temple town, visiting lots and lots of temples, and hopefully, some other interesting places as well. 

However, you do get to see some wonderful rangolis - No, these are not mine. These rangolis have been put next door to us at the Subramanya Mutt temple as part of some pujas we performed there a few months back. I have always been fascinated by the wonderful way they create these patterns, especially the ease with which they do it! These patters are for the pujas, as I mentioned, and depict different Gods -

This small one was used for the preliminary pujas - to Lord Ganesha...


While this beautiful one was used for the Ganapati Homam (sacrifice performed for Ganesha)


This one was used for the Navagraha Homam - the nine planets.


Look at this simple, but intricate piece of work - which took them just a few seconds to create!


This one was for prayers to the snake - Naga


And this one was for the main Homam - to Shiva!


Beautiful, aren't they???

As you read this, I will be somewhere in or around Tirupati, probably visiting a temple or seeing the celebrations there.....  Meanwhile, I wish you a

Very Very Happy Diwali !!!!

I shall be back soon with lots and lots of posts about my trip.

Comments

  1. Happy Diwali to you too Anu! I so love to read your posts bcos of the religious history that you cover as part of it and which I seem to have forgotten as I have grown older :-) Your festival posts are so enlightening...do keep such posts coming...


    AND the rangoli's are brilliant. Esp the ganesha ones...the ganapati homam one is too good.

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  2. Very beautiful Rangolis from the temple. A very happy Diwali to all of you.

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  3. Happy Diwali to you also.
    Shall wait to read your interesting posts.

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  4. Good blog!!! Keep up the enthusiasm.
    I reached your blog as I was looking for some experiences of Solapur and read your article on Siddheshwar Temple. It is very informative

    Nitin Kadam, Thane

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good blog!!! Keep up the enthusiasm.
    I reached your blog as I was looking for some experiences of Solapur and read your article on Siddheshwar Temple. It is very informative

    Nitin Kadam, Thane

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful decorations.
    Wish you Happy Deepavali.

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  7. Lovely Rangoli designs Anu. Here's hoping you had a good Diwali and have a nice trip to Tirupathi.

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  8. Wishing you a happy Deepavali and a nice trip to Tirupati. Rangolis are really beautiful.

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  9. @Sankara: Thank you so much! I would have forgotten these stories too, if it hadn't been for the fact that I need to pass them on to Samhith :) I am actually re-reminding myself of them!!!

    @Indrani: Thanks a lot! Hope you had a wonderful Diwali too.

    @Mridula: Thanks! Waiting to read about Chhavi's Diwali experience :) and you should see the ease with which they put these rangolis.

    @Chitra: Thanks so much! We visited so many temples, its going to take a while to write them down!

    @Nitin: Thanks a lot! Welcome to my blog and Hope to see you here regularly! Incidentally, I am from Thane too...

    @Rajesh: Thanks a lot! Hope you had a wonderful Diwali too!

    @Celine: Thanks a lot! I had a great trip... visited lots of temples and places... just wish they allowed cameras too !

    @P.N.Subramanian: Thanks so much! We had a wonderful trip and a memorable Diwali. hope you had a great time too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. hi Frnd Ur Website is very Useful and fully entartainment

    given thanx 4 this type of content sharing

    <

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hope you had a great Deepavali..how was your trip and where are you off next ? Im so bad at rangoli..these look very beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  12. Welcome back Anu. Good to know you had a wonderful trip. The blog world waits for stories of your travels.

    ReplyDelete

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