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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

A Flag of Devotion

On our way to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur, we often saw groups of people walking, those in the lead holding a flag, and the others carrying bottles of water on their head. These, we were told, were devotees of Baba Ramdev of Ramdevra near Pokhran (not to be confused with the Yoga guru of the same name), walking to his shrine. Like the warkaris who walk to Pandharpur for Ashadi Ekadashi, these devotees walk to Ramdevra during the months of August- September, to participate in the festival commemorating their guru’s Samadhi. I wasn’t able to photograph them, or the flag they carried, but, when we visited the Jaisalmer Fort, I was surprised to see the same flag flying high! Apparently, a shrine to the saint has been erected near the temple at the base of the fort!! This is certainly a new development, one which wasn’t there when I last visited, but I took the opportunity to click the multi-coloured flag!





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