Tuesday, November 29, 2005

On the Way to the Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple....

On the way to the Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple I always stop by this beautiful stream running down to meet the river ganges around 8 kms away. Behind this there is a natural cave where some devotee has placed a shiva linga and comes every day to worship the Shiva Linga. Last time I discovered it accidently and this time I find that myself looking forward to see this place and offer my prayers.. ... I enjoyed my stay here which was very refreshing and I find that this place has a great calming effect on my senses.

Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple....where Lord Shiva Drank the Poison

This is a picture of the Idol placed inside the Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple which depicts the Drinking of Halahal by Lord Shiva. The story of the churning of the ocean is well known in Hindu religion.

The Ocean was churned by using the mountain mandra and the snake Vasuki wrapped around it. Each side would hold an end of the snake and pull on it alternately, causing the mountain to rotate, which in turn would cause the Ocean to be churned. However, once the mountain was put on the Ocean, it began to sink. Then, Vishnu incarnated in the form of a turtle, Kurma to support the mountain.

As the ocean was churned, a deadly poison known as halahal emerged. This poison threatened to suffocate all living things. In response to various prayers, Lord Shiva drank the poison; his wife Parvati, alarmed, stopped it in his throat with her hands. This caused the throat to turn blue. Due to this, he is called Nīlakantha (nīla = "blue", kantha = "throat"). Then, various people, animals, and treasures emerged.

Om Namah Shivaya


The Enetrance of Neel Kanth MahaDev Temple

Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple....

This famous temple that made me feel goose pimples all over, the time I take the final turn to take the most uphill roads around five kilometers before, is a very powerful spritual place. I try to visit this temple every time I visit Rishikesh because I find in its surroundings very powerful spritual current. This is the place Lord Shiva supposedly took the poison that came out of the churning of mythical sea with Meru Parvat (Himalaya as the Stick) by which the sea was churned. The belief is that one gets manifold results of Tapa (Meditation) done here. IN this picture you see the sea being churned. Its on the top of the enterance to the temple.

I got a great chance to be inside the temple and meditate on the very powerful self appearing Shiva Linga that is inside the garbh Grih here. The temple is very beautiful and then enterance is more like the Gopurams in the south with lot of carving etc..

I feel a great happiness that comes within me when ever I visit this place. While sitting cross legged here, I thought of so many devotees that throng to this place and their devotion still floating in the air. Nearby a stream runs and I find many of the devotess bathing before coming inside the temple to offer their prayers.....

The shops nearby gave us some Flowers, Bel Patra ( A leaf which is supposed to be offered to Lord Shiva) and Ganga Jal along with two incense stick. To light the incense stick we could not find any match box so we asked around and then could get one. This was lighted next to the very old Pepul tree.

When I started coming out of the temple I remember the Tandav Strotra where The Demon King Ravana Trying to Appease Lord Shiva said that you with your thrid eye has been able to even destroy many powerful enmies then please destroy my bad karma and let me leave next to you.....

Om Namah Shivaya

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The God's own Country and The Goddess own House.. Chottanikkara Bhagwati Temple in Kerala...

Last week when Chennai was again thrashed by rain God Indra and each time this happens I am invariably are out of town. This time I was away contemplating thoughts about my growing affection with Durga Ji on the footsteps of a very famous temple Chottanikkara Bhagwati. I remember the last time I went to Kerala and specially this very Temple almost a decade back, I was in Cochin for an interview for a Job. Fortunately I did not get that job which makes now possible for me to travel to so many interesting places... in India and I could pursue my "Experiments with spirituality" here...

Kerala is a beautiful state and the moment I landed here I was asked by a friend who was sitting next to me on the flight to help him reach a place called Allepy which was some 90 KMs away from the airport. On the way, talking to him I realized that so many of us try to reach that ultimately peaceful state through many ways. Here is this person sitting next to me, crying about his wife to whom he was married for 27 years and feels the pangs of her absence – and is trying in effect to forget her absences by traveling.

At the Chottanikkar temple....

At this temple so many thoughts crowd me. What is that brings me to the steps of some famous and some not so famous temples and why do I go to these temples at all. What is it that makes me take detours, make arrangements and make it possible to be in the temples or near a deity? What is that which made me remove all my upper clothes to enter the sanctum sanctorum (This is a custom in many temples which all have to follow to enter in the presence of the deity) where as I was very reluctant to remove in public. Why? Sitting on those steps I looked at one very old lady gyrating her head with her long old hair flying all around her, in total silence with her eyes fixed at the Idol. Why does she do it? To show to the people around that she is in trance or she really is in trance? But she never once looked at me or at the other people around her. She kept on shaking her head with murmuring lips.

Her Face Smiles away my doubts...

In those surroundings where many people come and bathe in the pond, which for all practical reasons dirty, and then become pure to visit the Deity, where there is lot of sound but silence is reigning. The birds fly from the tree top to tree top and my thoughts are running haywire. There must be something that brings me here….?

I saw Deity’s Face shining in gold with Her eyes that followed me from the entrance to Her pedestal. I find in Her eyes peace and my various thoughts and doubts just disappeared. I was here to soak in Her power and feel Her presence seep through me.. That is why I keep finding my self in the temples looking for the super consciousness and the energy that is making me feel high.. and in a blissful state…

Out side I find that lady still standing there and talking to her Mother in the way she can.. in the way she can make Her understand that Mother I do need You. So Help her Mother.

Om Namah Shivaya


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gopi, I find Krishna in your every breath...

The air is heavy with your excited breath
You are immersed in the river Ganga
To douse that Love
Or is it the lust that you are carrying
In your wet clothes
That the lover
Dropped from the overhang

Drops cling to your wet clothes
Some dew drops hang from the your eyelashes
Some on your lips
Do you bathe in Ganges?
To be more enchanting, Gopi
To your eternal lover

You brush past me
With out even knowing that I exist
With your heart full of desires
To meet him
Where is the space
To even think of

I follow your scent
Which lingers around me a while
You swept past me
Even my past
Along with the memories
That I hang on to for some time

Gopi, I find Krishna
In your every breath
Then why do you go to the Ganges
Or to His Temple
To find Him
Every morning


(Krishna Playing with Gopi's on the banks of Yamuna River in Gokul. Below is the Picture from the main Gopuram of a Famous Temple in Madurai)

Radhe Krishna, Radhe Krishna

Krishna Where are you?

I felt walking on the streets of Mayapur Navdweep where Chaitanya Mahaprabhu walked his first steps and tried to gather what is so special in those dusty crowded streets where only a rickshaw can be plied..? What is it in the place that makes me bow down to touch the earth and put it on my forehead in deep reverence? When I stepped on the boat from the Mayapur to reach to the Navdweep, the journey itself prepared me for the vision that I was going to have in the birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The river in its meandering ways with trees bent low almost touching the holy waters of River Ganges in obeisance. I almost saw Krishna playing joyfully in those branches of the trees teasing gopis by taking all their clothes to the tree top.

As soon as I touched the ground zero of Navdweep, I felt joy surge in me as I was finally in the place where bhakti yoga took its root and the air was full of vibrancy and devotion. The place where Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to go to worship Govinda was full of his divine presence. Many devotees fresh from bathe in holy Ganges with droplets clinging to their clothes and freshly painted as dew drops on the enchanted faces like gopis dressed with desire to meet Krishna passed me on the way to meet Him. How graceful the way those gopis laid out their love for you Krishna. Among them I find myself so insignificant and small… how easy it is for them to be with you all the time along with their household chores.. and family burden.

The peacock feather and the Bidi-makers...

The streets were full of people and vendors showing me all kinds of things related to you Krishna. Some were pushing their beautifully crafted Peacock feather fan some placed beautifully made idols but the shop next to one of your temples Krishna had some very old people making hand made bidis (Tobacco Leaves folded inside Bunyan tree leaves which is very popular among the country side for smoking). The whole generation of the family was involved in making those bidis but above all, there was a sense of peace within that close group which was permeating like the incense that was floating there from the incense stick under the beautiful image of Lord Krishna on the corner.

The essence of Krishna within the air and dust..

The tea shop was full of people starting the new day with an invigorating drink and the best tea I have had since some time while I was waiting for the boat to come to take me back to the Mayapur. As soon as the boat hit the Mayapur shores there was flood of people surging to grab a place in the boat, many with their cycles and baskets and tools. Most of them were workers on their way to work. I had hard time getting off the boat fighting to hold my onwards movement against the inward tide. I felt sad reaching Mayapur as the mere breath in Navdweep was full of energy and religious sentiments. How close I felt to you Krishna when I was on the soil of Navdweep. Their, among the people, who were carrying within them the devotion that one son of that soil had for you and could reach you. I was closer to you there than I was ever… Navdweep, it’s great that you could hold that essence of devotion within your Dust and air. I bow to you in great respect.

Radhe Krishna, Radhe Krishna