The Story of Ganesh going Public….

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You would  be thinking what is this, what could be story behind Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganapati since it is related to sentiments of Indian and their religious belief.

If you are thinking same, You are right but I want to tell you story when this religious sentiment was not a wave but it was only limited to house hold celebration.

This story took shape with my recent visit to Mumbai and evidencing the feast . It took me by wave by seeing so many people coming together to celebrate it without asking who are you or where are you from. It tinkled me and I decided to know more about it and put it on paper.

So here is summation of all what I got and understood. Hope you will like it and love to know about it.

History

Ganesh Chaturthi is said to have been celebrated since the days of Maratha rulers: Satavahana, Chalukya and Rashtrakuta. This festival was celebrated by Peshwas to worship Ganapati as their family deity as a private affair. Chhatrapati Shivaji brought this event to public to promote traditions and nationalism. Mainly celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh with a lot of zeal and splendor, Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular festival of Maharashtra.

Going  Public

The festivities remained a family affair until the festival was revitalized by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the late 19th Century, to take the message of freedom struggle to all Indians.

So why Bal Gangadhar Tilak want to take it to public? Before that let me tell you about Ganesh Chaturthi in zest.

It all started when Bal Gangadhar Tilak realized the actual power of this festival and understood how this festival helps to bring different class of people together. It was time of British Rule and Britisher never allowed any kind of public gathering. So he decided to bring Ganesh Chathurthi at Public forum so that he can bring all class of people on same platform and make them understand the actual power of unity which can be used to galvanize the mass against British Rule. Festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi that continued for ten days gave people of every religion the scope to interact and know each other. It was a unique move by this freedom fighter, which he achieved with the Ganpati Visarjana or immersion procession which is taken out on the final day of the ganesh festival.

Early Reason Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi is festival were Idol of lord Ganesh is kept in Pandal ( Temporary Shrine) which is then worshiped for ten days with different kind of herbal leaf which is then immersed  with Idol of lord Ganesh in water. it is believed that these herbs helps in keeping water clean and thus helps people to drink water from these water bodies.

Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi preparations commence from almost a month before the festival. The celebrations last for around ten days (from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to Ananta Chaturdashi). First day clay idol of Lord Ganesha is installed in home decorated with flowers. Temples witness the visit of large number of devotees. Pooja is performed and bhajans are chanted. Often, families gather together to celebrate the festival. Localities organize and arrange for pandals and install large idols of Lord Ganesha to celebrate the festival with friends and family. Festivities goes on for next nine days. On the final day of the celebrations, the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken on the streets. People exhibit their enthusiasm and joy in the form of dancing and singing on the streets along with the idol. The idol is finally immersed in the river or sea. The day witnesses a large number of devotees expressing their happiness and offering their prayers.

Vision of Bal Gangadhar Tilak work he brought people from all class and group together but there are several other reasons. Ganpati is after all a popular god. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as he is the god who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities. He is also the god who brings prosperity.

So next time you want to visit Mumbai or Pune make your schedule around Ganesh Chaturthi so that you can see the beautiful color of festivity on the street of these city to enjoy and live the moment.

Happy Travelling….

 

The Land of world’s most Handsome Personality … “Lord Krishna”…

Dwarka is place were Lord Krishna, world’s most handsome personality lived and ruled.

Word Dwarka is has wonderful meaning ‘Dwar’, a door and in early times its thriving harbor was measured to be the doorway to the central region of India. As ‘Ka’ defines ‘Brahma’ denotation, opening to Moksha. 

Dwarka is one of the most pious places in hindu religion. LORD Krishna selected this area as his home and kingdom after leaving mathura. This is the place where krishna’s friend sudama came to meet him for help.

Bet Dwarka an island  is situated next to the shores of Okha which is about 29 km from Dwarka,  in the Gulf of Kutch , also known as Bet Shankhodhara and Ramandeep .

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History

The town of Dwarka in Gujarat has a history that dates back centuries, and mentioned in the Mahabharat epic as the Dwaraka Kingdom. Situated on the banks of river Gomti, the town is known of being the capital of Lord Krishna. Archaeological excavations have uncovered underwater stone structures which have been described as showing settlement during proto-historic times.

About The Temple

The present temple was built in 16th century CE, while the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna’s great grandson, King Vajra. The 5-storied temple is made of limestone and sand. A flag hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. There are two gateways – Swarga Dwar, where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar, where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi andSatyabhama Devi.
There is a special temple for Rukmini Devi on the way to Bet Dwarka temple, which can be reached by boat. A similar deity of Lord Dwarakanath is also kept in Bet Dwaraka. The temple has many Shrines for Lakshmi Narayana, Trivikrama, Jambavati Devi, Satyabhama Devi and Rukmini Devi.

 

 

 

Dwarkadhish Temple

This is also called Jagat Mandir where you get darshan all the major deities . At entrance you have start with darshan of Kusheshwar Mahadev who is kuldevata of lord Krishna .It is said that unless you don’t take darshan of lord kusheshawar lord Dwarkadhish will not bless you.

While visiting this temple there are lot of intelligent pandas who wander around for money . They will say that we are funded by temple trust . And then they will give you the details of all the deities and while finishing they will ask for money in a very polite manner which you cannot or will not deny.

Place to Visit:

 

  • Somnath Temple
  • Dwarka Lighthouse
  • Dwarkadish Temple
  • Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple
  • Rukshamanee Mandir
  • Beyt Dwarka
  • Gomati Sangam Ghat
  • Gita Mandir

Ways to Travel Dwarka.

Dwarka is well connected By Road & By Train.

But If you love travelling take road…

The distance between Somnath and Dwarka is 231 km. It takes around five hours to reach Dwarka from Somnath, by car. The road is straight and simple. Start from Somnath temple and follow NH-8. Cross Chorwad after 31 km and drive 18 km more to reach Mangrol. 82 km from Mangrol, is Porbandar, where one needs to get onto NH -8E. Cross Navadra after 51 km and keep driving for another 49 km to reach Dwarka.

Transport options from Somnath to Dwarka

Somnath to Dwarka By Car: By Cab: Rent a car or hire a cab from Somnath to reach Dwarka, which takes around 5 hours.

Somnath to Dwarka By Bus: Take a bus from Somnath to Dwarka, a journey of around 7 hours. The bus stand near Dwarka is located at a distance of 21 km in Mithapur. Take a taxi from the Mithapur Bus Stand to reach the city center of Dwarka. Suitable option for backpackers and individual travelers.

 

Happy Travelling….

Journey of A Monk From Stanford University to Ashram, Rishikesh

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This Story is about Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati who came to India as traveller from United State of America.

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati was born & brought up in Los Angeles (America),  a place very close to Universal Studio in a Jewish family. She was only child of her parent .

This Story is about what brings her to India the land which she never visited before and never thought of visiting as she was not interested at all about India.

She accept that she came to India because she was strict vegetarian and she liked Indian food. She came to Rishikesh, India in year 1996 and took official Sanyas diksha (vows of renunciation) in June, 2000, from her guru His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, marking her pledge to a life of service, renunciation, purity and devotion.

She Says the first thing which she wanted to do after reaching Rishikesh, and dropping her luggage was to go at bank of river and put her feet in River (Ganga) not because of any tradition but she wanted to relax. As soon as She reached river bank and had Darshan of Mother Ganga she burst into tears and she made it clear to herself she is here to stay and nothing else matters. She knew she is Home.

So what was in Ganga that pulled her and she decided to live rest of her life in India at bank of river Ganga. She believes Ganga is  not only river but giver of life, it is the soul of India and its culture.

People from all walk of life from whole world come here to take dip into river with lots of hope on their Shoulders and to flush out their sins in this holy river. People of India are connected to each other on both side of bank from it point of origin. The mother Ganga cares her child without any expectation some do Arti on it while some throw thrash but she keeps flowing and carrying all till the end. It’s the mother who just know how to give and give without expectation or hesitation.  Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati realized  the motherhood of Ganga  and started worshipping her and stayed here.

Sadhviji when first reached the  Ashram her feet was glued to floor of Ashram and she can only move towards Ashram, there was no way to go back. That was time when she meet her Guru who said her “Welcome Home”.

Sadhviji teaches meditation to seekers from every corner of the globe who travel to the Himalayas to learn the divine practice. She also counsels people who come looking for answers and guidance. She leads discourses and question-answer sessions on topics ranging from Indian spirituality to the bridge between science and spirituality to the keys of true happiness and meaning in daily life. She travels across the world, in the seva of His Holiness Pujya Swamiji, giving lectures and question-answer sessions and teaching meditation. Her talks blend the knowledge and logic of the West with the insights, spirituality and wisdom of the East. 

Life give you clue what you are born to do, its only  you who has to realize and make your life worthy and fruitful. This was a short story on Traveler who found Spirituality and stayed here at bank of Mother Ganga.

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The Biggest Gathering of Mankind on Earth…

 

Today I want you take to a city were three rivers form Himalaya come meet together. These river are Ganga , Yamuna & Sarswati and the point at which they meet is called Sangam. The city  were these river meet is Allahabad.

Allahabad is one of the city where Kumbh Takes place. So before I tell you more about Kumbh I want to give you little insight about Allahabad an Ancient city which was also known as Prayag. Allahabad was name given to this city by Mughals which actually means Garden of Allah Which is now symbol of is biggest gathering of mankind on earth because of Kumbh Mela .

Kumbh is divided in three parts and  held at all four places every three years.

  • Ardha Kumbh Mela: Held at Haridwar and Prayag every 6 years.
  • Purna Kumbh Mela: Held only at Prayag every 12 years.
  • Maha Kumbh Mela: Held only at Prayag every 144 years. 

     

 

After 144 years this was time for Maha Kumbh and it took Place at Prayag in 2013. Today  I am going to talk  about it.

So last year I joined with millions of people who were going to Allahabad to take part in Kumbh Mela. I suppose this is largest gathering of human being in history of our planet which is kind of world record. 30 million people took bath in  Sangam of three river at Kumbh in one day at Mauni Amavasya .

So what you expect to see in Kumbh? Kumbh is place where you can see power of religious practice which made Shadu or Sant so focused that they can practice those act which can’t be imaged by normal human being.

I was quite lucky to meet few of them. Some of them have not sat down for 10 years while some of them can pull car from their genitals. All this are done to get enlighten and get close to god by living all materialistic joy.

These festival are so big that whole new city is built on bank of river of Ganga to support millions of people who are coming here.

The festival’s most important historical figures have been the naga akhadas, militant ascetic orders whose members formerly made their living as mercenary soldiers and traders. These akhadas still monopolize the holiest spots at each Kumbh’s most propitious moment, and although the government now enforces an established bathing order, history records bloody disputes between groups vying for precedence.

Aside from the akhadas, attendees at the Kumbh Mela come from all sections of Hindu religious life, ranging from sadhus (holy men), who remain naked year-round or practice the most severe physical discipline, to hermits, who leave their isolation only for these pilgrimages, and even to silk-clad teachers .

 

Kumbh is not only about seeing all these amazing things but it’s also a way to find your spirituality. Many comes here to find answers of the question what they have from their life. Some find the answer some don’t but many of them find new path of spirituality and try to uncover biggest mystery of all time “Life”  and find a pathfinder in form of teacher who can help them to get the answer of their complex question.

Many in past have visited this magical land too and many will follow to get the answer about their life, spirituality and other question. The quest will continue and at Kumbh many will find their answer.

 

Schedule For Up Coming Kumbh

The next Kumbha Mela will be held at Nashik (Maharashtra) from 14 July to 25 September 2015