Connecting Airlines

9:22:2014 I was travelling down to Mumbai due to some personal work. But you never know how many times you travel you find new things or meet new people or meet some familiar faces.download

This time I meet some people whom I didn’t know personally, but were familiar to me and this was not one way. India is a country with 1.40 billion people, many of them use train, flight and bus for communicating. It is very rare that you see or meet someone whom you know on these platform when you are not in touch &  when this incidence happens not once, but twice in a day it make that day special.

I woke up in the morning to catch my 5.30 flight from Bangalore airport to Mumbai airport on Sunday. I reached late on airport and missed my flight. Go Airline people were quite helpful so they arranged next flight for me at 7.30. I had lots of time, so I went in to waiting area and was sleeping. At 7 there was announcement to gather on Gate 7 to catch the flight. I was in the queue and then I saw a pretty lady walking towards the queue. she saw me I saw her. She went and took a corner seat on in the waiting area. She didn’t recognize me, but I did. Well, who forgets a pretty girl from your college days. I went to her and asked are you XXXX she said yeah, I then formally introduced myself to her, I am sure she would not have recognized me. We never had words when we were in college, but seeing someone after 11 years who is familiar to you brings joy in your heart.

Well, that was first and not sure maybe the last time we spoke. When I came back I googled about her and found that today this pretty girl is one of the successful model and actor.

It was now time to catch my return flight from Mumbai airport at 2.30 PM from same airlines “Go”. I got my window seat 6A and was sitting calmly and thinking about my meeting, while at the rear of my seat a Punjabi couple or should I say just friend were sitting. Girl was crying and saying to guy that she took many wrong decisions and she was murmuring about her ex. It was torture.

Well, I was looking around and then I saw a face staring at me like I am a small monkey at the zoo. “Ha Ha Ha”.

He was no other then my super junior. I remember he use to come in my flat to ask for notes or small issues which he felt I can guide him to and today it was like we are on the same floor. We chatted for long throughout the journey. I enquired about him. He said he is working for software firm, happy with his Job and satisfied. He said he is getting married soon.

Woo, that was like soothing. You feel great when some of your friends are on right place and living their life full of colours.

This journey was one of the great experience for me where I meet two people from different aspect of life. Well, Thank you “Go” for making my journey memorable.

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

 

Sunset at Hooghly River

History says civilization started at bank of river and all great city grown around river. Cities  like  London developed around the Thames. Rome was built on Tiber as did Paris around Siene.

India is not different. Delhi was built around Yamuna , Banaras the oldest city was built on Ganges and Kolkata next to Hooghly.

My Journey from Bangalore to Kolkata was coming to end. I was supposed to meet one of my friend after long time and my next train from Howrah  to Patna was after 6 hours. So I was having lot of time to hang around with my old friend. But before reaching Howrah  I got call from my friend that he will be late. It was quite irritating for me.

When I reached station I was clueless what to do. I moved towards waiting lounge of Howrah  station and thought to park myself for couple of hours. Howrah  is a big and Old Railway station built in 1854, has huge lobby in waiting area. I was walking along the lobby with tea in my hand, watching the wonderful view of Howrah  Bridge and Hooghly  River when it struck to me why to waste time when I can explore something beautiful and great.

I kept my luggage at clock room and moved out of station. Just opposite  of Howrah station there is ticket counter for ferry which will take you across Hooghly  from Howrah  to Kolkata. The beauty of the Hooghly  can be enjoyed from the ferry ghat.

Hooghly  is distributary of the Ganges  in West Bengal. Just before entering the twin cities of Kolkata (Calcutta) and Howrah, it turns to the southwest. At Nurpur it enters an old channel of the Ganges and turns south to empty into the Bay of Bengal.

Hooghly  is broad river which changes its color with change in time and color of sky. It looks beautiful at evening when sun changes its color frequently form white to yellow to orange to pink. The image of sun forms a beautiful strip of rays on river which gives it beautiful color. Slowly as sun goes down the view of river is breath taking.

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From the ferry you can see the two beautiful  suspended giant like cable structure on Hooghly, these are Iconic Howrah Bridge and Vidyasagar Setu, a marvel of Old day Engineering and Modern Engineering . Howrah  Bridge was open for public on 3 Feb 1943, 71 years ago  while Vidyasagar Setu was open on 10 October 1992. Slowly as darkness comes down the lightning on these bridge and bank of river gives an amazing portrait view to river.

The Beautiful Sunset can also be seen from Millennium park . Millennium Park is a public park in Kolkata, situated along the Strand Road on eastern shore of Hooghly River for a stretch of 2.5 km near Babughat and opposite to Koilaghat. The park is open from 11am-8pm.

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Along the side of river there are there are many Ghats some of famous Ghats to Visit are

Princep Ghat
The Princep Ghat was built in the everlasting memory of James Princep who was an extraordinarily brilliant research and at one point of time served as the honorable Secretary of the hallowed Asiatic Society.

Outram Ghat
The quaint looking Outram ghat located to the south of Babughat is one of Kolkata’s premier riverside entertainment spots. In many ways, the Outram Ghat is a multipurpose ghat. You can bathe, can conduct ceremonies of birth and death and during the festive season, idols can also be immersed at Outram Ghat.

Two of the most popular bathing ghats are the Babughat and Armenian ghat.

It’s worth to travel along Hooghly River and understand how this great river has helped a civilization to grow and flourish on the bank of river.

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World First Democracy …

My quest to unfold India took me to various place in past. This time when I was travelling to my native Bihar I had encounter with my cousins who took me to Place called Vaishali.

Vaishali derives its name from King Vishal who ruled it during Mahabharata age.

So I asked to myself what is so special about this place. My journey started & I reached  Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) built by the Nipponzan Myohoji sect of Japan.Stupa has idol of Lord Buddha which represent of four different mood of Gautam Buddha.

It is said Budhha after leaving Kapilavastu first visited to Vaishali to get enlightenment . After the Enlightenment the Buddha frequently visited Vaishali.

Some Notable Buddhist site to visit includes:

  1. Relic stupa : These Stupa said to be contains scared ashes of Buddha. Its near to Coronation Tank
  2.  Kutagarasala Vihara : Place were Buddha. stayed
  3. Coronation Tank : The water of this tank was said to be holy and all Vaishali selected representative were anointed here, before swearing.

Leaving from there I went to small village there known as Kundigram. It is said to be birth place of Lord Mahavira the twenty-fourth and last tirthankara of Jainism. Its beautiful place which is quite often visited by people who follow Jainism. At present the Jain Community is building huge temple of marble to pay their tribute of Loard Mahavir.

But this place is not only about Buddhism or Jainism. It is said that before Buddhism and Jainism Vaishali was the capital of the vibrant republican Licchavi state which was before birth of Mahavir which suggests that it was perhaps the first republic in the world, similar to those later found in ancient Greece.

In the republic of Vaishali, Lord Mahavira was born. Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon at Vaishali and announced his Parinirvana  (nirvana-after-death ) there. Vaishali is also renowned as the land of Ambapali (also spelled as Amrapali), the great Indian courtesan, who appears in many folktales, as well as in Buddhist literature.

My last stop was at Vaishali Museum. This place is good. The museum was set up in 1971 to preserve the antiquities found during exploration and excavation in and around the area. It has four galleries. The rich collection at museum takes you back in time and help you to understand life style of  Ancient Vaishali people.

So if you want to witness world’s first Democracy were Buddhism and Jainism advent you must visit Vaishali.
How to reach Vaishali.

By Air : Patna is Capital of Bihar a state in India. You can take Domestic flight from any Airport in India to Patna. From there either you can Haier Taxi or Tourist Bus

Rail: Hajipur on the north eastern railway station from Muzaffarpur Railway station .

Vaishalli is well connected by road 56 Kms from Patna 40 Kms from Muzaffarpur and 35 Kms from Hajipur.

All The Best. Happy Journey.

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