Friday, March 31, 2017

Shopping in Jaipur

Is no fun, compared to my experience in Mysore.  The need to be on alert & constantly bargain is exhausting & only exacerbated by the heat, so I only go when necessary.

A salesman today told me you cannot get a ready made sorry blouse anywhere in Jaipur.., and then proceeded to sell me one. 

The tuk-tuk drivers (who get a cut of what I spend) have takin  me to some cool places. Well not cool per se,  but really interesting.

At this place, they weave the rugs, and hand print the fabric: on site



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Beautiful Jaipur

Been spending most of my time at the ashram. We are in the middle of Navaratri, The nine nights of the Devi or goddess. Words fail. Jai Guru!       

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

much better

Went to see the Rani's tomb & shop for swimsuits on Monday after the vomiting.  

The latter was an odyssey that took us all over Jaipur (including the mall, which served one of the most amazing utthapams I've ever had).  Jai Guru!



Monday, March 27, 2017

sick this morning

But on the mend. 

Tea, toast, and idli down the toilet.

I've never enjoyed vomiting so much.

Jai Guru!


Lake Palace sunrise

* * *

Yesterday morning I met the auto-rickshaw driver, Keval, at 6:30 AM, and he showed me the sites of Jaipur. The idea was to beat the heat and the traffic. It worked wonderfully.

Lord Ram (or is it Arjuna?) statue at the entrance to the sports stadium.

 Lakshmi Narayana temple (which reminds me a lot of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont).

 The Albert Museum. The street was closed to traffic, and many people were out taking a morning constitutional, playing cricket, making art, bhangra dancing, and enjoying the beautiful morning.

 Raj Cinema 

 Tw of the Pink Citiy's 11 gates. (The body only has nine gates).



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saturday, part 2

In the afternoon we went for a walk to Gurudev's ashram and found ourselves at a lovely Radha-Govinda temple complex, complete with deities inside and adorable and nonthreatening monkeys and a peacock outside (plus a busload of chatty Gujaratis). 

Jaipur or the Pink City is breathtakingly beautiful; the photos can speak for themselves.


Jai Guru !


Yesterday was the kickoff of an astrology festival. The O.M.'s Gurudev was scheduled to appear at the opening ceremony.

There were a lot of overamplified speeches beforehand, all in Hindi. They went on for some time.

(Afterwords I found out they were largely speaking about not killing cows)

I startled to wilt in the heat during these veryloud speeches when suddenly  I felt a surge of energy: Gurudev had arrived.  

Exhaustion & irritation gave way to a calm, focused energy.

Jai Guru!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Good Morning, Jaipur!

Got into Rajas-than last night and saw The OM's guest house, below.


Jal Darshan

Views at  Juhu Beach, Mumbai

"Like bubbles in the sea, All the worlds arise in you. Know you are the Self. Know you are one. Let yourself dissolve."

-Ashtavakra Gita





QUESTION:  “Whichever way one turns, one finds that the mind has to be subdued. We are told it has to be controlled, Can this really be done when on the one  the mind is an entity not easily grasped and on the other one continues to have worldly worries?”

SRI RAMANA MAHARISHI:  "A person who has never seen an ocean must make a trip to it to know about it. Standing there before the huge expanse of water, this person may wish to bathe in the sea. Of what use is it if, seeing the roaring and rolling of the waves, he were to just stand there thinking, ‘I shall wait for all this to subside. When it does, I shall enter it for a quest bath just as in the pond back home? He has to realize either by himself or by being told, that the ocean is restlessness and that it has been so from the moment of creation and will continue likewise till Pralaya (destruction). He will then resolve to learn to bathe in it, as it is. He may wade into it by and by, and perhaps, through prior instruction, learn to duck under a wave and let it pass over him. He would naturally hold his breath, While doing so, soon he would be skilled enough to duck, at a stretch, wave after wave, and thus achieve the purpose of bathing without coming to grief. The ocean may go on and though in it, he is free from its grip”. Bhagavan then added,  after a pause, “So too here”.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shiva & Ramakrishna


Yesterday morning, we stopped at a Shiva temple on the way home from the beach. It was one of those quieter , unattended temples - my favorite - at least when I was there. The attendent (not a priest) next to the Linga gave me a vessel of water and I was allowed to bathe It. Afterwards we talked about about Lord Shiva and his family and attendants.

"The Guru is not different from pure, unbounded consciousness, the Self. This is the truth. Without a doubt, this is the truth. Knowing this, the wise ceaselessly strive to realize the true nature of the Guru. "

-Lord Shiva to Parvati, in the Shri Guru Gita

In  the evening we went to the hip neighborhood of Badra for dinner at a place where they showed classic silent movies on the front wondow,  which could be viewed from both outside and inside.


But beforehand, we stopped at the Ramakrishna Math, where they were in the middle of the evening Aarti. The Bhajans were really lovely, and a little faster than the ones I remember them having at their center in Mysore.  I used to go there quite a bit on my fast few trips, and found it to be one of the most sattvic places in the city.  The one in Mumbai has a similar bhava or feeling. 

"If you must be mad, be it not for the things of the world. Be mad with the love of God."

-Sri Ramakrishna

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Siddharameshwar's Mahasamadhi


Yesterday we also visited the mahasamadhi of nondualist teacher Siddharameshwar Maharaj, the guru of Nisargdatta Maharaj, next to a cremation ground (Nisargatta wrote the well-known Advaita Vedanta book, I am That).

From Siddharameshwar: "Consider yourself lucky if your mind is fed up with wordly objects."

Nisargdatta said, "My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense 'I am'  and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense 'I am'. It may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked!"



'My Guru told me: "...Go back to that state of pure being, where the ‘I am’ is still in its purity before it got contaminated with ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that.’ Your burden is of false self-identifications—abandon them all." My guru told me, "Trust me, I tell you: you are Divine. Take it as the absolute truth. Your joy is divine, your suffering is divine too. All comes from God. Remember it always. You are God, your will alone is done." I did believe him and soon realized how wonderfully true and accurate were his words. I did not condition my mind by thinking, "I am God, I am wonderful, I am beyond." I simply followed his instruction, which was to focus the mind on pure being, "I am," and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the "I am" in my mind and soon the peace and joy and deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all disappeared—myself, my guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained, and unfathomable silence. (I Am That, Dialogue 51, April 16, 1971)."''

Jai Guru❣️