Saturday, September 29, 2007

The'ga" of Sadhana

The "Ga" of my Sadhana is that I am a " Chrysalis". Try to recollect what you learnt in your biology class in school. ....
Doesn't Chrysalis sound familiar? An adult butterfly lays eggs , which hatches into a caterpillar. Caterpillar swallows and accepts all the greenery that comes its way ..shedding its skin every now and then. It later transforms into a chrysalis or pupa before evolving into a beautiful butterfly.

I remember learning the life cycle of a butterfly in school, but now, I am relearning it. Today I am not forced to memorize the process of metamorphosis in a butterfly, but I pause to think the powerful message it implies. Metamorphosis is not a process that is characteristic of insects or amphibians alone. Though not physically, we homo sapiens too have the innate capability of metamorphosis. Like a caterpillar we take in with greed all that comes our way. As we tread along towards growth, we shed our, preconceived notions, beliefs and image building egos...changing every moment. Then we enter into yet another new existence ....that of a pupa.....which might seem static, but is actually a dynamic existence.
A state of meditation, awareness .... moments brimming with life.
A state which makes life meaningful and worth living.
A prelude to a celebration....
a state before the flowering of a butterfly.

Like the light in total darkness which guides you find your way, the various retreats and youth programs at the "Oneness University" helped me live each moment of my life. Boredom was erased from my life dictionary, and I started living life with all intensity. Perceptions and attitude changed, and I stepped into the robe of a chrysalis.

Here is a video on metamorphosis!!! Hope all of you will enjoy!

I was delighted when my brother Naveen responded to this post with a beautiful poem.To read this poem click here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A relaxing Dessert !

Would you like to have your favorite creamy ice cream that tickles your taste buds and swims down your esophagus ?
Would your like to have aromatic and glistening gajar ka halwa with the intoxicating smell of ghee ?
Why not try the thick sweetness of palada payasam , enriched with the flavors of condensed milk ?.......
Do not mistake this for a food blog, though I have dreamt of starting one....

These are a few of my favorite desserts though the list can get longer in a jiffy. I was notorious for being a picky and fussy eater during my childhood. Though my affinity for food has deepened as I grew up , there is something that has remained constant temptation for a nice dessert. You can put a full stop to your meal only with an exotic dessert! It cools down , relaxes and also rejuvenates your tired digestive system after it has to assimilate , grind and digest the heavy inputs.

The same calming and soothing effect is met when you get a good assertive foot massage at the end of long hectic day. I am fortunate to enjoy this daily doze of dessert at the end of each day, which is like a balm , and which has all the properties of a sleeping pill. And my daily therapist is none other than my husband PP.

When we were in Taiwan I grabbed the opportunity of offering my feet to a professional foot massager. The board " FOOT MASSAGE" used to be so inviting , and I always suppressed my temptation of peering into the road side massage rooms. But I finally gave in ; and on one of my usual walks to bargain for fresh vegetables from farmers , who displayed their crops in the congested and noisy streets, I stopped at one of those boards ...and found few people in a queue awaiting their turn for the massage. I too joined the group. I could also hear pleading and yelling voices from the customers who were already tasting the efficacy of the massage .It was finally my turn ... and soon realized the secrets behind the pleading and yelling voices.The half an hour massage that followed was an experience that I find difficult to put to words. You have to experience it.

The person who massaged my foot kept on talking to me in Chinese , but I was not in a state to explain that I did not follow their language .. If I opened my mouth to speak I knew I would not speak , but only scream. After the massage I was given one and a half liter of warm water , which I was supposed to drink . Even though my bladder could no longer endure the pressures from within, by the time I rushed back home .....I went back every week for more of those massages.

Though the massages were painful, it promised energizing each and every cell by removing the blocks that have piled in our body!

Here is a small video of a Taiwanese foot massage, which brought back memories.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The "Re" of Sadhana

Once upon a time there was a man who used to go from street to street selling hats. One day, when the Sun was scorching, he sat down under the shade of a huge tree to have a midday nap. With the basket full of hats next to him , he dozed off . The huge tree which sheltered the man was also home to a few monkeys. Fascinated by the basket full of hats, the monkeys grabbed all of them from the basket. Now each of the monkeys had a hat on top of their head!

When the man woke up he found his basket empty. What he found was a bunch of chattering monkeys crowned with his hats. He tried to shoo them, but in vain. Then he threw stones at them. They imitated him by throwing back fruits from the tree. He suddenly realized that the best way was to trick them. He understood that monkeys only imitated, while he had the capability to think and act. He removed the hat from his head and threw it towards the monkeys. Any one can guess what the monkeys would have done. They just imitated him and the man got back all his hats.

The "re" of my Sadhana is that I was more or less like a monkey during my growing up years. That doesn't mean I have stopped growing now :). I was just alluding to my school and college years. I never knew why I was doing something. I just did it because everyone else did it. After my tenth grade, I chose science group, just because everyone around me was doing that.I wrote both the engineering and medical entrances because I did not know what else to do. After I got selected for Ayurveda and Homeopathy(two streams of medicinal approach), my mother asked me whether this was what I exactly wanted to do. The answer was no. But still I did not listen to what my heart spoke....! The other options were taking up a degree course....there were varied subjects from which I could choose from....physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics.....Any subject was equal to me as I never realized, what I actually liked. The Principal of our college, asked me to take up English literature as I would not have to lose lab attendance, whenever I wanted to participate in extra curricular activities. I just nodded my head and signed in. I am not sure whether I enjoyed my classes in college. After my graduation, I pursued post graduation in the same subject...this was when I started knowing the fact that till now I was not listening to my heart ... or my passion.

Here is an interesting video on Ganesha Chaturthy!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Power of Prayer!

Its only a few months since we came to US . A month after we arrived, we visited a temple 15 miles from our place. It was not like the temples I have gone to in India . It was an ordinary brick building, which never gave one a clue that it was a temple. But my impression changed as I stepped into the building which housed beautiful icons of various Hindu Gods.There was a large hall for meditation and the atmosphere was calming. I enjoyed the silent vibrations that penetrated the surroundings. I found a huge accommodating auditorium at the basement of the temple. A function was about to commence in the auditorium. A deep desire to perform at this temple sprouted in me.The splendid auditorium was so beckoning! I made a silent prayer .....It was a genuine and intense prayer......! To me prayer has been a communication ...for when ever I communicated clearly my prayer has always been answered....!

Even with very little exposure and limited by the fact that I am a total stranger ....My prayer was answered!
I danced in the Bharatiya temple last week and I enjoyed every moment ! Things have materialized in a very short span of time ...which have confirmed my faith in prayer !

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The "Sa" of Sadhana

"sa .. re .. ga .. ma... pa.. dha.. ni...!!!"...............I remember repeating these musical notes after my music teacher when I was a young girl. These are the seven basic " swaras" or sounds called sapta swaras in Indian music. Like we always begin the musical journey with the Musical alphabet "sa".....I venture on with my sadhana.....a sequel to my earlier post.....a tag which I owe to Bharathy of spicy chilly!

Each new task is begun after offering salutations of Lord Ganesha.....dispeller of all obstacles! Hindu tradition. I invoke Ganesha (the elephant headed god).....
I remember a very inspiring story about Ganesha!
" One day sage Narada visited Kailasa , abode of Lord Shiva and his Shiva Kudumbam ( his family consisting of Parvati , His divine consort and His two sons Ganesha and Subramania). Narada offered Lord Shiva , a golden fruit during his visit.Shiva called his two sons, Ganesha and Subramania and said,
"I will give this divine fruit to only one of you. Whoever circumvents the whole universe thrice and comes to me first will be given this fruit!"
Those were not days of formula cars ....and the two sons had to rely on their "vahanas".Subramania's vahana or means of transport was a peacock....and Ganesha's vahana was a rat. As soon as the rules were laid for begetting the fruit , Subramania sped on his Peacock. What would poor Ganesha do? He was in a dilemma! He knew well that he would lose if he traveled on his mooshika vahana or his rat!....but Ganesha knew exactly what to do.He went straight to his parents ....circumvented them thrice and asked for the reward!
"To me the whole Universe is my parents!....I have circumvented my Universe thrice and I am eligible for the golden fruit!"

Thus Ganesha won the race!!!"

We see this whole wide world around us through our parents ! from the moment we are born .....though the umbilical chord is cut as we are welcomed in to this world the bond persists for ever! the first bond , the first relationship...of pure love...!!!

The "Sa"of my Sadhana is that I am a daughter....blessed to be born to two wonderful people....and like to echo the words of Ganesha !!! I dedicate this post to my parents , to whom I owe my life.

I was fortunate to be born to an artistic mother and loving father ....who helped me make a blue print of my life in childhood , which I am living today!
I wish I could relive those days ....with my parents ....
life without any stress or responsibilities...
a life where you could just relax and swim with the current....
a life where you travel like a passenger fully aware that the driver will take you where you ought to go...unperturbed by the route you might take .....
a life where you could take your parents for granted and still bask in the warmth of their affection and security....

I have been honored by my dear friends...,
Mishmash is a creative artiste , who surprises me with her innovative presentations and mouth watering recipes....
Bharathy , a wonderful friend, I am happy I stumbled upon her in this blogsphere, who delights me with her day to day recipes and equally good shots!
Thanks to both of you for the awards!...I am truly flattered!

I have passed on "rocking blogger award" to someone who is very dear to me. She is my grandmother , who started blogging at the ripe young age of seventy five. You can read more about her at her blog - khayals.
I have also love visiting Krystyna's blog...I have passed on this award to this inspiring blogger too.

"Power of schmooze" award is being conferred to
1. Mathew whose blog is rightly named spark , for he never fails to kindle sparks which glow with sense of humor and satire.
2.Maddy whose varied interests and knowledge on umpteen areas , cannot go unnoticed.
3.Naveen , whom I am proud to call my brother , whose perspectives and values are reflected in his posts. And I truly admire his writing skills.

I pass on the "Thinking blogger award" to
1. Kalyan , who has a passion for photography and travel. I love visiting his blog , "heaven's garden"
2.Dharma, whose posts portray simple day today events pondering into it with the depth of a philosopher!
I am not sure whether these awards have already been conferred to you!....if yes! I am not surprised!

Here is a video of a musical instrument... listen to it , friends! Can you guess what this instrument is just by listening to it? All the sounds are produced from a single instrument!