Posted by: Rajib | October 13, 2016

Ujjain Maha Kumbh : A mystic experience

‘Kumbha’ means collection. It was the first thing that came to my mind with this word. It is said to be the greatest congregation of mankind for any religious motive. Dreading the uncontrolled crowd that gave rise to chaos and unhygienic environment, I had resolved not to visit the fair. I haven’t visited it earlier, too.

All of a sudden, I got an inner call – what is it that draws people from all over the world every 12 years. Let me explore. But people have planned and made bookings as early as 3 months in advance, and here I am willing to set on the pilgrimage with absolutely nothing, save an inquisitive mind and a telephone number.

A friend of mine and I took a train to Bhopal from New Delhi. From Bhopal, we reached Ujjain by a shared taxi in 4hrs – the place where Simhastha Kumbha Mela is being organized for a month starting 22nd April 2016. This one month is considered to be very auspicious because drops of Amrit (nectar) is supposed to have fallen in the water of Kshipra river while Indra’s son Jayanta was escaping with the urn containing nectar that emerged out of sea as a result of Samudra Manthan; he wanted only the gods to consume it and not the demons. During this month, lakhs of devotees take a dip in the Kshipra river every day with the hope to taste Amrit and attain salvation.

It was in the evening of 7th May and the sun was about to set when we reached the taxi stand of mela ground and immediately got lost in the sea of tents, hordes of people and melody of discourses, bhajans and announcements constantly blurting out of innumerable public address systems.  The fair was organized in a vast expanse of 15 square Kms dotted with the shivirs (tents) of hundreds of religious organisations with the festoons and massive hoardings of their leaders donning the entrance gates. People from all the groups of our society formed the crowd and it was nearly impossible to make out what the other person was saying in that mayhem. Despite there were policemen all around doing a commendable job in helping the visitors, we roamed for more than an hour but could not find our place of stay. All of a sudden, we saw around 300 monks in ochre robes of a particular sect approaching us from the opposite direction. We forgot everything and gaped with bewilderment till the last person in the group passed by us. They are the people who had given up the comforts of life in search of Truth.

By that time the sun had set and it was dark. The whole ground was deluged by electric lights with white, orange and yellow tents appearing as marks of sandal paste applied on its body. We were dead tired walking on the dusty and murky road caused by the sudden rain and storm two days ago.  When we were contemplating what to do next, out of darkness appeared a figure and enquired if I was searching for something. I nodded in affirmative and told him the name of our destination. He asked us to follow him and started walking. We were startled and again mentioned the name, clearing our parched throats this time. He said he was going there only. With no other alternative in sight, we resigned ourselves in the hand of destiny. After 5 minutes of walk, we reached the desired place and were greeted by the head swami of the ashrama with a benevolent smile and open arms.

After exchange of pleasantries, swamiji showed us our camp, offered tea and assured to assist us in taking bath next day and a darshan of Mahakaleshwar Shiva – one of the 12 famous Jyotirlingas. We had our night prasad (dinner) along with all other swamis in the camp and retired to bed.

Next day we woke up at 3.30am, got ready and left the camp at 4am. Two swamis accompanied us. Though it was still dark, there were steady stream of devotees on the roads leading to the ghats. Everybody wanted to have a dip in the Brahma-muhurta ( before the sunrise). We found a relatively less crowded place at Ram Ghat and did our snan to our hearts content. I also took a dip specifically for my relatives and friends – those who could not make it to Kumbha. After that, it was an arduous task to change our wet clothes– which we managed somehow.

We set forth on the darshan of Shakti Pith, other Shiva temples and ultimately to Mahakaleshwar. It was our great fortune that the temple was not crowded and we hurriedly walked past the long, winding and sloping ramp to reach the Darshan Gallery. Ujjain is considered to be the central point of universe and Mahakaleshwar is the ‘Lord of Time’ (or the place). It gave me an ethereal feeling while prostrating in front of the shiva linga and praying for the welfare of one and all. I was fortunate enough to enjoy several of his miracles and have his darshan too. What more could I ask for?

I understood the new meaning of Kumbha- it is not collection, rather it is ‘distribution’. It is distribution of love and compassion to one and all; and recollection of that experience for many years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Rajib | April 22, 2016

Amazing Amarnath

The bond between two human beings is much deeper and fanaticism has no place in it. Read the incredibly true incident of how a muslim family shelters a hindu pilgrim in the harsh climatic condition and also prays for the success of the pilgrimage.

It is too true to believe.

http://www.theweek.in/youzone/triptease/Amarnath-pilgrimage.html

Posted by: Rajib | April 22, 2016

Tiger’s Nest

Perched at the cliff of a mountain, this Buddhist Monastery is a must visit to witness its sheer brilliance and rebirth from a devastating fire.

Bhutan has many such marvels in store for any interested visitor.

http://vacaykit.com/blog/visiting-tigers-nest-in-bhutan/

Posted by: Rajib | April 22, 2016

Mesmerising Muktinath

Surrounded by snow clad mountains, with clear blue sky acting as the canopy and the gushing Kali (Black) Gandaki river in this Himalayan country offer much more to any traveler than the eyes could meet.

 

http://www.theweek.in/youzone/triptease/mesmerising-muktinath.html

Posted by: Rajib | April 22, 2016

It’s just the beginning

Exactly 2 years ago, our journey started. Of course it was a different one. It was an ‘Inward’ journey; an attempt to bring some light to those brilliant and adorable faces, who would otherwise grow up to become just a ‘face in the crowd’. In the process, we have also identified our own darkness, shortcomings and fetters in our feet that prohibit us from reaching out to others with open arms.

We have lighted ‘Vivekdeep’ to remove all despondency – external and internal in our little capacity.

www.sriramakrishnasangha.org gives a sneak peek of our journey which has just begun and quite understandably has lots of scope for improvement.

Your valuable comments and encouragement are most welcome !!

Posted by: Rajib | April 6, 2016

Expired – what is it ?

Everyday, around me I see start and stop of life. It startles me. Scriptures say death is inevitable for someone who is born, and so is rebirth after death. They say the journey is long and strenuous. However, the only saving grace is that my each step strengthens me to take the next step forward. It is just like, once I acquire the entire knowledge of Class VII, then I am promoted to Class VIII and so on.

At the same time, I see my present life as a person in a pitch dark warehouse holding a torch light.When I focus the light on a particular bin, only that bin is visible to me and not the adjacent ones. When I shift the focus, the current bin goes out of my sight, though it is very much present in the warehouse. Same thing happens with my multiple lives. I witness only my current life, have forgotten my previous life and am unaware of my future life.

Those I have met ( and may have lost) in this life, were met and lost in my previous life too, and will be met again in my next life- my good friends and not so good friends; all of them. They all are helping me in their own capacity to make me attain perfection. There is no denying this fact. We all have to undergo this trial and tribulation.

So I am not Expiring, nobody is; rather I am Inspiring. Inspiring myself and others  to see life in the right perspective.

Hence, it is a sheer joke to say someone has ‘expired’ – he has simply finished playing his present role, gone backstage for sometime, and will again enter the stage in a new avatar.

When I sit quietly and reflect, I see the truth present in it.

Posted by: Rajib | September 14, 2015

Independence Day 2015 at Vivekdeep

Vivekdeep celebrated the 69th Independence Day on 15th Aug, 2015 at Dwarka Garden, Sector-3 ( behind DPS), New DelhiIMG_6485 with patriotic fervor and gaiety.

The function started with the hoisting of tri colour. After the National Anthem, the students presented a spectacularly choreographed “Band Taal” that left the audience spellbound. It was followed by short speeches in Hindi and English by the students. The skit in Hindi on the importance of “Physical Labour” and that in English on “Respecting our elders” made everybody speechless in awe.

The interactive session of “Slogan Shrinkhala” was appreciated by all. The audience heartily participated and identified the exact character in Indian history from ancient age to modern times. Novelty of the session drew admiration from one and all. The patriotic group song was the icing on the cake.

The keynote address on “What does Independence mean to Vivekdeep” was delivered by the Vice President of the organization, Shri Rajib Roy. Sri Roy said that the actual site of bondage is the mind which gets motivated by certain preconceived notions. He further explained the necessity to clear our minds of prejudices and look at things in the right perspective. He cited the example of heightened level of self- confidence and clarity of thought, of the students within a short span of 15 months. He urged the need of starting a similar venture for the girls and requested everybody to participate in this Social Impact program.

In his speech, the Chief Guest Swami Geeteshanandaji Maharaj of Ramakrishna Mission said that time has come for us to stop thinking solely of our own welfare, but reach out to others. Only then the actual welfare of all will happen. Efforts made by Vivekdeep in this regard was highly appreciated by him.

Each student was presented with a token of appreciation. Thereafter, a formal vote of thanks was delivered by the Managing Trustee Shri Arun Dey.

The 2 hour colourful program was attended by the parents of the students, friends and well-wishers of Vivekdeep. At the end, food packet was served to all the guests.

Posted by: Rajib | April 24, 2015

Annual Day of Vivekdeep- A Brief Report

Address by the Chief Guest

Address by the Chief Guest

Talent Appreciation

Talent Appreciation

Recitation

Recitation

Patriotic Song

Patriotic Song

Panoramic View

Panoramic View

One Act Play-2

One Act Play-2

One Act Play-1

One Act Play-1

Mime-1

Mime-1

Mime -2

Mime -2

Closing Song

Closing Song

Audience-3

Audience-3

Audience-2

Audience-2

Audience-1

Audience-1

Attentive Audience

Attentive Audience

On Sunday April 12th, Sri Ramakrishna Sangha, a registered charitable trust in Dwarka celebrated the completion of one year of Vivekdeep, its value based educational initiative for underprivileged children. A specially curated cultural program was presented by the students of Vivekdeep at Gokul Garden, Dwarka.

In his Welcome Address, Managing Trustee Shri Arun said that Sri Ramakrishna Sangha has been conducting religious discourses every year for the past 11 years. However, the trust felt the need for making a positive contribution to the lives of underprivileged children and hence Vivekdeep was formed a year ago. The primary objective of Vivekdeep is to instill self confidence and compassion in its students through value based education. Sri Arun further said that the initial problems of shortage of funds and resources have not been able to dampen the spirit and Vivekdeep’s journey continued unhindered. He appealed to the audience to come forward and contribute to this noble cause in all possible ways.

Vice President Shri Rajib Roy presented the Annual Report. While explaining the genesis of Vivekdeep, Shri Roy  said that with the light of conscience, the learner will easily distinguish between right and wrong, true and false and never falter in the walk of life. Vivekdeep’s moral education has three-pronged approach of Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual development of the students. This will act as complementary to the formal education being received in the schools and create responsible citizens of the society. In this short span of 1 year, the program has met with resounding success with a learning and development curve that is acknowledged by the students, teachers and parents alike. He explained the future plan of Vivekdeep of starting similar Classes for girls, Computer training and spoken English- which received a thunderous applause from the audience.

Thereafter, the students of Vivekdeep gave a sterling performance that included group songs, recitations, a one act play and a mime act. The theme and topics were inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s life and holistic learning. In addition, socio-environmental messages such as conservation of natural resources like water were also brought to the fore through the performances. Each student of Vivekdeep was felicitated with prizes.

In his address of Chief Guest, Swami Shantatmanandji Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi said, “Each child has a special talent that is complementary to regular academics. Our education system and outreach programs like Vivekdeep should aim to instill self confidence in the child to nurture and hone this special talent so that they become better citizens and contribute effectively towards nation building.”

The evening saw a big gathering of parents and families of the students, members of the trust, friends and patrons. The audience was visibly moved by the performance and profusely thanked Vivekdeep for such an innovative initiative.

Posted by: Rajib | April 4, 2015

1st Annual Day of Vivekdeep

It seems we started just the other day, and yet we completed one full year.

We would all be VERY happy if you could take out some time to attend our Annual Day on 12th April 2015. Your presence will bring a lot of encouragement to us, and we need them !!!!!!

invitation CARD MAP LAYOUT back

Posted by: Rajib | January 9, 2015

Give me Red

“A friend of mine has met with an accident and is presently undergoing an operation. We urgently need 10 units of  A+ blood group. Please contact 9999999999.”

Delete.

“Help. Urgently need blood at Metro Hospital for a 2 yr old baby. Donors please contact 9999999999.”

Delete. Delete.

5 days ago it was a normal Sunday morning till we received a phone call. A relative of mine staying in Delhi passed out due to acute stomach pain. She did not come around for quite some time and started growing pale. She was taken to the nearest hospital. We rushed from the other end of the city.

Tests revealed a tumor in the uterus.  Operation was suggested and we were asked to arrange for blood.  I was the first donor. Another relative followed suit.  We were told that if more blood is required then we would be informed. During the operation, 10 more units were used. Post operation, she was shifted to the ICU.

At 11pm, the hospital pressed the panic button. The patient’s Blood Pressure had started falling and AB+ blood platelets immediately needed. We drew blank, then quickly posted requests in several Facebook accounts and also sent group messages in Whatsapp.

People called up from Hyderabad and as far as Trivandrum, expressing their willingness to fly down to donate. Locals rushed to the hospital as soon as they could. I am sure all of them have earlier passed through the stressful moments of any relative’s or friend’s life hanging in a thread for want of blood and that results in their willingness to not let anyone else face similar ordeal. Hats off !

I never knew there are so many noble souls around us. Now I understood the mental state of people who sent out requests for blood donation, which I deleted without even reading them completely.

I closed my eyes in reverence and said, “Give me Red”. Red – in the form of gratefulness.  Red – in the form of love for others. Red- in the form of strength to reciprocate the nobility.

Give me Red !!

Older Posts »

Categories