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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SEVEN Sacred Chants...................

On my first day post, I encompassed shades of my own self. However I wish to append another aspect of me i.e. My  firm belief in God. Its part of my parent’s legacy. We are the descents of “Parashar” rishi & have the Saraswat Brahmin lineage. Being born into a Brahmin family “pandits” to be precise, the knowledge of existence of God has been instilled from the birth. Though as a child performing rituals, worship and chanting mantras was merely done for routine presence .But as I grew old, I felt the uncanny desire to read & comprehend our ancient Hindu mythology. After reading Ramayana, Mahabharata , Bhagwat Gita & Shiv Puran , I felt the subsistence of God.

For me being a theist means believing in the concept of Karma and performing your deeds without expecting the fruits of your actions. I deem our good deeds never get unrewarded and we definitely pay for our selfish Karma’s.

I bond with God when I chant hymns. It’s my way of cleaning my mind from unwanted thoughts & connects with divinity. There are thousands of mantras in our holy books dedicated to different deities. These are the one which soothes my mind & gave me clarity.

Vakratund mahaakaay suryakoti samprabha
Nirvign kuru me dev sarvakaareyeshu sarvada

(Lord Ganesha is the Lord of beginnings and we worship Ganesha before starting any work to ensure hassle-free work. So my morning starts with humming of the meaningful chant.)

Om bhur bhuvah svah Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dheemahi
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat.

(Am sure most of us recite Gayatry mantra since childhood.
"May we attain that excellent glory of the god:
So may he stimulate our prayers.")

 Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya / Om Namah Shivaya

For sports like shooting, you need bouts of concentration. And so meditation was the part of our physical training. As the mind concentrates more and more on the mantra and its meaning, it conditions the mind and takes me to higher states Shiva intone not only helped me to focus but bestowed an opportunity to connect with him.

Sarva mangala mangalye shive sarvaartha saadhike
Sharanye trayambake Gauri
Narayani namosthute

It is a secular sloka as it were, intended to have people pray the Divine Mother for blessing us with auspiciousness and wealth, afford Refuge from problems generated by our Karmas .

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare ...
(During my stay in scotland,I happen to meet a family devotee to ISCON. They pursued me to attend one of their gatherings and after that there was no looking back. It amazed me not only the Indians but how Scottish devotees are dedicated to the deity.)

Om Namo Hanumate Bhaybhanjanaya Sukham Kuru Phat Swaha
 (God of peace & protection. My belief in the diety becomes stronger after a deadly incident. In 2009, near Seychelles, our ship got attacked by somalian pirates. I remember how one of the officer’s wives kept on reciting the Hanuman chalisa & we survived the attack.)

 om asto ma sadgamaya
tamso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtangamaya

Lead me from the untruth to the truth.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality
I remember this hymn from school days.we used to recite these verses after the end of prayer

                                           " om shantih shantih shantih"


SEVEN Smells To Smile................................

Sid: Hey Wifey,Guess what? Got  call from the office, my leave is over & have to join back in two days time.
Ria: (Blank) bluffing huh?
Sid: No am serious. You too as well joining with me. What?? Are you not happy?
Ria. Off course am happy. Its just we haven’t spent enough time at home and parents are expecting us to visit them.
Sid: I know baby but you know the drill. I am leaving for office to collect our papers. Will you manage with the packing?
Ria: (sigh) You forgot. As if I got a chance to unpack them.
Sid: Grrrrrr…See you later.

“Do not wish for things you regret later”. God has really fulfilled my desire to the fullest. Living a nomadic life has its own pros & cons. Adventure, sailing, exploring numerous places, exotic food, who shall not wish for a spectacular life. I know few people yearn to fill-in my shoes. However they are not aware of the darker side. Leaving a life behind, people you love, tit bit joys, home-cooked food and friends can undeniably turn a person to alter his wanderlust longings.
Living far away from your cocoon, you only left with the undiminished memories to treasure & to embrace them with people & places. I recollect my bygones through pictures, videos, letters, cards, food & smells. Ah!! Smells, how they forge a link and take us back to the finer moments of the past. I am a victim of nostalgia & few distinct smells are what sustain me to overcome my homesickness.

Sacrosanct smell of Wet Mud- 
The small pleasures of inhaling the first rains, smells of the wet grounds ring bells of the imminent springs. Those wonderful earthy fragrances buried under evoke my childhood memories. Dancing in the first rains, long geri routes, ginger tea with hot pakoras , pool parties reawakens bond with your old self.

Sinful smell of mom’s cooking-  
Is anything more scrumptious then mom’s home cooked food. It’s indeed my treasure trove. All the aromas coming from the kitchen, the smell of baked apple pie, the fenugreeks tadka , whiff of all the sweets & delicacies transports me across thousands of miles straight to my mum’s kitchen.

Sensual Smell of Dad’s Aftershave
Being an Army man, my dad was often away on deployment. I remember he always used to keep a shaving kit full of scents & aftershaves. Old spice, that’s the aftershave my dad wore but it has indeed changed now.

Scrumptious smell of Mangoes
Entering the house & sniffing the fragrance of fresh mangoes means the arrival of summers. Bless our parents for maintaining our old village orchids so that we can pass on the legacy to our own children.

Smell of Shoe Polish
Call me crazy but am addicted to the smell of bootpoish.And it certainly took me back to school days. For many years it was an evening ritual to polish shoes along with my siblings & a challenge who will shine them  most.

Sweet Baby smell –
The best smell in the world has to be the smell of a new born baby. I feel babies have special & distinct fragrances .Am very close to my 1.5 year old niece & have kept her romper with me as souvenir. I still get the whiff of Johnson's baby products & my heart yearn me to embark on motherhood ride soon.

Sacred Smell of Incense sticks –  
Whenever I went to my parents place, my morning kick starts with the sacred smells of agarbatti and I never forget to carry them along. Though it’s not allowed to light on ship for safety reason but still they spread its aroma all around.

 “Heart thoughts are profound, hindsight aches and hope is obscure. I'm craving a great adventure -- one that leads me back home.”