Since it has been well established that I am a er., person who will venture where angels fear to tread and that there is a special God who looks after such persons., I am excited to let you know that after a serious effort of several days I have cobbled together a “package tour” of my own making, into the heart of incredible India.
No experience is like any other and so whatever I read and am told.. my own personal experience is always other than any expectations that I manage to build up. That’s what makes it a little scary.
The most ancient and greatest of all Gods is Siva. Wherever there are hills and rivers and caves, there is Siva! Siva is the God of the people before agriculture, before elaborate sculptures. His nishkala rupa is a lump of rock or ice, a pile of sand.. anything. Siva is the God of many or most of the tribals as well as many or most ‘agriculturals’ and ‘city-dwellers’ too.
He is all-seeing, dancing, merry, serene, meditating, poison-swallowing and nectar giving. The reality when seen through maya looks like Isvara – said Patanajali. Siva is reality, which looks like God to us.
Why Narmada River? Everyone asks.
I always wanted to follow a river from its source to the point where it joins the sea. I think I will understand something.
I want to see the night sky from the banks of the Narmada river. I want to see what the milky way looks like. I think I might understand something.
I hope I get to go in a boat. I hope I see some wonderful animals. Am I brave enough to want to see a tiger? I don’t know.
Its Karthika Masam, I want to see Siva’s Jyotirlingas.
I want to see the famous underground caves of Madhya Pradesh, which are supposed to connect Ujjain with the rest of India. Jabalpur is named after Jabali. I want to hear local legends and ideas.
I want Vikramaditya’s help in achieving what I set out to accomplish.
Actually all I set out do was to read the Ramayanam thoroughly, cross-referencing it with places and local legends and living customs and traditions. I never knew it would lead me on such a big life-long endless adventure. I keep thinking I will ‘get back to a job 6 months later’.
I have seen the Indian Flag marking points in the sea and known how safe and relieved that makes me feel. I know how important it is for all of us that this flag should keep flying.
I have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world.. right here in India. I have seen how sannyasis live. I have seen how fishermen eat turtles in Neil Island and export exotic fish on Pamban Bridge. Even as Greenpeace battles Tatas on facebook, so many other things are happening at ground level.
I have heard of places where the cloud comes in through the window and rains a little indoors, so they close the windows. Where, rare birds enter the kitchen and they are shooed out like squirrels.
I have heard people speak from their heart and head, and it has never been what the media or the politicians or theo-people say.
My respect for package tour operators has increased.
It is pretty hard to match train availabilities and room availabilities simultaneously and in the direction of the tour, while ensuring that we get to do all the things and see all the places we like. It is so much easier to criticise folks, than to do their work!
People say stuff happens to us because of our karma, or because God wants to teach us and test us, individually.
I think some of us are born with pretty water-tight plans and have a ‘fated’ life. Others kind of explore life and take it as it comes.
Well, here I am a little scared and a little excited and full of wonder.
Hara Hara Mahadeva!
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula