Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

Sep 30, 2013

STILL LIFE: Another Day in Deva Bhoomi - Rishikesh

After many years of thinking, finally my cousins Ritesh and Ravi decided to join me on my latest trip to Rishikesh. Recently one of my friends asked me, which temple I visit to meditate and practice sadhana and I said, "You don't need a temple, just sit down any where on the banks of Holy River Ganges, you will find peace". And I believe it so... as many of the Rishi, Saints and Sadhu's have been doing Tapasya in and around this place for thousands of years and the Ganges has been the source of their energy...

This time, I was invited by Swami Omkarananda Ji to spend some time with him on this trip as well as work on the Yoga Center and it was a pleasure to be with him. The place where we stayed, curtsy Swami Ji, is the ashram where South Indian Star Rajnikanth stays regularly. It was interesting to hear from Swami Ji some of the stories about the simplicity of the Star, who could actually go out to have Ground nuts from the road side stall, without getting mobbed...
The following images from the journey to one of the most holiest places ... Hope you will enjoy them.
Although the journey started in Delhi, this is on the way to Rishikesh
from Dehradoon...

This time, there were two camera crazy guy, happily capturing the journey

... Shilu kept on waiting on the side lines of our shooting spree..

As we reached ashram, the beautiful sky line welcomed, in its full
glory. The holy river Ganges was very inviting as it softly flowed by...

Soon, we were joined by our host, Swami Omkarananda... before we were
to leave for one of the most powerful temple of 'Neelkanth Mahadev"

Though the sun was not too hot, but some were looking for
opportunity to pose....

And the journey to Neelkanth Mahadev was on...

Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple, 30 KMs by road from Rishikesh, is
beautiful but then the trek of 16 KMs is far more exciting..

One of my favorite places 'Little Buddha Cafe - German Bakery',
The view of the river is beautiful from the place.. as we waited for...

Swami ji along with Satya and his wife to join us for dinner...
Those few hours together was very interesting as we discussed Yoga..

Sun rise is always beautiful in Rishikesh. After hours of meditation
along the banks of Holy Ganges, this view is powerful source of energy...

The ashram also hosts Super Star Rajnikanth, who visits regularly and stays
in this room. Interesting to hear about him from Swami Omkaranada.

As Superstar Rajnikanth loves to do, many of the devotees spend time,
deep in meditation... One of the devotees caged in her own thoughts...

One of my favorite places in Rishikesh, Muni Ke Reti - The Beach along
the river, soft sand white and serene invites you to sit down and think...

While some of the kids monkey around in the sand... they wanted me
to capture their backward flip... 

And some monkey, fooling around with Coca Cola.. yes finally he /she
opened it ...

And some (more?) ... having fun in the river Ganges at Triveni Ghat

And some are watching the life pass by...

Some are devoting themselves to a life of devotion....

Another day started with spiritual bath and the ritual breakfast of
Puri, Sabji and Jalebi... 

And the time to take our leave of Rishikesh and holy river Ganges..
It was interesting, at many levels, to be with my cousins on this trip.

Swami Omkarananda and his friend, joined us to see us off. It was good
learning as I spend some time with him... Looking forward to next time

And the sun sets on another journey to Deva Bhoomi Rishikesh...
Hope you have liked the walk with me on this journey of self exploration ...
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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Through the lens of Kaanvaria - Rishikesh

READER: 'Tao Te Ching' by Lao Tzu

After many years, I started reading Tao Te Ching (the translation by R B Blakney) again and realize again that the real great books always gives deeper insight, every time you read it. The book “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu is the most translated book in the world after Bible and reading these books, actually can transport one to the ancient times and align with the thought processes that started thousands of years back and still survive the test of living mankind’s journey across time. To understand the early history of human lives and its meaning, the old books are far better than the archeological remains. Just like the Veda’s for Hindus, perhaps to know more about those ancient civilization, books like “Tao Te Ching” gives a better perspective and insight.
Book at Amazon

It’s not known who composed the chapters of Tao Te Ching, because though authorship of many other kind of writing is lost by accident, but mysticism is often given anonymously, by principle. All that can be guessed about the authorship of these poems is that the main threads of their argument originated among recluse in remote valleys before Confucius time and that the result too form late in the 3rd Century B.C. Where there is no author, however, it is necessary to invent one; and by the time the Tao Te Ching had been put in form, legend had supplied Lao Tzu and Ssu-ma Ch’ien incorporated the legend in his notable Historical Records (Chap 63).

It presents Lao Tzu correctly enough as one who has given up civilized living and is impatient with Confucian ideas. Lao Tzu practiced the Way and its virtue. He learned to do his work in self effacement and anonymity. For a long time he lived in Chou, and then he saw that it was breaking up, he left. At the frontier, the official Yin His said: ‘Since, sir, you are retiring, I urge you to write me a book.’ “So Lao Tzu wrote a book in two parts, explaining the Way and its virtue in something over 5000 words. Then he went away. No one knows where he died.

From 3rd century A.D. on, the subsequent story of Taoism is mainly concerned with the rivalry of Buddhism. The two religions were much alike, except that Buddhism barred sexual practices, and its priests, for the most part were celibate. Buddhism was, possibly more popular among the” hundred Clans,” that is, the people; Taoism succeeded somewhat better among the ruling classes. It suffered at least a partial eclipse under the Mongols, who favored Buddhism.

The Tao Te Ching through the centuries has never been without admiring readers among the Chinese, although  its reading public has been small compared to Confucian books.

Now before I share some interesting thoughts from the book Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, let me give you the meaning of the key word “Tao” here, as translated by R B Blakney.

TAO: A Road, A Path, the way by which people travel, the way of nature and finally the ultimate Reality. To the Chinese mystics, it came not only to refer to the way the whole world of nature operates but to signify the riginal undifferentiated Reality from which the universe is evolved.

"The Way that can be told of is not an unvarying way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind."

These famous first lines of the Tao Te Ching state that the Tao is ineffable, i.e., the Tao is nameless, goes beyond distinctions, and transcends language. However this first verse does not occur in the earliest known version from the Guodian Chu Slips and there is speculation that it may have been added by later commentators. In Laozi's Qingjing Jing (verse 1-8) he clarified the term Tao was nominated as he was trying to describe a state of existence before it happened and before time or space. Way or path happened to be the side meaning of Tao, ineffability would be just poetic. This is the Chinese creation myth from the primordial Tao.

Now here are some of the thoughts from the book that made a deep impression ….
Image Curtsy Wikipedia
Those who are bound by desire / See only the outward container.

The Way is a void / Used but never filled:

Wealth, power and pride / Bequeath their own doom.

I suffer most because / Of me and selfishness.

If you trust people less than enough / Some of them never trust you.

Your boasting will mean you have failed;

A good knot is tied without rope and can not be loosed.

For the world is a sacred vessel / Not made to be altered by man.

A block of wood untooled, though small, / May still excel the world.

It is wisdom to know others; / It is enlightenment to know one’s self.

The Way is always still, at rest, / And yet does everything that’s done.

“When going looks like coming back, / The clearest road is mighty dark.

So a loss sometimes benefits one / Or a benefit proves to be loss.

The softest of stuff in the world / Penetrates quickly the hardest;

No calamity is worse / Than to be discontented.

The further you go, / The less you will know

By letting go, it all gets done; / The world is won by those who let it go!

नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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Psychology of Kundalini Yoga by C G Jung                      Devotion of Suspect X

Sep 28, 2013

29th Edition of Shadow Dancing With Mind

I have started writing my this public blog in the year 2010 (I started writing my blog in 2004, with my  personal thoughts and poetry) and I am so happy that, people across the world liked what I write (almost 300K hits) and gave me an award as the Top Indian Blogger in the Topics of "Religion and Spirituality"... and this Edition in celebration of the same. I hope you will like, what I have had written in this edition. Most importantly  please, if you are a poet, submit your poetry on or before 30th September to win "All Expense Paid week Long Spiritual Retreat" in Himalayas and if you are talented enough, probably you will win "To and Fro Air Ticket" too, from your country to Delhi. So don't miss the chance to visit the spiritual capital of the world - Rishikesh in Himalaya...

COUNT DOWN BEGINS - To Win All Expense Paid Spiritual Retreat in Himalaya,Write Haiku or Poetry before 30th Sept 2013
Write a HAIKU OR POEM on "Spirituality" on or before 30th September 2013, and win a chance to be one of the 5 WRITERS who will be offered an All Expense Paid (including Air Fare) Week long stay in Winter Spiritual Retreat in Rishikesh, Himalaya Or in Kushinagar. The top two will be offered To and Fro tickets from their country to Delhi as well.

The last one and half  month has been amazing for my social media journey. Won the prestigious award Indian Blogger Award 2013 for the things I am passionate about, "Religion and Spirituality" and then one of the Publishing House offered to Publish "A book on Blogging", which will be distributed across India by Landmark (The Book Store of Tata's). [The publishing house has scheduled this book to be published by March 2014 and I have to give the final manuscript at the end of Dec 2013]

In last one month, two of my very close friends became authors and one of them is Sanjay Pinto (The other is Raghu Raman) and as he loves the extempore style, the moment Sanjay saw me at the launch of his book, “Speakers Are Made, Not Born” promptly appointed me the host along with his wife Vidya to welcome the guests at the Don Bosco School auditorium. It was a beautiful evening spent along with many of my old friends listening to the dignitaries at the dais. The master of ceremony was a welcome change as school going kids, honed by Sanjay’s ‘Silver Tongue Academy Resource’ delivering perfect introductions and speeches.

The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga by C G Jung
When ever some one talks about Kundalini, Tantric or Cakra’s, an image appears of wild and lurid psycho spiritual rituals and sexual forms that even most imaginative sex industry will find hard to replicate. But in our scriptures, this is not fiction but a science that was developed from the beginning. Starting from Laya yoga, transforming into a defined practice, that is aimed at attaining higher state of living, through inner search and meditation. Kundalini meditation, in my opinion, is what westerners call now as ‘Psycho-analysis’ with steps to really know ‘Who Am I”.

Music has a great effect on us, it has the power to move us to the higher state of living from the point of just 'living'. Our ancient sages has been aware of this effect of music, sound vibrations and chanting etc. so ensured that we are in touch with music in our lives through various rituals, customs and samskara. Hence most of our ancient and vedic knowledge is bound in the various forms of music, mantra chanting or plain vibrations of sound.

Every year, I visit Rishikesh in Himalaya but this time I got a chance to visit devbhoomi (God’s own earth) in the Hindu month of Shravan (July – Aug). Shravan month is sacred in Hindu system for various festivals that are celebrated during this period like Janamashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday), Raksha Bandhan, Naag Panchami, Basava Panchami etc. Shravani Mela is a major festival time at Deoghar in Jharkhand with thousands of saffron-clad pilgrims bringing holy water around 100 km on foot from the Ganges at Sultanganj.

As I was in Delhi during the time of Kanwar Yatra, I thought of going to Rishikesh to bring Ganga Jal (Holy Ganges Water) for the rituals in home. So here is my pilgrimage to Rishikesh from Dehradun divided in Two Parts, (due to the length of the post was too big to be unleashed on un-suspecting readers). The story below is from the day two in Rishikesh...

Lakhs of devotees every year, make an annual pilgrimage in the month of Shravan (July-August) to Haridwar,
Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath in Himalaya to fetch Holy river Ganges water and bath their local Deity Lord Shiva in villages,  towns or city temples across India. These pilgrims are known as Kanvarias.

This monsoon season, I happen to travel to Pune and Mumbai on work and collected some rain drops on the
way... here it is....
Breeze mopping the slate clean
Clouds pregnant with raindrops
Sky still remains hung up and grey...

I have reviewed books for many friends, great writers and some not so great but never a product. First time,"I am reviewing mint-o Ultramintz as a part of the Product Reviews Program at BlogAdda" so don't really know how to go about it but decided to share my actual experience with it.


Hope you will enjoy this edition... look forward to your comments and visit to the next Edition... please click on the “Join this Site” button on the right hand side top corner to follow my posts on this blog... I will be grateful.
नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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28th Edition                                                            30th Edition

NEWS: To Win All Expense Paid Spiritual Retreat in Himalaya, Write Haiku or Poetry before 30th Sept 2013

Write a HAIKU OR POEM on "Spirituality" on or before 30th September 2013, and win a chance to be one of the 5 WRITERS who will be offered an All Expense Paid (including Air Fare) Week long stay in Winter Spiritual Retreat in Rishikesh, Himalaya Or in Kushinagar. The top two will be offered To and Fro tickets from their country to Delhi as well.

- Sponsored by "Paras Dharma Ashram" - An organisation, based in Kushinagar, which believes in making people's life better through love, compassion and selfless service.


2) Each individual contestant can submit up to 3 Haiku, AND / OR ONE POEM either in one or through individual emails. Each submission has to have...
Declaration: I agree to abide by the rules of this contest and no one related to me, in any way, is part of the organizing team of this contest.


3) The Guiding Rule for HAIKU in this contest: Each Haiku has to have three lines and should be 5-7-5 syllable format. The heading, if given, will not be counted for the syllable count. Please check syllables before submitting each Haiku. 

4) A panel of Judges will select the best 5 writers of HAIKU OR POETRY on the topic of 'Spirituality'. 

5) The One "Paras Haiku Master Or Poet" will be offered all travel, boarding and lodging expenses paid week long spiritual retreat in India INCLUDING "To and Fro Tickets" from the winner's country to the Week long Spiritual retreat in India as mentioned above.

6) The 4 "Dharma Haiku Masters or Poet" will be  offered all travel, boarding and lodging expenses paid for week long spiritual retreat in India as mentioned above starting from Delhi Airport.

7) The Judges decision will be final.

8) Winners will be announced on 1st Nov, 2013

9) All are eligible to participate as long as they have a valid passport and are not part of "Paras Dharma Ashram" or in any way associated with the team organizing this event.

10) All or any of the entries can or will be used to promote or post on various social media channels in order to create awareness about the contest, results as well as during the week long spiritual retreat.

11) Paras Dharma Ashram reserves the right to use the winner's Haiku/Poem as well as any content of this event in any manner whatsoever to promote spirituality, use in service of the rural India and / or for its own community use.

12) The copy right of all content will remain with the individual contestants.


14) By submitting Haiku or Poem here, it's assumed that the contestant has read all the rules and agrees to abide by the same.

The proposed start date of Winter Spiritual Retreat is tentatively fixed for the winter holidays in the month of Dec 2014. The final dates of the spiritual retreat will be announced on 1st Dec, 2013.

Days filled yogic practices, meditation and the service. Visits to powerful spiritual centers in and around Rishikesh, Kushinagar or Varanasi, where you will have a chance to experience your inner peace. A trek along holy river Ganges in Himalaya to attune yourself to the nature or days spent in meditation and a silent walk in the pristine surrounding of Buddha's Nirvana Temple in Kushinagar. Or take a leisurely boat ride on the softly flowing Ganges in the holy city of Varanasi and watch the world famous Ganga Aarti of thousands of oil lamps on the Varanasi Ghat. During the retreat, you will also have an opportunity to visit a village in remote corner of eastern Uttar Pradesh near Kushinagar to undergo a training program in the service of rural village folks.

To know more about the Winter Spiritual Retreat and the activities, please visit...

To and Fro 'Air' Tickets for "Paras Haiku Master / Poet " WINNER will be provided from their respective country to Delhi Airport only. Winner's may bring along with them a maximum of two guest, chargeable on cost to cost basis.

1) Paras Dharma Ashram or any individuals associated with this event will only be organizing the contest and paying for the winners travel, boarding and lodging expenses only and are not liable for any damages or claims, made by any winner or any other individuals.
2) Paras Dharma Ashram or any individuals associated with this event are only supporting or organizing this contest but the thought, ideas, image or any content posted by the participants at this page or any other related site t this event, are of their own and does not in any way reflect the thought or sentiments of Paras Dharma Ashram's or any individual's associated with this event.



नमः शिवाय

Om Namah Shivaya

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NEWS: Collaborate On Book on Blogging

NEWS: Would You Like To Collaborate On A Book About Blogging?

The last one and half  month has been amazing for my social media journey. Won the prestigious award Indian Blogger Award 2013 for the things I am passionate about, "Religion and Spirituality" and then one of the Publishing House offered to Publish "A book on Blogging", which will be distributed across India by Landmark (The Book Store of Tata's). [The publishing house has scheduled this book to be published by March 2014 and I have to give the final manuscript at the end of Dec 2013]

After the awards announcement, as I reached out to many of the winners, I have been able to meet some of very interesting people from IBAward2013 during my travels to Delhi, Pune, Rishikesh, Dehradun and of course Chennai. It was a great fun, meeting them and sharing thoughts, our blogging journey and our experiences. Most of them agreed that it will be a pleasure to meet at a common place some time so working towards organizing a meet up shortly.

Another interesting aspect of our meeting was to share the above writing opportunity and seek collaboration. In order to make this book more interesting, I asked most of the bloggers I met, to collaborate, by writing one chapter of the book on a specific topic and I was happy to see that most of them were excited to be a part of the book. 

Now, if you are interested to collaborate with me on this book, by writing one chapter on specific topic of your choice and expertise. (All due credits will be given as well as an image along with brief note on the author of the chapter as well as social media links will be provided in the book). Please let me know, through my email ID, along with tentative topic of "blogging" you would like to write about.



नमः शिवाय

Om Namah Shivaya

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MUSIC : Blend of Traditional and Contemporary songs

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