April 17, 2008
Kunjapuri Devi temple is considered as one of the 52 Shaktipeeth / Shaktipeetha/ Shaktipeetham of our divine Mother. Shakti denotes power. To understand the meaning and significance of Shaktipeeth, let us go back to our Puranas (Hindu scriptures).
Goddess Parvati is the consort of Lord Shiva. In her previous birth, Goddess Parvati was known as Sati. She had married the Lord but her father King Daksha was not too pleased. He had organized a Yagna, a spiritual gathering where offerings are made to Agni Dev (Fire God). He had purposely not invited his daughter and her husband. When Sati came to know of this, she was furious and decided to go uninvited. Lord Shiva tried to persuade her to drop this idea but she was relentless.
King Daksha gave his reasons to Sati which was nothing but public humiliation of her husband. Angered by this, Sati jumped into the sacrificial fire and ended her life. Lord Shiva was torn apart. He destroyed and created havoc at the Yagna. Then carried the remains of Sati’s body on his shoulder and danced the dance of destruction-Tandav which would eventually destroy the Universe. While other versions state that in grief, the Lord carried her body on his shoulders and walked aimlessly in grief. He refused to complete the final rites.
Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe felt that if Sati’s body did not receive proper cremation according to the Hindu Shastra’s then she could not take rebirth as Goddess Parvati. While Lord Vishnu was concerned that Lord Shiva’s grief would slowly cause the destruction of the Universe. They could not control or face Lord Shiva’s anger so Lord Vishnu took his Sudarshan Chakra (Disc) and cut the body into pieces. As Lord Shiva traveled her body part fell and last rites were done by the gods. The places where divine Mother’s body parts fell is known as Shaktipeeth. Temples have been built around it and worshipped daily. People travel across continents to seek blessings of Shakti.We have been very fortunate to seek blessings from one such Shaktipeeth located in Rishikesh where divine Mother’s chest had fallen. This Kunjapuri temple is located on a hillock, 15 kms from the main city.
The temple was accessible by road. The drive was more of a rollercoaster ride as the roads are very steep and winding. The parking area was lined with shops selling offerings for worship, Puja Samagri. We bought our Puja thali and energetically headed to the temple.
A flight of around eighty steps took us to the main entrance. This was decorated with freshly painted lion and elephant busts on either side. The lion is the mount of the Goddess. At the centre of the courtyard was the main temple. A large idol of Lord Shiva was located next to this along with idols of other deities. Bordering the courtyard, there were small rooms where the temple priestess and caretaker lived.
We were first to arrive and waited patiently, taking in the pious ambience for the temple to open. The morning bells chimed and the doors finally opened and we were so close to divinity. Inside, there were idols of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva’s linga/lingam and a part of the Goddess. We handed our Puja thali to the priestess. The offerings consisted of incense sticks, red chunari (veil), coconut, rice puffs, Elachi dana, (sugar drops) and Kumkum (vermillion).
The best time to arrive at the temple is before sunrise. The location is extremely picturesque as it is situated on a mountain top surrounded by forests on all sides. The chirping birds, buzzing insects and the gentle rustle of trees were an indication that something was about to happen. And truly, within few seconds, the sky changed its hue. The bluish grey sky cleared its path so that we could get the first glimpse of Surya Dev, Sun God.
On our way back to the main city, we came across a palatial building. It was majestic with well maintained gardens and a touch of elegance. On enquiry we found out it was called Ananda, a spa retreat. It is renowned for its various Ayurvedic treatments and holistic approach in purifying the mind and body.
Journeys in life teach many lessons. It is therefore important to choose your destination wisely.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.
April 14, 2008
What happens when dreams and visions of achievement come to an end? Goals with hope attached, yearning desires to seek it all slips out of your fingers, what do you do? Everything that was once perceived to be reality becomes fantasy.
“Why did it happen? What will I do now? How can this happen to me? Why does this always happen to me? Is it my fault?”
I am sure these questions sound familiar. These daunting thoughts follow us until we try to resolve them or come to terms that those dreams were never meant to be.
Do these questions stop when we command them too? Never!
They persistently follow us like buzzards over a dead carcass. Shoo them, they move away but they keep circling around gawking from a distance, looking for a chance to strike back.
A person whom you loved so dearly turns around one day to tell you that they never loved you at all. It was just a cordial and polite gesture on their part. Where does this leave you? Looking foolish, disheartened and rejected. Like this there are many emotional hurdles which each one of us comes across.
So what does a person do if he/she is experiencing such feelings? What do they do to move on? How does one get over such timeless defeats and regain their self worth?
Kind words, sympathetic ear from friends, reading self-help books or taking a holiday may give you temporary comfort. One may even pretend to forget them but how many of us can really do it so easily?
Does time really heal all wounds? If so, how long does each painful scar take? Will the old memories totally stop stalking us?
6 Tips To Manage An Emotional Breakdown:
1) Solutions and happiness don’t pop out like rabbits from a magician’s hat. They have to be worked on. You need to understand why a particular situation happened? Try to introspect without blaming yourself or others. Be a third party to your problem.
2) Discuss the agony with someone you trust who will genuinely guide you with realistic and unbiased solutions. If there is no such person then consult a therapist.
3) This is a very vulnerable situation so any wayward action will make the situation worse. Avoid drinking, consuming drugs or sleeping pills. These will only lead to depression and give rise to suicidal thoughts.
4) Focus on the positive things in your life.
5) Join a community and open up to people who are suffering similar dilemmas. This will help you realize that you are not alone.
6) Think positively and never lose hope.
Support comes from those who care, the rest are just by-standers. In your times of need, you will realize who your real friends and well-wishers are. Life is a test for all of us.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.
April 9, 2008
Life gets comfortable with technology but sometimes high tech gizmos can induce ailments which we are not always prepared for.Thumb numbness is common among gamers. The maneuvering of tiny buttons or joystick, applying constant pressure can affect the tendons and nerves. Research shows that as little as half an hour a day of using the mouse could result in shoulder, forearm or hand pain. Tennis Elbow syndrome and postural neck pains result from playing video games.
Muscolo-facial pains occur due to talking on the cellphone for long periods of time. The tilting of the head and neck gives rise to incorrect posture and put a pressure on the delicate nerves. Tendonitis can also result from texting or smsing too much.
The best way to combat the pain is by cutting down on the activities that cause them. Apply cold fermentation for traumatic injuries and hot water compress for chronic pain. If these don’t provide any relief then consult your doctor. These problems take a different toll on the health when they are ignored.
Utilize technological advancements to improve your lifestyle but use them in moderation for a better physical and mental health.
©Nayna, 2007-2008. All Rights Reserved.