Muktidham – A shrine that leaves a mark!

I went for a stroll this evening and returned home with a very calm and peaceful mind. Partially, the weather in Nasik eased a lot of tensions but majorly it was the visit to Muktidham temple that did the trick. What a beautiful temple it is! Just amazing! It’s not just the replicas of many Gods but also the vibes that prevail in the vicinity of the temple that helps you find peace.

muktidham-temple-nasik

The narrow road that takes you to the temple is a busy street. Junk food vendors ply on both the sides of the road. There are so many people coming and going to and fro from the temple. After making way through such crowded street, the moment you enter the temple it feels like having come in a different world all together. The temple has a big courtyard. The best part that I liked about it is that it is so clean! And at the end of the courtyard proudly stands the magnificent Muktidham! The entire structure is made out of marble and it houses all the Gods that you may have ever heard of. It is simply magical to see so many Gods at one place. The sculptures of these deities are so beautiful. 18 Chapters from Geeta are archived on the interior walls of Muktidham. Also, pictures describing epics of Krishna, Bharata, Sant Tukaram etc are carved in marbles on the walls.

If you take an entire round of the temple and you will see Lord Ganesh, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Kanyuakumari, Balaji Tirupati, Jhulelal Maharaj, Mahavir, 12 Jyotirlingas, Navagrahas, God Satyanarayan, Lord Dutta and many many more.

There is a continuous flow of visitors and surprisingly the crowd does not make the surroundings dirty. Or should I say that the people who offer services at the temple continuously keep doing the thankless job of cleaning the temple and the premises and minding the footwear of the visitors. Whatever it may be, the atmosphere there is simple overwhelming. In the city like Mumbai where iconic temples like Siddhivinayak and Mahalaxmi are now commercialized (with all due respect to the God and the Goddess, I have a problem with the management of these temples because more than running a holy place, they are driving business out of it), it is impossible to find a shrine similar to Muktidham. Hence an escape to Nasik is inevitable. Unlike the temples that we have in our city where standing and worshipping God even for a couple of minutes is impossible, Muktidham is just as opposite. You can take your time to worship the God, linger around to see the sculptures, read the chapters on the wall and nobody will shoo you away.

I don’t have apt words to explain and describe that holy place. Rather than reading this blog you must visit the temple itself. Like I said before, the experience is amazing not because the temple and the surroundings are beautiful; it’s because of the vibes of the temple. The vibes hold your mind from wandering towards evil, destructive and distressing thought and pass on tranquility and serenity. The lifestyle that we have adapted to, and the thought process that we have adopted keeps us far from such kind of experiences and we never come to know what we are missing until we reach a place which leaves a mark on your mind. I feel that we should try and grab every opportunity to explore such places which in turn will help exploring the real you!

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Being ALONE

Being alone 2

 

Those who know me in person would be rather surprised that I am blogging something about being alone! Ha ha.. someone who is always chattering and who is always surrounded by friends is talking about being alone, what an irony!

But its indeed true, my friends. Some who have known me inside out would vouch the fact that I am moody – I think all cancerians are 😉 well, no blame on the sun sign, but yes, I am indeed moody. I like to be with friends but I like to be alone. I know this doesn’t make sense, but this is what it is.

I will give you an example. I could have an amazing day out with friends, but later in the night I would want to withdraw, I would want to be with myself, I would want to be alone. Funny, isn’t it? Actually, it is not!

I believe that when we are continuously surrounded by people, be it friends or family or colleagues, we are often influenced by them. In some cases, we are intimidated by some people and at other times we are overwhelmed by certain dominating personalities around us. Sometimes we often behave in a particular fashion because that is what is expected from us. And many times we behave unnatural to please an important person around us. I agree that all this is inevitable but I feel lost in all this clutter. I feel artificial and I don’t like it. As the saying goes – “when in Rome do as Romans do” I would continue to be like that all through the day, but in the end I like to withdraw and be myself.

I like to sit down and do nothing – absolutely nothing. Because this is time when my mind ponders over what I really want – what I really want from life and what I really want from myself. All through the day I may focus on what others want from me, but at the end of it all, I think it is very important that I understand what do I want, what do I feel. That’s why I like being alone. All alone.

Life had changed so much after marriage. Suddenly I was feeling so busy with all the new responsibilities that I felt like I am having identity crisis because in the initial time of an Indian marriage – it’s more about being the daughter in law than being yourself. I had to change my likes and dislikes, I had to adapt to the new way of making food and I had to change the sleeping and waking up time too! No cribbing about that because almost all girls go through it, but the point here is that the transformation phase was so overwhelming and that was the point when the thought of being alone crept into my heart.

Fortunately or unfortunately I got a work assignment that took me to Europe for 15 days – all alone. No family no colleagues. I was so happy for those 15 days. I did miss my family for sure, but I didn’t fear the loneliness that came along with it because of time zone difference. I used that time for all that I always wanted to do without being disturbed – read, read and read more (books), sleep for long, watch senseless shows on television and take showers for a long time. Wow! It was indeed refreshing.

Many a times I just vanish from my friend circle – not that I cut contacts with them but it may not be like a usual call to ask how they are doing or have usual chats on the messages. And this is so frustrating for my friends I know, but I do have this “Being Alone” streak to my personality. And I really like that. Because it gives me time to understand myself. If I can’t understand myself how will I be able to understand others?

When I say I like to be alone I am absolutely clear to myself that I don’t want to be alone for life. I can’t imagine my life without my family and my friends. But yes, I certainly want to be alone on certain occasions. I echo Celine Dion’s words “Some people can’t stand being alone. I love solitude and silence. But when I come out of it, I am a regular talking machine”

I learn about my mistakes when I am alone and it gives me strength to accept those mistakes and apologize for them. It is so difficult to apologize, not many are able to do so. That’s because when a person makes a mistake, often he tends to defend himself. More than explaining, it is a process where the person is trying to makeup an excuse to himself. I have done that, but when I am alone, I acknowledge the fact that it’s easy to convince others about your mistakes but it is very difficult to convince yourself. I can see through my mistakes more clearly and I am able to understand why did I do so. And all this happens only when I am alone. All alone!

To conclude, I would say that being alone makes me a better human being, it makes me happy. But I reiterate that I also value to be around with my family. Jodie Foster’s words describe me perfectly

“Its an interesting combination: Having a great fear of being alone, and having a great need for solitude and the solitary experience . That’s always been a tug of war for me.”

I like to push and pull myself in this tug of war 🙂