Is the term Gurukul same as the one portrayed in Mohabbatein, certainly its not. There are lots of things we don’t know that revolve within our reach and are very good source of peace.
Walking with lots of thought in mind I came across a beautiful girl dressed in saffron attire without any makeup on, just the kajal highlighting her bright soul, something in me made me stop and talk to her. She was with two of other girls, she politely came when I called her, talking to her I came to know she is Sadhavi. Sadhvi means Virtuous women. I asked her for her number in order to take a small interview but her friends weren’t comfortable with the thought of talking to strangers let alone giving them the number. But she somehow trusted and gave us the number which I am glad for. The next day, we personally went to meet her and talk to her. We talked to her about anything and everything and it was a pleasure knowing different valuable things from her. She took us in the akharas where she was staying in Kumbh Mela. There was a pooja ceremony going on in the akhara premises, they were prasing their guru with thali decorated with flowers and diya. She called her dad who also happen to be a follower of the akhara guru, to take us from the back entrance to where they were staying. She received us from the back entrance and lead us to a sofa, she made us feel comfortable and treated us politely. People were coming touching her feets, greeting her. While talking to her we came to know that she is a teacher in Gurukul branch of Varanasi. It was her mom’s wish for her to be a part of Gurukul. She joined it when she was in school, it was very difficult for her so she didn’t continued it further staying away from family, new environment. So she took her time and joined it again after a year. She always had a liking for Sanskrit and she thought no better way to learn Sanskrit then somewhere where the roots are religious. She completed her studies and than started teaching there. She took her peace in taking Sanyas, which means she is never gonna get married or have family of her own. She wants people, specially children to know the importance of Gurukul. To make people aware of it, where children are thought manners and discipline and patiences. There was some fire in her eyes that was screaming and wanting people to Know about the Gurukul system which will help bring peace and reduces violence in the society. In a gurukul, the students living together are considered as equals, irrespective of their social standings. They are also introduced to all kinds of technology but to a certain extent so that they don’t get addicted towards it. They are kept away from all the things that can make them selfish and that can disturb their mental peace. They teach patiences as well as all other curriculum activities. They are thought to do their own things. Kids there grow up to be a fine personality with roots attached to the grounds and knowledge that touches the sky.
So let me tell you’ll that there is a world out there that is completely health a totally a peace gainer.
After Shahi Sanaan, we decided to know the stories of Naga Baba’s and visit some tourist places in Allahabad. We visited places like Allahabad Fort, Ulta killa, Akshayavat, Alopidevi mandir, Bade Hanuman Ji temple, Gangoli Shivala and many more.
While walking on the streets of Mela, we encountered a bunch of children who were offering tea and biscuits as free service for the people visiting the Kumbh. It’s rare we find children nowadays doing something out of the smart phone world. We visited and talked to many Baba’s like barfani baba, who had beautiful rudraksha hat on his head and was making tea 24 hours for all the people visiting.
There was rabadi ( sweet ) baba who used to make rabadi for the people visiting. But my personal favourite Baba was Rajenra Bharati, well because we got connected to him so well. It was his 4 Kumbh in Allahabad, and he was Naga from the year 1998. He was such a sweet and caring person. He made us stay at his tent for two days and literally made sure that we were comfortable and warm. Where we should serve him, he served us, it was such a heart touching moment for us.
We met Ganga, a russian female who was very fond of the rituals, visited every kumbh and was in saffron attire all the time.
There was also a small Naga Baba whose age was 13 years old, who was learning from his guru all the things of being a Baba. When we asked him questions he didn’t knew what to say. He was so innocent giving blessings to everyone. We were done roaming and having good time in kumbh, it was time for us to leave the place, our heart was heavy and eyes were watery walking out of the gate. It was time for us to be back and our sweet bubble was burst. But like it is said, every good things come to an end.
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We were very excited to witness the craziness and fondness of Naga Baba’s towards first Shahi Sanaan. So we slept early before the day of Shahi Sanaan so we could stay awake whole night. We woke up in the afternoon, did our daily routine and wore warm clothes pack with hoddies and sweaters because we didn’t wanted to die in the cold and was all set to go. We reached around 7 in the Kumbh Mela and directly went to the Triveni Sangam ( where three Rivers meet, Ganga, Yamuna and mythical river Saraswati ).
The devotees were already crowded and were taking a dip in the water. It was great to see the enthusiasm among the people. Later we went to see the preparation done for Peshwai. Basically Peshwai is a form of rally where every akhara has something unique to go with. So there were horses, camel, trucks decorated with Dhols and Banjos. It’s something you just don’t want to miss out.
After that when we were again walking towards Triveni Sangam, we took a hault to drink tea because as the time was passing by it was getting cold and cold and specially near the river side, it’s just terrible. While we were having tea, there was a puppy who was trying to get into the blankets of people who were sleeping on sand and unconscious were kicking him. He was very small and we just couldn’t leave him like that, so my friend picked him up and the poor soul was shivering like hell. Literally shivering. Even if I am worried and concerned about the puppy I am shit scared of animals, it’s kinda phobia. Now what to do we didn’t had anything to fit and cover him with, lastly we took out camera cloth and wrapped him. We walked around for awhile sat near bonfires so that he would get some heat. I built up the courage to hold him because after a point the hands were getting numb due to being out and we needed to shot too and I just can’t let my friend suffer, it was difficult but once I got settle with the puppy it was different and beautiful feeling. So we walked and walked didn’t knew where to drop him because we can’t even take him and shot the Shahi sanaan. After hours we found a safe place for him which was way away from Triveni Sangam, there were akhara people and police officers near a born fire who assure us that they will take care of him. It was very sad feeling to leave him, specially for me because I had never touched a dog hell never been with him in a close proximity and this soul just had me. Anyway, we said our goodbyes to the puppy and Left for Shahi Sanaan till than it was already 4 we rushed but the pipa pull got closed for Naga Baba’s because they don’t like interruption during their time for which they wait for years to witness and they just want to be in their own enjoyment so they don’t like interruptions. We were disappointed that we couldn’t actually be their to shot but happy that we helped a soul.
We waited for them to return and that was definitely something great to watch. All the Naga sadhus were so happy after the dip in Ganga. They just enjoyed their heart out with flowers decorated all over them, dancing like their no tomorrow, it was the most joyful moment for them as well as us to be able to watch it live.
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Standing on the bridge of Jhusi, I could literally see the whole ground of Kumbh illuminated and beautiful it literally took my breath away, I am not saying this for the sake of saying it but indeed the scenario was mesmerizing.
Later as we walked the path of Kumbh, we got into our work mode and started clicking pictures, taking visuals, talking to people and the first person we encountered was a Baba named, ‘Baapu Singh’. He was 75+, walking with his sitar and chipali ( pearcussion instrument ) along with a flag of his Maharaj. While talking to him we got to know he sings Kabir ke dohe as his way of expressing his beliefs and portraying his devotion and the cool thing was he has never missed a single Kumbh from the time he was born. He also sang for us which was really heart touching.
We encountered many people, got to know their stories and their perspective. We didn’t really went into the Akharas the first and second day, from third day we started visiting akharas to talk to Naga sadhus. We talked to one Baba from Juna Akhara, we wanted to approach him and convince him to talk to us because he was not letting anybody to take his pictures and was shouting at them. So we started off as we are just here to take blessings, made little conversation here and there warmed him up and then he even allowed us to click pictures and shot him. It was great to know his love as Naga for lord Shiva. Infact he was 16 when he became Naga Baba and now he is around 60’s.
Ahead of him, there was a Baba in rudraksha from top to bottom. He was pretty famous too because of his attire and white rats, rats because on his hat made of rudraksha, were 5 white rats who don’t leave the space of his hat. It amazing to see and talk with such personalities, it good to know that side of the story without any judgements.
Next blog will be about our experience of first Shahi Sanaan and my best part of the Kumbh. So follow us to know more.
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As I left my house on the journey of excitement, learning and self discovery, I was anxious, nervous and most importantly ready to experience something new. The journey began with empty compartments and free space in the express. It allowed me my space to admire the distance covered from Mumbai to Allahabad.
The changing in the environment and the decreasing temperature. It started to freeze in the train once we entered the border of Madhaya Pradesh and blankets weren’t enough to keep us warm. As a mumbaikar we are used to heat and fans ON in winter’s too. We reached on the second day of our train journey. Finding our destination was a rollercoaster ride for us with luggage’s all over us and cold all over the handkerchiefs. Finally when we managed to reach our temporarily home for the next 16 days, we just collapsed and when we woke up we were all set to explore the city and most importantly The Mela. The morning in Allahabad starts with stalls opening after 3 in the noon and street filled with Pani Puri stalls every 10 steps of walk. We discovered the third name for Pani Puri in India which is ‘Phulke’. So pani puri, gol gappe and phulke are one and the same.
As we reached the entrance of Kumbh Mela, standing there was a bliss feeling, the entrance gate was decorated beautiful with conch shells on either side and one big in the centre with orange color highlighted (featured image). The streets were filled with beautiful wall paintings, protection of police on every corner, infact there are booths of police officers on every signal for the convenience of the people.
The best part of the entrance was the huge pot ( kalash ) in the left corner of the entrance. It was standing big and huge welcoming the devotees to the largest religious gathering.
Read my next blog to know about our experience inside the Kumbh.
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Hello lovely readers,
Greetings from Perfect Blenders.
I am writing this blog, to let you’ll know that tomorrow is my train for the world’s largest religious gathering in India, ‘KUMBH MELA’ which is held this year in Prayagraj ( Uttar Pradesh ). Let me give you’ll little information about what is Kumbh Mela. According to Hindu scriptures, it is believed that taking a holy dip in Sangam ( which is a river in Prayagraj ) during Kumbh which is imbued with power, promotes spiritual growth, health, emotional strength and puts you on the path to moksha (liberation). Kumbh Mela is also held in Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Nashik (Maharashtra) and Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh). The Prayagraj Kumbh Mela is highest among all pilgrimages and provides one with the highest virtue. It has references in the Vedas.
The Kumbh Mela is held on a rotation basis every three years in Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. Then there are the Ardha Kumbh Melas held every six years in Prayagraj and Haridwar. The Purna Kumbh or Maha Kumbh is organised only in Prayagraj every 12 years. As per the calendar, the next Maha Kumbh will be held in 2025 in Prayagraj.
Since last kumbh Mela, perfect Blenders are smitten with the whole vibe of it. I could not attend it, but this time I am all set to witnessed the devotion towards the city, the positive vibes which it shares, the trance of the Naga Baba’s and the lot more. Hippie culture is largely spot there. It’s a 55 day long event starting from January 15. This year 150 million people are expected to attend the Mela. We wouldn’t be staying there for long, but I surely be sharing my experiences with you’ll from time to time.
Note : The pictures are clicked by Perfect Blender during last Kumbh Mela.
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‘Dream’, small word but holds greater meaning. Many dreams are achieved a day and many are hidden and shut in a tiny closet. Dreams gives identity to an individual, it gives the courage to explore and happiness to conquer. Some are encouraged and some are burned. Now a days there’s so much pressure on parents in order to be the best, to choose the best for their children that they neglect the needs of them. Sometimes children don’t follow their dreams because maybe revenue from that is not well paid off. But dreaming is just the starting point in the process of success. Dream, passion and hard work walks hand in hand. If you show the courage to dream the passion will definitely developed over time and the hard work you put in achieving it will definitely pay off well. Know yourself and your inner voice and not what people are expecting of you because if you are unhappy, no amount of hardwork is going to satisfy them or you. It will just be waste of time and energy but most of all disappointment and regret. I saw this amazing promo of the just launched series on Netflix which had a dialogue which made me write this blog.
“It’s not your dream, if the voice inside your head is not yours”. This sentence itself describes the life of majority teenagers trying to live there dream or figuring out themselves before living another. The Netflix show is called as, ,’Selection Day’, which is based on a novel by, ‘Aravind Adiga’. It’s about two teen cricket prodigies struggle against their overbearing father and a system stacked against them to realize their own ambitions and identities..
So go ahead and show the courage to dream and fulfill it. Happy weekend.🙂