Yipee!! Yahoooo! Yabadabadooo!
That seems a bit over the top but that’s exactly how I’m feeling. As I wrote in the first part of this post- A morning’s Tale– I was looking for a suitable place for my morning jogs. I think God also visits WordPress because it seems as if my prayers have been answered. I have found the perfect place for jogging. In fact, it was there, right before my eyes but I don’t know how it escaped my notice. Only when my friend reminded me about it that the bulb in my brain lit up.
The place is the Sabarmati Riverfront. Currently a major project of the Government of Gujarat. The banks of Sabarmati river are being developed into a tourist attraction place. The walkways are ready, and hopefully, soon there will be parks, water-sports, hotels, floating restaurants etc. at different points of the riverfront. The walkway area is very close to where we live and we can easily walk down to it. The walk becomes the warm up for the jog to follow. Some pictures here-
The Sabarmati River
Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram with steps on the right side leading to the river
The road bridge in the foreground and the rail bridge with a train passing on it in the background
Jogging here in the mornings refreshes me thoroughly. In fact, I no longer have to bother about my problem. Who needs artificial music when you can hear the sounds of nature in the calls of the birds. That’s music enough for me.
Now I jump out of the bed in the mornings, and don’t make excuses to avoid my jogs but really look forward to them. Hope I will be able to see some good results soon. Cross my fingers.
Its that time of the year again when people gear up to welcome their favorite God- lord Ganesh in their homes. Lord Ganesh is the ‘Elephant-head God’, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is the remover of all obstacles, the God of prosperity and entrepreneurship. He is the first God to be worshiped before starting any new business and on all auspicious occasions like marriage, moving into a new home or office premises, etc. Today is ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ the fourth day of waxing moon in the month of Bhadarva. On this day the Lord comes to visit the common people to take away their troubles and bless them. He stays with them for one, three, five, seven or ten days as the families wish and then goes back to his heavenly abode.
There are many stories about Lord Ganesh, specially ones associated with his birth and about how he got his elephant head. But today I will tell something else about him and what he teaches us.
Lord Ganesh is said to be the god of entrepreneurship and hard work. He hates to sit idle. He has two wives- Siddhi (spiritual power and aptitude) and Riddhi (prosperity). He has two sons Shubh (auspiciousness) and Labh (profits). Once on Rakshbandhan they wished for a sister. Lord Ganesh fulfilled their wish and Godess Santoshi (contentment) was born completing the family.
A simple story, you would say. Nothing extraordinary. But an extraordinary message lies within it.
When entrepreneurship and hard work comes together with spirituality and aptitude it brings prosperity. This prosperity comes along with profits that is auspicious and pure and so long as people work hard using their skills and knowledge to their maximum ability, their prosperity continues to grow. But when contentment arrives it takes away all the desires from man and makes the person and his life ‘Whole’.
The night before yesterday I went to that part of the town where the Ganesh idols are made for the people to take home. This place at any other time of the year is a slum area with people living in shanties and poor conditions. They make idols of Gods or any other type on order for the people who want to decorate their homes or gardens.But a month before this day the activity starts in the earnest. All the families get busy with preparing the idols with every member chipping in. And that night, the place had transformed. Every inch of space was occupied by Ganesh himself and just as the people were impatient to take him, their beloved God, to their homes, he seemed equally eager to be with them.
An idol this size takes more than month to complete
waiting to go to people’s home
not yet ready
Artist putting final touches to the idol
So here’s wishing everyone a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi. May Lord Ganesh take away all your troubles and bring prosperity to all.
P.S.-all pictures here belong to me. Not the best of pictures but this was the best I could do with all the crowd around me and not much light.
There is usually a common incident in the accounts of almost all people visiting India(specially from the USA, European countries and Australia) that how ‘surprised’, ‘ shocked’, ‘terrified’, etc. they were when they suddenly saw a tusker walking down the road. A common sight here and the people, if at all, react reverentially.
Here an elephant chips in with his mahoots to carry the load for the day.
This picture was taken in Ladakh. The mountains, devoid of any vegetation, are stark, majestic,formidable even, and hit you with their raw beauty. The huge mountains in the background are so far, yet seem to be so near as if closing in on you, sometimes comforting as an embrace and sometimes terrifying.
“A good teacher must know how to arouse the interest of the pupil in the field of study for which he is responsible. He must himself be a master in the field of study and be in touch with the latest development in the subject. He must himself be a fellow traveler in the exciting pursuit of knowledge.”
-Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
Today is 5th September. Birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second president of India, a philosopher, an academician , and a much loved teacher. Since 1962 when he became the president of India, his birthday came to be celebrated as ‘Teacher’s Day”.
Teachers are special. Not only do they impart knowledge but also guide you, mold you and teach you the ways of life. They make you who you are.
“those who educate children are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only give them life, those the art of living well.”
Our culture has, for ages revered the teachers or Gurus. They have been put on a pedestal even higher than the Gods themselves. Our mythologies are strewn with stories where people have gone to the extremes to show there devotion to their gurus.
As the Sanskrit shloka , which is a prayer to the gurus, says-
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu,
Gurur Devo Maheshvarah.
Guru Shakshat Para Brahma,
Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah.
which means that,
The teacher is like Lord Bramha, who generates the light of knowledge within us. The teacher is like Lord Vishnu, who drives us towards excellence with the help of that knowledge. The teacher is like lord Shiva, who destroys the evils within us by showing us the right path. He is the Almighty God himself and to Him I pay my obeisance.
Saint Kabir said-
” Guru Govind dono khade kake lagu paye,
balihari guru aapki, Govind diyo milaye”
My guru and my god are both before me, so to whom should I pay my respects first. My guru is greater because it was due to the path shown by him that I found my god.
Teaching is a noble profession, we all know that. Teachers have great powers in their hands. They have the power to mold the lives of whole generations. Thus a heavy responsibility lies on their shoulders. They can change the direction of an entire nation on to the roads of knowledge, prosperity and growth or they can lead an entire population to their downfall. All the religions of the world show us the power of a good teacher who brought to us the words, the knowledge that enable us to distinguish between the right and the wrong so that the world would be a better place.
So today, I take this opportunity to pay my respects to my teachers who have been an important part of my life.
And just for a thought-
anyone or anything that teaches us something can be the teacher-
the Sun teaches us never give up hope, a fruit laden tree teaches us humility because the more fruits it has the more it bends down, the ant teaches us the value of hard work and never giving up, a bird teaches us to reach for the skies, a baby teaches us to see the wonder in everyday little things of life that we have long ceased to see. We even learn from our mistakes. And our lives are said to be our greatest teacher.
And to end-
“the greatest teacher is the one who makes himself progressively unnecessary”