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Thursday, May 12, 2022

In Pursuit of Happiness

 


The bell chimed and the fragrance of incense filled the air. As a small child, my earliest memories of a union with God are still vivid in my memories. My siblings and I folded our hands as we joined our grandfather who was awakening the god and dressing him up with a chant of 'Jagyei kripa nidhan' ( O almighty awaken...). We watched our grandfather with excitement as soon after this a prayer of ' Om Jai Jagdish" followed, with a small lighted Diya doing rounds in one hand and the other hand carrying a small brass bell as the prayer continued. As the prayer ended, we were handed out two small cups containing a ' kachori and a couple of jalebis' to be distributed to everyone in the house as a prasad. It was irrespective of whether one had attended the 'Aarti'. This was a morning routine every day when I visited Mathura to meet my grandparents and a huge extended family, at the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Later in the evening, small prayer would be recited by our grandfather before putting the Lord to sleep.

We felt God's presence in almost every important activity be it a birthday, any festival or a  celebration. This left an indelible impression on my young mind. These rituals were never very elaborate but significant enough to leave a lasting impression. When I look back to those bygone days, I realize that these little things helped us in bonding, understand a bit about ourselves and above all learn to respect all the individuals and be humane.  

It was always great fun to visit the " Dwarkadessh temple' in the wee morning hours or later in the evening with the elders. The atmosphere was always charged with the toll of bells. chanting of hymns as 'Aarti' was performed by the priests. The shining jewels and lovely attire of the gods glistened with a twinkle of light as the Aarti stand dazzled with several 'diyas' as it circled around. The high point would be to recieve the 'prasad' of pedas, laddos and other savouries soon after. 

Several years later after having visited scores of temples, the dargahs, gurudwaras, and churches. and several other places of worship across the world, the feeling of immense peace that transcends is really difficult to enumerate. Each of these visits has helped in times of distress. Quiet meditation or a direct link with god is the best healer. Among other benefits is learning to exercise a curb on desires and enjoy moments of peace and serenity.

Every individual has his own journey and route to achieve his desired happiness. For some, painting, listening to music, reading, engaging in social service or pursuing a hobby is as threauptic. I wish everyone finds happiness and solace in their pursuits which ever journey they choose to undertake.

PS: The picture is mine




2 comments:

  1. Yes, blessings of God strengthen and protect us. Your vivid description reminds me of laddoo Gopal kept in your house.

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