Happy Dusshera – October 24, 2012

October 27, 2012

Dusshera also known as Vijayadashmi

is one of the main festival of Hindus. The zest and fervour of its celebration can be seen in entire India. This festival is celebrated in every nook and corner of India with full zeal and enthusiasm.

In some parts of India Navratri celebrations culminates in Vijayadashami while in the others the celebration of Dussehra takes the precedence. Indian mythology may have several legends to justify both the beliefs but the underlying principle remains the same, the victory of the all pervading good over evil.

Ravana or Mahishasura, both are symbolic of ignorance and egotism. The truth certainly comes out clear that however inscrutable the evil maybe, it will certainly be overwpowered. Dussehra is thus the celebration of this eternal truth.

You can find alot more information re: this Festival at this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayadashami

The celebration here was small but full of joy and fun.  Colored powders (same as those used during Holi) were thrown freely,

there was much dancing and music (provided by drums),

Head Drummer

Drumming Circle

and then of course the firecrackers began exploding in the streets.  When this got to be too much for my Western senses as well as my sense of safety, I retreated home.  So I did not see the final scene of the celebration where the mannequins are taken down and delivered to Ma Ganga, with more fireworks to help them along their journey.  But I could here the festivities all the way up in my room for several hours after I returned home.

You can see from the photos the ecstasy of the participants.  Take particular note of the lovely lady in a beige and blue sari with blue scarf on her head (the heads are covered to protect the hair from the colored powders).  She is Laxmi’s mother-in-law and is 70 years old.  She was one of the main organizers of this local festival.  You can see her energetic dancing in the video as well where she is one of the main stars!!

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


A Blessed Day from Sunrise to Sunset – October 24,2012

October 25, 2012

Blessings from Sunrise to Sunset

It is actually the next day, evening time, and I am now getting ready to go to sleep.  I had two amazingly beautiful and active days….so full that I have had no time to write or post.  But tomorrow I begin the more difficult part of panchakarma, and wanted to take best advantage of these last two days…and  I DID!  I will have lots of time resting over the next days, so will have plenty of time to write, post photos I have shot over the past couple of days, and tell you about all my lovely adventures.

You may remember that the day yesterday began with a beautiful sunrise (above) .  Well, I was still out and about late enough to also enjoy a spectacular sunset,

and in between also was able to enjoy the Vijayadashmi festival, which ended the 9 day Navrati festival.

Will be posting photos and video from this as well.

So here is just a quick post to let you know all is well , and that I just have had better things to do than “blogging”  the last couple of days.

Me Enjoying the Sunset over the Ganga

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


Most Fun Panchakarma Ever! – Days 7-8 Panchakarma October 20-12 2012

October 21, 2012

Most Fun Panchakarma Ever! – Days 7-8 Panchakarma October 20-12 2012

Oct. 20- Full, Fun Day with Lots of Good Food

Just Enjoying the View

Came down for breakfast this morning only to find the cook in the shower! The shower is actually in the same bathroom which is on the  balcony that we love to have our breakfast on each morning.  The helpers were all upset because  a customer arrive and there was no one available to cook for her. So they yelled something into the shower, probably telling him to hurry up etc.  But I was in no hurry and it sounded like he was really enjoying his shower. (bucket showers make lots of noise). So I also yelled into the shower, “don’t worry…no problem…enjoy shower!”

So now I sit and listen to Lucky (the cooks name) taking a long, leisurely shower, every so often sighing in pleasure as he pours water over himself.  And I myself sigh with pleasure as I enjoy my Ganga View.

During these holy festival days there are many people already bathing in the Ganga at this early hour.

Bathing In the Ganga during Navrati Festival

There is always something to see wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.  Being Mindful of your surroundings brings great joy and pleasure into what would  otherwise be a boring day.

Had my treatment today which consisted of massage and Natri Basti (warm medicated ghee poured over the eyes which are cupped in the same “bowl” used for other types of basti on various body parts.)  The ghee of dripped out of the sides of the bowl and so I had to of course take a shower and wash my hair.

I knew I would be out for a long day of fun and shopping with Michal, so decided to eat my kitcheri at the clinic before heading out.  And then, to my great surprise, the doctors wife came in with aloo parantha for everyone for lunch and the doctor offered me one.  I said I would love one but my doctor doesn’t allow it during panchakarma.  He said  “it is ok, for you ok…have have”.  So I DID have and it was of course great.  This is the most fun panchakarma I’ve ever done!!

Michal and I then had  full day of shopping, errands, post office, more shopping, a wait at Prem’s Namaste restaurant overlooking the Ganga once again (You can find photos of this lovely place from a post from last year when the silk cotton tree was blooming…exquisitely beautiful. ) https://janesindiajournals.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/march-9-2011-%E2%80%93-vacation-day-7-8-%E2%80%93-paying-the-price/

Fabulous Kashmiri Pulao full of raisins, cashews, pineapple, coconut , cloves, cardamon etc., etc., etc….Just superb!

Took her to Prateek the astrologer…it was beyond amazing and he has given her much needed food for thought.  She was quite happy when we left.

Oct. 21, 2012

Today had massage and sirrohdhara, ate my kitcheri and had a long soul searching discussion with Dr. Arora about the difficult health issues I’ve had this past year and their possible (probable ) causes…also giving me some definite food for thought.  I had a sleepless night last night – my mind has begun racing, which very often happens as cleansing deepens during the treatments….so he has helped me put some things into perspective which was well needed.

Had a good nap and am now eating my fruit salad as I write this up.  Look forward to a pleasant and quiet evening…perhaps a movie for the first time.

I know this has been a fairly boring post but I guarantee you that nothing is boring about my wonderful days here which are going by much too quickly for my liking.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


Monkey Shines and Happy Tourists – October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012

Feelin’ Good!! Panchakarma Day 4

Ganga from Laxman Jhula Bridge

To my great surprise, I am feeling wonderful.  Actually better than I have felt for the past few months.  I was “out and about” today…met a lovely Israeli girl when I went for lunch and we spoke for more than an hour, and then continued down to do lots of errands in Laxman Jhula (none got done, but it is not important).  Had a wonderful walk, the weather is getting better each day, I am getting stronger and more fit and the hills are easier than they were even yesterday.  I have  more energy than I have had in a very long time.  I know there will be more difficult days during Panchakarma, but for now I am in heaven.

Just making this into a photo post with some sights of the day.  Enjoy!

Local Tourist During Navrati Festival-NOtice the Plastic bottle at her side. She has filled it with water from the Holy Ganga and will take it home.

Happy Indian Tourists

 

Monkeys on Laxman Jhula Bridge

Bathing in Ganga

Refreshing Fruit Salad Along the Ganga-My favorites-Pineapple and Papaya

Ram Jhula in the Distance

Colorful Table Centerpiece

Beautiful Colors-Waiting on Line to Drink at the Water Fountain

…and just for fun-More Monkeys:

A great day to everyone!

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


Things are Falling Into Place – Day 3 Panchakarma October 16, 2012

October 17, 2012

Things are Falling Into Place – Day 3 Panchakarma October 16, 2012

Navrati Festival – See Below for more Info

Ganga View from Cafe Delmar

It is now 6:30 in the evening and I am happily sitting out on my rooftop terrace, enjoying the still comfortable evening air.  Soon it will be much to cold at this time of the day to sit outdoors.  Even now I am wearing jeans, woolen sox and my warm shawl, but am comfortable and feeling blessed.

I have already eaten my kitcheri for supper and later, before going to sleep, will have my wonderful hot spiced milk and biscuits.  But I now bought myself good, wholesome organic oatmeal cookies…much more expensive than the “biscuits” the doctor recommended – plain cookies made from flour oil and lots of sugar and additives.  Those were 5 rupees a packet, the ones I bought were 120 rupees a packet!!  But I will feel much better eating a couple of those with my milk. :-

I cannot believe what I did today!.  After my treatment,  which was lovely- massage and navi basti (hot oil bath on navel area – a kind of bowl is formed out of chickpea flour which is made into a kind of clay, and then placed over the area to be treated, and hot medicated oils are poured in and left to do their magic on the chosen part of the body).

Then I was told that Manju, the doctor’s wife would be arriving.  She is one of the sweetest women I have ever met, a wonderful cook who I learned much from regarding Indian cooking, and a dear friend.  So I waited for her and was so happy to see her when she finally arrived.  I will be going, together with my friend Michal, to visit her one afternoon in the coming days, and to enjoy some of her wonderful cooking (whatever I can while doing panchakarma) and of course her lovely company.

And then I decided to have pulao, something I am allowed every few days instead of vegetables and chapatti, but was by then too tired to go all the way down to where I had intended to eat.  So I decided to go to a nearby place and see if their pulao was any good (it wasn’t).  But it is the lovely place along the Ganga which I so enjoy, which changed hands but is still in a beautiful setting  overlooking the Ganga PHOTO

….and then, cannot believe what I did! I walked full force into a plate glass entrance door to the restaurant- which I absolutely did not see! Strong enough to draw blood from my mouth and nose and raise a huge bump on my forhead!!

Thank God for Rescue Cream and Reiki!!

By the time the meal arrived, the bleeding had stopped and the swelling was down.  I continued with Reiki and Rescue for a time after the meal.  When I got back to my room there was still some slight swelling on my upper lip and forehead…did more Reiki while napping and now it is fine. There is still some slight pain but nothing compared to what I felt when hitting the glass!  I almost fainted.  Now I understand the expression “seeing stars”!!

The restaurant itself is lovely.  Still called Café Delmar, but with a Beatles, 60’s theme about it.  It offers many Vegan options – a first here in Rishikesh and there was even classical music playing in the background when I arrived.

AND….they have free WIFI!!!!!!!

Began taking a few odd photos today and will try and post several each day if something worthwhile comes out.

Will relax the rest of the evening, go to sleep early, and hopefully be awake for another lovely sunset tomorrow.

Below, if you are interested, is some information regarding the significance of the 9 Day Navrati Festival now being celebrated in India, and bringin many local tourists to town as well. 

Mahanavaratri , nine night Goddess festival started today and ends on 24 October with Vijayadashami.

Navratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess.

First three days
These initial days

are dedicated to Durga Maa, the Goddess of power, energy and transformation, also known as Kali in order to destroy all our impurities and negativity. These three days the devotees meditate on the fire aspect of Goddess and purified their Sanskaras , the conditioning of old vicious habits etc.

Second three days
When the impurities are removed then the pure spiritual wealth is bestows by Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance. These three days the devotees meditate on the soft and soma qualities of Goddess to experience love and compassion as his inherent pure quality.
.
Final three days
Once the aspirant succeeds observing the evil propensities, and develops Sattwic or pure, divine qualities and then only he can receives the light of supreme wisdom by the grace of mother Saraswati..The final set of three days is spent in meditating on the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati..

The tenth day, Vijaya Dasami is the celebration of liberation of the soul, the victory, the achievement of goal of all goals.
These nine nights are designed for our spiritual evolution. It also falls on very special planetary situation, twice a year, the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter on a very auspicious day.

Namaste and Blessings from the Goddesses to all

Jane


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