Remembering Mashi

Last night, I was in surprised and overjoyed when I looked at the pencil sketch that bore a striking resemblance to my mother’s eldest sister, my one, and only Mashi. Mashi had passed away when I was just a pre-teenager. It was a long time ago. I am now a middle-aged lady and a mother of a pre-teenager and a teenager. Whenever I think of her, I remember her loving and giving ways and her single-minded devotion to Goddess, Ma Kali.

Mashi, along with her husband had gone to visit Mathura-Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna and where most of Krishna’s childhood days were spent. Unfortunately, she got infected with meningitis during her trip and breathed her last in Delhi, where she was rushed to, for treatment.

Last year I had made a sketch of a nice lady who is celebrating her 70th birthday later this year. I had taken a photograph from her youthful days and sketched a portrait, as best as I could possibly do at that time. Needless to mention, It had a bunch of mistakes. With practice I may have learned a few things, I thought. So my plan was to make the sketch better and probably closer to the photograph and give it to her as a present for her birthday.

Yesterday, when I worked on the old sketch for some time, I realized that I could not make it look like the photograph. But all was not in waste. Staring back from the sketchbook at me, I saw a strong resemblance of my Mashi. I felt blessed and loved. If Mashi still lived, she would probably have celebrated her 70th birthday on December 25th.

Mashi wherever you are, you are certainly in my heart. Pranamas.
mashi

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Story of Puranjana – I

Once upon a time,  lived a king named Purañjana, who was famous for his great deeds. He had a friend named Avijñata. No one could understand the activities of Avijñata.
King Purañjana had unlimited desires for sense enjoyment.

One day, Puranjana sets out on a journey to search for a suitable place, where all his desires could be fulfilled, leaving his dear friend. Thus he traveled all over the world to find a place to settle down.

After a great deal of traveling, he was getting starting to give up hope.
Finally, while wandering on the southern side of the Himalayas, he came to a city that had nine gates. It was surrounded by walls on all sides. Inside it, there were luxurious facilities. There were towers, mansions, canals, and pipelines. The houses were decorated with domes made of gold, silver, and iron. The floors were made of sapphire, crystal, diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and rubies. The luster of the houses in that city was comparable to the celestial town named Bhogavati. In that city, there were many assembly houses, street crossings, streets, restaurants, gambling houses, markets, resting places, flags, festoons and beautiful parks.

On the outskirts of that city was a lovely grove encircling a lake. Birds and bees were always chanting and humming in the trees. The trees surrounding the lake received moisture carried by the spring air that blew over the streams coming down from the snow-capped mountains. In such luscious and peaceful forest, the animals had become nonviolent and generous like great sages. Consequently, the animals did not attack anyone. Anyone passing by that path was invited by that atmosphere to take rest in that nice garden.

While wandering in that wonderful garden, King Purañjana suddenly noticed a young woman, taking a leisurely stroll. She was followed by ten servants. Each servant had many wives accompanying them. The young woman was protected on all sides by a five-hooded snake.

She looked at Puranjana with big eyes full of curiosity. He became attracted by the arched eyebrows and beautiful smiling face. Purañjana, the hero, was mesmerized by her beauty. Every part of her body was crafted with grace and perfection. Her nose, teeth, and forehead were exquisite. Her ears were equally beautiful and had dazzling earrings. Her long dark hair was flowing down her back. Her waist and hips were very shapely and sensuous. She was dressed in a yellow sari with a golden belt. As she walked, her anklets made a soft chiming sound.

While she walked shyly with a slow cadence, she tried to cover her round and full breasts, with the end of her sari.

She looked exactly like an apsara from the heavens. Puranjana was immediately pierced by the arrows of her lusty desires. He could not help but address her with a smile.

“My dear lotus-eyed, kindly explain where you are from. Who you are? Who are your parents? You seem to be from a respectable family. Why are you here? Why do you have ten servants and a snake as your bodyguard? Are you the goddess of fortune or the wife of Lord Siva or the goddess of learning? Please tell me all about you.”

“Your quick glance and shy smile are evoking the deepest emotions in my heart. I can no longer be at peace until you look at me directly and speak to me. Please have mercy on me. I am Puranjana, a great hero, and a very powerful king. Will you marry me and live in the beautiful city of Bhogavati?”
Purañjana was hardly able to resist himself from touching the girl and
enjoying her. The girl also became attracted by his words and accepted his request by smiling. She was also attracted by the King.
The girl said: O best of human beings, I do not know who my parents are. Nor do I know the names or the origin of the associates with me.
O great hero, we only know that we are existing here. We do not know what ahead of us. Indeed, we are so foolish that we do not care to understand who has created this beautiful place for our residence.
My dear gentleman, all these men, and women with me are known as my friends, and the snake, who always remains awake, protects this city throughout the day and night.
I do not know anything beyond this. I wish you well.  My dear lord, this city of nine gates is for you to enjoy.  I feel very fortunate that you have come here by chance.  All my friends and I shall try our best in all respects to fulfill your desires.

The  two —the man and the woman—supporting one another
through mutual understanding, entered that city and enjoyed life for one hundred years.

True Richness

Paayoji mainye Ram-ratan dhan paayo

I have received true richness in the name of God

Vastu amolik dee meri Sataguru
kirpaa kari apnaayo….

This priceless object was given to me by my Teacher( Satguru),
who has kindly made me his own

Janam janam ki punji payee
jag mein sabhi kho aayo…..

This is the earning of several lives,
losing everything in the world

Kharchai na khutei, chor na lute
din din barhat savayo….

If you spend it, it does not get reduced
No thief can rob it from you
Each day it grows in the midst of everyone

Sat ki naav khevatiya Satguru
bhavsagar tar  aayo….

In the boat of Truth, with the boatman, my Teacher(Satguru)
I have crossed the ocean of life

Meera ke prabhu Giridhar nagar
harakh harakh jas gaayo…….

Meera, the slave of the Lord, Girdhar Nagar(Sree Krishna),
Is singing His glory to each and every one

Blacku

A tiny black worm wriggled out of an opening near the belly of a pregnant black molly. It was a small fry, jet black in color. There were many such tiny fries floating around. He was the last one to come out. His mother looked at him and smiled, “I will name you Blacku.”

Blacku’s big wondering eyes were also black, hardly distinguishable from the rest of his body.  As he swam, He ran into a dozen of his siblings. He smiled and waved his fin at each of them. Right then, someone sprinkled fish food over the 100-gallon tank. All the tank inhabitants got into an eating frenzy. Poor Blacku was surprised at the reaction of his siblings as they were swimming helter-skelter trying to grab a morsel of food.  He was expecting a smile from them or maybe even a “Hi”.  He almost pouted, disappointed. But his curiosity got the better of him.Read more…

Hold on a little longer, dear

Life presents us with puzzles and battles from time to time.
Some are larger than others. When one fights for their life, it takes every ounce of strength and patience to hang in there.
Even as a friend when I hear about these troubles and battles, I can only be amazed at the courage with which they tide over these hurdles as if they were protected by some benevolent force that can make miracles happen on this earth.
In this context, I am reminded of this inspiring song by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan
picturized in the movie Dor(2006). The heart-warming words were strung together by the Hyderabad born Urdu lyricist Mir Ali Hussain and set in tune by music directors Salim Suleman.
Here is my humble attempt at translation (in English):
At this point, relationships, faith, love, and self-confidence
Have all retracted their hands,
I believed that I was holding onto the land
But my unfolded palm had nothing but ashes
Why is my heart crowded with voices,
Why is my faith withering away,
Why is this thread at its breaking point?
How will this courage give up,
How will this desire ever stop,
Even if the destination is hard to reach
Even if the shore is not visible, clearly
Even though this heart is very lonely?
If the path is strewn with thorns,
One has to still, trudge along over it
Though a dark evening hides the Sun,
That long night will finally end
This season of hardship will change
Grit will win with flying colors
And welcome a new dawn!
If God is kind to me
Even the scorching sun will provide me shade
It is my only prayer to Him
That my goal comes to embrace me
May I dare hundred times
May every promise be upheld
May every love stay alive!

रिश्ते भरोसे चाहत यकीन
उन सबका दामन अब चाक है
समझे थे हाथों में है ज़मीन
मुट्ठी जो खोली बस ख़ाक है
दिल में ये शोर है क्यों
ईमान कमज़ोर है क्यों
नाज़ुक ये डोर है क्यों?
Rishtey bharose chahat yakein
Un sabka daaman ab chaak hain 
Samjhe they hathon mein hain zameen
Mutthi jo kholi bus khaak hain 
Dil mein yeh shor hain kyon
Imaan kamzor hain kyon
Nazuk yeh dor hain kyon? hooo..
ये हौंसला कैसे झुके,
ये आरज़ू कैसे रुके
मंजिल मुश्किल तो क्या
धुंधला साहिल तो क्या
तनहा ये दिल तो क्या
Yeh honsla kaise jhuke,
Yeh aarzoo kaise ruke
Manzil mushkil to kya
Dhundhla saahil To kya
Tanha yeh dil To kya..hoo
राह पे कांटे बिखरे अगर
उसपे तो फिर भी चलना ही है
शाम छुपाले सूरज मगर
रात को एक दिन ढलना ही है
रुत ये टल जाएगी
हिम्मत रंग लाएगी
सुबह फिर आएगी
Raah pe kaante bikhre agar
us pe to phir bhi chalna hi hain
Shaam chupa le sooraj magar
Raat ko ek din dhalna hi hain
Rut yeh tal jayegi
Himmat rang layegi
Subah phir aayegi
होगी हमें जो रहमत अत्ता
धुप कटेगी साये तले
अपनी खुदा से है ये दुआ
मंजिल लगा ले हमको गले
जुर्रत सौ बार रहे
ऊँचा इकरार रहे,
जिंदा हर प्यार रहे
Hogi hume jo rehmat Atta
Dhoop kategi saaye tale
Apni khuda se hain yeh duaa
Manzil laga le humko gale
Zurrat sau baar rahe
Uncha ikraar rahe
Zinda har pyaar rahe…hooo

 

Teaching

This is borrowed from the teachings of Anandamayee Ma.

Just like the seed is the proof of the tree inherent in it and the full grown tree the proof of the seed….

So is the relationship between jivatma, the soul and paramatma, the Super soul.

প্রকৃত বন্ধু

dighi3

দীঘির জল করে টলমল
চোখের পাতায় অশ্রুবিন্দু
হুহু মন করে ক্রন্দন
সমুখে তার করুণাসিন্ধু

dighi1

রূঢ় বাক্যবাণ ক্ষতবিক্ষত প্রাণ
মন্দ বাতাস নরম প্রলেপ
দ্রুত পদক্ষেপ দৃষ্টি নিক্ষেপ
নিবিড় ছায়ায় স্নেহের লেপ

dighi4

দীঘির পাড় শোনে হাহাকার
মিষ্টি পাতার গান শোনায়
মনের ভার করে উজাড়
নতুন আশায় প্রাণ ভরায়ে

dighi2

অপূর্ণ বিন্দুতে পূর্ণ সিন্ধু
দীনদুঃখীর পরম আশ্রয়
চরণে লুটিয়ে করিনু প্রণাম
চিরবন্ধু হে করুণাময় ||

dighi5