Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lesson 9 - A Perfect Blessed Begenning

First destination of the first day of my journey was a village called Jagat Sukh, 6 kms away from Manali. As the name suggests, there was peace all around. This place was the previous capital of Kullu. The place has a Shiva temple behind which there is another temple called Gayatri temple. Statues in these temples are said to be placed at the time of Pandavas. Awesome woodwork, unmatchable artwork. The Pandits of both the temples were very affectionate people. The Pandit in the Shiva temple could speak fluent English & his 80 yr old mother too had a good vocabulary. When I first saw him, he was delivering a lecture on mythology & history related to the temples to a group of foreign tourists.

Gayatri temple is taken care of by a middle aged widow who is a Kashmiri pandit. She made me do a very brief puja to cleanse my sins. But I don’t really believe that such a brief puja could cleanse my dirty soul. She blessed me well with a very rare truthful smile. An extremely affectionate experience.

My next destination was the village of Vashisht named after sage Vashisht. 3kms away from Manali, this place is famous for a hot sulphur spring inside the Vashisht temple & a Ram Mandir which is opposite to Vashisht temple. Though I have been to Vashisht temple twice but somehow could not enter. I could never comprehend why but I simply could not enter. So unfortunately have nothing to tell about this place.

I went to Ram Mandir instead which was another lovely experience. There I met a wise man C L Acharya Ji, the pandit & care taker of the temple. Educated, 68 yr old man with good health, creamy hair & lots of enthusiasm. Sat beside him for sometime. His only daughter lives in my city; this probably brought him closer to me. He started treating me as his long lost daughter. We exchanged addresses & he promised to meet me & my family when he visits his daughter next time. He was curious to know about other places I have been to. His age could not kill the traveller in him. He has been fond of travelling all his life & he still wanted to go to places he has never been to. What a SPIRIT! I must say.

In less than two hours, I had met four interesting religious people. Full of affection, purity & life. They were all old people but there was one more thing common in them. Even after so many years, they simply loved their jobs. I wish me & my friends could feel the same when we grow old

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