Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Ganesha! Ganesh Chaturthi in India!

Yesterday was September 9th here in India and it was also Ganesh's Birthday!

It was hard not to take notice as well.

Everywhere you looked there were festivities...
and many, Many Ganesh Statues for sale, as well as statues of Ganesh's mother, Parvati.

Walking down the street, you could hear people inside their homes chanting and performing Pujas as well. Lights were twinkling inside windows and everyone was dressed in their finest clothing.

We were invited to two pujas.

One was at noon at our landlords home..
and they had a big elaborate Ganesh statue. Painted in the bright pastel colors and decorated with flowers Galore! This Ganesh statue is one that is not bio-degradable. When placed in the river it will not be good for the environment as the paints they use are toxic and the statue has a hard time, and longer time in breaking down as well.

The Ganesh was decorated with rice, fruit, and sweets...especially Laddu's, as those are Ganesh's Favorite sweets! The whole room was in fact for Ganesh on this Very special day!

The front gate to our home was decorated with flowers and  a big chalk, pastel Rangoli design was on the ground in front of the gate.

Actually Ganesha is my Favorite God of India and we have a few things in common as a matter of fact.

First off, he is a Virgo like me and we share the same birth month.
Second, he loves sweets, like me..although my favorite sweet here in India is Mysore Pak though I am swearing it off since I have found a suitable, healthier replacement from my friend Pava at his shop "The Green House".

The pujas I attended were both quite different.
One was loud and quite elaborate in d├ęcor and presentation.
Chanting was quite robust and fists were pushed into the air shouting "Jai" "Jai" "Jai"!
Bangles were given and sweets and fruits were distributed to those in attendance.
Afterwards a tiffin of food was delivered to our door...
quite the celebration indeed!

The second puja was at 5:00 in the evening and was hosted by our dear friends Meena and Mahesh of "The Silver Nest" here in Gokulam.

Upon arriving the atmosphere was calm and serene and there were a few of the yogis sitting on cloths placed on the floor in front of Ganesh and his mother~

The sun was shining so auspiciously in the window just behind Ganesha and it was Pure Magic the feeling I got just walking in and seeing it all..
It brought tears to my eyes.

The Ganesh and Pavarti statues at Meenas were made of clay. These are the bio-degradable ones that will break down easily once placed in the river. No harmful paints are used and thus no fish and the environment is not affected in any way.
They were rather sweet, and the eyes were painted on so pretty. I loved them.

Mahesh was getting Laddus at the sweets shop so he was on his way as we arrived.
Meena put on a Ganesh Mantra and we all sat around relaxed and in a meditative mood listening to her chant along...it was super sweet...

soon Mahesh returned and the puja began....
it was calm and sweet and so very perfect in every way...

Meena started by lighting the camphor and placed it on a silver tray. Each one of us got our turn in taking the tray with the lit camphor and circling Ganesha three times. Then we were given a palm full of flower petals and rice
they were tossed onto each statue of Ganesh and his mother and then we said a prayer to Ganesh afterwards.
I couldn't help but cry because I realized that this would be my last Ganesh Chaturthi here in India..and it was so special for me and so important to me.

I savored every moment.

Meena had prepared dinner and CHAI! Oh..and Ganesh shared his Laddus with us as well!!

It was a Very special puja and it left me so relaxed and at peace that after I got home and took my bucket bath I drifted right off to sleep immediately.

Oh, India...how I will Miss You!!!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Things that matter...

Well, as far as updates go, our time here has been simply spectacular of course.
But we gave our notice here where were living and Literally within hours our place had been rented out by new tenants!

Things happen that fast here in this wonderful little town of Gokulam.

So as we look forward to returning to our home in Sonoma County as planned in November we are so excited to be reunited with our little girl whom we regretfully had to leave Months ago...
I can't even Imagine her face when she sees us again!!!

We will go back to our life in the states and start over yet Once again....

It's truly been a roller coaster of a ride and we will be quite happy to jump off that ride in about 12 weeks time. Because it's been constant turmoil being here and then getting distressing news from home.
If I could snap my fingers and be back today, I would. Because some things are more important than others and this one surely is.
I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I will leave you with some pictures until the time we go on our little week getaway to Thailand and then I begin my little month long event soon in October!

on my walk to morning Yoga practice....

these cute little goats were playing so sweet with each other just as I turned up the street to the Yoga shala....

and a Fantastic lunch at Janakis in Mysore.
I had always heard about this little gem, but never had gone until a good friend came into town and we met there for lunch.
Now it is one of our Ultimate Favorite places to go and eat!!

So until Thailand....