Exchanging Notes

The house is unusually quite because 1 is down.

Adi is out of town.

Ari and I are having a fun game that he started about 1/2 hr back.
We are exchanging notes on lil post it notes.
He is using my desk as the postbox to deliver notes to me.
He has asked me to use one of the stair railings as the postbox to deliver notes to him.

I love this game of exchanging jokes, puzzles and love notes.
These are the kind of games that keep me young.

Kumar is yelling for us to “stop it” and focus on our work.

Meanwhile, I have this big pile of notes that Ari would like me to continue writing back and forth on.

I wonder what he will say in the next note, and the one after that and one after that…..

The Story of Krishna and Sudama

 

The story goes like this – Sudama brought Lord Krishna some aval/pooha (beaten rice) who accepted both Sudama and the aval offering with all his heart.

I asked my resident Lil Krishna (who happens to share Rohini Nakashatra with Lord Krishna himself) what he wants for this 15th birthday lunch.

He said – “Can you make some aval upma Amma?”.

So, that is what I did.

And, just like Lord Krishna, Lil Krishna accepted it with all his heart.

While He is Away

It has been one heck of a week.
Between Kumar’s travel and mine, the boys schedule and my schedule, it truly has been one of those weeks that I am glad is over.

I knew what he must have done.
He must have rushed to the airport earlier today and cajoled the airline representative to put him on an earlier flight.
They most probably said “No”.
He possibly slumped back with disappointment on one of those uncomfortable airport seats and waited for his flight to board.

While this happened, I wrapped up my day and rushed to pick up the boys and to ensure Adi doesn’t wait outside anywhere in the cold after being dropped off by the bus.

I can almost here his foot step.
I can almost hear his voice – “Yenna da….Ammava padathaneengala”.
(Loose translation in English: Boys – Did you trouble your mom while I was away?)

The boys and I wait for our hero to show up at the door step.

On Soaking in a Summer Day

Today, the boys and I headed out to a spring and natural water pool.
It was a long drive.
It was also a hot day.

When we reached our destination, the beautiful sight of bluish green water awaited us.
I walked down to the natural pool.
Under the rich green trees and blue water, the sun didn’t seem that hot.

I know only a tad bit of swimming.
I waded in the water.
Then, when I got to deeper part, Shakthi offered to ferry me across the water so I can stand under the water fall.
I took up his offer and rided on his shoulders to the other side of the pool.
Several people gave them their hand and offered to lift me off the water and up the rocks.
I gladly took their hands.

Then, I climbed up on the rocks and found my way to where the water came pouring down.
I placed myself under the pounding cascade of the cold waterfall.
I soaked in the water fall.

I turned around and gazed at the beautiful natural pool.
I looked at the tropical-looking greenery.

I let the water flow against my body and nourish by mind and soul.

I soaked in the water and the summer day.

Misogi – is a Shinto purification ritual of standing under a waterfall.

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krause_Springs

The VibHuti – The story behind the white streak on my forehead

In many cultures across the globe, ash has a special spiritual meaning.

VibHuti (or Holy Ash), also called Thiruneeru or Vibhooti, is a word that has several meanings in Hinduism. Generally, it is used to denote the sacred ash which is made of burnt dried wood in prayer ceremonies.

Appa, Amma or Thatha would put VibHuti on my forehead when I was a child. Several elders in the family would also put VibHuti on my forehead as they blessed me during festivals. I also got Vibhuti when I visited temples.

To carry the practice forward, I put VibHuti on the boys forehead.

I am not very religious. So, as the grown up me puts on Vibhuti on myself, it is a reminder of how fickle existence is as we know it is. It is a reminder to me not to take anything too damn seriously. It is a reminder that I’ll return to the dust one day.

Because I went to Catholic schools where the nuns taught me, I am alsofamilar with Ash Wednesday
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7).

“In Life, Hinduism asserts, that one should be humble and remember his status, that is of his Mortality.

Accepting Mortality wholeheartedly calls for great effort, and once you accept this, you would not behave in such a way that hurts others.

Because the Vibhuti represents the Ashes one’s Body is turned into after death, the applying of Vibhuti reminds one constantly of his mortality.”
Source: https://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/what-is-vibhutithe-holy-sacred-ash/

Learn more:

http://www.indianmirror.com/culture/indian-folklore/Holy-Ash.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibhuti
http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/incense/vibhuti
http://www.saibabaofindia.com/significanceofvibhuti.htm
http://shaivam.org/campaigns-of-shaivite/making-of-vibhuthi