A family on the road to self discovery
 

Rani Gumpha, Ganesha Gumpha and other caves of Udayagiri, Orissa

(In the previous article, you have read how Jaishree’s curiosity to know more about the Udayagiri Cave Complex forced Emperor Kharavela to come out and take her to the guided tour of the complex)

Jaishree – From Elephant Cave, we move towards a series of caves. There are rudimentary shelves cut into these caves. The shape of these shelves reflect that probably the monks and used those shelves to pile their sacred scriptures (on palm leaves).The only luxury I notice in these caves is the slightly raised floor towards the rear to give the comfort of a pillow. Even that might not be for a comfort but to avoid any accumulation of rain water in the cells. Some shelves are there in the walls of the verendah, probably to keep the other necessary personal things. There are stone hinges that serve the dual purpose of a curtain rod holders and also helpe in transmitting load of roofs on the pillar. Interiors of most of these caves is stark and plain, only in some caves the outer facade and brackets have carved ornamentation. Most of the caves in this complex consists of a row of cells that open either directly to a verendah or to the open spaces in front. Most of them are single storey, but there are double storey caves as well.

Cave Complex of Udayagiri, Odisha

Cave Complex of Udayagiri, Odisha


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Caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri – a guided tour with the Emperor Kharavela

I see a young woman (young! well if the adjective does not reflect her age, it definitely reflects her spirit and desire to know more) completely lost while visiting my offering to the world – the famous cave complex of Udayagiri and Khandagiri.

This cave complex is situated around six kilometer west of Bhubaneswar. I live here, this is my abode. I pass my time, observing tourists visiting the complex, their behavior. I secretly listen what they are talking about. No, I am not interested in lover’s sweet talk, their tiff, discussions among numerous family picnickers. I am more interested in scholars visiting the caves and genuine tourists who want to know about these caves.

I notice this lady rejecting the services of a guide at the entrance of the cave and deciding to explore the caves on her own; then I saw her repenting her decision of not hiring the guide as she is unable to make out anything on her own.

Udayagiri Cave Complex, Odisha

Udayagiri Cave Complex, Odisha


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Sacred Groves of Meghalaya

Redefine green.

Redefine green.

“Mumma! Can we take this Basket to our home and plant it there? It will not take much space and we will play ‘basket leaf’ there.”

“No dear. It is a sacred forest. You are not allowed to take anything outside; not even a dried twig, not a single dried leaf,nothing at all that belongs to this forest. But you can play for some more time.”
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The Moroccan Girl

Smartly dressed beautiful air-hostess was bubbling with energy. It was eleven pm flight. Her pleasant merriness was conspicuous. A smile on an air-hostess’ face is a must, however at such odd hours frailties of human bodies start to take precedence, the smiling facade disappears as soon as the eye contact is lost. Nothing to complain! Every job has its own weird demands and we all are human beings. This was not the case with her, she seemed to be really happy to be on that flight.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways


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Thousand Petaled Lotus in Ranakpur Temple

“Come said the muse,
sing me a song no poet has yet chanted,
Sing me the universal.

In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed of perfection.

By every life a share or more or less,
None born but it is born, conceal’d or unconcealed the seed is.”

Walt Whitman

Lotus – the principal seat of many Jain, Hindu and Buddhist deities.

Lotus in Varkala, Kerala

Lotus in Varkala, Kerala


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The story of Lord Parshvanatha

In the previous article, I have not talked about the fourth plaque in the temple of Ranakpur as I wanted to share the story of Lord Parshvanath with a discussion on the plaque. Among the twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras, the historians agree that the Lord Parshvanath and the Lord Mahaveer are the two with real historical evidences. Lord Parshvanath is believed to have preceded Mahaveer by about two-hundred and fifty years. At the time of Lord Mahaveer there was a line of Lord Parshvanth’s spiritual followers led by Muni Keshi Kumar. It is documented in Jain books that Muni Keshi Kumar met Gandhar Gautam, the chief disciple of Lord Mahaveer and they had discussions on the spiritual quest and differences between the two set of followers. The answers of Muni Gandhar Gautam convinced Muni Keshi Kumar and he accepted Lord Mahaveer as twenty-fourth Tirthankara and the two groups merged.

A window in Ranakpur Temple

A window in Ranakpur Temple


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