A journey to Sri Lanka again-III

April 15, 2013

The foremost objective of visiting Nuara Eliya was to go to Seeta Eliya. Just a few kilometers before Nuara Eliya, is a temple dedicated to Lord Rama, his consort Sita and the mighty Hanuman. We visited ‘Panchvati’, a beautiful garden on a hillock where Ravana captured Sita and kept her in custody. He made this garden extremely beautiful to seduce Sita in order to win her heart. ‘Panchvati’ as decribed in the epic ‘Ramayana’ should have been very beautiful as they say because Nuara Eliya as it is today, is such a breathtaking place and the climate is so wonderful. So it looks true that Ravana’s intention of keeping Sita in this far off place was manifold and the garden in which she was withheld must have been extremely beautiful with pretty flowers, waterfalls, streams and cool breeze….

Anyhow, it was mighty Hanuman who went there secretly in search of Sita and had found her in captivity. He then, with great relief informed Lord Rama that atlast they had found Mother Sita in a very beautiful garden called ‘Panchvati’ captured by the demon Ravana. Those readers who are unfamiliar please know that this story is from the great Indian epic ‘Ramayana’. We went to see the temple erected at the site of the stream where Sita used to bathe. It is a very basic temple made by Indians.

We begin with a  few pictures of this temple in this photo gallery.

Panchvati in Seeta Eliya

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Paintings depicting Ramayana on the walls of the temple.

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They say that these huge footprints are those of Lord Hanuman. I went upto that place and compared my foot with the giant size of the foot of Hanuman! The yellow markings around the huge holes are the footprints of Hanuman when he stepped on these rocks  to gain entry into Panchvati- as the story goes.

We leave Nuara Eliya.

Because of temperate climate, it is favourable for all types of vegetation to grow in abundance. Large amounts of vegetables are grown here and supplied to other cities. Fresh veggies for travellers to buy and take home!

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Tea gardens occupy kilometers and kilometers and almost all slopes of small mountains and provide tons of fresh air in the atmosphere in return. I still remember the clean and fresh air that prevailed there. Most of Sri Lanka’s tea is produced here.

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Tea Factory

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Chamomile growing in the tea factory. Chamomile tea is an excellent antidepressent and antioxidant.

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Of this and that….

Turtle Conservation Centre

Green turtle and Ridley Turtles.

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The previous ones are pictures of just four days old and four weeks old turtles respectively.  Their eggs are protected by the conservationists in this sanctuary.This turtle is an adult one and many such turtles are rescued from the sea if they are in a crisis and if their bodies mangled by trawlers. They are taken care of by the caretakers inside. The others which are hatched here are nurtured and left in the sea at the right time with the help of the fishermen to live in their natural environment finally.

Adult turtle

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Masks Museum

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With this image, we are finishing the whole series of the picture gallery of Sri Lanka toured by me between 26th March to 4th April’13. Indeed it was a long trip but so much has been benefitted, innumerable insights received and deep learnings have been bestowed by Param Guru Shri Mahavatar Babaji. I seek his blessings for all of us who read this blog with love and devotion towards God and also from the many sages and divine souls who are guiding all of us silently in our endeavours.

It is very important that we grow everyday in Spirit and become holy so that we can one day have communion with the Silent Spectator and our beloved sweetheart. The more we grow that love for Him inside, the more we liberate ourselves from all the sufferings that we have created for ourselves by forgetting the Divine Presence in us.

The aim of showcasing these pictures was not what it is normally meant to be. The approach has been very different. I just wanted to tell all the devotees of the many Sadgurus and Mahatmas who are following some daily practices all over the world that remember  it is very important to take care of ourselves by not getting lost in this Maya. It  is essential that we take charge of our lives and with our own hard efforts release ourselves from the lack of wisdom and Divine Light and learn to live each day in Divine ecstasy and deep love for God. The mentor and our Gurus will make us do all the difficult tasks to accomplish the higher goals of spiritual life. We will be given rough and tough lessons to do but the merciful God will also show us his Creation called the world even if we have no desire of it. If we roam in this world with holding the unseen, silent hand of God, we will never get drowned in the delusion or deception caused by our own ignorance.

The section’Of this and that’ is exactly that. With merciful God’s kindness, we got to see so many things in Sri Lanka unexpectedly as if it was preplanned and we did not know about it before. Whether it were the hotels or the people or the driver, everything was so good, right and perfect. Everything was carried out so smoothly because the power behind all the planning and organizing was from the Higher Sources.

With my heart so full of thanks and loving gratitude, I thank God, Shri Mahavatar Babaji, other saints and endearing angels as well as all the people who have made this tour so successful. The pictures are mere documentation of a very extraordinary trip that I made and will be retold to myself from time to time in future……

Thanks for watching this photo showcase my dear friends……….


A journey to Sri Lanka again-II

April 15, 2013

On the way to Katargama we drove down towards South Sri Lanka on the eastern coast and saw the very clean and beautiful seaside. With the favour of the driver, we quickly got down and went near the waves. The rising and falling of the waves was mesmerizing and even energising. We could have spent some more time there had it not been for our tightly packed schedule.

The first few pictures are of that seashore, the rising and falling of the waves taking the prominent place in them.

A lot of destruction took place when there was tsunami attack on this tiny island some years back. A memorial is now made in memory of those people who lost their lives and homes on this seashore.

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Memorial for tsunami victims on our way to Galle.

We halt at Galle- the ancient port city rebuilt by the Portuguese in 16th century. The whole place gives a very Mediterrean feel and look. It is a fortified city, well preserved and is a World Heritage site. Those who wish to visit this place in Sri Lanka, please remember this that it is extremely hot and humid and the Sun is just unbearable. So do take your umbrellas, hats and sunscreens for sure.

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These two huge canopies combine to make a beautiful natural umbrella providing shade and coolness to the tourists who flock here to see the magnificent sea.

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Post office?

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Justice of peace and Unofficial Magistrate??

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An amicable blend of old and new exists in this fort city.

Next- Nuara Eliya means ‘a city of lights’. It is hill city above 6,ooo ft altitude. It is the most important place for tea production in Sri Lanka. We visited in the season of flowers and I am still filled with nostalgia at the varieties of flowers that were grown inside the hotel garden. The garden reminded us of ‘Alice in wonderland’ story and fairy tales themes. Many buildings in Nuara Eliya are from the colonial past and we stayed in one such hotel to enjoy the picturesque landscapes within and outside.

This exotic picture is the first one that I took when we were about to reach Nuara Eliya.The name of the water falls was Rawana Waterfalls, Ravana from the epic ‘Ramayana’. The water that is falling is not of fresh rains but from inside the mountains itself. More about ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Panchvati’ in next post.

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Rules of the land are followed in Sri Lanka. We are not allowed to pluck flowers anywhere so in all places in the hill city we witnessed this phenomenon -whether small or big or any indescript or prominent home, every house had flowers growing at the entrance, even if the house was bang on the road side! Last season’s seeds were also germinating on the ground and therefore Nuara Eliya was blooming with faint smells of attractive, colorful flowers and conglomerating bunch of flowers.

Flowers blooming everywhere on the road side

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The colonial place, our short stay, was straight from an old English fairy tale book……

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The next post will have pictures of ‘Panchvati, tea garden and miscellenous images. Nuwara Eliya had maximum to offer and time was short. One should go and stay there for a few days as this is the most perfect hill station. It will sometimes remind you of Mussorie, sometimes Dal Lake in Kashmir, sometime Dalhousie,, sometimes Shimla and sometimes splendid Switzerland!!!!

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder they say!!!!!

( To be concluded……

In next post, pictures of ‘Panchvati’, tea garden, turtle conservation and Masks Museum.)


A journey to Sri Lanka again-I

April 15, 2013

Sri Lanka was once joined with India and was integrated millions of years ago. The impact of sudden earthquakes disconnected the two parts and now it is an independent island.

Even today there are many similarities, unanimity and cohesion as far as language, food and culture is concerned. The people are warm, cordial, humble and helpful. They consider India as the Mother country and Sri Lanka as the son. This is also because their main religion is Buddhism.  Lord Buddha was born in India and it was King Ashoka who took Buddhism to Sri Lanka in his determinations and pursuance of penance after the Kalinga war. They are still connected and welcome us generously. However, this is modern history.

During ancient times some millions of years ago, it is said that Lord Shiva asked his second son Kartikeya, to do spiritual progression by doing Sudarshan Kriya in the thick jungles of least inhabited Lanka. At that time the south of Sri Lanka was full of fierce animals and thick vegetation. To provide complete uninterrupted silence and quietude, that place was ideal for a serious yogi. So Kartikeya came from North India and did ‘tapas’ or hard spiritual practices in the southern area called Katargama. The original name was ‘Kartikgrama’, which means the village of Kartik. There was a river flowing by which is today’s Manik Ganga thus adding serenity around and the place was completely cut off from the villages.

Kartikeya did meditation under the cool shade of the canopy of old trees and fasted many days to enhance his divine powers. When his attempts were successful, he completed his days of vow, broke his silence and offered all the fruits of his deeds to God.

Less than two thousand years ago, Mahavatar Babaji was also asked to go to the same place to do spiritual progress by God when he was a teenager, read- The manifestation of our soul-I to know more about this place. Like Shri Kartikeya, Mahavatar Babaji also donated all the rewards back in the lap of God and only asked that the rewards of his ‘tapas’ should be for other aspiring spiritual aspirants. Hence, my sole aim of going again to Sri Lanka was to benefit from that place where these two spiritual giants had meditated under tough geographical and climatic conditions. There are many other unknown seers, yogis, saints, and philosphers who must have made that place holier by their own pious deeds. They have made it easier for today’s yogis if they have forbearance and tolerance to go there and sit calmly to absorb all the prevailing dynamic spiritual wavelengths and vibrations embedded in the atmosphere.

Before I left for Sri Lanka, Mahavatar Babaji explained to me that there are three levels of ‘tapasya’ or progression that a yogi can pursue and attain. They are-  tapasya, ghor tapasya and finally mahaghor tapasya. They are increasing degrees of hardships and forbearance that a ascending yogi undergoes to attain the highest levels of God realizations. Mahavatar Babaji did ‘mahaghor tapasya’ or highest level of hardships and endurance undertaken to achieve the ultimate spiritual realizations in Katargama in Sri Lanka. So by now this must be evident to you  that my sole purpose of going to Sri Lanka was to enhance my own spiritual progress by availing the divine atmosphere still permeating it.

Nonetheless, we stopped in various places to do sightseeing before we could reach Katargama. Colombo was one such place. We visited Ganga Ramaiyya temple and adjoining  Seema Malaka temple on a lake.  A few pictures are uploaded for all  to see and appreciate their grace, benignity and beauty.

Ganga Ramaiyya temple, Colombo

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Ganga Ramaiyya temple is a palace converted into a temple. It also has a museum, a Buddhist school and a library. Many priceless gifts are donated by many devotees in this today’s Vihara, museum and library. In spite of seeing countless expensive and rare artifacts in the museum, a deep sense of detachment prevailed over me. After all what is it that is in the Soul of a realized Buddha that we find all these things worth relinquishing? Why do we pursue Him? Maybe for Peace? Ultimately, we find the value of any object worthless if compared to the priceless and most sought after love- Love for God. Isn’t craving for God far superior than any of worldly things? Why did the seers and sages advise detachment and contentment? What is it that I will take with me once I am done here? I was just ruminating…….Buddham sharanam gachami….  I take the refuge of Lord Buddha was resounding in the atmosphere of the Vihara or ex- palace and musuem of today in Colombo.

Amidst the hustle bustle of the city, a tranquil lake takes you by complete surprise. Seema Malaka temple is built on Beira lake and has an old Bo Tree. It is surrounded by many fine trees and water birds perching on them or in the quiet waters. We visited it at sunset time and the environment was very calming. Modern high rise buildings blend well with the Oriental and traditional ones.

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The city at night around Berai Lake, reminded me of an oil painting!

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To be continued…..