The Heat is On
Last year it didn't get oppressively hot until the middle of April, but this year the heat arrived much earlier. It's remarkably difficult to move around after 9am, if not dangerous. Add to this the crowds generated by the Kumbha Mela, and irritation levels are creeping up. At least, mine are. Indians seem to be genetically immune from irritation.
Today there are 3 lakhs of people in Ram Jhulla. Three lakhs! I don't know how much a lakh is, but it sure sounds like a lot!
The only fantastic thing about this time of year are the fruits, specifically the abundance of fresh, juicy papayas. Who can realistically deny the existence of God when we are blessed with such divine delights?? I eat at least one a day. Also, pomegranates. They're like juicy red brains. Mangoes are also clearly God-given, but they won't get here until after I chelo..
That is, on the 24th of April I'll be escaping the heat and returning to that lovely country called Deutschland. But then I have some unexpected business to attend to in Sunny So-Cal, so it's back to the homeland just in time for my mama's birthday on the 12th of May. Can't wait to see everyone!!
Wonder of Wonders
Several days ago I was targeted by a bull in the street, and in my eagerness to avoid getting punctured by its horns, I was run over by a passing jeep.
The first remarkable thing about this event is the simple fact that it didn't happen sooner, I mean, getting squished between agitated bulls and reckless vehicles is a regular occurrence here in the Kesh.
The second remarkable thing is that I managed to hobble away from the scene without any severe injuries. That is, my left foot and ankle were bruised and slightly swollen, but nothing was actually broken. I feel like Gumby, thanks to the team of guardian angels who keep me well-protected. Apparently they have some plan for me that requires my continued existence..
Speaking of wonders, it occurred to me recently that I haven't been sick since the 23rd of January. That's more than two months! If this is not a miracle, I don't know what is.. Maybe it's the daily meditation?
Can't Make This Sh*t Up!
As I write this, hoards of Indian worker bees are busy constructing a cement helipad (helicpoter landing place) directly in front of Ved Niketan Ashram.
Yes, a helipad. Why? Because the Dalai Lama needs a place to land on Saturday.
All this time I've made excuses to avoid going to Dharamsala - the Dalai Lama's home in exile - and now he's coming to us. As a traveller who doesn't actually like to travel, Rishikesh is the perfect place for me to live. Living here means I don't need to travel, because the best people from all around the world come to me...even, it turns out, the Dalai Lama!
Does it get any better than this?
The Divine Plan Unfolds
Turns out I'm getting married in San Diego on the 22nd of May, as decreed by the Gods.
I assure you that I'm as shocked about it as you are, but when something is meant to be there can be no denying it. My future husband's arrival in my life is nothing less than clear confirmation from God that I am on the right path, I am destined for much more and, together with this incredible man, we will get there.
again, I have everything I need for my continued spiritual evolution, and I am no doubt the happiest woman alive..
God is great!
For those of you in the San Diego area, the event will take place on the beach in San Clemente, and everyone is more than welcome to join the celebration. No heels or nylons are allowed, and don't forget to bring your musical instruments! And send an RSVP to email@example.com or my mama will lose her sunny disposition..
Last But Not Least..
These last months have been unbelievable in many ways, a time in my life I will never forget, the beginning of the rest of my life. And as if to commemorate this "re-birth," I have been given a new Indian name. It just sort of came to me, and to be honest, I didn't really like it that much. But when those key people around me said it was a good one, it finally started to grow on me.
I am now Mohini, which has a number of meanings depending on who you ask. But the official story is that when the Gods were fighting the demons over a pot of nectar that would give immortality ("pot" in Hindi is "Kumbha"), Lord Vishnu changed himself into an enchantress - Mohini - to try to lure the demons away. She is known as irresistible and full of joy. I imagine that my reputation for smiles, laughter and for looking "same like Indian" helps explain why the name has been deemed appropriate.
On a side note, when the Gods and the demons were fighting over the precious pot of nectar, some drops were spilled. Haridwar is one of the four places in India where it landed, and that is why it has been designated as a holy place, as well as one of the four locations of the Kumbha Mela..
So there you have it...Maria Mohini is born. She's not so bad, this Mohini. I'm starting to really like her.
Hari om namah Shivaya!!!!
Lola Bites Back: And Other Inspirational Tidbits
- Name: Lola Bites Back
- Location: Bissingen an der Teck, Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany
Laughing all the way...
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Heat is On
Monday, March 15, 2010
कुम्भ मेला 2010
Are you ready for this? Today is a holiday! A quadruply auspicious one, called Somvati Amavasya. It's one of the eleven bathing days during the Kumbha Mela, and it's a major one.. hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Indians have flooded the area, and they all seem to want a photo..
Not only is there no moon today (already a traditionally auspicious occasion), but for the first time in 740 years, the sun and the moon are occupying the same zodiac sign. And, it's Monday, which is Shiva day, and this is a Shiva town. And it's Maha Kumbha Mela. And..well, every day is a holiday, of course.
. . . . .
Some people need a coffee or a cigarette to help them pass a bowel movement, but for me the telephone works best. So for many years I have had the habit of talking on the telephone while using the toilet (to the dismay of some).
Earlier this week I was doing just this, chatting away with my dear grandmother in the toilet at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, when the unthinkable happened; my mobile slipped from my hands and was mercilessly swallowed up by the revolting sewage system under Ram Jhulla.
Once again it's easy come, easy go. My reaction? I laughed myself silly, of course. Then I got a new one. And this time my mobile number has lots of sevens, so I imagine it was a good thing in the end..
The Divine Play Called Lila
Anything can and does happen at any time here in the Kesh. Last Sunday evening I had just stepped into the main street of Lakshman Jhulla when a jeep full of locals appeared from nowhere and stopped directly in front of me. Did I want to join them for an elephant safari? But, yes!
Wild elephants roam the hills above Ram Jhulla, as evidenced by the fresh elephant poops dotting the area. As we cruised along the dark, twisting mountain roads, laughing and joking with the music turned up, I had a moment of nostalgia for the shenanigans of my high school days. And even though we didn't get to see any wild elephants, we did see five rabbits, two wild dogs, a raccoon-looking creature and one fresh elephant poop. All in all I'd say it was a rather successful safari adventure.
My days of sewa (service) at Ved Niketan continue and the irony is unmistakable; seven years ago I was running around like a maniac in "service" to The Honorable Congressman Bob Filner (Hi Bob!), and today I am doing nearly the same tasks, at the same speed, for my dear Swamiji. Politics is politics, only this time there are no pantyhose and no cocktail parties..
There are more than a few similarities between Bob and Swamiji. Both have a somewhat grumpy disposition, both dislike socialising with people and both are fond of sweets, among other things. When Swamiji scolds me, I have flashbacks to my days with Bob ("Don't kiss Victor Carillo! Get information from him!") All that time I thought my political work was a misdirected enterprise, but today I see that my skills of discretion and diplomacy are turning out to quite useful.
Since last week, Operation Bring Swamiji To America has been in full swing, and now that the terms of agreement have been successfully negotiated, all that remains is the footwork, not the least of which is the visa application process. Soon I will accompany Swamiji to Delhi for a one-on-one with the folks at the US Embassy, and with a little help from God, the visa will be granted and Swamiji will be heading to Denver, Colorado, hopefully in April.
And I will be released - at least temporarily - from my service, free to return to Deutschland to pursue the next exciting chapter in my life...!
And should any of my friends or family in the San Diego area be interested, Swamiji will be making a side trip to Encinitas to meet with Dayamata, the current head of the Self-Realization Fellowship (the ashram founded by Parmahansa Yogananda), and I'm quite sure a meeting can be arranged...
. . . . .
That's all the musing I can muster for now, dear friends. Spring is here, and that means all the many creatures of the world are emerging once again. Already I have a number of new roommates, and at the moment a tiny mouse is roaming around under my table...let the fun begin!
Sending my love and best wishes to all,
Until next time...Om Narayana,