A Travellerspoint blog

February 2013

Lost in the Forest with a Wooden Flute

Lord Krishna

sunny 83 °F

Most people here associate with one god or another. Deep down - I know I would follow Lord Krishna.
His passion for the flute, his steadfast bull Nandi, and his affinity towards women. It all falls into place.
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Posted by Fabian1993 10:54 Archived in India Tagged krishna

GOONSQUAD

Bonding w/Reggie

sunny 83 °F

The other night, I had a really deep conversation with Reggie. We talked about our childhood, our religion, and where we come from. Reggie is a Southern Baptist born and raised - I really respect his connection with Christ. Every day he reflects on his religion, reads a few passages from Our Daily Bread, and talks with God. To have that sort of faith and conviction is pretty beautiful. Somedays I find the prayers and practices of Roman Catholicism, the unquestioning allegiance to the pope, and the strict adherence to certain beliefs pretty hollow. Its refreshing to see such a deep connection with God that cuts through all of that to focus on love and faith.

GOONSQUAD
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As the night progressed we started laughing pretty deliriously, it was a pretty stressful week and we were just dying laughing on the floor. At the end of the night, while Reggie was fixing his hair, he gave me an honorary dread. By the morning it had all unraveled.

Posted by Fabian1993 10:53 Archived in India Tagged goonsquad

Babas, Saints, and Gurus

Religious Figures in Chennai and their Preachings

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Swami Vivekananda

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A favorite of Uncle Anandaram Ogooti, Swami Vivekananda (1963-1902) was one of those progressive Hindu reformers who believed in societal progress and the power of the individual. By focusing on mankind as an expression of the devine he led the way to Hindu revivalism. He's most famous for his speech "Sisters and Brothers of America" at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.

Sai Baba of Shirdi

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Sai Baba of Shirdi (Unknown-1918) is another figure I've seen on religious stickers and posters all around temples. He's one of those old-school Gurus who used to wander India with rags - a guy who had no love for material-things, only humanity and compassion. He is also well known for bringing together India by combining the preachings of Islam and Hinduism.

If you are wealthy, be humble. Plants bend when they bear fruit.

Śri Sathya Sai Baba

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Śri Sathya Sai Baba (1926-2011) is perhaps the most popular Hindu saint here in Chennai. Photos of his beaming smile and crown of hair can be found everywhere from hole-in-the-wall restaurants to high-profile hospitals. A controversial guru, poet, philosopher, artist, and philanthropist, Sai Baba had ashrams in 126 countries and also ran a network of hospitals, clinics and schools that were often free. He strongly advocated for religious acceptance and tolerance.

Duty is God; Work is worship. Even the tiniest work is a flower placed at the Feet of God.
I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster.

Posted by Fabian1993 09:17 Archived in India Tagged saint hinduism guru baba

Kurta and Saris

Shopping with the IHP Girls

sunny 84 °F

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I'm going to be honest. I'm NOT a guy who enjoys shopping. But, I have to admit that I really enjoy bargaining at clothes stals and picking out fabrics with the girls. There was some pretty beautiful kurta (the fashionable traditional dress for girls here in India - originally brought from Afghanistan and Pakistan). People kept pulling out more and more clothing - by the time we left each store the counters were covered in fabric.

Posted by Fabian1993 09:09 Archived in India Tagged shopping kurta

Sunday with Uncle

Yoga at Tower Park

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ON Sunday we woke up early (5:00am) to meet with Uncle so we could walk together to the park and participate in the free yoga sessions that go on every week. We were excited and eager to please Uncle so we sleepily made it down the stairs, but by the time we made it down he was gone. Gone to visit the milkman (John F. Kennedy). By the time he got back and by the time we all managed to get in the care with yoga mats, water bottles, handtowels, etc. it was already 7:00. We managed to make it to the late session but it was well worth it.

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The park is beautiful with people walking/running the trails or playing badminton. The young children participate in karate sessions with a stern moustachioed guy, while the elderly are led through deep breathing yoga exercises. When the sun hits the 60s bright orange tower in the middle of the park, its pretty stunning.

We gave Uncle some hand-sanitizer and he tried eating it.

On the way to brunch, Uncle managed to invite a young college student to come sit with us. You could tell she was just doing it out of kindness, but we all laughed at Uncle's ramblings and forwardness with girls. After leaving us alone while he got 'lost' walking to the bathroom and after asking her for her number (to give to us) we couldn't help but laugh. She was clearly older and had a boyfriend. Still. You have to admit, Uncle's got game.

Posted by Fabian1993 08:47 Archived in India Tagged yoga strangers towerpark

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