Tuesday, July 28, 2015

... From the Ghats of River Godavari in Nashik: Who Am I?

Who am I?

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Godavari River, Nashik

I am someone who was born years ago,
by the grace of Lord Shiva and the penance of Sage Gautama,
from the Western Ghats at Trimbakeshwar
in the beautiful family of the Sacred Rivers of India.

Highly inspired by River Ganga - the eldest of all my sibling sisters, who had already successfully carved her own renowned course through the mighty Himalayas – and charged with the pure pristine energy of the Divine Feminine, I gathered the courage to break free and chart my own trail as well.

Lord Shiva at Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

An innocent leap of faith and lo! I was on my way – tumbling and rollicking, zooming past graded mountains, rocky terrains, craggy villages and cavernous valleys… my expedition leading me in the main city where I have taken a seat today -

Godavari River, Nashik

- Shri Ram’s city of Nashik – I feel blessed!

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Who am I?

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Flowers at Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

I am someone who is used to be at the central focus – dancing away to my own tunes as my sons and daughters rejoice, singing glories with open arms and joyful hearts.

Mornings begin with my beautiful brethren huddling themselves around my banks and lovingly offering their prayers, accolades and salutations unto me. Regardless of race or religion, I embrace all who come to me for a cuddling dip… breaking open their own inner barriers of consciousness, sweeping it off with sanguine waters permeated in infinite grace, love and belonging.

People bathing at Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

Soft murmurs of sacred chants infuse the entire incense-lit environ with such strong vibrations such that it is easier to transcend. My banks are garlanded with a necklace of holy temples dedicated to different deities – Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva, etc. – all of them alive with an insurmountable current of faith and the ricocheting of the melody of temple bells singing glories unto My Master.

Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

Gleaming diyas, carrying sincere hopes, wishes and prayers, flowing ever so gently… ornament me in the finest of my ensemble.

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Who am I?

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Puja rituals at Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

I am someone who can feel her heart balloon with a heavy flood of pride and gratitude, whenever she experiences sincerity and purity in the behavior of her children
as was the will of The Father.

To be at the receiving core of such limpidness in actions and thoughts boosts my energy to greater heights and out pour unabashed blessings for all in the form of prosperity, riches and affluence – not only material but the spiritual as well.

Lord Shiva Temple, Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

Tears of happiness well up in my eyes as I recall His exact words - Absorb your mind and heart in Me, become My devotee, offer propitiation to Me, just give humble obeisance unto Me, and surely you will come to Me. I promise this in truth to you, being very dear to Me. ~ Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 18, verse 65.

Clearly, many here are on their relentless path to Him!

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Who am I?

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Ancestral rituals at Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

I am someone whose everyday life is manifested in a colorful carnival that bursts forth in the form of rituals, prayers and spiritual hymns for the Creator.

Festivals are a part of our daily routine, transforming existence from the realm of the mundane to the astonishing.

Have you ever visited the biggest among these – the festival of Kumbh Mela – a rare event only occurring every 3 years which see millions of mortals – enlightened and otherwise – walk in unison with their mind, body and soul with a single aim of getting closer to the Supreme? It's an event ongoing right now, even as I am writing this, a time when many yogis, ascetics, sadhus and sages bless my waters with a touch of their Divine Presence and in turn, I pass on my current of joy from my overflowing cup of blessings with the downtrodden, corrupt and the depressed absolving them of their sins forever.

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Who am I?

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I am someone who can’t be grateful enough for all the things that she has been blessed with…. but, but there is a different side to this story too.

One that hurts, no matter how much I try to avoid.

I no longer feel youthful or sprightly as I used to at one stage. On the contrary, I feel weak and feeble; my spiritual current is now diluted, thanks to the many kinds of impurities floating all around, also within me.

Callousness of people at Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

That makes me sad… I want to give, how I want to see you happy and show you the creative beauty that resides within you but alas! I feel helpless today; I don’t feel strong enough to do all that for you.

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Who am I?

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I am the River Godavari –

Temple of Godavari River on Ghat, Nashik

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Mother of my children

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A soulful celebration

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A manifestation of the Divine Feminine

 AND –

A reflection of THAT which glows within YOU,

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Gleaming Diya, Godavari River Ghat, Nashik

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WHO ARE YOU?

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The above photo-story and the video montage (presented below) was compiled as my humble tribute to Mother Godavari (In Hinduism, many sacred rivers - known to embody the Divine - are revered as a Goddess or a Mother) on the celebratory occasion of 'Kumbh Mela' that is LIVE in the holy city of Nashik right now.

The celebration is a great time to bring forth the reminder of how our Mother River, in spite of all the gracious beauty contained within her, is also painfully struggling with her identity owing to the plague of contamination and pollution. In such a scenario, the celebration becomes a good time to reflect and introspect on our own behavior as well, on a more individual level: What has been my relation with my Divine Mother? How does this relation then play out in the entire spiritual scheme of my life?

Below is a video photo montage stitched together from images I clicked while wandering on the bustling ghats of River Godavari in Nashik earlier this year. A sincere heartfelt pledge to keep her clean will go a long way in sweeping the dirt out of our hearts too. After all, happiness is the ultimate gift that we can ever receive and ironically enough...

Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give. 
― Ben Carson


River Godavari: A Photo-Montage.



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14 comments:

  1. Arti, Great to read your post. Thanks a lot for sharing. Awesome photos and video.
    ~ da

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  2. Beautiful photos and presentation Arti!

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  3. Nice and thoughtful post Arti! The images of crowded ghats and the people bathing and performing rituals remind me of Varanasi. I only hope that the water here is not as contaminated as that of the Ganges in Varanasi. Agree with you that we should "reflect and introspect on our own behavior" when it comes to celebration and rituals.

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  4. i have recently started reading your blogs.they are very inspiring and thoughtful with beautiful photos.

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  5. I could feel thyat I am on the banks of Godavari after reading the lovely description interlaced with alluring pictures, Arti:)

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  6. What I really love about travelling is the fact that you get to inspired by different things that surround you. I am not surprised you were inspired by River Ganga. I googled it and it's a nice place that is going to be added to my bucket list, seriously. I see you really enjoyed your walked there!

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    1. Spot on, Agness! I am glad this post could inspire you, I can very well imagine you loving your time there!

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  7. Lovely piece Arti and I see that you now put your name on your photographs. I have been wanting to do the same but have never got around to doing it, what software do you use?

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    1. Thanks, Mehroo! For the watermark, I generally use Picasa's Text tool, it's pretty effective with the customization it offers. Alternatively, you can use Batch watermarking feature of 'FastStone Photo Resizer' - I find that software pretty decent as well.

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  8. Thank you very much, @Everyone!

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  9. Hi Arti
    Such a pleasure coming across your blog, on Nasik city’s Kumbh Mela, which is live now. Your tribute to Godavari River, with the divine poems written on it,were something which won my heart. The history behind it, is true knowledge sharing.

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