Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ancient Temples to Visit in Jaipur: Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple.

Ganeshji ka naam mann me leke nikalna: Unse prarthana karna sab achcha ho.
(Sing glories to Lord Ganesha, pray that He always grace you with happiness)

This is one phrase I have grown up hearing. And, believing - wholeheartedly. After all, Lord Ganesha is by far the most adorable ambassador of auspiciousness and goodwill in Hinduism.

So, have I always been granted the things I wished for, in the same way I wanted them?
Did my communion with Ganeshji remove all the obstacles from my life -
granting me access to a life of everlasting happiness and joy?

Not at all. Far from it, actually. Yet, I have loved Him and cherished Him for all the times I have been with Him - close in my heart. Perhaps my firm-rooted faith in Him stemmed from my values, seated in deep spiritual upbringing, telling me that Ganeshji, this cute charming angelic personality, was someone who was inherently, innately GOOD. I felt it too. But, not without my own doubts and questions:

Then, why wouldn't he always remove all obstacles out of my life-situations?
Did I not pray enough?

... answers to which I have figured in my own course in time ...

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Recently in Jaipur in the Indian princely state of Rajasthan, I met Him, in one of the best places to meet Lord Ganesha - the ancient Moti Dungri GaneshTemple. Situated on a small hill in the heart of the city, Moti Dungri temple is an immensely popular religious place housing the charming deity of Lord Ganesha that attracts scores of pilgrims from far and wide. 

The temple sits ensconced in the shadowy cushion of the Moti Dungri fort that stands guard perched on the ridge of the rolling hills overlooking the widespread carpet of Jaipur city beneath. Designed exquisitely to mirror a Scottish castle, the fort is a royal house, once home to Maharaja Madho Singh’s son and later to queen Gayatri Devi and her son Jagat Singh. And yet, the main attraction for most locals here remains the much celebrated Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple.

Built in pristine white marble and dating back to the 18th century, the temple bears a subtle exterior - a fleet of stairs leading you to the arched roomy precincts of the main temple.

Entrance to the Moti Dungri Temple, Ganesh Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan

The interiors of the temple, in contrast to the exteriors, are aesthetically impressive and grandiose, reflecting the rich architectural splendor of the city. Shining with a touch of gilded silver, the walls are adorned with impressive lattice work engraved with beautiful paintings and intricate murals that add charisma to the lively aura of the temple.

It is morning time, and the hall is crowded with a swarm of loyal devotees kickstarting their day with a Ganesh darshan. I - one among them. My feet don’t move by themselves as there is no space. Instead, they are happy moving with the push of the crowd, every moment getting an inch closer to the Divine darshan.

The main hall of Moti Dungri Temple, Ganesh Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan

At the heart of the temple room, in the sanctum sanctorum, sits Lord Ganesha occupying the royal throne. His stance is like that of a Maharaja, life-like, almost 7 feet tall, seated comfortably on the throne, bathed in bright color vermilion, trunk curled to the left, a golden halo shimmering forth His divine angelic light from behind His cherubic face. In front of him, sits His favorite disciple (His vehicle, also His partner-in-mischief’s), the mouse or the mooshak raj, lavishly decorated in fresh flower garlands and a shiny ensemble.

I am directly across His podium now: my body pressed on the marble railings which are wrapped up in several red-colored wish bands tied by the devotees; I close my eyes and for those few moments, it’s easy to slip into another time and place. A place where I drop all my inhibitions and open my heart trusting that He is patiently hearing me out.

The deity of Lord Ganesh at Moti Dungri Temple, Ganesh Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Vakra-Tunndda Maha-Kaaya Suurya-Kotti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryessu Sarvadaa
( O Lord Ganesha, of Curved Trunk, Large Body, and with the Brilliance of a Million Suns,
Please Make all my Works Free of Obstacles, Always.)

It is the last few seconds in His presence before I am on my way to the exit. I bow my head humbly offering the only thing that I got to offer and looking up back again, I fix my gaze onto His; His eyes are tiny but I can feel them oozing happiness for all the moments I stare in them... filling the empty bowl of my dear heart with His sweet, soft and calming assurance, one that as always, whispers... Do not fear, I am always with you.

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This is how I pray. Offering myself, trusting fully that He shall do the same in return. And, I know for a fact that IT is enough. Ganesha is a great friend, someone I trust. Friend -  A good, genuine, sincere friend who does not say YES to all that I say or discuss or ask or plead for. He likes people (re: Ganesh Chaturthi Festival) but is not a people pleaser. He knows what is good and what is bad for me and waves His magic wand likewise. Any well wisher would do the same, no?

Naturally then, I understand that many events will not always work out in the way I want them to be. There will be failures, disappointments, rejections, the so-called hard knocks of life. But it is in those moments, through those instances, that I have found my greatest blessings. My own loyalty and His gentle assurance, a soulful whisper:

Keep going. This is for your own good.
Don't worry. I am here.
Things will be alright very soon.

Moti Dungri literally means, A hill of pearls. There are no expensively-priced costly pearls to be found in this old little town. Only, as I see it, a beautiful perspective instead. Way more valuable. And absolutely, priceless.

That from any relationship, that is pure and sincere, be it between the seen or the unseen, if based on trust, faith and surrender - pearls of love, positive affirmation and healing transformation are born. These pearls have the power to manifest to a life-long wisdom seeping deep into the heart, lighting even the darkest corners of your soul, banishing away all negativity and evil.

Travel gives us a perspective; perspective gives us a meaning; the search for meaning leads us to spirituality - all wonderful pearls, brightening this journey called life.



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19 comments:

  1. "He likes people but is not a people pleaser. He knows what is good and what is bad for me and waves His magic wand likewise" ..... What a beautiful way to express how Ganpati knows what is best for us and the Universe...

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  2. Very optimistic perspective Arti. Pearls with divine message of faith, love and inner purification. :-)

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  3. Wonderful post, Nice to read about Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple.
    Thanks for sharing

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  4. So beautiful dear, agree with you , travelling open our eyes our mind and our soul, we see everything from different perspektive. That's why we travel. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. I miss India so badly :)

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  5. When I was in Jaipur I visited this temple. I have never seen such beauty before.The Moti Doongri Ganesh Temple is the most popular tourist destinations spots in Jaipur. When I returned at home I wrote an essay at Essay Penguins about my impressions which overwhelmed me. You know that God will fulfill your all wishes once you visit the temple. So, I recommend to visit this Temple for everyone.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this most beautiful perspective with us.

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  7. I love Ganpati Bappa :) And the idol in this temple is really impressive.

    http://everytthingthatclicks.blogspot.com

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  8. Being sincere is something gives content to life to make feel fullest. Beautifully expressed your devotion and also quite thoughtful!

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  9. What a beautiful narration and photos Arti! Impressive place...

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  10. Have been to this temple , thanks for sharing.

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  11. Thanks for sharing the pics...
    I am a great fan of Lord Ganesha... I felt happy seeing His idol...

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  12. Lovely narration and photos.
    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

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  13. Wonderful post Arti, liked your narration.
    Trust, Faith and surrender are the beautiful pearls.
    God bless.

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  14. Such a beautiful post. Thanks for giving us this virtual tour of the beautiful temple. Hope to visit it some time and the way you have expressed your devotion touched the innermost chords of my heart :)

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  15. Your travelogues are not only about travel but also about life as we see it. Always a pleasure to read. :-)
    Thanks for this beautiful write-up, Arti, and letting us know about the temple...

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  16. Sundar darshan !! Being sincere is something gives content to life to make feel fullest. Beautifully expressed your devotion and also quite thoughtful!

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  17. Well... you had a spiritual experience and this is personal, I am not such a big God believer, but lets say there are good powers like love, affection and luck, good wishes and difficult and bad things, we may got any amount of share of it but we should be preparing to make good use of them all... goodday

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  18. Wonderful pics, and for once your words were even more beautiful than the pics. I'm an ardent fan of Lor Ganesh too, and that spiritual connection is what drives me at times when everything seems lost!

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  19. I will sugest you to visit Gad Ganesh temple next time. This temple sits on small hillock in North Direction. The temple pre dates Jaipur. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II took blessing of Ganesh ji before laying foundation of Jaipur. You can find some information in following post in my blog.
    https://jaipurthrumylens.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/gad-ganesh-temple-jaipur/
    and
    https://jaipurthrumylens.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/gad-ganesh-temple-jaipur-insights/

    hope you find it useful!

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