Inscriptions of Om throughout the Sas Bahu temple.
The sound Om or Aum is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Dharmic religions. Contrary to popular belief, Om is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The symbol ॐ is spiritual, referring to Atman (soul) and Brahman (ultimate reality, entirely of the universe). The syllable is one of the most important symbols in Hinduism and is often found at the beginning and end of chapters in Hindu texts.
Om is part of the iconography found in ancient medieval era temples, monasteries and spiritual retreats in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The syllable is also referred to as Omkara, Aumkara and Pranava. According to yoga, Samkhya and many other scriptures, whole material creation, including human, mind and body are manifestation of ‘mula prakriti’ (primordial nature) which is composed of three gunas- sattva, rajas and tamas. The three letters OM thus correspond to the the three gunas as follows:
· A= Tamas (darkness, inertia, ignorance)
· U= Rajas (passion, activity, dynamism)
· M= Sattva (purity, truth, light)
Sas Bahu Temple
Queen of the rock.
These days, my life is revolving around working with children in the youth centre. I have zero complaints. Quite the opposite actually! There’s something new that catches my attention every day and today, was this woman making Roti on the Chullah. To be entirely honest, it was the aroma that was lingering around the entire vicinity of the youth centre that drew my attention. Now I’m no expert at making perfect round rotis but this woman took less than 30 seconds to roll them out, another 30 seconds to bake them and voila! The smoky flavour of the roti that was the result of it being made on the chullah is what made the taste unforgettable. Oh and I’m taking lessons from her now :)
En route the youth centre.
The cow shed along the way to one of our youth centres in Badgaon.
When I was on my way to the youth centre, I noticed some of the children blissfully playing with the calves. They were very gentle and considerate of the way they were playing with the calves.The children definitely do not seem to mind having these cuties so close to their centre and we don’t see why they would either; look at that face! Makes my heart melt. Their interaction with the animals, made me realize how much more respectful people in villages are of them.
In India, a cow is worshiped as it is considered to be a form of a deity. To a Hindu, the cow represents all creatures and is thus, sacred.
Cow’s milk is extremely nutritious and simply consuming it that way isn’t where Indians stop; they use it to make clarified butter (more commonly known as Ghee), cottage cheese and it also serves as a base for an entire array of traditional Indian sweets. Visit us to taste and learn how to make some!
Namaste Ma’am! :)
Just another day at one of our youth centres in Hawala.
For someone who is not too good with children and has always known teaching will not be her cup of tea, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying teaching and just being around these beautiful children. A typical afternoon at the youth centre starts with a prayer, followed by cleaning the space together, washing up, doing some yoga and talking about the day. The more time I spend with them, the more I realize how wrong I’ve been and can’t wait to come back the next day. From helping the kids with their homework, to painting earthen pots or simply being silly, it has come to my gen that a child’s smile is truly one of life’s great blessings.