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Roadmaps to joy!

Kaliya Nag and Krishna, in a poem from Vrindavan, Sri Banke Bihari ji ke sawaiya, 49 of 144


कारेइ मोहन कारेइ सोहन, कारी कालेन्दजा के तट आयो।

खेलत गेंद गिरी दह में तब कारे से नाग लो जाय जगायो॥

नाग को नाथ लियो छिन में अरु कारे के सीस पै नृत्य करायो।

‘गोविंद’ यों प्रभु शोभा बखानत कारे कौ नाथ के नाथ कहायो॥४९॥

This Sawaiya verse depicts the episode of Kaliya-manthan in Vrindavan. Poet Govid says:

“Krishna was playing with a ball with his friends on the banks of dark, deep waters of River Yamuna, when his ball fell into Kaliya-dah, a part of the river where Kaliya Nag, the thousand-headed snake lived. Krishna fought with Kaliya and emerged victorious, dancing on Kaliya’s heads. I cannot describe in words the awesome scene…”

Kaliya Nag is a symbol of the 5 senses, and the episode signifies that the master of the senses should be Krishna, else the waters of life would be poisoned by the craving and misery that the senses are capable of bringing, just like the presence of Kaliya Nag in Kaliya-dah, Vrindavan, poisoned the fresh river water.

Darshan timings for Sri Banke Bihari temple, Vrindavan

Summer timings (Begin 2 days after Holi)

Morning Darshan: 7.55-11.55 am

Sringar Arti: 7.55 am

Raj Bhog Arti: 11.55 am

Evening Darshan: 5.30-9.30 pm

Shayan Bhog Arti: 9.30 pm

Winter timings (Begin from Yam dwitiya/Bhai Dooj festival, 2 days after Diwali)

Morning Darshan: 8.55-12.55 am

Sringar Arti: 8.55 am

Raj Bhog Arti: 12.55 am

Evening Darshan: 4.30-8.30 pm

Shayan Bhog Arti: 8.30 pm

A japi hat handicraft from Assam

Japi hat, Assam

This picture was taken at a hotel in Jorhat, Upper Assam. The woven hat is embellished with Japi work.

Assamese gold jewellery in Japi style is another piece of art from this part of the country.

And not to miss the three kinds of handmade silk popular with locals: Pat, Eri and Mooga. Eri is the only traditionally vegetarian silk or ahinsa silk. Eri silk is crafted by tribals in Kerala too. Mooga is a natural golden silk which improves with age, and is family legacy.

Radha Krishna aarti video and lyrics from Rangeeli Mahal, Barsana

आरती प्रीतम प्यारी की, कि बनवारी नथवारी की

दुहुन सिर कनक मुकुट छलके

दुहुन श्रुति कुण्डल भल हलके

दुहुन दृग प्रेम सुधा छलके

चसीले बैन, रसीले नैन, गसीले सैन

दुहुन मैनन मनहारी की

कि बनवारी नथवारी की

आरती प्रीतम प्यारी की, कि बनवारी नथवारी की

दुहुनि दृग चितवनि पर वारी

दुहुनि लट लटिकनि छवि न्यारी

दुहुनि भौं मटकनि अति प्यारी

रसन मुख पान, हंसन मुस्कान, दसन दमकान

दुहुनि बेसर छवि न्यारी की

कि बनवारी नथवारी की

आरती प्रीतम प्यारी की, कि बनवारी नथवारी की

एक उर पीतांबर फहरे, एक उर नीलांबर लहरे

दुहुन उर लर मोतिन छहरे

कनकानन कनक, किंकिनी झनक, नुपुरन भनक

दुहुन रुन झुन धुनि प्यारी की

कि बनवारी नथवारी की

आरती प्रीतम प्यारी की, कि बनवारी नथवारी की

एक सिर मोर मुकुट राजे

एक सिर चूनर छवि साजे

दुहुन सिर तिरछे भल भ्राजे

संग ब्रजबाल, लाडली लाल, बांह गल डाल

‘कृपालु’ दुहुन दृग चारि की

कि बनवारी नथवारी की

आरती प्रीतम प्यारी की, कि बनवारी नथवारी की

Gulab Jamuns at Maigalganj

Maigalganj is a small town which is located on the highway between Lucknow and Sitapur. There are rows of shops on either side of this mandatory stoppage, but it is the Gulab Jamuns that claim fame for this small town. It is almost sacrilegioius to pass by Maigalganj without tasting these hot, soft and yet crispy on the outside, Gulab Jamuns. I ate 3 in one go! 

The Gulab Jamun is an Indian dessert made of thickened milk (Khoya) and fine all purpose flour (Maida). The two are kneaded well with a bit of water, made into balls and deep fried (preferably in clarified butter or pure ghee) and allowed to soak in a sugar syrup. Gulab Jamuns taste best when fresh and piping hot, and are a favourite street food in North India.

The company of pure souls

Indian flag

You see, in my travels throughout India all these years, I have come across many a great soul, many a heart overflowing with loving kindness, sitting at whose feet I used to feel a mighty current of strength coursing into my heart, and the words I speak to you are only through the force of that current gained by coming in contact with them.

~ Swami Vivekananda (Vivekananda speaks to you)

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