Why I think India should rally behind Swami Vivekananda?

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Recently I was on a long journey with my US returned friend who asked me whether I have studied any other person in depth as I have done with Swami Vivekananda. He also wanted to know why I think Swami Vivekananda has the maximum influence and why he is ‘the’ role model. I feel it is a good question to attend to,…

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Ellora, an amazing destination

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Ellora is located at about 32KMs from Aurangabad. Aurangabad also has an Airport. It is also well connected by road and rail. Ellora has the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga which attracts lots of devotees. Ellora caves is another important attraction. The Grishneshwar Temple is an ancient structure.  Mobiles and Cameras are not allowed inside. This is a comparatively small temple but is more…

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Why do I go on pilgrimages?

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Why do I go on Pilgrimage? It may be a question that is troubling many of my friends who see me in one temple or the other almost every month. I also have this question – why am I on this pilgrimage spree from last few years? The answer can only be subjective but with commonality with some people. If…

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Japa Yajna, a unique program

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Last week I attended a 5 day Japa Yajna camp in Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Belgaum. The Ashrama is located inside the Belgaum Fort and presents a picturesque sight. The campus of this Ashrama also includes a House where Swami Vivekananda stayed for 9 days. Truly, a remarkable monument. Japa Yajna program was conceptulized by Revered Swami Raghaveshanandaji Maharaj, the then…

A memorable visit to Amritsar

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Swarna Mandir or the Golden Temple in Amritsar is a place that I used to see only in Television and Movies but never felt that it is something that I can see in real too. Many a times we forget that this world is open for our exploration and we are happy to stick to a place. Certainly, except for the highly spiritual…

The Amarnath Yatra – 2

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Reaching Pissu top gave us great satisfaction. We knew it is the most difficult part of the journey. What makes it difficult is the steepness. In this path you are literally walking uphill. But there is always inspiration when you see old people going up and coming down. There is one inspiring incident that happened while climbing the Pissu top….

The Amarnath Yatra – 1

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The Amarnath jyotirling always appeared too distant for me. On couple of  occasions, I told some of the devotees that I don’t have a strong desire to go to Amarnath. But this time, I felt a sudden urge to go. I did some research well before the Yatra began and again forgot all about it till I found a group of devotees going…

Reminiscences with Swami Jagadatmananda

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Back in 2002, our college celebrated the National Youth Day on January 12th.  Swami Jagadatmanandaji was present there as the Chief Guest.  In those days, we didn’t have good acoustics in the college. I sat somewhere in the last bench and closed my eyes to listen to what the Swamiji was expounding. I don’t recall anything he said that day…

My journey with Loksatta

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Not even in my weirdest dreams did I imagine that my journey with Loksatta will come to an end so abruptly. I have had problems with the Loksatta’s lacklustre leadership when it came to party building and at times I wrote strong emails to the leaders asking them to be more proactive. The problem was that Loksatta leaders are all…

Vipassana – a remarkable course

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Heard the name ‘Vipassana’ uttered by a friend in Mysore Ramakrishna Ashram about 2 months back. He said that he found the concept to be very interesting.  A Brahmacharin who was present there said that Vipassana is to take out the impurities.  I just heard their conversation and got some new information.  Later a friend of mine, Rudramurthy told me…