12 November, 2015

Pilgrimage to the Himalaya

Since a long time I have not written a single blog.

Will try and write soon, as some blogs are lined up since the last 3 years.

Meanwhile please enjoy these photos from my last pilgrimage to the Himalaya.


small town of yamunotri. seen behind is the river yamunotri from its origin high above in the ice glaciers

Divya Shilla or divine stone pillar, the origin of the hot water spring

this swami has been living in yamunotri for more than 50 years; he stays back in winters even when the town is abandoned


Shiv ling at the kashi vishwanath temple at Uttarkashi

Divine trident at the Shakti Temple in the same complex


On the way to Gaumukh from Gangotri

Gaumukh, the origin of the Bhagirathi river

Tapovan; comes from the two root words tapas - meaning spiritual practice, and vana, meaning forest. Tapovan then translates as forest of austerities or spiritual practice.

Seen in the back ground is the ice glacier which feeds the Bhagarathi river  

Neel tal (off Tapovan)

Ancient cave of Guru Gorakhnath at srinagar garhwal. Very few people know about this cave 

Satopanth yatra (pilgrimage) from Badrinath to satopanth lake, meaning the path of truth, it is belived that the Pandavas took this route towards the end of their lives

The origin of the river Alaknanda at alkapuri; the river Bhagirathi and Alaknanda merge at devprayag from where it is called Ganga

Satopanth tal (lake)

The living mountains off Badrinath; bare yet full of life

02 August, 2015

Mother Nature

Just before the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, some of the industrial nations, and specifically the United States, were lambasted for their obscenely high consumption of the world’s finite resources which had a direct impact on nature worldwide.

Anti-capitalist and other activists who were claiming that the United States, then the world's biggest energy consumer, was also its biggest polluter

Environmentalists warned that the world was being gradually destroyed, by unsustainable consumption.

When representatives of developing nations asked then U.S. president George H.W. Bush (bush senior) to put on agenda the over consumption of resources by the developed countries, especially the United States he stood up to give his speech, all eyes were on him expecting a solution, he famously or infamously said only sentence, quote: “The American way of life is not up for negotiations. Period.”

Meaning; we can afford it and we will do what suits us, to hell with others….

As per bush senior the American way of life was not negotiable, apparently, even if maintaining this lifestyle will lead to the destruction of nature resulting in deaths of millions of people subject to increasingly unpredictable weather and loss of land used by tens of millions more people because of rising ocean levels and local flooding  

Most of us have a George h w bush in us, our attitude, we can afford it and so it is our birth right to use it and we do not care about anything.

Giving a few examples; people put on their air conditioners full 24 hrs at the lowest temperature setting not bothering to think about villages that do not get any electricity, not even for growing their crops or in their hospitals, since all the power is consumed in the cities.

A single person takes a car instead of going for carpooling or using the public transport system.

Imagine the space it takes on the road for a single bus which carries 30 people or 30 cars with single occupants, then people complaint and get irritated that I am caught in a traffic jam not reflecting that their own vehicle is a part of that traffic and equally responsible for creating that traffic jam.

While waiting the car engines are kept on for the air conditioning never mind the pollution.

Newspapers are delivered to all houses again at the offices, resulting in deforestation. How many people think to limit the use of newspapers?

In the Himalaya I visit some spots by the river Ganga full of beautiful natural landscape of white and coloured stones, rich people who built their luxury villas get these stones picked up for their garden decoration never giving a thought to the destruction of the pristine environment 

The list is endless.

The same attitude I can afford it so luxury (great comfort) is my birth right never mind the destruction of nature

Alarm bells will not ring till the day there will be no water coming out of the water taps, in the past many advanced civilizations have collapsed due to unsustainable resource consumption, but how many people realize (understand clearly) that this could also happen to us.

The only hope is if people change one by one then this problem will be solved since we are all connected in a single consciousness

We should not depend on the government to solve any problems because the government itself is a problem

It is not what some say “save the Earth”. For no one’s God or father or Guru has created our Earth. He who has created the Earth is beyond human comprehension and he alone can destroy it; what humans are capable of is destroying us.

A money minded business man will not understand what is written above he is every ready to destroy nature to set up money making ventures. If one has to make him understand the valve of nature he will have to be put in a sealed chamber with an offer that he will get lots of money, of course he will be very happy and most readily accept the offer; as more and more money is put in the chamber the air will be displaced and at one time he will realize that air is more important than paper money and then he will understand not to destroy nature.


Today people buy bottles of drinking water daily since water which is available outside is contaminated. I hope and pray that a time should not come when people will have to buy air cylinders to breathe good air.

A quote by Hubert Reeves is the best caption for the photo of the Holy Mount Kailash below:

"Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that the Nature he is destroying is this God he is worshiping."

Photo credit Ms Alka Kaushik

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10 June, 2015

Shivling the symbol of the formless God

Article last updated on 30th september 2016

Shivling’s were worshipped worldwide.

Below is the photo of the Siva Lingam which was dug-up from Vatican City and is now exhibited in Gregorian Etruscan Museum Vatican City.

Siva Lingam which was dug-up from Vatican City is exhibited in Gregorian Etruscan Museum Vatican City.

One of the meanings of the word Linga in Sanskrit is a symbol. Thus Sivaling is the Symbol of the God without a form residing over the entire universe.

Swami Vivekananda described Shiva Lingam as the symbol of the Eternal Brahman, that the worship of Shiva Lingam – a description of the beginning less and endless of the Eternal Brahman  
(Brahman means the totality of the cosmos / the ultimate God who can never be defined / the one with no beginning or end)

There are various types of Shivling which are made from different materials like meteorite stone, crystal etc.

Meteorite stone Shivling

Shivling’s made from meteorite stone are oval (egg) shaped.

They represent the cosmic egg “Brahmanda” signifying the egg from which the Universe was born.

Now, why would someone want to worship an egg shaped Meteorite stone; simply because it is the egg from which life originated on Earth. In short it brought our DNA on earth.

In 2011 NASA proved this, below quote from the NASA’s website:

NASA-funded researchers have evidence that some building blocks of DNA, the molecule that carries the genetic instructions for life, found in meteorites were likely created in space. The research gives support to the theory that a “kit” of ready-made parts created in space and delivered to Earth by meteorite and comet impacts assisted the origin of life.” (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

One such black meteorite in a silver frame in the eastern corner of the Kaaba at Mecca

The black meteorite stone; it has been broken into a number of fragments and is now cemented into a silver frame in the eastern corner of the Kaaba at Mecca

Crystal Shivling

Adi shankaracharya was a reformer he travelled India wide establishing Maáš­has (monasteries) and reestablishing ancient temples and propagating the Advaita philosophy, he is said to have presented Spatik (crystal) Ling’s to the 4 monasteries he established in the 4 corners of India and to other temples mainly in south India.

When I visited the Chidambaram Nataraj temple in Tamilnadu I had the good fortune of having a darshan (auspicious sight) of the crystal ling

Some believe that Spatik (Quartz crystal) to be Ice which is compressed under pressure for centuries and hence turns into a crystal

Reference note: Theophrastus, the pupil and successor of Aristotle, in his book on stones mentions a stone called crystal (Kp~o'raAAo~). This name, apparently, is derived from Kpgo~--icy cold, and ar contract. It would seem from this that the ancient Greeks, as implied by Pliny, believed crystal (modern quartz) to be a variety of supercooled ice'.

The centuries old Spatika Lingam held in Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai had developed cracks and hence a new six inch tall Spatik Shivling with the right specification has been brought from Himalayas in 2012; The dimensions and design of these ancient Shivlings are authentic and they must be taken as a reference unlike the new age Gurus / Godmen who built all shapes and dimension Shivlings to impress people.

Crystal (Spatik) ling

Crystal (Spatik) ling

Worship of the Crystal (Spatik) ling

Mercury (Parad) Shivling

I have no reference to any ancient Vedic temple having a mercury Shivling.

Of late some new age gurus have made huge mercury Shivling’s, I have visited one such ashram in Haridwar, various others can be viewed on the Internet; But they all have a totally different shape, that means that they are not made as per the  Vedic specifications.

Also sites who sell this product list a lot of benefits for the mercury Shivling, to promote their sales /business.

One such Dhyanalinga (huge Shivling with a solidified mercury core) has been built by a self-styled godman at Coimbatore in India, he has even built a Theerthakund (a pool of water, visitors have to first take a dip / bath in this theerthakung before entering the place where the Dhyanalinga is kept)

A 680 kgs mercury lingam is kept immersed in the Theerthakund and people take a dip / bath in the mercury water and enter the Dhyanalinga area without wiping their bodies.

I am sure that the flamboyant new age gurus know nothing about ancient Vedic science of solidifying mercury or removing the toxic effects of mercury.

On the very website of the Dhyanalinga, in the theerthakund section this godman has written; I quote directly from his site... “…. And mercury is the heaviest substance on the planet…..” he is wrong; mercury is not the heaviest substance on the planet, even gold is much heavier than mercury.

People who take a dip here may be at a risk of mercury poisoning  

Narmadeshwar Shivling

It is said that the Narmadeshwar Shivling’s were created millions of years ago when a meteorite collided with the earth at what is now the source of the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh, India

The tremendous heat of the collision caused a fusion of the ambient rock and the meteoric material. Over the ages a river began to flow through this area and the combination of these factors produced the unique condition in which pieces of the fused matter, revolving in the river bed over thousands of years took on the distinct ovoid form. The oval form is markedly different from the flatter, thinner rocks normally appearing in the river bed.

Once a year, after a long dry season and just before the beginning of the monsoon, when the river is at its lowest, the villagers, working with oxen and rope, go out onto the river bed and pull the stones from the water. The stones are then hand polished.

I have a wish to go to this place and get a Narmadeshwar Shivling.

Narmadeshwar Shivling’s

Narmadeshwar Shivling’s

Wrong interpretation of the form of Shivling

Lingam in Sanskrit means sign/ mark/ inference/ symbol/ an emblem / The image of a god, an idol / gender/ time scale / The effect or product (that which is evolved out of a primary cause and itself becomes a producer) / a proof/ evidence.
And it is wrong when people interpret the Shivling as the male organ of shiva; as shiva is without any form then how can he be represented with an organ  

The Shiv Shilla at Kedarnath

Below is the photo of the Shiv Shilla at Kedarnath.
The Kedarnath temple does not have a Shivling it has a huge rock called the Shiv shilla

The Shiv Shilla at Kedarnath