Yoga has several meanings and one of the meanings we often use here is ‘good time.’
Two of my students who are with me for more than three decades came to me and requested me to go with them to Sringeri, one of the sacred places where our Pontiff Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal, lives, for which I was not ready and I had no plan to visit Sringeri. They could convince me this time easily and I decided to go to Sringeri.
Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada established the first of the four Amnaya Peethams at Sringeri more than twelve centuries ago to foster the sacred tradition of Sanatana Dharma.
I took a train from Mysore to go to a place called Kadur where one of my students lives and who had taken the responsibility of arranging the trip to Sringeri. As many of you have already experienced with the time and punctuality of the Indian Railways, the train promptly left Mysore by an hour late.
Since I could get a comfortable seat to travel I had nothing to complain about the journey. A couple of times I drank the tea and enjoyed the local snacks that I could buy in the train. These made my journey light. When I reached Kadur both my students were at the railway station to receive me and to take me to the hotel for my stay.
A few years ago two of my students, both women one from Israel and another from Denmark, had come with me to this place Kadur. They did not get any comfortable place to stay. Neither could they buy tissue paper since the shops there had no idea of the tissue papers and they were not selling any.
This time I was surprised to see the hotel room which had changed a lot. Though it was not to my expectation, there were many things available to use. The student from Kadur is having a role in maintaining this hotel where I had been taken to stay and since he had seen my style of selecting the rooms to stay he had taken special interest to provide me the best available facilities.
He made a comment too, ‘Masterji, now I understand why you are very particular to see the bathroom and the taps etc before you agree to occupy the room.’
He told me that I should be ready by 5.30 AM to go to Sringeri and went.
I got up early and got ready to leave at 5.30 AM.
My student came at 6.30 AM to take me. He was a little bit nervous. He told me that the group was big which included his wife and twin sons of a year old and a few more small kids.
I did not make any complaint for the delay in the departure since I could understand the plight of the mothers who had to prepare the young kids for the trip. We left Kadur to Sringeri.
These delays made me realize that I cannot follow my regular schedules properly. I had a lot of disturbance to do my japa.
We had our breakfast at a small place which was decent.
We reached Sringeri at 10.30 AM. First we went to Sri Sharadamba temple. Sri Sharadamba is the presiding deity of Sringeri. At that time the deity was covered due to what we call ‘Alamkara’ that is, for dress and decoration. We decided to have the darshan of our present pontiff Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal.
We stayed there till noon and saw the ‘arati’.
Long ago, a learned person advised me to visit Malahanikareshwara in Sringeri. Sri Malahanikaresvara is the destroyer of the impurities of the soul. Malahanikareshwara temple is on the top of a hillock in Sringeri. We reached this temple around 12.30 PM and had the darshan of Malahanikareshwara. It was a beautiful experience. We spent much time there.
From Malahanikareshwara temple we came back to Sri Sharadamba temple and had the darshan of Sri Sharada Devi.
We ate at Sringeri and left for Horanadu another famous temple town. The presiding deity of Horanadu is Annapoorneshwari also named as the Adi-Shaktyatmaka Shree Annapoorneshwari. This temple is located in the thick forests and valleys.
The drive from Sringeri to Horanadu was thrilling. We had to travel in the middle of a reserve forest. When we were travelling there was a heavy down pour and all the trees and the surrounding started looking bright and pure, a beautiful view of the hills etc. We reached Horanadu at 6.30 PM. We went straight away to the temple and had the darshan of Annapoorneshwari.
Anna means food; poorna means full.
Annapoorneshwari means she who fulfills the need of the food; a provider of food.
All who visit this temple are provided with food and no one returns back from the temple without taking at least a little food offered by the temple.
We too ate our supper in the temple and returned back to Kadur.
Thought it was a long day the trip was good. The big group enjoyed and there was not even a single unpleasant incident. Everyone enjoyed.
This is what people say ‘YOGA.’
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