My 50th post!!!

I’m making this a short post. I leave the hotel early tomorrow morning for my flight to Varanasi, and then on to Allahabad by bus with the first group of students attending the Kumbh with Maa at our shivir (campsite). I will report more from there over the five weeks until I return to Mumbai to pick up my new clothes, see a few more sites, and return to the US after three months in India.

I didn’t report about events from yesterday, as they were “uneventful”, standing in line again with many devotees to enter a temple, this time the well known Ganesh or Siddhivinayak temple. I do wish to leave you with a final note from Mumbai, however, which happened just a few minutes ago when I was traveling back to the hotel in auto rickshaw from my final fitting at the men’s clothing store.

My driver started to speak with me, and it turns out he’s a pundit (priest) who is going to the Kumbh too – a rickshaw driver in his spare time!!! He was thrilled to speak with me and find out I am leaving tomorrow. We spoke about the snan (baths), that he will be there for the final one on February 15th, and that he does puja (ritual ceremonies) to Shankara (Shiva), Vishnu, and Durga. He wrote down his contact information in Allahabad in case we arrange to see one another among the 70 million or more attendees.

As I wrote before, devotion and ritual are an inherent part of the Indian culture and the daily lives of so many locals and families here. I love this transitional experience as I leave Mumbai and move on to the Kumbh, where I and so many others will devote ourselves to our Gurus, Hindu and other deities and, when it comes down (up) to it, our Selves as love and light. I spoke with Maa very early this morning, and Maa is so joy-full to be traveling to the Kumbh to be with all of us over the five weeks. We are indeed blessed … again. Stay tuned and tuned in. OM JAI JAI SAI MAA

Auto rickshaw