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Navratra Reminiscences!

Oct. 28, 2020, 6:35 p.m. by Dr Gayatri Mohapatra ( 458 views)

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Thank You,Karuwaki Readers:Twenty-twenty has been diabolical, angst ridden and gloomy. An unknown virus has created havoc and we still are reeling under its vicious impact. Our way of life and living has changed. The most debilitating aspect of it has been the absence of touch and physical proximity.

It was the great English poet Tennyson who had said “The old order changeth, yielding place to new”. That has happened--perhaps, irretrievably and irrevocably. But, the human spirit, doggedly carried/carries on, bringing to mind the poem ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley

‘Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods maybe
For my unconquerable soul….I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul”.

It was roundabout the time in March when WHO announced the prevalence of the pandemic, that this website/digital channel ‘Karuwakispeaks’ was launched on March 5th, 2020 and soon thereafter the World went into a "lockdown" and all our lives became topsy turvy. As the world went into a lockdown mode, through the reach and connect to/of our readers, there was no ‘shutdown’! Rather, we, i.e, our readers and us were able to establish a bond, so beautifully and powerfully symbiotic, that it made those shimmery, gossamer virtual binding threads tangible and pulsating with reality. Between our readers, contributors and us, words flowed, ideas hooked up, energies connected! Slowly and surely , we have built up a community of great human potential--diverse but unified, much like the ethos and character of this great nation we live in.

This feeling of camaraderie and connect, albeit through digital waves, became apparent during the nine days of the Navratras. Friends, each of these nine days, we brought to you the stories connected with each form of the Divine Mother, minute details of the rituals/vidhi and music--relevant to each auspicious avataar. A lot of research, a tremendous amount of planning went into it by me and the team. Let me tell you that it was not just about bringing out an article each day--it was a responsibility of bringing you the best-- we realized, as your generous comments, ideas, thoughts, experiences started pouring in. We were touched and overwhelmed with your response!

So every day, here, I confess, I dug into the golden memories of my late father, Shri Rabi Narayan Mohapatra, for bringing to you music from the great and little traditions of India. He was an authority on Hindustani classical music and I remembered our scintillating conversations, his tutelage, the musical soirees of great artists in our house.

In bringing music to you all, he came alive for me. As I sat and typed away on my laptop, memories warmed me, and the realization of the truth of this verse from the second chapter i.e. Sankhya Yoga of Bhagavad Gita hit me.

‘Nainam Chindanti Shastrani’

The Aatman which each one of us has is part of the supreme Purusha (the eternal force). The Shlok depicts that the soul or Aatman is formless, shapeless, limitless, and doesn’t possess any physical attributes, but it still exists. The soul is birth-less, eternal, imperishable, and timeless and is never destroyed when the body is destroyed.

Sanskrit transcript:

नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः।
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः॥


nainaṃ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṃ dahati pāvakaḥ
na cainaṃ kledayantyāpo na śoṣayati mārutaḥ

English translation:

No weapon can cut the soul into pieces, nor can it be burned by fire,
nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.

Hindi translation:

इस आत्माको शस्त्र काट नहीं सकते, आग जला नहीं सकती,
जल गला नहीं सकता और वायु सूखा नहीं सकता।

Thank you, readers...friends. It was both a pleasure and an honor to celebrate Navratras/ Pujas with you!

Each day we grow from strength to strength-- Karuwakis and the men who support/sustain them!

Signing off with the wise words of Marcel Proust , tailored to these testing times, that

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes". This journey/voyage, dear readers that we have embarked upon... Yuhin kat jayeega safar saath chal ke.

Listen to it here: https://youtu.be/kuoMcwhcMzs

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