Tag Archives: Sanskrit

something about octobers

Thinking back, I can’t believe that one year ago today, I was sitting at my grandparents’ house in India studying Sanskrit and Yoga. It’s crazy thinking that it’s already been one year since I decided to start this journey in life, and tried my best to be open to what the world and universe sent my way.

Well, here I am one year later, starting a new journey with new relationships, and a somewhat new perspective and outlook on life. My husband and I (that still sounds funny) got married about a week and a half ago, and made the trek from Memphis to Albuquerque to study all those things that I started in India, but on a much deeper level. We are at the Ayurvedic Institute, and I find myself just as excited, if not more, to be back in the groove of studying Sanskrit and Yoga and Ayurveda.

Our classes officially started yesterday, and it was awesome to have all of my old memories and things that I remembered from India flood back to me. But, I think the coolest part of it all was that I now have my best friend to share this exciting time and new journey with, as well as 38 other fellow classmates. Everything is just a whole lot better when you have incredible people to share it with.

I know I’ve said this again and again and again, but it’s really crazy how life works out, and it’s crazier what happens when you let the universe give you what you need at that point in time. But, you have to be open to it, and really truly let your heart talk to you.

In class yesterday, we were talking about dharma, and what the true meaning of dharma is. It’s a really hard word to translate into English, but I like the definition that was given to us; and it was along the lines of being aligned with your true nature, true self, and when your soul and your heart is doing what it’s meant to be doing in life. As I was meditating yesterday, I was trying to just clear my mind, and when I was able to do that, even for that brief period of time, there was a sense of peace. I know that this path isn’t easy, but it brings me a sense of joy and peace, because I know that I’m doing something that I love, and not what someone else wants for me.

Once we let our insecurities go to the side a little, and realize that we have the capability to be open and loving, we can let the universe talk to us. It’s scary as crap, but totally worth it in the end.

I can’t wait to share this new journey with all of you, and tell you all about the different things I am learning! I guess Octobers are a good month for me…

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it’s time for the goodbye

Well, this is officially my last post from my 3 month long journey here in what I call the motherland-India. I am so excited to be hopping on a plane in less than 24 hours, and finally be heading to my home. But, a part of me hasn’t accepted that reality yet.

The past 3 months have literally been a roller coaster of emotions, experiences, thoughts, etc. I’ve learned so much about life and who I really am. I was lucky enough to have 4 amazing gurus to teach me as much they can in a short period of time about classical music, Sanskrit, Yoga, and Ayurveda. I’ve gotten so much closer to my family in India, and I can finally say I don’t feel like I don’t belong here.

I’ve eaten so much, I don’t want to see Indian food for at least 3 weeks after I get home (except for this one punjabi shabji my aunt is bringing me today!). I’ve literally shopped ’til I dropped. I’ve been in a car here more than I can say I wanted to. I rode on a train in India (from Ahmedebad to Mumbai). I did touristy things and took cheesy pictures. I partook in Navratri festivities, Diwali festivities, and Sharad Poonam activities. I’ve witnessed and experienced every range of social economic status–I saw what it is like to be extremely wealthy, and I’ve seen what extreme poverty looks like. I saw how ridiculous election time is here in Gujurat, and how angry people get when their candidate doesn’t win. I watched riots and protests on TV in Delhi after a young girl was gang raped on a bus. I visited beautiful temples that really represent what our places of worship should be like, and I’ve visited not so amazing temples.

I learned how to work a riksha and travel in the city all by myself. I know the streets of Ahmedebad and can find my way home if I get lost. I stayed in a village with no internet, a city that is growing faster than anyone can think, and in a megacity that is running out space. I saw the rivers and lakes of this country and more fruit trees than I ever have in my life. I saw that there are more animals roaming the streets of India then there are in the zoos of India. I watched Bollywood movies and memorized Bollywood songs that I can’t wait to bring back to the States. I talked in Gujurati, English, and shaky Hindi. I learned that the final price is never the final price here, and that you can always shave off at least 200 Rs at the end.

I found out that I am a very impatient person. I get aggravated easily. I learned that the only way to live life is to constantly be open to what your environment and surroundings are throwing at you. I realized that the Universe is always, always, giving you signs about where your life is going. And when those signs are being thrown in your face, grab them as quick as you can. I learned that the most unexpected people walk into your life and can make such a huge impression. I’ve made friends that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t come.

I felt excitement, homesickness, loneliness, happiness, extreme heat, annoyance, over indulgence, pain, flexibility, and love.

Most importantly, I am content and at peace with myself. I’m ready to come home.

one month report

woah hey folks. it’s been a week since my last post! what’s up with that?! sorry, I’m losing track of time here like it’s my job. My mom got in yesterday, which officially marks one month of being here. I have a lot of posts I’m going to be publishing/posting in the next few days, so hope you guys are still enjoying reading about my experiences of my life in India. But, in the meantime, I wanted to do an update post on how I am faring as far as my goals go. (In case you missed my first post about why I’m here and what I want to accomplish, check it here!)

So, goal numero uno: to become a yoga fean. man, let me tell you guys, I am having so much fun learning about yoga and the different asanas and everything. I can definitely see growth here. I used to make fun of my my mom when she would sit in the house and do pranayama, but now here I am, spending 20ish minutes each morning practicing it. I am beginning to appreciate my body more and more. I’m realizing that I do need to take care of it, physically, emotionally, and mentally. There is a whole new meaning for me that “your body is a temple”. There is so much truth to that, and I need to start literally treating it like a temple. By taking care of it, not putting toxins in my body, etc. I’m really learning this from my daily yoga practice. And, it’s awesome!

Goal numero dos: an understanding of sanskrit. My classes have become a mix of philosophy and Sanskrit and it’s amazing. I’m learning so much about the complexities of life and what our ancestors and how they wanted us to live our lives. I think everyone should take the time to study their roots. It’s filling a void in my life, and you begin to appreciate who you are a lot more.

Three: traveling. Though, I haven’t traveled outside of Ahmedebad yet, I’ve been doing a lot of sight seeing within the city, and am learning a lot about the history and culture of this city. I can’t wait until we travel outside of the city.

So overall, things are going great, and I’m proud of myself for having the guts to decide to come here and really work on my personal growth. I can’t wait to see what the next 2 months bring. 🙂

Mosquito Bite Count: 1 I think | Serious Craving: Apparently it’s Free Taco day at Taco Bell on Tuesday.

 

Here’s a heads up on my upcoming posts: my trip to Gandhi Ashram (Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram in Ahmedebad), Sharad Purnima and our relation with nature, and much more!

it’s like a web

It’s been a few days since my last post. nothing extremely exciting has happened. I think I’ve finally gotten settled in and have a routine to follow everyday. The days are still going by pretty quick. I mean, I’ll be home in 70 days (and for all you Christmas extravagants like myself, that’s 70 more days until Christmas). There haven’t been any monkeys since my encounter on Friday with them. Thank the freaking goodness. But, I did see a peacock! My aunt’s friend has a weekend house about 25ish minutes away from the city (long way away, remember?), so I went with them yesterday afternoon. There are a lot of peacocks in the area. I didn’t get any pictures, but peacocks are everywhere in India, so I’m sure I’ll get one soon enough. Fun fact: the peacock is the national bird of India. Not sure what the U.S.’s is. I think Tennessee is the mockingbird. Not really sure though.

Anyways, I guess the other cool place I went to yesterday was the Kakaria Lake (wiki link). It’s this huge lake in the middle of Ahmedabad. Definitely check out the link. Lots of cool things go on in lake area–they have a zoo, aquarium, a train at night, light shows, food vendors, etc. My aunt and uncle took me at what seemed the crack of dawn for a morning walk. I kid you not, when I say this place was JAM PACKED. I didn’t realize there were so many morning walker enthusiasts on a Sunday morning here. Fortunately, it was somewhat cool outside.

Where I’m getting at with this, is going to the lake reminded me of a verse I learned in Sanskrit class the day before:

Shashina cha nisha nishayaa cha shashi

Shashina nishaya cha vibhati nabaha I

Payasaa kamalam kamalena payaha

Payasaa kamalena vibhati saraha II

Here’s the rough translation: The moon shines because of the night and the night shines because of the moon. So, the sky shines because of both the moon and the night. In the same way, the lotus looks beautiful because of the water, and the water looks beautiful because of the lotus. So, the lake looks beautiful by both the lotus and the water.

Essentially, what this shloka, or verse, is getting at is this ideaa of “paraspara”. What it means, is that we are who we are because of the relationships we have in our life. A husband is because of his wife, and a wife is because of her husband. A shopkeeper is not a shopkeeper without customers. A brother is not a brother without a sister, etc. You guys get the drift. But, this idea of interdependence is pretty cool if you think about it. We’ve created a huge tangled web with the rest of the world and the people who live in it. Pretty neat huh? It really hits on the quote “no man is an island”.

I went to Texas this summer, and remember having a conversation with a friend a long the same lines. When I wake up and have a cup of coffee, it’s not just me that poured the cup. But, you have to think back to the origin of the coffee plant. Someone had to plant it, harvest it, bag it, ship it, package it, ship it again, shelf it, etc. Our actions are never really solely done by us and us alone. There is someone else always involved in the process.

I think this is especially important for anyone on any kind of spiritual path. The relationships we create in our life all play a huge role in our ultimate relationship with the Divine. We are all a little piece of the Supreme, so by the friends we pick and the relationships we nurture, we are surrounding ourselves with small pieces of the Ultimate. So, don’t ever feel like you’re alone in any situation. There is always a presence of someone else, an invisible hand if you will, that has helped you get where you are. Having this attitude can bring humbleness into our lives, and humility is a virtue all religions endorse.

Mosquito Bite Count: It’s never ending; 5 | Serious Craving: Caramel Lattee

entrance gate to the lake

how pretty is the sunrise?

if you look closely, you can see different color rings around the sun, getting brighter and brighter.

an island in the middle.

it gets personal.

I finally have internet. This was seriously a pain and a half to get this thing set up. Anyways, I made it! That was a feat in itself, and I am pretty freaking proud of myself. I can now cross “travel internationally alone” off my bucket list (not that that’s really on my list, but figure of speech? idk). I’ve been in India for about 3ish days, and I am surviving. Ha. But, the heat is ruthless and the struggle is real y’all. I want to shower again as soon as I step out of the shower, it’s that bad. I’m just trying to ignore this aspect. But everything else is going awesome! I’ve started both my Sanskrit and yoga classes and I could not be more pleased with how they are each turning out. My teachers are so incredibly intelligent, and I really feel as though I’m going to get a lot out of these next couple months here! Time is going by so quick here already. Even when I’m not doing anything in the house, the clock is just ticking away. I don’t even realize that it’s afternoon time. I had some serious jetlag though when I got here. I just wanted to sleep all day. I still randomly get really tired, and I am still waking up around 4 in the am, and can’t fall asleep for an hour, and then I’m up around 6:15 since my yoga instructor comes around 7. My grandparents have this decent-sized balcony, and in the morning it’s actually cool enough for us to sit outside and take the class there. It’s pretty great.

I had forgotten how personal of a country India is, seriously. At the airport when I was waiting for my bags, I had my buggy and I was standing in front of it so I could grab my huge bags, and there were people hanging all over my buggy and my backpack and my neck pillow! Of course I didn’t say anything, because it didn’t really bother me, but whatever. People are just so close to one another here and it’s cool. Even when you go to a store or anywhere, everything is so informal. Everyone talks to each as if they’ve known each other since birth. What I’m getting out of that is, if we treat those we meet like family, I think that initial awkwardness can almost be eliminated. But, on top of that, it can make it easier for us to see the positive in others as opposed to the negative. I’m guilty of this as well, but we’re so quick to judge others, that we forget that we have flaws that make us imperfect as well. But, if we can just treat the other individual with a little bit of love, and a lot of respect, we’d get along with so many more people than we already do. This has been a recurrent theme of a lot of my conversations with different groups of my friends over the past few months. How can I see the positive light in others and why is it so hard to see the positive first? Over and over I kept saying just don’t focus on the flaws, accept them as they are. But, it’s even simpler than that—it’s something we’ve been taught since kindergarten—treat others the way we want to be treated. This is a practice that I definitely need to put more effort in.

My Sanskrit teacher put it in a really awesome way. He was teaching me the meaning/significance behind the word Ohm. It is a symbol of Brahma (God). But, it’s such a powerful syllable, that we have to pair it with something else. Brahma means vast, not just big, but so freaking huge that we can’t grasp how vast we’re talking. But, in that vastness is love for every single creature that walks this planet. I mean every single one. Our love for others and everything should be that vast, because God does not make mistakes when he’s creating. So, who are we to say that someone else or something is “bad”? If this supreme being/energy/ball of fire (whatever you call it/wanna call it) has made that other person or that other animal or whatever, do we really have the place to question the beauty of it? He went into more detail, but I just wanted to capture it real quick. My spiritual journey in life is getting a turbo boost here. My faith in my culture and my religion is becoming stronger, but the goal isn’t just religion. It goes beyond that. Religion is a path you can walk on, but spirituality is something so much greater than that. Everything I’m learning here is creating a stronger relationship between me and the Greater Force and Creator that encompasses this universe we live in.

Today, really appreciate the beauty of something, whether it be your family, someone you meet, nature, or even yourself.

Mosquito Bite Count: 6 | Serious Craving: Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

outside the gparents/circa 630am

outside the gparents/circa 630am

hey folks. i’m back.

i know it’s been a long time. a year. more than a year. i know. there’s no need to really linger on what my life has been like since my last post. but i will say this. i have met some pretty incredible people, and have begun to do partake in cool things that are changing the way i look at life and how i see my future. it’s exciting really. i don’t really wanna get into details right now. i’ll start unfolding these thoughts over the next couple of days.

but what i do want to tell you all is about the current journey i just started about a day ago. i am going to india for three months. i left the states october 1, and am currently sitting at the dubai airport waiting to start the final leg of my travelling. i’m exhausted. and i’m not going to lie, i broke down and couldn’t stop crying for about 3 hours because i’m scared. (okay ps there is a baby right now WAILING and the mother is not doing anything about it. what the?!).

i decided i wanted to go to india for an extended period of time around before i graduated college. i mean, i’m taking the year off. i won’t have an opportunity like this again. here are the goals of my journey:

  • to become a yoga fean. i’m taking private classes for the first month, and then when my mom gets to the motherland, we’re both partaking in this 10-day intensive at an ashram. and i don’t mean just for exercise purposes. i mean everything. this yoga experience will seep into every aspect of my life, and bring a consistency to the way i live. we, or maybe just me, compartmentalize our lives. this is me at school, at home, with my family, friends, significant others, work, etc. but i’m never the same me with the same thoughts and same motives in every aspect. this ultimately is hindering me to reach the higher truth. i need to be stable in my personality-intellect, body, mind, and soul. i think yoga will help.
  • to begin to understand sanksrit. and i mean read, comprehend, write, the works. sanskrit was the very first language in the human world. how cool?! and a lot of what we consider ancient languages (greek, latin, etc.) actually derive from sanskrit. another cool thing. if you’ve read my “this is me” page, you know that i read the geeta. well, one of the things i have to do when i read is read a transliteration of the meaning in english. when i do this, the real meaning of the words change. so i’m changing that. and i’m gonna learn sanskrit. a dude on the plane said it’s one of the easiest languages to learn. crossing my fingers it is!
  • travel. i’m an avid traveler. a lot of my friends can attest to that. my belief is that there is just a ridiculous amount of culture out there that every person should to some extent be exposed to. india, has some of the most spiritual and beautiful sights to exist in the world. when my family comes, we will be travelling to south india, as well as some spiritual and holy places. we will also be paying our respects to the one man who is responsible for a majority of what makes me, me by going to his hometown in Roha. i cannot be more excited.

these are only just snippets of my overall goal. my new tagline for my blog is that this site is a compilation of experiences and thoughts i have had on my journey to seek truth. my hopes from this trip is that i leave india, understanding a little bit more of what makes me nishita. spirituality is a key ingredient here. if i can leave india a little bit more spiritual, then i think that my goal will have been accomplished.

i’ll be sure to post pictures of everything, and my notes, and thoughts, and anything else you guys ask for! i hope this journey becomes something more than just for me, but through my experiences, you can understand yourself a little bit more as well.

until next time. peace to all.