The Buddha and Marigold

Meditative moments with the Buddha and the Marigolds

A Buddha image or a statue never fails to stop me in my tracks , captivate me and transport me to at least a few minutes of private contemplation even in a public place. Those few minutes are meditative , powerful enough to permeate my being with small bouts of serenity.

I was at a friend’s place for a party last night and was drawn to this figure of the Buddha in her living room even amidst boisterous conversations and a lot of gaiety. The lighting helped , or rather the meagre lighting helped , making it all at once dramatic and striking. I stood there transfixed for sometime , completely oblivious to the chatter of the party , my mind captured by the beauty of the Buddha , the subtle light of the lamps lending lambency and the almost silent trickle of water in the base that glistened and twinkled. The yellow marigolds only seemed to add a sense of worship to that corner of the room. I had to capture the visual beauty. Those few minutes were meditative.

So enraptured by this visual , I am certain to see this image in my mind’s eye every time I think of Buddha.

I was drawn to the yellow marigolds equally , backlit beautifully. I wondered if the flowers had been placed there for worship or for the purpose of decoration , could be both ! The hostess of the house is spiritually inclined and is a Bharatanatyam dancer along with being into wedding planning. That speaks for the aesthetics !

Lotus and marigold are two flowers primarily used to worship Buddha and decorate the place of his worship.

Marigolds symbolise auspiciousness in Hinduism. Yellow and orange also signify renunciation and are ‘the colours’ used during our rituals in various ways to signify surrender to the higher being. May I take you back to my earlier post Orange Glory the Colour of India in response to the Daily Post photo challenge  to bring home the point ?

More interesting would be what is often quoted as a significant reason to using marigold during worship in Hinduism. The flower has a stout , erect stalk , which sometimes makes it hard to pluck it from the plant. In fact , the Sanskrit name for marigold is ‘Sthulapushpa’ , which signifies exactly that.

It symbolizes trust and faith in the Divine and imbues the worshipper with a will to overcome obstacles along with the intent of surrender to the lord.

Some more in praise of the marigold. It is known to have protective properties. Marigold does not have a pleasant odour , unlike most other flowers and yet is used for worship and decoration. Wondering why ? The flower is often strung into a sort of a garland called the torana , hung above the doors of traditional Indian homes and the unpleasant odour is said to keep insects at bay. The same goes for worship-time. It keeps insects away from the place of worship and the idol.

Another instance from the past when I got rooted to the spot on beholding this Buddha in a terrace garden at another party. Another private moment of contemplation.

Fengshui Buddha

The Buddha for Fengshui

India , Thailand and Cambodia have several Buddhist monasteries all over ; have visited most of them. My mind is now set to tour Leh Ladakh , Tibet and Nepal. The Buddha calling ! Insha’Allah !

Fresh Collage – Dollops from Here and There

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Fresh.”

The word Fresh is mnemonic ! Tired after a tough day of work , this word fresh conjured up thoughts of water , flowers and dawn when I opened my desktop and settled down in the blogging world with a cup of coffee. And true to my thoughts and even to the beverage on my table , I found these pictures clicked sometime in the past. Though working on another post , couldnt resist posting this one. Fresh !

Fresh bonsai Adenium bloom in my garden

Fresh bonsai Adenium bloom in my garden

Early morning rays streaming through a door and lighting up the feet of the deity at a temple. This is an archaelogical wonder ! Fresh fragrances of the flowers and incense , fresh water for the rituals of the morning , fresh minds , freshness greets every worshipper as you step into the precincts of the temple.

Early morning rays , fresh to the mind

Early morning rays , fresh to the mind

As coincidence would have it , today is festival time in some parts of India. ‘Ugadi the festival is called and it signifies the onset of spring/summer and the beginning of the new year , the lunar calendar way .This platter below which is readied for the festival is freshness incarnate , what with the the freshly cracked coconut , the sliced raw mango , a cube of jaggery , freshly plucked neem flowers , freshly ground spicepowder and salt , oh wait , salt is the odd-man-out here !!!!!! So , we grate and mix all of the above and eat tiny portions of the mixture. Symbolic ! The sweetness of the coconut and jaggery , the sourness of the raw mango and tamarind , the wee-bit-bitterness of the neem flowers , the salt and the spice signifying the highs and lows of life. As kids we we tried in vain to escape eating this , but our elders almost always manged to feed us with it. We would grimace and gulp it down , without as much as chewing it. And now , I feed it to my son , history repeating !

Ugadi platter , all things fresh

Ugadi platter , all things fresh

And here’s to the effervescence of freshly brewed South Indian filter coffee ( kaapi ). The photo I clicked a month ago at breakfast at Hotel Siddharth in the sleepy town of Mysore comes handy now. Blogging has taught me to keep my ears , eyes , nose , mouth open and my camera poised  , you never know what challenge The Daily Post is going to throw every week !!!!!! We , Indians relish our beverages , tea and coffee in short glasses sometimes. You guys must try it while in India , the taste and feel  is undenaibly superior.

Fresh coffee in short glasses , not cups

Fresh coffee in short glasses , not cups

You must be wondering how random this is getting , but its in keeping with the Fresh challenge , right ?

Chakku , fresh after her bath

Chakku , fresh after her bath

So here is this Chakku , for thats her name , fresh after her bath ; after all the fuss and the squealing and snapping and growling at the bath , she is being featured in a blog. Wish she could know that !

Hey , I actually feel fresh after writing so much about the attribute despite an exhausting day. Its all about our thoughts , right ? On that note , I must narrate this. A young girl walked up to me at the gym while I was in the midst of my workout ( ggggrrrrr ) the other day and asked me “how do you manage to look fresh even at the gym” and answered it herself saying ‘probably because you are smiling always’ ! I did acknowledge that the gym is a happy place to me , I love working out. So , yes , its always the mind that rules. My next post is going to be related to this.

Till then , Ciao !