The Chronicler of Hoogly


We booked the sunset cruise on the Hoogly recently. With winter on its way, the sun was setting early leaving behind a long balmy evening. Good time to observe the river and the city as it transitioned from day into the night.

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Boarding the boat from the Millennium Park jetty, we soon chugged out in the company of other sight-seekers like us. The itinerary was to cruise up the Hoogly to Belur Math, the much revered global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission founded by Swami Vivekananda. We were scheduled to reach in time for the evening Aarati before we returned. Travelling with us was a Study tour group from Germany.

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As I sat on the deck, I was engulfed by a kaleidoscope of sights………….

 Of the looming floating bridge of Howrah, still considered a cantilever feat of engineering seventy-five years after it was built. Of decrepit ghats and jetties. Of derelict and abandoned warehouses, shanties and slums. Of colonial architectures separated by grimy and slushy by lanes. Of how Man’s creativity and resolve has sunk under the grime of his daily struggle and existence………….

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Of temples and riverside religious rituals coexisting with stinking garbage and defecation grounds. Of the riverside walled up   along long stretches as if to hide its shame from the very people who have sullied it thus. Of how Spirituality jostles with poverty…….

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My thoughts and emotions get stopped by a flurry of activity on the deck. Probably sensing the approaching sunset, the service staff had got busy offering beverages and ‘muri and aloor chop’ snacks while the German tourists were busy with their telephoto lenses and cameras. I look at the setting sun, the morphing shades of the flowing waters and could not but marvel at how nature yet manages to shine its beauty on an environment gone increasingly awry…………

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With the falling dusk, I notice a lone figure sitting at the rear side of the deck. Somewhat taken aback for not having noticed this person earlier, I walk across and introduce myself. “You may call me the Chronicler”, he tells me. Intrigued I plonk into a deck chair beside him. “Would you like to hear a tale about all that we are witness to today?”, comes the soft voice. Even before I can respond, the voice continues.

“Great metropolises, they say, grow out of a river. London…. Paris….. Rome…… Moscow…….. Cairo….. Istanbul. In each of these cases, the mighty rivers that flowed, the Thames, the Siene, the Tiber, the Moskva, the Nile and the Bosphorus, provided sustenance and remain the heart and soul of the cities….”

“And so was the symbiotic relationship between Hoogly and what we know as Kolkata. While today we are wont to see the river as some kind of an appendage to the city, what if I told you that it is really the other way around? That Kolkata is really an offshoot of all that the Hoogly has been witness to over the centuries.”

“When we started our cruise, we saw Fairlie Place and its jetty to the right with the Strand running beside it. So what would you say are its important landmarks?”, the Chronicler asks.

“Well I suppose it is the Customs House and the Eastern Railway headquarters. Apart from a few more important office blocks”, I respond.

“But what if I told you that about three hundred years back most of that place including what we know as Dalhousie Square was a large water body called Lal Dighi ? This was the time when the British East India Company was busy consolidating its position and Fort William stood on the banks of Hoogly. That is when the attack happened”

“Attack!”, I exclaim, “By whom and why?”

“The then Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah attacked, captured Fort William and incarcerated British prisoners in a dungeon which came to be known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. An incident which directly led to the battle of Plassey and the subsequent two hundred years British Rule of the subcontinent.”

“Hang on!”, I interject. “Is not Fort William more in the hinterland, near the Maidan?”

“Indeed”, the Chronicler continues, “but what is less known is that there were two Fort Williams. The present one near Maidan was built by Robert Clive after the attack on the first one.”

“The battle of Plassey, which was to change the history and the shape of things to come for ever for the subcontinent, was also fought on the banks of Hoogly but to the north of where we are. But that is another story.”

“The Fairlie Ghat holds another interesting tale”, the Chronicler continues.” In the mid nineteenth century, Prince Dwarkanath Tagore, while travelling on a train in England, got the brain wave of setting up a rail link to carry coal from his Raniganj colliery to the Calcutta port at Fairlie. On return he invested into setting up the ‘The Great Western Bengal Railway Company’. Unfortunately, his proposal got turned down by the British East India Company bosses on the grounds that ‘it would not be possible to allow a company using such strategic technology under native management….’ His efforts and thoughts however did push the British to set up rail services though the East India Railway Company with its Headquarters at Fairlie Place.”

“Hmm! That name Dwarkanath Tagore sounds familiar. Was he in some way related to Rabindranath Tagore?” I muse.

“Indeed he was!”, the Chronicler quips back, “He was in fact the grandfather of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, that venerable Bard of Bengal and the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature more than a century back”.

“The Hoogly ghats then were a far cry from the crumbling cesspools that we are seeing today. With magnificent facades and European classical architectures, the ghats were witness to impressive steam ships and tall masted  boats sailing out to faraway places in England, Australia and New Zealand as also upstream to ports on the Ganga.”, the Chronicler continues.

“Did you know that there were thriving French, Dutch and Armenian settlements on the Hoogly in the early years of colonisation?” I am asked.

Well I had read about the French settlement and I say so.

“Fascinating is it not that events and rivalries five thousand miles away in Europe would show up in the waxing and waning of the Hoogly ghats! And so it was that as the British colonialism went into ascendancy after winning the Napoleonic Wars in early nineteenth century, the settlements of other nationalities on the Hoogly faded into oblivion.”

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“Which brings us to the Shova bazaar Ghat and its fascinating history. The Ghat and the Shova Bazaar Rajbari ( Palace), was built with great pomp and grandeur by Raja ( King) Nabakrishna Deb.The latter famed for organizing the Shovabazaar Rajbari Durga Pujo about two hundred and  fifty years ago ( which continues till today!). What is seldom spoken of is that all of the Raja’s wealth came from the huge bribe money of Rupees eighty million paid to him, Mir Jaffar and a couple of others by the British administration for betraying Nawab Siraj–ud-Daulah on the battlefield of Plassey. A betrayal which led to a small British force of 3000 soldiers winning a decisive victory over a twenty times larger opponent. A betrayal which led to the British becoming the dominant colonial power in the subcontinent for over two centuries. Is it not ironic that one of the greatest betrayals in Indian history is so inexorably linked to one of the biggest religious festivals in the country?”

So engrossed had I become in listening to the Chronicler’s tales that I had scarcely noticed the darkness enveloping the Hoogly and the boat engine slowing down.

My companion on the deck points to a brightly lit temple and ghat complex to the right. “That is the Dhakshineswar Kali temple built in the mid nineteenth century by Rani (Queen) Rashmoni based on a dream in which Goddess Kali exhorted her, ‘There is no need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganges river and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place.’ The temple attained fame because of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the famous mystic and the spiritual guru of Swami Vivekanand.”

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The boat docks on the Belur Math Ghat. I notice the Chronicler making no attempt to get up even as other guests disembark and start walking up the Ghat steps. The tour supervisor advises us on the way to reach the temple premises for the evening Aarati. As we hurry, some of the German tourists stop to look at souvenirs in the roadside shops.The Belur Math design incorporates the different Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance as well as Hindu and Islamic styles that Swami Vivekanand had observed during his travels in India and abroad.

I return back to our moored boat with the intoxicating chants of the Aarati still resonating in my ears. As the boat starts on its return journey downstream, I look around for the Chronicler but he is nowhere to be seen. Dinner is announced and we go down to the dining room in the lower deck. The fascinating vision of the Hoogly  created by the Chronicler’s tales in sharp contrast to the hugely run-down and depressing sights I had been witness to, continues to wrestle in my mind.

What is it that has made the Hoogly hold onto its rusting warehouses, its hideous shanties and walls which no longer serve any purpose? What is it that has made Kolkata turn its back on the river that brought it into existence? What is that which leads us to abuse and neglect that very water that we consider holy and religious? What is that in our societal psyche that fuels such dichotomy?

As we reach back and walk off our cruise, these questions continue to haunt…..

 

……… In Learning.

Shakti Ghosal

 

 

 

 

 

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45 thoughts on “The Chronicler of Hoogly

  1. Beautifully written Shakti. I recognized the Howrath Bridge from when we were there a couple of years ago. Your history of the area were most compelling.
    Leslie

      • There were many areas of interest. It is so sad that we have managed to let our rivers fall into such a sorry condition. They were the main reason our cities developed and thrived.
        Leslie

  2. Beautifully done, Shakti….. A great read early morning – even if it left me a touch embarrassed by how little I know of my city if birth ! If you are so inclined, I would recommend (even lend you) a not-so-well-known work – “The cobras of Calcutta” by Grant Sutherland, to quench your thirst farther…..

    Tilak Ghoshal
    ( On Facebook)

  3. I saw similar sights (evoking similar thoughts and memories) while on various river boat ride on the Irrawady at Mandalay, Bagan and especially Yangon, during our vacation in Myanmar.

    Actually, I was reminded so much of the dilapidated jetties and landing docks on Strand road and the desolated mills on the Western shore, during the ride from Yangon to Twante.

    BTW, For a time warp effect, Pl read the 1st tome of the Ibis trilogy by Amitab Ghosh, in case you haven’t already. He captures lives and traffic on the Hooghly so very well.

    I understand that AG held a reading and discussion session (from his works) on a similar cruise sometime during the last couple of years.

    And had I known in time, I would most certainly have parted with am arm + leg + eye combo to be there.

    Chandan Chatterjee
    ( On Facebook)

    • Hi Chandan,

      Thank you for the very perspective comment. While I have not done the Yangon cruise, I can sense the similarity that held with my trip on the Hoogly. Historically though the Hoogly takes centre-stage for being the arena which launched the British takeover of the entire Sub-continent including Burma. I have not read the Ibis triology but am a fan of Amitav Ghosh. In my previous blog ‘Sundarbon Chalo’ I have quoted from his “Hungry Tides”. So I am going to look up this triology. And of course I would have loved to be on that Cruise.

      Cheers

      Shakti

  4. Dear Shakti,

    Superb narrative and beautiful pictures.

    The chronicler could not have been Bengali.
    No Bengali would refer to the Ganga as Hooghly. Please watch this video.


    ganga aaye kahan se
    http://www.youtube.com

    A song from the movie “kabuliwala” a magnificent writing by the great Tagore, A classic direction by Hemen Gupta Music direted by Salil Choudhary. The song particularly written by Prem Dhawan

    Hooghly railway station is just short of Bandel on the Howrah-Bardhhaman Mail line.
    Bandel is connected to Naihati Jn. via Hooghly ghat and Garifa through the Jubilee Bridge over the Hooghly river.

    Before Independence the direct line from Sealdah to Jalpaiguri was via Naihati, Ishurdi and Parbatipur.

    Thanks once again,

    V.Anand

    ( From the Lounge session Forum)

    PS I have managed to convert the audio tape compilation you gave me in 1981 into MP3.

    • Dear Sir (Anand Saa’b),

      Thank you for your very kind acknowledgement, I appreciate.

      You are right Sir. All Bengalis do refer to the river passing under the Howrah bridge as Ganga. But from a Geographical perspective, the distributory of Ganga which flows down through Murshidabad and then Kolkata is the River Hoogly. It is also referred to as Bhagirathi in the northern parts of the state. So I suppose the Chronicler had been a student of Geography!:)

      There is also a district called Hoogly just north of Kolkata and the station and ghat you have referred to are part of that.

      Incidentally that lovely number ” Ganga Aaye Kahan Se…” from Kabuliwallah is in fact based on a very popular Bengali folk song,

      “Doobayili Re Bhashayile Re…”

      Sir, the irony is that while you have managed to convert that tape to MP3,, I do not even possess that any longer. So I suppose I do not have much choice but to visit you and recover a copy for myself to keep those lovely NKJ memories alive!

      Warm Regards

      Shakti

  5. Dear Shakti,

    Great article.

    Do I detect you taking the Nom de Plume as the Chronicler?

    Keep writing.

    A very Happy New Year and a glorious 2017.

    Best regards,

    Sumit Sinha ’71
    ( From the Lounge Session Forum)

    • Hi Sumit,

      Great to hear from you and may I also wish you and yours a lovely year ahead.

      Thank you for your kind acknowledgement of the piece. I appreciate.

      If truth be told, the Chronicler is a Non de Plume who I brought in only to allow conversations and lighten the otherwise somewhat heavy historical perspectives. But who he really is , has been left unsaid………

      Where are you based nowadays Sumit?

      Cheers and Regards

      Shakti Ghosal

    • Sue,

      I wish too indeed! I do find it such a wonderful acknowledgement to read incisive and thoughtful comments. That does indicate that somewhere I have been able to touch and give pleasure to another human being! And what could be a greater blessing than that?

      Regards

      Shakti

  6. What a wonderfully interesting post dear Shakti.. I loved reading about the history of the river.. And its so lovely to hear from you again also..

    Your pictures speak volumes and yes poses many questions as to why we disrespect that wonderful Life giver the purity of water so much.. When we so value it to keep us alive.. And its waterways are the veins by which we first traveled and traded.. And are a much needed source by which goods are moved around.
    I was interested in learning so much more about those early days and found your conversation fascinating .

    I am at a loss to the reason why Mankind is such a destructive force and why he uses the rivers and oceans for that matter as dumping grounds.. Or why we are so disrespectful of each other.

    I hope you and your family had a lovely cruise and an enjoyable vacation ..
    Wishing you an abundant year filled with harmony and peace..
    Blessings for a Happy Healthy 2017..
    Sue 🙂

  7. What an amazing tale you have to tell, Shakti – and to have run into such a person on your cruise! And you, such a willing audience to his ‘chronicling.’ Win/win. I think you summed it up early on when you offered, “Of the riverside walled up along long stretches as if to hide its shame from the very people who have sullied it thus.” What paradox. And yet these people live amidst it, apparently accepting that this is simply the way it is. No apparent reflections or motions to clean up the river.

    About 20 years ago, my daughters and I took a train ride across the United States. I realized fairly early on that train tracks ran through places hardly anybody witnessed any other way. My gut clenched at the bowels of cities hoarding mounds of debris, cast off refrigerators, factory fuel drums, old bicycles, truck carcasses. And as you might have guessed in reading this, all that refuse bordered on water. On another note, walking for many years in the Maine woods, I would often come upon men urinating in the streams, not, as would make good sense, onto the plentiful forest floor which would absorb and filter their body wastes. I also noticed human feces near water, as well. What in the world. Even foxes and rabbits know to shit in the woods.

    Here in Hawaii, we live in a former sugar plantation town near exquisite ocean cliffs. When the plantation closed, the company took all their old vehicles and rubbish down to these cliffs and piled it high alongside the shoreline and also shoved it over the cliffs where it got hung up on rocky promontories. Some community organizers took it upon themselves a few years back to recruit volunteers to haul away as much of the refuse as they were able. This is just an amazingly beautiful, sacred, breathtaking place. Why on earth, people? What is the symbolism, the unspoken motive?

    Never have I understood the human proclivity toward sullying such a treasured and valuable resource as water, nevermind Planet Earth. Were these the same children who, once a plaything grew tiresome, simply discarded it wherever they stood? I mean, if this was a doll fashioned of carved wood, it’s one thing. But plastic? Once that transition was made? And what were their elders modeling for them? I see this on our island because I’m a cyclist – so much discarded waste by the roadside. I recently watched a van stop on a hill simply to empty a used disposable diaper onto the side of the road. Really? You created the child, now it’s everyone’s responsibility to clean up after? What is it about humans that thinks this is okay?

    I know there are no answers to many of my questions. Your comment that perhaps “Man’s creativity and resolve has sunk under the grime of his daily struggle and existence” does fit, for some who lack the resources to clean up their mess. But collectively, countries do possess the resources to allocate to such efforts. And each of us is liable for our imprint upon this blessed ground. In closing, the lyrics to a song written by an old friend from my radio days, David Mallet, arise is consciousness and haunt me still. The song is You Say that the Battle is Over (also recorded by John Denver), “From young seals to great whales from waters to wood; They will fall just like weeds in the wind; With fur coats and perfumes and trophies on walls; What a hell of a race to call men.”

    Blessings, Shakti, I appreciate your presence here on WP. ❤

    • Dear Bela,

      Thank you for your kind acknowledgement and comment.

      Like you, often times walking on the streets as I see plastic and filth lying around, I feel disturbed. Similar to how I felt seeing the situation of the Hoogly banks and Ghats. But then I wonder what might be at the core of this mindset difference between folks like me and others who litter and chuck garbage in open spaces. I do realise that the only way to find a sustainable solution to the menace of dirtying the environment is to understand this difference. As you too have rightly observed that there is a need to ‘understand the human proclivity towards sullying our own environment and resources’…..

      I suppose we need to create a societal consciousness and passion for beautiful environment and surroundings. I sense that this can happen only if we are able to link our own concerns and even existence to healthy and sustainable environments. This needs active involvement of the Government, local authorities and citizen activism. But in the final analysis it needs to begin with each one of us. As Gandhi had said, ” Be the Change you want in the world”.

      Blessings to you too Bela and stay well.

      Shakti

      • Yes, when I wrote this, I was thinking to offer only the main points as it felt like I was rambling unduly. I completely agree with what you are saying, of course. I was raised by a Scoutmaster father who taught all seven of his kids to ‘leave the campsite cleaner than you found it.’ This has sunk in for me, for sure, all my life. I think in my country at least, greed is King. Folks stumble over one another trying to attain … what, in the end, if we have no clean water to drink? No clean energy to provide for essentials? A movement toward sustainability would require governments to reorient their priorities, and we’ve just elected a man who is Greed Incarnate. Forgive me if I’m feeling a bit despondent about the state of the environment just now, for I’ve advocated for this beautiful earth all my life long and will continue until I die. It just feels like we keep stepping backward, but growth perhaps requires one step forward, two steps back. So thanks for being you and for being optimistic. I wish I shared that optimism, Shakti, I truly do. Namaste, dear man.

  8. Thank you Shakti for sharing your experience. A captivating read where the photos matched the narration like intertwined wefts and warps of a beautiful saree. I could almost feel I was there. The historical snippets provided another perspective that took one’s thoughts to what was, what is, and what could be. Truly fascinating !!

    But more of such over a sundowner – at home or on the Hooghly.

    • Tapanda,

      Thoughts of a sundowner in such a balmy weather are tempting indeed!

      Your most gracious acknowledgement has made my day.I also appreciate your taking the time to post a comment here.

      Kind Regards

      Shakti

  9. Very interesting read, Shakti. A reflective piece of writing to ponder on as to why Kolkata lost its past glory. Having spent a small part of my life in Liluah, I have always been amazed by the overall satisfaction level among people, despite all round hardship including economic. The lack of drive to improve the surroundings is also surprising. “The city of joy” by Lapierre did show a perspective, but it was through a foreigner’s eyes. All the same, the city remains liveable, unlike many others declining more rapidly.

    • Hi Vats,

      Thank you and delighted to find your comment here. My regrets at the slight delay in replying as somehow I had missed seeing your comment awaiting approval before it is posted ( A WordPress Security tool!)

      I recall with fondness my visit to the Liluah Workshop during your tenure and the lovely evening i had spent with you and Lata and your kind hospitality.

      I suppose the so called ‘lack of drive to improve one’s surroundings’ comes from a lack of awareness of what could be and one’s satisfaction with one’s lot. Today when I am witness to the ‘Economic success and prowess’ of some of the other Indian metros viz. NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. and the decline in the quality of life that has sometimes occurred due to the breakneck speed of “development & Growth”, I remain unsure about what really is the relevant socio-economic model for a country like ours. A country in which 18% of the world population needs to subsist on 3 % of the global landmass. I cannot profess to have the answers.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment here, I truly appreciate.

      Shakti

  10. Happy New Year Shakti my friend! Hoping that 2017 will bring light to the darkness so that humanity can finally see to move forward on a new path towards gentle peace. What an interesting trip you took, as always. The Chronicler surely gave new insight to the journey. I have never understood why people allow themselves to live in filth and ruin. What has become of humanities self worth, their pride? Tending to ones space on a daily basis is not hard and yet so many make no effort. It baffles me greatly and I think it baffles you as well? One can blame it on poverty but it does not take money to bend over and pick up trash.Perhaps it is born out of hopelessness? That nothing will ever improve? Because they wait for someone else to make things right perhaps? Therein lies the problem. It is each of us who must make the effort to create change, together! Will we get the message this time around? I am praying we do. Blessings to you Shakti…VK 🙂

    • Hi VK,

      Thank you for your kind wishes. May I too take the opportunity to wish you and yours a great 2017 going ahead. I join you in the big hope for Humanity to move on the path of empowerment and global peace.

      When you say that the issue of “filth and ruin” is born out of hopelessness, I believe you are spot on. But if poverty and dis-empowerment are not the ingredients of hopelessness, what is? As I think about this question, I realise that hopelessness might be arising out of a mindset which is unable to see a path forward. This is where the role of true leadership comes in. A Leadership which holds the ability to listen to and address the underlying concerns of all stakeholders. It is only out of such listening that empowered actions can arise and the veil of hopelessness removed.

      In conclusion therefore I believe that the current run-down and filthy environment of the Hoogly that I was witness to is a consequence of bad socio-political leadership and consequent lack of accountability of the administrative machinery.

      Blessings to you too VK and stay well.

      Shakti

      • Agreed! I have found recently in my diggings about that the people themselves are the ones with open minds and big picture thinking, it is the leaders whose minds are shut down and who can no longer see beyond their own prison walls of elitism. Those elite walls are crashing all around the world. First with the Arab Spring, then with Brexit and followed by the U.S. election results. The people are speaking and with each victory our power rises up.One can feel this is the moment the world is meant to detour off its present path onto a time line of change and peace. It may be slow in coming but it is surely at our back doors! Open thine eyes sweet world, we are far more than what we have always believed….Blessings…VK

      • Hi Vk,

        It is indeed empowering to feel that as a race, we are moving towards a better future. Thank you for this perspective.

        You say, “….it is the leaders whose minds are shut down and who can no longer see beyond their own prison walls of elitism….” I have often wondered what is it that makes the leaders so different from the rest of the society out of which they have arisen?

        Shakti

      • If you figure out what makes leaders minds think so differently, let me know!!! That question remains at the top of my curious list…Happy weekend…VK 🙂

    • Hi Lucyann,

      Great to see you back. May I wish you a lovely year ahead. I can well empathise with the girls during their India visits:) Where do they travel too?

      Cheers and God Bless.

      Shakti

      • Thank you, they mainly travel to the Punjabi region, but it depends where their families are originally from, some of them have very mixed heritage now, many are 4th generation, probably why they find their visits so shocking, compared to life in the U.K.

  11. How lovely to see you, Shakti, and read the fascinating tale you share. At the description of the rivers as the source of life of the cities, immediately our, humanity’s, skewed understanding of the relationship between Source and Its creations sprang to mind. It seems we approach our understanding of the world around, and within to some extent, us as starting with us and evolving to everything else. The Truth I’ve come to see and strive to live is that we are the expression of the Life Force we embody, that animates us and everything we see, hear, touch, taste and feel.

    As you swept me up in your beautiful cruise experience, I’m listening to the regenerating vibrations of Om Namah Shivayah.

    What a lovely way to start the new year: a heart and mind connection with a friend. Thank you!

    Wishing you all the very best in our next voyage around the sun! 😉

    • Hi Margarita,

      Thank you and lovely to see you here too. Wish you a great year ahead.

      Loved your comment and the fascinating perspective it leads to. So what is it that leads us to place our own-selves at the centre of the Universe? Is it some intrinsic self-centricity that is embedded in our DNAs? Is it part of our self-survival instinct? Or is it part of the conditioning that we go through as part of our childhood socialisation?

      My sense is that as living beings holding certain bound perspectives, the “Truth” that we access is really how the world occurs for us in that moment. Our Occurring world is a function of several aspects of who we have ‘wound up becoming’ viz. our passions, likes, dislikes,biases and prejudices.Within these boundaries of our own reality or truth, we need to strive to live in the moment with integrity, authenticity and compassion.

      As an aside are you familiar with the Ramakrishna mission? I ask since you spoke of the regenerating vibrations of ‘OM’.

      I too look forward to many a pleasurable journey with you in 2017.

      With blessings

      Shakti

      • Your words beautifully illustrate what we humans struggle with, Shakti: boundaries, limitations, self (not Self) identification. When Infinite Consciousness expresses in form, as It does in this plane and dimension of existence, it is difficult to wrap our heads around the concepts of Infinite, Eternal, Limitless. In order to do that, we need to place ourselves in the center and attempt to understand from our perceived limitations. I say perceived because form is finite and limited, and once embodied, we forget our essence. The veil of Maya clouds our understanding.

        While I’m not familiar with the Ramakrishna mission, for many years I have imbibed the teachings of Baba Muktananda and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda.

        It is good to make the pilgrimage with kindred spirit, Shakti! 😉 xoM

    • Hi Radhika,

      At the outset Season’s Greetings to you too. My apology for responding late as your comment was stuck waiting to be approved and I somehow missed seeing that.

      I am delighted you liked the post. Indeed Bengal has in its folds such fascinating stories. I do look forward to writing about a few of those.

      Thank you for the time to visit and comment here. I appreciate.

      Shakti

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