Near my parents’ house in South Delhi is a Temple of Lord Jagannath. From my childhood, I have loved this form of our beloved Lord and always tried to go to this temple whenever I visited my parents. Last time I went there, they had renovated the temple, and next to the main altar, I saw a long series of stairs inviting me to come down.
There was a picturesque grove right below with a stone path beckoning us to come yonder. The stone path is covered with a beautiful parapet of green creepers. I saw many varieties of vegetables growing. They are probably used to offer food to the Lord and all his devotees. A rustic smell filled the air, and suddenly I heard a loud “Maa, maa.” There in the middle of the capital of India, sheltered from the politics and traffic, was a little cowshed in the corner. Two calves came scampering outside and ran to greet us shyly. I felt sad I did not have any fruit to offer them.
Towards the end of the path I saw a very small temple, of Mother Tarini. Just like the forms of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, Mother Tarini also is very abstract and in fact she only has a big face. It is red and is somewhat geometric. All around her eyes are decorations of white polka dots. She has a beautiful nose ring and a smile that danced right into my heart and made a permanent abode there.
I stood there just watching her. I felt there is nothing else I want to do in my life – just sit there and watch her.
Her whole temple was a little temporary contraption of wires that looked like a cage in a zoo. Extremely simple and yet her presence was strong and heavenly. The priest was sitting next to her and offered me some prasad (blessed sacrament).
I said to him, “You are so lucky. You get to do seva for Maa.” (Serve Mother)
He smiled gently and replied, “You are blessed too. You are getting her darshan (divine vision).
There was such truth in his words. I felt so lucky, so blessed, so grateful to be standing there at that moment. Nothing else in life mattered.
Here is Divine Mother in her exquisite form showing me all forms in creation are verily her own. Here I am, knowing beyond any doubt that just as she is, I am too. I am a part of her and that very thought filled me with ineffable joy and supreme happiness.
A childhood song, wafted into my mind,
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one,
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.
Sri Krishna Sharanam Mama
108 day vow: Day 58