March 10, 2016

Ellora and Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga

The next morning we woke up (Rashmi, me, Kavita and Nirupama) and left for the Sri Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga in Aurangabad. We had hired a cab for the entire day and pre-decided the places we wanted to visit. The twelve Jyotirlinga’s are supposed to be the places where Lord Shiva was Himself present. On reaching there, we had to deposit our mobiles outside the temple. We bought the usual things needed for the puja and went inside.

There was a big queue as it was not only a Monday but also ‘Somvati Amaas’, which is considered an important day for worshipping Lord Shiva. We were lucky that we visited the temple that day, though it was a coincidence. Rashmi and I decided to offer ‘Abhishek’ to the Jyotirlinga, which is a puja in which you worship Lord Shiva with water, milk, honey, chandan, panchamrut and offer the Prasad and flowers. A pujari chants the mantras and you follow his instructions. The Pujariji Anil Joshi asked us the name of our Gotra, which I didn’t know and hence I felt bad, sad and embarrassed as Rashmi knew hers and said it out loud proudly :P

The first thing I did after I came out of the temple was get my phone, switch it on and Whatsapp mom asking her about our Gotra. I came to know it was Lohitaksh, meaning red eyed people. I checked my eyes, in the car’s rear-view mirror as we left for Ellora caves, but couldn’t find any red (I can see some red in my eyes at times when I am clicked using flash in the dark, but everyone gets that!) So what is it that makes me different? I kept thinking and realised how important things like Gotra are, though we think them to be trifle and learn them only when we feel embarrassed, miles away from home – as they differentiate us and our clans, help us to trace back and know where we came from. For those who don’t have the slightest idea about Gotra, please Google it.

Ellora caves are very striking and are a confluence of Buddhist and Hindu caves. There was a shooting going on in one of the caves. I saw Kunal Kapoor shooting with some others who looked as if dressed from medieval times.  It was some grand multilingual movie. It was very tiring, but we enjoyed indulging in history. 

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