Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday Blessings - Moonlight

 Brother  Mike  preached  about what   should  be  our  motivation for  worshipping  God .Worship God  for  who  He  is and because  He  alone  is  worthy to  be   worshipped and  not because  we  want  our  prayers  answered or  feel  good  and  holy.
After service everyone was  served  hot, sweet  milky  chai (tea)  with  sweet  biscuits and  samosas ( fried snack). We  stayed on  meeting  people,  having  fellowship. Even Sheeba  joined in  playing   the  children. Returned  home  just   before  3 PM.  God  is   good.
The  moon  looks   so  beautiful tonight.

The  moon  like  a  flower
In heaven 's high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and  smiles  on  the  night.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Republic Day

On  26th  January  India  celebrates  her  Republic Day.  We  adopted  our  Constitution  64 years  ago  on  this  day.
In  Chapter 25 of  his  book  "Why  are  we backward?" Dr Vishal Mangalwadi observes that on this  day  India  did  what  God  commanded  Moses  to  do in  the   Old  Testament...govern the  country according to the  law and   not   according  to  man.
             Happy Republic Day

I watched  the  grand  Republic  Day Parade telecast   live  from  New Delhi. It is  a  colourful  and  impressive  display  of our nation 's  military strength, progress  and  development  in  various  fields ,  art and culture  encompassing different  religious and  ethnic streams.

Tomorrow  is  the  second  holy bathing  day at the  Hindu  festival of  the  Mahakumbh on  the  banks  of  River  Ganga. Thousands  of  pilgrims  are  pouring  into our city to camp on the  river  banks to take  a sin purging  dip in  the  river  at  the  auspicious  time. People  believe  their  sins  will  be washed  away  by Mother Ganga and  they  will attain salvation ,  moksha or  nirvana through  this  holy  act.

Thousands  of  security and  infra structure etc.  workers  have  come  here  from  all  over  our  state  and  neighbouring  states  to smoothly run  the  activities  in  the  pilgrim city on  the  river  banks.

Some Christian  people working  in  the  railways  and  police department visit our church for  worship and  Bible  study.They  are  here  only for  a  month or  two and will return to their  hometowns once their  duty  in  Sangam city   is  over.

Today I met Police  Sub Inspector Santosh  who  has been  coming  to  our  church  for  fellowship in his off  duty hours. I was  so  thrilled  to  hear  his  testimony and  what  God  is  doing  in  his  hometown.

He  told  us  that  his  father  was  the  village  Pandit , or  man  of learning  and  people  used  to  come  to  him  to  study  the  Hindu Scriptures. One  day   Santosh took a pastor to meet  him. When  the  pastor  explained the  way of  salvation , the  elderly man  was taken by surprise. No one had  told  him  things  found  in the  Bible. A seed  of  faith  was  sown in his heart which later  took  root leading him to the Way, the Truth and  the   Life.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

I 've got a mansion just over the hill top

An  old  haveli  or  mansion I  pass  by  sometimes.

The Mahakumbh at Allahabad

This  video  will  give  you  a  glimpse  of  what  happened  on   the  banks  of  the  river  on  Jan 14th and  why  it  is  the   world 's  largest  religious  gethering.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

For those who could not raise a Taj Mahal for their beloved

Albert Godwin, 1896

Taj Mahal
A  poem  by  Sahir  Ludhianavi  ( esteemed  Indian  poet  and  lyricist)
The Taj, mayhap, to you may seem, a mark of love supreme
You may hold this beauteous vale in great esteem;
Yet, my love, meet me hence at some other place!
How odd for the poor folk to frequent royal resorts;
‘Tis strange that the amorous souls should tread the regal paths
Trodden once by mighty kings and their proud consorts.
Behind the facade of love my dear, you had better seen,
The marks of imperial might that herein lie screen
You who take delight in tombs of kings deceased,
Should have seen the hutments dark where you and I did wean.
Countless men in this world must have loved and gone,
Who would say their loves weren’t truthful or strong?
But in the name of their loves, no memorial is raised
For they too, like you and me, belonged to the common throng.
These structures and sepulchres, these ramparts and forts,
These relics of the mighty dead are, in fact, no more
Than the cancerous tumours on the face of earth,
Fattened on our ancestor’s very blood and bones.
They too must have loved, my love, whose hands had made,
This marble monument, nicely chiselled and shaped
But their dear ones lived and died, unhonoured, unknown,
None burnt even a taper on their lowly graves.
This bank of Jamuna, this edifice, these groves and lawns,
These carved walls and doors, arches and alcoves,
An emperor on the strength of wealth, Has played with us a cruel joke.
Meet me hence, my love, at some other place.
Translation by K.C. Kanda, appeared in Masterpieces of Urdu Nazm published by Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. – found here

Monday, 14 January 2013

Spiritual Bath - Allahabad Kumbh Mela

India's Hindu Kumbh Mela festival begins in Allahabad

India's Kumbh Mela festival begins

Related Stories

Several million people have been bathing at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers at Allahabad in India, on the opening day of the Kumbh Mela festival.

At least 10 million pilgrims are set to do so by the end of the day.

The event, every 12 years, is billed as the biggest gathering on Earth. More than 100 million people are expected to attend the 55-day festival.

Hindus believe a festival dip will cleanse sins and help bring salvation.

In 2001, more than 40 million people gathered on the main bathing day of the festival, breaking a record for the biggest human gathering.
Sprint to waters
The festival formally started at dawn on Monday. All roads leading to the Kumbh Mela grounds are packed with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.

Kumbh Mela in numbers

Devotees pray while taking a dip at the Sangham or confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges river at day break at the Kumbh Mela celebration in Allahabad on January 13, 2013.
  • Visitors: 80-100 million
  • Number of days: 55
  • Area: 20 sq km (4,932 acres)
  • Drinking water: 80 million litres
  • Toilets: 35,000
  • Doctors: 243
  • Police: 30,000

There was a chill in the air as holy men sprinted into the waters in Allahabad, but the day dawned warmer than in recent weeks when a cold snap hit northern India.

Police estimated that by early afternoon about four million people had bathed.

For many at the festival, one of the most memorable spectacles of the day was when the Naga sadhus, or ascetics, sprinted into the river reciting religious chants, many clad only in marigold garlands.

The naked ash-smeared men arrived in a colourful procession and waded into the chilly waters of Sangam - the point at which the rivers converge.

The Kumbh Mela has its origins in Hindu mythology - many believe that when gods and demons fought over a pitcher of nectar, a few drops fell in the cities of Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar - the four places where the Kumbh festival has been held for centuries.

Teams are managing crowds on the river bank - as soon as pilgrims finishing bathing, they are encouraged to move away and make space for other bathers.

"I have washed off my sins," Mandita Panna, a resident of Nepal and an early bather, said.

Allahabad has been preparing for the festival for months and a vast tented city has grown up around the river.

Fourteen temporary hospitals have been set up with 243 doctors deployed round-the-clock, and more than 40,000 toilets have been built for the pilgrims.

Police checkpoints have been set up on all roads leading to Allahabad and about 30,000 policemen and security officials have been deployed to provide security during the festival.

Naga sadhus run in to bathe in the waters of the holy Ganges river during the auspicious bathing day of Makar Sankranti of the Maha Kumbh Mela on January 14, 2013 The main attraction at the festival is the sadhus, the Hindu holy men

Tens of thousands of men, women and children have set up camp on the white sands of the river front.

On Sunday night, smoke could be seen rising from hundreds of small fires which people had built to cook dinner or keep warm.

One of the main attractions at the festival is the sadhus - Hindu holy men - who have been leading processions accompanied by elephants, camels, horses, chariots and music bands in recent days.
Health concerns
The festival has prompted health concerns, however, with campaigners warning that the river waters are heavily polluted.

Most pilgrims drink a few drops of the Ganges water and many fill bottles to take home with them.

Authorities say they have taken steps to address the concerns.

Last week, companies along the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna were warned against discharging any pollutants into the waters.

A Naked Hindu holy man or a Naga Sadhu watches others as they wait for a dip at Sangam Hindus believe a festival dip will cleanse sins and help bring salvation

Reservoirs upstream have been ordered to discharge fresh water into the rivers ahead of the six big bathing days, and the festival authorities have declared the Kumbh Mela area a plastic-free zone.

The Kumbh Mela, which is costing the authorities 11.5bn rupees ($210m; £130m) to organise, is expected to generate business worth at least 120bn rupees, according to a report by India's Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

The report says that the festival is also expected to draw over a million foreign tourists.

Are you taking part in the Kumbh Mela? What prompted you to take part? What's the atmosphere like? Please share your comments and experiences either using the form below or tweet us at @BBC_HaveYourSay using the hashtag #BBCkumbh - please also include your contact number in India if applicable


Dear  friends,  I  am  having  trouble  uploading  photos  from  my  computer (files).  Only  when  I  choose  the  HTML  option   can  I  browse   for  photos   saved  on  my  comouter.  Is  anyone else  facing   this  problem

Three for $1

A grocer put up a sign that read: "Eggplants, 25¢ ea. Three for $1."

All day long, customers came in exclaiming: "Don't be ridiculous! I should get four for a dollar!"

Meekly the grocer capitulated and packaged four eggplants. The tailor next door had been watching these antics and finally asked the grocer, "Aren't you going to fix the mistake on your sign?"

"What mistake?" the grocer asked. "Before I put up that sign, no one ever bought more than one eggplant." (Cybersalt Digest)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Welcome 2013

Goodbye  2012
Welcome 2013
A very  Happy   New  Year  to  all  my   readers
My  Scripture  verse  for   2013

The Lord  fulfilled  His Word  in  2012
My heart  is  full  of  thanksgiving