All for the sake of mental stability

I am the perfect specimen of the homo sapiens kind. Like most others that I have encountered, I have a mind that fritters with astonishing ease. One that refuses to stay at a place for  an extended period of time and generally prefers to hop from one thing to another. It does the hopping with great efficiency but I am yet to meet someone who considers that to be a skill of any consequence. It also has a tendency to get (often greatly) perturbed  easily. Especially if it spots something that doesn’t sit easy with the conscience. And the world and its people, being the way they are, offer ample opportunities for the mind to revolt against what it has been brought up to believe to be wrong either morally or ethically. Sometimes I wonder if living without a conscience is easier. If you have a conscious, you are conscious of every little thing you do. You think a ten times before you do something and if you have the slightest inkling that you have done something that you shouldn’t have, you spend countless hours mulling over why you erred.  If you don’t have a conscience, you go about doing what pleases you. To hell with the consequences. Those will be faced if and when they come knocking. It is this combination of the frequently- frittering-and-easily –perturbed mind  that challenges my mental stability. Forget exploring the hidden powers of the human mind through concentration, I am just looking at achieving (and maintaining ) an equilibrium.  High time I began on that tratak.

In keeping with another characteristics of the homo spaien, specifically  of the Indian kind, I am also what can be described as “fairly religious” .You don’t often find my religious views making an appearance here. I prefer not to lay them out on public display for multiple reasons. Religious views tend to be very personal. No one really understands what you do and why as well as you do. I am not the best person when it comes to words. I can string words to make a sentence but that doesn’t mean I can always express myself eloquently .So I  run the risk of wanting to say something and sound like something else altogether. With emotionally packed topics, I can also be at  a loss of words. This is guaranteed  to bring on a slew of comments on what’s right/wrong/ insane about my views. I dislike confrontations and arguments so I  do all I can to avoid them. And anyway these things are better done face to face.

If I were to put my religious/spiritual thoughts in a  few lines, I’d say this- I am a believer in a higher power. A little uncertain about its form, shape and exact reach and powers but a believer nevertheless. I look at religion as a step towards spirituality. No matter what religion you follow, it prepares you to take your spiritual journey- one that involves you and that higher power and doesn’t take into consideration what religion you came from. Which is not to say that religion is not important. Its religion that teach us the difference between right and wrong, disciplines the body and mind, gives us some degree of discriminating power. On the face of it the boundaries of religion seem more defined than that of spirituality but I suppose as you go along the path and grow, your understanding gets clearer and the boundaries better defined.  

Till such time that I reach a stage where I fully understand and appreciate all the elements of spirituality and attain  that elusive  lasting peace and stability, I will have to put into place some sort of a make- shift arrangement to restore my mental stability. I am yet to figure out what precisely that make-shift arrangement is. I am currently thinking on the lines of a stint in the Himalayas.

Sharing a few pictures of Haji Ali taken some days back  on our visit to town. There isnt any real connect between those two paras on religion/spirituality and the visit. But build one if you feel like it. We were in town and one of the mother’s relatives was keen on showing us  “his area”.  I was kinda tired and not too keen on any more “Mumbai Darshan”.  Its surprising how many “Mumbai Darhsan” spots I still havent seen, having lived here for some6-7 years now.  But the boy was bubbling with enthusiasm and it was hard to refuse him. So I went along. Here’s what I learnt post visit-a -if you ever decide to visit the dargah, make sure you donot go on a Sunday.You will either get crushed underfoot or get shoved off the causeway. b-prepare yourself to mentally cut off from the crowds. The crowds are crazy but the dargah is truly peaceful. Snatch a few seconds of peace before you get pushed out by the caretaking staff. Besides the peace of the dargah, the smell of rose itra/perfume  is another thing that stayed with me. And c-be prepared to see yet another beautiful historical site gradully crumble under the effect of wear and tear. My mother remembers seeing the dargah as a white structure as a young girl. When we made the trip it didn’t look white at all to me. The structre dint look too strong either.  


the causeway leading up to Haji Ali. You cant walk down the causeway during high tide- it gets submerged under the water.


a shot taken from the causeway that catches the shikar of the Mahalaxmi temple.


the main enterance


the dargah. its not really white, is it?


the endless stream of people !


Note: Please bear with the changing themes.Consider it to be a fallout of the unstable mind. I cant decide which theme I like best. The last one had a great font size but this one’s header size is larger and therefore better. But the font’s smaller! I can never seem to make up my mind!!How do you people resist changing themes?

11 thoughts on “All for the sake of mental stability

  1. I dont know if you get mental peace in such temples and masjid’s !! i kinda find so many people giving me more stress… i prefer green valleys with fewer humans.. !!!
    where did u see me use the word “temple” or “masjid” ?? i thot i mentioned the pics were not connectd with the paras on religion/spiri’ly! waise all temples arent bad.. some are actually nice- clean and hardly crowded.. u have to hunt for those though.. valleys are just as rejuvinating.. but u population free valleys are getting extinct.. so u hv to find places that are kinda unexplored… that way u dont find too many ppl and u can spend time with nature..undisturbed..the manalis and nanitals are totally out!

    i hate visiting temples and such places actually… so i might as well stop commenting here… !!
    haha!therefore the statutory warning! lol

  2. You know, for me, some temples/religious places have a wonderful vibration.. and I feel like going there, because of that feeling.. But it is quite rare for me.
    no one says we have to go frequently.. if u can go once in a while and pick up the vibes u need to, i think u are fine… these can be great places to restore calm and recharge..

    Haji Ali is one of the places I always wanted to visit, though..
    like i said.. its crowded, not very well kept.. but it had powerful vibes, if u can manage to cut out the crowds and the pushing n shoving… may be a visit on a weekday wud have worked out btr for us..

  3. Talk about unstability. We are in the same boat. How in the world did you stand that crowd!? I’m never able to tune the constant buzz off my mind and end up getting headaches. But yes, I do want to visit Haji Ali once, just once 🙂
    🙂 interestingly that was never on my list.. and yet i managed to go!

    And ma’am you didnt come to my award ceremony or what?
    i came, i came.. just dint get time to show off those awards here…

  4. Nice pictures!

    Mandu, I don’t get peace in crowded places of worship. I mostly visit them but don’t feel a thing. So if possible when I am in Kerala, we go to temple at odd hours or working days so that there is less crowd.

    noone really does… i mean if u have some super ability to cut off mentally from the crowds, then you may be able to enjoy it.. i do appreciate the powers at such places and i get too entangled in cursing people who are shoving me to really take benefit of them! lol.. thats why like u if we go to any of these famous places we try going at an odd hour..u never want to go to a temple like siddhivinayak on a tuesday, i tell u! but in all honestly we have tried that once and then concluded once and for all that it was just toooo hard to survive the crowds!!there is no denying that some places are special.. its ppl that mess ’em up and turn off people like u n me..

    Also our family temple is near sea and it is always quiet and serene. I go there and sit and it is bliss!
    i am going to be a mallu inmy next life!! u guys have the back waters, greenery, elephants.. and now family temples near the sea!!!!!! i have none of those!!!

    So what’s happening? Still busy? 🙂
    busy is not the word my friend… my travel schedule for the month reads like this- maharashtra, rajasthan, rajasthan again, himachal. and that doesnt even account for desk work that needs to be done simultaneously.

  5. Visiting temples, gurdwaras, dargahs, church etc pass on an inexplicable soothing effect on us!! If the place is quite and serene it’s even more pleasing!
    thats wat i’m sayin!!!

  6. 🙂

    if unstable mind can up with so many sensible thoughts, what will happen when you all stable mandy?
    hehehhe… good point!:)

    for me god and religion are separate things. or maybe its rituals i prefer to keep away. i just cant stand most of them! i rarely visit temples or places of worship. place i love the most tho is gurudwara. somehow i get so much peace even among miling crowds!

    oh yes! i have been to a few gurudwaras myself.. i think they are all fabulously clean and well organised..peaceful.. and of course give the best-est prasad ever!i also think they have lesser frills than temples..which is something i like.. temples can at times have too many rules and too much showbazi

    but mostly i have my one on ones with god on my own time! 😀
    i think that works the best… to have dialogues, or in my case monologues, with god..

    gorgeous pictures like always!

    and yeah, i hate confrontations too. 🙂


  7. Lovely pics Mandira! I think I last went to Haji Ali about 12 yrs back. My friends sis got married in a hall nearby and all of us friends went to Haji Ali after that. I think even then the exterior wasnt perfectly white..though I dont remember clearly.

    Luckily it wasnt crowded that day inspite of it being a sunday. We didnt know the etiquette of being in a mosque so didnt go all the way inside…just saw it from outside and came back. One of my darpok friends was worried that the tides will rise and we would be stuck there…so we beat a hasty retreat 🙂 But I remember it being beautiful. And i have to say it again….lovely pics 🙂

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