Lakes, and Temples and Palaces – Oh My!

by Joanna D.

Bus

Last weekend, I journeyed to a Lake not far from Gokulam. A nice little lake. Peaceful. Don’t think I would dunk my toes in it though; swimming? Pretty much out of the question. Many people go there every morning to get some exercise, have a morning chat, do some fishing… hmmm. Think I’ll pass on that. Afterwards we had early conference at the Shala. There was a special showing of a short video created by a few dedicated students documenting what goes on here in Mysore and at the Shala. It was quite beautiful, and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work on some graphics with them. Also snuck a photo of the Shala, a big no-no, at the time of the showing. Ooops. You can go to this link, Mysore Magic, and see a preview, or purchase a view, if you are so inclined.

The next day was a moon day. No practice. All play. So I went back to Chamundi Hill to get some photos and a blessing. Standing in line, a fellow behind me decided to help me navigate through the proceedings. Couldn’t understand much of what he said but he tried. Made it to the place where you give an offering and receive a blessing and the queue disintegrated right in front of me. People pushing and shoving. It was chaos. I tell you, it doesn’t matter if your in a holy place or not. My navigator urged me to try again and I made it. Not really knowing what I was doing but feeling good about it just the same. Around the corner, people break coconuts as offerings. Didn’t get to see that but they laughed when I mentioned it. Was told to touch the feet of an ancient looking stone carving, pay 20 rupees for some prasad and then back in line for the blessing on the way out. Again I got pushed out of the way. This time the priest, or whatever you call him, saw it and called me back after scolding the two who had pushed me out of the way. That was pretty awesome. Take that suckas! Then it was off to wonder among the crowd and roaming cows.

Later in the day I went to Mysore Palace. An incredible place. Wasn’t allowed to take a camera in so you will only see the outside view. The inside was beautiful. Everything was decorated. Carvings, paintings, stained glass. Standing in a great hallway facing the enormous inner courtyard I closed my eyes and envisioned myself there in it’s prime. Wearing a beautiful Sari and jewels fit for a princess. A celebration going on. People bustling about mingling, awaiting the presence of the king. Maybe I was there in another life…

Enjoy the photos – love and light my friends.