Power of Chanting

I did not know much about chanting earlier but once I came across a 3 hour long video of someone reciting the same word for three continuous hours. I was shocked and chuckled that who would be so free to actually listen to that. Moreover,I once saw Kendall Jenner circling the edges of a huge bowl with the help of a thick wooden stick and I found it so amazing that I ended up listening to it 10 times,it was so soothing. Definitely,I did not have any idea what that instrument was so I quickly googled and it was called Buddha’s Singing bowl. I wanted it so I searched them online but they were quite expensive but I didn’t stop there I searched for its audio on Spotify and there were tons of it. Then I came to know what chanting was,what the 3 hour long video was all about. Later,when I went to Manali I got one Buddha’s Singing bowl for myself and also learnt there how to play it.

Chanting plays a huge role in my life now and it has worked wonders in improving my mental health. My most favourite is chanting ‘Om’ it is said that it helps in calming a nerve in our brain called vagus nerve. Even when I am sick I like to listen to it rather than overthinking and stressing my body and mind.

A lot of people say that meditation is good and an important part of one’s life. However,when it comes to actually doing it I must say,its really difficult to focus. Atleast for me,my head gets flooded with thousands of thoughts but whenever I chant anything,it makes meditation easier and helps me focus.

Chanting and listening to chants has been the most beautiful part of my life lately and especially doing it with my loved ones always feels like a cherry on the cake. For instance,I remember during August 2021 I was going through a very difficult phase and there was a Janmashtami pooja at my place where a lot of my family members came and together and all of us ,in a chorus chanted Lord’s name and I still cannot describe how it felt that day,I was moved to tears because I could feel parts of me healing.

The vibration of instruments and the energy in voices fills the room and soul with immense amount of positivity and serenity.

Some of my favourite chants-

Listen these with earphones or headphones on!

Let me know some of your techniques that help you meditate!!

Say Hi to me on Instagram!!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

Advertisement

Last Day of….

I always hurd my parents say that school days were the most precious and beautiful ones and I would always frown and disagree with them because I couldn’t see anything “beautiful” happening in my life at that point of time. In matter of months I had to give my board exams and I was wondering when I will get rid of this exam pressure and was already looking forward to my free, exciting and fun college life.

I have hurd from my older sibling that college is best as you don’t have to always be disciplined, follow strict rules,wear the same clothes everyday and all that.

So,one day all my friends magically did a zoom call and let me tell you there is nothing magical about this but what was surprising was that everyone was available…. RARE! While we were all ranting about our upcoming exams one of my friends popped a question on where we are planning to go after school? It struck me that I never actually thought about how we might fall apart due to our different preferences. However,the thought quickly evaporated and my attention was drawn to listening everyone’s response. Then it hit me,bit by bit that this is what my parents were talking about,my friends, teachers,the atmosphere and fun of school. All my friends, literally the bunch of people I am so habitual to are gonna go away in different directions to pursue their dreams. I thought most of us would end up in same city/state but some even had plans of moving abroad!!

When the call ended my mind was racing. I was sad that we couldn’t be together for last 2 years of schooling due to COVID. Compared to other people we got 2 years less. After that,most of the days were spent studying hard. Fast forward to the day of farewell we danced,sang, hugged,laughed to the fullest. Each one of us! The day will be etched in our hearts forever. It was special!!

At that day,I still remember… I was not hungry (despite skipping lunch& dinner that day), my feet weren’t hurting (despite all the dancing with heels on). While we were all vibing,I suddenly stopped dancing,took a few steps back to soak it all in because this is it,it won’t happen again. I have to keep this memory safe and locked somewhere because this is the moment where I feel at home. I know all the people in this room are not my best or closest friends. Some are hi-hello friends, are notes-sharing friends, classmates,benchmates and what not but I am grateful for them because we helped each other out ( even the naughty and mean friends) someway or the other.

In our school,few days before our exam we gathered in auditorium for prayer and to wish each other good luck for exams and that was the last time we were meeting our teachers. I can say that they played a huge role in shaping me into who I am today, they are really the best. That day, when I left the school building it was a hard goodbye because of all the memories we made there. I still couldn’t believe that I was upset and leaving with a heavy heart from the same school I didn’t want admission in.

This is my suggestion to all of you who are still in school, believe when your parents say school years are the best and most important. Live every moment to the fullest otherwise you might regret it later.

I think there should be a word we say when we miss school just the way we have homesick when we miss our home. Should we keep it school-sick? I wrote this blog because I was feeling school-sick. Let me know what we should name it in the comments!! What is your favourite memory of school??

Also, say Hi to me on Instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

Travel Diaries:- Nathdwara

I recently visited a place called Nathdwara,Rajsamand(dist.), Rajasthan. It is not a touristy place but more of a pilgrimage. My entire family is a huge devotee of Lord Krishna ( here called shrinathji) and we make sure to seek his blessings by coming here, atleast once in a year.

This is Moti Mahal

The city’s livelihood revolves around the Haveli ( Mansion of Shrinathji). There is a temple which is at centre and thousands of shops surround it. People can do street shopping of dresses,home decor, jewellery, accessories and clothes for shrinathji.

It is a delight to have Nathdwara special tea! Especially during winters….
There are lots of shops where one can shop for shrinathji
The old city vibes are just amazing!

The temple was constructed in the year 1672 by Goswami Tilkayat Damodar Lalji and is now handled by his descendants and currently each and everything is taken care of by Vishalbawa amd Rakeshbawa. They have brought a lot of reforms and definitely improved the experience for vaishnavs ( devotees of Shrinathji are known as that).

In the temple,there is a another room for Navnit priyaji(known as this in pushtimarg,others also call him balkrishna) which is another form of lord Krishna. A child one,along with that there are also two chakki( this is an instrument used to crush wheat grains, especially a traditional method) one is made of gold and another made of silver.

This type of chakki but in gold and silver
Shrinathji 🙏
Navnit priyaji 🙏

There is a legend, that Ajabkunwari and Shrinathji were playing chaupar (ancient version of ludo) and she was upset that Shrinathji would leave to go back to his original home Mathura. So,she said if she wins the game he has to accept one condition, which was he has to come visit her in Nathdwara. She eventually won that and to keep the promise he comes to meet her. It is believed that during daytime Shrinathji stays in Nathdwara. However, during night he goes to Mathura (a place in Uttar Pradesh, India) from a passageway which start from the temple in Nathdwara and leads to Mathura,the place where he grew up.

Whenever we visit Nathdwara we are barely there in our hotel rooms as there are 8 timings of going to Haveli to pray and see god (also called darshan in hindi). The darshan are scheduled as follows –

1. Mangla- It is the time when god wakes up and during this time we can go to temple without taking bath so in a way we go there to say good morning to him.

2. Shringar – In this darshan ,Shrinathji is bathed and dressed into fine clothing according to the season.

3. Gwaal- Baal- I think most of you might find it unique but Lord Krishna was a shepherd and used to take his cows and cattle for grazing so we get to see that glimpse.

4. Rajbhog- This is my most favourite kind of darshan as its his lunch time and a lot of variety of meals are offered to the deity.

5. Utthapan – It is the darshan where God wakes up from his afternoon nap.

6. Bhog Sandhya- In this Shrinathji hangs out with his friends and has evening snacks.

7. Bhag- aarti- This one usually follows after bhog – Sandhya and are sometimes together also. In this a candle is lit and is rotated in a circular motion to keep him away from evil eye.

8. Shayan- It is the last darshan of the day where we say good night to Shrinathji before he makes it to bed.

There are priests who sing songs and perform all the necessary duties. The priests are the ones who follow pushtimarg (pathway to god) strictly.

Moreover, the city gives out a very holy and sacred vibe. I am not a huge devotee like others in my family but even then I enjoy coming here and seeking blessings of Shrinathji, whenever I come face-to-face with him I stop thinking about everything and instantly my heart and my mind is filled with peace (despite the crowd). I still couldn’t describe the exact feeling but it feels surreal.

Let me know you views on this one! Have you ever been to Nathdwara before? If yes,then let me know you experience. I would love to hear it!!

Follow me on Instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

It’s about little things….

It is always the little things that matter the most. I have seen and met a lot of people who would work hard to provide for their family or give expensive gifts to their loved ones. This is a great gesture but at the end of the day if you dont take out time and do little things for them the “expensive gifts” do not matter much. It is definitely a great way of expressing our gratitude and love towards that person but I feel that it is secondary,if you can make them happy with gifts then its well and good.

Listening to them,just buying a small gift(chocolate or making a their favourite dish for them)or doing some activity means alot and the memories made are the most precious which cannot be weighed with any other gift. I have seen a lot of couples who give each other gifts on birthdays and anniversaries but barely get the time to talk or meet their partner,it is the primary reason why a lot of relationships fall apart these days.

Sometimes these efforts can have a great impact on a person which no other pricey gift can do justice to.

There are days when I feel extremely low and sometimes if somebody makes these small efforts,it just warms my heart and lifts my mood. Sometimes the person doesn’t even know anything about my mood but they understand and sense my sadness then they do things to make me happy which makes a huge difference for me-

The Pooja performed by me!

1. Every year there is a diwali pooja that takes place at our house. So, usually it is performed by male counterparts of my family. However, my grandfather called me up to perform pooja on the locker. It really amazed me that why isn’t he asking my brother to do this but that gesture really made me feel good and most importantly, equal.

2. I remember talking to my best friend about a book I really wanted to read for the longest time but somehow couldn’t manage to buy it. So,she made a note of this and as my birthday was just around the corner she gifted me that same book and I couldn’t describe my joy after seeing it. As it not only made me happy but also the fact that she listened to me with all ears.

This book is amazing! Definitely worth the hype!

3. I can recall the moment when I was feeling extremely low and stressed that day,maybe because the exams were so close and there were some other reasons too. I was really craving something sweet and when my father was going out for some work I even thought of asking him to bring me something sweet. However,I didn’t but when he came back he gave me my favourite ice cream and that nearly brought me to tears.

Thank you,Papa!!

Even this chocolate you see,my brother got it for me because with my help he could score good marks in unit test. So,it was his way of expressing gratitude to me.

Reward!

4. This one is from the evening where me and my little brother were solving a jigsaw puzzle. It is the moment that matters the most.

Precious moments 😇

5. In India, lockdown started in March 2020 ans after that for almost a year only five of us were together. So, in February 2021 when I met my paternal aunts (we couldn’t meet despite living in the same city or can say neighborhood!!)after almost a year that felt like a big deal as covid kept us apart for the longest time.

Tell me some of the little things that made you happy!! It would be a pleasure to know and if you think someone needs to read this share it!

Follow me on Instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

My Tribe

I have met very few people who could proudly say that they have the best friends or best people in their life. Sometimes,in life,we need help. Someone who can show us and remind us that there is light on the other end of tunnel. Not only in happy times but also in sad times, holding our your hand in the walk of life. These days,it is really difficult to find real people. So,if you find them make sure to keep them because they are rare. We do not have a choice to choose our family and we are bound together for a lifetime but the ones you meet who are not related by blood,they are our chosen family and we must choose them wisely.

It is important in life to surround yourself with right kind of people. The tribe that helps you grow, flourish and motivate you to achieve your goals. You feel free to share your ideas, feelings,clothes and madness without any hesitation. Who are also there to show you the ground when you fly a little bit too high,to remind you where you come from,your true values and roots.

I have seen a lot of people who have toxic friendships due to which they sometimes get influenced to perform unethical practices just because the other friends are doing so. They are naive and lose control of self. These kind of things lead to bad consequences which can cost our mental health or sometimes life.

These people are a huge part of our life as they have a huge influence on our lives so it is essential to choose them correctly. We spend half of our day with them so the way they think and conduct their lives also has an impact on us.

In this matter, I feel extremely blessed to say that I have my people. My chosen family whom I call my friends,my HOME. Thank you for always supporting me and listening to my lame jokes. You know who you are. I am grateful for you…..

Tell me what are your insights about this? Did anything happen to you ever, because of bad influence and how you rectified it?

Follow me on Instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

Do Expectations cause unhappiness??

Earlier in life, perhaps, expectations are something that has brought so much pain to me. Keeping expectations from myself,my parents, friends,close relatives and so on. When those weren’t met I was deeply hurt and maybe I still feel so, sometimes.

I strongly believe that they are mere product of our imagination and its always about what we want in our life but we all know that things dont always go as planned. It is important that we accept whatever comes our way.

Expectations are like hidden rocks in your path-all they do is trip you up.

-Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Expectations are evil they give us happiness for a certain time period. Even if things do turn out as expected the happiness we get from it is short term, maybe it is good to expect sometimes so that we push our boundaries,step out of our comfort zones but at the end of the day we want results if that doesn’t come as expected one might feel burdened which leads to disappointment.

No expectations,no disappointment

When I expected something from someone and if it didn’t happen my way, I felt something change inside me and that part of me was never the same again. So, inorder to keep myself safe and serene I adapted a habit to guard myself from constant scrutiny that was caused to me because of expectations!! I started to slowly avoid keeping them (something’s cant be changed overnight. It takes time!) Instead I just hoped.

As humans we have a this in-built tendency to expect from our life and people around us. It gets difficult to not-expect. So, I discovered a new technique, to expect the worse so that on the other hand I could find acceptance. Rather than being on cloud nine which wasnt a reality yet , I know it hurts bad when you fall on face.

Let me know in the comments what is your take on this? Do you like to expect or have found new method to avoid keeping expectations? I would love to know!

Follow me on instagram https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

Sakhdi

I know most of you must be wondering what this word means. Well,it is the name of a Gujarati dish which is popular in Nathdwara, Rajasthan. Nathdwara is also known as Shrinathji which means land of Shrinath or Govardhan nath. Sakhdi is a prashad which is served to God and then given to devotees. It is a mixture of veggies,lentils and rice.

Its not the dish I am going to talk about but its a restaurant where I had all my meals(literally) at this place. Usually,I do not write about the places I eat at but this one truly deserved it because for me and my family it is truly a blessing.

More details….

To most of you who haven’t travelled to Nathdwara yet I have a little story,in this city it is really difficult to find tasty as well as hygiene food. There was always a problem,either food tasted weird or it was unhygienic. Moreover,it is located in a mountainous region which has hard water due to which we got sick and since then we never drink regular water,only mineral water.

The aesthetic is on point!

So, coming across this dine in called Sakhdi was truly a gift from heaven because not only it fulfilled the basic necessities of a meal but also offered amazing ambience which is commendable at a place like this where people dont look for leisure but just come to pray to the deity. Most of the time when we were hungry we used to fill our bellies with fixed Gujarati thali(platter) which got boring on third day. This place offers such a wide variety of cuisines.

The restaurant is spacious and beautiful in every manner. Shlokas from scriptures are put on its walls which totally does justice to the holy vibe of the city. The prices are also affordable and the food is served promptly. The waiters and staff are friendly and welcoming. In short, this is a very nice restaurant to visit and enjoy meals with your loved ones.

Follow me on instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

Travel Diaries:-Manali(Part-3)

To be able to wake up in the lap of nature,is truly a blessing. Our campsite was surrounded with beautiful trees which had fruits like apple,peach, apricots and walnut. On our left was Dhauladhar mountain range and on our right was Pir Panjal mountain range.

The view has my heart…
Apple trees
Peaches

On this day each one of us were well layered up as we were heading to Spiti valley keeping our fingers crossed so that we can witness some snow. As the buses arrived,we made ourselves comfortable and played amazing songs. What made me happy was that we could spot some snow but that view came with a price, it was extremely cold there and after few minutes it started raining so we ran into our buses to save ourselves. On that day we also visited Atal Tunnel which is named after our Late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Spiti valley

You must have noticed these flags in the northern part of India. Sometimes on bikes, bridges,shops,houses,temples and so on. I thought these would be for decoration but I was wrong,one of our instructors told us that these are flags which have some Buddhist shlokas written on them and it is a belief that when these come in contact with air or breeze they help in spreading positivity. I found it quite surprising and amazing!

While returning we also came across Solang valley. All of us were really exhausted after our travel so we had our meals and decided to rest for sometime. Later, in the evening we went near Beas river and did meditation. I couldn’t be more thankful for this experience, the sound of the river filled my soul with serenity. So calming! I felt physically and mentally relaxed.

Saranghae

Luckily,that night we finally got to do bonfire so each one of us prepared something for entertainment like dance,jokes, poetries and songs. We sung and danced the night away and our hearts were heavy because this was going to be our last one,most of us were exhausted but nobody dared to go back to their tents as it was our last night there.

The following day,it was a chaos in our tent as everybody was busy packing bags. We were six people living in one tent,one of us played songs and we danced like crazy… It was so much fun, I cant describe the feeling, it was just wonderful! Then we tried our hands at assembling tents and it was a great learning experience for me.

After our meals we played final game of our trip- Anala Premier League (APL). Our instructors divided us in teams and we played various games. Afterwards we sat on our buses and began our journey to Delhi. I must say it was hard to say goodbye…

Street shopping at Chandi Chowk

In Delhi,as soon as we got dressed we went to Chandni Chowk for some street shopping along with which I also got to see Red Fort for the first time. I visited Delhi for wee hours but I observed that there is so much diversity in the kind of people who live there, there is so much cultural blend. Moreover, on one street I saw Gurudwara, Church and Mosque and after a certain distance,a Buddhist temple.

Red Beauty…Red fort
Beautiful Gurudwara!

Then my family picked me up from railway station and I returned home and I must say there is not better feeling than being home and sleeping in my own bed.

The End

Let me know you views in the comment section .

Follow me on instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag

Travel Diaries:-Manali(Part-2)

Manali,this name has a beautiful story which I would like to share with all of you. It is named after one of the sage called Manu. Once upon a time,there was flood in many parts of India due to which he had to leave his home and migrate to a different place so he set on sail on his boat and arrived at a valley. So,he decided to stay there and make a house,’Manu-Alaya’, alaya means home in hindi and that’s how it was named Manali.

This was the view near our campsite! It was so soothing….

The day we were supposed to begin with our first trek,it was raining cats and dogs due to which we had to keep our plans at hold but we weren’t bored at all as our team of amazing instructors made us play some interesting games ,indoors. After sometime we were reluctant to go out and hike but the team of Anala was dicey in terms of our safety. However,when it stopped raining for sometime we convinced our instructors to take us for the trek and they finally agreed, that day we were going to Rishi waterfall at approximately 975ft. We were given proper instruction about how we were supposed to trek as the land was still slippery after the downpour.

It was so dark and cloudy that day!
On our way to Rishi waterfall….

Then finally after 3-4 hours of trekking we were exhausted and tired as it started raining again it became more challenging but the moment I saw the waterfall, it was all worth the view. After reaching there we clicked some pictures and rested for a while,then we began our trek back to the campsite. Having dinner after such a long day felt like heaven. Later, we played games and made our way back to our tents to get some much needed sleep.

This is the path where we trekked to reach the top….
Majestic Rishi waterfall!

The next day,as I opened the zip of my tent I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face and I must tell you I have never been this happy after seeing the sunshine. Yesterday, as it rained heavily we were begging for some sun and here it was. As the sky was clear we could also see some snow covered mountains. Then after breakfast we did exercise and got ready for another thrilling day.

Our tents
This is the view I woke up to! Super grateful!
View of snow covered mountains from our campsite!!

We got ready in our gears and I prepared myself mentally for what was coming. Firstly, I was petrified but also excited to do rapelling,zip line,rock climbing and burma bridge crossing. After doing all four of these I was happy that I did it and enjoyed it to the fullest.

Top- left is zip line;Top right is burma bridge crossing; Bottom left is rock climbing; Bottom right is rapelling.

Than in the evening we went to visit Hidimba Devi Temple which has an interesting tale. Hidimba Devi was born into a Rakshasa family,she was Bheem’s wife( from Mahabharata) and Ghatotkacha’s mother. She used to meditate in this temple. This place is surrounded with ginormous trees out of which some of them are 400-500 years old. The place was beautiful and gave me a serene feeling. After seeking blessings we made our way to the Manali Mall road for some shopping and then returned to our abode.

Hidimba Devi Temple
Nature’s beauty ❤️
Manali mall road which is a tourist attraction and offers a variety of gifts to buy for yourself and your loved ones…

To be continued…..

Let me know if you know anything in comments and definitely share your views about this one…

Follow me on instagram!

https://www.instagram.com/myneversosecretdiary?r=nametag