January 15, 2015

Safely back home

We had a real cool flight with Etihad and even time enough in Abu Dhabi, which is nice because sometimes you have to run 2 km. from one gate to the other. So this time we were in time!
Arriving in Frankfurt was the shock with 6° outside. We had to wait 10 minutes for our car-shuttle to get us to the car. It was chilly, I would say and we had the possibility to get quickly accustomed again to European temperature. From 30° to 6° is quite a shock for the body and we were happy that the heating in the car is good and fast. Driving towards Mannheim/Saarbr├╝cken, we had the testing of the day. The sky went completely dark and heavy rain powered down on us, so that you couldn't see more than 20 m. ahead. It became really dangerous and it took us 1 hour to get through this weather until the sky cleared up. Some problems on the road were announced by the GPS but we saw nothing.  The last hour from Saarbr├╝cken to Luxembourg was under a clear sky and no rain at all. Amma had heard us. We arrived home at 6.00 PM and were greeted by our happy daughter. And as always, we realized that our 7-weeks trip has given us a lot of new experiences, realizations and an inner freshness that made it worthwhile.    

January 12, 2015

Our Indian Odyssee

We finally arrived again in Varkala where we didn't want to go this year. We tried all but have to admit defeat. All other places have been a flop. Specially the most expensive once. Now we pay 2000.- RS a day, we can go to the sea the whole afternoon, go "swimming" and lay in the sun. The food here is excellent and much cheaper and no extra fees and charges. So that is the experience we made. In the Fragrant Nature we had this flop with the sound-pollution and expensive medium food (1400.- RS as minimum). But for this we had to pay 5000.- Rs per day/per room.
The All Season Hotel was better, less expensive and the swimming pool on the roof was a plus! (See the blog: Swimming in the rain). But the hotel was like a ghost hotel, most of the time we were all alone in the restaurant with 2 waiters. It seemed that most of the people were eating in their rooms or were just there for conferences and sleeping. But at least it was quite and the rooms AC/DC and clean.
The biggest flop was the Quilon Beach Hotel. On Booking.com it looked really good, the sea and the beach, a swimming pool and 5 star hotel! Hoohaw! We give it 2 stars between Ibis and Mercury in Europe. To go to the sea you had to ask a waiter ( always with a big smile, was he happy that he had to do something?) to open the gate closed with a heavy lock, and suddenly you were out in the street.

 On the other side a really dirty messed-up beach and strictly forbidden to go swimming. What you think of that?

While we at the beach we were submerged by loud shouts:" Alleluiah, Allelujiah!" and some heavy music started. We were told that there was a christian festival going on for 5 days until Sunday. So pollution went on, this time no vedic mantras but christian disco!

So we won again. The disco went on until 10 PM and we could hear it well from our room on the 7th floor. No luck.  
The buffet in the restaurant was excellent but well paid ( 1450.- Rs).
The most beautiful thing in the whole place was a beautiful carved giant Ganesha in the entrance hall.
Very impressive! 

We had a talk with the manager in our room as to how find a solution to our leaving earlier. We had strong arguments and he finally agreed to find a financial agreement and that we would leave next day. We were feeling better after that, specially Vandana who was unable to sleep the night before as the situation was really stress and she felt very uncomfortable. The manager confirmed us that they would only charge us 2 nights and that we would be given cash back on the advance in Visa we had made. So things went better again and we found a place in Varkala called the Green Palace, where a non AC/DC room was available for the next days. In our usual hotel, the Hill View, there were no rooms available anymore. So Amma brought us finally here and it was the best choice for now!
2 days more and we are gone. 7 weeks India and 35 days Ashram. That's it. And we hope for a good flight and arrive safe and healthy in Luxembourg again. 
OM Namah Shivaya

January 10, 2015

Difficult times

Today we went to a moslem shop buying a shawl. The owner is a very gentle man, friendly and pious and he invites us always when we come by. I would like to talk to him about what is happening in the world, these tragedies under the name of religion. How can people think that they will go to heaven by committing crimes and murders in the name of religion? Is it not said that God is Love? Is it not said that God is compassion and forgiveness? There will be no heaven waiting for these people. They will realize this when it is to late. That a world-wide war is going on devided in so many groups and nations should be clear by now. The world will have to evolve or will be destroyed faster then we can think of. And there is a large number of people helping to save what can still be saved. We have this great example before our eyes day by day, Amma who inspires us and works relentlessly to awaken people. We are sad to read everyday such horror news from all parts of the world. And one can notice that we all get used and accustomed to these horrors and loose slowly but surely our indignation. The happenings in Paris have again shaken the public opinion and we have lost again a big part of our innocence and confidence. More fear will spread in the hearts, more racism will grow in the minds and more people will get inspired to do such horrors they consider heroic deeds.
Only a change in the minds and hearts of people can stop this violence and crimes against humanity. It is said that in Kali Yuga men will fall under the dignity even of animals. What this really means is what we watch now in all parts of the world. How to preserve one's faith and hope during these difficult times? It seems that only prayer will help, even for those who kill and destroy humanity.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

N.B.: Yesterday evening I had a talk with the man from the shop. I asked him about his opinion regarding the massacre in Paris and similar events. He said: "That is no good, that is no good. In Kashmir we say: No killing! We don't know this people. They are NOT muslims. We don't know where they come from. And in Pakistan Moslems are killing Moslems. It is bad for our religion!"
I thanked him and was happy to hear that. Although he doesn't like America, his outlook on the world as a moslem has nothing to do with these terrorists. That gives some hope. 


January 2, 2015

Devi in disguise

Today we went to the beach at Amritapuri and we had one of the most beautiful sunsets I ever saw. The sun went slowly in the sea at the horizon and got completely immersed in it. Have a look for yourself:

Mother Nature, how beautiful You are (is your form)! 

Etrayo ramyam ha ninte rupam