Shree guru charan saroj raj, nija manu mukuru sudhari |
Baranau raghubar bimal jasu, jo dayak phal chaari ||
With the mirror of the mind, cleansed by the dust of the lotus feet of my Guru;
(listen) to the unblemished glory of Hanuman, exalted one of the Raghu dynasty, who can bestow the four fruits (dharma, artha, kaama and moksha)
Wishing you all a wonderful Hanuman Jayanti!
(Text was posted earlier, but more appropriate in this setting)
Bharat trips are planned around visits to popular temples. Meera too loves temples and has figured out what is required, and promptly removes her sandals on entering. She gazes at the murthy in awe, speaks in hushed tones and respectfully bows. She delightfully receives the aarti, looks forward to prasad and asks me for money to place in the Hundi (donation box). She is fascinated by the different animals and birds carved in relief, painted on murals or on calendars inside, and points to each of them. As she leaves, she even turns back for a last glance. Meera’s fascination with temples makes it easy for us to visit our favorite temples.
Just a few blocks from our home is a Hanuman (popularly called Maruti) Mandir. We walk there nearly every evening on the way to Gateway of India, or Kailash Parbat for a snack. On Saturdays, we often visit the Hanuman Mandir on Picket Rd in Dhobitalao, smack across the Kalbadevi Police Chowki and near Parsi Dairy Farm and Gita Press bookstore. Nestled in a row of shabby buildings, it would be easy to miss, but for the throng of devotees clamoring outside.
Meera at the Hanuman Mandir
After depositing your chappals, buy a bowl of sesame oil with a pinch of black udid lentils (black bengal grams) and a simple flower streamer.
You should see your reflection in the oil before offering it at the feet of Maruti. The thinking is that the oil snatches your negative wibes and drains them at the feet of Maruti, who detroys them.
On a marble altar under a silver mandap (canopy), Maruti is smeared with sindhur (saffron ochre). I offer the garland and bowl of oil to the priest, who pours it at Hanuman’s feet. As we start to walk around the murthy, I touch the feet of Hanuman and with my ring finger, get some sindhur and apply it to Meera’s forehead and then mine. M does the same.
There is also a shrine to Shani, ruling deity of the planet Saturn. We pray to Shani to rid negative influences in our daily lives.
Sadhu outside the temple ready to bless everyone.
Behen-ji tending chappals outside the temple. Don’t forget to tip her well.