Pyāsā – Soda at Rāmnāthi

Photos of the Soda store owner at the Neeta Canteen by the Ramnathi Devasthan Goa by Arun Shanbhag

During Maha Shivratri, as I waited for a rickshaw outside the Ramnathi Devasthan, I shot pics of colorful soda bottles arrayed in crates. The hovering owner felt neglected and offers, “Maegel bhī photo kād” (take a pic of me too). I obliged. I loved the confident pose he struck in front of the red wall. You can imagine him in a previous avatār, curling his handlebar mustache and astride a horse. Quintessential Goa. For that, he gets the opening pic. Continue reading “Pyāsā – Soda at Rāmnāthi”

MahāShivrātri at Rāmnāthi

Photos of MahaShivaratri Festival at Ramnathi Goa by Arun Shanbhag
Ramnath Dev being taken out on a Phalki

|| Om Namah Shivay ||
Wishing you all an auspicious Maha Shivratri


More on the Ramnathi Devasthan Goa:


Enjoy these pictures from the Maha Shivratri Utsav at Ramnathi Devasthan, Goa

Goa Snippets

When in India last September, I made a short trip to visit our ancestral temple Ramnathi Devasthan near Ponda, Goa. The early morning flight reached Goa before 8:00. Enroute to the temple I saw this quintessential Goan field, and had the driver stop. It was a partly cloudy day and the overnight rains had soaked through.

And to the right, this!

And turning back on the road, this!

This tiny store is across from the Ramnathi Temple. Even as a kid, I remember this “Maama” (uncle in konkani) tending this store. Years ago, it was a tiny metal box about 4 feet across, now he has a much larger, sturdy laterite construction. I make a beeline for those bananas, still hanging on the ghadaay. You pluck which ever you want. Reminded me of my abbu's home in Bhatkal. Such ghadaay were always hanging in the veranda, and as we kids ran by, we'd pluck one and feed the skin to the cows. Such fun!

Here's a close crop. Pick one.

© 2005 Arun Shanbhag

Home Shrine: Where I bow my head

photo of Home Shrine: Shanteri Kamakshi Ramnath; Udupi Krishna by Arun Shanbhag

Every morning I pay my respects to the universal divine at a small altar in our home. It started with the brass Om from my student days. I purchased the Om along with a booklet of Swami Vivekananda’s lectures, at a road-side stall in Kanya Kumari. Reading Vivekananda’s 1893 lecture to the World Congress of Religions in Chicago, was a pivotal moment in my life. It sparked self-realization and kindled a life long journey of self discovery. This Om graces the top of my home shrine.

As I left home to start my studies, my mother gave me the framed photograph of our kuladevata, Shanteri Kamakshi Ramnath, our family deity in Goa. A tulsi bead rosary is wrapped around the frame. On either side of the frame are antique figurines holding lamps. To the right is a silver 'throne' with two Ganapati murthis and a Lakshmi. To the left is a baby Krishna crawling on both his knees and one hand; the right hand is raised.

On the lower shelf is a sandal wood murthy of Udupi Shri Krishna in a wooden mandap. Three silver medallions with beautifully engraved facsimiles of Venkatesha, Satya Narayana and Sudarshan – memories of the spirituality at the Balaji Temple in Pittsburgh. The round silver ball to the left has a delicately carved peacock on top, and twists open to store vermilion. Silver dabbas on each end contain vibhuti. Hanging off the frame is a Swiss cowbell, with a ring reminiscent of temples bells.

The wood stand is from the Bombay store. The rabbit-motif backdrop was left over from the previous owners.

Below the stand is a cedar chest on which I light a small oil lamp every morning. Then I say a small prayer, thanking him 'the knower of all' for all the good that I have been blessed with, recollect the challenges of the day, and ask for her guidance. I pray for wisdom for all in our extended family, so we can carry out our destiny with our heads held high. And then I lower my head to the floor in namaskar.

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