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Mumbai – Pandharpur – Gangapur (Karnataka) road trip

I had wonderful Christmas 2018 and new year celebration with family trip to Maharashtra’s holy places.
This trip was great opportunity of Darshan at so many Temples and also quenched driver inside me with 4 days of constant driving.

Its quite easy to get information about all these holy places, however this blog highlights some useful tips/contacts for anyone planning visit to these places.

Trip Highlights:
Total distance covered : 1327 KM.
Number of days: 4

Route:
Mumbai – Ekvia devi – Pandharpur – Tuljapur – Ganganapur – Akkalkot – Shikhar Shinganapur – Gondawale – Prati Balaji Temple – Ekmukhi Datta temple – Jejuri – Mumbai

2018-trip-route

Aadishakti Mata Ekvira Devi Temple:

  • While going to Ekvira temple via Mumbai-Pune expressway some people take Lonavala exit and go via internal road. However you can reach quickly and save lot of time by taking Kusegoan exit.
  • You need to ascend around 500 steps to reach temple. There is one ghat route by which you can avoid half the steps. However this route is very narrow and steep so driving can become difficult in traffic. Also parking becomes issue at top. so better you park your car down and ascend those 500 steps.

Vitthal Rukmini Temple Pandharpur:

  • While driving to Pandharpur via Mumbai-Pune expressway highway, google map may show you Khandala route. But this route goes through small villages and road conditions are not that Good. Instead what you can do is take Shirwal-Pandharpur road. Shirwal exit from expressway is bit confusing. So ideally after after Shirwal ST bus stand take service road so that you don’t miss this exit.
  • Accommodation at Pandharpur:
    Vitthal being God of massess, Pandharpur is quite crowded. There are lot of economy options available for stay. Also almost each community of Maharashtra have their own Aasharams/Maths here. There are few Hotels but they are also quite simple ones.
    We stayed at Parmarth Aashram. This Aashram is near Vipra datta ghat having scenic view of Chandrabhaga River. This is very simple aashram with basic amenities for stay (no food available). This was our first stay.

Tuljabhavani Temple, Tuljapur:

  • One good thing about this temple is now its quite disciplined than earlier. Everyone visiting temple need to get their free pass where they take photo of each visitor.
  • As soon as you enter in temple area many agents may offer you Abhishek and car parking package. Generally they park your car on temple road which is illegal and can get toed by RTO police. so better to park in proper parking place and then go to temple.

Shri Datta Guru Temple Gangapur:

  • This Datta temple is in Karnataka and road conditions was quite bad in both states near border area especially after Akkalkot. At some places road work is in progress but some places its very pathetic. This increases your driving time and effort so be prepared for it.
  • Ideal way of taking Darshan here is –> First visit main Datta Mandir then move to Kalkeshwar Mandir (1 km for main temple) and finally go to Bhima-Amarja Sangam for Diya’s ceremony. This Sangam is around 5 KM away from main temple.
  • In terms of facilities this place was bit surprise for me. Temple area is kind of small village but you have good hotels here for stay.
    We stayed at SKG hotel (Contact Mr. Babu 7349438030) This was newly opened hotel couple of days ago. We got opportunity to do opening ceremony for one of the room. This was our quite comfortable second stay compared to earlier day.
  • While coming back if you start from hotels area/main temple google map shows you one route. If you start from Bhima-Amarja Sangam then google maps shows another route. I found second one better.

Shikhar Shinganapur:

  • This is less known but very beautiful temple.
  • Best part is drive to temple through ghat route is very scenic.

Gondavalekar Maharaj Samadhi-Mandir, Gondavale:

  • Shikhar Shinganapur to Gondavale via Dahivali is very scenic route. You will enjoy drive for sure.
  • This temple is Samadhi place of Gondavalekar Maharaj.
    Very disciplined and clean institution — everyone work over here as Seva.
  • They provide good accomodation and free food. But probem is online booking is not available. You need to be present physically for bookings.
  • They celebrate 8 days utsav on the event of Gondavalekar Maharaj Punyatithi from 23rd to 31st December. This area is quite happening during this period with fun fair and so many visitors.
  • Coincidently we also visited this place in that period so didn’t get any accomodation in temple. Nearby there is no good hotel for stay. We managed over night stay at Priyanka Lodge (Contact Mr. Prathmesh 9075202007). Not a great place to stay but ok if Bhaktnivas is full.

Prati Balaji Temple, Narayanpur:

  • This temple is beautiful replica of the Tirumal Tirupati Balaji temple.
    Narayanpur is easily reachable from Pune-Satara highway.
    Very clean temple but these days getting quite crowded because of easy of accessibility.
  • They don’t allow mobile phone inside temple so better you keep it in car itself OR one person in group has to stay back holding everyone’s mobile.
  • This temple serves good free lunch — but make sure that you grab that free food coupon before leaving main temple area. After taking Prasad, there will be one person distributing those coupons.

Ekmukhi Datta Temple, Narayanpur:

  • This is small and less known temple. Its around 12 KM from Prati Balaji Temple.
  • This is the only temple where Datta idol is Ekmukhi.
  • There is also Lord Shiva temple next to Datta temple. I think generally people don’t notice it. But its nice ancient structure with beautiful Shiva Linga.

Khandoba Temple Jejuri (Malhar Gad):

  • This could be your third destination for the day as its 26 KM from Ekmukhi Datta Temple.
  • Temple is located on small hill having fort like structure with multiple entrances –> Go by east entrance as steps are less compared to west entrance. Also private parking is available by paying 30 INR at this entrance.
  • Generally temple is crowded for Darshan. So depending on available time you can choose one of three following options:
    1. General queue – In this queue you have to wait for long time — it can take 3/4 hours depending on crowd on that day.
    2. 50 INR Pass – In this queue you have to pay 50 INR for each person but can get Darshan in one hour.
    3. VIP Pass – It costs 200 INR per head but they takes you directly to darshan.


Sandy.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind Quotes

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy.

One of the most wonderful book which introduces reader to Subconscious mind and its infinite power.

Some of my favourite Quotes/Good Reads from this book:

  • Whatever thoughts, beliefs, opinions, theories or dogmas you write, engrave or impress on your subconscious mind, you shall experience them as objective manifestation of circumstances, conditions and events. What you write on the inside you will experience on the outside. You have two sides of life, objective and subjective, visible and invisible, thoughts and its manifestation.
  • Belief is the thought in the subconscious mind. It means to accept something as true. The thought accepted executes itself automatically.
  • There is only one process of healing and that is Faith. There is only one healing power namely your subconscious mind.
  • Prayer is the formulation of an idea concerning something we wish to accomplish. Prayer is the souls sincere desire. Your desire is your prayer.
  • You must ask believing, if you are to receive. Your mind moves from the thought to the thing. Unless there is first image in the mind, it cannot move, for there would be nothing for it to move toward.
  • You must sincerely desire to be Happy. Nothing is accomplished without desire. Desire is a wish with wings of imagination and faith. Imagine fulfillment of your desire, feel its reality and it will come to pass. Happiness comes in answered prayers.
  • Your subconscious mind is a recording machine which reproduces your habitual thinking. Think Good of other and actually your thinking good about yourself.
  • All you owe any person in the world is love and love is wishing for everyone what you wish for yourself – Health, Happiness and all blessings of life.
  • Your concept of God is most important thing in life. If you really believe in God of love, your subconscious mind will respond in countless blessings to you. Believe in God of love.
  • Your subconscious mind ever grows old. It is timeless, ageless and endless. It is part of universal mind of God which was never born and it will never die.
  • Wisdom is an awareness of the tremendous spiritual powers in your subconscious mind and the knowledge of how to apply these powers to lead a full and happy life.
  • Patience, kindness, veracity, humility, good will, peace, harmony and brotherly love are attributes and qualities which never grow old. If you continue to generate these qualities here on this planet of life, you will always remain young in spirit.
  • Give no one in all the world the power to deflect you from your goal, your aim in life which is to express your hidden talents to the world, to serve humanity and to reveal more and more of God’s wisdom, truth and beauty to all people in the world.

—–
Sandy.

Faith

Faith – one of the most basic ingredient required for successful happy life. Dictionary meaning of this word is “Confidence or trust in a person or thing“. Trust/Belief in whom? Yes, Belief in yourself. If you don’t have belief in your dream then how can you expect others to have belief in your dreams/ability?

It would be interesting to explore how this system works?

In order to understand system of faith first lets first see how our mind works? One of nature of human mind is Pramana. Our mind is always looking for proof. When someone says some good things about you, first thought comes to your mind is “really?!” Your mind instantly starts looking for proof. Ponder over this for couple of minutes you will realize it. Just recollect a situation when last time you had said “I love you” to your wife :) If someone says bad thing about you will quickly accept it but for Good things your mind will keep haunting for proofs. Because of this minds nature we waste most of our thought energy in looking for proofs.

Thought energy that is our intentions are the most powerful force which drives our life’s direction. If we waste this power in doubting then indirectly its getting used in opposite direction of our dreams.
Now If your having faith in your dreams then instead of wasting powerful thought energy in doubting your mind will start looking for various ways of achieving the same. Because of this you will work in full gear for achieving your dreams. Your actions only leads to manifestation of your dreams. So for getting force of this super natural thought power in your dreams directions its very important that you should have faith in yourself. Having faith is like half the battle is already won, This itself will show you path towards your dream then you just need to take concrete actions for achieving the same. Taking action is very important.

Law of energy conservation states,
“Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. It just gets transferred from one form to another.”
So because of faith, your thought energy gets converted into physical form through your actions.

Indians have very famous tradition of taking vow in front of God for fulfillment of wish. now lets analyse how faith plays role here. When we face some tough time OR have some difficult task in hand, we go in temple and say, “God, please help me in this task, I will do so and so things for you”. Its funny that we try to bribe God for fulfilling our wish. But if you see other side of this coin you will understand how indirectly faith is working in this case. Since you took vow in front of God, you feel that God’s divine power is with you. You stop doubting your ability and completely focus your attention on your task. Because of this your tasks gets completed.

So if Faith is so much of important then how to develop it?

Basically as a human being, we are what we see? what we hear? The kind of information we allowed to feed our mind through our senses same kind of thought development happens in our mind. Always think that whatever is your dream, it will come true. Everything is possible. Your always taken care by the almighty who created you. If that supreme power can take care of for nine months in mother’s womb then don’t you think same power will take care of you for next ninety years? Just have faith in that supreme power and in yourself. Feed your mind that you can do it. Dream big, work best of your ability and leave magic of manifestation to God. Don’t think How it will happen….Just keep working towards it. Remember….When logic ends Magic begins…!!!

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Sandy.

Power of Discipline

Discipline is the bridge between your dream and becoming that reality. As a person you may have any kind of professional/financial OR personal goal but unless you harness basic fundamental power of discipline you will not be able to achieve your goal. Discipline is like that one fundamental power you must have to conquer anything in life. Success is all about those small daily wins.

Lets say your over weight and have goal of losing weight. So your very much determined for losing weight and you have decided that you won’t eat anything for next 10 days unless at least 10 kg weight is lost. Is it possible? OR lets say you thought of starting 10 km jogging everyday. All of sudden will you be able to run 10 km? You may control your hunger for a day but after couple of days you will start feeling weakness and will fall sick. So its not possible.

Instead of that you reflected on your lifestyle and observed type of food you eat, number of coffees you drink and you observed kind of extra unnecessary calories your taking in your body. For example, You observed that when your in office even though you had coffee at 4 pm, still your taking one extra coffee at 6 pm just because you got bored of sitting at a stretch and working. So as a starting point you started drinking half cup of coffee at 6 pm. After doing this for 10 days, on 11th day you reduced sugar quantity of this dose and further on 21st day you reduced sugar quantity further and slowly after a month instead of drinking coffee you may think of having a walk and listen to your favorite music. You will completely forget drinking that extra coffee at 6 pm. Its not just about coffee but with help of discipline you got rid of those extra calories. Something more have happened to your subconscious mind because of this. Now you have installed this awareness in you subconscious that “sometimes your consuming extra calories”. Now since your mind is aware of it, during birthday parties you may not go for second round of cake. Now you will not think “nothing wrong will happen just because of that extra piece of cake.” You will start avoiding those unnecessary extra intake of calories. Failure is small error of judgement repeated everyday. This awareness blended in your thought process because of discipline will help you to avoid those errors of judgement.
Similarly you also started walking for something in the morning. after 10 days you started jogging only for 500 meters. After getting used to it slowly on 21st day you started jogging for 1 km. As your body get into rhythm at the end of two months you may jog for 3 to 4 km. Because of daily discipline you will find at the end of month you may have lost at least 1-2 kg. Now you have got that power of discipline so you will definitely lose 10 kg at the end of 3 to 4 months.

The most important thing is discipline slowly sets in magic of compound effect and your results starts multiplying.
Have you heard of story of doubling pennies? Let’s say your getting offer of being given one million rupees, OR one penny on the first day, double that penny the next day and then double the previous day’s pennies and so on for a month? which one would you take?
Initially looks like accepting One Million rupees and becoming millionaire is quite a good deal. But if you take a closer look, you will discover that if you simply double penny everyday then on 31st day it will become 10.7 Million rupees. Surprised??!! then do that calculation. Yes, because of discipline of multiplying penny magic of compound effect happened.

So what are you waiting for? Its time to harness power of discipline. Decide what you want to achieve in your life OR at least in next one year. Then identify one thing that you must do to achieve your that goal. Start with great determination and don’t miss your daily discipline at any cost. Do it religiously with great enthusiasm and faith. You will surely experience power of discipline which sets in magic of compound effect in your life. Let me know your experiences as comments. All the Best…!!!

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Sandy.

Thought Cycle

We have been told importance of thinking many times since childhood. Thought become things so be careful of your thoughts…!!! Everyone around us says, “Always think positive“. Our parents used to says, “Always have Good friends” which they indirectly mean to say that so that your thoughts will always be positive and Good, you will study well. Even Budhha had said, “What we think, We become“. Lot of great books like “Think and grow rich”, “Magic of thinking big”, “As a man thinketh” have been written explaining importance of thinking and How to think?

Thinking is root of human life which starts persons intellectual cycle which in turn is base of humans materialistic and spiritual life.
Lets see How it actually flows:

thought-cycle

  • What you think?
    Kind of thoughts one have in mind forms that persons thinking pattern or mind set which forms that persons belief system. Thoughts are provoked by what we know? what we see? What you know comes from what you have learned/studied. Your knowledge. Whatever inputs you fed to your mind through five senses in day today life. You learn from your own experiences as well as experiences of others. so thoughts can be positive or negative depending on your inputs to your mind. so its compound effect of activities in day today life. Today’s good act will lead to great good initiatives tomorrow and vise versa.
    • How you feel?
      What you think results in How/What you feel about yourself and others, it forms your attitude. Your feelings comes from your belief system which is nothing but your thoughts. Lets say your doing particular task at office OR going for an exam and if you think “you can do it”, If you believe in yourself then that thought itself changes your body language. You feel confident, your attitude becomes positive. If your are at this stage then half battle is already won. However if you think that “you cannot do it” then you loose confidence. Even you handshake with people changes, you avoid eye contact while talking with people.
      You should feel good about yourself. You should have high self esteem. One of the best way to achieve high self esteem is always complete whatever promises you make to yourself. First build this habit then you will have high self esteem. Once you achieve this stage, follow all the promises you make to others as well, it will result in more higher self esteem.
    • Taking Action?
      The way your feel(your emotions) about yourself(your attitude) determines what kind of action you will take. To achieve your dream in life you need to work on it. You need to go through that pain. But what will inspire you to take action towards your dream? OR to do that work? Yes, your emotions.
      Basically emotions are nothing but energy in motion. If you have energy then only you will be driven for the action. Your actions will be in directly proportional to your feelings. Stronger the emotions, stronger will be actions. You will take all possible efforts to complete that task with best of your ability. It will be your world class craft. But if you don’t have any positive feelings then you will do that task just for the sake of doing and it will be mediocre work.
    • What are your results?
      As you sow, so shall you reap. We don’t need any rocket science to explain that your action defines your results. If your actions were stronger then your results will be wonderful, awesome. Your today’s actions defines how your tomorrow will be. So be conscious and aware of your results. If you win OR got great fruit of your hard work then celebrate. Amplify feelings of your victory. It will give you more energy for taking more stronger actions. If you loose feel the pain. let painful results teach you some new lessons. Whatever it may be never be afraid of your results, just accept them and take complete responsibility.
  • How are you living?
    Great results gives you opportunity to live well leading to Happy, prosperous life. We should be able to utilize great results to live well. Spend some quality time with your family. Have some good friends. Experience tranquility in nature. Travel around the world. Enjoy this beautiful gift of life at your terms.

Finally living wonderful life will act as fertile soil for more beautiful thoughts. Once you start this process, these cycles goes on at higher and higher level of consciousness giving you ultimate satisfaction of living.

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Sandy.