12.24.2013

Varanasi/Benares Journal Day 5

Benares Day 5 - One of the best meals of my life equalling a May 2013 5 course at the Restaurant Au Vieux Moulin, in Eyzies-de-Tayac, Dordogne river valley near the Lascaux Grotte! This morning...the best dosas, coconut chutney, perfect - not sugary sweet, with aloo masala and chaloo [spiced potatoes and garbanzo beans], and fresh papaya. No way a commercial outfit would make it this good! Oral Bliss. Wonder how it, or a multiplicity of 'its' would taste in non-duality...past, present, and future, all tongues ...everywhere!?!

Later, another boat ride on the Ganga, from Asi Ghat, past the Manikarnika cremation ghat to the Agni Ishwar Mandir [the sacrificial fire god...the all consuming mouth of the gods].

9 PM - the final hours of a 17 day Annapurna Festival, this time we took the main gate...due to traveling with Maa. The festival murti [statue] was pure gold and the Shiva, silver. These were reportedly ancient and had been hidden during the Moghul reign.

Benares Day 6 - Maa did a homa [fire ceremony] in Amitabha's Garden, Satyananda taught & chanted the Chandi. Spent the afternoon searching the old town gallies for plain yellow cloth for Maa. I stocked up at the Ayurvedic Ravi Pharmacy, on the Godowallia, in the RAMAPURA section, near Church Crossing Road.

Day 7 -flight to Dehli and a room at AMA House in Manju ka Tilla, theTibetan colony. HH Dalai Lama had the community water purified, so no Dehli Belly. Today the colony was shut down for the Dalai Lama's Nobel Peace prize celebration.

Day 8 -Tibetan Medical Clinic: visit with Dr Tenzin Thai, a red robed Tibetan Buddhist monk, who took pulses on both wrists (pulse diagnosis) and had me continue a regimen, from my earlier (Sept 013) trip to Spiti: 5 different Tibetan herb pills, for another 3 months.

The taxi to the Dehli airport was a surprise negotiation for AC. The driver wanted another 150 rs, not much. Still, it was a shakedown. I yelled STOP and opened the door to get out of the car, the driver called his "boss", who agreed to 50 Rs more, "AC takes more gas". "OK." I discovered a little later that the driver owned the car <--> that was a friend on the phone. Fell for the dodge.

To London & a Christmas wine-tasting contest in the city. The party was won by my nephew, Edward, who demonstrated a very sophisticated palate! Edward and his delightful, beautiful wife and daughter, Leila & Alia, put me up for the evening in Notting Hill.

Day 9 - Big old Black London Taxi to Paddington station, Heathrow Airport Express train, SFO, and home again, to my darling spouse, Janice.

"There is no happiness for him who does not travel...therefore wander! The fortune of him who is sitting, sits; it rises when he rises; it sleeps when he sleeps; it moves when he moves. Therefore wander!"

THE AITAREY BRAHMANA, quoted in BANARAS CITY OF LIGHT by Diana Eck, a totally awesome book. [She is a Prof of Indian studies at Harvard].