Pic.: Anima D'Cunha

Last night, while watching the children’s programme in our Society’s Ganesh pandal, two of my dear friends (brother and sister) just joined us. They had come directly after visiting the famous Mount Mary shrine in Bandra. They were non-Christians and shared with me their experience with a great amount of delight. Looking at their happy faces, I, too, felt very happy.

I have been to Mother Mary’s shrine several times, before. But, in all my 34-year living in this city, I haven’t been there, even once, during the popular Fair-season! Honestly, the shrine has something magnetic about it… I have been alone there sometimes, and sometimes with my family… I have spent quite moments in solitude… and seen tears just rolling down my cheeks… But, then, during the most-awaited time of the year, I haven’t, at all, felt the calling in my heart… When others share their moving experiences at the Fair time, I feel glad… and, when they express their surprise on learning my status, I smile and share with them how moving had been my own experiences whenever I had spent my quite moments there.

And, at 11 this morning two of my other friends will be visiting Lal Baug ka Raja. They were trying hard, for many days, for a special dharshan through someone influential. Last night, my friends asked me if I was keen to join them. I was very pleased with the dharshan at our own place… and told my friends to go ahead and feel blessed. I am sure, they will come back, in deed, feeling blessed.

The famed 13th-century Krishna Temple (Mutt) in Udupi is just a stone-throw away from Mangalore where I was born and brought up. When I was in Primary school, we had a lesson by the title – ‘Kanakana Kindi’… meaning, Kanaka’s Window.

Kanaka Dasa ( 15th-century ), the well-known writer, poet, singer and composure was a passionate devotee of Lord Krishna. However, when he went to visit the famed shrine, the castist priests of the temple refused to let him in as he was born into a low-caste family. Not at all discouraged or angry, Kanaka settled himself behind the temple, in one corner, and spent hours and hours singing bhajans in praise of his beloved Icon… so much so that he was completely lost in his devotion. The legend has it that Lord Krishna was so pleased with the love and devotion of Kanaka, that He miraculously caused an opening on the Westside wall, turned His idol to offer His deserving devotee a special dharshan.

Today, a small window stands erected at the exact spot… and, every devotee who visits the Krishna temple in Udupi, desires to seek Lord’s blessings with a peep through this window… Yes, the folklore’s ‘Kanaka’s Window’. “Kanakana Kindi’.

I haven’t been for a dharshan at this famous shrine, either… although it shone barely an hour-away from my own birthplace.

There is religion and there is spirituality… I do feel strongly the presence of God in our day-to-day simple wayside-episodes. What moves our hearts, stirs our souls… causes goose bumps over our bodies, makes our eyes well in silent joy and gratitude… what makes us look small before the vast skies and the oceans… and what melts our ego at someone’s deathbed… or, what makes us soar high like falcons when a baby smiles…

Oh yes, yes… I strongly feel these are the spiritual moments… the moments Lord offers us His dharshan… Yes, I think, they are the Kanaka’s Windows He opens for us, when we go about our lives with our hearts full of love and devotion…

Sushil Shankar, a friend of mine, sent me, in my FB message-box, one of his wayside episodes. I am sharing it with you with his permission.

Years ago, when I lived in Sanpada , an incident I saw left an impression on my mind.
I was returning from work and got off the bus at Sanpada bus stop and was crossing the road towards the station.
On the road side, I saw a beggar, a car came and stopped in front of him and somebody threw a packet at him. It was a food packet, leftovers from their meal.
The man grabbed the packet and opened it, a dog which was nearby, smelled the food and came near to the man. Without hesitating the man took a handful and dropped the handful on the road side for the dog to eat.
I was amazed by the incident. This man didn’t know when his next meal would be; and, still, he graciously gave the food to the dog!
It was an incident which I still remember, because, we still can’t be like him…
He could give away from what he had…

I replied immediately:

Now, Sushil, it is such an ordinary - roadside incident - that it is hardly noticed by most of us... And, if you have 'paused to see it'... appreciate it, value it... that is what I call being spiritual in life. If that is not, nothing else is!
Allow me to write on this subject in my next post... Hope, you will not mind sharing your story, tomorrow.

Sushil responded:

Yes Sir, please go ahead and put it in better words, thank you.

In ‘better words’?

No Sushil, I have found none. Your wayside story brought alive in my heart the story I had read as a little kid – ‘Kanakana Kindi’… Yes, ‘Kanaka’s Window’…

If Lord Himself opens such windows for us, what else can be a better dharshan?

Yes, if that’s not being spiritual, nothing else is!



Usha Raman said…
Inspiring post, just inspiring!!!!!
-- Usha
Kushboo Jeswani said…
Kanaka came to life! - Kushboo
Anonymous said…
If that's not being spiritual... nothing else is!
--- Ashok Mehra
Shravan Poojari said…
I grew up in South Kanara around Udipi and this legend of Kanakana Kindi had always fascinated me; today, I felt once again a lot close to this place. Thank you - Shravan

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