Friday

Why do you Need to Learn Unlearn Relearn?


One of the oft quoted mantras in today's' fast paced life is Learn, Unlearn and Relearn

Have you ever wondered the logic behind this? 

Learn, of course we all do the minute we arrive in this world. How can someone unlearn? what does it even mean to relearn?

Human beings are habitual creatures. First, let us see how we learn unlearn and relearn on a personal level.

As far as mobility is concerned, a new born baby knows only to move hands and legs, which is a form of mobility that helps the baby to strengthen the muscles. In a few months, the baby learns to crawl, which serves a purpose, that is to move from one place to another. Given few more months, the baby learns to stand up and walk on two feet. 
In this entire process:

crawling - learning phase for mobility
stand up - unlearning phase for crawling
walking - relearning process for mobility

Both in learning and relearning phases the goal of the baby is to move. What happened in the unlearning phase? Has the baby forgotten how to crawl? No, it just mean that the baby has discovered a new means to move. It is the metamorphosis to achieve the same goal with newly acquired skill. 

If the baby stops with crawling, there stops the growth in mobility. 

The natural urge of the babies hold true in all walks of life! 

Learn the basics to do something 
Unlearn the basics by questioning the very existence of basic
Relearn new methods to do the same thing in a better way

To sum it up, innovation and new beginnings happens when you start relearning. 

Monday

Ganges Darshan from Rishikesh and Haridwar

Ganges, the life line of North India, starts at a humble origin from Gangotri glacier from the Dhouladhar range of the Himalayas! Mythology describes Ganga as the Consort of Lord Shiva and the epic Mahabharata says Ganga is the mother of Bhishma. 

Stories from the great epic Mahabharata stays evergreen for me, mainly because it brings back vivid memories of childhood, where my grandpa used to tell us stories in such a way that we could feel as if it was happening in real-time! It was no wonder that the first time I saw Ganges flowing majestically at the foothills of Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world, it was like dejavu. 


Ganges - from Rishikesh - Lakshman Jula bridge in the background
She leaves the mountain terrain and enters the Indo Gangetic Plains at Har Ka Pauri in Hardiwar, Uttrakhant and travels more than 2500 KM in India and merges in the Bay of Bengal. Unfortunately, the crystal clear water starts getting polluted as it flows down the mountains. But, At one end of the spectrum, people keep polluting and at the same time they offer tribute to her at several places twice a day. Ramblings apart, it was a great experience to see the tribute, popularly known as Ganga arathy. 

We planned to see the Ganga arathy at Har ka puri, Haridwar. There is also a temple for Ganga.




Though the ritual takes place in a canal of Ganga, she flows with great force. There were thousands of people waiting in both sides of the bank. We were on the side of the bank where the priests and the deity were. 
Ganga canal @ Har ka Pauri, Haridwar
As the crowd was heavy, we were wondering how to get closer. At that time, we were approached by a local who was offering to take us nearer. Having traveled to several cities in this part of the country, obviously we knew that he was a tout who would be leading us to a local priest. So, we told him that we were not interested in any pooja, but he said that it is enough if we bought the lamp and flowers for Rs 10. Though we were aware that we may have to pay more once we get closer, we took a chance in the hope of watching up close. Well, the tout handed us over to a local priest, who said we can pay anything we wish to perform the pooja.
Pandits of Ganga Sabha chanting slokhas before Ganga Aarthi
The Ganga arathy is performed twice a day, at sunrise and sunset by the priests of Ganga sabha. The timing differs during summer and winter. While the priests chant slokas in praise and thanking her, rituals happen in front of the idol of Goddess Ganga
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The whole ritual takes about an hour. As we attended the evening session during winter, it started and around 5.30 PM and after the chant, the priests offered auspicious things like haldi, milk, honey, sugar, curd, ghee and flowers in small quantities. At the same time, the local priest made us do sangalp and asked us to light and float the lamp. 

Now, the aarthy too started. The whole place looked divine and heavenly. The aarthy is performed few times, using tiered wick lamps.
First round of aarthy

Maha aarthy
As the ceremony was coming to an end, the local priest started demanding high fee and after haggling we ended up paying Rs 200. 

Even after the end of the ceremony, we could feel the positive vibes and lingered around the banks for a while. It was a spectacular experience. 



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