Ujjain Darshan – a SMART Meet

As a person having a Social Media presence, one knows the value of the perfect mix of Time and Authenticity. Certain information or news are extremely time sensitive but if the information/news shared turns out to be even a little bit incorrect, that information/news is discarded and infact, it is counter-productive. So when a group of Social Media advocators & proponents meet, it is just befitting that they meet in a place which rules Time & Truth – Kaal & Satya … the only place which fits in perfectly is Ujjain, the holy city of Mahakaal.

Mahakaal is Mahadev, the ruler of Time – there is none beyond Time, the eternal witness, and ruling Time is Parabrahman or Mahadev in His form as Mahakaal. When Samachar Manyata Association for Research and Training (SMART) decided to hold their annual retreat in Ujjain, it was the perfect setting for a Confederation which aims to support factual news & views givers who also represent the Hindu Voice. The aim of the meet was primarily to bring people with like goals together, face to face. Also on the anvil were discussions regarding news collection, problems faced on the path, various solutions to such problems, making sure that efforts of members get wider reach, sharing of personal tragedies faced by members in States which were anti-Hindu and more. For the first time many members realised how difficult the task of news sharing was when the State was against certain sections of society and how despite such problems, our brave Hindus were bringing out factual news of violence on Twitter or YouTube. The heart sent out a silent prayer to Mahakaal to protect such Sanatanis.

Ujjain, the capital of the ancient region called Avantika, was at one time ruled by the mighty Vikramaditya. It is here that the great poet Kalidasa got his wisdom and Raja Vikramaditya, his sword, from Kalika Mata. It is also the city where the powerful Kalabhairava is offered liquor by His Bhakts and where every evening, two ancient Deep-stambhs are lit up during the MahaAarti to HarSiddhi Mata. It is the Nagari which reminds us of the ultimate destination of our physical body ie. the smashaan or crematorium where our bodies are burnt to ash (Bhasma) and this Bhasma is used to cover Mahakaal during the Bhasmaarti during the Brahma-muhurat every morning. The Kshipra river stands witness to the countless people taking a dip in Her holy waters everyday and especially during Kumbh Mela. The banks of the river bear witness to the birth of a civilization which made sure that the five elements (Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vaayu, Aakash) were worshipped and respected eternally. One has to see the Temples dotting every inch of space on the entire stretch of the river bank to realise that in our Hindu civilization, we first bowed down to our Bhagwans, our Devis, before we built our houses beyond the Temples. Yes, we bowed down to our Supreme Brahman before we went about our lives in this material world.

The SMART team worked hard for two months before this trip to make sure that every member and knowledge provider who attended the meet got a satisfying Darshan of the Bhasmaarti and Mahakaal, and all the important Temples of Ujjain like Gadh Kalika Mata, Har Siddhi Mata, KalaBhairava and Mangalnath Temples. We also visited the Sandipani Ashram where Bhagwan Sri Krishna had studied and learnt about the 64 kalas that were taught in ancient times. How everyone wished that these were taught in our schools even today! The cave where Raja Bhartrihari met his Guru, Guru Gorakshnath and did meditation made one realise that the path to Siddhi and Moksha was indeed a difficult one, requiring Gurukrupa.

It wasn’t all Bhakti and prayers alone, it was a lot of fun too. A chance encounter with a swing outside the GadhKalika Mandir, brought out the child in many. The cultural programmes, smoothly compered by Nidheesh Goyal ji of Jumbo Talks were a fusion of dance, instruments, singing and poetry. The walk on, to and fro the Mahakaal Corridor tested everyone’s stamina, thirst and tolerance for the mediocre. If it were not for the superlative food, excellent hospitality and comfort provided by the Hotel Atharva staff, our energy levels would have probably not been so high. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the trip was the sharing of ideas, experiences, problems and solutions by the members and staff of SMART. A trip which started with the BhasmAarti of Mahakaal ended with renewed energy to fight the timeless challenges faced by Sanatan Dharma with valour, dedication and truth on our side. A sincere thanks to the SMART team for making all this possible. Jai Mahakaal.

Article published earlier on the author’s blog

Rati Hegde
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