We found ourselves at a showroom last evening, away from Mysore. I was so distracted by the beauty of the setting sun that the purpose of our visit was in jeopardy - or so my chagrined family felt! The glowing disc of the setting sun was so clearly visible over the horizon that I was attracted to view it until it sunk fully. The salesman was confused at my weird behaviour, not my family, for it knows me better!
After the purpose was attended, we came out of the showroom. Now, on the eastern sky, it was the moon's turn to attract my attention. Twilight was special that it made the full moon all the more beautiful. The beauty of it prompted me to take another look two hours later from home after dinner.
Nature woke me up earlier than usual. Returning to bed meant rolling left and right for an hour as it was not too early than the usual time and so took yet another look at the sky to see how it was. The moon now 'having traveled' to the western sky was at its brilliant best at half past four. Without a second thought, immediately prepared to have an earlier-than-normal walking session under such pleasing moonlight. Today, the moon was 10,000 kms closer to the Earth and looks slightly bigger and brighter too.
It was five in the morning when I reached the ground, thinking I was the first. But soon discovered I was actually the second. The air was all of pleasantness with a wee bit of nip in it. I overheard many minutes later two walking ladies endorsing the same observation between themselves.
I must tell that all other visitors to that ground for walking sessions arrive later than one person I know. He uses the one hour for his walks from half past three in the morning! We are fortunate to use that 'Athletic Ground', which is known for old timers as "The Oval" now belonging to the University of Mysore. The vast area a hundred years ago was known as "Gordon Park", after Sir James Gordon whose statue is seen in front of District Offices (pictured below). Moonlight, brighter than normal was making it look beautiful.
I chose a bench to sit facing the moon at the ground to enjoy the sight as well as early morning calmness of the environs. The Goddess Saraswathi must have wondered from her seat on top of the lovely pillared facade of the Crawford Hall opposite the ground about this strange routine of mine! (pictured below)
The five O'Clock tranquility with the shining, romantic moon was much to my liking. City life was yet to take wings for the day, even the birds at the nearby Kukkarahalli Lake were yet to make their first calls because it was still a long way for sunrise. I could hear distant sounds of a honking vehicle (!) and a barking dog. A very light breeze disturbed the dry leaves on the ground that produced a hustling sound as if a serpent ran over them while the first train to Nanjangud got ready at the Railway Station, testing its horns.
By now another walker had entered the track chanting mantras in a low murmur - doing two things at the same time to save time! Behind me, many feet away, I heard a stray dog's ears flap as it shook its head to shake off some insect - it had been sleeping under a tree. All this while I sat admiring the beauty of earth's only satellite in its full glory on a cloudless, fog-less morning that lit the city like a soft bed lamp in a room. All such sounds are absorbed by traffic noise and the air smells different from its emssions later in the day. This was the best time for inhaling fresh air and enjoy the tranquility. We miss these despite being in its midst due to our race against time during the day.
Ten minutes had gone past like just one. It was time to get moving. As I walked on the track, the moon also 'came with me'! I do not know how many times my eyes turned towards the glowing object in the sky before I had a few rounds on the track and it was time to leave for home. The moon was now descending behind the Crawford Hall and got yellower and a very thin cloud created nice pleasing veil and a little halo around it for a short while. By now many regular walkers had arrived on their own schedules, but I was already leaving after a most refreshing morning walk after which I felt lighter in the muscles that had become a bit stiff from built up lactic acid following the previous day's cricket session and no 'warm downs'.
Around 9 pm, I took my children to the Ramakrishna Ashram School where two reflecting telescopes are. Mr.Ramaswamy, now serving his 54th year as a teacher in the same school was focusing on some object with the 10-inch telescope, preparing to show to his students who flocked later after their dinner. He was kind enough to show us the moon's craters, Mars, Sirius, Canopus and the Orion Nebula. The glare of the full moon was not suitable to view stars properly. But there is a next time.
The Moon has its strong influence on the human mind and body also, besides Earth. It has inspired many poets over the centuries.
Just one example is 'Chaudvin ka Chand'. (see video of song)
Sahasra Chandra Darshana is celebrated by Hindu Brahmins as SADABHISHEKAM. It is generally celebrated on completion of 80 years of the husband. The unique significance is that there will be more than 1000 Purnima days by that time. Seeing 1000 Full Moons in one's life is considered as great and it is believed that he will definitely attain Moksha by the blessings of Lord Chandra. On the occasion of completion of 80 years or any time afterward, a ceremony called Sahasra Chandra Darshana Vratham could be performed by the living couple with rituals like Mritunjya Homa, Bheeshma Ratha Santhi, Rudra Ekadasa Homa and Udakasanthi. Taking blessing from the couple who perform “Sahasra Chandra Darshana Vratham” is considered very much worthy and they are blessed for long life. (from the Net)
The above landmark is far away for yours truly.
(Other pictures are from my archives)