I Love India, its Culture and Thoughts

  • By Shalini Asha Bhaloo
  • February 4 2020
  • @Shalini_A_B
  • The author, an Indian Canadian, tells you how she turned spiritual and expresses her love for Bharatiya Sanskriti.

Radiant Immortal Atman! 

I was born in India in 1964. 

This article describes my love for Indian culture, including Sanskrit language, even though I was brought up in Canada since the age of five. My late Hindu-Punjabi parents Ravi and Asha Kapoor encouraged me to maintain the light of Hindu culture in Canada. From her India trips, Ma brought back Panchatantra and Amar Chitra Katha, books on Ramayana, Mahabharata and the brave Dharmic kings and queens not to forget inspiring people of India.

Pranams to my Yoga Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati and Sri Swami Chidananda, both from Adi Shankaracharya parampara - lineage. 

During a trip to my grandparents’ home in Delhi, at the age ten, I found Adi Shankaracharya’s “Bhaja Govindam.”. In this book, Sankaracharya provides the fundamentals of Vedanta in simple, musical verses so that even children can grow up amidst the melody of Advaita philosophy. Unprompted as if compelled by an inner force, I ran up to the terrace and started chanting it daily: 

भज गोविन्दम् || bhaja govindam ||Sloka 1:

भजगोविन्दं भजगोविन्दं गोविन्दं भज मूढमते ।संप्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले नहि नहि रक्षति डुकृञ्करणे

Bhajagovindaṁ bhajagovindaṁ govindaṁ bhajamūḍhamate | samprāpte sannihite kāle nahi nahi rakśati ḍukṛñkaraṇe ||

Seek Govind, Seek Govind, Seek Govind, O Fool!

When the appointed time (death) comes grammar-rules surely will not save you.  This sloka is a chorus and repeated after each sloka. Adi Sankaracharya whilst  referring to Grammar (dukrn-karane) here implies all the secular sciences cannot save the soul when death approaches. 

All our worldly pursuits/actions need to focus on the ultimate goal of self-realization.  

Bhaja means worship and not ritualistic routine, but true Bhajan is ‘seva’ – service. The true Bhajan is total subjective surrender in love and devotion at the altar of Param Atman. There is no softness in the tone of this composition to emphasise the urgency in the situation.    

I enjoyed being an electrical Engineer in the nuclear power plant industry and retired two years ago.  

I have been practicing Sivananda Yoga and Vedanta since the age of ten and teaching it since the age of fifty. My late Nani, Draupadi Wadhwa and late mom, Asha were disciples of Swami Sivananda. My daughter and son-in law are also Sivananda Yoga teachers. See their son performing Bhujangasana Cobra at age four months! 


I speak Hindi, my mother tongue, love classical Indian music (singing, harmonium and bansuri) and Bharatanatyam.   

Dancing is a divine expression of joy. Each of us is a moving center, a space of divine mystery. And though People spend most of their time, on the surface, in the daily details of ordinary existence, there is a hunger to connect with the space within. We wish to break through to bliss, be swept away into something bigger than us- Dancing with or as Nataraja. 

I study the Bhagavada Gita in Sanskrit, Love Language Curry Sanskrit Conversational App and the Madras Sanskrit College online courses as well. All co-exist. It is my dream to converse in fluent Sanskrit and read easily the Valmiki Ramayana and Upanishads! 

I love my India! I travel to India often to enjoy its culture and sacred sites like Rishikesh, Meenakshi Temple Madurai, and Kashi. I am seeing Ayodhya for the first time in February 2020. Jai Shri Rama. Jai Hanuman. 

I am now a Connoisseur of Life. I have earned my prosperity and deserve the right to enjoy a creative and satisfying lifestyle. I am too spiritually evolved to have an identity based on my work, possessions, and net worth. Instead, my identity is based on my good health and more profound things like creativity, generosity, spontaneity, sense of humor, peace of mind, passion for new experiences, happiness, and spirituality. I consider myself fortunate to be born Indian and a follower of Sanatana Dharma.    

Please enjoy your life with health, wisdom and joy! Om Shanti. 

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