Thy Majesty πŸ’•πŸ’•

Thou art a magician!

Thine unseen touch changes our blemish into beauty, our emptiness into fullness, our life’s harshness into sweet tenderness.

The marvel of Thine infinite majesty fills my heart with wordless ecstasy πŸ’•πŸ’•

Copyright Β© pic by Ashok Wahi

What an Year it was πŸ’•πŸ˜‡

I surpassed myself in my travels in 2019 πŸ˜‡

5 Continents

4 New Countries : Guatemala, Nepal, Canada and Turkey. All were so awesome and worth visiting again.

Such beautiful places, even more beautiful friends and so much of love from all around. Can’t thank God enough for all His grace πŸ’•πŸ™πŸ’•

Wherever I find love that is my home πŸ’•πŸ’•

LOS ANGELES: Peace Love Nature – December 2018 and January 2019

Ten days in LA were spent in the SRF Mother Center and three days at SRF retreat, Lake ShrineπŸ‘‡

18 Joyous days in the Country of Eternal Spring- Guatemala πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

And my trip around the world was rounded up beautifully with 8 days in end January in Brisbane with my dear niece, Uma πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

After visiting North America, Central America and Australia in the beginning of the year; April found me in me beautiful neighbouring country – Nepal; with my beautiful niece, Sabrina and her loving family. Whole of Nepal is so scenicπŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

And then back home on the beaches of Goa with my niece, Kankana and her son πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸ‘‡

The end of the year found me back again in North America, but this time on the East Coast. It has been a dream to watch the fall colours and I got so much more πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ‘‡

The last country to visit was Turkey. Visiting Istanbul had been in my wish list for almost 50 years πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘‡

Amazing Istanbul πŸ’•

I have been wanting to go to Istanbul for the past 50 years πŸ˜‚

I saw a movie : That Man in Istanbul in mid 60s and read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express at about same time. Ever since a visit to Istanbul has been on my mind. Finally I managed to go there in end October 2019, on my way back from Canada.

It is an amazing city, the only one in the world stretching to two continents πŸ˜‡ Istanbul is filled with history, great food (for non vegetarians) and friendly, beautiful people.

7 million in European part and 11 million in Asian part. 3 million people come to work from Asian to European side everyday πŸ˜‡ Galata Bridge connects old with the new European part.

On my flight from Toronto to Istanbul I met two young girls, friends from Edmonton, Canada; traveling to meet friends in Turkey! I love such people πŸ’•

Met many interesting tourists from all over the world almost everyday!

Harborside EminΓΆnΓΌ buzzes with activity as boats unload passengers at the ferry docks near the city’s bazaars. The Egyptian Bazaar, or Spice Bazaar, has stalls full of fruit, teas, and spices, while the halls of the Grand Bazaar are a colorful jumble of carpets, fabrics, lamps, and jewelry. The SΓΌleymaniye Mosque towers over the area, and the 16th-century Rustem Pasha Mosque is famed for its Iznik tiles.

Hagia Sofia (Holy Wisdom) was a Greek Orthodox Church for more than 900 years and for a short period a Roman Catholic Church and Ottoman Mosque for more than 400 years. It was converted into a museum in 1935, once Turkey had become a republic in 1923.

Bosporus bridge (1970 -73 ) connects Asia and European parts. Before this bridge boats were used to travel between the two parts. Bosphorus river/creek merges with Black Sea.

The Blue Mosque can accommodate 10000, including gardens. In summer people sit outside to pray.

Topkapi Palace is another historic and beautiful building.

Dervish performance at Orient Express Restaurant: A dream come true for me.

On the left is Orient Express building facade, still same as decades ago. Pic below that is the inside.

There are 7 islands and known as Islands Princess. Took a ferry ride and visited two of these. Heybeliada is a smaller island and enjoyed horse carriage ride there. All vehicle are electrical but there is horse shit smell😝

Met a couple from Delhi and 6 female friends from Chennai, traveling together – leaving their families behind 😊

Bigger island is Buyukada. All islands combined population is around 10000 and this one 5000.

Sea of Marmara is one side and Black Sea on the other

The guy above was selling some inexpensive kitchen gadgets. What an entertaining performer and he sold many pieces on the small boat ride.

Visited Blue Mosque more than once and prayed/meditated there.

Hagia Sophia

Hippodrome is 15th century BC, obelisk from Egypt; base Roman 2nd century. There used to be Chartiot races etc here.

Cafe Mavera on top of Camlica Hill; great city view. Good cup of tea with Amir (Vietnamese, now living in Finland). He was visiting Istanbul for hair transplant and travelπŸ˜‡ He said it was very cheap here! I was told that the mosque at Camlica can accommodate more than 70000 worshippers πŸ˜‡πŸ™

It was interesting to meet another group of females traveling together, leaving their families behind 😊 These were from Bangladesh, living in England.

Quite like Indian stuffed bread (Parantha). Was good to have a vegetarian one on my last day πŸ˜‹

God willing shall visit Turkey again for a longer stay πŸ’•πŸ™ and see more of this beautiful country πŸ’•πŸ’•

The Fall and Fall Colours πŸ‚πŸ

The last leg of my amazing trip to North America was in Ontario, Canada.

It was such a divine combination of Spirituality and Nature at its best. And once again I got so much love from all. Special thanks to my fellow devotees : Anitaji, Minaji and Shaileshji for all the love and care. And to Heather, my dear friend in Dundas, Hamilton.

Brampton and Mississauga are filled with Indians 😊

A couple of monks from Self Realisation Fellowship HQ from LA were visiting Toronto and I could attend many meditations too along with sight seeing : Nature at its awesome best. Can’t thank God enough πŸ™πŸ™

I had been to Niagara Falls in 2014 but from the US side. Canadian side falls are definitely more beautiful and awe inspiring.

Niagara on the Lake is small and beautiful town on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. A must see.

Could see some of the most amazing fall colours in Mississauga. Thanks to Shaileshji. The tapestry formed by the combination of different shades of green, yellow, red, rust and pink would leave anyone wonder struck and awed πŸπŸ‚πŸ™

Dundas in Hamilton is small quaint valley town of 20,000 inhabitants and millions of trees πŸπŸ‚

Spent a couple of glorious days there with my friend Heather. The B&B I stayed at was an old bungalow with very Victorian furnishing and well managed.

Churches in Montreal and Museum of Fine Arts πŸ’•πŸ™

Notre Dame Basilica- Was The first neo gothic church in Canada and is so beautiful. But St. Joseph Basilica is equally serene and beautiful. Loved spending time in both these.

I love meditating in churches and other places of worship during my travels. Always peaceful and uplifting. These two were even more so ❀️ I also love meditating in nature : on river banks, in hills and gardens πŸ’•

πŸ™ Nippy clicked some pics of mine while I was meditating, unaware of what was going around me πŸ˜‡

Previous posts : Montreal with Love and Graffiti in Montreal

Some redevelopment work was going on around St. Joseph Basilica. Approach and surroundings would become better in the months to come

There was a special exhibition of Egyptian Mummies going on at the Museum of Fine Arts. Great experience πŸ’•πŸ˜‡

Love in Montreal πŸ’•

My amazing travel run of the year continued with my visit to East Coast of North America in September and October. In the first 4 months of the year I had covered 4 continents and I was back again in North America, from where I had started my travels earlier this year! In fact I had started to blog with my post : Around the World with Love πŸ’•

And my last trip ended in my visiting 5th Continent of the year : Turkey/Europe πŸ˜‡

https://ashokwahi.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/around-the-world-with-love/

How I landed up in Montreal is another story of love and friendship. It was to visit my beautiful friend Nippy, whom I had met last 35 years ago when she was 10 years old😍

In my post : Friends or Soul Connects I had talked of our neighbors, the Narang family. On the other side of our house we had a Sikh family from Afghanistan, with seven daughters. The oldest was close to us and I used to take evening walks with the two younger ones and used to tell them stories. Nippy was one of those two😊 This was in 1982!!

We moved from that locality in 1983 and Nippy’s family left that place too and all contact was lost. After more than 30 years it was revived- thanks to FB!

Ever since we got in touch with her I was keen to visit Nippy. And I chose to start this trip to see fall colours by visiting Montreal, where she has been living with her husband, for the past ten years.

It was so wonderful to meet Nippy. She is so filled with love and selfless care. Can’t thank her enough for all that she did for me, including 8-9 days off from her business to show me the beautiful city of Montreal πŸ’• Where there is a friend; where there is love – there is my home πŸ’•πŸ’•

Canada has great vibrations. And my first experience of landing and immigration/customs clearance itself was so awesome. Everything worked with clockwork efficiency πŸ‘

Montreal is a beautiful city. Even the downtown has still retained the old world charm by keeping the century old facades of many buildings. A vibrant combination of modern skyscrapers and old beautiful buildings.

Loved the picturesque and quiet Montè Royal Plateau, quaint little part of Montreal; and open spaces and cafes of St Paul Street with some performers around. Notre Dame and St Joseph Basilicas are so Divine. Loved the Museum of Fine Arts and the cruise around the old port.

Though it was an extended summer I could still catch some beautiful fall colours when we drove to Rawdon Falls for a picnic with Nippy’s friends.

Beautiful, scenic and love filled days flew away rather too quickly πŸ˜πŸ’•

Mont Royal Plateau πŸ’•

Rawdon Falls

Mont Royal

Morning view from Nippy’s house πŸ’•πŸ’•

St Paul Street πŸ’•πŸŒΉ

It is Beauty I Love πŸ’• πŸ’– πŸ’—

I See Thee Painting

“O Cosmic Light, every day I see Thee painting the sky in bright colors. I watch Thee clothe the bare soil with green grass. Thou art in the warmth of the sunshine. Oh, Thou art so plainly present everywhere!”

Paramahansa Yogananda

“Whenever you see a beautiful sunset, think to yourself: “It is God’s painting on the sky.” As you look into the face of each person you meet, think within: “It is God who has become that form.” Apply this trend of thought to all experiences: “The blood in my body is God; the reason in my mind is God; the love in my heart is God; everything that exists is God.”

Whatever I am today is a gift of my Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. One of these gifts is my love for nature and travel. Nature is God πŸ’•πŸ™

Some of my earlier posts which might interest you are:

Monsoon Love πŸ’•

The Red Rose 🌹

Mornings are mine 😊❀️

Paramahansa Yogananda had composed so many divine chants, like:

Oh Thou Blue Sky

Frozen Sky

I will be a gypsy

It is beauty I love. In love and with love I seek the Maker of the beautiful”

Swami Paramananda

This quote of Swamiji has been a favourite of mine for years. Read it first in 1998 πŸ’•πŸ™

How can one see a flower, a sunrise, a sunset, a sky filled with different coloured clouds, the smile of a child, a beautiful face and not think of God πŸ’•πŸ™

Beauty in motion πŸ’•

Saw her today morning

In her beauty pristine

Changing every second

Teasing me

Enticing me

Alluring me

With Her beauty divine

At times She was so close

Caressing me

Covering Her beauty

With veils of clouds

Grey and dark

And then

Opening up a little

With a mischievous bright smile

To give me another glimpse

Of Her beauty divine

I know You live

In my heart

But how shall I appease

This longing

For your touch?

When shall this

Hide and seek end?

It was a glorious morning with clouds playing hide and seek with the rising sun and the blue sky. Neither do I have the words to describe the feelings which were evoked, nor can my mobile ever capture this beauty in motion πŸ’•πŸ’•

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