One of the most powerful parts of our South Indian Spiritual Adventure is our trip to the orphanage in Chidambaram. Located just a few minutes outside the center of town, the orphanage is a true place of nurturing, good will, and infectious love. The orphanage provides shelter, food, care, and education for children with special needs. Most of the children at the orphanage came to live there because they had been abandoned or rejected by their families, as providing care for handicapped children is an expensive and sometimes impossible feat for families.
The orphanage began as a philanthropic mission and initially housed only six children. Since then the number of children provided for has grown exponentially, and the orphanage has reached its maximum housing capacity thanks to the devotion of the orphanage caretakers.
The priests at the famous Thillai Nataraja Temple are actively involved with the orphanage. One priest provides the children with fresh milk from his cows each morning, and prasadam (sacred food offerings that are made in the temple) are consistently distributed to excited little hands.
On past trips we have taken our spiritual adventurers to the orphanage for what proves to be an unprecedented powerful experience. After being filled with awe by the magnificence of the temple, heart strings are pulled and humility swells by the selflessness of the orphanage care-givers and the innocent, unabashed joy of the children.
During our spiritual retreat in South India in March 2014 trip we will once again return to the orphanage. It stands as one of the highlights of the trip and a moving experience to say the least.
Today I thought I’d share some images that I photographed of smiling and laughing children during my many travels to India. These pictures remind me of my favorite quote from my guru, Gurudeva Subramuniyaswami: “Life is meant to be lived joyously.” Whether you are going through a challenging time...Read More
It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of my photography posts. As many of you know I am passionate about photography. During a recent trip to South India in December last year I drove past a small village in Tamil Nadu, South India, where it looked like the main industry here was making…Read More
I recently posted about giving a keynote at the 2017 World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, South Korea. Once that event concluded, I spent a couple extra days exploring this wonderful city. I’m particularly drawn to historical sites and spent most of my time exploring a few of the main palaces wi...Read More
Tamil Nadu, the land of the Tamils, was dominated by the Dravidian culture for 2500 years. The cuisine is distinctly different from that of the north, and is based primarily on rice rather than wheat and an abundant use of coconut. With a largely vegetarian population like much of India, Tamil Na...Read More