Porbandar – Sudama & Kirti Mandirs
After visiting the Ramakrishna Ashram in Porbandar, we all got into the bus. Rafik, the bus driver, parked the bus at a place from where our next destinations, the “Sudama Mandir” and “Kirti Mandir” (Mahatma Gandhiji’s Birth Place), were walking distance. It was a 5-7 minutes walk. It was fun asking people for directions and trying to keep the group together as we watched for bicycles, rickshaws, cars, cows, dogs, and puddles. Soon enough, we made it to the Sudama Mandir. We were thinking of Shri Krishna’s love for his friend, Sudama. At the shrine, we received “pouha” that Shri Sudama took to offer to Shri Krishna. In the temple ground there was a maze, a “maze of life.” A few students tried to go around the maze.
Then, we went to Kirti Mandir, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhiji. It was a little longer walk and through a busy shopping street. We walked in a single line. There were teachers and alumni in the front, middle, and at the end who were keeping eyes on students. We were told to keep walking until we came to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue, where we were to make a right. We took the turn and passed through an old city gate, where we found a huge corridor and building. We had arrived at Kirti Mandir.
We remembered what we had read and heard about Mahatma Gandhiji. Inside the building we saw his birth-room, reading room, and other rooms. There were large paintings of Gandhiji’s parents. Students liked the balcony-like windows, from which they would peek out and wave to other students who were on other stories of the building. Even though it was very hot outside, the inside of the building was cool without fans or air-conditioning. It was an impressive house. Those who had read his autobiography remembered all his childhood incidents that had happened here. There were many pictures depicting various historical moments and moments with great personalities. We walked through the rooms thinking of the great soul Mahatma Gandhi.
Under one picture of Mahatma Gandhi, one can read the following quote:
“I have gone through his (Swami Vivekananda’s) Works very thoroughly, and after having gone through them, the love that I had for my country became a thousandfold.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
With the help of rickshaws we soon reached back to our bus. We counted and recounted everyone in our group and made sure that no one was left out. Group leaders would take head counts. It was very hot and we were thirsty. Nayana Aunty had thought of this and asked Kalpitbhai to keep icy cold Nimbooz (lemonade) ready for everyone. At that moment we felt as though we had a taste of nectar. Now, it was time for lunch. We had a lunch reservation in another famous restaurant “Swati,” thanks to the organizers. After delicious lunch we headed to the famous Somnath Temple, one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.
“So long there is no coordination between body, mind, and the soul, no work will be done smoothly.” – Mahatma Gandhi