The Taj Mahal is a sight unlike any other. No words can accurately describe it.
I was fortunate enough to go there on my trip to India in 2009 and the extra day it took to get there was well worth the journey. I was not about to miss this great monument and eternal symbol to love after the 30 hours it took to fly to the other side of the world. Even if it meant traveling solo at 4am on a commuter train.
Yeah. Tell ya that story another time.
Once I passed through the outer gate, I caught my first glimpse of the Taj.
The temple appeared to be shrouded in a mist.
Once I crossed over the threshold, the sight took my breath away.
The temple is not an object. It’s an experience.
One can literally feel the love that drove the construction of this great monument radiating from every corner.
Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passion of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones. – Sir Edwin Arnold.
And although you are surrounded by hundreds of other visitors, strangely there’s an air of peace. Reverence for the deceased perhaps.
The story goes that Shah Jahan, born Prince Khurram, fell in love at first sight with Arjumand Banu Begum, a Muslim Persian princess, back in 1607. She was 15 and he was 14. Immediately declaring his love for her to his father, he was finally able to take her as his own five years later. In 1628 Jahan became Emperor and though he had other wives, Arjumand Banu donned the royal seal and was titled Mumtaz Mahal, the “Jewel of the Palace.” But in 1631 she died while giving birth to their 14th child.
14th! If that’s not a lotta love, I don’t know what is.
Jahan was heartbroken and he ordered the court into two years of mourning. After her death, he had this mausoleum erected in her honor. The Taj Mahal took 22 years and 22,000 men to build. Upon his death in 1666, he was laid to rest by her side.
Almost 400 years later, the Taj is still considered one of the most stunning man-made monuments in the world.
So what is your monument to love?
If you were to die tomorrow, what would people say about you?
What legacy of love would you leave behind?
They say the measure of a man lie in the fruits of his labors. Where are you choosing to spend the majority of your time? Helping yourself or helping others? Enjoying life or stressing over what you don’t have?
In the end, it all comes down to love. Not that work isn’t important but as my friend Nigel so eloquently put it, “Who lay on their deathbed and said, ‘wish I’d put some more hours in at the office’?”
So are you enjoying your life today the best way you possibly can?
You have the ability now to change anything in your life. What will it be? What does it need to be?
Wanna give more love? Go for it! You’ll get loads in return.
Wanna bring back that lovin’ feeling with you and your love? All you gotta do is love. It’s as simple as that.
No matter where in your life you feel you lack love, all you gotta do is give a little. If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again. It won’t take long for the universe to respond to your love song.
And lastly, let’s remember that having love doesn’t have to involve a lover. [okay get your mind out of the gutter] If you have one, awesome. That’s a bonus! But the love begins first with us and us alone. If you’re not feelin’ the love in your life right now, look inside. For we can only absorb the love we receive from others to the extent to which we can love ourselves.
It’s time for a LOVE Revolution guys. Our world needs it now more than ever. How are you going to contribute? Wanna start at home? Or are you ready to take the LOVE out into the streets and your place of work? Do you feel you’re already doing a pretty good job of spreading the love?
Love is free so we can all afford to give a little. Let’s never doubt the significance our little dose of love can have on the world. As the butterfly effect states, what we do today can actually have great effect on the world.
Have fun lovin’!