1. In My Early Years: A Train Buff’s Russian Trans-Siberian Adventure

  1.  In My Early Years

 I love train travel. Ever since I was 12 years old, I traveled overnight train from outside of Bombay to Hyderabad in South India. It was twice a year to the boarding school in Hyderabad, for 6 years till I was 18. I was the only student in the boarding, coming from a distant region to attend school and stay in boarding, and go home in summer and Christmas holidays. All the locomotive engines were steam from Pune to Hyderabad.

At age 18 I moved to USA in 1964, joined my dad and family. First time I returned to India was for 3 weeks in 1987, and most of the travel was by plane inside India, and one overnight train journey. It all started back in 1998, when I took off to India for 60 days. I quit my subcontractor position as a financial analyst at an aerospace company near Los Angeles, and told my girl friend Denise, I want to ride the Indian rails on a mass scale. She encouraged me to take that long trip. I let go of the apartment I was renting.

 So there I went, with a 60 day Indrail Pass, which allowed me to travel on any train, but had to make reservation for a sleeping berth. Indian trains are crowded , and requires lengthy planning. It helped getting reservations on AC2 (Air Condition) carriages on various trains, due to foreign reserve quotas. The longest duration I traveled was on Kerala Express, from New Delhi to Trivandrum. Kerala Express was a 3 day, 2 night travel. The train went through various states, all the way to deep South India. Some were electric engines.

On this trip all the other train journey’s were a one night journey, and did visit few relatives in various Indian states. I enjoyed the 60 day trip to India. This was primarily a spiritual pilgrimage journey. I thought I had a good fill with trains, for a while. I stayed at many hotels close to train stations, about 15 of them. Just before starting my journey, I came across “India by Rail” guide book, and was a great asset.



We are living on a borrowed time and for a purpose

Purpose - spirit eagle and clouds Here we are breathing, drinking, eating, working, learning, talking, laughing, crying, smiling, sleeping, creating, loving, caring, sharing, helping, etc. We’ve come into this life as physical body and having a human experience. our physical lives are temporary. We are a miracle. We are created from the spirit of life, beyond human understanding. Our creator (God, Lord, Almighty, Infinite Source, etc) has a purpose for us. Our journey in life has begun with having a free will and choices in life to pursue our journey. Sometimes in our journey we do take an ego ride or a trip. Which means a power trip or a journey not in conjunction with our alignment with heart, mind and body.

Purpose in life What do we do to get back to inner contentment and along the way assist and support loved ones, friends, neighbors and strangers locally and strangers in international lands? We think to have a “successful” life to be very prosperous (with money) and stash it away for the future years for “retirement.” In the meantime we neglect to care for our own selves in areas of health, time with the family, and self reflection.We worry about the future, instead of doing the best as we go along in this life journey.  How about serving others in the capacity as volunteers? Those that need support and help time wise. By offering to serve others is very noble and experience inner contentment, joy and in process the persons receiving help and support are thankful and a smile on their face.

Purpose - serving others We want to live the best in our physical and emotional life and make a difference. Loving committed relationships is another area we always can improve. Have you said “I love you” to your spouse or to your children or to a partner? In this physical plane, many of us pick up unhealthy and unpleasant habits. Have you ever questioned why I am eating certain foods that are not healthy? Have you ever questioned what makes you angry at others or getting impatient at a grocery line or at a highway when it is congested? When we inquire into “getting to know” ourselves we are learning and growing and we mature to live a life of harmonious peaceful way of life.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas, Nevada



Are you listening to your inner voice?

Listening words  We keep trudging along in everyday walk of life. We have needs, desires, wants and want to fulfill our motives. We want joy, fulfillment, inner contentment, compassion, peace and harmony within ourselves and with others. We pray, meditate and ask God (or the infinite, Higher Source, Lord, Jesus Christ, etc) for financial prosperity, excellent health and great relationships. Pretty soon we discover that the answers are within, not “out there”. Are you open to listening from within? Your vibes, your vibrations, “your gut”, your intuition? Do you trust your inner instincts, which is God communicating with you?

Listen to genie within  From my own experience over the years, I let opportunities in jobs, learning another profession, even romantic relationships pass by (I am married to Denise now). Didn’t listen to my inner voice, but kept on moving doing “same old” things or same old routine with expectations. Than comes a time to seriously make a commitment to change and make a decision to change and accept opportunities what life has to offer me. I went through inner probing via meditation and talking to couple of trusted friends.

Listen to God - Stop and look   In a way, we must be “ready” to jump in or take risks to step in.  I’ve witnessed several singles in relationships delaying marriage because of waiting for a “right” partner to come through or questioning and doubting whether the relationships they are in, is the right one? This boils down to inner trust and not clear what their heart and mind says. In this instance, it’s a good idea to sit down in prayer and meditation and ask God for guidance.

If you are not sure of the feedback on the concerned issues from within, talk to a trusted friend or couple friends. Make sure these friends have a positive outlook on life and they themselves are confident, and encouraging. You are still the decision maker to choose all the choices you have at your disposal. Prayer and meditation is a great relaxer and brings inner harmony and answers.

Listen to the inner voice So, listen from within. Listen to what your instincts and gut tells you of what you seek and desire to experience. Communicate to God via prayer and meditation. Be open for answers that are revealed to you. Follow up with the clues. Try not to be wishy-washy with the answers. Check it out. The God who created the universe is loving and friendly for you to pursue your journey for your fulfillment, joy, compassion, love, kindness, peace and understanding.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas


We are in a spiritual world buffeted by the physical world

Spiritual energy As spiritual beings we are pure. Pure in spirit and everything is perfect. No need to fix it or correct it and it is eternal. In the physical world as humans, its temporary experiences on this earth. As humans, we are here on earth to learn, grow and teach. Ever notice how we are accustomed to live on a daily basis? Man made belief systems (religions), obeying rules and regulations, man-made laws to govern societies (by the way, there are 613 commandments in Judaism), parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, strangers, communities, etc. We are also measured by how much money we earn to make a living and driven by ego to excel in some life directions. Ofcourse in physical world, we are judged by our looks as well.

Bank for physical experience When I am saying about “buffeted” by the physical world, ever notice how we for example open checking or savings accounts at a bank? Ever notice how rules and regulations about banking is applied for us to “behave” and “act” when we adhere to money matters in an “organized” settings? Sitting in a bank with the bank representative demands patience, and provide all the information necessary to open an account after qualifying. Next time when you rent a car, first thing a rental car agency will ask is for a credit card and a driver’s license. We are connected to protect banks investments and laws governing streets and highways.

War and soldiers Ofcourse as physical humans, and depending within a society (country), we are governed by security authorities such as police and military for safety and protection. No such governing as spiritual beings. Egos play a greater role in human authority such as power. As humans and in advanced and developing nations, we have more fear to live by. Fear of  our “fellow” human beings, from “other” nations or cultures or tribes. I am talking about living in fear by amassing nuclear weapons. Even though we will not use them ( I am sure we will not use it), otherwise, we all will be in trouble facing very hardships just to breath and drink water or cultivate food for sustenance.

Love you with a flower Somehow in our walk of physical existence, we are endowed with free will and choices and learned behaviors from others, societies/communities. In a way, we are tamed.  We are here to experience love, joy, peace, happiness, harmony, kindness, compassion, gratitude, well-being, blessings, reverence to God. So, it all depends how we use our free will by way of making decisions with enormous choices to choose from. Isn’t it something, with one or two wrong decisions from the choices we have, can also develop anger, hatred, selfishness, greed, neglect, rudeness, ethnocentric, bossing, harmful, isolated, hunger, homeless, fights, wars? So, we are put on earth to experience the physical being and learn, grow, get along and transition (physical death) to our spiritual being after some time. What an adventurous journey!


REV. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas