Monday, September 28, 2009

Navaratri Miracles

Almost a week after the Navaratri Celebrations, I get time or rather make time to write. The four days; 24th to 27th were simply out of this world. Starting with the Ganesha Homa on the 24th, obstacles were removed. The previous evening was roller coaster. I managed to leave the ashram at around 10.00 pm and landed up at the railway station to pick up a couple of friends from Bombay. The rains pretty much flooded the entire city that evening. After picking them up and leaving the railway station, we came to a Railway Under Bridge which was quite flooded. I decided not to risk it and turned back and took another route. A day later, I learned that, at that very spot, a bus had later got stuck in the water, and the passengers had to be evacuated in a boat!!!

After the Ganesha Homa, some sleep in Rohit's room ensured that I was charged up again for the evening Navagraha Homa. Everything moved well. Subbu was busy with some other work and that meant I was in- charge of the Yagnashala's security. That evening, I had the long drive all the way back home. I packed up for the next 3 days to stay at Subbu's. Come next morning and the crowd started to pick up. The Maha Rudra Homa just fired up the entire place. Everybody's energy levels just sky rocketed. Come evening, and the Maha Sudarshan Homa. Kriya in Guruji's presence, but us few 'fortunate ones' didn't get to do it. It was an amazing experience to keep my eyes open at that time. Fifteen thousand people with their eyes closed and doing the kriya has by far been the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. The volume on the walkie talkie was turned down completely.

Next morning, the Homa was scheduled to begin at 9 in the morning. It was the BIG ONE. The Chandi Homa. We got home almost at 1 the previous night. At 6 in the morning, a frantic Alex calls to say that the Yagnashala is already almost full. People were there 3 hours before the actualy pooja. It was an amazing sight to see. That day, I couldn't stay at the Yangnashala. Alex was put in charge. Subbu and I now had the humungous task of managing traffic and parking in the ashram. Statistics; Almost 1000 cars came to the ashram. About a 100 cars were lined up on the main road because there was no place inside the ashram. Once traffic died down, we got to enter the Yagnashala just in time for the main event of the day. Post Homa, human traffic direction and then the senior citizen food counter. After a 'minor incident' there, someone asked me if I had eaten my lunch. That is when it actually struck me that it had been more than 24 hours since I had eaten anything! The energy levels were so high that I never even realised. Someone quickly handed me a plate and just as I was about to take my first bite, the walkie talkie went, 'crackle crackle... Subbu paging for Jayanth, come in Jayanth, reception in 2 mins'!!! With a smile, I handed the plate back to the kind lady who had offered the food and ran to the reception. More work!!!

Amidst all of this, I had got a few phone calls from home saying that my mother had been admitted in the hospital with a very bad stomach problem and was being fed only fluids and intra- veinously. Guruji's words; " You do my work, I will take care of your work", flashed through my head. I experienced for the first time, the meaning of surrender. I felt more comfortable staying at the ashram doing His work, fully knowing that that meant He had to take care of Mum. The final number was 25,000 people attended the Chandi Homa. The largest gathering at the ashram. 9000 people stayed at the ashram for the Navaratri period; another record.

That evening's satsang was an out of this world experience. 20000 people dancing and singing. Yet, no incidences of violence, theft or anything else. No one other than His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar could manage an event like that. Yagnashala was truly rocked. Every particle in the environment was resonating with energy. Anju and Ujju joined Subbu and Mansa and me right up at the front and we all had an amazing time. No senior citizen would have eaten happily if it weren't for the efforts put in by them. They were just fantastic. Ujju with his constant, non stop humour and Anju with her sincere and earnest efforts made sure everyone there had a very great time. I must mention how amazingly gracious Anju was. She brought juice the next couple of days for Subbu and me! The next day was the Rishi Homa. Art of living teachers from around the world were there to see Guruji. After lunch that day, Subbu and I just crashed. Anju quickly snapped a pic and sent it to Guruji. Here is the photograph;

That evening, I decided to come back home. I heard that mum was back home from the hospital. As I got home around 11 pm, there she sat on the bed as if nothing had ever happened at all. 27 bottles of drips and yet she sat laughing and smiling. I smiled knowing the Force behind it all. The reassuring, warm smile from Guruji's photo that day looked very different, very direct.

Thus came to end another amazing Navaratri. One filled with enormous learnings, experiences, miracles and amazing people. Almost the whole of the next 30 hours were spent in blissful sleep! Guruji spoke on the 26th evening. Every word was savoured as the first rains hitting barren land.

Jai Gurudeva

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Food is Good

So, as my preparations for getting more independent begin, I have started with that which is dearest to me!!! What is that? FOOD!!! I have started to slowly cook. Now this may not be that great to hear, but I have started to actually make Chapatis. Right from making the dough, to beating it and rolling it into a near circular shape and then onto the pan and into the stomach! Its what an engineer would term as 'end to end process knowledge'! It is only then did I realise the amount of detail that actually goes into making something as simple as a Chapati. The water quantity, the salt, the mixing and beating of the dough and rolling it into small little balls and finally rolling it out into near perfect circles!!! Being someone who has always only recieved food, I never knew the 'intricacies' of cooking!!!
The next time around, I started to experiment a little with dosas. Now, those who know me well, know that I would rather eat dosas for breakfast, lunch and dinner than spend a week on a tropical island with a beauty contest winner!!! Sometime ago, my mother had made a different kind of dosa which was really super soft and tasted really good too! I inquired into the nature of the change in the dosa and she said they were wheat based dosas! Now, I'm not going to give out the recipie, but they are really amazing and I learnt to make them! Hopefully, someday, I will be able to use these amazing South Indian fast food recipies on my travels and wow my stomach!!!

As someone who I know said; "Yummy in my Tummy"!!!

Jai Gurudeva

Friday, September 04, 2009

TRM and back Home

Well, post TTC has been quite a busy time. After wrapping up a few things at Kennametal ( I still haven't completed all procedures), I was able to spend almost 4 days every week at the ashram. Assisting the first course at the ashram (with a new perspective) and over 100 participants was a great feeling and a good learning. Come next weekend and I was able to cover a few course points. A very different feeling. I didn't really feel all the Grace and Love that all the TTC mates of mine were talking about, but that is also ok!!! It was a new experience. After that course, I spent a couple of days at home and then went back to the ashram for a couple of days. Guess what?! I was asked to stay on for another week to help out with the Teachers Meet. That meant a little bit of slogging, but no problemo! I got the opportunity to get a glimpse of all the seniormost teachers of the AOL. Interacting with them was fun and I got to learn a lot of, 'what to do' and 'what not to do'!!! Guruji in His infinte Grace and Love just shook up the whole place. On the day I was scheduled to leave the ashram, I woke up a bit late and got really busy immediately that I missed doing the Kriya and Padma. A few hours later, as I was walking down a road with my sister, Guruji passed by in His car. He went a little further and stopped His car. A crowd as usual gathered around the car and people were talking to Him. I quickly ran up and from a distance smiled and bowed my head down. When I looked up, I for the first time in my life got a really cold stare from Him that just sent my eyes downwards! I didn't realise why until I met Swami Soumyatej a few minutes later. As I narrated the event to Him, He asked me, did you skip anything in your Sadhana today?! BINGO!!!! That left me really happy, proud and sad, all the same time! Happy because not everyone really gets the angry stare from Guruji. I personally believe it means that He is working on you. Proud because He knows when I do my sadhana and when I don't!!! Sad because He was there during my sadhana time and I wasn't there.
Well, I just thanked Swamiji and hurriedly packed my bags and left for home. The first thing I did after entering home was to do my Padma and the Kriya. I wonder what His expression will teach me the next time!!!

Jai Gurudeva