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.