"He stands supreme, beyond all dream
Of friend and foe alike
Success and failure, name and fame
To Him a mere doll's wedding game
In joy and sorrow, light and dark
He is ever that eternal spark
In honor, and dishonor, too
The constant yogi, ever new!
Beholding self, by Self supreme
Shattering the waking dream
Maya shall be put to flight
By those who in the Self delight
A Compassionate and healing light
A Hamsa in its splendid flight
Away oh darkness! Fly, oh night!
The Yogi comes in radiant might."
--Yogiraj Siddhanath Gurunath
I am sitting late night in NY, finally inspired to write a little bit of what took place since I last wrote. It seems an impossible task right now to put the delicate textures and interweavings into words. This tapestry of memories may never be able to be explained, yet I will do my best to jot down some of the lasting impressions.
Foremost, the eyes & smile of my Guru, Yogiraj Siddhanath - the main purpose and highlight of this whole experience. May my life be a testament to the blessings He has given me.
I remember ...
- Many late nights in the Ashram spent staring at the night sky, trying to crack the code of the stars.
- Watching cricket whilst Yogiraj illuminates the deepest mysteries of life, in words and deeds.
- Yogiraj appearing out of thin air in the middle of the night ... to tell a joke.
- Oh Oh Oh .. Laughing, laughing, and laughing alongside Yogiraj's cosmic sense of humour.
- Water from the Ashram well. Tastier than any bottled water from the most exotic of places.
- Meditating in a spotless white marble room with the biggest crystal ball known to humankind in the center. The highlight of the already mind blowing experience of visiting Auroville, an intentional community whose main decree is that "Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness."
- The beggar with the most innocent childlike eyes whom I felt compelled to give to, later finding out he is a perfected being, a Siddha.
- Getting lost in the jungle late at night, alone, no flashlight, no map, just the universe to guide me.
- Running into Barry at 4am on the holiday of Mahashivratri, simultanesouly realising we are both dreams of God, neither of us more objectively real than the other, and laughing till our seams burst at the absurdity of us talking about it.
- Navigating the busy streets of Pune sitting sideways on the back of Vandana's scooter. No helmet, no guarantee of safety, but great great fun!
- Sitting in an autorickshaw drowning in smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes of the four trucks sorrounding us.
- Watching Indian music videos, about the funniest thing you'll ever find on TV.
- Staying at the Sai Baba ashram, where it becomes self evident that every moment has a lesson and a gift for us.
- Teaming up with Father James, a fellow secret agent of the CIA (Compassion In Action), to spread joy to homeless children and any wandering souls who crossed our path.
- The man who followed me onto the train repeating 'You are God' to my avid protests and wouldn't leave until I had shared with him some tips on meditation and given him my t-shirt.
- Cracking jokes left and right with Pavi, Matt, Ayla and Deepa in Madurai. Receiving hospitality (in Bangalore and Pune too) which can only be re-paid forward.
- Rainbows coming out of Pavi's head as she relentlessly and ruthlessly tracked down every inspiring story having to do with her great uncle (in every sense of the word) Dr. V, co-founder of the Aravind eye hospital. Pavi and Ayla were filming a documentary on his life and the amazing story of this hospital. The film is called 'infinite vision' - I haven't seen it yet, but I saw it in the making and I know it is absolutely amazing.
- Dancing with Dinesh and Maria to Persian music with our shadows on the wall at 3am.
- The runaway child in the Bangalore train station who kept taking my arm and telling his friends I'm taking him home with me.
- Singing Beatles & Pink Floyd at a dinner gathering full of elder yet youthful in Spirit Indian people.
- CharityFocus meetings inspiring me up the Wazzoo in Bangalore, Madurai and Pune.
- Staying up to the wee hours discussing beauty and waking early morning to say one last goodbye to Sai Baba.
- Trying to send packages through India Post, a painfully funny endeavour.
- Spending my last days chillaxing with Yogiraj and Dyllan, just like hanging with my college buddies ...
- Eating Gourmet meals cooked up by Shivangani, Yogiraj's wife. Watch out CF mom - you have competition!
- Finding my horoscope written on a palm leaf thousands of years ago, complete with my name, my parents names, my Guru's name and my exact birthday. Many thanks to Vandana!
- Trudging through the snowy Swiss mountains to attend a Vedic fire ceremony at a Harikan Baba Ashram.
- Aah Switzerland, where my diet was cheese, bread, wine and chocolate for a week straight. There is a likeness to the melting of chocolate in your mouth and the melting of your mind into the seemingly absolute silence of this profoundly beautiful country.
- Singing and dancing to Israeli TV show theme songs from our childhood with my friend Boaz in Spain. Somethings never change - we are still two years old around each other.
And so it is.
My good friend asked me if I have changed these last few months. The answer is yes, no doubt I have changed, There was no choice but to change, yet paradoxically - I also feel more like ME than ever.
I still don't quite know What to be and How to do anything in this life, but if anything, I know Now What to do and How to Be.
I have reached zero in every sense of the word, and it feels great. At zero, the possibilities are endless, the unknown is beckoning.
Tommorow I come back home to California. As my friend James says, "Let the mystery unfold ..."
Love you all!