Tea and Aum

This is now my 6th week in India and it has been a marathon.  Since arriving at the Kumbhamela we have walked 6-8 miles each day to and from the campgrounds, and about Haridwar and Rishikesh,  practiced Yoga postures and meditated deeply.  We have met with many yogis and nagababas, mixed daily with and taken prasaad (blessed food) of water and sugar from the hands of these babas, all the while, mixing with masses of  coughing, sneezing devotees.    Amazingly,  I have stayed healthy.

Two days ago I was sitting with Patrick at lunch discussing the importance of deepest purification to reach the State of Truth and Reality. I said the kind of cleansing that removes all desires, all conditioning, must require a godlike saint on the order of Anandamayi Ma.  I said I believe that such a Being is required to move us into the highest realms of Samadhi.  Patrick was telling me about his Guru who is described as a divine incarnation and said to be hundreds of years old.  His Guru refuses to answer questions regarding his date of birth, but mentions people he has met,  suggesting he is several centuries old and an ancient soul.

That night we went to a Kriya Yoga ashram in Haridwar.   The cave where Lahiri Mahasaya often meditated is open and people are free to meditate in it.   However, meditating anywhere on the ashram grounds feels like a boon, even though it is on a main thoroughfare with  constant lorry traffic.  It is a place to go to meditate deeply and is part of our lineage.   

Returning to the hotel I took a light dinner — a grilled veggie sandwich and lemon ginger tea.   An hour or so later I became violently ill.  I vomited all night long, had severe abdominal distress and diarrhea. 

I am still in bed, two days later, but can at least sit up to type some for my blog. 

 Throughout the trip a few participants have gotten a throat infection and flu-like symptoms.  No one  else has complained of digestional tract distress.   I am at least happy to have had a deep internal cleansing from the ordeal.

Four students went early this morning to the campground of Pilot Baba and received diksha from him.  They were dressed in ochre, given spiritual names, a mantra, touched at various points and given a rudruksha for use when meditation is difficult.  They all seemed very happy.

Another group is having a holy bath in the Ganges.  From the bath they will go back to the Kriya Yoga campgrounds and start a Homa and begin a 4-hour mantra yagna.  A wonderful dinner is planned for them at the campground tent. I may try to walk over and participate in the yagna.  Or I may just participate by meditating in my bed.

I hope to be fine by tomorrow and walk over for early morning sadhana.  Tomorrow evening we will go to AnandaMayi Ma’s ashram for arati, surely Her Divine  energy will heal me of any lingering illness. ..  I feel dizzy and must sleep.

Morning arrives and I feel cold and begin coughing.   I am exhausted.  I have not sleep  well.   Govindan goes onto the camp.  I dress and go down to the restaurant for a pot of boiling water and perhaps some porridge.  I meet a group of kriyabans downstairs, two are going to Rishikesh until they return home on March 2 and the other four will stay on in Haridwar until then.    These lovely people have been here with us since January 13.    They rescheduled their return flights, deciding instead to stay on at the Kumbhamela.  They are receiving a lot from their experiences here.   They know that I have been down with a stomach ailment.

 All their faces were bright and shinning; although two of them had also had a day of vomiting and diarrhea and one had not slept in a week.  The sleepless-one says that he has been able watch his mind during this time, but has not been able to meditate at all.  I fall silent, I communicate with thought and gesture.  They are very dear to me.

I have slept little over the past month and now have not eaten in several days.  I too do not feel sleepy, nor do I have hunger.  I feel introverted and self-contained.   Self-contained like a cocoon, protective of myself, careful of what I eat or drink or breathe or draw into myself on all levels.   The hotel and the streets are noisy and cooking smells are strongly scented with spices.   I find myself longing for the quiet, pure air of home.

I get a pot of boiled water and take it back up two flights of stairs to my room to make some tulasi and lemon tea.  I had planned to walk over to the camp, but just the walk upstairs has tired me.    I decided to write a bit on  my blog before beginning the several miles to the camp. 

A few days ago while we were at the Kriya Yoga ashram where Lahiri Mahasaya meditated, we met a long time disciple of Kriya Yoga, a member of the Y.S.S./S.R.F.  He gave each of us a rudruksha bead with three faces from the tree in the garden there.  In addition he gave Govindan a book written from the writings of the God-intoxicated Saint, Swami Ramatirtha, written in 1905.

Swami Ramatirtha speaks brilliantly, illuminatingly about “finding oneness with the Lord by establishing some sort of relationship with Him, who is indescribable, beyond words, who is one without a second. He can be known, Swamiji says, through AUM, which signifies His all pervasive universalism, which includes your very own Self.”

To chant AUM correctly fills the heart and mind with peace, tranquility and bliss. One can experience the limitless ocean of power and energy within and without you.  To chant AUM is to  take a refreshing, invigorating bath in the Ganges of Peace and Serenity.  

Each time the conch shell is blown by the sadhus,  the AUM is produced, and  peace, concentration and self-confidence is radiated into the atmosphere.   It helps devotees merge with the Lord in their heart.   I have  experienced this here at the Mela on several occasions. The conch is blown daily in all the camps.

I sit in my room at the hotel,  aware of incessant sounds, people chatting,  men on the street selling wares, motorcycles, cymbals and bhajans,  crashing and banging and screeching tires and horns, but all the while listening for the AUM working through the universe.  It is a good practice.

 I chant AUM aloud, yet silently and with a prayer that my body  be strengthened.   I sip some more tulasi lemon tea.

    • vaalmiiki
    • October 16th, 2010

    Thank you Durga, merci beaucoup toujours!
    Thank you for all your attention,
    Thank you for your faith, your force and your action&share.
    Jai Durga! Jai Babaji!

    • Durga
    • October 16th, 2010

    Thank you Vaalmiiki for commenting. I re-read Tea and Aum. It pulled me back to the Mela and what i learned there. Come what may, one was able to experienced an intimate communication with others through a conduit of everpresent Presence, which seemed to permeate everything. You did not have to go have darshan with a particular sadhu or participate in a special ritual. The only thing required was to focus the eyes, drop the mind and open the heart.

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